Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Favorite Apple Pie

For Pie:
pastry for single-crust pie
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
a little lemon zest and juice from half lemon (about 1 T.)
6 cups thinly sliced peeled apples  (I prefer Gala with skins on)

Crumb Topping:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup butter

Final Topping: (which I omit)
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Prepare pastry for single-crust pie, being careful not to stretch dough too much.
Place in pie plate and trim and crimp the edge.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt.
Add apple slices and gently toss until they are coated well.
Transfer mixture to pie.

Stir together brown sugar, flour, and oats.
Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until topping resembles coarse crumbs.
Sprinkle over apple mixture in pie.

To prevent over-browning while baking, cover edge of pie with foil.
Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes.

Remove foil and bake 25 to 30 minutes more, or until top is golden.
Remove from oven.

Drizzle top with caramel topping; sprinkle with pecans.
Cool on wire rack and serve!

Beef w/ Broccoli & Asparagus

3 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
1/2 cup water, plus
4 T. minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 lb boneless round steak or charcoal chuck steak, cut into thin 3-inch strips
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
3 cups broccoli florets
1-2 cups large chopped asparagus
1 small onion, cut into wedges
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
crushed red pepper for heat (opt)
hot cooked rice

In a bowl, combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 tablespoons water and garlic powder until smooth.
Add beef and toss.

In a large skillet or wok over medium high heat, stir-fry beef in 1 tablespoon oil until beef reaches desired doneness; pour in approx 2 T. of soy sauce to deglaze pan. Remove and keep warm.

Stir-fry broccoli, asparagus and onion in remaining oil and drippings for 4-5 minutes.

Return beef to pan.

Combine remaining soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger and remaining cornstarch and water until smooth; add to the pan.

Cook and stir for 2 minutes.

Serve over rice.

Cream Pie (NO PUDDING)

1 9-inch pie shell, baked

3 cups whole milk
3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
banana or coconut extract - just a drop or two
3 bananas or 1 1/2 c. sweetened coconut


Have baked 9-inch pie shell ready.
In a large saucepan, scald the milk.
In another saucepan, combine the sugar, flour and salt; gradually stir in the scalded milk.
Over medium heat, stirring constantly, cook until thickened.
Cover and, stirring occasionally, cook for two minutes longer.
In a small bowl, have the 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten, ready; stir a small amount of the hot mixture into beaten yolks; when thoroughly combined, stir yolks into hot mixture.
Cook for one minute longer, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and blend in the butter and vanilla and flavored extract or choice.

For Coconut:
Stir in majority of coconut to cream mixture.
Let sit until lukewarm.
When ready to pour, place some coconut in bottom of pie shell; pour warm mixture.
Toast a little coconut to put on top.

For Banana:
Mash about half of bananas and stir into mixture.
Let sit until lukewarm.
When ready to pour, place sliced bananas into bottom of shell; pour warm mixture.

If desired, make a meringue (you'll have 3 leftover egg whites) to top the pie, or just let the pie cool until serving.