Berry Cherry Pie

September 18, 2011 § 3 Comments

I believe I have finally conquered my achilles heal…pie making.  Practice makes perfect and this pie turned out pretty perfect, in my opinion (see whole pie below).  Not a piece of this one went uneaten.  Actually, we were disappointed when it was gone.  Guess I will just have to make another one.

Look out friends and family.  Now that I have pie making figured out, you can expect to see me arriving to your house with a pie.  I hope you all like pie.  I am now taking orders.  You know, apple season is coming…  

In order to make this pie, you must first start out with my Mom’s Pie Crust (This really is my Mom’s recipe. Thanks Mom!).  No other crust will do.  Really!  This crust is a must.

Mom’s Pie Crust

  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup ice water

In a large bowl, add the flour and salt.  Blend in shortening with a pastry blender.  In a small bowl, crack egg and beat with a fork until yolk and white are mixed.  Add lemon juice and water to the egg.  Pour mixture into the flour mixture.  Knead together.  Divide the dough into 4 equal balls.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes then roll out.  Makes 4 pie crusts.  This recipe can be cut in half but you’ll still need 1 egg.

Take one of the balls and roll it out with a rolling-pin.  Line a 9″ pie plate with it.  Roll out second ball of crust and set aside.

Berry Cherry Filling

  • 2 – 16 oz bags of frozen berry cherry fruit from Trader Joe’s, slightly thawed (this mixture includes blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and cherries)
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup instant tapioca
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Coarse sugar

Place berries in a large bowl.  Add the sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and tapioca.  Mix together.  Pour into the prepare 9″ pie plate that you already lined with the bottom crust.  Top with seconded rolled out crust.  Trim the crust (if needed) and crimp together edges.  Brush the crust with milk and sprinkle coarse sugar over it.  Add slits into the top the pie.  This allows the steam to be released when cooking.  To avoid over browning the edge of the pie, cover edges with aluminum foil.  Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes.   Remove foil and bake for another 30 minutes until top is golden brown.   Let cool.  It is best if the pie sits for a few hours so the juices can set-up.  Makes 8 heavenly slices.   

Sweet Summer Sangria

September 15, 2011 § 1 Comment

Sangria (Spanish: Sangría) is a wine punch typical of Argentina, Uruguay, Spain and Portugal. It normally consists of a wine, chopped fruit, and a sweetener.  Some people like to add brandy to it but I like to add club soda for a little bubble. 

I created this specific sangria recipe because I had a ton of watermelon and needed something to do with it.  It turned out so good that I wanted to share it with you.

Sangria is truly one of the best summer drinks around and should be enjoyed with friends on your back patio.   Make this and call over your neighbors for an end of summer visit.  They’ll be so happy you did.

Sweet Summer Sangria

  • 3 cups of watermelon, cubed
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup fine granulated sugar (depends on how sweet your watermelon is)
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 bottle white wine
  • 3-4 cups club soda

In a small sauce pan, combine orange juice and sugar.  Heat over low until sugar has completely dissolved into the juice.  Cool.  Take 2 cups of the watermelon and blend it up in a blender.  Pour the watermelon juice into a pitcher along with the sweetened orange juice.  Add the wine, remaining cup of cubed watermelon and sliced fruit.  Chill in refrigerator for 2-3 hours.  Once chilled, add the club soda.  Pour over ice and drink up.

Thin, Crispy and So Tasty: Onion Strings

September 11, 2011 § 2 Comments

What goes great with onion rings?  A great big juicy hamburger, of course!  But whenever my husband and I think of onion rings, it reminds us of Papa Hammer.  When he would cook steak, he would also cook up a big batch of crispy onion rings.  Papa Hammer would marinate the slice onion overnight in buttermilk.  He used to say that this was the key to a great onion ring.  So in true Papa Hammer form, I too marinate my strings in buttermilk.  This recipe is a tribute to him.  Who knows, he might have even liked these better than his own rings.  Maybe.  Just maybe. 🙂

  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups of buttermilk
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • slight pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 qt canola oil

Thinly slice the onion and place into a bowl.  Pour buttermilk over the top and let sit for at least 4 hours (longer if possible).  In a large dish, mix together flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne.  When ready to cook, pour canola oil into a large pot or fryer.  Heat to 350 degrees.  Remove onion from bowl in small batches and dredge in the flour mixture.  Fry each batch until golden brown.  Drain on paper towel and season again with salt right after they come out of the oil.  Repeat until all the onions have been fried.  Eat them with whatever you like or just by themselves.  Hopefully you won’t eat them all before they get to the table.  They are addicting and totally irresistable.

(Below is my sweet boy with a huge bowl of onion strings)

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