Saturday, July 25, 2009

Pennsylvania Dutch Shoo-Fly Pie

For the crumb part:

* ¼ cup shortening
* 1½ cups flour
* 1 cup brown sugar

Work the above ingredients together.

For the liquid part:

* ¾ teaspoon baking soda
* ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
* a little ginger, cinnamon and cloves
* ¼ teaspoon salt
* ¾ cup molasses
* ¾ cup hot water

Mix well together and add hot water. Into an unbaked pie shell, combine the crumbs and liquid in alternate layers with crumbs on bottom and top. Bake 15 minutes at 450 degrees, then 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Philosophy of Pie Crust

Pie-crust perfection depends on several things—good flour, good fat, good handling, most especially good baking. A hot oven, quick but not scorching, expands the air betwixt layers of paste, and pops open the flour-grains, making them absorb the fat as it melts, thereby growing crisp and relishful instead of hard and tough. The lighter and drier the flour the better—in very damp weather it is best oven-dried, then cooled before mixing. Shortening, whether lard, butter, or clarified drippings, should be very cold—unless your recipe demands that it be softened or melted. Milk or water used in mixing ought to be likewise well chilled, unless the shortening is soft—in that case match its temperature. The regular rule is half-pint ice water to the pound of flour, using chilled shortening. If the fat is semi-fluid the paste must be mixed softer, using say, three parts of a pint to the pound.

Baking powder or soda and cream tartar, or soda alone with sour cream or buttermilk for wetting, makes crust light and short with less butter, therefore is an economy. Genuine puff paste is requisite for the finest tarts, pies, etc., etc., but light short crust answers admirably for most things. Sift flour twice or even thrice for any sort of paste. Sift soda or baking powder well through it, but not salt. Make the salt fine, drop in the bottom of the mixing bowl, before the last sifting, and mix lightly through the flour before adding the shortening. Rub in shortening very lightly, using only the finger-tips—the palms melt or soften it. Add milk or water, a little at a time, mixing it in with a broad-bladed knife rather than the hands. Mix lightly—so the paste barely sticks together. Put in first one-third of the shortening—this, of course, for puff paste. Half a pound of butter or lard to the pound of flour makes a very good paste, but to have it in full richness, use three-quarters of a pound. Wash butter well to remove the salt, and squeeze out water by wringing it in a well-floured cloth. If there is a strong taste, or any trace of rancidity, wash well, kneading through and through, in sweet milk, then rinse out the milk with cold water to which a little borax has been added. Rinse again in clear cold water—this should remove ill-flavor without injury to anybody's stomach. But be very sure the last rinsing is thorough—borax, though wholly harmless, adds nothing to digestibility.

The end of the repeated rollings out and foldings demanded by real puff paste is to enclose between the layers of paste as much air as possible. Hence the chillings between rollings. Hence also the need of pinching edges well together after foldings, and rolling always from you, never back and forth. Roll out paste into a long narrow strip after the first mixing, divide the remaining shortening into three equal portions, keep very cold, and as needed cut into small bits, which spread evenly on top of the rolled paste, which must be lightly dredged with flour. Fold in three evenly, one thickness on another, turn so the folded edges may be to right and left while rolling, pinch the other edges well together and roll again into a long strip, moving the rolling-pin always from you. Repeat until all the butter is used, then set on ice for an hour to harden. In baking beware opening the oven door until the paste has risen fully and becomes slightly crusted over.

Baking powder crust must not stand—the gas which aerates it begins forming and escaping the minute it is wet up. It also requires a hot oven and delicate handling. Half a pound of shortening and a teaspoon of baking powder, to the pound of flour, mixed stiff or soft, according to the consistency of the fat, properly handled and baked, make crust good enough for anybody.

From "Dishes and Beverages of the Old South", by Martha McCulloch Williams, 1913.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Green Apple Pie

Take apples a little bigger than the thumb's end, cut off stalks and nibs, and slice crosswise in three, dropping them in water as sliced to save discoloration. Make a rich syrup—three cups sugar, one cup water, to four cups sliced fruit. Boil and skim, throw in the apples, with a blade or so of mace, and cook quickly until preserved through. Either bake between crust in the common way, or bake crust crisp after pricking well, and spread with the preserved fruit.

Else make into small turnovers, but bake instead of frying them—and be sure the oven is hot enough to brown, but not to burn. Or you may make the green apples into shortcake, putting fruit only between[99] the layers of crust, and serving with rich sauce or sweetened cream.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pie Recipes: Southern-Style Cobblers

Make from any sort of fruit in season—peaches, apples, cherries, plums or berries. Green gooseberries are inadvisable, through being too tart and too tedious. Stone cherries, pare peaches or apples and slice thin, halve plums if big enough, and remove stones—if not, wash, drain well, and use whole. Line a skillet or deep pie pan—it must be three inches deep at least, liberally with short crust, rolled rather more than a quarter-inch thick. Fit well, then prick all over with a blunt fork. Fill with the prepared fruit, put on an upper crust a quarter-inch thick and plenty big enough, barely press the crust edges together, prick well with a fork all over the top, and cook in a hot oven half to three-quarters of an hour, according to size.

