Peach Crumb Pie

I’m a fan of easy-peasy recipes, and when you can your own fruits and vegetables during season, it’s a snap when you want to throw together dinner or desserts if you have a pantry full of goodies.

The other day I made a Caramel Apple Crumb Pie with a quart of the caramel apple pie filling I put up this summer. The kids wanted pie again today, so I decided to use a quart of the peach pie filling I made this summer and use the same crumb recipe. Easy peasy.

We have 4 peach trees in the backyard, and they produce the small, golf ball-sized peaches that are super sweet and full of peach flavor, not like the peaches you can find in the grocery store. Making the filling is labor intensive in the fact that you have to peel all these little peaches (as opposed to the nice big Colorado peaches I use to can peaches by themselves). I threaten the boys each summer when I do pie filling, as they’ve been known to just grab a quart of pie filling off the pantry shelves and sit down to eat it – and then I have nothing left for pies or cobblers. True story – they ran me out of apple pie filling one year as they loved it just for a snack. I hid these peach pie filling quarts this year so that I would have a few of the precious jars for when I wanted to use them, not when their stomaches wanted something sweet 🙂 This pie can be a bit messy, so feel free to add 2 tablespoons of instant tapioca to your pie filling if you prefer so the filling doesn’t fall apart when you dish out the slices.

 

peach crumb pie half

 

Peach Crumb Pie

1 unbaked pie crust

1 quart peach pie filling

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup oatmeal

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup butter

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pour pie filling into unbaked pie shell. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the oatmeal, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and vanilla. Cut in the butter using a pastry knife or fork until you get small crumbs. Sprinkle this mixture over top of the peaches.

Bake the pie for about 50 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or until you see the filling bubbling. Cool before cutting, and serve with either whipped cream or ice cream.

peach crumb pie whole

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German Chocolate Silk Pie

I’ve been on a pie kick lately. The other night I made a caramel apple crumb pie, but today I was craving chocolate. So, what’s a girl to do but make a chocolate cream pie.

I love French silk chocolate pie, but those recipes usually use a bittersweet or semisweet chocolate in the filling. I had German chocolate on hand, so that’s what I used. It doesn’t matter to me (or my sons) as long as it’s chocolate!

 

german chocolate silk pie slice

 

German Chocolate Silk Pie

1 prebaked 9-inch pie shell

4 ounces German chocolate

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon good vanilla

4 eggs, at room temperature

3 cups whipped cream

1 chocolate bar (good quality), roughly chopped or shaved

 

Heat chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 20-second intervals, stirring between, until completely melted. Set aside, and let cool for about 10 minutes until it is room temperature.

 

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cooled melted chocolate to the butter/sugar mixture. Beat the mixture on medium-low speed until completely combined. Add the vanilla, and mix until combined.

 

Switch to the whisk attachment of the mixer. Add one egg, and beat for 5 minutes on medium speed. Repeat with the remaining eggs, beating the mixture for 5 minutes after the addition of each egg. Pour the filling into a baked pie shell, using a spatula to evenly spread out the filling. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until chilled before serving.

 

german chocolate silk pie whole

 

Top with whipped cream, and garnish with chocolate shavings.

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Caramel Apple Crumb Pie

My oldest son can talk me into making just about anything sweet. One night after dinner, when I hadn’t made anything for dessert, he gave me those “puppy dog eyes” and begged me to make a pie. He knows I hate making pie crust, even though I love pie, and I just got tired of looking at those eyes. He won, of course, and he had pie in a few short hours.

During the summer and fall, I canned both peach and apple pie filling, as our fruit trees were loaded this year. I hadn’t made an apple pie yet with the filling, so this was the perfect opportunity. I did notice when taking the pie filling out of the canner that the ClearJel didn’t make the filling as thick as I’d hoped, so I made sure I had instant tapioca on hand to add to the filling. I had a frozen pie crust in the freezer (thanks Hy-Vee!), so throwing together a pie was pretty quick. Again, since I hate to make pie crust, I decided to use a crumb topping instead of doing the traditional top crust. All in all, it turned out pretty well, and my son savored his victory.

 

caramel apple pie whole

 

caramel apple pie half

 

Caramel Apple Crumb Pie

1 unbaked pie crust (homemade or store bought is fine)

1 quart caramel apple pie filling

2 tablespoons instant tapioca

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup oatmeal

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup butter

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a bowl, combine the apple pie filling and the instant tapioca until thoroughly mixed. Pour the caramel apple pie filling into the unbaked pie crust. Set aside.

