Category Archives: Recipe

The Not-Swedish, Apple, Not-Pie

Not Really Apple Pie
(Not Really) Swedish Apple Pie
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You can find several versions of a “Swedish Apple Pie” on the internet. Most of them look like fruit crumbles, rather than pie. This one has no bottom crust, but has a top crust that resembles a large cookie rather than pie crust. The result is a very easy, very delicious, but very ugly “pie.”

A caveat–I do not have Swedish ancestors, unless you count some stray Vikings who attacked and maybe bedded my Scottish or English distant ancestors. I do have a Swedish sister-in-law, and through her some Swedish acquaintances.

My Swedish friend tells me that she has not seen this “Swedish Apple Pie” in Sweden. They are more likely, she says, to make a dessert with oats that looks like a crumble.

Even though I constantly remind you of my Perfect Pie Crust recipe, sometimes there is a reason to use something different.

But sometimes taste wins out over authenticity, ya know? It took my husband and I about 36 hours to devour this delicious dessert–call it what you will.

In the recipe, I have included a link to the web source of the recipe that I adapted. There you can also find the recipe for traditional Swedish vanilla cream sauce, which really is Swedish, and might be served on this dessert if this were a Swedish dessert.

Not Really Apple Pie
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(Not) Swedish-Apple-(Not) Pie

An easy, delicious, ugly "pie" with a cookie crust.
Course Dessert
Keyword apple, fruit, pie
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 8 minutes
Servings -6 slices
Author Vera Marie Badertscher

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 4-6 Cups apples peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4" thick
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cardamon
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans Optional
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a pie plate and set aside.
  • Mix the 3 Tablespoons of sugar and spices and pour over sliced apples. Stir well.
  • Spread apples in pie plate. Level them out.
  • Whisk together flour, the one cup of sugar, salt and spices.
  • Stir in melted butter. Add lightly beaten egg and stir until blended.
  • Pour the crust mixture over the apples and spread evenly, keeping 1/8-1/4 inch away from edge. Scatter nuts on top.
  • Place pie plate on cookie sheet to catch drips. Bake pie for one hour, or until crust is a golden brown, like a finished sugar cookie. (It took an extra 15 minutes in my oven.)
  • When done, cool on cooling rack. Serve warm or cold with whipped cream or ice cream if you wish.

Notes

While my Swedish friend says this is not really the way that the dessert is made in Sweden–where it is more of a crumble made with oatmeal– this dessert is delicious.  If you want to make it a bit more Swedish, you can use the traditional Swedish topping, Vanilla Cream Sauce.  You can find the recipe for Vanilla Sauce where I got the basic recipe for this “pie” at That’s Some Good Cooking.
I added nuts to the recipe because I thought it would up the flavor, and also perhaps improve the looks a bit. Unfortunately, I only have a picture of the original–without nuts.
Note for the Minority of Us Who Do Not Have Microwave Ovens
Microwaves are great for melting butter, but I do not have a microwave oven (and don’t miss it).  I have discovered an easy way to melt butter  if you have an oven that is under the range of your stove.  I turn on the oven, and then put the butter in a small pyrex dish or spare measuring cup on the top of the stove.  The butter melts from the oven heat while I am setting out ingredients, greasing the pan, peeling the apples, etc.  Of course this doesn’t work if you have a built-in wall oven. You can also put the dish with butter in the oven, but keep a close eye so it doesn’t start boiling and spattering!  

Chocolate Drop Cookies, a Vintage Recipe

Chocolate drop cookies with white frosting.

Recently, I posted on Facebook a picture of a loaf of bread that I made with a recipe from Ken’s maternal grandmother, Helen Kohler. Bless Social Media. The picture of the loaf of bread led me to a batch of Chocolate Drop Cookies.

Do you remember the 3-way bread recipe that I published nearly 3 years ago? Check back to see the recipe that can be used for free-form bread, rolls, or coffee cake. Later I used an adaptation of the recipe to make Swiss New Year’s Bread. Last week I used the same recipe to make two loaf pans of bread. So now it is a 5-way recipe! This is still my favorite bread recipe. Thank you Grandma Kohler. And thank you Kay Badertscher Bass for passing the recipe on to me.

And thanks to Facebook for allowing this conversation between Ken’s cousins, reminiscing about their Grandma’s cooking. Someone mentioned Chocolate Drop Cookies that Grandma kept in a big blue enameled pan. Several others remembered them. Then Beth posted the recipe card. She didn’t remember where she got it, but it is labeled “Grandma Kohler,” and meets the criteria that everyone remembered of the Chocolate Drop Cookies that Grandma frosted with confectioners sugar.

