Hamburg Upside Down Pie

Hamburg Upside Down Pie

A Recipe from Jane Ashley’s Newest Recipes for Better Meals (1952)

About the Recipe

Happy Pi Day 2022! With the chaos of a new baby in the house, and time at a premium, I only had time for one pie this year, and wow is this a good one. One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it’s thrifty as heck. Most ingredients I had on hand, and everything I didn’t cost just over $7. The result? A delicious, easy meal that had my husband going back for seconds and thirds!

A few quick adjustments and substitutions on this one – feel free to cut the salt in half. There’s plenty in the sauce and the biscuit, and it was a little much. I used spicy ketchup that I had on hand, which I think gave the whole dish an additional depth of flavor. In the future, I’ll probably substitute the beef for turkey, and maybe throw in some blocks of cheese to get all melty in the middle. A little roasted garlic would also be a big taste add on this one. All in all though, feel free to make it as is and you won’t be disappointed.

Find more Pi Day Recipes here!

About the book

This is actually an advertising book for the Corn Products Refining Company, which includes brands like Karo, Mazola, and Argo, still in use today. Shortly after this book was published, they became the Corn Products Company. Then in 2014, after some mergers and acquisitions activity, they became Ingredion which still exists today.

Jane Ashley seems to have been someone who you might have seen on television sponsoring and cooking with these corn ingredients. There are at least 2 books that she published on behalf of CPRC, this being the later of the two.

Regardless of its origins, this recipe alone has made me want to try more from this book. Interestingly, when I was looking at another cookbook dated in the 1960’s I found 2 recipes from this book, including this one, printed under similar but different names. It makes me wonder where else there may be similar cross pollination.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

2 slices bacon
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can (10 1/2 oz.) condensed cream of mushroom soup

1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup salad oil
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
2 T catsup
1 t chili powder
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper

1 recipe “Easy-Mix” Flaky Biscuits:
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/3 cup salad oil
2/3 milk

Directions:

Sauté onion, green pepper and beef in salad oil in 9-inch frying pan, having oven-proof handle. Separate beef into small pieces as it cooks. Add tomato sauce, catsup, chili powder, salt and pepper.

Prepare biscuit dough as directed in recipe below. Roll biscuit dough to fit frying pan. Place on top of meat mixture.

Bake in hot oven (400*F) for 25 minutes, or until biscuit topping is lightly browned. Turn out on serving plate, crust side down. Serve hot. Makes 6 servings.

“Easy Mix” Flaky Biscuits:

Mix and sift dry ingredients together. Combine salad oil and milk. Pour all at once over surface of flour mixture. Mix with fork to make a soft dough. Shape lightly with hands to make a round ball. Place on wax paper and knead lightly ten times or until smooth.

Pat out to 1/2 inch thickness or roll between 2 squares wax paper (about 12 inches square). Remove top sheet of paper; cut biscuits with unfloured 2-inch biscuit cutter. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake in hot oven (450*F) 12-15 minutes. Makes 20.

Cook bacon. Remove and crumble. Cook onion in drippings until tender. Stir in soup, water, salt, and pepper; add potatoes and green beans. Pour into 1 1/2-quart casserole. Stand up frankfurters around edge of casserole. Bake at 350*F for 30 minutes. Garnish with bacon.

Blueberry Peach Pie

Blueberry Peach Pie

A Recipe from Betty Crocker’s Outdoor Cook Book (1961)

About the Recipe

Nothing quite says summer like a fresh fruit pie. This is a delightfully simple pie recipe, designed for making quickly and toting to a picnic or barbecue. Peach and blueberry is a classic combination, and this pie just works.

I used pre-made Pillsbury pie crusts (because some days there’s just not time to make it from scratch, and that’s okay), but feel free to use your favorite 9-inch crust, anything will do. Two quick adjustments – I doubled the butter, using about 3 tablespoons dotted across the pie. Next time I’ll also toss the blueberries in a little bit of lemon juice. This pie is a little bit on the sweet side, and that little bit of acidity would go a long way.

Don’t make my mistake – let it cool and set before serving to avoid some of the soupy mess you see above. And trust me when I say this is worth the wait. It tasted even better when I had it for breakfast this morning.

Otherwise, I’m pleased to report that my friend Raab (dressed in his ’50’s bowling shirt and toting his adorable daughter, Lila) enjoyed it quite heartily as dessert to our first barbecue of the season.

