Powered by Blogger.

Grandma's Apple Pie, a true story

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

My Grandmother is on the right...

Sunday, September 12, 2010, was Grandparents Day. This is a relatively new holiday, not one I celebrated officially when I was a kid. However, I had a wonderful Grandmother and time with her was always a celebration. Our grandmother Carter was one in a million. She was always happy, made the best of any situation and could make you feel like a million bucks when you were in her company. I got to spend time with her only infrequently, as we moved or she was on the move.

She was a sharp dresser and a lover of hats. The picture I share is from my memories book, a beautiful gift from my sister. It has copies of all the important pictures. You know the ones, where you are just a family, doing what families do. When our Mother wanted to "stage" a photograph, she would say, "OK you kids, stand close together" and if we had had a particularly hectic day, she would add "and act like you care about each other".

My grandmother Carter was born in 1900, she came across the prairie in a covered wagon when she was a young girl to California. She went to work in the lumber camps in Northern California at the age of 13. She was the camp cook for a group of hungry loggers that cut through the trees with hand drawn saws. They would be ravenous at meal time. One day she had a bit of extra time and a few apples, so she made an apple pie. Well, that did it.....

Her duties were expanded to include making one pie a day, for each logger. Needless to say, she needed some help. A cooks helper was brought in so she could accomplish it all. Imagine here was this 13 year old young woman, with her own helper, working as head cook, in the camp.
But you know , she never stopped cooking her whole life. Grandmother went on to marry and raise a family, later she would work out of the home, then semi-retire and cook as a hobby and raise a little cash when she got bored. Then finally retire to travel a bit, but she never, ever stopped cooking.




This was grandmother's cookbook she used when she started cooking again after raising a family. Her cooking took her many places. But she always came back home to see her family. The book was full, so Grandmother did the frugal and the sensible, she added some pages for the handwritten treasures.




I have so many great memories of my grandmother. And of course, she was not only mine, I got to share her with a lot of other siblings and cousins. But the memories that I adore are mine, and in my heart, she was my grandmother. I can only hope that my siblings and cousins feel the same way, about her.


My family.

As I recall, this is supposed to be about pie. I should get back on track, and start talking pie, apple pie.

Real old fashioned apple pie
Apple Pie, made with love!

Grandmother was the best pie baker, she always put a lot of love into her cooking, and by sheer volume of food cooked through the years, a lot of skill also. In my family, we all love pie. Which is why I declare that you can never love pie too much!
Because of that love, we also are good pie bakers. There is nothing as delicious as homemade pie. I have stopped ordering pie in a cafe or restaurant because it is always just a bit disappointing. Probably because the secret ingredient, is missing.


Grandmother baked a pie, by touch. I am not that good, I do not bake simply by touch, I follow a recipe I tailored through the years, of watching my Grandmother bake. I remember her saying, " work the flour and fat together, with your hands" , "don't add to much water, you only want it to cling together", and of course " treat it gentle, for a tender crust".
As a young girl, I would listen intently and in awe, right there by her elbow as she worked and I stood at the edge of the table. Then before I knew it, a beautiful pie would come out of her oven. This pie is from my Grandmother's oven and my own memories, I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Grandmother's Handmade Apple Pie, seasoned with love (the secret ingredient)
by the seat of my pants
Makes 1 large pie

Start with the apples:
7 large apples - peeled and sliced thin
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
2 T flour
1 T cornstarch
1/4 t salt
1 1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg

Peel apples, quarter and core, the apple quarters will measure approximately 8 cups.


Rinse, slice into a large bowl.


Combine remaining ingredients and stir into apples to coat well.

Prepare apples correctly for a full of fruit pie.
Season your apples and let them sit while you make the pie crust dough. That is the secret to a pie that is full of fruit after baking. 
Let apples sit and "juice" while you make the pastry. The "juicing" process will shrink the apples slightly. This shrinking will happen before baking, not during the baking, your pie will be full of fruit, with less of an air pocket right under the top crust.

Pastry:

400-degree oven to start, reduce to 350 for remainder of baking time

ice water - place 2 0r 3 ice cubes into measuring cup, add 1 c water, set in the freezer

2 1/2 c flour
1/2 t salt
1 T sugar
3/4 c chilled butter, lard or coconut oil, cut into small dice

additional flour for rolling out dough
minute tapioca, to sprinkle in bottom crust

Prepare ice water.

Combine all remaining ingredients in a large bowl, cut the fat in with a pastry cutter (my preference) or work the fat into the flour with your hands.


When fat is cut into flour and there is an even looking mixture of flour and fat, begin working in the water. Only use a T measuring spoon to add water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Important:  Do Not Use More Than 8 T of Water - Total. The dough will come together with some assistance, gently use your hands to bring the dough together into a ball.

On a floured surface, roll dough in flour to coat. Cut into 2 pieces.


Using one-half of the dough, roll evenly into a 10inch circle. The easiest way to do this is stand at the corner of your work area, roll the rolling pin North and South gently a couple of times, then East and West a couple of times. Continue rolling in this manner evenly until dough is the correct size for your pie pan.

