Apple Baby! – Fried Apple Butter Pies

Johnny Mac Pippin has entered the world! This means we are a bunch of grinning grandmas, great grandmas, Aunts and Uncles around here.

When his mom was pregnant-she craved apples, a lot of apples. I hear we have McDonalds to thank for satisfying many an apple craving when she was out and about.

Thus he is nicknamed Johnny (Like Johnny Appleseed or Jonathon apples) Mac (like MacIntosh apples), Pippin (like Pippin apples-particularly Cox’s Orange Pippins which I love)

That means the baby boy needs an apple recipe from his new grandmother right? I thought about this recipe for Rosy Apple Pie. It IS my favorite and it does come out a nice rosy hue like we will see soon on the newborn. Ok, not as rosy all over as that pie.

Then I thought apple dumplings. I’ve posted that recipe before though.

Since he is melting me like butter and set everyone boiling like hot oil, I decided on this recipe. It’s delicious, decadent and super easy.

Fried Apple Butter Pies

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup of Crisco
1/2 stick butter
2 cups apple butter (spiced works best)

Mix flour, salt, and shortening together until consistency of cornmeal with a fork. Add enough milk to mix.  (or use pre-made refrigerated pie crust or your favorite pie crust recipe)  Divide into 8 balls of dough.

Roll out and fill with 2 tbsp of apple butter. Fold over and seal edges by pressing down with fork. Melt butter and 1/2 cup -1 cup Crisco in pan. Fry pies until lightly brown.

Love and Pie

“Smells good” youngest said as she wandered through the kitchen on the way to the office. “Smells like sorrow, regret” I thought to myself. The kitchen was a mess. I struggled my way through making a pie for Mikey, for Jennie, for me and mine.

I couldn’t find the heart shaped springform pan that I think I left behind when we moved here. I worried chocolate teddy grahams that Denise picked up wouldn’t be right. The butter was aged…well I hope. I grumbled about the brand of peanut butter in the house. I hadn’t used the “small bowl” on the food processor my mother got me for my birthday. I hadn’t actually used the mixer I received for Christmas. I worried over my (also a gift) new computer sitting in the kitchen. It’s a Friday after a couple of really long weeks. I didn’t want to be making peanut butter pie–willing the cream to whip in the warmth of a summer kitchen. But, I had known since Tuesday I could not skip making a peanut butter pie.

I failed to make my mother understand the pie. My son regarded the reasoning with disinterest. Youngest didn’t regard it as remarkable really and the other youngest tried to ignore the noise and mess. The child who might understand is off happily camping. Then, of course, she wouldn’t understand the whole thing. Baking, making desserts, those are joyful things for her.

She wouldn’t see that the disaster in the kitchen symbolized the disaster that I sometimes feel I wade through, we all wade through. It’s been a rough summer for many of the bloggers I read and my heart isn’t nearly so hard as I like to pretend. The world in general seems to be a pressure cooker–from Washington to Oslo to London to the Middle East and Africa. All of that and more weighed on my mind as I tried to concentrate on making the pie for Mikey. Jennie Perillo’s heart is shattered. I can’t even imagine what she or her children feel right now.

And there I was, my head grumbling to cover my sorrow, my regrets, my trivial problems, amidst the utter rightness of making a pie on a summer afternoon instead of so many other things that wouldn’t make a difference at all. One pie might not make a difference. My mother won’t ever understand. My kids will shrug. Denise will know it is my love song and the fact that I am a part of an amazing community. Because, yes, I am baking a pie because of Jennie, of Mikey, but really, it’s to say yes, I know life flees too fast, a to-do list should be rearranged, and I recognize that this is my community. That is why one pie will make a difference, because so many of us stopped today and thought, celebrated, and voiced our love for Jennie, for our families, for our community while we made “just one pie.”

I thought “smells like sorrow, regret” and then thought again “No, it smells like love.” Thank you Jennie.

Strawberry Parfait Supreme – or Raspberry or Peach

Strawberries finally appear to be in season in our neck of the woods. Prices have dropped in any case. Time to bring out the strawberry desserts. Sometimes you want something other than to make sweet biscuits for strawberry shortcake–the only way to make strawberry shortcake in my world. Instead, a nice frozen strawberry parfait sounds perfect. This one might fit the bill for you too, if raspberries or peaches strike your fancy instead.

Strawberry Parfait Supreme

6 egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups crushed strawberries
1 pt (2 cups) heavy cream
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (I skip this)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat yolks in  top of double boiler; set aside.

Combine granulated sugar, water and salt in 1-qt saucepan. Pace over heat, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Boil without stirring to soft ball stage. Beat syrup into yolks gradually. Cook over simmering water, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Cool. Add strawberries; chill.

Whip cream partially; add superfine sugar gradually, beating until cream stands in peaks. Fold into strawberry mixture. Add extracts. Turn parfait into deep freezing tray or mold. Freeze 3-4 hours without stirring. Yield: 8 servings

Golden Peach Parfait: Substitute mashed peach pulp for strawberries and increase almond extract to 1/2 teaspoon.

Red Raspberry Parfait: Put 1 pint washed and drained red raspberries through sieve to remove seeds and make about 1 cup puree to substitute for strawberries. Substitute 1/2 tsp raspberry extract for vanilla and add 4-5 drops red food coloring before turning into freezing tray.

From Domino Sugar Spoon Recipes, 1962

Banana Nut Cake

I know the scrawl on this one is almost undecipherable. This is what age does to impeccable Palmer handwriting. Or speed. IN any case, this is an excellent cake that you get to call cake instead of banana bread. Don’t waste those bananas. You know that food prices keep going up, bananas are in danger of dying out and well, wasting food is a waste of resources in so many ways.

Banana Nut Cake

1 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar (I cut this down)

Hold for later. (Meaning cream it together while making the rest of the filling)

In separate bowl mix:
3 eggs minus 1 yolk
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon soda
1 cup mashed banana
1 cup pecans

Combine and mix until smooth but don’t over-mix. Pour into 2 cake pans and bake in a 350 oven 25 minutes. (I find it takes me longer, so bake until cake is done in center) Cool.

Cream 1 stick butter, 1 egg white (you can skip the egg white or use pasteurized ones if you are squeamish) 1 box (10 oz-1 lb) powdered sugar and small amount of milk to make soft icing