If you are familiar with dump cake, you’ll see the genius of this recipe immediately. My mom used to make dump cake when I was a kid. I’ll have to post that “recipe” sometime soon. It’s essentially canned fruit, topped with dry cake mix and smothered with butter. Not really a cake in the traditional sense, but delicious. I saw this pumpkin version and knew it would be ah-mazing. And it was. This is two delightful desserts combined into one. Pumpkin pie on the bottom and pecan pie on top. Custardy spiced goodness covered with crunchy buttery caramelized nut topping. I’m telling you, it’s far too easy for how gorgeous it turns out.
I started thinking about blueberries after my 6th friend posted on Facebook that they were blueberry picking. No joke. Who knew that all the cool kids go blueberry picking in August? Actually, come to think of it, a few weeks ago when my sister watched my munchkins, she took them out to harvest some blueberries from a local farm. I totally should have though of doing that! Man! When did I become such an un-fun mom? Gotta work on that! It seems to me that with all this berry picking going on, folks might appreciate a recipe (or seven) to use up some of that abundant fruit. So here’s the great big Bakerlady’s Best of Blueberries post!
Are you a crust or filling person? Pie eaters (I’ve found) fall into one of these two distinct categories. Those who tolerate the crust as a means for getting gorgeous amazing delicious filling into their mouths. And those who believe a flaky light crust absolutely is the best thing about pie. That the filling is plays second fiddle and is really only there because you can’t just eat pie crust on its own.
The fact that you need something else to go with crust is one of the reasons I am a filling girl. You can totally gobble fruity (or custardy) filling with a spoon. It needs no other accoutrement to make it delicious. My husband is all about the crust.
Personally I’ll take a crumble or a cobbler any day over pie. More filling, less crust. Thankfully this blueberries and cream pie gives us both a little something we love. And that makes everyone happy.
On the bottom, a flaky buttery crust.
Filled with blueberries. You know what’s awesome about blueberries? No chopping, cutting seeds out, coring, or peeling. Give em’ a rinse and in they go. Perfect.
Topped with an amazing creamy custard.
The custard is just divine.
Finished with a crumb streusel.
Seriously delicious food here people. All those bright fresh berries swimming in sweet rich custard? Yeah. The crust is bomb too. But the filling…ooooooh the filling. It’s the perfect blend of a cream pie and a succulent fruity cobbler. Glorious summer goodness.
As a side note. When I served this up for dessert I discovered the mystery of genetics explained on my children’s plates. Madison ate her crust first and after a few bites of the filling declared she was full. Donovan devoured the fruity custard and left his crust untouched. When he proclaimed he was stuffed Madison lept at the opportunity to eat his abandoned crust. Go figure.
Blueberries and Cream Pie
adapted from Gingerbread Bagels
Pie Crust (from America’s Test Kitchen)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into 1/4-inch
pieces and chilled
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
4-6 tablespoons ice water
1 large egg mixed with 1 Tablespoon water (for egg wash)
3 cups blueberries
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg (about 1/16th teaspoon)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup plus 2 1/2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
Process flour, sugar, and salt in food processor until combined. Add chilled shortening and pulse until coarsely ground. Add chilled butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Transfer to large bowl.
Sprinkle 4 tablespoons water over flour mixture. Using rubber spatula, stir mixture until dough forms. If dough remains crumbly, add remaining 1 tablespoon water. Form dough into 4-inch disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days. (Dough can be frozen, wrapped tightly in plastic and aluminum foil, for up to 2 months. Thaw completely at room temperature before using.)
Let chilled dough soften slightly at room temperature, about 10 minutes. Working on lightly floured work surface, roll dough into 12-inch circle. Transfer dough to pie plate. Trim, fold, and crimp edges. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
While crust is firming up, work on the filling. In a bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix together the sugar and flour. Add in the sour cream, eggs and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Take the pie out of the freezer and put the blueberries on the bottom of the crust. Pour the filling over the blueberries and spread it out.
Now make the crumb topping. Mix together the sugar, brown sugar, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg. Pour the melted unsalted butter into the bowl and mix everything together. Add in the flour and mix until the ingredients form a crumble topping. Crumble the crumb topping over the pie.
Mix together 1 large egg and a Tablespoon of water and brush over the edge of the crust.
Bake the pie at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes. Let the pie cool before cutting into slices. Then enjoy!
Sometimes I feel like my house is swimming in bananas. They are always around for my kids and every year I forget how quickly they get ripe for baking (aka dark brown freckly) once the weather turns a smidge warmer. I had some to use up this week and decided to mash-up a couple in these delightful cupcakes.
These cupcakes have all the flavor of a good banana bread with a light airy texture. The vanilla mousse “frosting” is perfect on these, totally reminiscent of banana cream pie. It is rich and delicious. A perfect topper. It is very versatile as well. You could swap out any flavor of instant pudding and use it for fillings in cakes. It’s amazing.
I ziploc baggie frosted these. It was early – I didn’t feel like busting out the pastry bag and frosting tip. Then topped mine with a little dried banana chip. Aren’t they cute?
Banana Cream Cupcakes
adapted from Taste of Home
1/2 cup shortening
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
Vanilla Mousse Frosting
2 cups of heavy whipping cream
1 large package of jello instant vanilla pudding
1. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in
bananas and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder
and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk,
beating well after each addition.
3. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 375° for
18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes
out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
For mousse frosting: Combine ingredients and mix well until fluffy and light. Thin with a little milk if necessary.
