Yes, that slice of cranberry-apple pie looks delicious. And as everyone in the Home Again gang can testify, it tasted even better than it looks. Anne and I mentioned this pie in our live Facebook video that showed how to make Grandma Conrad’s Never Fail Pie Crust.
I promised to publish this recipe more than a month ago. But between my broken foot recovery, the men racing to complete a basement remodel project before the baby arrives, Anne’s contractions coming and going for at least a month (and still 3 weeks until her due date), and Tad being 2-and-a-half, our three generation household has been a three ring circus. So Anne and I would like to apologize for the lack of a new podcast episode for the second week of January 2018 and for not completing the promised pie making video on our Patreon page. To be honest, the video probably won’t happen for quite a while and new podcast episodes will be scarce until Anne and the new baby, once she’s born, get into a manageable groove.
However, as we mentioned during our first Facebook live video of 2018, I am walking again. So at least I can share the promised recipe for cranberry-apple pie. We created it after we discovered the pie apples we froze last fall make a rather bland pie. Because we had purchased and frozen extra cranberries when they were on sale at Thanksgiving, we searched the internet for cranberry-apple recipes. But we wanted a simple recipe, and the ones on the internet required oodles of spices, orange zest and more. Once again, I pulled out the 1977 Betty Crocker Cookbook, which was a wedding present from my grandmother and found the simple recipe we wanted. As usual, we used much less sugar since Hiram tries to watch his sugar intake. We replaced the flour in the filling with minute tapioca because we like it better. We also used Earth Balance Buttery Vegan Sticks instead of butter since 3/5 of our household can’t do dairy.
3 cups peeled, sliced pie apples
2 cups whole cranberries, washed
1/2–3/4 cup sugar, depending on taste
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup minute tapioca
2 tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Vegan Sticks
Cinnamon sugar in a shaker
Preheat oven to 425°. In a bowl combine apples, cranberries, sugar, cinnamon, and minute tapioca. Mix thoroughly until fruit is coated. Turn into a 9 inch pastry-lined pie pan. Dot fruit with Earth Balance. Carefully cover with top crust and crimp edges to seal. With a knife trim off any excess pie crust. Cut small air vents in the top crust. Spritz top crust lightly with water and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Bake pie at 425° for 15 minutes. Turn oven down to 375° and bake for 45 minutes longer or until the center filling bubbles. If top crust begins to brown early, lightly cover with a sheet of aluminum foil. Take out of oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
For the past week, our refrigerator has been playing host to a pint of blueberries, a large zucchini, and some lemons that need to be used. So when a recipe for blueberry zucchini cake with lemon buttercream frosting appeared in my Facebook news feed, it caught my eye.
The original recipe was very high in sugar and the frosting used butter, so I decided to fiddle with the ingredients and convert the cake into a glazed quick bread. The taste testers at my house (not the Man of Steel since he eats very few desserts these days) all liked the tasty treat. They thought it tastes more like pound cake than quick bread, and I have to agree. We enjoyed one loaf and froze the other to avoid overdosing on too much lemony goodness.
Lemon-Blueberry Zucchini Bread
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup white sugar
2 cups finely shredded zucchini
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 pint fresh blueberries
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 to 1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 2 loaf pans.
In a large bowl and using a hand mixer, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, sugar, lemon juice and zest. Fold in the zucchini. Slowly add in the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix in by hand. Gently fold in the blueberries. Divide batter evenly between prepared loaf pans.
Bake 40-50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of loaf comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
Put lemon juice, zest, and water in a small bowl. Whisk in powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time until it is the consistency you like for glaze. Use a fork to poke holes all over the top of each loaf. With a spoon, drizzle the loaves with glaze until the top is well coated.
Galavanting from here to there and back again doesn’t leave much time for cooking. So today, because of present galavanting at Shadow Valley Family Camp, this recipe comes from the camp cookbook. A dairy-free fix would be easy with Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks and coconut or cashew milk. But even if there was time to fiddle with the recipe, I wouldn’t dare…because having a batch of Brown Sugar Snaps in the house would be way too tempting.
Family Camp Brown Sugar Snaps
Warning: These cookies are addictive. Unless you like to live dangerously, don’t read another word.
Truth be told, all the food at Idaho Family Camp is addictive. Every time a nummy recipe is posted, I’m enabling an addiction. Usually it’s my addiction. But post-wedding and post-family camp, inundated with veggies from our CSA, and deep into a twelve step, healthy eating program (which means Hiram puts the key to the padlocks on the fridge and pantry twelve steps up on a ladder I’m scared to climb), I’m feeling strong enough to resist temptation.
I’d never tasted these before or even heard of them before this summer. Brown sugar snaps are sort of ginger snap meets snickerdoodle, molasses crinkle meets sugar cookie. And as mentioned before, they’re addictive. Very addictive. Give them a try and leave a comment with your description. But remember, you’ve been warned. So don’t blame me when you can’t stop eating them!
Brown Sugar Snaps
2 cups white sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
4 sticks butter
2 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
Add: 2 eggs and beat again,
5 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking soda
3 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Chill dough for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll dough into balls, dip in sugar, and place on a cookie sheet. Turn oven down to 375 degrees just before putting in cookies. Bake about 9 minutes. Cookies should have nice deep cracks. You will need to reheat the oven to 400 degrees between pans.
Just a few weeks ago, I posted my recipe for low sugar rhubarb crisp. Until today, it was the most recent installment in a Gravel Road unintentional series of crisp recipes such as blueberry crisp, apple crisp, and strawberry-rhubarb crisp.
But not anymore. Because strawberries were on sale at the grocery store last week, so I bought several boxes to make strawberry-rhubarb crisp. The son-in-law is not a big rhubarb fan, though he said he thought a strawberry crisp would be just fine. Here’s the recipe I fabricated, and which he said was mighty fine.
6 cups washed strawberries, hulled & sliced
1/3 cup softened, non-dairy, softened non-dairy shortening substitute like Earth Balance
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup oatmeal
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Heat oven to 375°. Place strawberries in 2 quart baking dish. In medium bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Cut in shortening until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle on top of fruit. Bake for 30-45 minutes until fruit is bubbly. Serve warm.
Rhubarb season is here and the crop is bountiful. After picking and freezing three bags full, just enough remained to make a small rhubarb crisp. With the Man of Steel watching his sugar intake, I decided to see how much sugar could be cut from the recipe in my 1977 Betty Crocker Cookbook.
Below is the adjusted recipe, which the Man of Steel and I agreed was still a bit on the too sweet side. However, when I took a small helping down to Mom, she made a face and said it was too sour. So adjust the sugar to your taste buds and enjoy rhubarb season.
Low Sugar, Non-Dairy Rhubarb Crisp
4 cups diced rhubarb
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
1/2 cup unbleached flour1/2 cup oatmeal
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375°. Place rhubarb in an ungreased baking dish (10x6x1 1/2″ baking dish). Measure brown sugar, flour, oatmeal, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Mix well. Cut in shortening until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle mixture evenly over rhubarb. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until topping golden brown and rhubarb is bubbly. Serve warm.