Rhubarb Cranberry Pie with Crumble Topping

1 (store-bought or homemade) 9-inch pastry pie crust
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tbsp. minute tapioca
1-1/2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
4 cups rhubarb cut into 1-inch pieces (fresh or frozen)
1 cup cranberry-orange sauce (see note below)
1-1/2 tbsp. butter or margarine, cut into pieces

Have you ever had a big bowl of cranberry orange sauce in the refrigerator after Thanksgiving? Not the kind from a can, but the fresh, uncooked kind you can make yourself or buy at a deli. No idea what to do with it? This recipe will solve that problem—and it will likely become the new, favorite pie in your house.

DIRECTIONS:
Combine sugar, cinnamon tapioca, flour and salt. Add chopped rhubarb and toss to coat. Add cranberry sauce and stir.

Pre-heat oven to 450° F. Allow pie crust to come to room temperature and insert one into a 9.5-inch deep-dish pie pan and pre-bake for about 5 minutes until it is about half done. This will make for a flakier bottom crust (I do this with homemade crust because it is usually thicker). Do NOT prick the crust, as juice might later run underneath, but it is a good idea to weight it when you bake it as you would with any pre-baked crust. Mound filling high in the pie pan and dot with butter. Then cover the top with crumble topping mixture (below).

Bake at 450° F for 10 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350° F and bake for another 50 minutes or until done. Pie is done when the topping has become golden brown, and the pie juices are bubbling.

Note: if using frozen rhubarb, prepare the same as for fresh and put pie together while the rhubarb is still frozen. Don’t pre-bake crust. Bake about 20 minutes longer to adjust for the frozen filling.

CRUMBLE TOPPING:
½ c. butter, melted
1 c. brown sugar
¾ c. rolled oats
1 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ginger
½ tsp nutmeg

Melt butter and combine with brown sugar, then oats and flour. Add cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Mix well.

Serve pie warm or cooled, plain, or with a dollop of whipped cream.

Note: If you don’t have leftover cranberry sauce, you can make some quickly: Remove the zest of 1 orange (place in food processor) then remove the white, pith part and discard it. Break apart the orange and put in processor. Add 1 bag (10 oz.?) of fresh or frozen cranberries and ¼ c sugar. Pulse until roughly chopped.

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Peach Jam Bars

Serve cold as bars, or warm with whipped cream as a dessert.
PEACH JAM BARS
¾ c. butter, room temp.
1 c. sugar
1 egg
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ c. chopped walnuts
1 ½ cups peach jam (other jam can be substituted)
Cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream butter and sugar, then add egg, salt and vanilla. Mix again.
3. Mix in 1 cup flour, then baking powder. Add the 2nd cup flour and nuts and mix well.
4. Press two-thirds of the dough in a greased, 9×13 pan. Take your time, patting it out, wetting your fingers if it gets sticky.
5. Spread peach jam over the dough.
6. Take the remaining dough, and again with your fingers, pinch off teaspoon-sized pieces and drop onto the peach layer, being careful to deposit evenly. There will be gaps, that’s okay, this is like a crumble topping.
7. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon.
8. Bake for about 35 minutes or until golden.
9. Remove from oven and cool on rack. Makes 36 bars.
10. Serve warm as a dessert, or cool as bars.

Peach Custard Kuchen

PEACH CUSTARD KUCHEN
(adapted from a recipe at cooks.com)

1 c. all-purpose flour
2 T. sugar
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp. baking powder
5 T. butter
1 14 oz. can sliced peaches, drained
¼ c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

2 egg yolks
1 c. evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Mix together the first 4 ingredients, then cut in butter until evenly distributed and crumbly, resembling cornmeal. Press into an 8 x 8 inch baking dish, edging up the sides a little.

Arrange peaches in rows on crust. Sprinkle with ¼ c. sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Bake 15 minutes.

Lower heat to 375 degrees.