 

In a small bowl, combine the oatmeal, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and vanilla. Cut in the butter using a pastry knife or fork until you get small crumbs. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over top of the apples.

 

Bake the pie for about 50 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or until you see the filling bubbling. Cool before cutting, and serve with either whipped cream or ice cream.

 

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Banana Cream Pie

My family loves pie, and my husband’s favorite one is probably banana cream pie. For all the pies I’ve made over the years, I’d never made one until this past weekend. I’m not a huge banana fan, but I love cream pies, so I decided I’d try to make one.

The concept is really simple. You blind-bake the pie crust, slice up some bananas, and make a custard filling. Nothing hard about it at all. Most of the banana cream pie recipes you find on the Interest and in cookbooks are basically the same and use the same ingredients. For the custard filling, you can use whole milk or 2% milk, but I’d avoid using skim or fat-free milk. You’re making cream pie, for heaven sake! For mine, I used 2 cups of 2% milk and 1 cup of cream.

 

banana cream pie

 

banana cream pie half

Banana Cream Pie

1 unbaked pie crust (either homemade or store bought)

3 cups whole milk

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 egg yolks, slightly beaten

2 tablespoons butter (not margarine)

1 teaspoon good vanilla

4 to 6 bananas (depending on size), sliced

Whipped cream

 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. To blind-bake your unbaked pie shell, add a layer of parchment paper to the pie shell, and add dry beans or a pie weight to weigh down the parchment paper. Bake the pie shell for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and remove the parchment paper and beans. Bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the pie crust is nicely brown. Remove from the oven, and let it cool completely.

In a large skillet over low-to-medium heat, scald the milk. In a bowl, combine the sugar, flour and salt. Gradually stir mixture into the scaled milk. Over medium heat, cook the milk mixture, stirring constantly, until it thickens.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Temper the eggs by adding about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture, whisking constantly. When combined, add the egg mixture to the pan of the hot milk mixture, and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes more, or until the mixture is thick and custard-like.

Remove the pan from the heat, and whisk in the butter and the vanilla. Let the mixture cool slightly.

Slice the bananas into the bottom of the baked and cooled pie crust. Top the bananas with the slightly cooled custard, making sure to smooth the filling over all the bananas. Refrigerate for several hours to allow the filling to set.

To serve, slice the pie, and top each slice with whipped cream.

 

banana cream pie slice 2

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Sour Cream Raisin Pie

I love to eat just about any kind of pie, but I don’t often make them, mostly because I hate making pie crust. I can do it, but it’s not my speciality. Ask me to make a pie filling (or cake or cheesecake), and I can do that no problem. My husband and our oldest son are whizzes at making pie crusts, so when I can sweet talk them into making the crust, I’ll do the filling.

Today we wanted pie, and I cheated and used store-bought crust. It’s okay – really. It just won’t have the nice flaky outcome like Grandma makes. I won’t even say crust like my mom makes, because she has the same pie crust problem I have (sorry Mom!). She’s a great cook and baker, but pie crust just isn’t her thing either.

One of our favorites is sour cream raisin pie, so I thought I’d share our recipe with you. You can top the pie with meringue if you wish, but I like this raisin pie with fresh whipped cream on top. This makes a 10-inch pie. I have large glass pie pans, and this may be too much filling for a normal-sized 9-inch pan.
raisin cream pie (1)

 

raisin cream pie slice (1)

If you promise not to laugh too hard at this picture, which shows the obvious store-bought pie crust, here’s what it looks like just out of the oven. It’s not the prettiest pie, but boy does it taste good 🙂
sour cream raisin pie

Sour Cream Raisin Pie

Pastry for 1 pie crust, chilled
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon good vanilla extract
2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 cups raisins

Place chilled pastry in a 10-inch pie pan. Beat eggs lightly, then stir in sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Stir in vanilla, sour cream and raisins, and mix until well combined.

Pour mixture into the chilled pastry shell. Bake in a 450 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until the pie tests clean in the center.

Let cool to room temperature, or chill for a few hours. Serve with whipped cream.

Days of Casseroles: Day 2…Cheesy Ham and Hash Brown Casserole…Plus Easy Cherry Cheesecake

Kevin got in some garden today, as he planted kohlrabi, radishes, peas and some lettuce. He also got the rhubarb transplanted, so while I might be out a rhubarb crisp this year, next year I should have plenty of tasty stalks to pick 🙂

The chickens were moved to the coop this past week too. We lost another chick before that, so we’re down to 52 little peepers. The rest are looking great, so in a few weeks, we’ll be up to our necks butchering.

