National Pie Day

collage of fruit pies - National Pie DayNational Pie Day is celebrated yearly on January 23, and has been sponsored since 1986 by the American Pie Council. National Pie Day was launched in the ’70s by a man who loved pie so much he wanted to celebrate, and he chose January 23 because that was his birthday the American Pie Council declares.

According to The Dallas Morning News, pie has been around since the ancient EgyptiansThe Romans published the first pie recipe — a rye-crusted goat cheese and honey pie. Early pies were made with meat, and during the 1500’s, fruit pies were invented.

The American Pie Council is an organization committed to preserving America’s pie heritage and promoting America’s love affair with pies.

What’s more American than apple pie? How about…

Even though apple pie is an all American dessert, it was actually brought to the eastern shore’s of what is now the United States, by the Dutch.

Here’s our offering for National Pie Day, what’s yours?

Cottage Cheese Apple Pie Cottage Cheese Apple Pie

1 egg

Pinch of salt

1 tbsp. flour

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup cottage cheese, small curd

1 cup sugar

3 apples, peeled and cored, thinly sliced

1 pie crust – store bought or your favorite recipe

Heat oven to 350 degrees

In a large mixing bowl add cottage cheese, egg, cream, flour, and sugar. Mix until combined. Line the pie crust with mixture.

Layer the apple slices around the outer edge of the pie. Then layer apples circling the center of the pie.

Before baking pie, it is optional to sprinkle some nutmeg or cinnamon on top. Bake for 45 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. Do not under bake.

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Roasted Yams with Cilantro and Lime Juice 

Roasted Yams with Cilantro and Lime Juice 

The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet po...

The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet potato, commonly referred to as a yam in the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you know the difference between a yam and a sweet potato? In some parts of North America, including Canada, the yam and sweet potato are enter twinded or in other words people think they are same.

The fact is, they are not. They both are tubers, and that is as far as it goes to being similar.

The yam are monocots related to lilies and grasses. Were as sweet potatoes are related to or we should say the unrelated morning glory family (Wikipedia ).

Yam in a market

Yam in a market (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to About Foods, yams are mostly sold in chunks sealed in plastic wrap, as they can grow up to 7 feet in length and weigh up to 150 pounds. (Home Cooking – About Food).

Better Homes and Garden (BHG) suggests storing yams in a cool dry place. Much like you would do with potatos.

BHG says do not store yams in the refrigerator as they will dry out (BHG).

Before we get on with our featured recipe, here is a link to a pdf file from the University of California on yams and sweet potatoes: LINK HERE.

Our featured recipe is: Roasted Yams with Cilantro and Lime Juice, and here is what you will need.

2 medium yams, washed and diced with skin on

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 to 2 teaspoons dried cumin

1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Juice of 1/2 lime

diced yams with olive oil in a large bowel Add the oil, cumin, and salt to a large mixing bowel. Mix together, then add died yams and toss to coat.

Roasted Yams with Cilantro and Lime Juice  - close upSpoon yams onto a baking sheet spread out evenly. Place baking sheet into a preheated 425 degree oven, and roast the diced yams for 30 to 40 minutes or until a fork can pierce them, turning once during the roasting process.

Remove from oven and let cool about 5 minutes. Add yams to a serving bowel along with chopped cilantro and lime juice. Mix gently to coat roasted yams.

Eat the dish as is or as a side dish with your favorite meat.

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Making Sour Cream Pie 

Sour Cream Blueberry Pie and Sour Cream Apple PieSour cream is a dairy product that we are familiar with. It is made using fresh cream and fermenting it with lactic acid bacterium. The bacteria is either introduced deliberately or naturally to sour the cream, though it is mildly pleasant sour tasting.

The history of sour cream is believed to have developed in Eastern Europe by the Ukrainians. It was intentionally fermented and used in one of their well known food creations – Beef Stroganoff.

Our featured recipe involves sour cream. It is used in one recipe using two different types of fruit. Apples and blueberries, which by the way is not a true fruit but a berry as the name implies.

Our recipe is Sour Cream Blueberry Pie and Sour Cream Apple Pie.

First let’s make the crust. The recipe will make two portions, and here is what you will need.

