Tag Archives: dough

Strawberry Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie

It’s officially summer.  The calendar says so, and when I look out my window, I can say that our weather is even cooperating — if not with warmer temperatures, then surely beautiful sun and light that makes me want to grab a chair and book, maybe a glass of something tinkling when it’s picked up to sip.

I also think of brightly colored veggies in all kinds of combinations brushed with oil, tossed with garlic and salt and grilled.  Fruit as well.  Lots of fruit.  Sometimes I’m carried away and bring home too much — well, too much as far as eating it plain and simple goes.  One can have too many smoothies as well.

When faced with this particular predicament, it’s time to make pie.  Pie that isn’t on the diet I say I’m not on.  The non-diet I’ve been on since January and have been very good about until the lead-up to summer and all our goings on have inserted themselves into my carefully crafted snacks and meals.

I had pie for breakfast this morning.  We all did.  And I laughed as the hubster carried his piece out the door along with the oatmeal he routinely eats in the car on the way to work each morning.  It’s a wonder he makes it to work without being pasted with food each day.

I spent the afternoon yesterday making this pie, enjoying every moment of it.  It’s relaxing, and as much as I know the of the country is sweltering in temperatures approaching 100 degrees, as usual, we’re barely hitting 70.   Outside of having to prebake the pie crust, this pie requires very little heat — instead refrigeration once it’s cooled then put together.

Summer has to have a pie — and this one is perfect to celebrate today.

It’s June 29th, and it’s Pie Day!

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Old-Fashioned Peach Pandowdy

I love stone fruit, but haven’t taken advantage of it this season, waiting until now to wonder about new fangeled varieties of plums or pick up a few of the enormous peaches I’ve been seeing at the market.  The last four beauties I purchased sat around until my husband asked about whether he could put one in a smoothie he was making for us to share.  I couldn’t say no because if they sat on the counter any longer while providing me a visual reminder of what I was supposed to be planning to cook with them, they would be well past their prime– especially with the heat we’ve recently had.

And I was just waxing about Fall, wasn’t I?

You may not remember, but some time ago I promised a recipe for peach pandowdy and time has just slipped away while I’ve been cooking other things.  But I remembered, and as much as I was planning on putting these peaches in the perfect salad, they had pandowdy written all over them.

What’s a pandowdy, you ask?  It’s fruit tossed with sugar and whatever flavorings you’d like to add.  It’s tucked nicely under a simple biscuit crust and baked until it’s hot, juicy,  and full of the fruit flavor you’ve packed it with.  But there are other versions of this old-fashioned dessert.  I’ve heard that some may like baking the dough topper separately, then adding it while the fruit is baking.  Although I haven’t tried that version, I will say I’d probably miss the doughy underside of that topping which only happens when it’s placed on the fruit from the start and baked with it.

You may also wonder how a pandowdy is different from a cobbler, crisp, crumble, buckle, Brown Betty, grunt, slump or sonker, but I’m not an expert.   I grew up eating cobblers and crisps, and have heard of all but a sonker, which evidently, is taken quite seriously in some parts of North Carolina.

Have some fun with this simple recipe!

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Sweet Heart Pies

My husband rarely calls me by my given name — a boy’s name my mother decided upon after she heard a woman in a grocery store call her dog.  A big dog.  I’ve always thought it would be a great name for a dog since they’re more like people than animals anyway.  It was going to be Deborah, like so many of the girls born then.  Deborah Ruth, I think, after my mother’s mother.

No, my husband has instead come up with quite a few other loving endearments over the years I’ve been happily attached to him, but none of them come close to sounding like Kelly.  I’ve tried to remember the first one, but getting caught up in the order of it all misses the point:  that I’m deserving of these little jewels of lovey-doveyness from him.

I could have a completely different attitude about them, mind you.  Someone who looked a gift horse in the mouth instead of considering the lovely source that my husband is.

