American Prairie Vinegar Pie

a pale cream pie
Old-Fashioned Vinegar Pie

American Prairie VINEGAR PIE

This humble recipe originated on the farms of the early American settlers. The simple, basic components we all have on hand, creates a surprisingly creamy and delicate pie. Don’t let the name put you off. This is a keeper.

3 cups water
2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar ( optional: use half brown sugar)
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp (scant) salt
3 Tablespoons cold vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla, lemon, coconut or maple flavoring
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger (optional)

1. Prepare a 9-inch pie dish with a single crust pastry and pre-bake according to recipe instructions. Allow to cool.

2. In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil.

3. Meanwhile, combine the eggs, sugar, flour, salt, vinegar and cinnamon in a mixing bowl and use a whisk to combine.

4. Pour the filling mixture into the boiling water and continue to boil, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens. (8-12 minutes.) When mixture thickly coats the back of a spoon, remove from heat. This step is important to making a pie that will set up, so be sure you get a thick coating on the spoon.

5. Pour mixture through a sieve into crust to prevent any curdled egg from ending up in the pie.

6. When cooled, cover surface of filling with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight before serving. It takes this pie a good long time to set up so it can be cut into nice wedges, but it is worth the wait! Dust surface of pie with cinnamon before serving.

Homemade Fermented Tomato Ketchup

a jar of ketchup
Homemade Fermented Tomato Ketchup

FERMENTED HOMEMADE KETCHUP

1 can (28 oz.) organic diced tomatoes
1 can (6 oz.) organic tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. onion flakes or onion powder (or 1 T grated fresh onion)
½ tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ cup raw organic honey
¼ cup homemade sauerkraut or Kimchi juice (with live bacteria)
1 small pinch hot red pepper flakes (opt)
¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar

You can adjust the sweetness, tartness or spicy hotness of this recipe to your liking. You will know what you prefer after you make it a few times. This version is good to get you started.

Use a food processor to blend together all the ingredients except the vinegar. This recipe usually fits a liter container leaving some head room. Leave out at room temperature for 3 to 5 days until you see air bubbles forming along the sides against the glass. Sometimes they look like wide cracks in the ketchup depending on how thick it is. Keep a bowl under this, once it starts, it can swell to fill the jar, build pressure, and seep out.

After it has fermented a day or two and you think it is done (taste it) then add the vinegar, stir well and refrigerate. Use as you would any ketchup.

Note: If you want a thicker ketchup, reserve a cup of the diced tomato juice at the beginning and see if you get the consistency you want. You can always add it back.

Strawberry Jam Squares

Strawberry Jam bars
Strawberry Jam Squares

STRAWBERRY JAM SQUARES

1-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup butter
1 cup strawberry jam
1 cup chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix oats, flour, brown sugar and baking powder in a large bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Press 3 cups oat mixture firmly onto bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan. Spread jam over crust.

Mix nuts into remaining crumb mixture and sprinkle over jam layer.
Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

Note from Nadia: This flawless recipe came from Kraft Foods and I did nothing to change or improve it (as I am known to do). They are called squares and not bars for a good reason: They are meant to be eaten with a fork, not picked up and eaten like snack bars. This is a dessert and we made it with some of Grandma Sylvia’s luscious strawberry jam. Winner!

Apple Kuchen

apple kuchen is like a square apple pie/cake
Apple Kuchen is better than apple pie!

APPLE KUCHEN
Better than Apple Pie!

Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces

Filling:
1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, at room temperature

Topping:
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 cups apples, (peeled if desired) cored, and thinly sliced

Directions
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 9×13-inch pan.

To make the crust: Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl or food processor fitted with a steel blade and mix to combine. Add the vanilla and butter, a little at a time, and mix until it resembles cornmeal. Press into the prepared baking pan and transfer to the oven. Bake until golden, about15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees.

To make the filling: Place the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle and beat until creamy. Add the egg, mix to combine, an pour over the cooled crust.

Place the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix to combine.

Spread the apples on top of the filling. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar and transfer to the oven. Bake until firm and a rich brown, about 20 minutes. Cut into 20 to 24 pieces.

Adapted from a recipe from Fireside.

Date Nut Oatmeal Cookies

cookies on a plate
Date Nut Oatmeal Cookies

DATE NUT OATMEAL COOKIES

¾ c. butter, room temp
1 c. granulated sugar
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 c. quick cooking oats
2/3 c. chopped dates
½ cup chopped walnuts
¼ c. dried cranberries (opt.)

These tasty, chewy cookies are the #1 favorite in our house.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease 4 cookie sheets well.
In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugars together well. Then beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla.

In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; stir this into the butter/sugar mixture. Mix in the oats, dates and nuts. Dried cranberries (or cherries) are optional, but good in this recipe. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.

Roll dough into walnut-sized balls and place 2-inches apart on the cookie sheets. Flatten each cookie slightly with a large fork dipped in water. Sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of granulated sugar.

Bake for 12 minutes, turning sheets once at about 8 minutes. Cookies will not look done. Immediately upon removing from oven, sprinkle cookies lightly with a little sugar (optional). Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.