Today’s casserole is a great way to use up that leftover Easter ham, and it works well as a brunch or dinner main dish.

 

 

Cheesy Ham and Hash Brown Casserole

1 2-pound package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
1/2 cup melted butter
2 cups chopped, cooked ham
1 10.75-ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 8-ounce container sour cream
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups crushed cornflakes
1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, combine hash browns, 1/2 cup melted butter, cream of chicken soup, ham, sour cream, chopped onion, cheddar cheese, salt and pepper. Mix well. Place mixture in a greased 3-quart casserole dish.

In a separate bowl, combine 1/4 cup melted butter and crushed cornflakes until the cornflakes are coated. Sprinkle the mixture over the top of the casserole.

Bake covered at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes.

What’s an Easter dinner without dessert? While I generally make traditional cheesecakes, I was running short on time (as in the kids wanted to eat cheesecake today instead of letting it set overnight!). This is a good recipe when you’re in a hurry.

 

 

 

Easy Cherry Cheesecake

1 graham cracker pie crust
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 can cherry pie filling (or use your favorite flavor)

Beat cream cheese in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add sweetened condensed milk, and blend thoroughly. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla. Pour into pie crust.

Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours, or until firm. Top with chilled pie filling before serving.

Yield: 8 servings

Rhubarb: The Second Sign of Spring

If baby chicks on the homestead are the first sign of spring, then finding my rhubarb peaking through the soil is definitely the second sign of spring for me.

I absolutely love rhubarb, whether it’s in a crisp or in jam. I don’t care how it comes, I love it. So, when I walked outside to take a peek at the chicks, I spotted rhubarb beginning to show through in two spots, one in the usual place (hopefully will be transplanted yet this spring) and another coming through in the garden where we’re trying to establish a new patch.

 

While I have a rhubarb jam in an older blog post from last year, I thought I’d share a recipe I found on Pinterest (dang site…I have WAY too many recipes posted there that I just HAVE to try!). This one is from Taste of Home, a magazine I used to subscribe to, so I know the recipe will be a good one to try.

 

Rhubarb Tart with Shortbread Crust Recipe

 
Filling:
 
3 3/4 cups chopped fresh rhubarb, about 1 1/4 pounds
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
 
Crust:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup ground pecans
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Curd:
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
5 tablespoons butter, cubed
4 drops red food coloring, optional
Additional confectioners’ sugar
In a large saucepan, bring rhubarb, sugar and water to a boil. Reduce heat. Cook and stir until thickened and rhubarb is slightly tender. Cool slightly. Transfer to a food processor. Cover and process until the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
For crust, place the flour, pecans, butter, confectioners’ sugar and salt in a food processor. Cover and process until crumbly. Press crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9-inch tart pan that has a removable bottom. Bake the crust at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 18 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.
In a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, lemon peel and rhubarb mixture until blended. Add butter, and cook until the butter is completely melted, whisking constantly. Stir in food coloring, if using. Pour mixture into prepared crust.
Bake tart at 350 degrees Fahrenheit 12 to 15 minutes longer, or until the center is almost set. Cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Just before serving, dust with additional confectioner’s sugar.
Yield:  12 servings.

Sour Cream Black Raspberry Cheese Pie

While this blog was mainly the desire to chart the progress of our garden and canning adventures, it really hasn’t gotten to canning season for me yet. Most of our veggies and fruits have gone into the freezer so far, with a little jam made along the way.

So far this summer I’ve frozen spinach, kale (lots of kale!), broccoli, a few peas, and raspberries. I’ve been freezing the wild black raspberries until I have enough to make a few batches of jam, but today I was hungry for pie. I knew the raspberries were just about ready to be picked again, so I set off for the timber to see what I would find. Kevin and I picked enough black raspberries for another 2 freezer quart bags of berries, and I had enough leftover to make a Sour Cream Raspberry Cheese Pie.

I didn’t want to heat up the kitchen today, so this recipe fit the ticket. Creamy, cheesecake-like texture that was no-bake with fresh raspberries on top.

 

Sour Cream Black Raspberry Cheese Pie

1 graham cracker crust
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon good vanilla extract
Fresh black raspberries, about 3 cups

In a mixing bowl, whisk the softened cream cheese and sour cream together until smooth. Add in the sugar and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.

Pour into graham cracker crust and top with black raspberries. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving (overnight would be better….if you can wait that long!).