November 26, 2010

How to make a lattice pie crust

A homemade pie is a wonderful thing...and a lattice pie crust on top of your pie is even more wonderful!

Have you always wanted to make a lattice pie crust on top of your apple or cherry pie but were too intimidated to try?

Well...I want to teach you how to do it! It's easier than you think!

Here's a step by step, full-proof, easy method! Please give it a try! This holiday season, present a show stopping pie to your family and friends!

First of all, make your pie dough. You will need a double crust pie recipe. Use my full proof double pie crust recipe found here.

Make dough, divide in half. Use one half for bottom crust and use one half for making lattice.

Roll out one dough half into the shape of a square the size of your pie pan.

Cut dough into strips approx. 3/4 inch wide.

Take one strip and lay it down the center of the pie.

Continue to lay half of the strips across the pie spacing approx. 3/4 inch apart.

Trim strips along the edge of the pie as you go. Be sure to leave a little hanging over.

Fold back every other dough strip at the center of the pie.

Lay one strip of dough across pie in the opposite direction just below the folded dough strips and laying across the strips that are laying flat.

Unfold strips laying them over the strip you just placed.

Fold back alternate strips of dough.

Lay strip across pie just beneath folded dough.

Fold those strips down over the strip you just laid down.

*Continue this process until the rest of the pie is covered.

*Turn pie around and finish the other side just the same way.

*Here is the completed lattice.

Pinch the edges of the top and bottom crust together.

Flute the edges of the pie crust with your finger tips.

*And here is the finished lattice pie crust!

As you can see, it's really quite easy!
It's actually a lot of fun to do!
I know you can do it...give it a try next time and your family and friends will be very impressed!

November 24, 2010

Wildlife Thanksgiving

Squirrels and chipmunks feasting on dried sunflower heads on my back porch.

November 23, 2010

Pumpkin Pancakes

I would love to share with you, my recipe for pumpkin pancakes. It is so delicious, I'm sure it will become one of your family's favorites! There is one thing that sets this recipe apart from other pancakes...and that is folding beaten egg whites into the batter. This makes the batter so light, fluffy and airy! OK, enough already...let's get to the recipe!

*First let me tell you that you can cut this recipe in half if you are only feeding 2 people.
*However, if you are feeding a family of four, you will definitely need to make this recipe in full...which yields approx. 20 - 24 pancakes.

Pumpkin Pancakes

2 C. flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 eggs, separated
2 C. milk
1 C. pumpkin puree or plain canned pumpkin
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil

Combine baking powder, sugar, salt, cinnamon

and flour in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks,

milk and oil

and pumpkin

until smooth.

Stir pumpkin mixture into flour mixture just until moistened.

In small bowl, beat egg whites...


soft peaks form.

Fold egg whites into batter.

Fold and fold

and fold...that's perfect.

Pour batter by 1/4 C. each onto hot griddle.

When bubbles come to the surface, flip pancake.


Don't forget the syrup. I like to warm my syrup in the microwave.

November 20, 2010

Make your own pumpkin puree

Making your own pumpkin puree is very easy and very rewarding. This time of year there are plenty of sugar pie pumpkins available at your local fruit market and the grocery store. It is wonderful to have pumpkin puree readily available in your freezer. This will allow you the freedom to make pumpkin dishes and desserts all year round. For instance, my family loves pumpkin pancakes...any time of year! Not only is pumpkin delicious, it is very healthy. Pumpkins are loaded with beta carotene, potassium, fiber, zinc, and vitamins A and C. Sugar pie pumpkins are small, dark orange and have a thick skin. The small 3 or 4 pound sugar pie pumpkins are claimed to be the best to use for cooking and baking. All pumpkins are edible, but some say the larger field pumpkins used for carving jack o lanterns can be too stringy and not as sweet. However, I have read, more than once, of people who've always used field pumpkins to make all of their pumpkin desserts and it has worked fantastically.

Here's the process for making your own pumpkin puree..give it a try!

You will be so happy you did!

1) rinse pumpkin free of dirt

2) cut top and stem off of pumpkin and discard

3) cut pumpkin in half right down the middle from top to bottom

4) scrape and remove seeds and pulp, discard pulp and save seeds for roasting

5) place pumpkin halves with interior side face down in baking dish

6) pour 1 C water into baking dish

7) bake pumpkin for 1 hour in 375 degree oven

8) remove pumpkin from oven and allow to cool

9) easily peel skin from pumpkin with fingers

10) cut pumpkin into several pieces and place in food processor

11) puree pumpkin with metal blade until smooth

12) divide pumpkin in 1 cup increments in quart size freezer bags

I like to flatten the pumpkin in the freezer bags and store flat in a 9 x 13 plastic container to save space and keep bags from sliding all over the freezer

13) freeze pumpkin for future use

Pumpkin is so versatile...
it can be cooked in many ways...
including, but not limited to: pie, rolls, cookies, muffins, pancakes, cheesecake and so on and so on.

Stay tuned for tomorrow. I'll be posting my famous pumpkin pancakes recipe! It is a definite favorite at this house! My family can't get enough!