Thursday, November 24, 2011

Grandma Goldie's Coconut-Oatmeal Pie

Truth be told, I only remember my grandmother making this particular pie a handful of times.  But when she did, boy did I love it.  As an adult, when I went back to visit with her once I asked her how to make it and she was all too happy to fetch her recipe which was scrawled on a piece of paper and tucked into a drawer.  My kids say that when you add a bit of whipped topping to it, it tastes like the Little Debbie's Oatmeal Cream Pie snacks, only better.  I don't know about that, but this is one of my all-time favorite pies.  I also love this pie because it is soooo simple to make.  Not.Even.Kidding.


1 C water
3 eggs, slightly beaten
2/3 C granulated sugar
1 C brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 C flaked coconut
2/3 C oats
1 unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 375.  In mixer, combine all ingredients until mixed well and pour into pie shell. Bake 50-60 minutes or until set.


Crust Tip:  Because this pie takes a while to bake, you can use strips of foil over your pie crust edges to prevent them from getting too dark.  If you make pie a lot, however, you may want to invest in {{Pampered Chef Pie Crust Shields}}.  I have two of these and I love them.

Old Fashioned Sugar Cream Pie

This recipe came from my Amish Grandmother, Goldie Miller.  Incidentally, Old Fashioned Sugar Cream Pie is the official pie of Indiana.  Not.Even.Kidding.  It's my oldest son's favorite, so while it takes a bit of time (the dreaded eternal stirring), the outcome is worth every bit (and bite) of it!



1 pre-baked pie shell
2 C (1 pint) half & half, divided
1/3 C corn starch

1 stick (1/2 C) butter
1 C sugar
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla

In small bowl add 1 tablespoon at a time of the half & half to the corn starch - just enough to make a loose paste; set aside.  In saucepan over LOW heat melt the butter with the sugar and remaining half & half, stirring frequently.  Once the sugar is dissolved, add the corn starch paste and the nutmeg.  Turn heat up just a little to MED and begin stirring constantly to avoid scalding.  Continue stirring until mixture begins to bubble and thicken.  This may take several minutes.  As soon as it thickens, remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Pour into baked pie shell.  It will set up as it cools, or you can refrigerate overnight.  (Although, I think it tastes great while still warm.)


Note:  The key to this pie is PATIENCE.  The time it takes for this pie to thicken while stirring seems to vary for me and I am not sure why.  It may have something to do with the brand of Half & Half or the room temperature at the time, but just know that this may take several minutes.  The last batch I made took 11 minutes of constantly stirring before it began to thicken.  You could try turning the heat up just a little, but be very cautious as nothing tastes worse than a burned cream pie.

Aunt Lorene's Chocolate Pecan Pie

This recipe comes from my Amish aunt, Lorene Miller.  I love Pecan Pie but when I went to dinner at her house once and she served CHOCOLATE Pecan Pie, I had to ask for the recipe.

1 unbaked pie shell
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1 C packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 C light corn syrup
1/4 C melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C chopped or halved pecans
1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375.  In mixing bowl combine eggs, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup, melted butter and vanilla; mix well.  Fold in pecans and chocolate chips.  Pour into unbaked pie shell.  Bake 50-60 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Crust Tip:  Because this pie takes a while to bake, you can use strips of foil over your pie crust edges to prevent them from getting too dark.  If you make pie a lot, however, you may want to invest in {{Pampered Chef Pie Crust Shields}}.  I have two of these and I love them.

Sour Cream Apple Streusel Pie

Streusel is the name for the crumb-topping typically made with butter, flour and sugar, originating from Germany.   I like to make this pie when I am in the mood for Apple Pie, but want something a little different.  Don't worry, the sour cream doesn't make the pie taste sour at all.  It adds a nice "light" flavor to it, and in my opinion really helps bring out the flavor of the apples. 


1 unbaked 9" pie shell
3-4 C peeled and thinly sliced apples
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 8oz sour cream
1 C sugar
1 tsp salt

Topping:
3 Tbsp melted butter
1/4 C packed brown sugar
4 Tbsp flour

Preheat oven to 375. Layer apple slices evenly in pie crust and set aside.  Combine eggs, sour cream, sugar and salt until  mixed well.  Pour over apples in pie plate and using rubber spatula, carefully turn apples to mix well.  Bake 25 minutes.  In the meantime, to make streusel topping use a fork to work the melted butter, sugar and flour together. It should resemble a fine crumb mixture.  After taking pie out of the oven, sprinkle streusel over the top and return to the oven to bake another 20-25 minutes or until set.


Apple Tip:  I like to use half Gala apples and half Granny Smith apples.  I think the combination of the sweet and the tart is perfect for a savory Apple Pie!

Crust Tip:  Because this pie takes a while to bake, you can use strips of foil over your pie crust edges to prevent them from getting too dark.  If you make pie a lot, however, you may want to invest in {{Pampered Chef Pie Crust Shields}}.  I have two of these and I love them.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Canadian Mountie Casserole

This is a variation of something 2 of my sisters and their college roommate used to make.  They never really knew what to call it, so they made up the name, "Canadian Mountie Casserole" and it just sort of stuck.  This is the version that my kids like the best.  This is definitely not low in carbs, but is an awesome dish for a cold day or when you want to splurge.  Enjoy!


2 Boxes Velveeta Shells & Cheese
1 box Stove Top stuffing mix
margarine or butter - according to Stove Top directions
1 small package frozen peas
1/2 C Sour Cream*
1 kielbasa, brat, or hot dogs cut into bite-sized pieces (optional)
salt & pepper, to taste

Prepare shells & cheese according to package directions.  While the pasta is cooking on the stove, I like to make my stuffing in the microwave (according to package directions), followed by my peas.  Lightly spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray.  Drain cooked pasta and place in bottom of pan.  Mix the Velveeta cheese packages well with pasta.  Stir in both the cooked stuffing and steamed peas. Then mix in the sour cream.  If adding sausage, mix in and spread evenly in pan.  Bake @ 350 for approximately 12-15 minutes, just enough to give it a little crunch on the top.  Serve warm.

*If you don't like sour cream, you can also use 1 can cream of chicken soup mixed with 1/4 C milk or water instead.

**When reheating leftovers I sometimes add a little butter or milk.