Sour Cream Pie Crust

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoons of salt

2 teaspoons of sugar

2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed

1/2 cup sour cream, full fat

Heat oven to 400 degrees

2 sticks of cold cubed butterPlace the cubed unsalted butter in a bowl and put aside.

mix flour and adding in cold cubed butterIn a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar.

Next add the cubes of butter into the flour mixture. Use your clean thumbs and fingers to squish the flour and butter together. Work the butter into the dough until you have what resembles a coarse meal with some chunks of butter.

mixing in sour cream to pastry doughNext add the sour cream to the flour butter mixture. Use a fork to incorporate into the mixture.

forming pastry dough into two disksGather the pastry dough together with your hands, and form into a large ball.

Use a knife to cut the ball in half. Form into disks. Sprinkle each disk with a little flour, top and bottom. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. If you want to freeze for future use, wrap again, this time with aluminum foil and freeze (leave in refrigerator overnight to thaw before using).

If dough has been in the refrigerator for more than 2 hours, let it sit for 5-10 minutes at room temperature to become more malleable before rolling out.

rolling out pie crust to place into pie pan to pre-bakeNow sprinkle a clean flat surface with a little flour. Place one disk over the floured surface, and begin to roll flat with a rolling pin. As you roll the dough, check to make sure the bottom is not sticking. If it is, lift it up and sprinkle a little flour underneath. Roll out pastry dough from 12 to 14 inches wide, to an even thickness.

Place the rolled pastry pie dough into a 9-inch glass pie pan. Place a piece of parchment paper over the raw pastry and then filled with pastry or pie weights. But if you don’t have these baking accessories, then dried beans can be used.

Place into a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and remove paper and beans. Using a fork repeatedly pock the pie crust till crust surface is filled with tiny holes. This allows the steam to escape and prevents the crust from bubbling up.

Replace back into the oven for 15 minutes more. Set a side to cool.

Meantime, prepare the pie filling.

One pie filling will be a Sour Cream Blueberry filling  and the other will be a Sour Cream Apple filling. We also replaced the sugar with coconut sugar. The ratio of sugar to coconut sugar is 1:1. We also used Himalayan salt in place of regular table salt. Let’s get started.

1 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg, beaten

2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries or 3 cups of peeled chopped apples

Pecan Topping (for blueberry):

4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons butter, softened

3 tablespoons chopped pecans

Walnut Topping (for apple):

All the same as pecan topping, but replace the pecans with chopped walnuts.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

pie filling for blueberry and apple sour cream pies

In a mixing bowl, beat together the sour cream, flour, sugar, lemon juice, salt, and egg until smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Gently fold in the blueberries or apples. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and bake at 400° for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the 4 tablespoons of flour, brown sugar, butter, and pecans or walnuts, mixing with fingers until you have a crumbly mixture.

Sprinkle the pecan or walnut mixture over the top of the pie and return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes longer. Let cool. Chill thoroughly before serving.

 

You will note the pie fillings are not white in texture, as we used coconut sugar.

 

side view of Sour Cream Blueberry PieThe texture of the coconut sugar is the same as brown sugar.

The coconut sugar doesn’t resolve a clear color, and is more dominate than brown sugar, but more healthy to the blood stream.

Also when fingering to mix the dry ingredients with the butter to make a crumble, make sure the butter is cold, and do not mix it between your fingers to long. The texture will be affected by the warmth of your fingers.

You will not have a good crumbly texture, as demonstrated with the Sour Cream Apple Pie, pictured below.

Once the pie’s have cooled, plate and serve.

Sour Cream Blueberry Pie and Sour Cream Apple Pie

 

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Buttermilk Pecan Pie for National Pie Day

Pecan Pie

Pecan pie is an American dessert that is native to the southern states  (USA). The history of the pecan pie is not very clear, though pecan pie took off in popularity in the early 20th century. The pie has its place as a dessert at most American dinner tables.

Pecan pie has a sweet, nutty flavor and a custard texture that no other pie can claim. Pecan pie is one of the most frequently eaten pies in the country, next to Apple pie.