About the Book

This book is everything you’d look for in a mid-century style cookbook – a little bit absurd, great illustrations, and a little bit of racism (buyer beware…). It came my way via the sister of a good friend of mine who heard through the grapevine that I was also a collector.

It almost seems a shame to start with a pie, as the heart of this cookbook is in all of the great outdoor recipes found within – clambakes, broiled steaks, banana boats. But don’t fret – there will be more coming from this classic as the summer gets on.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

Pastry for 9″ Two-crust Pie
1 to 1 1/2 cups sugar*
1/3 cup flour
1/2 t cinnamon
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 1/2 cups pared and sliced fresh peaches
1 1/2 T butter

*Use maximum amount of sugar only if berries and peaches are quite tart

Directions:

Heat oven to 425*F (hot). Stir sugar, flour, and cinnamon in small bowl. Pour blueberries in bottom of pastry-lined 9″ pie pan. Sprinkle half of the sugar-flour mixture evenly over berries. Arrange peach slices over berries. Sprinkle with remaining sugar-flour mixture. Dot with butter. Cover with top crust which has slits cut in it for steam to escape. Seal and flute. Bake 40-50 min. Cool and serve.

If using frozen fruit: Use 1 pkg. (16 oz.) frozen blueberries and two pkg. (12 oz. each) frozen peaches, thawed and drained well, saving juice. Mix 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, and 1/2 t cinnamon with 1/2 cup peach juice; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil 1 min. Add blueberries and mix lightly. Pour into pastry-lined pie pan; dot with butter; arrange peaches over blueberries and cover with top crust.

Pi(e) Day 2021

Pi(e) Day 2021

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I have always maintained that pies test my patience, and this year, just after the 1-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, they definitely did. The crusts took 3 tries to get out of the oven in a usable state. I needed to call in my sous-chef (husband) multiple times because I wasn’t ready for some of the multi-tasking that needed to happen. And yet – it was a successful pie day. Here’s what we made:

2021 Pi(e) Day WINNER! Orange-Pumpkin Chiffon Pie (1961)
Chicken Pie with Sweet Potato Crust (1940)
Cottage Cheese Pie (1963)

Grandma’s Apple Pie

Grandma’s Apple Pie

A Recipe from Grandma Jones’ recipe box & my Bridal Shower Cookbook

About the Recipe

My grandma was the wife of a doctor. As such, she knew how to host! When we went to holidays at her house growing up, there were a few things that you could depend on – a fantastic table setting, my Zaydee (grandpa) taking photos every 5 minutes, my father and his sister fighting over the best parts of the turkey, and grandma’s apple pie.

I truly believe that my love of baking came from years and years of getting to her house, putting on an apron, and getting floury in the kitchen with this pie and this pie crust. Making it each Thanksgiving for my family and friends has become a ritual that I hope to pass on some day as well.

I’ve made some small filling adjustments over the years. I soak raisins in whiskey or bourbon and pour them and the soaking liquor into the filling. I’ve added ground clove and other spices here and there. But the core of the pie – apples, cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg – is classic and delicious.

For more of my family recipes, click here!

About the Cookbook

This book is not old in and of itself, but it is filled with old family and friend recipes. For my bridal shower, my cousin Becky (yes, the same Becky from A Weekend at Becky’s) compiled this book full of them. There are recipes from folks no longer with us, and recipes that traveled halfway across the world. I will always treasure this very special book. But, sadly, there’s only one.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

Pie crust:
2 sticks of butter
2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup, or a little more *ice* water

Filling:
6-8 apples, peeled & cut up
cinnamon
sugar
raisins (if you want)
dash of nutmeg

Directions:

Add butter to flour, break up into small pieces. Add water to form a ball. Refrigerate for 1 hour+.

Remove to flour surface, divide in 2, and roll out! Line pie tin with bottom crust.

Peel and cut the apples. Add cinnamon, a little sugar. You can add raisins if you want. A dash of nutmeg.

Add to bottom crust. Top with other half of crust rolled out. Poke holes in the top & bake at 400* for about an hour.

One Step Boston Cream Pie

One Step Boston Cream Pie

A Recipe from Bake-Off Cook Book 100 winning recipes from Bake-Off 23 (1972)

About the Recipe

Okay – this pie – this is not a one step pie. The name of the dish is a lie. You’ve been warned.

