desserts & pastry

Perfect Pie Crust

Two Crust 9″ Pie or Two 8″ Shells
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup cold butter
5 tablespoons ice water
Mix flour and salt thoroughly. Cut in shortening and butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Gradually add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time until mixture will just hold together in a ball. Form into a flattened ball, divide in half and roll each half out to cover pie pan comfortably.
Try not to handle the crust too much. If it becomes warm to the touch, refrigerate for 15 minutes before rolling out. Over handling will cause crust to become tough.
Perfect Apple Pie

6 to 8 firm, ripe apples use two or three varieties, such as 2 Rome, 2 Granny Smith and 2 MacIntosh
Peel, core and thinly slice apples.
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt,
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon,
a pinch of allspice,
1 tablespoon lemon juice and
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
with the sliced apples.
Line a 9″ pie pan with Perfect Pie Crust. Mound the apples in the bottom crust, then dot with two tablespoons butter. Cover with top crust, cutting decorative vents to release steam. Crimp edges. Place in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Turn the oven down to 350 and continue baking until crust is golden brown and juice is bubbling out through vents. Top with vanilla ice cream and serve immediately.
Apple Crisp
Fill an 8×8 baking dish about 3/4 full of sliced apples (use two or three different varieties)
1/2 cup sugar
a dash of salt
about 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.
If the apples are dry, add another 2 or 3 teaspoons of water. The apples need to make a significant amount of juice as they cook.
Top with a mixture of:
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
crumbled together.
Mixture should resemble course crumbs. Sprinkle crumbs over the apples and dust with cinnamon and nutmeg. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. Serve hot from the oven with ice cream or whipped cream. .
Mae’s Caramel Pie
Melt (carmelize) 1 cup of brown sugar in a heavy skillet, being extremely careful not to burn the sugar.
Separate 4 large eggs. Add yokes to sugar with two cups of milk and a lump of butter the size of an egg. Combine thoroughly.
Add 2 tablespoons of flour and stir until all flour is incorporated. Cook until mixture is the consistency of thick cream. Add a few drops of good vanilla.
Bake shell while the filling cooks (15 minutes at 410 degrees.) Unless the filling is cool when put into the shell it will soften and weep.
Top with meringue, bake at 350, until tips are browned.
Serve while still slightly warm.

Delicious crisps can include peaches, cherries or any fresh, firm berry.
Irene’s Pecan Pie
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark Karo syrup
1 cup pecans
3 well beaten eggs
3 tablespoons butter
Cream sugar, syrup and butter together thoroughly. Fold in beaten eggs and nuts. Line an 8″ pie tin with crust. Pour in filling and bake slowly at 325 degrees until golden brown and set.
Serve warm accompanied by steaming cups of strong coffee.


Make one batch of Nana’s
Lemon Cream Scones

1 pint perfect, fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered.
Sweeten to taste with
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar,
splash on a
few drops of good orange liquor.
Split the scones, spoon berries over the bottom half, stack the top half on the berries, and top with, sweetened whipped cream.
Place a perfect whole berry in the cream for garnish.


Bake at 350 for 15 min.
Makes 8-10 servings
5 eggs, separated
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons flour
10x (confectioners’ sugar)
Mocha butter cream (recipe follows)
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon 10X (confectioners’) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Grease a 15x10x1 inch jelly-roll pan; line bottom with was paper; grease paper again and lightly flour; tap off any excess.
Beat egg yolks in large bowl with electric mixer at high speed until light and fluffy; gradually beat in granulated sugar and continue to beat until thick and pale in color. Beat in cocoa and flour at low speed.
Beat egg whites in large bowl with electric mixer at high speed until soft peaks form; fold into yolk mixture until no streaks of white remain. Spread batter evenly in pan.
Bake in moderate oven (350°) for 15 minutes or until top springs back when lightly pressed with fingertip. Remove from oven; cover with wax paper and cool thoroughly on wire rack.
Sprinkle an 18 inch long piece of wax paper lightly with confectioners’ sugar. Loosen edges of cooled cake from the pan and invert on to paper. Peel off paper. Trim edges and reserve 1/4 inch from narrow edges of cake.
Spread cake thinly with 3 tablespoons of Mocha Butter Cream.
Mocha Butter Cream
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup 10X (confectioners’) sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon powdered instant coffee
1 teaspoon water
Dissolve instant coffee with water, set aside. Beat butter in a small bowl, until fluffy. Beat in sugar, cocoa and coffee mixture.

Whip cream with 1 tablespoon 10X sugar and the vanilla in a small bowl until stiff. Spread evenly over cake on top of Mocha Butter Cream.
Roll lengthwise, using wax paper to aid rolling. Transfer to serving platter, seam-side down.
Frost roll with remaining Mocha Butter Cream. Form the trimmed edges into 3 or 4 various sized coils and arrange on “log” to resemble trimmed limbs. Frost coils and ends of log: sprinkle with sifted 10X sugar to resemble snow.

Fudge Batter Pudding

Combine 2 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon good vanilla in a medium bowl. Mix 1 cup flour, 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add to the first mixture alternately with 1/2 cup milk. stirring until well blended. Add 1/2 cup chopped nuts.
In a 1 1/2 quart baking dish, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 5 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 & 2/3 cup boiling water.
Drop batter mixture by tablespoonfuls onto boiling liquid. Do not mix!
Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees) about 45 minutes. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and while still warm spoon out portions of cake and top with sauce. May be served with whipped cream.


Delectable Chocolates

Mix together:
1 can sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 lbs. powder sugar 1
lb. chopped nuts 7 oz. shredded coconut

Roll in walnut size balls.
Dip each ball in a warm mixture of:
12 oz. dark chocolate bits
5 or 6 tbls. canning wax
melted together & kept warm in a double boiler.

Cool on wax paper & store in an airtight container.

Mrs. Little’s Casserole Candy

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract

Beat eggs in an ungreased casserole, add sugar, beat well. 
Stir in all remaining ingredients.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350
degrees F.  Remove from the oven and beat well while candy is still
hot.  Cool mixture until you can handle it, then roll into balls
using about 1 Tbls. each.  Roll each candy ball in sugar. 
Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Mrs. Lewis’ Bourbon Balls

1 cup crushed vanilla wafers 
2 Tbls. cocoa
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 Tbls. light corn syrup
1 1/2 cup chopped nuts 
1/4 cup good bourbon

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly.  Shape in
1 inch balls. Roll in confectioners sugar. Store in an airtight container.

Rum may be used instead of bourbon for “Rum Balls”