Monday, August 29, 2011

Saskatoon Rhubarb Pie

Another that is very strange for me.  I probably only make a few pies each year........I'm just not a big fan of pies I guess.  And when it comes to berry pies, for which I have painstakingly picked and cleaned all the berries myself......I am a bit reluctant to experiment with all my hard work.  This recipe appealed to me because it has some of the Saskatoons replaced by a bit of rhubarb.....which is very easy picking.  The thought behind this inclusion is that Sakatoons are often a bit dry while rhubarb adds quite a bit of moisture to the filling.  I was really quite happy with the end result which was indeed moist and still allowed the Saskatoons to be the predominant flavour.  I find Saskatoon Pie to be a bit on the sweet side of things too so the rhubarb added a little punch of tartness which I love.  The filling held together beautifully as you can see.....although this time I baked the pie at night and waited until morning to take the first slice.  Pie for breakfast.  Personally I think eating baking for breakfast is just gross, but I REALLY wanted to try this pie before I headed out for a little business trip. 
While I cannot endorse eating sweets like this for was a pretty darned good pie.  If you find yourself with an over abundance of Saskatoons and Rhubarb......You might like to try this:)
Saskatoon Rhubarb Pie
for a 9 inch pie
your favourite double crust pie shell
1 1/2 cups rhubarb
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups Saskatoons
Preheat oven to 400F
Mix rhubarb with first amount of sugar and microwave to warm enough to allow the juices to release from the rhubarb.  Drain and collect this rhubarb juice and add enough cold water to it to make 1 1/2 cups of liquid.
Put the 1 1/2 cups of liquid into a pot and dissolve the cornstarch into it.  Add in the lemon juice, remaining sugar, and rhubarb (that you had drained the liquid from) and stir over medium heat unitl bubbling.  Once it begins to bubble add half of the saskatoon berries and gently bubble for 3-5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the remaining saskatoons.  Set aside while you roll your pastry.
Roll pastry and line a 9 inch pie plate with bottom crust.  Pierce pie shell all over with a fork.  Roll top pie crust and set aside.  Pour filling into bottom shell and top with prepared top pastry.  Seal and brush top with egg wash.  Bake for 15 minutes at 400F and reduce heat to 350F and bake a further 20-30 minutes until crust is golden and filling is bubbling.  Make sure to wait until the pie is cool before cutting into it!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Huckleberry Pie

If you had been at my house last might have had a nice piece of Huckleberry Pie.  I did not grow up picking huckleberries, and in fact until I met my DH, I was blissfully unaware of their existence.   See a picture of the little devils at the bottom of this post.  After living in Northern British Columbia for 13 years I accidentally discovered the seething underbelly world of Huckleberry picking.  Berry pickers are a curious lot who covet their knowledge of the mother load location and keep it a closely guarded secret right up to their death bed.  So I'm not kidding about the accidentally part.  After three years of a bit of trial and error......I think I have the time and places nailed down. Next year I am totally ready for you!  
If you find yourself in need of a Huckleberry Pie......This recipe turned out beautifully.  It's nice to settle down after an afternoon of braving black bears and large mosquitoes a nice pie of Huckleberry Pie!
Huckleberry Pie

one double crust pie shell pastry for 9 inch pie
4 1/2 cups huckleberries
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup quick cooking tapioca
2 T lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 T butter
2 T cream
2 tsp sugar
Preheat oven to 425F.
Line 9 inch pie plate with pie dough.  Combine and mix berries, sugar, tapioca, lemon juice, salt, & cinnamon.  Dump into pie shell, dot with butter and top with top pastry.  Crimp edges of pie dough, slit top and brush with cream and sprinkle with 2 tsp of sugar.  Bake in 425 F oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350F and bake a further 20 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is bubbling.  (Protect edges of pie crust with foil if they are browning too quickly)  It is most important to let the pie cool completely before slicing or the filling will run!  It's true.....I tested the theory and I won't be doing that again:)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Black Bottom Cupcakes- with Raspberries

With all the raspberries in season now I've been looking for something to do with them.  I picked not quite enough for jam or syrup....maybe just a cup or so from the canes in my back yard.  I had intended to make a batch of those delicious Chocolate Cheese Cake Cupcakes......AKA Black Bottom Cupcakes, and decided to throw in some fresh raspberries as well.  They turned out fabulously I must say, and I will be making them again before the season is over.  I love this cupcake recipe and make it at least 10 times each year, because it is very easy, very forgiving, very fast, and very addictive......even without the added raspberries.  But if you have some extra raspberries sitting around......try this one......If this flavour combination sounds like something you'd like......I can almost guarantee you will be the next addict.