Take up, remove top crust, lay it inverted upon another plate, sweeten the hot fruit liberally, adding if you like, a spoonful of brandy, adding also a good lump of the best butter. Mix well through the fruit, then dip out enough of it to make a thick layer over the top crust. Grate nutmeg over apple pies, or strew on a little powdered cinnamon. A few blades of mace baked with the fruit accent the apple flavor beautifully. Cherries take kindly to brandy, but require less butter than either peaches or apples. Give plums plenty of sugar with something over for the stones. Cook a few stones with them for flavor, even if you take away the bulk. Do the same with cherries, using, say, a dozen pits to the pie.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rich Lemon Pie

The pie crust should be made and baked first. The filling consists of juice and rind of 2 lemons, 6 eggs, 1/2 pound of sugar, 1/4 pound butter, small glass of brandy, nutmeg. Cream, butter and sugar together; add brandy, nutmeg, lemon, and then eggs.

Take the whites of 2 more eggs, beat very light and put on top. This will make one large pie.

This vintage recipe is from " The Cookery Blue Book", by Society for Christian Work of the First Unitarian Church, San Francisco, California

Friday, February 20, 2009

Cherry Pie

Both sweet and sour cherries may be used for making pie, but sour cherries are by far the more desirable. Their only disadvantage is that they require a rather large amount of sugar. Cherries used for pies should always be seeded. Canned cherries may be used for this purpose as well as fresh ones, but they are not so delicious. The proportion of sugar used for making cherry pie will, of course, need to be varied according to the sourness of the cherries used.

* 4 c. seeded cherries
* 1 1/4 c. sugar
* 4 Tb. flour
* Pinch of salt

Fill the lower crust of the pie with the cherries. Mix the sugar, flour, and salt and sprinkle over the top. Moisten the edge of the lower crust, place the top crust in position, and bake in a moderately hot oven for about 30 or 35 minutes.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Pie Recipes: Rhubarb Pie

* 3 cups diced rhubarb
* 1½ cups sugar
* 3 tblsp. flour
* ¼ tsp. salt
* 1 tblsp. lemon juice
* 2 eggs, separated
* 1 9-inch pie shell

Cut rhubarb into small pieces and arrange in an unbaked pie shell. Combine the sugar and flour, add egg yolks and lemon juice. Stir into a smooth paste. Pour this mixture over rhubarb. Cover with meringue made from the egg white. Bake in a hot oven (425-f) for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to (325-f) and bake for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Green Apple Pie

Peel, core and slice tart apples enough for a pie; sprinkle over about three tablespoonfuls of sugar, a teaspoonful of cinnamon, a small level tablespoonful of sifted flour, two tablespoonfuls of water, a few bits of butter, stir all together with a spoon; put it into a pie-tin lined with pie paste; cover with a top crust and bake about forty minutes.

The result will be a delicious, juicy pie.

From "The White House Cookbook"

Monday, February 2, 2009

To Make Pie Crust Flaky

In making a pie, after you have rolled out your top crust, cut it about the right size, spread it over with butter, then shake sifted flour over the butter, enough to cover it well. Cut a slit in the middle place it over the top of your pie, and fasten the edges as any pie. Now take the pie on your left hand and a dipper of cold water in your right hand; tip the pie slanting a little, pour over the water sufficiently to rinse off the flour. Enough flour will stick to the butter to fry into the crust, to give it a fine, blistered, flaky look, which many cooks think is much better than rolling the butter into the crust.

From "The White House Cookbook"

Plain Pie Crust

Two and a half cupfuls of sifted flour, one cupful of shortening, half butter and half lard cold, a pinch of salt, a heaping teaspoonful of baking powder sifted through the flour. Rub thoroughly the shortening into the flour. Mix together with half a teacupful of cold water, or enough to form a rather stiff dough; mix as little as possible, just enough to get it into shape to roll out; it must be handled very lightly. This rule is for two pies.

When you have a little pie crust left do not throw it away; roll it thin, cut in small squares and bake. Just before tea put a spoonful of raspberry jelly on each square.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Pie Recipes: Lemon Pie

Take a deep dish, grate into it the outside of the rind of two lemons; add to that a cup and a half of white sugar, two heaping tablespoonfuls of unsifted flour, or one of cornstarch; stir it well together, then add the yolks of three well-beaten eggs, beat this thoroughly, then add the juice of the lemons, two cups of water and a piece of butter the size of a walnut. Set this on the fire in another dish containing boiling water and cook it until it thickens, and will dip up on the spoon like cold honey.

Remove from the fire, and when cooled, pour it into a deep pie-tin, lined with pastry; bake, and when done, have ready the whites, beaten stiff, with three small tablespoonfuls of sugar. Spread this over the top and return to the oven, to set and brown slightly.

This makes a deep, large sized pie, and very superior.

From "The White House Cookbook"