Use the rolling pin to roll the dough onto, lift the dough onto the top of the pie pan and unroll the pie crust dough over the pie pan. Use your hands to "fit" the dough down into the pan and shift it if necessarily to fit the pan evenly, in order to seal the edge when the top crust goes on.













Sprinkle the bottom of the crust with the minute tapioca.

Add the apples, using your hands to "fit" and arrange the apple slices in the crust.  Roll out the top crust, and again, use the rolling pin to support the dough and bring it over the apples, and unroll.

Don't over stretch the dough to keep the crust tender.
Always treat the crust dough with careful handling to keep it tender.

Adjust the top crust, and seal the edges. Make one small hole in top crust, and put in a vent so that you do not loose the good juices onto the bottom of the oven floor. I prefer a small stainless steel funnel. Having the vent allows the juices to boil in the crust, and cook the pie completely, without a lot of mess. There are also ceramic pie birds that work well, they are much cuter, but I am partial to my funnel, it comes out clean when the baking is over.


Bake 15 minutes at 400 degrees, reduce heat to 350 and bake 45 - 55 minutes more or until fruit is cooked and pie is done, in your oven.
Remove and let cool before slicing and serving.

My grandmother inspired me to have the Sunday dinners that are the namesake or theme for this blog. Sunday dinner was an important meal in my childhood home as well. Today when I cook my own Sunday dinners each month, there are usually 4 generations in my kitchen, my Grandmother (always present in my heart),  myself, my own children, and now grandchildren.




Thank you, ladies, one and all for being a part of Our Sunday Cafe. I could not do it without you, nor would I want to!

Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 

And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!

This post will also be shared with :
Prairie Story Recipe Swap.
Hearth and Soul Tuesday Blog HopTempt my Tummy.
Eat at Home, Ingredient Spotlight Apples. 
12 days of Bloggie-mas on the first day @ a moderate life
Blue Monday @ Smiling Sally
27

Roasted Cauliflower Salad

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

Roasted Cauliflower Salad
Roasted Cauliflower Salad

It is a quiet, chilly day here, and I believe it has as much to do with the date (9/11) as the season. Our cooler weather is coming on quickly, the food we have been eating demonstrates the chill in the air and the house. It will be time to get that wood pellet stove going soon! We have been enjoying beans with corn bread and  potato soup, very warming foods. Today lets make a roasted vegetable.

Cauliflower is a unique vegetable. It is not usually everyone's favorite, unless it is dipped in ranch dressing or covered in cheese sauce. Now don't misunderstand, this is not a scolding. I love the ranch and cheese routes also.

But lets make a dish that allows the vegetable taste to shine. Also this is very easy. You clean, mix and roast. Nothing more. This can be served hot from the oven as a vegetable side dish, or allowed to cool to room temp and served as a roasted vegetable salad. As with many lemon based foods, if served the next day, toss gently with a squirt of fresh lemon, or offer lemon wedges on the side.

Roasted Cauliflower with onion
adapted from:
http://www.cauliflowerrecipes.com/
400 degree oven

1 head of cauliflower
1 onion
2 - 3 T olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 clove garlic minced
11/4 t seasoning salt
2 t dried Italian herb blend
1 t sugar (help promote caramelizing in a short roasting time)
2 slices of bacon, cooked until done but not crisp, then minced fine
fresh ground pepper to taste


Break cauliflower into florets, cut in half if very large. Cut onion into 1 inch chunks.

Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl, add vegetables and toss to coat well.


Prepare a baking sheet with a thin film of oil. Spread vegetables out evenly. Roast for 25 - 30 minutes, a bit caramelized, but not soft.


Serve hot or as desired. For a salad presentation I will probably garnish the side of the plate with a slice of tomato, some olives and small golden Peperoncini's.

Serves 6 - 8

Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 


And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!



This post is being submitted to:
12 days of Bloggie-mas side dishes @ a moderate life



1

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

Chewy Chocolate Cookies
Chewy Chocolate Cookies

It has been a busy yet peaceful week here. I love weeks like this. Busy with job interviews and picking blackberries and a bit of thrifting. The one item that I came away with while out thrifting, was this lovely book, The Prune Gourmet. Now I know what you are thinking; prunes, oh my gosh!


But I really like them, and they are so very good for you. In addition, they keep well in the pantry as all dried fruit does, but these little jewels seem to be juicier if you can use that word to describe dried fruit! Even granddaughter likes them. Prunes have a deep and rich flavor, that enhances whatever they are cooked with.

Think; Chicken Marabella from the Silver Palate Cookbook or Maida Heatter's Prune and Walnut Layer Cake as examples of how delicious this fruit can be. There is also a great variety of recipes including a pulled pork with sauce at http://www.sunsweet.com/recipes/.

