Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Stars at Night are Big and Bright, Deep in the Heart of Texas

Oh how I've been up to my neck in studies lately!  I finally took that blasted Praxis (ooh, bad word--teachers will know what I mean) test on Saturday.  To celebrate what I consider was a successful finish, I went to a "Texas" party hosted by my neighbor.  Her son has been called on a mission to Dallas, so the neighbors brought over some good Texas/Southern food.  

Photo by my neighbor, J. Williams
Care to know what was on the menu? Brisket, black-eyed peas cooked in bacon, corn and avocado salad, corn bread, fried chicken, seven layer dip, and banana pudding.  I contributed a few of our Texas favorites.  Chili rellenos,  fried pickles with cilantro ranch sauce, pecan pie and buttermilk pie.  I wish you could have all been there to taste all that Texas goodness.  But since you couldn't be there, I will share my pie recipes with you.  These recipes are modified by me, but originally came from the Threadgill's Cookbook.

Buttermilk Pie
Makes 2 pies

2 pie shells.  I use refrigerated, store bought shells, but feel free to be fancy and make your own.

3 cups of sugar 
1/4 cup of flour
2 sticks of butter, melted
6 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbs of water
1 to 2 tsp of lemon juice to taste--I use 1
1 to 2 tsp of vanilla extract to taste--I use 1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare the pie shells by placing them into two, 8-inch pie plates.  9-inch will also work.  
Melt the butter and whisk the sugar and flour into the butter.
Whisk in the eggs, one at a time.
Mix in the liquid ingredients.  Mix well
Pour the filling evenly into pie plates.
Place on a cookie sheet and bake for one hour until filling is set in the center.
Cool on a rack and refrigerate fore several hours before serving.  
Sprinkle with a light dusting of cinnamon, if desired.  I like mine without. 

Photo by J. Williams

Pecan Pie

1 to 2 ten-inch pie shells, store bought or homemade
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 TBS of butter, melted
2 1/2 TBS flour
5 large eggs
1 1/3 cups light corn syrup
1/4 cup molasses
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 to 4 1/2 cups pecans (pieces or halves)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare at least one pie shell in a pie plate.
Whisk together the sugar, butter, flour, and eggs.
Whisk in the syrup, molasses, and vanilla and keep whisking until smooth.  
Place three cups of pecans in an unbaked pie shell and pour the liquid mixture over the pecans until just covered. 

Do you have extra syrup mixture?  If so, this is where the extra pie shell and pecans come in.  You can make another pie in an 8-inch pie plate by using the second shell and 1 1/2 cups of pecans.  The extra filling should just cover the smaller amount of pecans.  I don't like pecan pie that is more gelatinous filling than pecans, so I always use enough pecans to go from the bottom of the pie to the top without having any floating pecans. This always leaves a little extra syrup mixture.  You could also use the extra to make little tart-lets.  I just make a slightly smaller pie. (Notice one very full pie in the photo and one that is not so full.)

Bake the smaller pie 50 minutes, if you have made one, and the larger pie 60.  Bake a few minutes more if the filling does not appear to be set in the center.  Cool on a rack for at least an hour.  Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.  

Yum, Yum!  Five stars for a great dinner.  


Linking with I Gotta Create and What's Cooking With Ruthie


  1. Oh, your making me hungry, and of course things are bigger in Texas!

  2. Sounds super-yummy!!!

    And congrats on having finished the Praxis! Not 100% sure what it is, but I'm guessing it's the thing you mentioned a while ago about teachers having to take some sort of test to qualify for the job they're already doing and have been doing for a while? Foolish thing, we have a similar problem in Sweden. Newest in that area: "after-school" teachers (basically kindergarten for elementary school kids after school is done for the day, equally long education as teachers) not being allowed to teach classes in subjects they've studied on uni (same studies as elementary school teachers do). Messes up the entire school system for elementary schools - and people are being sent back to uni to take the classes they already have a degree in. Something to do with administrations...

    Anyway, dinner sounds great, and yay to you for finishing the Praxis! =)

  3. We just about live on Buttermilk Pie here. Whenever we're "between desserts," the Piemaker whips one up.
    So glad you made it through the idiotic waste-of-your-time test and had a wonderful Texas dinner to recover from it!

  4. Oh, my heavenly goodness! I gained a pound just looking at these gorgeous beauties!



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