Country Living magazine contributing editors Serena Thompson and Teri Edwards are pros. But they aren't touching any dumpsters. They're looking for unique items in old local barns.
Thompson and Edwards, both from rural backgrounds, are self-proclaimed "Farm Chicks." They've made their corner of upstate New York into their own treasure trove.
Old canning jars, coffee cans and signs are common finds that they not only refurbish, but redesign for a variety of uses.
A coffee can, for example: Thompson and Edwards converted it into a vase. They gave an old tray a makeover into a stylish bulletin board. They transformed a chicken feeder into craft item container.
However, "junking" isn't their only hobby. They love to cook and bake, too.
On "The Early Show" Tuesday, Thompson and Edwards, now the authors of "The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen," showed how to whip up some of their favorite recipes -- and they served them up on their own antique barn finds.
Making Mini Pies
Regular pie recipes can easily be adapted to make mini pies. Generally, a regular pie recipe can be turned into three mini pies, each approximately 4 1/2 inches in diameter. Disposable aluminum mini-pie pans can be found on the baking aisle of most grocery stores. Tin or ceramic versions can be found online or at kitchen specialty shops. To make a mini pie, follow your recipe as written to prepare the piecrust and filling; then divide the crust and filling equally among three mini-pie pans. Shorten the baking time by about one-quarter to one-third. For example, if the baking time for the regular pie is 50 minutes, shorten the mini-pie baking time to 33 to 37 minutes.
Cherry Crumble Pie
If you're new to making pies, this is a great recipe to try. The crumb topping is delicious and really a no-fail choice for a top crust. Both our husbands really love this pie.
MAKES 1 NINE-INCH PIE
(ABOUT 8 SERVINGS)
WORKING TIME 10 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME 55 MINUTES
1 29-ounce jar tart pie cherries in water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped (about 1 1/2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 Baked Pie Shell
Heat the oven to 425°F. Drain the cherries, and reserve 1/3 cup of the liquid. Stir the cherries, granulated sugar, cornstarch, salt, and reserved cherry liquid together in a medium-size bowl. Toss the flour, brown sugar, oats, walnuts, and cinnamon together in another medium-size bowl. Mix in the butter using a pastry blender or your fingers until a crumbly mixture forms. Pour the cherry mixture into the Baked Pie Shell. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the cherries. Bake for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350°F and continue to bake until the topping is deep golden brown-30 to 35 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm.
Nutrition per serving-Protein: 5.1 G; Fat: 19 G; Carbohydrate: 58.6 G; Fiber: 2.3 G; Sodium: 229 MG; Cholesterol: 41 MG; Calories: 417.
For more recipes, go to Page 2.
Baked Pie Shell
The classic piecrust, essential for a great pie. We recommend using this recipe for all single crust pies, as the high butter content in our Grandma's Pie Dough recipe causes single crusts to shrink when baked.
MAKES 1 SINGLE CRUST
WORKING TIME 15 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME 1 HOUR AND 25 MINUTES
11/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter (1 stick),
1/4 teaspoon salt cut into small pieces
Make the dough: Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle 4 to 6 tablespoons of ice water over the flour mixture and mix with your hands until just combined. Transfer the mixture to a clean work surface, and gently press together until a dough begins to form. Gather into a ball and flatten slightly to form a disk.Wrap in plastic; chill for at least 1 hour. Bake the shell: Heat the oven to 450°F. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Transfer to a 9-inch pie pan and trim, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold the 1/2-inch excess under and crimp along the rim using a fork or your fingers. Prick the bottom and sides of the dough with a fork. Bake on the center shelf of the oven until lightly browned-10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before filling as indicated in your recipe.
Nutrition per one-half single crust-Protein: 2.1 G; Fat: 12 G; Carbohydrate: 15 G; Fiber: 0.5 G; Sodium: 75 MG;Cholesterol: 30 MG; Calories: 171.