Today, however, I am thinking cookies. I have not baked something for our snacking pleasure this week, and I believe it is time. This is a simple, not too sweet, delicious cookie. If you wanted a sweeter cookie to offer as a dessert, simply add a chocolate glaze drizzle and they would be just right.

Chewy Chocolate and Prune Drops
adapted from The Prune Gourmet
375-degree oven

1 1/2 c prunes, diced - come on now, be brave!
1 T water

1/2 c butter
1 c brown sugar
2 eggs


1 1/2 c flour
1 t baking soda
1/3 c cocoa powder
1/4 t salt

1 1/2 c walnuts coarsely chopped
1 c chocolate chips

Dice prunes, combine with the water in a small bowl, set aside.


Cream butter and brown sugar, when combines add eggs one at a time beating well after each.



Combine the flour, cocoa, salt, and soda, whisk to combine. Add half to the butter and beat until smooth, add remaining, combining well.

Add prunes, mix until incorporated into the batter, then walnut and chocolate chips all at once, mixing only until worked into the dough.

Drop onto cookie sheets from a rounded spoon or a cookie scoop.


Bake 13 minutes, the surface will appear dry and there will be minor cracks. Do not over bake.


Let cool on cookie sheet 5 minutes, remove to cooling rack.

Makes approximately 3 dozen.

Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 


And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!
1

Onion Gratin

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

Onion Gratin
Onion Gratin
If you like onions, you will like this simple and delicious dish. I made this for our Sunday dinner and it was well received by all, even the non-onion lovers. I do have to confess that I got a bit carried away with deleting the images from my camera and this is the only survivor. But it is simple to put together and, honestly, what is done is done!

Onion Gratin
By the seat of my pants
400-degree oven

2 or 3 onions, sliced about 1/2 inch thick, you can ring out or leave in a solid slice
olive oil
dry bread crumbs (1/2-3/4 cup)
Parmesan cheese (the green can is fine for this dish)
salt and pepper


Cover the bottom of a large lidded pan with a thin layer of olive oil. Add onions, then season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with a layer of dry bread crumbs, then the Parmesan cheese. Bake covered for 20 minutes, remove the cover and bake an additional 20-30 minutes or until golden and bubbling.

Note:  The onions will not be completely cooked, they will be crisp-tender.

If you want fully cooked onions, bake for 30 minutes covered, BEFORE adding the dry bread crumbs and cheese.

Serves 6-8

Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 

And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!


PS, you may also enjoy our Homemade Household page, it can be found right at the top of the blog!


1

How to make New Clothes from Old, sewing for Granddaughter

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another frugal and worthy project from our home to yours. Today I have another project that is a little different for us to offer, but I think you will like it...

After about a 25 year absence I decided to return to sewing. I also wanted to incorporate my frugal ways into this craft. Luckily I have a young one to sew for, and she is not going to see my crude beginnings and know how many times I have corrected an error. I have learned that if you put enough swing into the skirt, a 5 year old loves it! I started with these items, yes items, not material. I used existing clothes to make "new" clothes. It is easy and I must say the price is right.

This ladies skirt, was used to make this.......


Denim full skirt with detailed hem.

This ladies blouse was used to make this........

Little wrap skirt to wear over leggings.

This woman's blouse was used to make this.......

Broomstick style skirt.

It is easy to make these, you simply cut off the top or what you don't need, sew a casing, add elastic and a top closure and you are done. The best thing for the top closure is a very large snap set, something about 1/2 inch in size. The hem of the blouse or skirt you are using is already in place, so the only actual sewing is the casing and snap closure.

Here is a quick tutorial.

1. Measure the length from the child's waist to where you want the bottom of the hem to be. That length is what you will work with.
Cut off the top of the blouse, directly under the sleeves.

Set aside the upper part of the blouse, then if you live in this house, you will need to remind the cat that you have work to do, and cannot play right now.

Fold the cut edge down to make a casing. The casing will not be this large, but it is better to cut the blouse into as long a piece as is possible. You can always cut again, you cannot put the material back. You will fold and measure to make sure the top of the casing and the bottom of the shirt hem are as long as you need/want for your finished skirt.

Remeasure to insure the length is correct. Sew a one inch casing and trim excess material.

You should be able to lay the skirt (before threading elastic in the casing) flat and visually it will look correct.

Thread elastic through casing, close ends. Add a snap at the top of the waist, and a decorative button and it is done.

For the denim skirt, I cut off about 6 inches of the top of the original skirt, including the zipper. I wanted all of the bulk so that the new skirt would have a lot of "swing" to it. Created the casing, threaded the elastic and finished the waist. Then to jazz up the bottom, I cut 1 inch diagonal cuts, washed the skirt to fringe out the cuts and then added decorative buttons.

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 

And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!

PS, you may also enjoy our Homemade Household page, it can be found right at the top of the blog!



This post is linked to Simple Lives Thursday , Make it from Scratch.

Shared with:  Frugal Friday @ life as mom

Blue Monday @ Smiling Sally

the handmade hog @ bouffe e bambini
10
Back to Top