Grandma Kohler’s chocolate cookies

I cheated a little on the authenticity of my husband’s cousins’ memories. I frosted half the cookies in a simple confectioner’s sugar white frosting, and half in the same frosting with cocoa powder added. Apologies to Grandma Kohler, but I never get enough chocolate.

Chocolate drop cookies in black and white

In the recipe below, I have expanded on some of the sketchy directions, but stuck to the recipe. They bake up puffy and soft and they are unlike any cookies that I have made before. I am so grateful to Kay for sharing the post on Facebook and thus starting the conversation, and for Beth providing the precious recipe.

Chocolate Drop Cookies Cooling
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Chocolate Drop Cookies, a Vintage Recipe

A favorite cookie of my husband's cousins when they went to Grandma's house, Chocolate Drop Cookies is an authentic vintage recipe.
Course Dessert, Snack
Keyword cookie, chocolate, vintage recipe, Helen Kohler
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Servings 24 cookies
Author Vera Marie Badertscher

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Butter Room temperature
  • 1 Cup Brown sugar Sieved so there are no lumps
  • 1 egg Room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup sour milk Room temperature (See Note)
  • 2 squares chocolate Melted and brought to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 Cup Cake flour (See Note)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease or line with parchment paper, two cookie pans.
  • Melt chocolate in microwave (See Note for alternate method). Set aside to cool
  • Measure flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and sift together into medium bowl.
  • Cream together butter and brown sugar until smooth
  • Beat egg into butter/sugar mixture. Stir in sour milk, then stir in cooled, melted chocolate.
  • Fold in dry ingredients only until well blended. Do not overbeat.
  • Drop by tablespoon, 1" apart on cookie sheets.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Test by touching top of cookie. It should still be soft but no leave an indentation.
  • Cool on pan for ten minutes and remove to cooling rack.
  • When totally cool, frost with confectioners sugar frosting of your choice.

Notes

When sour milk is called for, you can use regular whole or 2% milk and add vinegar.  For 1/2 cup sour milk, add 1/2 Tablespoon of vinegar to the 1/2 cup milk and let stand 5 minutes.  If you do not want to bother with this, it is perfectly acceptable to substitute 1/2 cup of sour cream or buttermilk. Plain yogurt will work as well. Just be sure it is not flavored.
Melting chocolate. The chocolate will melt more quickly and evenly if you chop it with a large knife before melting. I do not have a microwave so I had to come up with a different way to melt chocolate.  I put the chopped chocolate in a small pyrex dish and set it on top of my electric stove where the hot air from the oven comes through.  This recipe calls for such a small amount of chocolate that it melts very quickly.

Now that I am well stocked with cookies, I need to get back to the complex research of Obadiah Stout and his family’s wanderings through the west. See you next week.

This Cornbread Pudding Use Leftovers

leftover cornbread pudding
Cornbread pudding in baking dish
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I have shared several recipes using cornmeal, because our early ancestors definitely used cornmeal frequently. No doubt the 17th and early 18th century families I am talking about recently ate cornbread–probably frequently. Did our waste-hating grandmothers make cornbread pudding? I don’t know, but it is such a simple recipe that it would not show up in cookbooks of the period.

What did they do with leftover cornbread? Or with families of 10 children maybe they had no such a thing as leftovers. But in today’s smaller families, a full pan of cornbread may not disappear during the first meal where it appears.

Leftover cornbread pudding to the rescue. My husband and I had this for breakfast and it was delicious and filling. Feel free to scatter some fruit over the top, or include bits of meat (crisp bacon, ham) in the mix. I love dishes with the flexibility that this one has. Make it your own. (And let us know how you have adapted it.)

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Cornbread Pudding

Leftover cornbread makes a delish dish for breakfast.
Course Breakfast
Keyword corn bread, leftover, breakfast
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 2
Author Vera Marie Badertscher

Ingredients

  • two pieces of cornbread
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • dash salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • cinnamon or spice blend

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Beat eggs, add milk, salt, sugar, and salt and whisk together.
  • Butter inside of oven-proof dish, capacity 2-2 1/2 cups.
  • Break cornbread in bite-size chunks and scatter in bottom of dish.
  • Pour the milk/egg mixture over the cornbread.
  • Sprinkle spices over top.
  • Bake until you can insert a knife and there is no liquid in the center. (About 1/2 hour)

Notes

cornbread pudding

One serving of cornbread pudding

Don’t throw out that almost-stale cornbread!
You can make cornbread pudding for breakfast, or use it for dessert.
This recipe makes two servings of cornbread pudding.  It is simple to multiply the recipe to feed as many as you like–or as much as you can make with your leftover cornbread.  Baking times will depend on the size of the dish that you are using.