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Lemon Meringue Pie

After much research, my search is over for the perfect lemon meringue pie recipe! I have baked this several times for family and friends. Each time, people go back for seconds and there are no leftovers. Southern in origin, lemon meringue is a great year-round pie and ideal for any occasion. It is traditional while still adding an element of surprise for your dinner guests.

(Original Source: AllRecipes.com: “Grandma’s Lemon Meringue Pie”)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 Tblp. all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 lemons, juiced and zested
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
  • 4 egg whites
  • 6 Tbsp. white sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla for meringue

Instructions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Lemon Filling:

  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt.
  • Stir in water, lemon juice and lemon zest.
  • Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil.
  • Stir in butter.
  • Place egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually mix in 1/2 cup of hot sugar mixture.
  • Bring to a boil and continue to stir constantly until thick.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Pour into baked pastry shell.

Meringue:

  • In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until foamy.
  • Add sugar and vanilla gradually, and continue to whip until soft peaks form.
  • Spread meringue over pie, sealing the edges at the crust.
  • Bake in pre-heated oven for 10 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown.

Chef’s Tips:

  • Do NOT over-cook lemon filling! The filling should be thick, but pourable. If the filling boils too long, the water will evaporate and you will lose liquid and volume. I learned this the hard way.
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Posted by on September 20, 2013 in Desserts, Pies, Southern Pies, Summer Pies

 

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Twice Baked Potatoes

Nana

Twice baked potatoes were a delicious treat my mother made for dinner when I was growing up. Mom used her father’s recipe, but this recipe from my maternal great-grandmother seems very similar. Mom added melted cheddar cheese to her potatoes. Twice baked potatoes are very filling, so they can be an entree or side dish depending on how hungry you are.

Ingredients:

  • Large white baking potatoes (1 potato per serving), or if very large, 1 potato per 2 servings
  • Butter or margarine to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Milk as needed

Instructions:

  • Scrub potatoes and bake until soft when pinched (about 1 hour at 400 degrees, depending on size).
  • Cut off top of potatoes (at least 1/4 inch) and carefully scoop out insides.
  • Add considerable amount of butter or margarine and salt and mash until bumps are gone. Add milk as needed, but keep on the dry side.
  • Heap mashed potatoes into shells (skins).
  • Dot with butter and sprinkle with paprika for color.
  • Re-bake for 30 minutes.

Chef’s Tips:

  • A slicer is very helpful for mashing potatoes.
  • These can be made well in advance.
 
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Posted by on September 20, 2013 in Potatoes, Potatoes

 

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Baked Sherry Fruit Casserole

Grandmama

I found this recipe in Aunt Jaymie’s recipe box on a notecard in Grandmama’s handwriting. I don’t remember her ever making a fruit casserole for us, but it looked delicious, so I copied it down. The recipe calls for Queen Anne cherries, but you can substitute regular cherries if the Queen Anne variety is not available. Just remember to remove the pits!

On the notecard, my grandmother wrote:

“This was served to me at a luncheon that included creamed chicken in patty shells, tomato bisque, chilled asparagus, and rolls. We’ve also served it with ham and chilis rellenos for brunch; ham or chicken for dinner. I’ve never used the cherries as I couldn’t find any.”

Ingredients:

Drain and save 3/4 cup mixed juice:

  • 1 – 29 oz. can peach halves
  • 1- 29 oz. can pear halves
  • 1- 1 lb. can Queen Anne cherries

Pour over these 2 cups boiling water. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes. Drain and discard water:

  • 1/2 cup seedless raisins
  • 2 medium oranges cut in thin slices

Mix with 3/4 cup reserved fruit juice, cook until thickened. Cool and add sherry:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup sherry

Instructions:

  • Arrange fruit in 2 quart oblong baking dish, making a pattern of peaches, pears, orange slices, raisins, (and cherries if you have them), and cover with the sauce.
  • Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
  • Bake uncovered in preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour,
 

