Fresh Blueberry Pie

fresh blueberry pie A visit from my college roomie of years ago last weekend was a treat – especially when she pulled out a box full of 20 pounds of fresh Michigan blueberries!!

This Iowa farm girl had never seen that many blueberries in one place at one time before.

I almost hyperventilated!

We feasted on blueberries all week – fresh blueberry muffins, blueberries in our cereal and my favorite- blueberries over ice cream!

For a special treat, Dagmar discovered a recipe for Fresh Blueberry Pie in my recipe file that I had cut from a magazine years ago.

We enjoyed it for Sunday lunch – I’m so glad I kept it all these years! It was just sweet enough and the blueberry flavor really came through.

My pie ended up a little juicier than I wanted, but it tasted wonderful!

Fresh Blueberry Pie

3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold water
5 cups fresh blueberries (divided)
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 – 9 inch pastry shell (baked)

Combine sugar, cornstarch, salt and water in a saucepan over medium heat.  When the mixture is smooth, add 3 cups of blueberries. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thick and bubbly.

Remove from the heat and add the butter, lemon juice and remaining berries. Stir until the butter is melted.

Cool and pour into the pastry crust.

Refrigerate until serving.

Wonderful with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Chocolate Pie

Chocolate Pie At the latest Farmer’s Market there was a new vendor – a 14 year old girl who was selling pie by the slice.

When I heard she had chocolate pie – I immediately found some money and sent Dagmar over to buy one.

Then I started to worry – what if I just spent that money for a store bought crust and Jello- pudding filling?

No worries.

That pie was fabulous! The crust was light and flaky and definitely  homemade!

But the filling was the star of the show – it was rich, creamy and delicious.

Of course I asked the young lady for the recipe. She just smiled sweetly and said she was so glad we liked it.

But she didn’t share the recipe.

I was bummed.

The memory of that pie still lingers in my mind.  It was fabulous. Unbelievable. Delectable.

I had to find a recipe to match it. I scoured my recipe files and cookbooks and made a pile of all my chocolate pie recipes.

I intend to try them – one at a time – until I find the perfect one.

I began over the weekend.

Obviously – by the picture – the first recipe didn’t work so well. The filling never did set up and seeped right through a crack in the crust leaving a mess on the bottom of the pie.

But it did taste great!

Chocolate Pie #1

1 -9 inch baked pie shell
2 cups of chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate – but I think I would prefer semisweet)
1/3 cup of powdered sugar
1 cup of milk
1/4 cup of butter
1 tsp almond flavoring
1/2 cup almonds

Place chocolate chips and powdered sugar in your blender, process until it is coarsely chopped.

In a saucepan, place the milk and butter. Bring to a boil. Pour into the blender and process until smooth and creamy. Add almond flavoring.

Pour it into a pie shell and refrigerate. Serve with cool whip and almonds.

In a perfect world it would set up beautifully – in my world it remained a runny mess.

But it did taste good!

And so the search continues….

Rhubarb Pie

Rhubarb Pie

Is there anything that says spring quite like rhubarb pie?!

The tangy tart stalks in a warm custard base between two flaky crusts is a treat after a long winter of canned or frozen produce.

I always use Mom’s recipe, a recipe she got from a good friend years ago.

Mom’s Rhubarb Pie

crust for a 2 crust pie
3 cups rhubarb, washed and chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons flour
2 eggs.

Wash and chop the rhubarb into bite size pieces, set aside.

In a bowl mix the sugars, flour, and eggs. Add the rhubarb and stir to coat.

Put the bottom crust into a 9 inch pie pan and fill with rhubarb. Cover with the top crust, trim and crimp the edges the together. Cut a design in the top crust for ventilation.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for 20-25 minutes until the rhubarb is soft and the crust is lightly browned.

It’s delicious warm or cold, although my favorite is to eat it warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream melting over the top!

Oatmeal Pecan Pie

As we all anxiously await spring, Nana comes through with a yummy treat to brighten these last dreary days of winter…

Oatmeal Pecan Pie Pecan Pie is one of my favorites!

I’ve found that adding rolled oats adds heartiness to the filling without sacrificing taste.

It also makes me “feel” better about eating the calories!!!!

Oatmeal Pecan Pie

From Nana Shirley’s Kitchen

Pie Crust for bottom of 9-inch pie pan

Combine following ingredients:

1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Corn Syrup
2/3 Cup Regular Rolled Oats
1 Cup Chopped Pecans
2 Tbs. Butter, melted
1 tsp. Vanilla
¼ tsp. salt
3 Eggs, lightly beaten

Stir well.

