Friday, June 17, 2011

Baking Recipes From a Non-Baker - Part 1

I know I have mentioned on here before that I'm not much of a baker.  As I have previously mentioned, I make cookies at the holidays but baking is a bit too precise for me.  That being said, there are a few things that I do bake a few times a year so I thought I would share the recipes here.

The first one is my grandmother's recipe.  She made them all the time when I was growing up, mostly during the summer when it was blueberry season.  I just made some the other day with my daughters.

Grandma Crowley's Blueberry Muffins

1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of butter
3 cups of AP flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup of milk
2 eggs
2 cups of blueberries tossed with a bit of flour

Cream the butter and sugar together.  While that is working, mix the dry ingredients together.  Once the butter and sugar are creamed, add the eggs and the milk and blend well.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated.  Fold in the floured berries.  Pour the batter into greased muffin tins and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

This makes about 2 dozen muffins when the tins are filled about 2/3 of the way.

This next recipe comes from The Neeleys and I swear it is by far the best corn muffin/bread recipe I have ever used.  I love to make cornbread with chili and this fits the bill.  I just adapted the recipe from muffins to bread.  I bake mine in an 8x8 square pan and start checking it at around 20 minutes.  I'm not sure exactly how long it takes.

Honey Cornbread Muffins

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup honey
Special equipment: paper muffin cups and a 12-cup muffin tin

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Into a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the whole milk, eggs, butter, and honey. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.

Place muffin paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin. Evenly divide the cornbread mixture into the papers. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden.

Now, during the holidays, I have been known to make a pie or two and last summer I went on a search for a good blueberry pie.  This first recipe I got from my aunt who makes this pie every Thanksgiving.  When I cooked my first Thanksgiving dinner, I made it too.  I have tried to find where it originally came from but haven't been able too.  If anyone knows the origin, please let me know.

Streusel-Topped Apple Cranberry Pie


1 cup of dried, sweetened cranberries
5 cups of thinly sliced apples (My aunt noted she uses Cortland.  I usually use a combo of Granny Smith and another red baking apple...whatever is available)
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbs. flour
One 9 inch ready made or homemade pie crust


3 tbs. flour
3 tbs. sugar
2 tbs. butter, cut into small pieces

My aunt noted she usually doubles the topping ingredients and I have done the same.

Heat oven to 425.  Lay the pie crust in a 9 inch pie pan.

In a medium bowl, combine the filling ingredients and mix well.  Spoon into the crust lined pan,

In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients, cutting the butter in with a pastry cutter ot a fork (I use my fingers).  Continue cutting in until the topping is crumbly.  Sprinkle the topping evenly over the filling.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until pie is bubbly and apples are tender. If necessary, you can cover the crust with foil after 15-20 minutes of baking to prevent excessive browning.  Serve warm or cool.

My aunt noted that she bakes the pie at 350-375 for about 50 minutes because it would burn at 425 in her oven.  I have done the same because I can usually combine the pie with another dish at those lower temperatures.

I found the next pie online during my blueberry pie search.  I'm typing it as I make it but you can follow the link in the title for other options.

World's Best Blueberry Pie

3 to 4 cups of blueberries, fresh or frozen (without syrup)
7 tbs. corn starch
3 tbs. water
2 tbs. lemon juice
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. allspice
One 9 inch pie crust

Crumb Topping

1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup butter or margarine

Combine the sugar, corn starch, cinnamon and allspice in a bowland mix well.  Add the lemon juice and water and stir to combine.

Add the blueberries to the pie crust.  Pour the above mixture evenly over the top of the blueberries.

For the crumb topping, mix the sugar, flour and butter together until crumbly then sprinkle evenly over the tope of the pie.

Bake the pie at 375 for one hour or until crust is golden and the pie is bubbling.

This next pie recipe I got from a friend but eventually found it online.  It calls for pecans on top but I use a crumb topping.

Easy Caramel Apple Pie

10 caramel candies
1/3 c. flour
3 c. Jonathan or Rome apples, chopped
2/3 c. caramel ice cream topping
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 c. pecan pieces
One 9 inch pie crust

Combine the 10 caramel candies, each cut into 4 pieces, and flour, apples, caramel topping, and the lemon juice; mix well. Pour mixture into frozen pie crust and sprinkle with the pecan pieces. Bake at 375 degrees on a preheated baking sheet for 40 to 45 minutes. Do not refrigerate.
This is the crumb topping I use:
Crumb Topping
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, combine the ingredients until the resemble crumbs.
Last but not least is the EASIEST single pie crust you will ever make.  My Neighbor gave me the recipe and I found the following one online that was VERY close.

No Roll Pie Crust

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons milk (my recipe called for 3 tbs. so that's what I use)

In a 9 inch pie plate, sift flour, sugar and salt. make a well in the center and pour in oil and milk. Mix with a fork, then press into the bottom and sides of pie plate.

To bake: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C.) Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. (My recipe says to bake for 15-17 minutes at 375).

The baking instructions are ONLY if you are making a pie with ingredients that do not need to be cooked.  If your making any of the pies above, just follow those baking instructions.

Well, that's it for now.  I have a couple more family recipes I'll share soon.  Happy Baking!