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My New Favorite Cookbook – PIES !!

If I didn’t know better, I’d say it was March not January. The temperatures have been mild . . .  by January standards, in the 50 – 60 range with lots of sunshine.  Been working in the yard little bits at the time trying to get everything pruned, trimmed and raked before the mowing starts.  That means my ‘burn piles’ have been growing but will need to wait for a calm day to burn.  Too much wind right now.   BTW – it took me about three days to rake all of the pine needles in the picture working in my ‘spare’ time – and then it was five hopper loads to the burn pile.  pineneedles


The clear blue skies have meant we’ve seen lots of plane contrails. It’s hard to imagine how many planes are in the sky at one time.  In fact, we sat on the front porch the other evening and counted over 13 planes all headed in the same direction within a 45 minute period.  Go figure that one!



Went to town on Tuesday. Tractor Supply to be exact.  It sounds like all you’d find is tractor stuff, but they have a lot of  other things as well – clothes, toys, shoes, etc.  We go there quite often since we get Bear’s food there – and it is one of the stores that allows dogs in to walk around if on a leash.  Bear loves to go there and ‘sniff’ the goods so we try to take him at least once a week.  It also keeps him connected to other people.  Of course, David likes  to look at the tools and I have to check out the magazines and books.


Just so happens I found a really good book on that visit . . . Pie It Forward: Pies, Tarts, Tortes, Galettes, and Other Pastries Reinvented.  The fact that it was on sale didn’t hurt.  It is full of recipes for all kinds of pie dough, fillings and toppings . . .  from snacks,  entrees, to desserts.


The picture of the Strawberry Love Pie is what sold me on the book.  Can’t imagine how you’d do it, but it looks so luscious, think it is a ‘must try’.






Aside from the Strawberry Love Pie, the author (Gesine Bullock-Prado) offers up a lot of good tips throughout the book. One in particular was related to salted-butter vs. unsalted-butter.  Is there really a difference??  You betcha.


Butter Differences [1]

  1. Since salt is a preservative it is used to extend shelf life, therefore, salted butter at the grocer’s is probably older than the unsalted butter.
  2. Salted butter may acquire ‘Butter Funk’ – a smell or taste it picks up while sitting on the shelf.
  3. You have no control of the quantity of salt in the salted butter which will be added to your recipe.
Dough Recipes

Ok, now, I’ve counted nine pie dough recipes for starters – they are:

  1. All Butter Easy Pie Dough
  2. Simple Tart Dough
  3. Hand Pie Dough
  4. Quick Puff Pastry
  5. Traditional Puff Pastry
  6. Sweet Tart Dough
  7. Chocolate Cookie Tart Crust
  8. Strudel Dough
  9. Pizza Dough

…. OMG, and I’ve just been using one for everything !!!

First one to try is the All-Butter recipe. Gesine says this recipe can be made with all butter for more flakiness OR add a little shortening for better workability.  Either one works for double crust pies.


All Butter Easy Pie Dough


  • 2 cups all purpose flour (COLD)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup UNSALTED BUTTER, cut into small pieces and chilled in the freezer for 10 minutes
  • 1/2 cup ice water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (Fresh, of course)


  1. In the bowl of a food processor (use blade attachment), pulse together the flour, salt, sugar and butter until the mixture looks like cornmeal
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the ice water and the lemon juice. Slowly add this to the flour mixture pulsing until the dough just comes together.  Test it by squeezing a small piece between your fingers to see if it holds together
  3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide it in half. Gently turn over each piece a few times so that any dry bits are incorporated.  Form each piece into a loose disk, cover the dough with plastic warp and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
  4. Options: For those who want to use some shortening, reduce the amount of chilled unsalted butter to 12 tablespoons and add 4 tablespoons shortening (chilled for 10 minutes in freezer).


Think this may be my new favorite cookbook. Get your copy online at Amazon  here .


[1] Pie It Forward, Gesine Bullock-Prado








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