This season I finally had a chance to scratch one off of my Bucket List. I’ve always wanted to visit New England in the fall. I had always heard that the changing of the leaves is spectacular, and I wanted to be there during the peak week. (Me and everyone else on the planet, I discovered!) While our Sonoran Desert holds its own beauty, brilliant red, yellow and orange leaves are pretty scarce. My trip to Woodstock, Vermont was worth the trip, and while there, I wanted to immerse myself in the New England food scene. That brings me to maple syrup. I couldn’t get enough of it, whether it was on my breakfast pancakes, a delicious ham slathered in a Vermont maple glaze or those iconic maple leaf-shaped candies. I came home with plenty of bottles of syrup which came in handy for this scrumptious holiday Maple Pecan Pie. This time of the year, while pumpkin pie is the go-to, pecan pie is right up there in popularity, and this version is definitely holiday worthy! It starts with a light and flakey crust, the perfect bed for a sweet, nutty and maple syrupy filling. So just in case searching for perfect holiday pies is on your bucket list, this one will not disappoint!
The combination of chocolate and raspberries, for many, is a match made in heaven. A search of the internet reveals dozens of desserts paring the two ingredients, but this recipe came right from the American Pie Council which chooses the first place winner every year during National Pie Week. This Double Chocolate Raspberry Dream Pie took the prize in the Classic Chocolate Category, and I can see why. To say that it got thumbs up in my test kitchen this week is an understatement. The Double Chocolate Raspberry Dream Pie was a runaway favorite. The original recipe gives the ingredients for a homemade pie crust, but I used store bought deep dish pie shells to save time. (*Note: I had plenty of filling ingredients for two 8-inch pies.) Fresh raspberries are readily available, and if you’re a chocolate lover, this fruit and chocolate combination is rich, luscious, smooth and creamy. This might just be the day to dive into a deliciously dreamy pie!
Ice water. Would you ever believe that ice water is a main ingredient to a beyond-heavenly-homemade angel food cake? (Oh, there is a cake god!) Rather, there is a family—a three-generation Arizona family that turned water into…well, greatness! The story is so sweet and here it is in Arizona native Marta Owens’ words.
“Jan, my Mom Dorothy Millsaps made this cake during WWII. We lived deep in the Superstition Mountains while my father, Rollie Olson, worked as a cowboy. (Dad was one of the last original Arizona cowboys.) My mother was a city girl but was brave and innovative and adapted to ranch life living without electricity and indoor plumbing. Cooking was a challenge. Although we had no milk, the spring produced cold water. My mother made her own cake flour during those days using cornstarch and whole flour. We raised chickens for the eggs. She beat the egg whites with a fork and a pie pan and I loved the way she kept that pie pan spinning while she whipped up those eggs. Sugar was rationed and she used it sparingly. Mom came up with this recipe using angel food as a guide. It has been the Olson family birthday cake for the past 70 years as we pass it down from one generation to the other. (It is a bit tricky but has become easier with the use of electric mixers. My mother used a large wooden spoon.) We are long time Arizona natives and proud of the fact and our history is centered in the Payson area and the Superstition Mountains where we raised cattle in the Reeves Ranch, Tortilla Flat, J/F Ranch and Hewitt Station area. Life for us was full of adventure and love. I’m just glad that the security we shared was never based on money. Just a family of six doing the best we could in the wilds of Arizona. Mom left us in 1991 and is missed.”
Marta, now thousands more of us will happily keep your Mom’s memory alive with a Rescued Recipe that is absolutely heaven sent!