Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Import blog July 06

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  Here is a picture of my blueberry and tomato patch. This is the third year for my blueberries and they are finally beginning to really look like blueberry bushes. They have at least 2 to 3 more years for maturity and then hopefully they will give me lots of berries.
   I went back to the blueberry patch this morning early. They open at 7 am so I was  there just a few minutes after. Coolest time of the day and less people too. However I forgot my hat so I was quite uncomfortable in the full sun. There were lots of berries ripe this time, but they were much smaller this time picking, so still took me a while to pick them. I ended up with about 16 bpounds or more and took me little over 3 hours to pick. I was quite hot by the time I finished at 11:00 and found out it was already almost 90 degrees. No wonder I was getting so hot. hehe
Anyway I got 20 more pints frozen and I kept out enough berries to eat fresh and to also make one of my favorite pies.  This has become one of most favorite pies.  I will have the grill going this late afternoon for chicken, so I will fire up my second little one and bake this pie there on the dutch oven.  I will give instructions on how I bake my pies on the fire, they come out perfect everytime. They are great fun to do, and if sharing with company or friends they will be amazed that you baked it over a fire. 
Blueberry- Cranberry Pie ( this pie will give you many compliments, is a gorgeous pie I like making for holidays and when the berries are fresh)
1/2 cup sugar-I use 1/4 cup organic sugar and 1/4 cup of Splenda
1 dash of salt-I omit
2 cups fresh blueberries-or frozen that have been thawed first
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/4 cup flour-I will use my spelt or sometimes instant tapioca
2 cups fresh cranberries-or frozen that have been thawed first
1/2 cup water
1 unbaked pie shell and top or lattice is nice
In a saucepan combine the sugar, water.  flour, salt and mix well. Add the cranberries.
Boil gently until the skins pop, stir constantly about 5 minutes-do not over cook
Remove from the heat and stir in the blueberries and almond extract with a large spoon
Don't want to crush the berries.
Pour into an unbaked pie shell, cover as you wish and bake at 425 for 30 to 30 minutes.
To bake over a fire.
You need a dutch oven with legs or a cast  iron deep skillet type with a cover. Needs to be just large enough to get your pie tin inside. Mine just fits with about 1/4 inch spacing around the pie edges. I think this  makes it a perfect pie. I line my dutch oven with a big piece of foil so it just comes up over the edge of your kettle. I then put a little round trivet on the bottom and then I place my pie on top of this and then the lid.
   I have adapted an older weber grill that the legs were no good anymore. I made my self a little fire pit with rocks around and placed the weber in the middle. I have the weber positioned so the vents are up off the ground. I use charcoal that I start in those chimneys and place it around the edge of weber in a circle. You do not want your coals under the dutch oven or your pie will burn on you. I live out in the woods so I also gather up pieces of oak or hickory or apple, soak them for an hour or so and throw a few around on top of charcoal. I place the cooking grate back on and place my dutch oven in the middle.  Make a little foil to place on top of lid and place about 6 hot charcoal on top of foil and then I also put on about 3 or so unlit charcoal pieces.  I don't have a real dutch oven, if you do then the lid is designed to just put the charcoal right on top without any foil. You need charcoal on the top for it to bake evenly. I then place the weber lid on top.  If you have a real dutch oven with legs (I don't, so you might need a little different set up, but would not need the cooking grate, just place on the bottom.
   Most pies come out perfect at 50 to 60 minutes.  I usually check them at 50 minutes. Do not peak too often as you really mess up the baking temperture inside your dutch oven.
The above pie is already heated thru and hot so  I will check on it after 30 minutes and see how it does.  I freeze lots of pie fillings right in the pie tin thru the harvest season and then when frozen take out of tins and wrap well in freezer paper. When I want to make a pie I just get my fire going, make a pie crust, grab a pie out of the freezer, and bake. Even frozen the pie doesn't take much more than an hour to bake outside. Love the process and the results.
Note:   I did just make this wonderful pie tonight. I hadn't used the tapioca with this recipe yet, but did tonight and it needs about 1/2 cup more water than the recipe says.  Just add in a little water at a time  as needed so it is still thick but not too thick.  (I have been changing all my pies over to tapioca instead of using flour) We are  still in the 90s and just wasn't up to more sun, so baked inside tonight. (or I would let you know how long it took to bake outside)  Let me know how you like the pie if any of you make it.

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