Pour into prepared crust. You may use some whole pecans on top for decoration.

Bake at 325° for 50 minutes or until center is set.

Cool completely.

Yield: 12 servings


Nana Shirley

Black Forest Pie

My mom, the original chocolate lady, shares this yummy recipe with us-

Black Forest PieSeveral years ago Papa Jim had shoulder surgery. He spent a lot of days at home alone recovering while I was working.

One afternoon when I got home he had supper started as usual and also had baked this pie.

He found the recipe in a magazine, drove the 6 miles to town to get a ready-made pie crust at the local grocery store and made the pie! I was impressed!

He felt as though he had finally been able to accomplish something after being an “invalid” for so many weeks!

Now we keep ready-made pie crusts (he does not want to try to do that from scratch, yet) in the freezer for this pie and other new recipes he finds!

Black Forest Pie
Papa Jim’s Favorite

¾ cup sugar
1/3 cup baking cocoa
2 Tablespoons flour
1/3 cup milk
¼ cup butter or margarine
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 can (21 Oz) cherry pie filling, divided
1 unbaked pastry shell (9 inches)
Whipped topping, optional

In a saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa, flour and milk until smooth. Add butter. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of hot mixture into eggs. Return all to the pan.

Fold in half of the pie filling. Pour into pastry shell. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until filling is almost set. Cool completely on a wire rack. Just before serving, top with remaining pie filling and whipped topping if desired.

Yield: 6-8 servings. Freezes well.

Until next time,
Nana Shirley

Papa’s Favorite Apple Pie

My Mom benefited from our bumper apple harvest and used some to bake up my Dad’s favorite pie. I think you’ll enjoy it, too! Here’s Nana…

Papa's Favorite Apple Pie

I found this recipe in a magazine years ago. Don’t remember which one! Papa Jim’s favorite pie is apple and after he tasted this one it became his very favorite apple pie! It has a creamy filling around the apples.

It freezes well, too. I cut it into individual pieces before freezing. This makes it easy to serve a “fresh” piece of pie for our meal or for company.

Papa Jim’s Favorite Apple Pie
(From Nana’s Kitchen!)
Yield: 1-10 inch pie

1-3/4 Cups All-purpose flour
¼ Cup Granulated Sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon
½ tsp. Salt
2/3 Cup Butter or Margarine, Cold
¼ Cup Cold Water

Combine the flour, cinnamon & salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until the mixture is coarse. Sprinkle in water and gather it into a ball. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12 inch round and turn it into a 10 inch pie plate. Turn under overhang and flute the edge to make it stand up. Refrigerate until crust is ready to fill.

1 Large Egg
¾ Cups Sour Cream
¾ Cups Low Fat Plain Yogurt
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
¼ Cup all-Purpose Flour
2 tsp. Vanilla
½ tsp. Salt
4 to 5 Cups Peeled and Sliced Raw Apples

Beat the egg slightly in a large bowl. Stir in the sour cream, yogurt, sugar, flour, vanilla & salt until the mixture is smooth. Add the sliced apples, stirring gently to coat. Spoon mixture into pie shell. Set the pie on a cookie sheet. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes.

Lower the heat to 350° and bake for 40 more minutes checking to see if the apples are tender and the filling is set.

Prepare the topping while the pie bakes.

¼ Cup Butter
½ Cup All-purpose Flour
1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
¼ tsp. salt
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts

Blend the ingredients and sprinkle evenly over the pie. Continue to bake at 350° for 15 more minutes or until lightly browned. Cool pie on a wire rack.

Be sure to refrigerate after it is cooled.

Options: You can substitute all sour cream instead of the yogurt or ½ cream cheese & ½ sour cream or ½ yogurt and ½ cream cheese. I have even put cottage cheese in the blender and used it when I did not have sour cream or yogurt on hand. You can use all brown sugar in the filling and the topping if you prefer (it works! We were out of granulated sugar and substituted.) You should use white sugar in the crust.

Until next time,


Mint Brownie Pie

I was thrilled to hear that my good friend and college roommate was planning a stop at my house in route to pick up her daughter!

I haven’t seen Kimmie in 6 years! This called for an amazing chocolate dessert!

