Monday, October 22, 2012

Hill Country Pumpkin and Pecan Pie

I know I've said it numerous times, but Autumn is my favorite season.   The promise of cooler temperatures, changing foliage colors, falling leaves and the smell of smoke from an outdoor fire make me the happiest!   I am able to put on the breaks of my busy schedule and actually take a moment or two or three and just sit outside enjoying it all.  And even though in Texas we don't get much color, I'm blessed to have wonderful friends who send me their pictures so I can enjoy it with them.   You know who you are... it's amazing and I'm very thankful.

When you make this unique pie, your home will permeate with the smells of Autumn and your family will devour it fast!

Hill Country Pumpkin and Pecan Pie

  • Grandma Bonnie's Double Pie Crust, recipe below (Longaberger Baskets) THE BEST EVER!
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/2 C dark brown sugar
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 t Ancho Chili Power
  • 1 t ground cloves
  • 1 t ground ginger
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T vanilla bean paste
  • 15 oz packed pumpkin
  • 12 oz evaporated milk
  • 1 C Texas Pecans, rough chopped
Directions:   Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.   Using the double pie crust recipe below, roll out one large round and lay it into your pie plate, set aside.  Use the remaining dough and make fall cutouts; I used a small pumpkin and leaf cutter.

In a large bowl, mix the sugars and spices together then add your eggs and whisk. 

Add the vanilla bean paste and pumpkin, mixing well.   Slowly add the evaporated milk and again, mix well.   Toss in your pecans, mix and pour into your uncooked pie shell.

Using water as an adhesive, add your fall cutouts to the lip of the pie crust. 

Brush with an egg wash and place in the oven.   Bake for 15 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake an additional 45 minutes more.   Cool completely.

Grandma Bonnie's Double Pie Crust from Longaberger Basket
(the best pie crust recipe ever, in my opinion)

  •  4 cups flour
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups lard
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 T. vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
Directions:    In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar and salt. With a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the lard until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix together egg, vinegar and water. Add to flour mixture. Mix until dough is moistened enough so it holds together when it is formed into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until well chilled. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 12" circle.  Place the crust in the freezer while preparing the filling.
Makes 2 double crust pies.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Shrimp Vodka Shooters

I co-hosted a couples themed Wedding Shower a couple weeks ago, entitled "Stock the Bar".   What better way to greet the guests to that type of function than to offer them a Shrimp Shooter as soon as they arrive!   It's easy, quick but yet makes for an amazing presentation.   Found the nice shooter type shot glasses as Marshall's for $6.00 a box - so I made sure I bought enough for our crowd.   Placed on a tray and carried it around, serving people.   A different approach would be to line a serving dish with course sea salt and put the shooters in that.   Either way these are great for any party you have!

Shrimp Vodka Shooters

  • 2 lbs large shrimp, deveined with tails on
  • Zatarains Shrimp Boil seasoning
  • Zing Zang Blood Mary Mix
  • Vodka, I use Tito's
  • Lemon, sliced thin
  • chives, minced
  • fresh cracked pepper
Directions:  Chill the Zing Zang Bloody Mary Mix and place your vodka in the freezer to get them very cold.   Clean and peel your shrimp, leaving the tails on.   In a large pot, boil water and cook shrimp in the Zatarains Shrimp Boil seasoning per the package instructions.  Remove from the water, drain and chill!

To assemble and serve, pour 1/2part Bloody Mary mix, 1/4 part vodka, 1 chilled shrimp, garnished with the thin lemon, chives and cracked pepper.

Serve immediately and keep them cold!

Coming up... the Pumpkin Patch Food Demo

Please join me...

Sunday, October 28th, 2012 from noon to 3:00

at Faraday's Kitchen Store, Lakeway for

The Pumpkin Patch, a Texas style culinary demonstration down the autumn back roads of the Hill Country.