Blueberry Pie Recipe

I made this pie yesterday. Here’s a picture and the recipe.
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup instant tapioca
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups blueberries
1 double pie crust
1/4 cup or so of water
1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Mix first 5 ingredients in large bowl.
Add berries and toss until coated.
Let mixture sit 10-15 minutes.
If your bottom pie crust isn’t already in the pie pan, do that now.
Pre-bake the bottom crust for 5 minutes.
Fill crust with berry mixture.
Brush edge of crust with water to soften.
Position top crust and crimp edges with fork.
Trim excess crust.
Cut vent holes in top crust.
Brush top crust with egg.
Sprinkle sugar over top crust.  (cinnamon / sugar mixture can be substituted)
Cover crust edges with foil or crust guard.
Bake for 40 minutes.
Remove crust guard and bake an additional 10 minutes.
Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

My Blackberry Pie Recipe

3/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp minute tapioca
2 tbsp butter at room temp
4 cups fresh blackberries
Frozen Deep Dish Pie Crust (for bottom crust)
Refergerated pie dough (for top crust)
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 400.
Combine sugar and tapioca w/ wisk.
Add butter and blend w/ wisk.
Add berries and mix with hands.
Let mixture set for 15 minutes.
While that sits, prebake frozen pie crust for 4 minutes or so. This prevents a doughy bottom crust.
Fill pie crust with berry mixture.
Moisten edges of bottom crust until doughy again.
Cover with top crust.
Trim edges. Use fork to crimp edges.
Cut vent slits in top crust.
Whisk egg in bowl. Paint egg on top crust with pastry brush. Sprinkle with sugar.
Cover edges with aluminum foil or crust shield. Spray back side of shield with cooking oil to prevent sticking.

Bake for 45 minutes

If you make at least 2 pies, you’ll have enough crust trimmings to make turnovers, if you also have some extra berries and tapioca.

Do not ever make a blackberry pie using a recipe that calls for flour in the Blackberry mixture.  It doesn’t work right.  blackberries are too acidic and, for some reason, it prevents the flour from acting as a proper thickening agent.  Instead, you just end up with floury glop.  This is the voice of experience.  Tapioca works much better.

My Apple Pie Recipe

1 frozen deep dish pie crust
1 refrigerated roll-out pie dough
½ cup sugar (1/3 to 2/3)
¼ cup all purpose flour
½ tsp cinnamon
dash salt
8 cups tart apples
1Tbsp butter
1 egg (beaten)
2 or 3 Tbsp cinnamon/sugar mixture

Thaw crusts.
Slice apples.
Mix sugar, flour, cinnamon & salt in large bowl.
Stir in apples.
Fill pie crust with apple mixture.
Dot with butter.
Cover top with roll-out pie crust.
Crimp and trim edges.
Cut slits for venting.
Brush crust with egg, then sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mix.
Cover edge of piecrust with foil or pie crust shield to prevent overbrowning. Spraying back side of shield with cooking oil will help prevent sticking.

Bake at 425º for 40-50 minutes or until crust is brown & juice bubbles through slits. Remove foil during last 15 minutes.

Don’t Overcook Your Asparagus and An Asparagus Recipe

Asparagus is delicious, but easy to overcook.  It only just needs a few minutes and it’s done.  More than that and you get a horrid, stringy vegetable mass that tastes a bit like canned green beans.

I recently ordered asparagus at a local Perkins restaurant.  I don’t know what I was thinking.  There was little chance they’d do it right and, in fact, they didn’t.   So very disappointed, but I didn’t think the cook had any idea.  Perhaps I should have complained.  Would it have made any difference?  Would it have gotten back to the cook and educated him on the proper way to cook this vegetable?  Probably not. *sigh*

I’ve overcooked asparagus myself before.  Several times, in fact.  I always feel bad when I do because it can be such a lovely dish when done properly.  I wonder how many people don’t know how to cook it and think that the overcooked version is what it’s supposed to taste like.

My favorite, and most successful, recipe for Asparagus is below.  You can tell it’s good because it starts with bacon.

Sauteed Asparagus with Onions, Peppers and Bacon in Cider Vinegar

5 or 6 strips of bacon, cut into one inch pieces
One Medium Onion, sliced
One Sweet Bell Pepper, chopped into one inch pieces (Red, Yellow or Orange is best, but Green is acceptable)
One bunch of Asparagus, chopped into one inch pieces
Some Cider Vinegar (Maybe 4 tablespoons or so)

Note:  Make sure you snap off the woody end of the asparagus stalk and discard.  You don’t eat this part of the stalk.

In a Medium-Hot frying pan, cook the bacon.  Do not drain.

Add Onions and cook until just soft.

Reduce heat to Medium.

Add Cider Vinegar.  Use your discretion on how much.  A couple splashes, is how I’d define it.

Add Peppers and cook for a minute or three until they start to get a bit soft.

Add Asparagus and cook for 3 or 4 minutes.  Every minute or so, take a piece out and taste it so you can be sure not to overcook it.  It should still be crispy, but warmed through and not raw.

Take off heat and transfer to a large bowl to serve.  The dish cools quickly, so be sure to cover if you won’t be serving immediately.  I like to use the Warm Hold setting on my microwave for this.