Farmhouse Apple Pie
This is our all-time favorite pie and is probably our most-often used recipe. Our favorite pie apple is Golden Delicious, but any mixture of apples can work just fine. We recommend experimenting with different apple combinations to discover your favorite pie varieties.
MAKES 1 NINE-INCH PIE (ABOUT 8 SERVINGS)
WORKING TIME 15 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME 1 HOUR AND 5 MINUTES
2 disks Grandma's Pie Dough (1/2 recipe)
21/2 pounds mixed apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into 3/4- inch pieces
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Heat the oven to 375°F. Roll out one of the disks of dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness; transfer to a 9-inch pie pan. Set aside in the refrigerator. Roll the remaining dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Set aside on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet in the refrigerator. Toss them chopped apples, flour, 3/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and lemon juice together and mix until combined. Pour the apple mixture into the prepared pie pan and top with the remaining dough. Trim, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang; fold under and crimp the edges. Sprinkle the top with the remaining tablespoon of sugar; chill for 10 minutes. Bake until the fruit is bubbling and the crust is golden brown-50 to 55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
When cutting apples for pie,we peel and core each apple and then cut them into quarters. We cut each quarter in half, lengthwise, and then thinly chop into bitesized pieces. Each bite of pie is easily cut into with a fork, which we think makes it just a little more special.
Nutrition per serving-Protein: 4.5 G; Fat: 21 G; Carbohydrate: 65.7 G; Fiber: 2.9 G; Sodium: 264 MG; Cholesterol: 68 MG; Calories: 456
Grandma's Pie Dough
MAKES 4 SINGLE CRUSTS
WORKING TIME 10 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME 1 HOUR AND 10 MINUTES
You can't judge a book by its cover, but you can judge a pie by its crust. This is hands-down the best piecrust ever, adapted from my mother-in-law Mary Jane's recipe. It's rich, flaky and unforgettable. You can make the dough, wrap it, and freeze for baking later. ~Serena Thompson
4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
13/4 cups cold unsalted butter (31/2 sticks),
cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 extra-large egg
Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal.Whisk the vinegar, egg, and 1/2 cup of ice water together and mix into the flour mixture with your hands until just combined. Transfer to a clean work surface, and gently press to form a dough. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Shape each into a ball, flatten slightly to form a disk, and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour. Roll out as indicated in your recipe.
Nutrition per one-half single crust-Protein: 2 G; Fat: 10 G; Carbohydrate: 12.7 G; Fiber: 0.4 G; Sodium: 59 MG; Cholesterol: 34 MG; Calories: 150.
Big & Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
These are my son Ethan's favorite cookies. They're extra peanut buttery in flavor, accented by a hint of honey, and perfect for those who prefer a big, chewy peanut butter cookie over a crunchy one. I personally love the dough! ~Serena Thompson
MAKES ABOUT 20 FIVE-INCH COOKIES
WORKING TIME 20 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME 55 MINUTES
1 cup unsalted butter
(2 sticks), softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup salted peanuts, for topping (optional)
Make the batter: Heat the oven to 375°F. Cream the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed. Beat in the brown sugar, peanut butter, honey, vanilla, and eggs, mixing until well combined. Stir in the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, baking soda, and salt with a wooden spoon, stirring until completely incorporated. Bake the cookies: Drop the batter by 1/4-cupfuls onto baking sheets, spacing about 3 inches apart. If you like, press at least 4 peanuts into the top of each cookie, or press a crosshatch pattern into each with the tines of a fork. Bake until lightly browned-12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the cookies from the baking sheets to a wire rack to cool. The cookies will appear slightly undercooked in the center, but will firm up once they've cooled. Store in an airtight container.
Nutrition per cookie without peanuts-Protein: 6 G; Fat: 16.3 G; Carbohydrate: 34.5 G; Fiber: 2.1 G; Sodium: 166.5 MG; Cholesterol: 45.6 MG; Calories: 299.