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Summertime Strawberry Pie

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Nothing signals the start of summer like British strawberry season.  Perfectly ripe and juicy berries line the store shelves, and seasonal strawberry desserts replace the heavier cakes and crumbles that have featured on dessert menus throughout the winter months.

Strawberries are my absolute favourite summer berry, with raspberries following a close second. When I was pregnant I would eat entire meals consisting only of strawberries. I couldn’t get enough of them, and now my kid can’t either. Leave him alone with a punnet of strawberries and they’ll be gone in a matter of minutes.

Fresh strawberries

We’ve been growing strawberries in our garden this year, and they’re fantastically delicious.  Unfortunately they only ripen 3 at a time which is hardly enough to put on a bowl of corn flakes, let alone make up the bulk of a shareable dessert. Luckily I was able to supplement my own crop by making a trip out to Garsons Farm – a local produce farm where we could pick our own strawberries. Even though the shops are filled with strawberries at the moment, picking your own is so much better. Not only can you choose the ripest, reddest, juiciest strawberries, but it’ll occupy a 3 year old for over an hour! What more could I ask for?

Strawberry Pie

We left the farm with a huge basket filled to the brim of strawberries that were just screaming to be made into a pie.  Strawberry pie used to be my favourite when I was a kid. Chilled fresh strawberries in a sweet jelly topped with sweetened whipped cream. It’s so refreshing on a summery day.

I hadn’t had a strawberry pie in years, so I couldn’t wait to get home and make one with my pickings. This pie is super duper easy to make. In fact, the hardest part about it is waiting for the pie to set in the fridge overnight.

Strawberry Pie

Strawberry Pie Recipe

This recipe is my mom’s from Canada, so uses powdered Strawberry Jello brand jelly for the base.  We don’t have powdered Jello in the UK, but we do have Hartley’s Jelly cubes which I find don’t gel as firmly as the Jello brand.  So if you’re in the UK, I’d  recommend increasing the jelly cubes to 1.5 packages.

Strawberry Pie

Strawberry Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup (225g) Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 Quart Strawberries
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Pkg Strawberry Jello,or 1 1/2 Pkg Hartley's Strawberry Jelly
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Baked 9” pie crust, homemade or store-bought

Instructions

  1. Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan.
  2. Mash 1 cup of the berries; add enough water to make 2 cups and stir into the cornstarch and sugar mixture.
  3. Cook and stir until boiling. Boil 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and add butter, Jello powder (or cubes) and lemon juice. Stir until the Jello powder dissolves. Chill until partially set.
  5. Spoon 1/3 of the jello mixture into pie shell. Top with the remaining berries, and spoon the remaining jello mixture over the berries.
  6. Chill until set. Serve with fresh sweetened whipped cream.
http://www.madewithpink.com/2015/06/strawberry-pie-recipe/

Strawberry Pie

If you find yourself with an abundance of strawberries this summer, here are a few more recipes ideas to help you use them up.

Strawberry Pie recipes

Strawberry & Coconut Milkshake
Pimm’s Salad
Chocolate Pomegranate Cake with Lemon Curd and Strawberries
Strawberry mascarpone tarts
Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Sandwich
Strawberry Granola Frozen Yoghurt Bites
Strawberry Tiramisu

I’m submitting my strawberry pie to a couple of foodie blogger linkups this month as well.

Simple and in season

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Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Crackle Cake (or Pie?)


Do you like cake?  Do you like pie?  I like both, and if you do too then you’ll like this cake (or pie – or whatever you want to call it).  I’ve had the idea for this cake (I’m calling it a cake) for a few months now, but only just got around to making it last week.  It turned out slightly different than I had imagined it would, and in the end the line between cake and pie was slightly blurred.  It’s tall like a cake, but has a crust like a pie, and is super ooey gooey inside!


I’ve been on a bit of a caramel apple kick lately which is kinda weird because I usually only think about caramel apple combinations in the fall, and it’s practically Easter! 

I whipped up my latest creation imagining the end result as something slightly different than what it actually turned out to be like, but needless to say I was pretty pleased with the results.  

My cake has a solid crunchy cookie type crust on the bottom and has a layer of cinnamon apples and then a creamy gooey dulce de leche caramel filling. Yum!  But beware!  This cake is sweet.  It’s super duper sweet, so don’t cut your slices too big. 


Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Crackle Cake


Cookie Crust

2 Cups (250g) Flour 
1 1/2 (335g) Cups Sugar 
2 tsp Baking Powder 
1 tsp cinnamon 
1/4 tsp salt 
1 egg 
1/2 Cup (114g) Butter, melted 
2 Tbs Milk  

1.  Grease a 9 inch round Spring Form pan.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.  Next, add in the egg, melted butter, and milk. Using a spoon or an electric fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the ingredients together until it forms a dough.  

