Monday, October 10, 2016

Prize Pumpkin Pie

Happy Thanksgiving
to all my friends and family in Canada!

It just wouldn't be right if I didn't bake a pumpkin pie or two today.
This is our favourite recipe and a winner for sure!

Light (as in fluffy, not the other kind of lite) and delicious!
I know - I thought I would diet and fast this week - sigh.
There's always next week right?

Prize Pumpkin Pie

Makes two pies – one for you and one for sharing J
4 eggs - beaten
2 egg whites beaten till stiff and set aside
1 Cup brown sugar
1 1/2 - 2 Cups pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
2 Cups whole milk
1 Tbsp. melted butter
1 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon

Beat the 4 eggs and then add in the rest of the ingredients (except the 2 egg whites).  Beat the egg whites till stiff and fold in last.  Pour into 2 unbaked pie shells.  Bake at 350F for 10 min.  Reduce to 275F and bake an additional 30-40 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream if desired.

Hint - if using a store bought pie crust (like I did this time) be sure to set the foil pastry lined pie into one of your own pie plates so it bakes better.

We enjoyed a wonderful thanksgiving dinner with most of our extended family
in the old stone house at Hidden Acres Camp.
Our church and family have a long history with this camp and it's been
too long a time since we've spent some quality time there.
A wonderful day indeed!

"Thankful Be"

Till next time - going for a long walk before digging into that pie ...

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Thankful Be!

So thankful today for SO many things:

Spending time with friends - Fall camping on the beautiful shores of Lake Huron.

Thankful for a "goodly heritage" and family reunion (my mom's side of the family)!

For the love of our wee family, who has made the long trek to relocate near to us
 and especially for this darling grandchild
who fills my heart to overflowing!

Now it's time to settle down and get going on the plans for our extended family 
Thanksgiving dinner ....  

Today I will roast the turkey ahead of Sunday's dinner. 
It just makes the day of the dinner so less hectic when the meat is done.
Here is a page from my yet unfinished family cookbook, explaining how Mom did the turkey
(of course there was never a written recipe - she just knew how).
I've also noted some other ways to roasting this delicious bird.

Mom's Roasted Turkey
I remember that this is the way Mom did the Turkey.  She washed the thawed bird, patted it dry and then rubbed the inside with salt and pepper.  She would then stuff it with her delicious bread stuffing (see recipe called “Grandma Gerber’s Turkey Dressing”).  She then rubbed the outside of the turkey with melted butter and sprinkled it with salt, poultry seasoning and a bit of flour.  Sprigs of parsley and small chunks of butter were placed on top and into the wing and leg folds.  A bit of water was added to the roast pan (about ½ - ¾ Cup).  The bird was roasted at 350F uncovered – allowing approx.. 30 min. per lb.  The turkey should be basted with hot drippings every 20-25 minutes.  A foil tent can be put over bird near end of roasting to keep it from getting too browned.  Delicious gravy was made with the strained drippings and some flour to thicken.  Mom never used a meat thermometer but if using one – the turkey should have an internal temperature of 170-180 degrees.  Juices should run clear and fork should turn easily when testing the thickest part of the breast or thigh.

Note – the kitchen staff at the college where I used to work, roast the lrg. turkeys while still frozen (not even removing the giblets etc.)  They rub the turkeys with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and seasoning, add 3-4 Cups of water, cover and roast overnight at 250F!!!  How easy is that!  No worrying about how to thaw the turkey safely and the meat is very tender and tasty and there’s lots of juice for gravy!

I like to roast my turkey a day ahead as to avoid the mess on serving day.  Slice and put roasted turkey in shallow roast pan, pour some of the strained juices on the meat to keep it moist.  Refrigerate or freeze.  Reheat at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until hot.  My SIL Gloria sometimes puts mushroom soup and bread crumbs on the turkey to reheat it.  This is delicious as well.

Oven ready

How do you roast your turkey? Do you stuff it first?

Click on the above link for that recipe.

Till next time ... Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving to all our Canadian friends and family!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Pear Butter

It's Raining Pears!!

Our old pear tree is heavy laden with pears this year!
The branches are breaking down from the weight.
I don't recall seeing so many pears in all of our 36 + years here on this farm.

We aren't even sure what kind they are, just that it's a very old tree
that never gets pruned or never sprayed for bugs.
It just gives us lovely shade on our back deck ...

Pears are one of our granddaughter's favourite foods. 
She says "Num Num" when she sees them.

The farmer has crawled up the step ladder as high as it is safe to do so
to rescue some of those beauties.
They are rock hard and keep ripening once picked.
You have to catch that perfect "in-between hard and too soft" stage.
A few have ripened and now what to do ...

Options are canned pears, pear jam, pear sauce, pear pie filling,
or why not pear butter?

Here is the recipe I used:

14 Cups chopped pears (unpeeled and quartered). I cut the blossom ends out and removed the stems. Also cut out any blemishes and bruises.
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh ginger
1 star anise
1 Cup water
Juice from one lemon (save the zest)

Cook this in a large heavy pot till the pears are completely soft (30-40 minutes).

Discard the star anise and press the fruit through a food mill or chinoise to make sauce.

This made approx. 6 Cups of sauce. Discard the pulp and put the sauce into kettle to boil down.
1 Cup sugar
Lemon zest from one lemon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
You can adjust the sugar to taste but I found that 1 Cup was enough for this small batch. I saw one recipe that recommended 1/2 Cup sugar for each Cup of sauce - a bit much I think?

Cook on medium heat, stirring often to prevent sticking and burning. This takes time (about 2 hours) and babysitting. Ladel into hot sterilized jars and seal. This batch cooked down to about 4 1/2 pint jars of butter. 

Taste notes: The star anise added a wonderful flavour. I am looking forward to trying this on tea biscuits with a spread of cream cheese - Num Num. I would probably make a double batch next time to make the effort more worth while.

Till next time - watching the pears drop/ripen and trying to figure out what to do with the rest of this bountiful harvest!