Recipe Preview: Aunt Jessie’s Lemon Pie

After a(nother) long absence (more on that later), we’re back with a summer pie recipe!  This one should be interesting for two reasons: 1) I have never been completely comfortable with meringue and 2) for this one, we’re going to use my great grandmother’s Prize Winning Pie Crust recipe which will mean baking with lard…

Click through for a transcript of the original recipe:

Recipe: Queen Cherry Pudding

After a completely alarming start to this recipe, I have to say that the finished product was a lot better than I anticipated.  The cake was tender and the cherry syrup reduced very nicely.  During baking, the cake sort of turns in on itself so the cherries end up on the bottom of the pan with the cake rising to the top.  Because of this aggressive baking powder action, I recommend using a casserole dish or square Pyrex baking pan - or even an ovenproof stoneware mixing bowl - rather than a traditional cake pan (I cleaned my oven so you won’t have to clean yours).  The original recipe is also very sweet, so I’ve reduced the amount of sugar along with the water in the fruit component.  If you prefer a sweeter dessert, please refer to the quantities mentioned here.

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Berkeley weighs in on the Queen Cherry Pudding attempt.

Recipe Attempt: Queen Cherry Pudding

I had a handful of gorgeous cherries left from the farmers’ market the other week and decided to bake something with them.  Feeling adventurous, I turned to my grandmother’s recipe book and was delighted to find a newspaper clipping with a recipe for Queen Cherry Pudding, an eggless baked pudding that called for the exact amount of cherries I had left.  Even better, my grandmother had written “VERY GOOD” in the margin, in her elegant, distinctive script.

Long story short, I fear the Tart has her first major baking disaster.  You guys, it was like the infamous Cake Volcano of 1992 (ask my sister).

For the first time in I don’t know how many years, I got not even halfway through this recipe and realized I had no idea what I was doing.  Ironically, this is the recipe with the most detailed method instructions I’ve attempted for the blog thus far…

My grandmother is laughing at me from Heaven.  Click through and laugh with her.

Recipe Preview: Queen Cherry Pudding

Prior to the advent of, well, recipe blogs, recipes were commonly swapped through the local newspaper with correspondents writing under pseudonyms, responding to requests for specific recipes or home keeping tips or sharing something they or their family enjoyed especially.  

This one was submitted by “Sally Blue Bonnet” and my grandmother’s notation means this is a must-try.

The text is tiny and there’s a lot of it; click through for the transcription.

Recipe: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

I would love to tell you how this tasted, but I brought into my office to share and the whole thing was gone in 15 minutes.  I imagine it tasted good, but can’t describe why.  As I mentioned the other, day, this recipe calls for an egg mixed into the fruit filling and, while I’ve never used egg in fresh fruit pies before, the syrup seemed to thicken very nicely without a lot of added flour or cornstarch.

Recipe Attempt: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

As mentioned in the recipe preview, strawberries got clobbered by the unusually warm weather we’ve had lately so I wanted to make something delicious with them before it was too late.

Like all the best fresh fruit pies, this one has relatively few ingredients; the original recipe reads as follows:

  • 1 cup finely cut rhubarb
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • Butter

Mix rhubarb and strawberries, sugar and beaten eggs and let it stand half an hour.  Add butter and flour, rubbed together.  Bake with 2 crusts.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I should admit something right off the bat: there is no way that 2 total cups of fruit will fill a standard, 9” pie plate so I monkeyed with the recipe immediately and doubled the amount of rhubarb, strawberries and sugar.  I’d planned on using 2 eggs instead of the 1 mentioned in the recipe, but inattentive shopping meant that I had 1 egg in the house and 0 desire to go out for more.  The Tart is nothing if not resourceful (and a bit lazy).

Recipe Preview: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie!

I had every intention of posting a step-by-step video on how to make your own pie crust but this year’s warm spring and hot early summer meant an early end to strawberries.  Next week, I’ll show - and tell! - you how to make two kinds of prize-winning pie crust, my own and my great-grandmother’s.

In the meantime, if you want to make your own attempt at this one, feel free to stick with what you know (even if that means pre-made) or use the recipe below:

Yield: 1 2-crust pie

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • Cold whole milk

In a large mixing bowl, using a fork, mix the shortening and flour until pea-size crumbles form.  Pile the mixture in the middle of the bowl.  Make a well in the center and splash in about 3tbsp milk.  Mix with your hands until well-combined, adding more milk as necessary. The dough should be smooth and elastic and just barely sticky.  Split in half and let rest until ready to roll out and use.