2.  Press the dough evenly in the bottom of the Spring Form pan, and set aside.  



Apple Layer 

4 Cups Apples, sliced
1 Cup (225g) sugar 
7oz (200ml) Water 
3 – 4 Tbsp Corn Startch 
1 tsp Cinnamon 
1/4 tsp Nutmeg 
1/4 tsp Salt  

1.  Combine the water sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a large heavy pot, and and bring to a boil.  Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly – the sauce should become slightly thickened.  Add in the apples, cover and simmer until apples are tender, about 5 minutes. Cool and set aside.   



Dulce de Leche Caramel Layer 

8 oz (225g) Cream Cheese, softened 
1 cup (250ml) Dulce de Leche 
3 Eggs 
1/2 Cup (114g) Butter, melted 
3.5 Cups (450g) Icing Sugar  

1.  Preheat oven to 350ºF (175ºC).  In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and Dulce de Leche together until smooth.  Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter and beat together.   

2.  To assemble the cake, layer the apples on top of the cookie base so that it’s completely covered.  

3.  Gently spoon the dulce de leche mixture over the top of the apples until you’ve used all of the mixture.  *If you pour the mixture directly from the bowl onto the apples the pressure of the mixture may shift your apples all over the place so they’re no longer evenly covering the crust.  Bake the cake uncovered for about 45 mins, or until it starts to brown, then cover with foil and bake for an additional 30 – 45 minutes or until the center is slightly giggly, but not runny.  Once done, cool in the fridge overnight before serving.


So what do you think? Is this a cake?  Or a pie?

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies – They’re Not Just For Valentines Day!

So, the last few weeks have been pretty crazy for me, which once again has resulted in a lack of posts.  Eeek!  Even though I can’t post, it doesn’t mean I’ve stopped baking!  And once again our computer stopped working.  The hard drive basically died, which meant I was without a computer for an entire week – all my baking pictures were on it, so there wasn’t much I could do.  Luckily we’ve got it repaired which will tied me over until get my brand new Mac Book Pro in a week or so!!!   

 So, as you can probably tell by some of the sprinkles I used, I had intended for these Red Velvet Whoopie Pies to be up in time for Valentines Day – which obviously didn’t happen.  Now, I do know that Red Velvet Whoopie Pies were extremely popular this Valentines day, so perhaps a lot of you got a bit sick of seeing one Red Velvet Whoopie Pie after another.  Hopefully you’ve all had a break from them, and won’t moan and groan when you see these! 

I’d wanted to make Red Velvet Whoopie Pies for ages, and since Red Velvet cupcakes are my husbands absolute favourite, I thought it would be quite fitting I make him these for Valentines Day.  This recipe made about 18 whoopie pies, and we froze some since we couldn’t eat them all at once.  It’s now 2 weeks later, and my husband is still sneaking these from the freezer and they taste exactly the same as the day I made them. 

The original recipe (from Better Homes and Gardens) called for a basic cream cheese frosting filling, but I wanted to try my hand at doing a traditional marshmallow fluff filling with a cream cheese twist.  These whoopie pies looked beautiful with their bright and vibrant red colour.  Normally in the UK I think their red colour may have scared off a lot of people – especially parents, as food colourings are commonly frowned upon here.  It’s very hard to find any kind of vibrantly coloured decorating sprinkles or sugars here, as most of them are made with natural colourings and as a result their colours are very muted and bland.  Because of this I end up buying most of my sprinkles in North America whenever I get the chance to go back.  Even the smarties here (FYI: they don’t have chocolate smarties in the US, but they’re very similar to M&M’s) are now made with natural colourings, and as a result not only are they far less vibrant than the Canadian smarties, but the UK ones also taste different!  The yellow smarties taste a like lemon, and the orange ones of orange.  I really don’t like them because they all taste a bit fruity due to their natural colourings. Basically, I’m a fan of the saying “everything in moderation”.  One or two of these bright red whoopie pies isn’t going to kill you, and I don’t think they’ll make your kids go crazy either, but if you’re not a fan of the added food colouring, then feel free to leave it out.  The whoopie pies will taste exactly the same – bright red or not. 

