Thursday, April 23, 2009

Strawberry Pie and Perfect Pie Crust

I made this pie for a dear friend after she had a baby and just in case I would have time to blog about it, I took some pictures. Recently she asked for the recipe, so here it is.
I'll start with my pie crust recipe. I realize that you can buy pie crust already made, but I genuinely enjoy making my own. I'm not sure where this recipe originated, but it's been in my family for a long time. I've been making it for probably ten or so years, and it always turns out great. This recipe will yield two or more pies, depending on whether they are double-crust and the size of your pie plate.
Here we go...

Perfect Pie Crust

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
1 TBS sugar
Mix these together, then cut in:
1 3/4 cup crisco (I usually do a bit less)
Just cut in until it looks crumbly, I use a pastry blender at first then usually finish with my hands.
Next mix in the wet ingredients:
1 egg
1/2 cup water
2 TBS vinegar (apple cider or white)
Just mix with a fork until blended. I always roll mine out into a circle and fit into my pan, but you can also press it in. Finish your edges however you like it and that's it. Use this with any pie recipe; I make a bunch for Thanksgiving for pumpkin and chocolate pecan. Also, don't try to use butter in place of the crisco. It spreads too much.
If you are making this for a pie that you will not bake, such as the strawberry pie, you will need to pre-bake the crust. Just line it with foil and bake at 450 for 8 minutes, remove foil and bake for about 4 minutes more.

Now onto the strawberry pie...Again, don't know where this originated.
Use the above pie crust or a graham cracker one is good too.
Place in a saucepan:
1 1/4 cup apple juice
1/2 cup sugar
3 TBS cornstarch
Mix and stir these over medium heat. You want to cook this just until it starts to thicken up. The original recipe said "cook and stir 2 minutes", but it takes longer than that. I just let it cook until it starts to look cloudy and feels thicker with my whisk. You may even turn up the heat a bit.
Remove from heat and stir in:
1 pkg of strawberry jello (4 serving size) I use sugar-free
Stir 2 minutes
Now place about 2 cups sliced strawberries in your crust and pour the mixture over the berries. Chill two hours and of course, serve with whipped cream.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Grace and Expectations

Hello again. I've been wanting to post something for so long, but not having the time or let's face it, energy, it has taken a back seat. I am in my 19th week of pregnancy and feeling so much better. There are days when I wonder how in the world I will be able to manage things in the next few months, yet there are also days when my children are delightful, the cleaning gets done and dinner is on the table. There are going to be good days and bad days.
Lately I have been thinking so much about how much God has blessed me. I commented to my husband the other day when he was talking about God's blessing of our children that I feel so undeserving of what He's given me. Then again, when are we ever deserving of His grace? So many things to be thankful for.
Spring is here and with that comes a long list of projects. This is a list that is composed of projects that will get done and some that I will later decide are too lofty. Every year I want a big garden. However, the seeds that survive and don't get gobbled up by birds and actually grow into plants meet their fate of being gobbled up by deer. One year, I carefully planted an herb garden right outside the front door thinking the plants would be safe from the deer. I never considered something would come from under the ground and eat the seeds, but that is what I found- lots of little tunnels in the dirt, but no seeds. It pains me to not be able to accomplish this domestic goal. Especially since my parents and grandparents were always so successful at gardening.
I guess it's a good reminder that I can't do it all. I seem to constantly need this reminder. Sometimes it's in the form of a failed garden, sometimes a failed recipe, and sometimes a soggy load of laundry that didn't make it into the dryer. Over the past few years, I've been able to do less and less. Amazingly, I'm becoming more and more used to that idea, and letting go of my high expectations has freed me up to enjoy other things. Things like watching my oldest ride her bike without training wheels, my son and his amazing zest for life which he gets honestly from his father, and my baby who over the past couple of days has become quite the talker.
This post has been all over the map, but that is life around here lately. Lots of learning and lots of letting go.
By the way, sorry about the candy corn border. I will deal with that later; I'm letting that go.