Friday, November 20, 2009
BHG's All-Time Favorite Pies Cookbook
I have to admit that my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal is the "go-withs" or side dishes. Although my mom has always made a "mean pecan pie" (except for the year that I came home from college to find that she'd tried a new recipe that included...PEANUTS! This is a word to the wise: Never, no never, be tempted to mess with holiday tradition while your kids are still around...because, they will never let you live it down (sorry, Mom! I guess I've ruined any chance of your mailing me a slice of pie!)
With the exception of Pecan Pie, I look forward to homemade stuffing and Aunt Monica's Cranberry Salad the most. For most of the men in our family, I think dessert is the Thanksgiving focal point, other than the "football marathon" of course! You could have a turkey that's just "passable" and mashed potatoes from a box, but don't skimp on the grand finale. You have to have great dessert, and on this very American, very traditional holiday, that means PIE!
With the pie-baking task coming up next week, I thought I would review one of my cookbooks that is all about pie making. This week's book off my shelf is Better Homes and Garden's All Time Favorite Pies Cookbook, and it includes 169 recipes for pies of every kind. Even though this book was published in 1978, my copy is a "yard sale find" that is in perfect condition. It was published by Meredith Corporation and its ISBN is 0-696-00455-0.
The colorful cover of this hardback cookbook says it all! There are five different slices of pie and they all look delicious! The easy-to-follow black and white illustrations and boxes in the margins to provide, "Pie-Making Tips", would make it a perfect baking book for a new cook, or someone who's facing her first Thanksgiving as the cook/hostess. Being the hostess for this holiday meal can seem like a daunting project if you've never roasted a turkey or served several people at once. So, like I said, the meal can be less-than-perfect if you have a "bang up finish"! This guide to great pies could be very valuable in this case.
The progression of recipes in the book seems logical to me; fruit pies come first, and then cream pies, custard pies, refrigerated pies, ice cream pies, and finally, a section called, "Pie Crusts and Toppers." The color pictures of the finished pies are mouth-watering! The little fruit-filled tarts and the fluffy coconut cream pie pictures make me want to get out my pans and get started!
For our sample recipe, I chose an easy one that sounds delicious...and makes its own crust!
p. 54 Miracle Custard Pie
2 C milk
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C all-purpose flour
1/4 C butter or margarine, cut-up
1 tsp vanilla
1 C flaked coconut
In blender container combine milk, eggs, sugar, flour, cut-up butter, vanilla and 1/4 tsp salt. Cover; blend about 10 seconds or until well-mixed (do not overblend). Stir in coconut. Pour egg mixture into greased 9" pie plate. Sprinkle a little nutmeg atop filling. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes or until knife inserted off-center comes out clean. (As pie bakes, it forms its own soft crust.) Cool pie on rack; chill thoroughly before serving. Cover; chill to store.
I will be at these recipe swaps today: