Tag Archives: perfect pie crust

Blackberry Pie

When one of my DNA matches and I got to talking about family, she happened to mention that her grandma, Catherine Blubaugh (my 2nd cousin)   made such great blackberry pie that she won her husband, William Goode, that way.  I asked the DNA buddy if she could find a recipe, and she is trying to find it.  But when I saw big luscious blackberries in the market, I knew I couldn’t wait.

Blackberry pie close up

Blackberry pie, close up.

There’s still a chance she’ll come up with the recipe and we can compare it to this one.  I do know that great grandma used lard in the pie crust, and I didn’t–but she also made a chocolate cake, so maybe we’ll get that recipe.

Of course, it was more fun in grandma’s day because you would have that expedition into the countryside where you filled a bucket with blueberries, getting scratched in the process, eating berries as you went, and getting berry stains all over you.  However, there are many other benefits to eating blackberries.

Catherine Blubaugh

Catherine Blubaugh (Goode)

Seeing Catherine Blubaugh’s picture, I suspect it was more than just a pie that won her husband!

Like all my pies, this one starts with the Perfect Pie Crust.  If you haven’t tried this fool-proof recipe that calls for a bit of vinegar, maybe it is time.  As for me, I thought it was about time that I bake a pie with a lattice crust. So I did.  It certainly is not picture perfect, but it has the advantage of looking home-made.  You’d certainly never mistake this for a bakery pie, now would you?

Lattice top on pie

Before baking. Blackberry pie with lattice top

The Perfect Pie Crust dough is very forgiving, which makes it easy to handle for a lattice crust.  I cut the strips with a pizza cutter and after building up a higher than usual edge, started weaving the strips on the pie.

One other thing I want to show you is a recent acquisition.  You know how the edges of the pie tend to get too brown, because they stick up higher than the rest?  For decades, I have folded two strips of aluminum foil and awkwardly tucked them around the edges of the pie to protect it. Of course, when I pulled the rack out to check the pie, the hot aluminum foil fell off and it was a pain to try to get it back.

Recently I broke down and bought ONE MORE THING for my baking cupboard–a silicone edge protector.  How I wish I had one of these years and years ago. It is adjustable to fit all sizes of pie pans, and being silicone, will take the high heat you sometimes use to bake a pie shell.

Edge protector

Pie baked with edge protector.

Next time you see nice blackberries in the store, consider this pie. Even if you don’t need to win a husband. Not in the mood for pie? How about blackberry liqueur?

Let’s call it Blubaugh Blackberry Pie.

Blackberry Pie

Serves 6-8
Prep time 25 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 10 minutes
Allergy Egg, Wheat
Meal type Dessert


  • pastry for 2-crust pie
  • 4 1/2 cups blackberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Minute tapioca
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter (cut in small dice)


1. Heat oven to 400 degrees
2. Roll out half of pie crust and line pie pan, forming a generous rim. Put in refrigerator
3. Mix sugar and tapioca, pour over berries along with lemon juice and mix gently. Let sit 15 minutes.
4. Put filling into pie shell and dot with butter.
5. Roll out 2nd half of pie crust into circle the size of the top of pie pan plus one inch.
6. Cut the circle of pie crust into 3/4 inch strips. Fasten one end of the strip along one half of the bottom crust. Fold back every other strip. Lay one strip perpendicular to the first strips, folding down the strips that are folded back. Fold back the strips that are now under the first perpendicular strip. Continue in this fashion to weave the top. Pinch the edges securely.
7. Brush top with egg yolk or milk and sprinkle with sugar.
8. Protect edges with aluminum foil or a silicone edge protector. Place pan on a cookie sheet to protect oven from drips. Bake at 400 degrees10 minutes. Turn oven down to 350 and bake until crust nicely browned and berries are bubbling.


This recipe will work with any berries. You may have to adjust the sugar, depending on the sweetness, and be sure you have a generous amount of berries if you use a large pie pan I made this in a 9" pan.


Apples in Nightgowns, a German Apple Dessert

I am taking a short break from writing stories about ancestors, as I get into some thorny thickets of research, but meanwhile, we still have to EAT! So how about a German apple dessert?

Since I’m mostly looking at German immigrant ancestors right now, I checked out a German cook book for some inspiration. I had downloaded —The German Cookbook: A complete Guide to Mastering Authentic German Cooking by Mimi Sheraton –to my Kindle. (It is also available in print editions.)

One of the reasons I chose this book is that it has lengthy introductions to each chapter, filling you in one what Germans eat, or what they ate in the past, and Sheraton emphasizes the regional nature of recipes.  Thus I can look for the Bavarian dishes that would have been prepared by most of my German ancestors, or wander farther afield.