Dagmar and I scoured our cookbook collection to discover the perfect “I haven’t seen you in so long- I’m so glad you are here” dessert. (Chocolate of course.)

The winner and huge hit at our meal was this rich chocolate brownie with a creamy mint topping.

Mint Brownie Pie
from Taste Of Home Annual Recipes- 2000

Melt together in a saucepan 6 tablespoons of butter and 2 squares (1 oz. each) unsweetened chocolate.

Stir in 1 cup of sugar until well blended.

Add 2 eggs and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Mix well.

Stir in 1/2 cup flour until well blended.

Pour into a greased 9 inch springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Cool on wire rack.


In a mixing bowl, beat 8 oz. of cream cheese and 3/4 cup of sugar until smooth.

Add 1/2 teaspoon of mint extract and green food coloring (optional).

Fold in 1 carton (8 ounces) of Cool Whip.

Spread evenly over brownie layer, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Remove sides from pan just before serving.

Melt 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and drizzle over the top. Garnish with more Cool Whip and chocolate chips.

Dagmar used her cake decorating kit to make the top extra special. She piped melted chocolate chips into stars and refrigerated them until they were hard.

It was a very special dessert, perfect for our very special company!

One Fresh Peach Pie- Our Entire Peach Crop

Our entire peach crop fit in one fresh peach pie.

We were thankful to get any peaches since four of our peach trees had peach leaf curl this spring.

(Peach Leaf Curl is a fungal disease where the leaves pucker up, thicken, curl and turn red. They eventually turn yellow and drop from the tree. These trees had no peaches. )

One lone tree remained untouched and produced a few, small peaches.

It might not have been a great peach crop, but it sure was a great peach pie!

Fresh Peach Pie

Mix in a saucepan: 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch and 1 tablespoon white corn syrup.

Cook until thickened. Add 1/8 cup of peach jello and set aside to cool.

Beat 4 oz. of cream cheese with 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. Slowly fold in 6 oz. of Cool Whip.

Pour into a baked 10 inch pastry crust or graham cracker crust. Set aside.

Add the cooled peach glaze to 2 cups of peeled and sliced fresh peaches. Mix carefully. Spread over the cream cheese layer.

Refrigerate for at least an hour until set.

Chocolate Truffle Pie

An intense chocolate craving sent me to the recipe file this week. I was hungry for something smooth, rich and full of chocolate.

I discovered this pie recipe that I had copied some time ago and never made. Since it didn’t need to be baked or even cooked, I knew I had a winner!

Chocolate Truffle Pie

Melt in microwave: 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1/2 cup cream.

Cool to room temperature and add 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1 Tbsp. vanilla.

Beat 1 cup of whipping cream until soft peaks form. Slowly fold in the cooled chocolate mixture.

Spoon into a chocolate cookie crust ( Mix 1 1/2 cup of Oreo cookie crumbs with 1/4 cup of melted butter. Press into bottom and sides of pie pan.) Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Garnish with whipped cream.

I took a short cut and used Cool Whip for the whipped cream and it worked great!

It was just what I was craving, smooth, cool, creamy, rich and of course, full of chocolate! Yum!

Chocolate Town Pie and Family Fun

We had an impromptu family get-together on Sunday. You know the kind, where everybody brings what they have then you set it out and enjoy. It had been awhile since we were all together (November, actually), so there was a lot of catching up to be done, lots of stories to tell and laughter to share.

Of course, this was all done around the tables full of food!

One of my sisters is quite a baker. In the summer months she and her daughter sell baked goods and garden produce at two different farmer’s markets. It is amazing to see their kitchen on baking days! Flats of cookies, rows of pies, and many loaves of bread all line up waiting to be loaded and sold. Glorious smells just float out of the house.

This Sunday she brought a new recipe called Chocolate Town Pie. It reminded me of the the more traditional Toll House Pie, but not as heavy or greasy. This was rich, but light and really delicious!

Chocolate Town Pie

In small bowl cream 1/2 c. soft oleo

Add 2 eggs and 2 t. vanilla. Mix well.

Add 1 c. sugar and 1/2 c. flour. Mix well.

Stir in 1 c. chocolate chips and 1 c. chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Pour in 9 ” unbaked pie shell. Bake 45 – 50 min. at 350. Cool one hour, serve warm.

This is the perfect pie to eat with a big scoop of ice cream or even cool whip. I wish I had a picture to share with you, but it was so good that the pie was gone before I could snap one!