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

2 Cups (250g) Flour (plain/all purpose)
2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup (114g) Butter, softened
1 Cup (200g) Packed Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 Cup (125ml) Buttermilk
2 1/2 Tbsp Liquid Red Food Coloring  

1. Preheat oven to 375°F (175°C). Lightly grease 2 baking sheets, or line with parchment paper and set aside. In medium bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. 
2. In large mixing bowl beat the butter on high speed for 30 seconds. Add in brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Combine the food colouring and buttermilk  together in a measuring cup.  Alternating between the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture, add in each to the brown sugar and egg mixture, making sure to beat after each addition until just combined.  
3. Pour your batter into a piping bag and pipe your whoopie pies onto your cookie sheets.  You can also spoon the batter in 1- or 2-inch rounds, about 1/2-inch high on prepared baking sheets, allowing 1.5 inches between each round. 
4. Bake 7 to 9 minutes for 1-inch cookies or 9 to 11 minutes for 2-inch cookies, or until tops are set. Cool completely before filling. 

Fluffy Marshmallow Cream Cheese Filling

1/4 Cup Vegetable Shortening, such as Crisco or Trex
1/4 Cup Cream Cheese
2 1/2 Cups (315g) Icing Sugar
1/2 Cup Marshmallow Fluff
1/2 tsp Vanilla 

1. Beat the vegetable shortening on high speed for 30 seconds. Add in marshmallow fluff and vanilla, and beat for another 30 seconds until combined with the shortening. 
2. Gradually beat in the icing sugar until it’s all incorporated into the marshmallow fluff mixture.  
3. Fill your whoopie pies using a piping bag or spoon, and sandwich a dollop of filling between 2 whoopie pies.   

* After filling all of my whoopie pies, I found the marshmallow filling to be a tad on the soft side.  I’d suggest you have some extra icing sugar on hand in case you’d like to add in a bit extra in order to make your filling a little more stiff. 

I chose to sprinkle the edges of my whoopie pies with sprinkles.  You can choose whatever type of sprinkles and sanding sugars you like.  Simply hold your whoopie pies over a plastic container (the sprinkles will bounce off of glass!) and shake your sprinkles onto the filling so they stick.  Any unused sprinkles will fall into your container for you to save and use again.

Whoopie! It’s a Giveaway!

You may recall that I made my very first whoopie pie a few weeks ago when I tested a recipe for a new cook book that has yet to be released.  I was really impressed with how easy whoopie pies were to make, and wondered why the heck it took me so long to try them!   
Last week I made pumpkin pie, and I’ve been on a bit of a pumpkin kick ever since.  One of my favourite things to make with pumpkin are my pumpkin spice cupcakes, but this time I decided to forgo my “old faithfuls” in exchange for something new. Pumpkin Whoopie Pies!  I’ve wanted to make these pumpkin whoopie pies for ages – long before I offered to test the chocolate and vanilla ones, but I just never got around to it.   
These whoopies are really delicious.  They’re a bit like carrot cake, but without all those little carroty bits.  Sandwich some cinnamon cream cheese filling in between them, and you’ve got a match made in heaven. 
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

1½ cups (190g) flour 
½ tsp salt 
½ tsp baking powder 
½ tsp baking soda 
½ tsp vanilla extract 
2 ½ tsp ground cinnamon 
½ tsp ground ginger 
½ tsp ground cloves 
1 cup (220g) packed brown sugar 
½ cup (125ml) vegetable oil 
¾ cup (165g) pumpkin puree 
1 egg 
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Filling 
½ cup (113g) Cream Cheese  
½ cup (113g) Butter, room temperature 
1½ cups Icing Sugar 
2 tsp vanilla 
1 tsp cinnamon  
Maple syrup or flavouring** (optional) 
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (175ºC), and lightly grease 2 baking sheets, or line with parchment paper. 
2. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the oil, vanilla and brown sugar together. Mix in the pumpkin and eggs, and beat until well combined. Add in the flour mixture, and mix until combined.   
3. To form your whoopie pies, drop two teaspoons of batter onto the prepared baking sheets.  Alternatively, you can pour your batter into a piping bag, and pipe 1½ inch circles onto your baking sheets Bake for 10 minutes. Cool. 
4. For the cream cheese filling, beat the butter and cream cheese together until well blended.  Add in the icing sugar, cinnamon and vanilla, and blend until light and fluffy.  If the icing isn’t stiff enough, add in a bit more icing sugar until it’s thick enough. **I tried several variations with my cream cheese filling.  I split the filling into thirds, and left 1/3 plain, 1/3 cinnamon, and 1/3 maple (I used McCormick brand Maple Flavouring from Canada).  I thought all 3 fillings, were delicious, but I’m a sucker for anything cinnamon, so preferred the cinnamon variation the best. 
5. Spoon or pipe the cream cheese filling onto the bottom of one of the whoopie pies before placing another one on top of the filling to create a small sandwich. Repeat until all of the whoopie pies are complete. 
There ya go.  Pumpkin Whoopie Pies!  Bet ya can’t eat just one! 
And now for the best part!!!