It is however a Boston Cream Pie that bakes all at the same time with the cream already inside, which is nice. And not only that, it’s a really really good pie.

Ignore my glaze (I’ve never been good at glaze…), as I substituted honey for the corn syrup. While the flavor was spot on, it does nothing for the chemical reaction necessary to stop crystals from forming to see that beautiful smooth glaze that you see in the cookbook. That said, if you don’t have corn syrup lying around, from a flavor perspective the honey substitute was just fine.

For more recipes in the Pillsbury Challenge, click here!

About the book

It’s the debut of Poppin Fresh! That creepy, yet oddly comforting talking blob of dough that we know and love today as the primary marketing tool for Pillsbury products has finally come to be!

Let us all raise our triangles in celebration as we poke him in the belly – HOO HOO!

With this transition, we also see the forward in the book moving now to “The Pillsbury Kitchens.”

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

5 eggs
1/8 t baking powder (in egg whites)
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups flour
1/8 t baking powder (in batter)
1 t vanilla

Filling:
18 oz. can (2 cups) vanilla pudding**

Glaze:
1 t unsweetened cocoa
1 T cooking oil
1 T corn syrup
1 T plus 1 t water
1 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325*F Grease and flour 9-10-inch deep dish pie pan or 9-inch round cake pan.

Separate 2 eggs; beat egg whites until frothy. Add 1/8 t baking powder; beat until peaks form. Set aside.

In large bowl, cream sugar and butter. Add 2 egg yolks and 3 eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Blend in flour, 1/8 t baking powder and vanilla. Mix 1 minute.

Fold 2 cups prepared batter into beaten whites. Pour remaining batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly to form a small rim. Spoon pudding over batter. (Pudding should not touch edges.) Spoon egg white batter around edge and gently spread over pudding.

Bake 20 minutes; reduce temperature to 300* and bake 40-50 minutes or until top is evenly browned and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes.

In small saucepan, heat cocoa, oil, syrup and water, stirring until smooth. Add powdered sugar; mix well. Spread over pie. Cool 2 hours before serving.

**If desired, cook 1 package (4 serving size) vanilla pudding and pie filling mix as directed on package; cool and use as pudding.

Waldorf Salad Pie

Waldorf Salad Pie

A Recipe from Pillsbury’s Bake Off Cook Book prize winning recipes from the 21st Bake Off (1970)

About the Recipe

If you’re a fan of apple pie, but prefer something a little more savory than the traditional (or really want to impress some friends) than this is the apple pie recipe for you! One bite of this tender pie and you understand why Mrs. Anne Atkinson of Canton, OH won the runner up prize for it.

As good as the pie on the whole is, as always a great pie is driven by a great crust, and this one is really good. The added egg gives a little bit more structure and crunch to the pie overall. It would work well for a quiche or tart as well.

For more recipes in the Pillsbury Challenge, click here!

About the book

As we turn the page into a new decade, the contest becomes more exciting. The forward expresses a rigorous testing and is by the Editor this time around. Also of note – Bob Barker hosted the rewards luncheon pre-Price-Is-Right days!

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1 T sugar
1 t salt
2/3 cup solid shortening
1/4 cup cold water
1 egg
2 T butter or margarine if desired

Filling:
1-2 cups (1-2 medium) sliced cooking apples
1 cup (8.5 oz can) drained, crushed pineapple
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup (1 small stalk) chopped celery
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped nuts
2 T flour

Directions:

Prepare filling; set aside. (No need to sift flour; measure by lightly spooning into cup and leveling off.)

In large mixing bowl, combine flour with sugar and salt. Cut in shortening until crumbly. Combine water with egg; add to flour mixture, stirring lightly with fork until dough holds together. Divide dough in half. Roll out 1/2 of dough on floured surface to a circle 1″ larger than inverted 9-inch pie pan. Fit loosely into pan.

Pour filling into unbaked bottom crust. If desired, dot with butter. Roll out remaining dough for top crust; cut slits for steam to escape. Place top crust over Filling. Fold top crust under bottom crust. Seal; flute edge.

Bake at 400*F for 30-35 minutes until light golden brown. Serve warm or cold.

Filling:
In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well.

