Buttermilk Lemon Chess Pie

Did you spring break?  Break for spring.  I am still waiting on spring…but that is another story…I won’t talk about the snow that greeted me this morning that had me silently weeping and cursing mother nature and wishing I lived in where snow was not in the vernacular after the calendar moved beyond winter.  (side note…that snow was one week ago.  We had another 7 inches on this past Saturday.)  I am done.  That is my rant. It snowed.  boo hoo.  It’s spring.  Kinda.

I am instituting a break for spring next year.  Too early to make 2015 resolutions?  It is about being prepared, people.

I am going to drive south or south west until I reach a consistent day time temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit.  I have no real destination in mind.  No real plan mapped in my head.  Only warm weather, fresh air, flip flops, refreshing cocktails, good company.  That is all that is needed.  No cruises with added expeditions.  No all inclusive clubs that require a 20 hour flight and drinking water restrictions.  None of that.  Simple and quiet and warm.  In 2015, in March…for one week…that is where you will find me.  Fingers crossed.

Until then…I have pie!  No substitute for spring break vacation…but, it’s a decent consolation prize for like 34th place.
Lemon buttermilk chess pie is all about bringing the south to you.   And with hope in my heart, bringing warm weather as well.  I am sort of caught up on this warm weather bit…I apologize.

And we are rollin…

Pie Crust : Flour, salt, sugar.  Butter.  Buttermilk.  Kaboom.

Cold butter into flour.  Stop when butter is pea sized.  Work fast.  If butter gets to warm and begins to soften, place in freezer for 15 minutes until chilled again.  Continue on…

Buttermilk in.  Stir until combined.  Turn out onto floured surface…knead a few times, gently, until a soft shaggy dough ball forms.  Don’t overwork.  You might need a bit more buttermilk.  It depends.

Pie crust needs to chill out in the fridge…just for a bit.  Not something you want to skip.  That butter needs to get cold again and the gluten needs to some R and R.

My crust never seems to keep it’s nice crimped edges…but, I have it at some point during the process.  That is good enough for me.

Say Hello! to my pie beans.  Blind baking…not as scary as it sounds.

Gather.  Eggs, citrus, sugar, flour, corn meal, butter, buttermilk.  Basic winter pantry stock items.

I like using zest … it is about using the whole fruit.

We are squeezing every last bit out of these lemons….

 And that orange.  Just the juice though.

Rubbing zest into sugar is stress relieving … smashing zest into granules of sugar and then the heavy aroma of citrus making its way to your nose… talk about sugar scrub meets aroma therapy meets sweet lemon flavored sugar.  Hello, Heaven!

Cornmeal assists flour today in the thickening department…it also brings a bit of texture to the table too.

 Eggs.  5.

But first, melted butter.  Cooled.  And then those lovely eggs are whisked in.  Whisk with all your  might until it’s all smooth and silky.   We are pie baking and bicep building…

Lemon and orange juice.

Piled dirty dishes … small bowls piled … makes my innards feel good.

Whisked bubbles.

It’s a pour and bake situation.

Share it.  Totally share it. We are in the business of making people happy.  Pie = fast route to happiness.