These little somethings usually come with a smile or tone that suggests nothing too important will follow.  He’s just getting my attention.  Sometimes they appear on the cards he gives me instead of the giant heart with a capital “K” filling the inside.  Other times, they appear as greetings in occasional emails sent, reminding me of something I said I’d take care of because he knows that I’m easily lost in my day on most days, so might never quite get around to doing whatever it is I said I’d do.

Sweets.  Can you look around for my checkbook?  It’s not in my car. You know, because doesn’t everyone keep it there?

Or arriving home at the end of a long day, he’ll ask,  How was your day, Pear? Yes, he always asks, and then when I forget to ask about his, he continues to tell me what it was like.  I need better manners.

More recently, I have been Pear Petunia when he’s lounging in his chair on the weekend and caught up in a football-soccer-basketball-hockey game or two on television.  He absent-mindedly extends a hand for me to grasp in passing and squeeze once or twice.  I seize the opportunity to remind him that Petunia was a pig and that being shaped like a pear isn’t exactly ideal, but being a pear-shaped cartoon pig is a bit much.  We laugh.

He’ll disagree, but I think it all started with Pie.  Yes, he called me Pie all those years ago, and I know I’m in good company when it comes to this because pie is always good, isn’t it?  Especially when the crust is oh, so flaky and the filling a perfect combination of tart and sweet.

And so I made him little fruit pies the other day with blueberries and sugar plums I’d frozen.

He liked them with or without the powdered sugar, but you decide.

Perfect as Pie.

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Strudel Two Ways: Sweet and Savory

Apple Hazelnut Strudel When I saw this month’s Daring Baker’s challenge I knew that it would be something I couldn’t wait to take on because I’ve always wondered how such a small ball of dough can actually end up stretched over such a large area and so impossibly thin.  But then a few things happened that have have caused a bit of a commotion in our house.  Ironically, I ended up putting it together at the last minute, which is seemingly the norm I’ve established over the past two years.  In this case,  however, the timing was perfect, and I was able to spend the day in my kitchen doing what I enjoy, which seems to have been just what was needed to soothe the savage beast.  I owe big thanks to this month’s hosts for their excellent choice.

The May Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Linda of make life sweeter! and Courtney of Coco Cooks. They chose Apple Strudel from the recipe book Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers.

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Apple Blueberry Handpies

Apple Blueberry Handpie


There are usually two types of fruit I routinely keep in the house — apples and oranges.  With respect to either fruit, I figure I can coerce my husband or son to take a piece for lunch or a snack at some point during the day.   I have to nudge them, too, because I keep both in the refrigerator.  I used to have a lovely, inviting bowl of fruit sitting on my counter, hoping that its sheer presence would be intoxicating, and that the guys would fall all over themselves to get there, arguing about which nutritious orb they might want to partake of.

Okay, so maybe not.  But the bowl was on the counter as a physical reminder because I do have to practically wave certain items under their noses to get them to take notice.

But the fruit in the bowl wasn’t getting eaten, and it was too much for me to keep up with by myself.  The bananas got spotty before we’d finish the bunch, and my freezer can only hold so many black bananas with yet another banana bread in their future.  The lemons molded very quickly, and the apples?  Well, it was dismal.

I learned that there are a couple of problems with apples in a fruit bowl.  First, farmers work hard to keep them in cold storage to keep them fresh and crisp, because let’s face it, who likes mushy apples?  Letting them sit at room temperature for days before enjoying them can actually reduce the quality of the apple since they ripen 10 times faster out of refrigeration.  Even more importantly?  Apples emit ethylene which speeds up the ripening of other fruit.  That’s great to know if you have green bananas, or avocados that are rock hard.  But it’s not great if those apples are piled into a fruit bowl alongside many different types of fruit you’re trying to coerce the others in your house to eat.

So I banished the fruit to a basket in the refrigerator, and because it’s not right under their noses and at eye level, there it sits, waiting for me to either snack on it myself (which I do…) or cook with it.  Their latest excuse for not eating is is, “We thought you were going to make something with it!”

Right.  I am not easily fooled and resort to subterfuge to get those guys to eat their fruit.

Apple Blueberry Handpies, anyone?

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