Before I started the last of the canning, worked on my latest insane project, (another post), but while I was canning various sauces, fruits, meats and the like, I had been making some favorite foods. Click on any photo to enlarge. Some of the photos are not the greatest. The tablet or phone takes an okay-photo. I did not have my camera handy lately.
Coconut Oil Pie Crust
2 cups flour
3/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 to 1 tsp salt (to taste, or leave out if wanted)
4 to 8 tbsp cold or ice water. Amount depends on humidity, sun spots, warts...
Put flour and salt, if using, in bowl. With a pastry blender, cut in coconut oil. I do NOT use a food processor for this. It makes a tough crust. With a fork, add water a few tablespoonfuls at a time, gently forking in, until the dough holds together nicely but not too wet or sticky.
Roll out between two pieces of plastic wrap or one of those pastry bag-things. You want to barely handle the dough and use as little extra flour as possible or the dough, like normal pastry dough, is too dry to form a nice crust and cracks when being put in the pie plate. Roll to fit a 9" pie plate, press to fit plate. Make your normal crust, I do the crimp thing instead of the fork-press thing, then stab the sides and bottom with a fork to prevent the crust from puffing up. If you have one of those things to lay inside of the crust to prevent this, go for it.
Unfilled pie crust is baked at 400°F for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. For filled pies, bake as the recipe directs. Makes one 9" crust. Double if you are making a double-crusted pie. (duh) This recipe can also be tripled or quadrupled without any loss of tenderness, etc., like some recipes can do when enlarged.
I was on a roll for chocolate pies. I had bought a Fry Daddy to quicken making home fries. I will not eat the commercial hand pies. They do not taste like they used to taste. Cheaper imitation-food ingredients tend to do that. The recipe is altered from a Rachel Ray recipe, except I baked them instead of deep-frying them. I was afraid the dough would open up, ending up with deep-fried chocolate goo. Or I am a coward. The baked came out lovely. I used the coconut oil crust recipe, tripled, and substituted a few things, which I will list instead of the original. If you want that recipe, Google Deep-fried Chocolate Hand Pies by Rachel Ray.
Chocolate Hand Pies
1 cup Half & Half
1 cup whipping cream
4 oz. semisweet chocolate
4 oz. dark chocolate
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup arrowroot (or cornstarch if you like that stuff)
2 tbsp unsalted butter (I used salted, the only kind I use)
triple-batch of the coconut oil pie crust recipe
In a pot, whisk together FIRST the sugar and arrowroot, or it will lump. Trust me here. Same goes for cornstarch if using that. Add half & half, whipping cream, and chocolates. Bring to almost a boil over medium heat and cook, whisking, until thickened; about 1 minute or so.
Remove from heat and stir in butter. Let cool slightly. Put in a glass bowl and press plastic warp on surface to prevent it from "skinning" and refrigerate until cold- 2 hours or overnight. I left it overnight to be quite firm.
Make the triple batch of coconut oil pie crust. Note: a quadruple batch would be better, but it was nice to have the thick filling as a stand-alone dessert. Your choice. Divide dough into 18 balls. Cover balls to keep moist while making each hand pie.
Roll a ball of dough between two layers of plastic wrap into a 6" circle.
Spoon/glop about 1/4 cup of the filling in the center of the dough.
Fold dough over to within 1/2" of the opposing edge. Press around the edge to seal.
Fold the remaining 1/2" of dough over the sealed edge and crimp.
Place on a parchment-line cookie sheet and stab with a shish-kebab skewer, or whatever hole-making tool you want- making 3 holes to let out steam. I only did one. That caused a couple of the hand pies to vomit chocolate out the seam, not having enough of an outlet on top. Oops. I got 9 pies per cookie sheet.
Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator to keep the filling chilled as you make the other pies.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake pies for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
Put pies in the refrigerator to keep until all of them are eaten. With only the two of us, we had dessert for a good while.