Buttermilk Lemon Chess Pie
 
Ingredients
Pie Crust
  • ½ Cup of Butter, cold (very)
  • 1+1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Sugar
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • ⅓ Cup Buttermilk - very cold
Filling
  • 1 Tablespoon Grated Lemon Zest (1 lemon)
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • ½ Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 + ½ Tablespoon Yellow Cornmeal
  • 1 Tablespoon All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • 5 Large Eggs
  • 5 Tablespoon Butter, melted and cooled
  • ⅔ Cup Buttermilk
  • 7 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice (about 3-4 lemons)
  • 3 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
  • ½ Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
Instructions
Prepare Pie Crust
  1. Cut butter into small chunks or shred using a cheese grater. Place butter in freezer for about 10 minutes. While butter is chilling, combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Toss butter in flour mixture and begin to break down the butter using a pastry blender or your fingers (this will be faster if you grate the butter). Work until butter is pea-sized. Return mixture to freezer for an additional 10 minutes - keeping the butter cold is key.
  2. Remove from freezer and form a well into the center of the mixture and pour in ice cold buttermilk all at once. With your hand or a fork, stir the flour into buttermilk well. A dough ball will begin to form, but the dough will be rather shaggy - if it remains rather dry, add an additional tablespoon of buttermilk. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape dough into a disk and wrap with plastic wrap and place in fridge for an hour to chill out. This will give time for the butter to get cold again and the flour to get moist.
  3. After one hour, remove dough from fridge and on a lightly floured surface roll dough out into a 12 inch wide circle. Transfer pie dough to a 9 inch pie dish and without stretching dough, tuck the pie dough into the dish. There will be excess dough hanging over edges. If needed, trim off anything beyond ½ inch or so. Crimp edges with thumb and pointer fingers. Place pie in freezer for about 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 400F
  5. Remove from freezer and with a large piece of tinfoil (about 2 pie lengths) - line pie crust with tinfoil, tucking it along the bottom and edges. Leave a few inches of foil hanging over the edges for easy removal later. Fill tinfoil lined pie crust wtih dried beans.
  6. Place in preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and carefully remove tinfoil and dried beans. Set aside and reuse for future pies. Reduce oven temperature to 375F. Prick the bottom of the crust with the tines of a fork 8 to 10 times. Return to oven and continue to bake for an additional 8 to 10 minutes until slightly golden brown. If the crust begins to puff up along the edges or bottom, poke tiny holes into those areas with a sharp paring knife. Remove from oven and let cool competely on a wire rack. Prepare filling.
Filling
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine lemon zest and both sugars. Rub zest into sugar using your fingers. Add cornmeal, flour, and salt. Stir to combine.
  3. Stir in melted butter. Add eggs, mixing well between each addition. When all the eggs are added, stir filling briskly until thickened and light in color.
  4. Stir in buttermilk, lemon juice, orange juice, and vanilla extract.
  5. Strain mixture into partially pre baked pie crust and place in preheated oven. Bake until edges are puffed up and set and the center jiggles just a tad when it is nudged. The top will be golden brown. About 40 to 50 minutes. Don't over bake.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool completely on wire rack for 3-4 hours before slicing and serving. Stores in refrigerator up to 2 to 3 days.

Glazed Orange Ricotta Cake

Some evenings, before I tuck myself into bed for a goodnights slumber, I will tuck away a baked good into a carrying case, snug as a bug in a rug, for my co-workers to dive into the following morning.  Often, there is but one piece missing – the one that I carefully cut away to snap a few pictures of while standing on a chair/desk/stool making sure to keep my toes out of the viewfinder.  A piece that I enjoy after dinner with a bit of coffee or perhaps tea …

And then there are some mornings where I awake and find a note next to a near empty carrying case and a few stray crumbs … a note scribbled stating- ‘Sorry babe, don’t hate me…I was hungry and this cake is so GOOD!’.

Dudes.

Dudes!

Dudes…

So, now I pack up a baked good and leave my own note…’don’t eat this or I will kill you…there are granola bars in the pantry, eat those…they are on the third shelf, next to the beans…’ – I have found you need to be exact with the location since he is looking through man eyes.  Yes, Man Eyes…eyes that are just stuck in the eye sockets of men for social normalcy and only used for avoiding running into walls.  They are one step away from glass eye balls.  One step.  Man eyes are unable to  find anything in refrigerators, cupboards, pantries, etc… It can be used in a sentence as a noun…as in, ‘were you looking for the mustard in the fridge with your man eyes? ‘  (disclaimer, totally not hating here, because I am not the best finder of lost things within the depths of a fridge, but I do look beyond the first row….)

Maybe I should take to hiding the baked goods in such places.

Oh, good heavens.  Let’s bake…

Start with ricotta…and stir it into a splash of half and half until smooth and creamy.

Zest a bit of orange, scent your house with orange, and realize that your hand is much too small to grate more than one orange.  Hand.  Cramps.  Ouch.

Take those fingers of yours and rub the zest right into the sugar.  Orange sugar.  Boom!

Eggs and butter and flour and oranges.  All the stuff you will need.  Gather it up.  You don’t have to use a million little bowls.  That is just me and my weirdness.  And crazy love for small bowls that hold a mere two eggs.

 

Cut that orange in half and juice it.  Just a 1/4 cup.  Gulp down the rest and then 20 minutes later when you are experiencing the worst heartburn ever and eating TUMS like an old man, make a mental note…no orange juice.  Ever. Like, ever ever.