Since we’re almost half way through the first week of December, I’m assuming most of you have probably started your Christmas shopping by now.  I have.  And while I was out shopping a few weeks ago, I came across another one of these reusable nylon cupcake bags.  I’ve had this exact bag for ages, and I have to admit it’s great for popping into your purse and whipping out at a moments notice to carry home all of your purchases.  And because it’s Christmas, and because it’s the season for shopping – and giving, I’ve decided to give away this cute little bag.  To enter for a chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment below telling me what you’d put in the bag when you go shopping. Would it be a hat and scarf for mom? A DVD set for your boyfriend? Or toys for your kiddies? You can get extra entries by doing each of the following, and then leave a comment telling me which ones you’ve done.     
  • Become a Follower of Made With Pink using Google Friend Connect  
  • Become a Fan of Made With Pink on Facebook 
  • Follow me on Twitter, and Tweet the following message: I’ve just entered to win a Cupcake Fizbag from @Made_With_Pink  http://tiny.cc/h5fi3
Links to all of the above are in the right hand column.  Maximum of 4 entries per person.  Contest open residents world wide. The winning comment will be chosen at random.  
Contest closes at midnight (London, UK time) on Sunday December 12th.
Good Luck!

*** I Just wanted to remind everyone that you MUST leave a comment below in order to be entered into the prize draw, otherwise I have no way of keeping track of who tweeted, followed etc.  If you make a comment anonymously then please leave an email address so I can contact you if you win. You should leave a separate comment for each of the 3 things listed above if you want to be entered more than once.  I will be using random.org to choose a number from all of the comments listed below in order to determine the winner. ***

Oh No. It’s That Strange Vegetable Pie Again!

I had originally intended to have this post ready for Canadian Thanksgiving way back in October, but I never got around to making my pumpkin pie. Until now. Coincidentally, just in time for American Thanksgiving. I had been wanting to make pumpkin pie for ages, which required numerous phone calls home to mom for the recipe since I’d never made it before. I’ve been on a bit of a pumpkin kick lately (you’ll see what I mean over the next week or so!), and I really wanted to make a pumpkin pie so I could introduce it to all my UK friends who’d never had it before. You see, pumpkin pie is a very typical fall / autumn dessert in North America, and is traditionally served at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I remember my first autumn in the UK – I wanted to make a batch of my favourite pumpkin spice cupcakes, but I couldn’t find any canned pumpkin. It just doesn’t exist here unless you can get to one of the few places in London that carry imported American foods such as Whole Foods. But don’t worry – I have a solution for that!

When you mention pumpkin to people here in the UK, they tend to think of things like pumpkin risotto or pumpkin ravioli. You know, savoury things. Definitely not sweet things like pies, cakes, muffins, brownies or breads. I think we North Americans have a real knack for turning absolutely everything imaginable into some kind of sweet dessert or cake.

And as I mentioned in my post here the other day, I’ve found that most people in the UK don’t like overly sweet things. And because pumpkin pie isn’t too sweet, I’m pretty sure that people here in the UK would really like it if they got a chance to try it. But…. I didn’t know for sure, so I decided to turn my pumpkin pie into a pumpkin tart since a tart would have less pumpkin filling in it than the regular pie version. See…..

To make my pumpkin tart I cheated and used a pre-made pastry crust. I just couldn’t be bothered to make one from scratch. Why? Well, because I’d already spent a bunch of time making my own fresh pumpkin puree to use in my pie. I was going to use a can of Libby’s pumpkin puree (as shown in my picture below), but changed my mind at the last minute and decided to go with a fresh puree. Making your own pumpkin puree definitely takes a bit of time, but it’s really easy to do – I’ll explain below. In addition to a pie crust and pumpkin puree, you’ll also need some evaporated milk, eggs, sugar and a few spices.

Oh, and make sure you don’t throw away those pumpkin seeds! They make a fantastic little snack or garnish for your pie! 

Pumpkin Pie 

The following recipe is for a full 9″ pie. I’d recommend halving the recipe if you plan on making a tart like I did. I made the full recipe, and got the large rectangular tart above, 2 smaller individual heart tartlettes, and a 4″ round that was approx 2 inches deep.