If you want to fry them... Heat 3 cups of oil (coconut, vegetable, shortening or lard), to 375°F in fry pan, using a frying thermometer to check the temp. Add 2 pies and fry, turning 2 or 3 times, until deep golden brown, or about 3 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes on paper towels to drain any oil. You can dust these with powdered sugar, which I find an overkill.
The Goodie Baking Marathon seemed to continue for a while...
I made a Chocolate Mousse Pie. Why? We love chocolate pie. Mousse is
nicely thick, delicious and... drool. I also wanted to try out a new
crust recipe. I cannot eat soy, no matter if it is organic or not. Palm
shortening is nasty. ugh. Lard is not right for sweet pies, at least not
for me. The recipe is from... I forgot. There are many out there. It
used coconut oil instead of regular shortening. The crusts came out
flaky, tender and tasty. I am quite pleased with this "fat". I do not
have to mention I always use non-GMO ingredients at this stage, do I?
Chocolate Mousse Pie
1 baked 9" coconut oil pie crust
12 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
3-3/4 cups chilled whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar OR 2 tsp powdered sugar
1 cup of the whipping cream to the scalding point. Add chocolate,
vanilla extract and salt. Lower heat and stir until the chocolate is
melted and has a smooth consistency. Let cool to room temp, stirring
Beat 2 cups of the cream and the sugar in
a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold this into the chocolate
mixture. Pour, okay, scoop, mound, the mixture into the cooled pie
crust. Place in fridge to set for about 6 hours.
remaining 3/4 cup of cream until firm peaks form. Pipe or mound on pie. I
did not do this last part. The pie was good without the extra cream. I
used heavy whipping cream, making the pie richer, anyway.
That is it for now. Next month, since I seem to be busy for a while, I will post my latest project with photos. A hint- no matter how expensive the varathane/floor sealer is, plastic is junk and it did not hold up for even a year. It is a huge Fail. I am slowly covering the floors. Again, using an idea I had before seeing the brown paper flooring idea but did not have the resource needed to carry it out. We also had a wood stove and chimney installed. I made the hearth pad. That will be included in that post. It came out rather nicely, if I must say.
With the price of chocolate in all of its forms skyrocketing in price, remember to stash as much as you can for making an occasional goodie. It is good for one's essence (soul), yes?
had canned some sloppy joe sauce for the kids. There was a bit
leftover, enough for Himself and I to try it out. (A perk.) I had made
pilaf for a meal previously. I was wondering what to use the leftover
pilaf with. Growing up in Fresno, we occasionally got to eat at a place
called Zlfred's. They made hamburgers on (Armenian) Peda bread served
with pilaf on the side. I found the perfect copycat recipe at- Armenian Peda Bread .
The only change next batch is to leave the top bump off the top. It is
unnecessary, though brings back great food memories as a child. Having
some peda bread left in the freezer, I used the bread to make sloppy
joes. Yum! I made my sauce from scratch without using catsup, but
tomatoes fresh from the garden instead. The sauce came out perfect. We
could of had the joes with the top bread slice on top, but ate them
open-faced for a more filling enjoyment.
made some brownies, using a favorite recipe, then topping with a
sprinkling of dark and milk chocolate chips, finely chopped walnuts and
marshmallows on top as soon as they came out of the oven. Rocky Road
Brownies. They froze well. I made too big of a batch for just of the two
The Boys- aka The 3 Stooges- before they became 3 Stooges Soup
awaiting to go to Freezer Camp while I did other things and for the
birds to "rest" before freezing. When we dropped them off at the
processors, one of their team could not work that day. The Boys were
placed with other chickens, all hens, awaiting similar processing. Percy
first attacked Floppy and Stew, then others. Floppy and Stew joined in
the mayhem. They were caught and stuck in cages until they could be
properly processed. Naughty to the end. Floppy and Percy were a decent 4
lbs. each. Stew was a mere two pounds. They made 7 quarts and 6 pints
of tasty soup. Young rooster/cockerel is still tender. Their thigh and
back meat tends to be dark meat, or their breed, (Buff Orpington), was
dark. Not all Buff roosters are gentle.Those three were little monsters.