Special of the day: Easy as Pie

20 Feb Special of the day: Easy as Pie

Almond-glazed Cherry Turnovers

The idea of pie, for me, always conjures up the childhood memory of my mom and dad sitting in the kitchen starting the day off right-with a slice of pie, of course-and a cup of coffee. It’s been their breakfast of choice for as long as I can remember.

So, the email I received this morning while polishing this week’s Special of the day column thanking me for the Almond-Glazed Cherry Turnovers came as no surprise.

Good morning, Sydne:

Of course we had your delicious cherry turnovers for breakfast.

Probably the only two so superbly spoiled in that way with such delicious treats!




But baking homemade pie for breakfast?

Perhaps for some, the biggest hurdle in the quest to make a pie is the tackling of the crust. Armed with a foolproof recipe and step-by-step pictures to guide you along the way, it really is as easy as pie.

Luckily for me, my mom passed along Garnet’s Famous Pie Crust recipe which I have been using for years with great success to the point where I rarely make any other crust when making a pie, quiche or turnovers.

It’s the go-to, foolproof, tried-and-true pie crust recipe you’ll want to add to your repertoire, especially when you realize that all you need for the recipe is flour, oil and water.

Garnet and “Dutch,” as we always called her husband Henry, Dahmer lived across the street from us when I was growing up, and we often wandered over to see what Garnet was baking in her kitchen which was always something wonderful. While Garnet and Dutch have since passed away, we will always have fond memories of what special friends they were to our family, and we are forever grateful to Garnet for sharing her pie crust recipe with us.

Because it contains oil, Gar­net’s pie crust clings together nicely. Rolling it between two sheets of waxed paper prevents the pie dough from sticking to the rolling pin. The recipe makes two crusts, so usually I bake both and wrap one tightly in plastic wrap and freeze it for later. If you’re using it with a fruit filling, you obviously would fill it first and then bake it according to recipe instructions.

Once you’ve mastered the crust, the sky’s the limit on what you’ll be baking in the kitchen: turnovers, quiches, tarts and pies galore!

Seeing is believing in this week’s Special of the day: Easy as Pie with step-by-step photos and recipes for Easy Breezy Breakfast Quiche in Flaky Crust and Almond-glazed Cherry Turnovers. Happy baking!

Recipes and food photography by Sydne George

Garnet’s Famous Pie Crust

(makes crust for two 9-inch pies or one 9-inch quiche or 12 3-inch turnovers)

2 cups flour

¾ cup oil

¼ cup cold water

¼ tsp. salt (if making a savory recipe)

3 tbsp. sugar (if making a sweet recipe)

Mix all crust ingredients together with a spoon until it comes together in a ball.

Combine all crust ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir together with a spoon just until dough comes together in a ball. Do not overmix.

Flatten dough into a round disk and place between two sheets of waxed paper.

Flatten ball into a disk and place between two sheets ofwaxed paper.

Roll out with rolling pin to desired size.

Use Garnet’s pie crust to make Easy Breezy Breakfast Quiche and Almond-Glazed Cherry Turnovers. Happy Baking!

Easy Breezy Breakfast Quiche with Flaky Crust

Easy Breezy Breakfast Quiche

(makes a nine-inch quiche, serves 6-8)

1 recipe Garnet’s Famous Pie Crust dough

1 cup diced ham

1 cup grated swiss cheese (you could use any cheese you like)

3 eggs

1 ¼ cups half and half

½ tsp. Kosher salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper

1 tbsp. finely minced fresh herb of your choice (if desired)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Roll pie crust out into 11-inch circle.

Drape crust over tart pan.

Drape crust over 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom.

Roll rolling pin over crust to cut edges.

Roll rolling pin over top of tart pan to cut crust to fit the pan. Pierce crust all over with fork. Bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes. Remove from oven. Arrange diced ham and grated cheese on top of crust.

In mixing bowl, whisk together half and half, salt and pepper and desired seasoning. (Any finely minced fresh herb you like with ham and cheese would be a great way to customize this quiche.)

Pour quiche filling over prepared crust and bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until set.

(Can be baked ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Reheat briefly in 325 degree oven when ready to serve.)


Almond-glazed Cherry Turnovers

Almond-Glazed Cherry Turnovers

(makes 12  3-inch turnovers)

1 recipe Garnet’s Famous Pie Crust dough

For the cherry filling:

12-ounce bag frozen dark sweet cherries (pitted)

¼ cup sugar

2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tbsp. water

1 tbsp. cornstarch

Dash of salt

In medium saucepan over medium heat, bring all filling ingredients to a boil. Simmer gently for 10 minutes, until slightly thickened.  Remove from heat and add ½ tsp. almond extract. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Roll out pie crust dough into 12 inch square. Cut square into 4 rows of 3-inch squares.

Spoon cherry filling in center of each turnover square.

Spoon 1 tablespoon cherry filling in middle of each square.

Fold corner of turnover crust down to meet opposite corner to make a triangle.

Fold each corner of dough square down and across to meet opposite corner and form a triangular turnover.

Crimp crust with a fork to seal.

Crimp edges of dough with fork to seal.

Arrange on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned.

Remove from oven and cool on cooling rack.

Almond Glaze

½ cup powdered sugar

¼ tsp. almond extract

1 ½ tbsp. heavy cream

Whisk together Almond Glaze ingredients until smooth. Transfer to pastry bag and pipe in diagonal lines over thoroughly cooled cherry turnovers. Enjoy!

Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at sydnegeorge@hotmail.com . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the day” are archived at http://sydnegeorge.com/blog/.

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