July 31, 2003 at 3:52 p.m.
There are many kinds of crusts, such as crumb, meringue, biscuit, as well as regular pastry crusts. There are even pies such as shepherd’s pie which uses mashed potatoes for the top crust. Many varieties of pies are not covered with a crust at all. Some pies might have a glaze drizzled over the top, such as a fruit pizza pie or some might call for a streusel topping. Come to think of it, I’ve made a pie without a bottom crust and there’s the biscuit-mix impossible pies that do not have a bottom crust.
Earlier I mentioned a shepherd’s pie, using mashed potatoes as a top crust. There are many varieties of shepherd’s pie and if you like eggplant, you’ll enjoy this recipe.
HEARTY SHEPHERD’S PIE
1/2 lb. very lean ground beef
1 large onion, diced (about 1 c.)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium eggplant (about 12 oz.) peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 c.)
1-16 oz. pkg. frozen broccoli, cauliflower, carrots combination
1-16 oz. can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1-15 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 t. Italian seasoning
1/4 t. pepper
2 T. water
2 T. flour
4 c. hot mashed potatoes (cook four medium/large potatoes and mash)
Cook first three ingredients in large non-stick skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown and onion is tender; drain. Stir in rest of ingredients except water, flour and potatoes. Heat to boiling; lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Shake water and flour in tightly covered container; stir into beef mixture.
Spoon mixture into greased 9x13 baking dish. Spoon potatoes evenly over beef mixture; spread to edges of dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees about 30 minutes or until heated through. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Serves 6-8.
NOTE: You may use any combination of veggies that you wish to equal 6-7 cups.
A couple of hints to share with you:
•Use cornstarch for true fresh fruit flavor and color.
•To convert recipes from flour-thickened fruit pies to cornstarch, use half as much cornstarch as flour called for.
•To prevent edge of crust from browning too much, cover edges with a thin strip of foil; remove during last 15 minutes of baking.
Did you enter a pie in the pie-baking contest during the Karl Oskar Days celebration? There were 26 entries and each pie looked as palate pleasing as the next. Some caught the eye of the judges more than others but that’s how you become the contest winner––by the presentation, flakiest crust (unless it’s a crumb crust) and last but not least, flavor. I spoke with the lady who gathered the most points in the three categories and she graciously agreed to share her first place winning recipe with me and you. She was quick to say that this was not an original recipe, but rather it came from a cookbook that she’s had for many years. She also said that she’s made it many, many times and everyone loves it––obviously the judges did!
AMERICAN KEY LIME PIE
1 baked 9-inch pastry pie shell (your favorite recipe)
1 T. unflavored gelatin (or one packet)
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 t. salt
4 eggs, separated
1/2 c. lime juice (from one squeezed lime and enough concentrated juice)
1/4 c. water
1 t. fresh grated lemon zest (rind)
green food coloring
Mix gelatin and sugar in small saucepan. Combine yolks, lime juice and water, mixing well and add to gelatin mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat just until it comes to a boil.
Remove from heat; add lime zest and coloring, a drop at a time until you get the tint you like (not too much now).
Chill mixture until it begins to set up (but is still jiggly).
Beat the four egg whites in a glass bowl, until soft peaks form. Beat in 1/2 c. sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold cooled gelatin mixture into whites, gently. Beat one cup heavy whipping cream and fold into egg white mixture.
Pile into baked and cooled shell. Garnish with thin slices of lime and additional whipped cream. Sprinkle a little lime zest over the whipped cream. Thanks for sharing, Pat.
This has become Bud’s favorite summertime pie. It’s light and delicious.
LEMON ANGEL PIE
4 egg whites, beaten until foamy
1 c. sugar
1/4 t. cream of tartar
4 egg yolks
1/2 c. sugar
3 T. fresh lemon juice (concentrated is OK)
1 c. heavy cream, whipped
For crust, beat egg whites until foamy; beat in cream of tartar. Gradually add sugar, 2 T. at a time. Spread onto bottom and up sides of a 9-inch greased pie pan; bake at 275 degrees for one hour, cool. Beat yolks and stir in 1/2 c. sugar and lemon juice. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thick, cool. Add whipped cream to cooled custard, folding in gently. Pour into cold meringue shell and chill 2-3 hours.
Serves 6-8. Garnish with thin slices of lemon, slit halfway through and twisted if you wish.
Thought for the day: Do you remember when pies were set on the windowsill to cool, not to thaw?