Berry Pie

Berry Pie

A Recipe from Praise for the Cook (1959)

About the Recipe

Okay, so technically this is berry pie and not specifically strawberry pie. The good news is, that means I have plenty of opportunity to make it again this summer as different berries come into season. The better news is that – oh my goodness, this pie is amazing. I’ve included the recipe for the fail-proof Crisco Crust below as well so that you can make the whole thing from scratch. It’s well worth the extra effort.

This recipe is part of the Strawberry Season collection.

About the Book

Praise for the Cook was released in 1959 by the Proctor and Gamble company specifically to promote the use of Crisco. I found this little gem hiding on a shelf in my favorite antiques barn, and it’s been in regular rotation.

Keep the recipe for this crust and use it liberally. It’s so easy to make and spot on when it comes to the bake… just like most other things in this handy booklet.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

3 cups drained canned berries OR 4 cups fresh fruit
2/3 cup berry juice or water
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 t salt
4 T flour OR 3 T minute tapioca

Crisco Pastry for 9″ double crust:
2 cups sifted enriched flour
1 t salt
3/4 c Crisco
4 T water

Directions:

Combine berries and juice in saucepan and bring to boil. Stir in sugar, salt, and flour. Cook over low heat until thickened. Cool while making pastry. Line 9″ pie plate with bottom crust and pour in filling. Place top crust over filling, trim and seal. Prick to allow for escape of steam. Bake in hot oven, 400*, about 30 minutes or until crust is nicely browned.

Crisco Pastry for 9″ double crust:
Combine flour and salt in mixing bowl. Cut in Crisco with pastry blender or two knives until mixture is uniform. Sprinkle water over the mixture, a tablespoon at a time, tossing lightly with a fork. When all water has been added and mixed, work dough into a firm ball with the hands.

Down East Crabmeat Pie

Down East Crabmeat Pie

A Recipe from 100 Prize Winning Recipes from Pillsbury’s 4th Grand National Recipe & Baking Contest (1953)

About the Recipe

What an absolutely delightful way to kickoff my Pillsbury Challenge. This recipe was a bit like eating a crab cake pie. It made me think of afternoons picking crabs and drinking beer in the Baltimore Inner Harbor – basically a perfect afternoon.

It took some looking around to find the right “chili sauce” which nowadays means any sauce made from a chili and can range from sriracha to habanero sauce to regular old Heinz. Research notes that in the ’50s this would have been a plain old jar of Heinz so that’s what I went with. Quick note here – I would definitely sub out half of the plain chili sauce for something a little bit more spicy and exciting to give it more of a kick. While this pie is far from bland, it would be served well by a little something extra.

For more recipes in the Pillsbury Challenge, click here!

About the book

Published in 1953 for Pillsbury’s 4th Grand National contest, this book was one of my first, and is still one of my favorites. The recipes are so indicative of the time – lots of “pre-bake” or “freeze for later” notes from the cooks. If you ever see one of these books in the wild, grab it. You won’t be sorry.

About the glassware

Unfortunately, this pie pan is a fraud – a modern pan to accommodate a large pie. With the pandemic, I’m separated from my vintage pie pans, but this one is still lovely and was a gift from a close friend.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

1 cup flour
1/2 t salt
1/3 cup Homogenized Spry (Crisco)
3-4 T water
2 cups (two 6.5 oz cans) crabmeat or other seafood
2/3 cup chili sauce
1/2 cup cooked green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup cooked celery, chopped
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 t grated onion

For the Cheese Sauce:
3 T butter or margarine
3 T flour
1/4 t salt
1/2 t Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup milk
1 cup grated processed cheese

Directions:

Sift together the flour and salt. Cut in the Spry until particles are the size of small peas. Sprinkle water over mixture, tossing lightly with fork until dough is moist enough to hold together. Form into a ball.

Roll out on floured pastry cloth or board to a circle 1 1/2 inches larger than inverted 9-inch pie pan. Fit pastry loosely into pie pan. Fold edge to form standing rim; flute. Prick crust with fork. Bake in hot oven (450*F) for 10 minutes.

Combine crabmeat, chili sauce, green pepper, celery, salt, and onion. Blend well. Turn into partially-baked pie shell. Pour cheese sauce on top. Bake in moderately hot oven (400*F) for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve hot.

CHEESE SAUCE:
Melt butter or margarine in top of double boiler over boiling water. Blend in flour, salt, Worcestershire sauce, and milk. Cook until mixture begins to thicken, stirring constantly. Blend in processed cheese.