Whisk in the eggs, vanilla,  and orange juice into the orange sugar.  I love my KitchenAid mixer, but adore recipes that don’t use it.  I like whisks and wooden spoon and single bowl recipes.  It is more easy like a Sunday morning, than OH MY GOSH, I need 2 dozen cupcakes in 2 hours for a bake sale I knew about for 3 months.

Cooled melted butter is the next invitee to join the party.  Make sure it is cool so we don’t cook the eggs before it is time to do so…ya know, in the oven.

Fold in 1/3 the dry ingredients.

Then goes 1/2 the ricotta and half and half…And then another 1/3 of dry ingredients…And then the remaining half of the ricotta mixture….And then the final 1/3 of the dry ingredients.  So we start and finish with dry ingredients, alternating with wet.

Pour batter into parchment lined loaf pan.  Bake.

Glaze : Powdered sugar (confectioner’s) and a bit of orange juice.  Whisk.  Pour.

Glaze…best part.  If you wanted to add a bit of extra zest to the glaze…I wouldn’t argue with the awesomeness of that.

 

See, best part.  So darn sexy.

 

Glazed Orange Ricotta Cake
 
Ingredients
cake
  • 1+1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ Cup Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons Half and Half
  • Zest of 1 Orange, grated
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • ¼ Cup Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice (about ½ of an orange)
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • ⅓ Cup (5 + ⅓ T) Unsalted Butter, Melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Glaze
  • 1 Cup Confectioner's Sugar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Orange Juice
Instructions
Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line loaf pan (about a 5in x 10in) with parchment paper
  2. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together ricotta cheese and half and half until smooth. Set aside.
  4. Combine grated orange zest and sugar in large mixing bowl and using your fingers, rub the zest into the sugar.
  5. Whisk in ¼ cup of orange juice, 2 eggs, cooled butter, and vanilla extract.
  6. Fold in ⅓ of the flour mixture until just combined, Fold in ½ of ricotta mixture. Continue this (flour, ricotta, flour, ricotta, flour) mixing after each addition.
  7. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and place in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes until browned and golden and toothpick when inserted comes out clean. Remove cake from oven and let cool for about 10 to 15 minutes before turning out of pan and letting it cool completely before glazing.
Glaze
  1. Sift confectioner's glaze into a small bowl. Add in 2 to 3 tablespoons of orange juice and whisk until smooth.
  2. Pour glaze over cooled cake.
  3. Trick: To set glaze, place cake under broiler for about 20 to 30 seconds. Remove immediately.

 

Blood Orange Bars with Browned Butter Crust

The West Side Market…which for the first few years of residing in Cleveland, I referred to it as the West End Market, but with Cleveland not having a West and East end, but West and East sides…it confused most folks,  in that midwestern way, where those with whom you are chatting know exactly what/where you are talking about/of but fein ignorance when you (the newbie) slightly get the name wrong of a prized lankmark.  When I spoke of the West End Market, you would have thought I was talking about a place in Egypt.  It drove the boyfriend at that time…mad.  Down right crazy.  And Egypt, well … people really do reference that country when I talk of my home town of Cairo – –Ohio that is and pronounced like the syrup and not the Egyptian city, which would (and does) get me awkward glances because, unbeknownst to me, not everyone is familiar with such brand of corn syrup.  To which, I would (will) just throw up my hands, ask if they live under a rock, and explain that Cairo has an elevator, a place where grain is stored – not a human mover.

Cleveland’s West Side Market is a total gem.  I have spoke of it here before.  How could I not?  Food lover or not – it is hard not to fall in love with the place for one small reason or another.  I find charm in the whole kitten caboodle.  There is a method when you go.  First, you check out the veggies/fruit section…but you will return and retrace your steps later because the deals only improve as the day progresses.  And who wants to carry around a melon all afternoon?  But as you walk and scan and dodge oncoming traffic, you will be called to/hustled by those manning the produce sections.  ‘Blueberries, 2 for $3.  A slice of orange for the pretty lady.  Pineapple? ‘  It will be crowded, loud, and one too many strollers ( if it be a weekend), but I believe that is what makes it great.  The energy that is contained in those stalls makes grocery shopping at a supermarket seem unbearable… minus the strollers – those I could live the rest of my days without (sorry moms, while I see their practicality, they are not meant for crowded markets where merely walking can be difficult, one does not like to encounter a stroller in the shin when going for some kielbasa…I think you can understand).