Whisk milk and egg yolks. Pour over peaches and return to oven for 25-30 minutes or until custard is set and light brown in color.

Yellow Crazy Cake with Strawberries

(No eggs or milk needed, this is a nice, easy little half-sized cake for a small household.)

1 ½ cups + 3 T all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup cold water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan or glass baking dish.

Mix together all dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix together the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Immediately pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until relatively smooth. It’s okay if there are a few small lumps. Work quickly and pour into baking dish.

Bake for 35-37 minutes or until top springs back when pressed lightly with fingertip.

Top with your favorite frosting or serve with berries and whipped cream.

You can double this recipe for a 9×13-inch pan.

 

Chocolate Truffle Dessert Cups

Extra special and extra chocolate-y.

½ c. cocoa
¼ cup cornstarch
3 egg yolks, beaten
1 ½ c. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Finishing:
Whipped cream
Shortbread cookies (your favorite)
Walnut halves (optional)

Mix cocoa, cornstarch, beaten egg yolks; sugar, salt and vanilla. Then add milk gradually, while stirring in a pot over med-high heat (or use a double boiler).

Cook pudding until thickened. Towards the end, your pudding will look lumpy and uneven, but if you alternate whisking and stirring vigorously, it will smooth to silky perfection. Cool for 10 minutes, and spoon into fancy tea cups with matching saucers.

Chill well. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, a walnut half and two shortbread cookies. In each cup, place one cookie angled upright in the dessert and one on each saucer.

This tastes like the creamy center filling of your favorite chocolate truffles.  Serves 8.

 

 

 

 

 

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pie

This chocolate pie is head and shoulders above any you’ll make with a box pudding.

½ c. cocoa
¼ cup cornstarch
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 ½ c. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Make a home-made pie crust and pre-bake in a 9” pie plate. In a hurry? Use store-bought pie crust and bake. A pre-baked graham crust is also an option, but this is supposed to be old-fashioned, right?

Mix cocoa, cornstarch, beaten egg yolks; sugar, salt and vanilla. Then add milk gradually, while stirring in a pot over med-high heat (or use a double boiler).

Cook pudding until thickened. Towards the end, your pudding will look lumpy and uneven, but if you alternate whisking and stirring vigorously, it will smooth to silky perfection. Cool for a few minutes, and pour into the pre-baked pie shell.

Chill well. Before serving, mound with homemade whipped cream. This tastes like a creamy chocolate truffle filling in a pie shell!

For a fuller 9-inch pie, make 25% more filling as follows:

½ c. + 2 T cocoa
¼ c. + 1 T cornstarch
4 egg yolks
1 ¾ + 2 T sugar
¼ lightly rounded tsp salt
2 ½ cups milk
1 ¼ tsp. vanilla

 

 

Double-Crust Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble

2 Cups brown sugar
1 ½ cups rolled oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter
2 T cinnamon
1 T ground ginger
1 T nutmeg
8 cups fresh rhubarb cut into 1” pieces
2 cups sliced, fresh strawberries
2 cups granulated sugar
¼ cup corn starch
3 T minute tapioca
2 cups water
2 T vanilla
Pinch of salt

Melt butter and combine with brown sugar, then oats and flour. Add cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Mix well. Press half the crumb mixture into the bottom of a glass 9×13” pan. Cover the bottom crust with rhubarb, then strawberries. Set aside.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 F. Then, in a saucepan, combine granulated sugar, corn starch, and tapioca. Mix this first, then add water. Cook over medium heat until sauce becomes clear and thick. Add vanilla and a pinch of salt and remove from heat to cool 10 minutes.

Pour sauce over strawberries and rhubarb. Top with remaining crumble mixture. Bake 1 hour. Let cool and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Tip: Crisps and crumbles never stay crunchy past the first day, so if you love the crunch, take the half of this mixture meant for the topping, spread it on foil and bake it separately until golden and crispy. Sprinkle it on individual servings when you dish it up.