Or as I’ve decided to call it: Fancy Pants Mac n’ Cheese. I love everything about this dinner. First of all, anything that I get to eat as a main dish with “pie” in the title is awesome in my book. I’ve always heard how great cheese is on top of apple pie (but never been daring enough to try it myself). This cheesy pasta has apple chunks mixed in so it works off that same pairing. And it is incredible. Finally, I like using all my kitchen pans. I hate to think any of them are lonely in the cupboards. My springform pan is generally relegated to cheesecakes, but got to participate in dinner tonight. Chalk one up for the little-used pan!
The tart apples balance out the rich creamy goodness of two kinds of cheese in this dish. I used an extra sharp cheddar to make sure there was enough bite to go along with the lush cream cheese. Yummy!!
Just look at that. Mmmm. Gorgeous. The crunch of the panko around the edges is just perfect.
Yum. Yummy. Enjoy!
Apple Cheddar Penne Pie
from BHG “Make and Take” cookbook
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
3 teaspoons snipped fresh thyme
12 ounces dried penne pasta (3 1/2 cups)
2 cups chopped, peeled tart cooking apples (3 medium)
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion, such as Walla Walla
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup apple cider
6 ounces cream cheese, softened and cut up
1 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese (6 ounces)
Fresh thyme sprigs (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease a 10-inch springform pan with 1 tablespoon of the softened butter. Sprinkle sides of pan with 1/3 cup of the panko to coat; set aside. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon softened butter. Stir the remaining 1/3 cup panko and 1 teaspoon of the thyme into melted butter; set aside.
2. Cook pasta 2 minutes less than directed by package directions; drain. Return pasta to pan; set aside.
3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan cook apples and onion in the 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat for 5-8 minutes or until tender. Add flour, salt, and pepper to saucepan. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in milk and apple cider. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat to low. Add cheeses and the remaining 2 teaspoons of thyme; stir until cheese melts.
4. Add sauce mixture to pasta; stir to combine. Spoon pasta mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle with reserved panko mixture.
5. Bake, uncovered about 40 minutes or until edges are bubbly. Let stand on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove sides of pan. Using a serated knife, cut pie into eight wedges. If desired, top with fresh thyme sprigs. Makes 8 servings.
Some of my fondest childhood memories involve rhubarb. Actually, they revolve around my grandfather (who I called “Poppa”), his cabin, and the rhubarb that grows by the laughing creek that runs the length of his property. My cousins and I established lifelong friendships in the field at the cabin. I learned to play volleyball and horseshoes there. I rode my first snowmobile, horse and tractor in the stubby grass around the property. Long afternoons were spent laughing and splashing in the icy waters of the creek, building a dam to create a swimming hole and playing Pooh sticks off the bridge. Occasionally, we’d hike up the hill to watch the sunrise over the snowy peaks of the cascades. The first rays of daylight streaking across the valley in the morning stillness was idyllic in every sense of the word.
I spent so much time at Poppa’s cabin as a child that I sincerely believed I was a resident of his small community in Leavenworth. When a neighbor girl called me a “tourist”, my indignant 10-year-old retort was “I am NOT!”. I know, not the greatest comeback ever. I’m pretty sure at the time I didn’t even really understand what a tourist was. Just that surely I wasn’t one.
Every visit to the cabin in the summer ended with my mom gathering rhubarb to take home and turn into this amazing dessert. It was never long before we’d head back over the mountains bringing some of this crisp for Poppa. It was his favorite. I’ll never be able to eat rhubarb crisp without thinking of his powerful presence and the beautiful haven of childhood he created at his cabin. Sometimes meals are more than just food. Sometimes, meals are a memory.
Poppa’s Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
from My Momma’s Kitchen
- 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons rolled oats
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3/4 pound rhubarb, sliced 1/2 inch thick on sharp diagonal (3 1/2 to 4 cups)
- 2 1-pint baskets strawberries, hulled, halved
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Heat oven temperature to 375°F. Combine 2/3 cup oats, flour, sugar, and cinnamon in processor. Add butter and cut in until crumbly. Transfer mixture to medium bowl. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons oats.
Mix rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and nutmeg in heavy large saucepan. Let stand 30 minutes. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer until juices thicken, about 3 minutes.
Pour filling into deep dish pie pan. Cover with topping. Bake 20 minutes. Bake until topping is golden and juices bubble, about 35 minutes. Cool on rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
The technically correct term for this recipe is “Pumpkin Flan”. I’m pretty sure you need a crust to call something a pie. But I think the word flan is a little gross sounding, and I adore everything about pumpkin pie except the crust, so I’m doing this recipe on my own terms. Crustless Pumpkin Pie it is. Am I the only one who says “So let it be written, so let it be DONE!” in my head every time I make a unilateral decision to change something? My husband completely disagrees with me on this – he says the crust is the best part of any pie. Since I’m the baker in the family, I get to make these babies the way I like them! Hooray for me! These little individual pies are perfect for an after dinner treat. They are light and perfectly pumpkin pie-y. With no guilt at all! Added bonus, they take about 5 minutes to throw together and pop in the oven.
Are you ready for a truly horrifying confession? Here it comes. Brace yourself. I have never eaten a pop tart. Never. <GASP!> Oh the humanity!! Now I suppose people of a certain age who all had mothers vacuuming in pearls and cooking 6 hour roasts for dinner every week will not find this shocking. But I was born in the 80′s. I grew up during the boom of ease, convenience and microwave meals. I played my Commodore 64 wearing the only Esprit sweatshirt I owned and thought I was the height of technology and fashion. Pop tarts are pretty much considered an essential breakfast food for my generation. Continue reading