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It's the season for baking winter fruit pies

Nothing seems to create a more cheerful and inviting atmosphere than the aroma of something fragrant baking in the oven. When the something banking is a pie, the anticipation is great.

Pies have often been called the all-American favorite dessert, not without good reason. They are as much a part of our heritage as the English language. Cooks in 17th-and 18-century England primarily used meats and vegetables to fill their pastries, but almost any kind of pie was relished.

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When the British came to the New World, they brought with them that love for pies and began making pies with ingredients unique to their regions. Thus pumpkin, apple, and huckleberry pies were New England specialties, and peach and pecan became known as Southern pies.

Pies are not only regional but seasonal. During the winter seasonal fresh fruits like apples, pears, pineapples, and canned sweet cherries are good choices. Or dried fruit such as raisins and apricots can be turned into a pie.

In the majority of the following recipes the fruit is tossed with a mixture of sugar, spices, and corn starch and baked in a pastry shell with a double crust. Applie Pie 1 recipe double crust pastry 1/2 cup sugar 2 tablespoon cornstarch 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind 6 cups peeled, cored, sliced apples 1 tablespoon lemon juice 2 tablespoons corn oil margarine

Line 9-inch pie plate with one-half pastry, allowing 1-inch overhang. In large bowl stir together sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nut-meg, and lemon rind. Toss with apple slices until coated. sprinkle with lemon juice. Turn into pastry-lined pie plate. Dot with margarine.

Roll remaining pastry to 12-inch circle. Make several slits to permit steam to escape. Cover pie with pastry; seal and flute edge. Bake in 425 degrees F. oven 50 minutes, or until crust is brown and apples are tender. Makes 19-inch pie. Pear Pie 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar 3 tablespoons cornstarch 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/8 teaspoon salt 4 1/2 cups cored, peeled, thinly sliced ripe pears 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 recipe double crust pastry 1 tablespoon corn oil margarine

In large bowl stir together brown sugar, cornstarch, ginger, and salt. Add pears and lemon juice; toss to coat fruit. Turn into pastry-lined pie plate. dot with margarine. Cut slits in top pastry to allow steam to escape. Cover pie with top pastry; seal and flute edge. Bake in 425 degrees F. oven 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350 degrees F. and continue baking 40 minutes or until browned. Makes 19-inch pie. Fresh Pineapple Pie 3/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup cornstarch 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 medium ripe pineapple, peeled, diced, drained, about 4 cups 1 recipe double crust pastry 1 tablespoon corn oil margarine

In large bowl stir together sugar, cornstarch, salt, and nutmeg. Add pineapple; toss to coat fruit. Turn into pastry-lined pie plate. Dot with margarine. Cut slits in top crust to allow steam to escape. Cover pie with top crust; seal and flute edge. Bake in 425 degrees F. oven 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350 degrees F. and continue baking 40 minutes or until browned. Makes 19 -inch pie. Raisin Pie 3 cups raisins 2 1/4 cups hot water 3/4 cup sugar 3 tablespoons cornstarch 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind 3 tablespoons lemon juice 2 tablespoons corn oil margarine 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 recipe double crust pastry

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In large saucepan stir raisins into hot water. Let stand about 5 minutes. Mix together sugar and cornstarch; add to raisins. Stirring constantly, bring to boil over low heat and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon rind, lemon juice, margarine, and salt. Pour into pastry-lined pie plate.

Roll out remaining dough; cut several slits to permit steam to escape. Cover pie with pastry; seal and flute edge. Bake in 425 degrees F. oven 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 19-inch pie. Cherry Pie 21-pound cans pitted sour red cherries 3/4 cup sugar 3 tablespoons cornstarch 1/2 teaspoon almond extract 1 recipe double crust pastry 1 tablespoon corn oil margarine

Drain cherries, reserving 1/3 cup liquid. In large bowl stir together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add cherries, reserved liquid, and almond extract; toss to coat fruit. Turn into pastry-lined pie plate. Dot with margarine. Cut slits in top pastry to allow steam to escape. Cover pie with top pastry; seal and flute edge. Bake in 425 degrees F. oven 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F. and continue baking 40 minutes or until browned. Makes 1 9-inch pie.


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