Once you have adequately surveyed the produce and made a mental note of the stand with the ripest tomatoes or the cheapest lemons – you head on over to the market house, which houses over 100 vendors – ranging from those selling homemade pasta to pigs feet and everything in-between.  But before you notice any of this…anything at all, you will be confronted with an array of smells that work only to entice and seduce you to venture further into the mass of fellow market goers.

Your eyes catch up with your olfactory senses and what lies before you is an interior concourse, laid out in a maze of squares…vendors lining each square side, optimizing surface area.  The floor is worn red brick, smooth, slick, and full of character.  The ceiling, however, is my favorite aspect of the market itself.  It is arched, which isn’t quite as noticeable from the outside as it is on the inside, and is a Gustivano ‘tile arch system‘ creation.  The building itself is more rectangular(think football field) than square (however all squares are rectangles, just not all rectangles are squares) and at the bookends of the building, there are large blue tinted opaque windows, letting diffused natural light in…and on the far end of the main hall, overlooking the lovely chaos, is a large ornate clock, teal in color,  and an American flag.

My first stop is and will forever be a stop for coffee… bit of caffeinated fuel and then I am off.  I do best when I venture to the market alone because if there is one thing I do well, it is navigate a crowd.  I am like a running back – find the holes and never stop moving your legs.  This being said, The Market is one of my must-go favorite places to take family and friends who are visiting for a weekend or  a great place to meet friends and gather ingredients for a dinner to be fixed at home, together over a bottle of wine.  Young toddlers to aging grandparents to grumpy teenagers, it is a fast favorite for all.

This past excursion was made on a rainy cold Saturday afternoon – coffee was drank, the best peppered beef jerky was snacked upon, fresh kielbasa and homemade peiroges were bought with dinner in mind, brandy filled cordials were hidden away, a lemon curd and strawberry preserve crepe was swooned over and devoured while walking in the rain (the crepe man needs his own post – he was making lives better one crepe at a time), and blood oranges were coveted.

I have a problem finding  blood oranges.  I don’t live near a Whole Foods and the grocery near me does not find blood oranges to be a necessity when they have an ample amount of perfectly decent naval oranges piled high down aisle 3.  So, when I came across blood oranges at the West Side Market, I may have squealed in delight and bought six from the very first stand.

 

 

Blood Orange Bars
 
Ingredients
  • ½ Cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • ½ Cup Sugar
  • 1 + ½ Cups All Purpose Flour
  • ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon Salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Cup of Blood Orange Juice
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 12 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Grated Orange Zest
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 4 Egg Yolks
  • Powdered Sugar - for dusting
Instructions
  1. Begin by browning the butter for the crust. Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. The butter will begin to pop and sizzle and then foam and then eventually turn clear and golden, with a wooden spoon or spatula or by swirling the pan, stir the butter until the milk solids on the bottom of the pan start to turn brown. Once they have reached a deep amber color, remove from heat and transfer to a glass bowl. DO NOT LEAVE THE STOVE - it will burn in a moments notice. From start to finish, this should take about 10 minutes. Place in freezer for about 15 minutes to harden.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 8x11inch baking dish (or an 8x8 - the crust will just be a tad thicker, or you can make the edges higher) with parchment paper.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Once the butter has become a solid again, use a pastry blender, fork, two knives, or fingers, blend butter and egg yolk into dry ingredients until butter is smaller than pea sized and mixture resembles coarse sand. The dough will be extremely crumbly.
  4. Dump dough into parchment lined baking dish and press into the bottom of the pan and about half way up the sides if using an 8x11 inch pan or further up the sides if using an 8x8inch pan.
  5. Place in preheated oven for about 20 to 22 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool while you make filling. Keep oven on.
  6. Whisk together eggs and egg yolks in a medium sized bowl. Set aside. Have a metal strainer at the ready.
  7. In a medium pan (about 3 qts), combine blood orange juice, sugar, butter, and zest. Place over medium - low heat and stir until butter melts.
  8. Slowly whisk in ½ cup of warm orange mixture into the whisked eggs, stirring constantly, tempering them. Whisk the warm orange and egg mixture back into sauce pan containing the rest of the orange mixture.
  9. Cook over medium - low heat for about 20 to 25 minutes until it begins to thicken, stirring constantly. It should coat the back of a wooden spoon with very little dripping off.
  10. Remove from heat and pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer, pushing it through using a spatula (catching any small pieces of cooked egg and zest) into pre-baked crust. Place in oven for about 10 to 15 minutes until filling is set and the edges are golden in color.
  11. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack. Prior to serving, dust with powdered sugar. Store in refrigerator in air tight container upto 3 days or so.

