Sue's Kitchen Menu

Monday, June 29, 2009

Red, White and Blue Pies

What a great time of year for fresh fruit pies! The first apples of the year are ready to be picked and the Montmorency tart cherries are coming on as well. I plan to visit the orchard tomorrow to pick some Lodi for my apple pies. Lodis make wonderful applesauce as well as pies and remind me of the old fashioned Transparent apples. There aren't too many of those apple trees around anymore. This week I'll have Cherry pie (RED) Apple pie (WHITE) and Blackberry or Blueberry pie (BLUE) to help celebrate the 4th of July. All you need is ice cream and a fork!!!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

What is your favorite pie??

What would you say is your favorite fruit pie? National surveys show that Americans love........Apple pie!! No surprises there. Cherry pie is our 2nd most loved. I plan to make both of these pies this week to bring to my markets. I can't say which pie is my favorite because I could easily eat either one, especially warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream-YUM! You must keep checking the markets because peaches and apples will start arriving by the truckloads and the berries will be coming on before you know it. That means blackberry pie, red raspberry pie, cherry pie, and all kinds of apple pies. I love this time of year!

One of my favorite parts of baking pies is making crispy cinnamon sticks from the left over pie dough. Mom always made these and we grabbed them hot to eat right out of the oven. I like to bring them to market for samples, because if you remember from last week-its all about the crust! If you can taste the quality of my flakey crust then you know you are going to be getting a great pie.

Its amazing to me how many people no longer bake, let along make pies. And if they do make pie they use boxed or frozen pie crust (HORROR!). But, when my customers taste my cinnamon sticks from handmade pie crust, their eyes roll back in their heads, they get a big smile on their faces and they always say, "My Mom used to make these!" And everyone had their own family name for them. I've heard them called "rolley polleys", "snickerdoodles". "cinnamon buns", and some other names I can't recall.

For those of you who want to make your own "Cinnamon Stix", here is the quick and easy recipe:
Sue's Pie Crust Cinnamon Stix

Pie dough: use your favorite recipe and roll out a disc very thin on a floured surface.
Brush the pie dough with melted butter and sprinkle with a mixture of 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Using a pizza cutter cut strips 1 inch wide. At this point you can twist them, roll them up like a cinnamon roll or just keep as strips. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake @350 degrees til brown (about 10-12 minutes). Watch closely-they burn easily. Cool on a rack then enjoy!! These are fun treats for kids to make. They keep well in a baggie and can be frozen as well. If you make them give me a shout and let me know how they turned out.

Hope to see you all this week. It will be a hot week for markets but, hey-it's summer!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

From Sue's Kitchen: Welcome to my first blog post

Welcome to my first blog entry!!

I think it is so appropriate to start this adventure with you during the week of Father’s Day because there is nothing my Dad would have loved more than to socialize with friends and family at a Farmers’ Market and graze his away around the various vendors’ tents. He especially loved anything chocolate and any kind of cookies or pie, except maybe strawberry rhubarb, although my strawberry rhubarb pie is AWESOME and I probably would have changed his mind on that. Anyway, here’s to all you Dads for your love of family and friends.

My goal is to make 40 mini pies and 20 large pies this week to bring to my two markets. It’s Father’s Day and Dads like pies and we need to celebrate our Dads, hence the focus on PIE. Plans are for Apple, Cherry, Blueberry, Blackberry, Strawberry-Rhubarb, Peach and Pecan. I might have mini red raspberry as well. I always tell my customers the mini pies are just big enough for a dollop of their favorite ice cream plopped right in the middle…and all they need is a fork.

Here is a picture of a Big-n-Bold Blackberry Pie - those of you who know me know my pies have to be pretty.

I’ll share with you Sue’s 3 rules for terrific pies:
1. I think pies need to be visually appealing. Sometimes I get a little carried away in this creative process but it is fun!
2. It’s all about the crust. All homemade. All hand rolled. All hand decorated.
3. Fruit pies should have lots of fruit. Fresh fruit when it’s available and delicious frozen fruit during the off season. Nothing canned. I currently have about 60 pounds of rhubarb in my freezer and a gallon of red raspberries. YUM!

For those of you who want sweets but not pie I also make lots of old fashioned cookies. These, unlike my pies, are not fancy. They are sturdy, big, one-in-each hand cookies like Chocolate Chip, Snickerdoodle, Oatmeal Raisin, Peanut Blossom, Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Crispie. Many of these recipes are heirloom, meaning they’ve been handed down over generations from my Gramma Rose, Gramma Fannie, Mom (Effie) and my Aunt Eileen. I’m sure a dietitian wouldn’t agree with my motto but it brings a lot of smiles to my customers’ faces-------

My motto is “A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.”

Kissable Peanut Blossom Cookies

I don’t stop at pies-n-cookies, however. I guess I’m a baking fool…or a glutton for punishment. You will find I make various goodies depending on the market: Coffeecakes and Cinnamon Rolls for the morning market; Dessert Breads for evening markets. I’m just now delving into the fun world of cupcakes. Red Velvet with cream cheese frosting…….German Chocolate with Pecan and Coconut topping………..Vanilla with buttercream frosting….the list can be endless. Here’s a picture of a mini Carrot Cake cupcake with Cream Cheese frosting. I think its really cute (pretty darn delicious too)!

So, here's to all you Dads out there...pray for good weather and I'll see you at the market!

All photo images belong to Sue's Kitchen and may be used with permission only. ©2009 Sue's Kitchen. All rights reserved.