2 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice (recipe to follow) 

or the 5 following spices (but not both) 

1 ¾ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground ginger

½ tsp salt

1 ¼ cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 ½ cups (325g)  canned pumpkin (fresh pumpkin recipe to follow)
1 large can (370ml – approx 2 ½ small UK cans) undiluted evaporated milk
1 unbaked pie crust

1. Preheat oven to 425ºF (230ºC). In a large bowl mix the spices, salt and sugar together. Add in the eggs, pumpkin and evaporated milk and beat until well mixed.

2. Pour the mixture into a 9-inch unbaked pie crust and at 425ºF (230ºC) for 15 minutes*, then reduce the heat to 350ºF (175ºC) and continue to bake for about 40* minutes until the edges are slightly puffed and a knife inserted into pie mixture comes out clean. Cool and serve with whipped cream.

*Because my tart wasn’t as deep as a regular pie, I baked mine for 10 minutes at 425ºF (230ºC), and then baked for a further 25-30 minutes at 350ºF (175ºC). 

Pumpkin Puree 

1 medium pumpkin – sugar pumpkins work well for this

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (175ºC). Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the “guts” and seeds (save the seeds to roast later – see recipe below). Place the pumpkin halves onto a baking sheet with the skin sides up and roast them in the oven for 40-50 minutes, or until the flesh is soft and tender.

2. Let the pumpkin cool for 10 minutes and then scoop out the pumpkin flesh into a large bowl. Using an immersion hand blender, puree the pumpkin until it’s nice and smooth.

3. Line a large strainer/colander with a clean fabric kitchen/tea towel, and place the whole thing in the since or in another bowl. Pour the pumpkin puree into the towel lined strainer and let it sit for 10 minutes to cool. Once the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, gather the corners of the towel so the pumpkin sits in a little sack. Start twisting the towel so that the water from the pumpkin begins to come out from the bottom of the towel. A LOT OF WATER WILL COME OUT. Keep on twisting the towel and squeezing the pumpkin until most of the water has been removed from the pumpkin. The pumpkin should be more of a solid pack consistency which is a bit hard to describe, but it should have the same consistency as normal canned pumpkin – see my photo below.

**The pumpkin I used was a 5lb (2.25kg) pumpkin before I removed the insides. After roasting and pureeing the flesh I managed to squeeze out exactly 3 cups (750ml) of liquid from the pumpkin, which then left me with exactly 1 ½ cups  (325g) of fresh pumpkin puree – just enough for the pie! 

Pumpkin Pie Spice 

In North America they sell pre-mixed jars of pumpkin spice. Pumpkin spice is basically just a pre-made blend of the individual spices that are called for in a pumpkin pie. I make my own using the recipe below. I use it in a lot of different recipes, and it’s far easier than getting out a half dozen spice jars each time.

You’ll need:

An old empty spice jar, or other small container

3 Tbsp + 2 tsp Cinnamon
2 ¾ tsp Ground Nutmeg
2 ¾ tsp Ground Ginger
1 ½ tsp Ground Cloves

In a small bowl, whisk all of the spices together and transfer the blend into your old spice jar. Make sure you label your jar as “Pumpkin Spice” to avoid getting it mixed up with the other spices! That’s it. Simple! (Note: I don’t use All Spice in my Pumpkin Pie Spice, but I did use it in my pie). 

Candied Pumpkin Seeds 

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

3 Tbsp caster sugar (divided in half)
pinch of salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 Tbsp melted butter

1. Preheat your oven to 300ºF (155ºC). Wash the pumpkin seeds in a strainer or colander so they’re clean and free of any “pumpkin guts”. Pat them dry using a paper towel and spread them on a greased pan. Place them in the oven for about 45 mins, stirring every 10-15 mins. They should be crisp and a very light golden colour when done.

2. In a small bowl, combine 1½ Tbsp sugar together with the salt and pumpkin pie spice – set aside. In a non-stick pan, melt the butter and the remaining 1½ Tbsp sugar together over medium high heat for a minute or two until the sugar and butter are melted together – make sure the heat isn’t too high so it doesn’t burn! Dump in your pumpkin seeds, and stir so they’re all coated with the butter & sugar mixture. Once they’re all coated, sprinkle the remaining sugar & spice mixture over the pumpkin seeds, and continue to stir them in the hot pan until the sugar has melted and coated all of the seeds. This should only take a minute or two. Spread them back on your greased pan that you used for roasting them, and allow to cook before eating.

There ya go! Homemade pumpkin pie! Easy to make, and you don’t need to go out and find canned pumpkin if you don’t want to.

Oh, and if you can’t find a fresh pumpkin you can make the same pumpkin pie recipe using

butternut squash instead, although you may need 2 or 3 to get enough squash puree.