Oatmeal Raisin Pie

A snow day on a Saturday…which lets make this clear, all of my snow days are on Saturdays and Sundays.  Oh! how I was not aware of my love of snow days when I picked a profession that A) doesn’t recognize snow as a reason to not work and B)  a profession that in case of a snow emergency…I am one of the few lucky folks allowed on the roads to go to work…what was I thinking???  And I know, unless you are a teacher … you are in this snow boat with me.

I knew I liked snow days, but I was unaware of my deep love and adoration of them until they were abruptly removed from my life.  Just the mere possibility of one would be enough to appease me at this point.   I imagine a real mid-week snow day as an adult doesn’t vary far beyond that of when I was a teenager…they still require/demand pajamas until well past noon and perhaps even early evening and only after you watch NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams will you even consider a shower and fresh pajama bottoms (Disclaimer: I loved Brian Williams even when I was 15).  A day where the TV possibilities are endless and guilt free…Bravo for breakfast, Netflix for lunch, and Dirty Dancing for mid-afternoon snack.  And if something needs to be scheduled than let it be a nap…  Oh naps…don’t even get me started on the lack of naps in my life.

If I remember right, meals have no real structure on snow days…it is all about grazing and creating from tidbits gathered from within your overly stocked kitchen, because well…if you are me and have a food blog, then you generally can whip up a 5 course meal (or hot fudge and caramel for the vanilla ice cream in your freezer) without needing a trip to the grocery.   I was cracking eggs and whisking together flour and baking soda, making pancakes and chocolate chip cookies for my brothers and I on the numerous snow days we spent growing up together ….with only one bit of advise from my parents – don’t burn down the house.  That rule still stands.

I was made for enjoying snow days…Snow days are wasted on people like my brothers, both amazeball teachers, but who have no desire/need/want to whip something up besides pizza rolls as they play Call of Duty with 12 year olds on their numerous snow days each year.  I might be a bit bitter.  Because I am at work and they are still in their pajamas – however, when I talk to them later they will proclaim that they were productive about the house.  HA!  They may be able to fool my mother and perhaps their wives, but not me.  I know my brothers…they played Call of Duty all. day. long.  And tried this…which I can prove by a slew of text messages all day long about the breakneck speed at which they were running miles (they got sub 7 minute miles under the belts)…trying to beat eachother by mere seconds.  I am awaiting pictures of treadmill face burns.

Any who…a snow day, be it a Wednesday or a Saturday,  is just so darn delightful.  An excuse not to leave the house, which if you are a hermit like myself, this is a godsend…several inches of snow gives you ample reason to stay cooped up inside all day – the roads are treacherous, the air too cold for my sensitive lungs, my feet will become frozen and I will undoubtedly lose a toe…all feasible and believable reasons to remain at home…I might need to explain some day my absolute love of being at home but also my wanderlust that creeps up and unsettles my very being…it is a constant struggle and something for another time.

But for now just know…cold and snowy = Mallory is not leaving her house unless it is Monday through Friday in which I will venture out for 8 hours, just to return home and hibernate until the following morning.  I am a ball of fun in the winter.

This past Saturday, with no true plans because of a forecast full of snow, temperatures well below freezing, and whipping winds…I rose early from bed, started the coffee, put on some tunes, and put the butter in the freezer.

I had pie on the brain from the get go.

All butter crust…which calls for lots of butter.  This pie only needs one crust, but this recipe will make you two…because there are worst things than having an extra disk of pie dough in your fridge.  Keep your butter cold.   I like to stick mine in the freezer for about 15 minutes before I start cutting into the flour.  Gives me time to drink another cup of coffee.

Flour, salt, and a touch of sugar are whisked together (or pulsed a few times in a food processor) depending on your method for pie crust creation.

 

Disk of dough. Dough disks.  When this happens … talk about feeling like kitchen Queen.  Queen of the kitchen.  Then you dribble coffee down the front of your pajamas and well, back to being peasant of the kitchen.  Kitchen Peasant….with coffee on your socks.

 

An hour later…

 

5 minutes later…

 

27 minutes later and a few pounds of dried pinto beans later….