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Strawberry Pie

Nana

This is a simple strawberry pie recipe from my great-grandmother who we called “Nana.” She died when I was eight years old, so unfortunately I did not get to know her well. While strawberry rhubarb is my favorite, there are times of the year when rhubarb is difficult to find, so strawberry pie is a good substitute if you want to make a fruit pie during the winter months. Nana says that this recipe is originally from Mark Daily who was probably a friend of hers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 qt. strawberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • Baked pie shell

Instructions:

  • Simmer about 1 cup of the strawberries and 2/3 cup of the water about 3 minutes.
  • Blend sugar, cornstarch, and 1/3 cup water. Add to boiling mixture.
  • Boil one minute, stirring completely. Cool.
  • Put remaining strawberries in pie shell, cover with cooked mixture. Chill until firm- about 2 hours. Serve with sweetened whip cream.
 
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Posted by on January 6, 2012 in Desserts, Pies, Summer Pies

 

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Apple Custard Pie

Grandmama (originally from Aunt Babe)

I found this recipe in Aunt Jaymie’s recipe box. It was written on an index card in Grandmama’s handwriting. This is different from the Apple Pie I used to make with Grandmama because this one includes egg and sour cream.

Ingredients:

  • 7-8 green apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/8 inch slices
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • Sprinkle of salt (enough or
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup thick sweet cream or fresh sour cream

Instructions:

  • Line pie tin with crust and build up a high rim.
  • Sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar on bottom crust.
  • Arrange apple slices as close as possible, overlapping a little.
  • Sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar over apples and a light sprinkling of salt.
  • Beat lightly 1 egg and add 1/3 cup sugar and add 3/4 cup thick sweet cream or sour cream.
  • Stir together and pour over apples to fill the pan.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  • Bake in hot oven at 450 for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake until apples are tender when pricked (about 1 hour).

Aunt Babe’s Tips:
The amount of sugar really depends upon the tartness of the apples. A sweet apple is good for apple custard.

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2012 in Desserts, Pies

 

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Miso Soup

Mom

Miso is a Japanese soup and it’s very healthy! When my brother and I got sick as kids, my mom used to make us miso soup instead of the traditional chicken noodle soup that most parents make. She bought raw miso and made the soup from scratch. I believe she first learned about miso during her years in Japan when my grandfather was stationed there in the Navy.

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups water (bring to boil)
  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 2 large carrots, cubed
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 3 thin slices fresh ginger, chopped
  • Add anything else you might like

Instructions:

  • Add ingredients to boiling water.
  • Turn heat down and cook until carrots are not over-cooked, but still have a bit of a crunch.
  • Take about 1/2 cup broth into a measuring cup and add miso to taste- perhaps as much as 1/2 cup. Mix with broth- add to pot after it has stopped boiling.
  • Let sit for about 5 minutes.
  • Enjoy! Do not bring to a boil again.
 
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Posted by on January 5, 2012 in Soups

 

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Cucumber and Cream Cheese Tea Sandwiches with Dill

These tea sandwiches are perfect finger food for a formal occasion. They are easy to make and look beautiful when arranged in quarters on a large platter with toothpicks. I serve them with tea at fundraisers and at holiday parties. These sandwiches add a sophisticated touch to any event.

Preparation Time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking Time: N/A

Ingredients:

  • One loaf of high quality bread. (Whole wheat or white is fine. Just make sure the bread is soft and not dry).
  • 16 oz. plain cream cheese
  • 1 cucumber
  • Dill for sprinkling on sandwiches
  • Toothpicks for holding sandwiches together

Instructions:

  • Cut cucumber into thin round slices. Set aside.
  • Lay out 2 pieces of bread on clean cutting board.
  • Carefully cut off crusts with a knife.
  • Spread a generous layer of cream cheese on both pieces of bread.
  • Place 4 cucumber slices on 1 of the pieces of bread, arranged so that each quadrant has a cucumber.
  • Sprinkle dill on top of cucumber and cream cheese.
  • Cover with second piece of bread.
  • Cut sandwich diagonally twice through the middle to create 4 triangular mini-sandwiches.
  • Insert a toothpick into the center of each mini-sandwich and arrange on serving platter.
  • Repeat above steps for entire loaf of bread.
 
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Posted by on December 27, 2011 in Appetizers, Other, Sandwiches

 

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