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Blueberry Pie

Some people have knacks for different things: a natural green thumb, the ability to see a design in their head, or maybe to be able to whip up any sort of pie on any occasion. Let’s just say my talents do not lie in the latter- or so I thought. Berry Pies have always been my great nemesis- I remember distinctly crying on several occasions over how awfully soupy it was or that I got the sugar ratio horridly wrong. For those of you who fear pies or berry pies at least (which I find the hardest kind), have no fear. This is a fail safe recipe! Why? because you get to cook the cornstarch BEFORE you hide it in the pie. There is no crossing your fingers and praying that your pie will not be runny, no more cringing as you cut into the first piece– you can confidently serve this pie to your best company!

So why you might ask did I decide to attempt a berry pie? Our first anniversary! I wanted to do something special as a dessert- what better for the man that should have “blueberry” as his middle name?! 😉

 

 

Filling:

 

Pastry:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 tablespoon vinegar
  • Flour, for dusting
  • Sugar, for sprinkling on top

 

 

Directions

Filling: Combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and water. Add to a saucepan and heat rapidly until thickened. Set aside to cool as you prepare the pastry. Once cooled add the berries and lemon juice.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Combine flour, sugar and salt. Cut in shortening. Whisk together egg, water and vinegar. Add to flour mixture tossing lightly with a fork. Turn out onto a lightly floured cutting board and using your hands combine dough. Separate into 2 single crusts. Line the bottom of a pie plate with 1 of the crusts.

Pour filling into dough lined pie pan, and sprinkle the lemon juice over the filling. Adjust top crust, cut vents and flute rim. Sprinkle top lightly with sugar. Place pie onto a baking sheet and into the oven for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool, cut and enjoy!

 

 

 

*Taken from Food network’s website under “Country Blueberry Pie”

 

 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on August 13, 2012 in Berry, Blueberry, Dessert, Pie

 

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Cinnamon Rolls

When I was growing up, I remember with great fondness how my mom used to make us cinnamon rolls every Sunday morning. To be honest, I can’t remember if she made them the night before or the morning of, but regardless, I still remember looking forward to them every week! I do have to hand it to my mom and my Italian heritage for my love of food. Cooking at a young age and being surrounded by good food has always fed my desire to bake and cook! 

Dough:

  • 1/4 oz. package yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup scalded milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 3 1/2 cups to 4 cups all purpose flour

In a bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Let sit for 5-10 minutes or until the yeast bubbles. In a large bowl, mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt, egg, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add yeast mixture. Mix in 2 cups of flour, incorporate until smooth. Add remaining flour. Knead dough for 5-10 minutes on floured surface. Transfer to well greased bowl, and place in warm oven*. Let rise for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours, or until dough doubles in size.

* Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, or lowest temperature on oven, once oven feels comfortably warm, turn off temperature, and place dough inside. If for some reason during the rising process the oven cools off too much, repeat the first step.

 

 

 

Filling:

  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • dash of cloves
  • 3/4 cup raisins or dried apricots, optional

When dough has doubled in size, punch down and roll out on a flat surface, about a 15×9 rectangle . Spread softened butter over dough, and sprinkle on filling. Press into dough. On the longest end of your rectangle, begin to roll up dough and pinch ends to seal. Cut into 12 to 15 slices.

With remaining butter, spread onto pan. Place cinnamon rolls close in pan, but not touching, leaving room for them to grow. Place back into a warm oven, and let double in size, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, or until just slightly browned on top.

 

 

 

Glaze:

  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

In small bowl, combine the butter and cream cheese. Using an electric mixer, beat until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat in slowly at first, and then on high. Slowly add in vanilla extract until creamy. Frost hot cinnamon rolls, enjoy!

 

 
30 Comments

Posted by on January 8, 2012 in Bread, Cinnamon Rolls, Dessert, Sweet Bread

 

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Decadent Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

My grandmother and I have always shared a love of dark chocolate. When I was in college, Gramma made this dark chocolate cake, and was it divine! Since then, we have commonly referred to it as the “decadent” chocolate cake! 😉

Well, I was merrily making this lovely cheesecake, and it called to add cocoa powder… and somewhere in the back of my head, I remembered that I had a can of DARK CHOCOLATE cocoa powder! I could only imagine that if that decadent chocolate cake tasted so wonderful, that a decadent DARK chocolate cheesecake should taste just as divine!(And wow was I right!)

This cheesecake, by far, is the best cheesecake I have ever made. Many times with cheesecake, you can only have a small bite, a small sampling, or a small sliver of sorts because of the richness and almost cloyingly sweet taste your mouth gets after an entire piece. Not so with this lovely piece! The savory flavors of the dark chocolate, contrasted with the rich flavor of the chocolate crust and the berries on top, create a world of beautiful balance! The only next feeling is that you must have another bite of that!

I would not recommend making this cake, unless you have a special occasion to go to. Why? Merely because, on my own, I would have eaten the ENTIRE cheesecake singlehandedly!

Crust:

  • 2 cups Oreos, ground
  • 4 tbs sugar
  • 6 tbs butter, melted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Combine Oreos, sugar, and butter. Mix with a fork. Press into a 9-inch spring form pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Cheesecake:

  • 3 cream cheese (total of 24 oz.)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate cocoa
  • 1 tbs vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • Berries of choice for topping

Raise oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Beat cream cheese until it has a light a fluffy appearance. Add sugar and continue to beat on high, making sure to clean off the sides of the bowl to ensure a thorough mixing. Add cocoa powder and vanilla, mixing slowly at first. Add eggs and mix well. Pour cheesecake mixture into cooled crust. Tap the cheesecake on a solid counter to take out any extra bubbles and to help prevent the cheesecake from cracking. Place in the oven, and bake for 35-40 minutes. When cheesecake appears almost completely done, turn off the oven, and crack the door, allowing the cheesecake to adjust to the outside temperature. This also helps prevent the cheesecake from cracking. Set aside to cool. Before releasing the cheesecake from the springform pan, insert a butterknife around the sides and circle around the cheesecake. Set aside to cool completely. Top with berries and frosting if you so desire*!

*Note: Do not decorate with berries and frosting until a few hours before you intend on presenting or serving this dish. Be careful also to let the cheesecake completely cool, otherwise your frosting will start to melt.

 
33 Comments

Posted by on December 26, 2011 in Cheesecake, Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Dessert

 

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Tangy Apple Pie

With all the gorgeous colors and smells of fall, no autumn is complete without an apple pie. When I was growing up, in my backyard there were four apple trees. Two of the trees were gifts from my grandparents. I actually had my own “personal” tree. We had a golden delicious and also a red delicious. The two other trees I never knew what they were. We called one of them the “wild” apple tree.

All growing up, once September struck, we had apple everything. Apples for lunch, apples for snacks, apple crisp, apple muffins, apple pancakes… the list went on and on. Generally by the time we made it through apple season, I was so tired of apples. Now that I no longer live at home, I no longer go through “apple season”, so there are times that I crave old favorites like apple pie.

  • Dough for double crust 9-inch pie
  • ¾ c sugar
  • 1 tsp. all-purposed flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 or 5 very large Granny Smith apples or another tart apple, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. butter, chopped into small pieces

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a 9-inch pie pan with half of dough. Combine sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir in apples and lemon juice. Spoon apple mixture into pie pan and dot with butter. Bake for 10 minutes and then lower the temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for 55 to 60 minutes.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on October 12, 2011 in Dessert

 

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