 

Wrangle together raisins, flour, cinnamon, salt,  melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, corn syrup,  and quick oats.  Staple items, people…nothing complicated needed.

Whisk together eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, and melted butter.

Next goes in the raisins, oats, flour, cinnamon, and a touch of salt….

And then there were just dirty dishes…

 45.8 minutes later…

This is a top 5 pie in my world and with 8 slices – think of the ice cream variations that could be had.  Vanilla, butter pecan, maple something or other, rum raisin, whiskey and pecans, coffee?  peanut butter?
But trust me, you don’t need ice cream to enjoy this pie…it is delightful standing in your kitchen eating it like a slice of pizza careful not to drop any of the flaky buttery crust on the floor, because that would be disastrous.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Oatmeal Raisin Pie
 
Ingredients
  • 2+1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 Cup Unsalted Butter (2 sticks), very cold and diced
  • ½ Cup Ice Water
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1 Cup Light Corn Syrup
  • ½ Cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ Cup Butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • ¾ Cup Quick-Cooking Rolled Oats
  • ¾ Cup Raisins
  • 1 Tablespoon All Purpose Flour
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add cold diced butter and pulse until butter is pea sized. ( This can also be done by hand or with a pastry cutter.) With food processor on low, slowly add cold water just until a dough begins to come together and form a ball.
  2. Empty dough out onto a lightly floured surface - dough should be shaggy and not wet by any means.
  3. Divide dough into 2 balls and flatten slightly into disks. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. You will only need one dough disk for pie.
  4. Preheat oven to 400F.
  5. After one hour, remove pie dough from fridge and on a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to a ⅛th inch thickness, about 12 inches in diameter, which will fit a 9 inch pie plate with a little bit hanging over the edges of pie plate. Transfer dough to pie plate and without stretching dough, tuck the dough to fit the pie plate. Trim off any excess dough around edges and then with thumb and forefinger, crimp edges.
  6. Place pie shell in freezer for 15 minutes. Remove from freezer and with a piece of tinfoil, line pie shell - tucking it along the bottom edge and sides. Let the excess tinfoil hang over the edges. Fill tinfoil lined pie shell with enough dried beans to fill pie plate.
  7. Place in preheated oven and let bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and slowly lift tinfoil and beans out of pie shell - set aside and let cool. (use these beans over and over for pie weights)
  9. Prick the bottom of the pie shell about 8 to 10 times with the tines of a fork and the edges of the pie in a few spots.
  10. Reduce oven temperature to 375F and let bake for an additional 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool while you prepare the filling.
  11. Reduce oven temperature to 350F.
  12. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, and melted butter.
  13. Stir in oats, raisins, flour, cinnamon, and salt and mix until combined.
  14. Pour filling into a cooled (at least somewhat) pie shell and with a fork, gently move raisins about to ensure even distribution. Place pie on a baking sheet and place in center of preheated oven.
  15. Bake pie until golden brown and the center is set - about 40 to 50 minutes. When you nudge the pie, the center should not jiggle. If the pie or crust is becoming overly brown, tent with a large piece of tinfoil (make sure it doesn't touch the top of the pie or it will pull the top right off)
  16. Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting and serving.
Notes
This pie crust recipe will make 2 crusts, however you will only need one…but since it is as easy to make 2 as it is 1, I always make two crusts. Wrap and keep other crust in fridge for perhaps another pie in the coming week or wrap well and store in freezer and when in need of pie in the next month or so, you are ready to roll.

Adapted from Pie

Cranberry Orange Scones with Orange Glaze

There was a coffee shop in Toledo that had these lemon blueberry scones that I often day dream about when I am reaching for my afternoon coffee and craving a bit of sugar = the ultimate cure for the mid-day slump that would be better cured with a cat nap…but since curling up in a fetal position under my desk at 3pm isn’t an act that my boss would appreciate…sugar it is.

I wish I had eaten more lemon blueberry scones and fewer carrots.  Too few scones is what I regret most from 6 years of college, not the turning orange from too many carrots.  I was such a wild child.  If I could go back…that is what I’d change.  That is it.  More scones.  And perhaps fewer 8am classes.

Today is a bit of an exception, since I made scones…but on most days, my mid-day sugar fueled energy is in the form of a decent handful of stolen M&M’s or a Hershey’s miniature or a random Sourpatch Kid or LaffyTaffy (and a funny joke) that I found at the back of my desk drawer that might be confused as the best/worst junk drawer ever.