The pecan tree is indigenous to North America and grows throughout much of the southern United States. With such wide spread growth of the pecan trees , the early French settlers in the then known Louisiana territory had invented the pecan pie.

Today the southern states harvest over 250 million pounds of pecans each year, with Texas and Georgia pecan groves claiming the majority of that amount.

Pecan trees drop the nuts or shed the pecans from September to December, and ripen on the ground. The pecans are then harvested from the base of the trees, and are either shelled and sold as packaged nuts to make pecan pies or sold shelled for later use.

We bought some pecans, in the bulk section of the Whole Foods Market, to make our favorite Buttermilk Pecan Pie in honor of National Pie Day January. 23, 2015.

If you would like to prepare one, then here is what you will need:

Buttermilk Pecan Pie

½ cup butter, melted

1 cup chopped pecans

2 tbsp. lemon juice

2 cups sugar

1 tsp. Vanilla extract

5 large eggs

1 cup buttermilk

2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 unbaked pastry shell (9 or 10 inches)

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix butter and sugar in a medium bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in flour, lemon juice and vanilla. Stir in buttermilk and pecans. Pour into the pie shell. Bake 55 minutes or until set.

Let cool. Plate and serve. Store leftovers in refrigerated.

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If Buttermilk Pecan Pie is not a favorite of yours, then try these pies for National Pie Day: Apple Cranberry Crumb Pie or Berries and Vanilla Pudding Pie.

 

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Apple Cranberry Crumb Pie

Apple Cranberry Crumb PieThere are several different ways to make a pie crust. Everyone seems to have their favorite recipe. The most classic pie crust is made with butter. Making a pie crust with butter makes it more flaky.

Making a pie with butter takes some practice, because if you handle it too much it will end up being tough, the reason being your warm touch is melting the butter.

To get the perfect pie crust requires that all the ingredients are chilled, and doing so will give you a flaky, manageable dough. You can also make pie crust using a food processor. Let’s see how that works.

pie crust 1

Add your flour and butter and pulsate, but stop pulsing when you see the pieces of butter are pea size and still cold.

pie crust 2<—————

Now add some ice cold water slowly while pulsing, but just until you see clumps starting to form. When the clumps start to form this is a sign that the flour to water ratio is right. ———–>

pie crust 3After chilling your dough, lightly flour the surface you will be rolling your dough on. As the dough will absorb some of the flour, so putting to much can cause the dough to be tough.

pie crust 4<———–

To get that flaky crust, the butter has to be in solid form and not melted. This requires rolling out the dough promptly, getting it into the pie pan, and into the oven. Always remember, chunks of cold butter, renders flaky crust. ———>

Do you think you can do it? Sure you can. Here is the basic recipe we use here at Splendid Recipes:

Easy Pie Crust with Butter

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup cold Butter

5 tablespoons cold water

Combine flour and salt in processor. Next cut butter into chunks and add to processor. Pulsate until flour and butter are combined, and the chunks of butter are pea sized. Next while pulsating add a tablespoon at a time and stop adding water when you see clumps starting to form. Remove dough from processor, cut into two even parts, form into a ball and wrap each dough ball with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

After removing dough from refrigerator, follow illustrations 3 and 4 above. To blind bake your pie crust, link here: Blind Baking.

As we mentioned at the on set of the article, there are variations to making a pie crust. Here is another pie crust recipe:

Easy Pie Crust with Buttermilk

With this pie crust the oil replaces the butter, and the cold ice water is replaced by buttermilk ( 5 tablespoons equal 1/3 cup).

2 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
1/3 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup vegetable oil (we use avocado oil or lite olive oil)

Sift flour and salt. Add buttermilk, oil and stir only until dry ingredients are blended in. Divide dough in half, and form into a ball and wrap each dough ball with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

After removing dough from refrigerator, follow illustrations 3 and 4 above. To blind bake your pie crust, link here: Blind Baking.

After you have prepared your crust, blind baked it, here is an idea for some great pie ingredients to fill your crust with.

