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Saskatoon Berry Pie

Have really been enjoying spending time in the kitchen recreating the food that I grew up with in rural Saskatchewan.  This is the season for Saskatoons, native to the Canadian Prairies, and an essential to our summer traditions.  

We went berry picking a lot in our youth . .. reflecting back I am not sure how much help we were, as an awful lot never made it into the pail for pies and preserving for the winter months.   I think Mom was always disappointed at our portion of the pickings!!

This is the recipe for the pastry that I used:  Easy Mixer Pastry

 

Saskatoon Berry Pie
Serves 6
No summer is complete without at least one Saskatoon Pie, especially if you are from the Canadian Prairies.
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Ingredients
  1. 5 cups saskatoons
  2. 1 cup blueberries
  3. I cup sugar
  4. 1/2 c minute tapioca
  5. 3 T water or less . . . . I like a filling that doesn't run all over the place
  6. sprinkle of salt
  7. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  8. freshly grated nutmeg . .. a dusting
  9. 3 tbsp lemon juice
  10. dabs of butter (adds a nice glisten to your filling)
  11. Pastry for a double crust 9 inch pie or if you choose, bottom crust and a crumb topping
Crumb Topping
  1. Enough for one 9 inch pie or two 5 inch ones
  2. 1/2 cup rolled oats . ..not quick cooking type
  3. 1/3 cup flour
  4. 1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  5. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  6. 1/4 cup room temperature butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine berries, fresh or frozen in saucepan
  3. Add sugar and tapioca and some water, adjusting as necessary . .. the tapioca really thickens the filling beautifully, however I like a filling that isn't runny
  4. Cook on medium heat until mixture thickens, stirring so it doesn't stick to the pan
  5. Add salt, spices and lemon juice after mixture is thickened (I add these at the end so that the spices don't get bitter from being over cooked. I read this somewhere eons ago, so have always adhered to this.)
  6. Let filling cool some so that you don't put it into the pastry while hot
  7. Sprinkle bottom pastry crust with sugar before placing filling in (this makes for a crispier crust)
  8. Generously fill pie shell
  9. Daub with a few spots of butter
  10. Place pastry on top and cut vents or use a crumb topping
  11. Crimp the edges of the pastry even if using a crumb topping . . . . the edges need to be sealed if you are using a double pastry crust.
  12. You can dampen the bottom rim of the crust with a brush of milk to ensure sealing
  13. Using a pastry brush, brush milk or cream all over the top crust of the pastry and sprinkle with a bit of sugar. This makes your pie glisten beautifully.
Crumb Topping
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients
  2. With fingers or hand pastry blender, cut in butter until there are large clumps.
  3. Spread on top of filling
  4. Bake at 350 for an hour or until crust is golden and brown and filling is bubbling
  5. Serve hot or cold with vanilla ice cream.
Notes
  1. I used 2 - 5 inch pie plates to make this up as we are only two. That way we had one to consume immediately and one to freeze. Much safer that way, otherwise a leftover pie is the subject of midnight foraging!!!
  2. Bake the small pies for 25 to 30 minutes . .. .crust should be golden and brown and the filling should be bubbling a bit,
Adapted from from Linda Rudachyk, Rosthern, Saskatchewan
Adapted from from Linda Rudachyk, Rosthern, Saskatchewan
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Jelly Roll

Anytime I see a recipe where I don’t have to separate the eggs and dirty more dishes immediately has my interest piqued. I am not a big fan of big time cleanup!

This recipe come from one of the old country church cookbooks of my Mother’s . . . I know this dates me, but I remember the days of afternoon tea with assorted tea cups (and yes I have many) with fancy sandwiches, dainties and desserts being served with much love and pride.

This is an exceptionally easy recipe and I can whip up a jelly roll from breaking eggs into the bowl to finish cleanup in half an hour, including the baking time.  It will take you back to your youth . . . when we took more time to smell the roses and partake of afternoon tea.