The hospital’s coffee shop sells scones…but they don’t hold a candle to those I remember so fondly.  And I am sure those at Beaners’s (renamed to Bigby…Beaners, come to find out, is not a ‘pc’ name) no longer taste as they did…seeing how my brain has a tendency to misshape and construed people, places, and things of my past – i.e….  Grandma’s house is no longer as large as I remember.   Little Debbie’s don’t have the same pizzazz.  Those scones are of my college days and my memory of them is shaped by so many factors of those days, long ago…I am 97.675% sure that they do not taste as they did then.

My odd fear that prevents me from stopping on my journey home to visit friends and family does not interfere with me from making my own scones.  The way I like and remember.  Full of flavors I am craving.

Loaded with tidbits of goodness, including chocolate chips; fresh, frozen, or dried fruit;  zest of something in the citrus family; any type of nut, roasted pecans being my favorite.  This go around, fresh cranberries and orange zest are smashed together.  Match made in scone heaven.

Sweeter than the true British scone.  And if you want..feel free to cut down on the sugar.  I understand…my sweet tooth is out. of. control.

I like them rich, loaded with butter and cream.  Waist friendly they are not…but darn it…I am eating raw broccoli and carrots right now… let a girl have a bit of butter and cream, guilt free.

Grate a couple of oranges…grate the orange and not your knuckles.

Roughly chop cranberries.  Corralling cats might be easier.

That zest…straight into the flour, sugar, salt, and baking POWDER.  Whisk it up.

There were two batches of scones made before I found the perfect combination of flour, sugar, butter, and eggs to make my scone loving soul sing.  I say this because my hand written pic of a recipe up top…not the final recipe I came to use.  But I like the picture…

 COLD butter needs to be cut into the flour/zest mixture.  I never seem to be able to do this quick enough or my hands are too warm or I get distracted by something shiny and glittery… but I never can get it to pea sized butter bits before it gets warm…solution?  Grate butter on a cheese grater, freeze, stir into flour/zest.  WIN!  This works for biscuits and pie crusts too.

Turn out, knead, shape, make an utter mess of your somewhat clean kitchen, cut.

No biscuit cutter?  Can’t find the biscuit cutter that you used merely 12 hours before?  Cut into triangles or squares or trapezoids.  Beaners scones were triangular.

Cold butter hitting a very hot oven…talk about your scones getting some air.  Poof!   Magic.

 

Wanna know a trick to icing that my mom shared with me … to make icing harden quickly before it all drips off…pop icing covered- insert type of baked good here- into a hot oven ( I used 400F this go around ) for about 20 seconds, NO MORE.  Your icing will come out on your baked good and not on the parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Every baker needs a few tricks up her sleeves … or apron?

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Cranberry Orange Scones with Orange Glaze
 
makes about 10 to 12 scones
Ingredients
  • 2 + ¾ Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ Cup + 3 Tablespoons White Granulated Sugar, divided
  • ¾ Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking POWDER
  • 1 Tablespoon Grated Orange Zest
  • ½ Cup (1 stick) Cold Unsalted Butter, diced
  • 1+1/4 Cup Fresh Cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • ¾ Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 + ¼ Cup Powdered (confectioner's) Sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon grated Orange Zest
  • 3 Tablespoons Fresh Orange Juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Toss together roughly chopped cranberries and 3 Tablespoons of sugar in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, ½ Cup Sugar, salt, baking powder, and orange zest.
  4. With a pastry blender, two knives, or finger tips cut butter into flour/zest mixture until butter is pea sized. (if this proves difficult, I find it best to grate butter, freeze, and then cut grated frozen butter into flour/zest mixture)
  5. Fold in cranberries until combined.
  6. In a small bowl (same bowl that cranberries were in), whisk together heavy cream and eggs. Pour over flour mixture and gently stir until the dough begins to come together.
  7. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 6 or 7 times. Pat dough into a disk/rectangle that is about 1 inch in thickness. Cut scones in 2x2inch rectangles or use a 2 inch biscuit cutter and cut dough into rounds. Place scones about 2 to 3 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for about 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack and let cool completely before icing.
  10. In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, orange zest and orange juice.
  11. Spoon icing over cooled scones.
  12. Store in airtight container.