Berry Crostata


I’ve seen these types of recipes called crostatas (or crostadas) and galettes and I was wondering which is right.  According to wikipedia, a crostata is a free-form pie Italian in origin while a galette is French in origin and is more like a free form thin pancake with a savory filling.  I guess you can choose which name you like better and since crostata is a free form pie, I’ll go with that.

I didn’t follow a recipe for this crostata.  I had a bunch of berries in my refrigerator that had to be used up and I didn’t really feel like doing anything complicated so I decided to do a crostata, as low in sugar as possible.  It turned out great!

Of course you can use whatever ripe, summer fruits you like but if using berries, when you clean the berries, make sure you dry them off good before putting them in the pie because you don’t want too much juice overflowing the sides of your crostata.

Crostata CW

Berry Crostata

1 unbaked pie crust, homemade or store bought
1 pint strawberries, cleaned and sliced
1 pint blueberries, cleaned
1/4 cup Splenda blend or 1/2 cup sugar (more or less depending on how sweet your fruit is)
1 tbsp flour
small amount of milk to brush on sides of crust
small amount of turbinado sugar to sprinkle over crust

Preheat oven to 425º.

Cover a pizza tin with parchment paper and place pie crust on the parchment.

In a bowl, mix the berries, Splenda blend and flour together gently. Pour berry mixture into the middle of the pie crust, leaving a good 1-2 inch edge on the pie crust for folding.

Fold the edges of the pie crust over the berries.

Brush milk on the edges of the crostata and sprinkle turbinado sugar over the milk.

Bake at 425º for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350º and continue baking for 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Makes 6 servings.

Crostata CW 2

Crostata CW 3

Happy Cooking!

My Signature

Apple Pie


Apple pie!  I love this recipe that I have using for many years.  It came from the Fannie Farmer Baking Book which I *think* is out of print now.  It’s not overly sweet like some apple pies.  I usually use Granny Smith apples but sometimes I mix the apples up and use a couple of different kinds in the same pie.  Try to use ones that hold their shape some or you will get an applesauce pie. I am pie dough challenged so I use the Pillsbury ones from the store.

Apple Pie

Dough for a 2 crust pie, either homemade or store bought

6 large apples, peeled and sliced
about 3/4 cup sugar, if your apples are very sweet you can cut down on the sugar amount
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsps flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp butter

Mix all filling ingredients, except butter, together in a large bowl. Place filling ingredients in bottom crust, dot with butter, put top crust on. Crimp the pie dough edges together. Cut a couple of slits in the top of the pie crust.

Sometimes, I brush half and half over the top crust and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at425º for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350º and continue baking for 20 to 30 minutes.

Happy Cooking!

Lemon Meringue Pie


T.S. Hanna Update: I am heading out in a bit to take some pictures of the storm ~ I’ll post them later if any are good. If I can get my DH to drive me around, I’ll be even happier but I don’t think it’s going to happen. So far, so good ~ just some rain and wind so no biggie.

Lemon meringue pie is one of my very favorite pies. I know several people that won’t even attempt to make it because they think it’s too hard. It’s not. Remember, I rarely make anything that’s difficult, LOL!. I like this recipe because it doesn’t seem as sweet to me as some.

Lemon Meringue Pie

1/2 (15 ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts or make your own single pie crust

Lemon Meringue Pie Filling:

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 large egg yolks (save whites for meringue)
2 cups milk
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


6 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons sugar

Bake single pie crust as directed on package.

To make lemon filling: Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a heavy non-aluminum saucepan.
Whisk together egg yolks, milk and lemon juice in a bowl; whisk into sugar mixture in pan over medium heat. Bring to boil, and boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and stir in butter, lemon rind, and vanilla until smooth. Pour into pie crust. Cover with plastic wrap placed directly on filling.

Proceed directly to making meringue as it must be spread on hot pie filling.

To make meringue: Beat egg whites and vanilla at high speed with a mixer until they are foamy. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time and beat 2 to 4 minutes or until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Remove plastic wrap from pie and spread meringue evenly over warm filling, making sure to seal the edges with meringue.