Jelly Roll
Serves 8
Simple and easy, this is a dessert that will take you back in time
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Total Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 eggs
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1 cup flour
  4. 1 tsp. baking powder
  5. pinch of salt
  6. 2 T. water
  7. 1 tsp. vanilla
Instructions
  1. Butter and line a 10 x 15 inch jelly roll pan with waxed paper, buttering waxed paper as well.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Have in readiness your filling . . . lemon curd or jam or whatever you prefer to use.
  4. Have dry ingredients mixed together and and sift through a mesh strainer.
  5. Break eggs into mixing bowl and beat until lemony coloured
  6. Slowly add sugar, making sure there are no lumps.
  7. Beat until it starts to thicken very nicely and the beaters leave a bit of a trail like whipped cream and is light and fluffy The time will vary depending on whether you are using a hand mixer or a stand mixer.
  8. Add vanilla and water and give it a whirl again.
  9. Remove beater or beaters.
  10. Add the dry ingredients in thirds, folding in as lightly as you can until there is no trace of the flour in the batter, making sure there isn't any on the bottom of the bowl either.
  11. Spread lightly in prepared pan.
  12. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes in the centre of the oven. I always use convection bake.
  13. Remove when golden on top, and immediately turn onto dampened tea towel that has been sprinkled with sugar.
  14. Carefully remove wax paper.
  15. Immediately trim off about 1/4 inch all around the edges as it will roll much better without the crisp edges.
  16. Roll up in towel and let sit until cooled a bit.
  17. Unroll carefully, and spread filling on making sure you cover all the surface . . it is okay if a little seeps out on the edges.
  18. Roll up and place on serving plate and dust with more sugar.
  19. Trim off edge pieces so ends are clean cut . . . and then eat them!! Gotta taste test you know!!!
Notes
  1. Your baking time will vary depending on the pan you use. When I use a metal pan it is 12 minutes exactly. When I use the Pampered Chef stoneware baking pan, it takes a little longer.
  2. My favourite filling is lemon, rarely use jam.
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Cranberry Walnut Jelly Roll

Cranberry Jelly Roll

Although this looks lengthy, if you break it up, it is a jelly roll with a cranberry filling which you can make ahead. The cranberry filling also served as my cranberry sauce for Christmas this year. It is divine.

Cranberry Walnut Jelly Roll
Serves 8
Not too sweet and such a beautiful contrast in colour.
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Cook Time
35 min
Cook Time
35 min
For the filling
  1. 1 pound cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  2. 2 cups granulated sugar
  3. 1 cup fresh orange juice
  4. 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  5. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  6. 1 cinnamon stick
For the cake
  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  4. 3 large eggs
  5. 1 cup granulated sugar
  6. Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  7. Unsalted butter, softened, for the baking sheet
  8. 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped . .. .I used slivered almonds instead
  9. Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)
  10. Whipped cream, for serving
Cook the cranberries
  1. Combine the cranberries, sugar and orange juice in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low; stir in the allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon stick and simmer 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Make the filling: Strain the cranberry mixture; set the berries aside. Return the liquid to the saucepan, bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook until syrupy, about 8 minutes.
  3. Discard the cinnamon stick, then puree half of the cranberries in a blender; transfer to a bowl. Stir in the rest of the cranberries and the reduced syrup. Spread the mixture in a large baking dish so it cools more quickly. Refrigerate until completely cooled, about 20 minutes.
Make the batter
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and cream of tartar into a bowl.
  3. Combine the eggs, granulated sugar, lemon zest and 1/3 cup water in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.
  4. Beat on high speed until light and airy, 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Gently fold the egg mixture into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula.
  6. Do not overmix: The batter will lose some volume, but small bubbles should remain.
Bake the cake
  1. Butter a 10-by-15-inch jelly roll pan, line with parchment paper and butter the parchment.
  2. Add the batter.
  3. Slowly tilt the pan back and forth to evenly distribute the batter.
  4. Bake until the cake is golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.
Unmold the cake
  1. While the cake is still warm, place a slightly damp kitchen towel on top; lay a cutting board over the towel.
  2. Hold the cutting board and baking sheet together and flip over.
  3. Lift off the pan, then peel off the parchment.
  4. Let the cake cool slightly, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the filling
  1. Dollop the cooled filling over the cake and spread gently, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. (Be careful not to tear the cake.) Sprinkle with the walnuts. (I used almonds)
Roll the cake
  1. Position the cake with a shorter end facing you.
  2. Use the towel to tip the edge of the cake forward and gently roll it over, using the towel to guide it.
  3. Once you make one full roll, pull the towel away and gently squeeze the cake to make the roll compact.
  4. Continue rolling the cake, using the towel to guide it and gently squeezing as you go.
  5. Position the cake roll seam-side down and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
  6. Transfer to a platter and dust with confectioners' sugar.
  7. Slice and serve with whipped cream.
  8. Chill the cake seam-side down to prevent it from unrolling.
Notes
  1. For the baking pan, I used the 10 x 15 Pampered Chef Stoneware bar pan. It takes a little longer to bake, but cooks so evenly.
  2. With respect to the Cranberry Sauce . . . .
  3. I love all my electric kitchen tools, but I am also of the school of thought that if it isn't a big job, there is no need to make a big mess and dirty a whole bunch of dishes. When it comes to the part of putting half the cranberries in the blender, I decided not to haul out the blender and used my hand held immersion blender instead (I have a Bamix). It worked perfect . . just did it in the dish I was going to store the mixture in and thus saved a truckload of dishes.
  4. I have also garnished this with the coarse white sugar . . . gives it a lovely sparkly effect and a beautiful presentation.
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