“We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.” David Mamet

pumpkin & apple done

What do “comfort foods” have to do with wellness? Comfort foods are foods that bring on a sentimental, nostalgic, or comforting feeling. They tickle your taste buds and warm your soul. So, are comfort foods good for you? In some ways they are. Studies have shown that foods like homemade chicken noodle soup do actually reduce stress and create a feeling of relaxation. Have you ever been stressed and binged on your favorite ice-cream, mac n cheese, homemade popcorn, or food that you grew up with and learned to love?

Just like anything else, even if they aren’t good for you, it’s not going to hurt if you eat them once in a while. Holidays wouldn’t be the same in our house without making pies with recipes handed down 4 generations. It takes a couple of hours to make these pies, but they are soooo worth it when spending time together and the “comforting” smells as they are baking.

Pie Crust:
1. 2 cups flour
2. 2 t. salt
Sift into bowl
3. 4T butter or margarine
4. 8 T shortening
Cut into dry ingredients with pastry blender or fork until “crumbly”
5. ½ cup milk there abouts
Add 1 T. at a time while continuing to cut/blend until dough forms. (good dough isn’t too moist – mine still has cracks as you can see in picture below. Pie crust will be “flaky”)
cutting in the fat
dough should have cracks
Roll dough out and fold into 4ths to put in ungreased pans. Poke holes with fork.
This dough will be the bottom of 2 pies, I will repeat this to make the bottom of a 3rd pie and the top of the apple pie.
quarter fold

Apple Crumb Pie:
1. 4 to 5 large apples (I used a mixture of granny smith, gala, and golden delicious)
2. 1 pie shell
3. ½ cup sugar
4. 1 t. cinnamon
5. ½ cup sugar
6. ¾ cup flour
7. 1/3 cup butter
Pare apples and cut into eights and arrange in un-baked shell.
apples cut up and ready to go

Sprinkle with ½ cup sugar mixed with cinnamon. Sift ½ cup sugar with flour; cut in butter until crumbly. Spread over apples.
Cover with top crust and poke with fork.
pre-baked pie
Bake in 450 degree oven for 10 minutes, then 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Pecan Pie:
1. 3 eggs
2. 1 cup sugar
3. 1 cup light corn syrup
4. 1 t. vanilla
5. ¼ t. salt
6. 1 cup pecan pieces, and whole pecans to layer over top
Beat eggs and add sugar, add corn syrup, vanilla, and salt. Put pecan pieces in pie shell, pour in liquid, and place whole pecan slices on top
Bake 10 minutes at 450 degrees and another 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
pecan pie

Aunt Ruth’s Pumpkin Pie:
1. 3 eggs
2. 2 cups whipping cream
3. 2 cups pumpkin (I usually use about 1.5 cans for a big pie shell)
4. ¾ cup sugar
5. ¼ t. cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt
6. 1/8 t. ground cloves
Beat wet ingredients, and stir dry ingredients together, Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until well blended. Bake pie shell first at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, chill (I never actually do this), then pour mix into pie shell and bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees.

For health reasons, when choosing between these 3 pies, pumpkin is your best choice. The apple and pecan have much more fat and sugar.
pumpkin & apple done

No blogging what I eat over the holidays 🙂 I will say though, that I’m still exercising like crazy!

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