Apple Cranberry Crumb PieApple Cranberry Crumb Pie

1 prepared blind-baked pie crust

Filling

2 pounds of sweet-tart apples, peeled and cored – An excellent choice is Gravenstein, Braeburn, Fuji and Pink Lady. They are all crisp and sturdy apples for baking

1 3/4 cups fresh or frozen (unthawed) cranberries, chopped

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Coarse salt

Topping

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)

3 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar

preheat oven to 425 degrees

In a small mixing bowl make sugar mixture whisking together sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Place apples in a large bowl and toss with the sugar mixture, coating apples thoroughly. Add cranberries, mixing in well. Spoon apple mixture in the pie crust, distributing evenly over the whole surface of the crust.

For the topping combine all ingredients, except butter, in a small bowl, and mix well. Next add butter, using two knives, cut in butter until mixture forms small pea sized pieces. Sprinkle over filling, covering completely.

Place prepared pie plate onto a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees, and continue baking 40 minutes, or until apples are tender. Insert a knife into the pie to check the firmness of the apples. If the apples are still firm, continue baking until they soften just a little. If topping is getting too brown and apples are not done yet, cover pie with aluminum foil to allow apples to bake a bit longer.

Transfer pie to a wire rack and let cool 1 hour before serving.

Apple pies are best served at room temperature or warmed in a  350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Apple Cranberry Crumb Pie will keep at room temperature overnight, and can be stored in the refrigerator up to four days.

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Berries and Vanilla Pudding Pie

Berries and Vanilla Pudding Pie

We would like to start off with saying we found this delectable pudding pie on Instagram. She like a food post of mine, and I went to check out her food creations and found her Strawberry Vanilla Pudding pie.

Her name is Andrea and you can find more great food photography and creations of her’s at  instagram.com/andrea_veganlicious. Thanks Andrea for sharing your recipe with us on Instagram.

Andrea used Dr. Oetker‘s Organic vanilla pudding and in place of milk she used almond milk. Here at Splendid Recipes and More we add blueberries, and used almond – coconut milk.

The organic brand of vanilla pudding we used, found at the Whole foods Market was “European Gourmet Organics Vanilla Pudding.”

Our featured recipe and here is what you will need:

simple ingredients for Berries and Vanilla Pudding Pie

1 3.5 ounce box Organics vanilla pudding (or your favorite organic brand)

1/4 of a medium organic banana, cut  into 5 1/2 inch slices

1/2 cup organic blueberries

8 medium sized organic strawberries

1 organic pie shell, baked

2 cups organic almond – coconut milk

Bake the pie shell according to package instructions. Usually it is in a preheated oven to 450 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes. Let cool.

Make the pudding according to package instructions. Replace the 2 cups of milk called for, with 2 cups of almond – coconut milk. Also the instructions say it is optional to use one egg yolk for a creamer pudding. We did add a organic egg yolk.

Pour the prepared pudding into the cooled pie shell and let set in refrigerator for the amount of time the pudding box instructions call for. The pudding we used said let set for 90 minutes in the refrigerator.

Slice strawberries in half, and place each slice, cut side down, around the out edge of the pie. Sprinkle the blueberries around the strawberries, and place the five slices of banana in the center in a circular motion. Top the bananas with a few blueberries.

Berries and Vanilla Pudding

Slice, plate and serve.

 

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Baked Apples Apple Pie

Baked Apples Apple pie

5 large apples; mix or match Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith

1 8-9 inch pie crust, pre-made or home made

½ cup of sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. nutmeg

1 tbsp. butter cut in 8 small pieces

Pre-heat 375 degrees

  1. Core and hollow out 4 apples.
  2. Dice the apple flesh from cored apples, plus the one remaining apple; peeled and cored first.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine diced apples, cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg. Fill each of the 4 apples with the prepared mix. Place two small pieces of butter in each apple.
  4. Next roll out your pie crust cut into strips and create a lattice on top of each apple, slightly allow strips to lap over sides of apple opening.
  5. Place apples on a 13 x 9 baking dish. Put in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes and serve.

Enjoy with a side of real vanilla ice cream

A Baked Apple Apple Pie with a side of real vanilla ice cream

For information about how apples and other fruits and vegetables correlate to a healthy you link here and read our posted articles at Savor the Food logo

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