Monday, June 28, 2010

Shimmering Strawberry Pie (recipe from: Better Homes and Gardens)

(Picture curtesy of my fav photographer, Shawna Rae)

- 1 pie crust (I used the roll-out Pillsbury ones, but by all means, make your own if you have time! :) )
-6 cups strawberries, halved
-1 cup water
-1/4 cup sugar
-2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Few drops red food coloring (optional)
- Light frozen whipped dessert topping, thawed (*I made my own - see recipe below)

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Roll out crust in a pie plate, trim and flute edges. Prick bottom and sides of pastry generously with a fork. Use pie weights (or dried beans) to keep crust from bubbling. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until pastry is golden. Cool on a wire rack.

2. In a blender or food processor bowl (or Magic Bullet) combine 1 cup of the strawberries and the water. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes.

3. In a medium saucepan stir together sugar and cornstarch; stir in strawberry mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. If desired, stir in enough red food coloring to tint a rich red color. Cool to room temperature.

4. Fold remaining strawberries into cooled mixture; transfer mixture to pastry shell. (I layered mine to give them a "shingle" look. I've also seen people leave them whole and put them stem side down in concentric circles.) Cover; chill for 3 to 4 hours. If desired, serve with whipped topping.

*Stabilized whip cream: (Gelatin stabilizes the whip cream and keeps it from collapsing)

-1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin-4 teaspoons cold water-1 cup heavy whipping cream-1/4 cup sifted icing sugar (confectioners sugar)

1. In a small pan, combine gelatin and cold water; let stand until thick.
2. Place over low heat, stirring constantly, just until the gelatin dissolves.
3. Remove from heat; cool (do not allow it to set).
4. Whip the cream with the icing sugar, until slightly thick.

Strawberry Cinnamon Muffins

-1 1/2 c. flour
-1/2 c. sugar
-2 1/2 t. baking powder
-1 t. cinnamon
-1/4 t. salt
-2/3 c. vanilla yogurt
-1/4 c. butter, melted
-3 T. milk
-1 large egg, beaten
-1 small jar strawberry jam (~1/4 c.)
-1 T. sugar
-1/2 t. cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together first 5 ingredients. In a small bowl, combine wet ingrediets (yogurt - egg).

3. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the yogurt mixture. Stir until just moistened.

4. Spoon batter and jam into greased muffin tin, alternating 1 T. batter, 1 T. strawberry jam, and top with batter (try to cover completely so the strawberry ends up being a filling....I will say, this is not always possible, no matter how hard you try, so don't get discouraged! It does look prettier though...)

5. Combine 1 T. sugar and 1/2 t. cinnamon, sprinkle over the tops. Bake 13-15 minutes, then cool on rack for 10-15 minutes.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Pecan Orange Glazed Croissant French Toast

In an attempt to recreate a dish we had at a B&B on our honeymoon, I used leftover croissants to make french toast with an orange and pecan glaze. It was a trial/error sort of thing, relying only on an almost-4-year-old memory, so forgive me for not having exact ingredient measurements. But in the end, it turned out pretty darn close to the original.

Pecan Orange Glazed Croissant French Toast

(made enough for 6 people)
-8 large croissants (at least day old works best)
-4 large eggs
-2/3 cup milk (I also added a splash of Italian Sweet Cream coffee creamer)
-1 t. vanilla extract
-1/4 t. cinnamon
-4 T. butter, divided
-1 small jar orange marmalade
-2 T. orange juice
-1 1/2 c. chopped pecans