Black Bottom Cupcakes with Raspberries

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp vinegar
1/3 cup oil
1 cup water
raspberries (about 4 per cupcake) (set aside)

Dump all of the above (except the berries) into a large bowl and whisk together, set aside while making topping.  Don't worry about getting every little lump out.

1 ( 8 oz pkg) of cream cheese at room temperature
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
pinch of salt

Cream together the cream cheese and sugar, add egg and salt and combine till smooth.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line 18 muffin tins with paper liners.  Divide chocolate batter equally into each of the 18 muffin cups.  About a rounded tbsp for each.  Divided any extra batter evenly between the cups.  Drop 4 fresh raspberries on top of the chocolate batter.  Top with a rounded tsp of cream cheese topping. Again, divide any remaining cheesecake batter between all cups.  Bake for about 18 minutes or until the cream cheese topping begins to brown in a few spots.
Note:  You can also make these in lined mini muffin tins and they are equally delicious and even more adorable.  If adding raspberries, one per mini muffin would be appropriate.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Twisted Delight- Sweet Chilli Flavour

While on vacation this summer......we made several stops at Cobs Bread in Victoria.  We don't have any in town at home, so I do take the opportunity to shop there when the opportunity presents itself.  Cobs is the North American branch of the Australian and New Zealand bake shop chain called Bakers Delight.  They make fresh artisan breads in both sweet and savoury flavours.  Since my aunt and uncle who we were staying with like the store as well, we took the opportunity to pick up a few different flavours of their 'Twisted Delight' loaves to have along with supper.  One of the flavours was Sweet Chilli, and we were so liking the loaf that I decided to try one at home.  And this is what we did.......

Sweet Chilli Twisted Delight
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup lard or shortening, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast 
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • a few onion greens or chives
 Add first 7 ingredients into bread machine pan in the order listed.  Choose dough cycle, and let it do it's thing.  Remove dough, punch down and divide dough in half.  Roll each half out to a 14"X10" rectangle with a long edge towards you.  The filling amounts are for one half of the dough recipe.  You can put the other half of the dough in the fridge until the next day, or make two loaves.
On the rectangle, spread about  2 tbsp of sweet chilli sauce ( or more to your taste) The more you use, the hotter the loaf will be.  I used about 3 tbsp and you could taste the heat a little more than the loaf from the store so I am guessing about 2 tbsp is what they might be using.  Sprinkle on the cheese and onion greens and roll up, rolling away from yourself as if to make a cinnamon roll.  Pinch the seam closed and move the whole roll onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Now the shaping of the loaf is what I liked about the twisted delight and this is what I think they have done. I used scissors, or you could use a knife, to cut down across the cylinder at 2-3 inch intervals, making sure not to cut all the way through the dough.  Leave it attached together by the last layer of dough resting against the pan.  Now, my rolled cylinder was quite long with about 12 slices, so I cut it in half and made two smaller (6 slice) loaves.  Then turn the cookie sheet so that the cylinder of sliced dough has one end of the dough pointing towards you and the other away.  Then roll the top slice to the left and the next to the right, back and forth, all the way to the bottom of the cylinder. Now take each slice and try to lay them a little more like cut side down.  They don't need to be laying with the cut side flat....just leaning back is fine.  Set aside in a warm spot to rise for 40 minutes.  Sprinkle with a bit more shredded cheddar.  Bake for about 20 minutes on 350F until golden.  Remove from oven and brush loaf with a little melted butter.  We really liked these a lot.  We made the second batch today, and they are all gone now!  I would recommend baking up the whole batch of dough if you are making this to share with company.  With just DH and myself at home we managed to snack through the first (half batch) one night and the second (half batch) the following afternoon.  Enjoy!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Calm Before the Crazy

It's the weekend!!  Finally....with so many things running through my head for what I would like to do on the's hard for me to sort it all out.  So many things that need to be done, should be done, and I'd really just like to do.  Often the last option wins out for me and thus the explanation of why my house continually looks as though it's been ransacked.  Maybe this weekend will be different.....and I'll choose to do the important things like clean up, and organize??  Right now, I have a dining room table disassembled on my living room floor, loads of laundry to do, a kitchen counter that is so covered in miscellaneous stuff that you cannot see the counter top....(just as needs a scrubbing too) not to mention a mountain of laundry to wash, fold and put away.  Also need to pick up some primer and paint and do a little painting before the cabinet makers come back to finish up a little job in my laundry room.......which I must say I am enjoying immensely.........although the down side is that it makes me feel like redoing my whole house.  Hmmmmm I think I may need to make a list....I find this usually makes me feel a little more in control.  
Before the craziness begins.....I'm having a calming morning moment with my little cuppa chocolate Ovaltine, a coddled egg, toast and some fresh fruit. That was nice. Let the craziness begin.....