German Apple dessert

Apples in Nightgowns, a Greman dessert

I had a bag of apples that needed to be used up, and I wanted a German apple dessert that is a little different than my favorite apple dumplings.  Under baked German desserts I came across the title Apples in Nightgowns (Äpfel im Schlafrock) Now who could resist a dish with such a cozy name?

Sheridan’s recipe for this German apple dessert calls for one recipe of Rich Tart Pastry. She has three versions of Rich Tart Pastry in her book, but I chose to use my Perfect Pie Crust recipe, since I had some in the freezer, ready to go.  Her Rich Tart Pastry does not diverge far from the Perfect Pie Crust dough, and it worked just fine.

Unfortunately, I did not have marmalade, so as you can see above, I used a blackberry jam instead, adding some lemon juice to increase the tanginess.  I think I’d prefer the marmalade version, but there is nothing wrong with using any jelly, jam or preserves you have on hand.

My other divergence was in the size of the apples.  Mine were larger than she probably intended, so I made only four.

Apples in Nightgowns, a German Apple Dessert

Serves 4-8
Prep time 25 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 10 minutes
Allergy Egg, Milk
Meal type Dessert
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Region German
From book German Cooking by Mimi Sheraton
A German apple dessert with a novel name, Apples in Nightgowns, is a new take on apple dumplings.


  • 8 small cooking apples (not too sour)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 egg yolk (beaten)


  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup raisins or chopped nuts
  • 2-3 tablespoons citrus or quince marmalade (melted)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

For serving (Optional)

  • Confectioner's sugar


1. Prepare pastry, chill, then roll out to about 1/4" thickness in a single sheet.
2. Cut into squares, each of which is large enough to wrap around one apple. Chill dough.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
4. German apple dessert before wrapping
Core and peel apples and set one in center of each dough square.
5. Mix sugar, nuts or raisins, cinnamon and marmalade and place a little of mixture in core of each apple.
6. German apple dessert with envelope wrapped dough
Cover apples with dough, envelope style, or bring corner of square up toward center to form a peak. Seal edges with egg white.
7. Set dough-wrapped apples on ungreased baking sheet or pan and brush with beaten egg yolk.
8. Bake in preheated oven ten minutes, then lower heat to 350 degrees and continue baking 20 to 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and crisp.
9. Cool and serve sprinkled with confectioners' sugar. Can also be served hot.


Sheraton recommends either egg white or milk to seal the packets, but I used the egg white, since the egg yolk was going to glaze the packets.

Get as fancy or plain as you wish with wrapping the apples. The squares I cut were about 7 inches on each side. I would recommend testing the size of dough you need on one apple, and then measuring the rest of the pieces to the same dimensions.

With larger apples it took 45 minutes in the 2nd phase of the baking (after the initial ten minutes).



Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes Round Up

Last year and the year before, in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, I shared recipes from our Thanksgiving Dinner Table. In case you’re wondering about what you’re going to have. Here are some ideas.

Cranberry Relish

Cranberry-Orange Relish ingredients

Paul Kaser’s Scalloped Corn, which has become my son Brent’s contribution to our Thanksgiving Table.

Norma Kaser’s Turkey Dressing, with all kinds of good things including her Spiced Pecans, which are great on their own for any festive occasion.

Harriette Kaser’s Cranberry-Orange Relish, with a look at the old fashioned food grinder she used to make it.

Perfect Gravy, in honor of my Aunt Rhema, whose gravy was always perfect.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Killer Corn Bread

Killer Corn Bread, my own tradition, borrowed from a 1960s newspaper article about the Scottsdale Hilton chef.

Pickled Beets and Eggs, a traditional European recipe that is a must on our Thanksgiving table, the beautiful ruby-red beets and eggs served up in a crystal dish.

Frozen Fruit Salad, a relic from the days of Jell-o salads and Jell-o frozen desserts.

Thanksgiving recipes

Mixing generations. Left-cut glass bowl from Hattie Stout; top meat platter from Hattie Stout; center my own cut glass bowl, shallow china bowl my wedding china, wicker basket a wedding present.

And of course there must be pie.

Perfect Pie Crust.  Honestly, it is SO easy.

Frozen Pie Filling If you want to get a head start, make and freeze your fruit pie filling. The principle is the same for most kinds of fruit–just gauge the sweetness when adding sugar.

Ken’s Grandma Badertscher’s Raisin Pie is a real vintage recipe, straight from Switzerland.

Blueberry Pie from a Vintage Cook Book.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Dinner

Part of a Ham Dinner for an alternative Thanksgiving Dinner.

Add some mashed potatoes, and the turkey of course and you’ll have a whole Thanksgiving dinner.  If you were my grandmother, Vera Stout Anderson, you’d also have ham and bake a cake, and have three kinds of vegetables–but, hey, it all depends on how big an appetite your family has.