Friday, May 27, 2016

Burger buns 'n' pie...

 Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie and Bing Cherry Pie
 Light Broiche Buns
We branded today!  We are running 100 cows on shares for a neighbor (20 miles away) and today was the day to brand their calves.  Two brothers and their hired man came to help so I didn't need to go to the barn.  Instead, I cooked the noon meal.  It was simple, but I spent the time to make fresh brioche hamburger buns for our grilled hamburgers and homemade pies for dessert.  I mean really, who doesn't like to eat homemade bread and pies no matter what else there is on the menu?

I guess I had made the brioche buns before because I wrote "excellent" on the recipe (although I don't remember doing it) so I decided to make them today.  They were excellent.  The dough was incredibly sticky so I didn't handle the it much at all except at the end when I formed it into rolls, and even then, I used a scraper to portion out the dough for each bun.  The recipe recommended using the scraper and that was a great tip.  I used flour as a help for forming the buns so I could lightly touch them and get them into the pans.  The thing I learned is that the stickier the dough, the lighter the bun, and these were pretty light and tender.  I'll be making them again.  If you want the recipe click here.

Now onto the pies.  I made the family favorite -- Rhubarb Custard Pie as a gift for CarpenterSon & JJo's anniversary on Wednesday, and so I figured I'd make another pie for OnlyDaughter & OnlySIL's anniversary gift.  Their anniversary isn't until the last day of May, but I'm going in to babysit grandmother for their girls as they keep a golf date they have planned.  Anyway, I made one Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie for them and a Bing Cherry Pie for my branding crew today.  I had frozen several quarts of Bings last summer and I figured I might as well use them up since it will soon be cherry season again.  The Bing Cherry Pie was a huge hit!  The men raved about it.  It was really quite simple:  just cherries (about 4 cups),  3/4 cup of sugar, 1/4 c. cornstarch, and two capfuls of almond extract.  Toss it all together and put in a crust, dot the top with butter and add the other crust and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mix.  Bake about an hour at 375*. 

The Strawberry-Rhubarb pie recipe was very similar.  I found the recipe here , and although I cannot give you an actual quality-control taste recommendation, the look of the pie is amazing.  I really thought I should take a little nibble out of it for testing purposes, but I didn't think it would be nice to sample an anniversary pie before the couple got a taste.  (I do hope they let me have a bite though!!)

It was really fun for me to spend the entire morning in the kitchen.  It's always enjoyable to try out new-to-me recipes and to whip up old standby recipes.  I have an old standby pie crust recipe that makes seven single crusts.  You know it's an old recipe when you read "lard" as one of the ingredients.  I have since changed it up a little by making the crusts with half lard and half butter.  I think it's superior to the old recipe, but honestly, an all-lard crust is heavenly too. 

How do you like your pie crusts?  Do you have a favorite pie recipe or favorite pie you like Best Of All?  I just love all pies.  My step-dad used to say he liked only two kinds of pie.  Hot and Cold.  I wholeheartedly agree!


  1. Your buns and pies are works of art! Not surprised everyone enjoyed them. Glad you had enough help that you could work in the kitchen and bless the workers. Pies are one thing my mother never made so baking pies is kind of scary for me. My pop's favorite is cherry! I enjoy the fresh peach or strawberry pie. Boysenberry is a favorite, too, probably because of my experience at Knott's Berry Farm growing up.

  2. Thank you for sharing the recipe for the buns, I can't wait to give them a try!

  3. My mouth is starting to water! Isn't it fun to cook when you have the time to focus on it and not hurry? And when you are making pies and fresh bread, you know that you will be very appreciated!

  4. I agree, too! I'm the pie lover here. The last time I made pie I used just butter. It turned out well. Your pies are beautiful, Jody! I bet the branding crew loved their hamburgers!

  5. I like that too, hot or cold. I do think lard makes the best pie crust. I like the idea of butter and lard though. I do love those days when I get to play in the kitchen. Your hamburger buns look amazing. Your pies are so pretty. I didn't have a very large cherry crop this year. The ones I did have were the size of plums. I need to try all of your recipes.

    I hope you have a wonderful day.

  6. Sounds like a fulfilling day of baking and filling up the menfolk! Everything looks yummy!

  7. I love to make pies. I make a Bonnie's Bumbleberry which is just a combination of berries and rhubarb from the place. I am also in love with a chocolate pie with a chocolate crust that I just found on Pinterest. Thanks for the cherry pie recipe. My Bali cherry tree bloomed off the charts so I am very hopeful for a fresh cherry pie!

  8. I love to make pies. I make a Bonnie's Bumbleberry which is just a combination of berries and rhubarb from the place. I am also in love with a chocolate pie with a chocolate crust that I just found on Pinterest. Thanks for the cherry pie recipe. My Bali cherry tree bloomed off the charts so I am very hopeful for a fresh cherry pie!

  9. P.S. I love your header. What a beautiful photo.

  10. Oh Yum! Those pies looks wonderful. And spending the whole morning in the kitchen sounds heavenly. I'd love to try those brioche buns too -- I have a love/hate relationship with hamburger buns LOL. We had a favorite pie crust recipe for years and years that used only Crisco. Then I switched to a recipe that uses half butter and half Crisco. I love it that way, but it seems like I can still get a failure now and then -- plus, they seem to brown a bit more than I'd like. My MIL used to always swear by Pillsbury pie crusts - she said you could never ruin them. It's true -- it's hard to ruin cardboard LOL. I've never used lard but would love to try it -- I just need to be brave!

  11. Branding brings to mind every western I've ever seen. I'm sure I would have preferred to join you in the kitchen, especially for such tempting buns and pies.

  12. Yup, I have an old tried and true crust that was my great grandma's. She used to cook for the auction in town many moons ago and I always think about her cooking up lotsa pies for that when I'm making them.

    I need to try those buns and need to find a scraper! They look so good. I have THE WORST time making my buns look nice - they are just always awful looking blobs, but I think at least the kids don't care when they are shovelling them in their faces. :)

    Hope most of the brandings are done now and things maybe are moving out to grass. I'm ready to settle into summer!

  13. Oh my, fruit pies are my very favorite dessert ever. Yum! Strawberry/rhubarb is the best :) Yours look extremely delish! My favorite crust recipe is one I read about for apple pandowdy from America's Test Kitchen. It calls for ice water and is so tasty. Good job, cook!


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