Bake at 325º for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool pie completely on a wire rack.

Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Happy Cooking!

Upside-Down Blueberry Pie


This is one of my absolute favorite pies ~ I’m sure it’s the whipped cream filling that I love so much. It’s a summer pie so only use fresh blueberries. I also like it because it seems like it’s upside-down to me ~ the whipped cream in the filling and the blueberries as the topping…I always have to be different!

Fresh Blueberry Pie

1 pastry shells, baked
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup water
3 cups blueberries, fresh only
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan. Blend in water and 1 cup blueberries. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until very thick. Stir in butter and lemon juice. Cool slightly. Fold in remaining berries. Chill about 1 hour.

Beat heavy cream until thick, add powdered sugar and vanilla. Spread whipped cream over the bottom of baked pie shell. Top with blueberry filling.

Chill 1-2 hours before serving.

Serves 8

Happy Cooking!

Tyler G.’s Frozen Peanut Butter Pie


Tyler is my son’s friend who gives me some wonderful recipes ~ for which I am always grateful. This pie will make a peanut butter lover out of anyone who tries it. It’s a great choice for a hot day since it’s frozen. It’s also easy to make which is always a good thing in my book. I left it in the freezer and did not even let it thaw a little before cutting ~ it cut easily even frozen. Thanks, Tyler!

ETA ~ I forgot to add that I used light cream cheese and light Cool Whip.

Tyler G.’s Frozen Peanut Butter Pie

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup milk
1 8 ounce whipped topping (such as Cool Whip), thawed
1 chocolate graham cracker crust
1/4 cup finely chopped salted peanuts

Whip cream cheese until soft and fluffy. Beat in confectioner’s sugar and peanut butter. Slowly add milk, blending thoroughly into mixture. With a wooden spoon, fold in whipped topping and pour into graham cracker crust.

Sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Freeze until firm. Store in the freezer.

Happy Cooking!

Blackberry~Raspberry Pie

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This pie is so easy to make and since it uses frozen berries, it can be made all year long. I make it in the spring and summer before I can get fresh berries ~ just to whet my appetite for the fresh ones.

This pie is super juicy so make sure you put something in your oven under the pie plate to catch the juice or you will have a mess on your hands (don’t ask!).

Blackberry~Raspberry Pie

1 1/3 cups sugar
2 tbsps quick-cooking tapioca
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 cups frozen raspberries
2 cups frozen blackberries
2 tbsps butter
pastry for double crust pie

In a large bowl, combine sugar, tapioca, and cornstarch. Add berries and toss gently until coated. Let stand for 15-30 minutes or until fruit is partially thawed but still icy.

Transfer berry mixture to pastry-lined pie plate. Dot with butter. Place remaining pastry over filling. Trim and crimp as desired.

To prevent the over browning of the crust, cover edge of pie with foil.

Bake at 375º for 50 minutes. Remove foil from edges and bake for 20 to 25 more minutes or until pastry is golden and filling is bubbly.

Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

There will be lots of juice in this pie.

Happy Cooking!

My Nana’s Rhubarb Cream Pie

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My grandmother used to make terrific rhubarb pies and fabulous raspberry jam. I do not have the canning gene (although I try) but I make a mean pie. She had a BIG garden and grew her own rhubarb. I LOVE this pie ~ it’s sweet with a bit of sour thrown in and I love that combo. This is an old fashioned pie. I like to think that my Nana is looking down smiling at me when I make this. Someday, I might get my DH and kids to eat it, too. Make sure you cut off ALL leaves on the rhubarb stalk ~ they are not good to eat.

Nana\'s Rhubarb Pie

Nana’s Rhubarb Cream Pie

1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter
2 eggs, well-beaten
3 cups rhubarb, cut up

Blend sugar, flour, nutmeg and butter. Add eggs, beat smooth, pour over rhubarb in 9 inch pie shell (it doesn’t really pour but more like spreads). Top with strips of pastry. Bake 450º for 10 minutes then 350º for 30 minutes.

Raw Rhubarb:

Chopped Rhubarb in Crust:

“Cream” Part on Top of Chopped Rhubarb:

Unbaked Pie: