Editor’s Note: A big thank you to Mary Pat Archuleta for sharing her family recipes with us. Her helpful hints and history behind each recipe are a fantastic addition.
She was gracious enough to allow me to photograph her while she cooked her Shepherd’s Pie and we had fun reminiscing about our days in the NDSU Concert Choir together.
Autumn Pumpkin Pie
This is an old, old recipe from the Betty Crocker’s Pie Parade. My mother received this cookbook as a new bride and used many of the recipes in this small old cookbook. My mother even made copies of the best recipes for all of my sisters and I so that these recipes wouldn’t be buried, but remain in our family.
1 & 3/4 C. mashed, cooked pumpkin–may be canned (15 oz)
1 & 1/3 C. sweetened, condensed milk (15 oz)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1C. hot water
Pour this mixture into a pastry lined pan (recipe follows) and bake at 375 for 50-55 minutes.
(Note: When I’ve made this wonderful pie, I double the recipe for a deep dish pie. When I make this at Thanksgiving, I always quadruple it (4 cans pumpkin, 4 cans sw. cond milk, etc.) and I fill two deep dish pies, and a smaller third pie plate. Then, I use only 3 cups of hot water instead of 4. It’s a bit thicker but turns out just right! I take one pie to our Thanksgiving family gathering, keep one for us at home and take the third pie to a neighbor as a surprise!)
Never Fail Pie Crust
I received this recipe from my wonderful Aunt Jean Rask. It was her mother, Zola Fillmore’s recipe and honest to goodness, it never fails!
1 C. Flour
1/2 C. Shortening (I cut one pre-wrapped stick of Butter flavored Crisco in half–so easy!)
Dash of Salt
3 Tbsp. VERY COLD WATER (I put ice cubes in a bowl with water as I’m getting my cupboard prepped and ready to combine this recipe)
This is a single pie crust. If you want a two-crust pie, don’t double in the same bowl. If I’m making multiple crusts, I set out 3 or 4 bowls, putting the first three ingredients listed above in the bowl in the order given. (Wait with the water until after this next step).
“Cut” the shortening into the flour and salt, using a pastry cutter until the mixture forms small pea-sized pieces. Add the COLD water, combine quickly with a fork. Gather it all into a ‘ball’, using your hands shape it into a 5 in. diameter ‘patty’. It should be at least an inch thick. In warm weather, or if I’m doing multiple crusts in an evening, I put this into a bowl, (or wrapped in waxed paper) and put in the freezer for 3 to 4 minutes before I roll it out – helps on a humid, hot day or a warm kitchen!
Put 1/4 c. on a pastry board, if you have one, or right onto your clean countertop. Coat both sides of the ‘patty’ with the flour and get rolling! Working quickly, roll in all directions until you have a pastry that will exceed your pie plate diameter by about an inch. I always fold my pastry in half, to a half moon and then again, into a triangle so as not too break the pastry. Line your pie plate and if you want to get a little fancy with the edges of the crust, you can play around to get a fun design with your fingers. Pour in your filling and bake!!
Sour Cream Raisin Pie
This recipe has been in my family now for 5 generations! My great grandmother Elsie Haugen made this when I was a girl and I loved it. Her mother, Ida, brought this recipe with her from Germany.
She gave it to her daughter Elsie, who gave it to Lucille (my grandmother), who shared it with Linda (my mother),and now to me. Today, my daughters, Bridget and Rachel make it. Guess what? Rachel’s daughter is named “Elsie”. Something tells me she’ll enjoy this recipe too!
Whenever I make this, I think about how inventive these young farmwives were! Just think, if they had a cup of sour cream (and if they had cows they probably did), a cup of sugar, raisins and some eggs, they could whip together a lovely pie for their loved ones. Spices might have been more tricky to get, but since a lot of baking took place, they very likely had sweet spices on hand. Stir this together – it’s amazing!!
Stir together in a large bowl:
1 C. sour cream
1/2 C. raisins
1 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 egg yolks, and 1 egg white (Option: 1 WHOLE egg, plus 1 Tbsp. flour–I always use this option)
Pour into an unbaked pie shell, and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. If you are a meringue person, you could whip together the leftover egg whites, add sugar and cream of tartar and brown under your broiler until golden and voila! You have pie.
Mary Pat’s Shepherd’s Pie
When I make this I cannot count on ANY leftovers! I’ve tried several Shepherd’s Pie recipes, and this one is a combination of about three different versions, so I call it mine! The thing I like about this recipe is that it calls for potatoes, hamburger, carrots, bacon, mushrooms…items I usually have on hand in my fridge and pantry. It’s also a pretty quick recipe, a basic “no-brainer”, and satisfying to all!
2-3 pounds of potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large ladle of potato water-(from the boiled potatoes)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-2 Tbsp. good olive oil
3/4 to 1 lb. pound of good bacon (I LOVE LOVE LOVE Cloverdale Pepper Bacon!) Slice this into small pieces before browning!
2 lbs ground beef (lean please)
1 large onion, roughly chopped
8 oz. (1 small package) button mushrooms, quartered
3 or 4 carrots, peeled and chopped or sliced to 1/4 in. thick
2-3 Tbsp. butter
2 heaping Tbsp. flour
2 C. beef stock – I almost always use Kitchen Basics brand
2-3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce – to taste
1/4 C prepared horseradish
1 egg, beaten
chives, chopped (fresh or dried)
Place the potatoes in a medium sized pot. Cover them with cold water, salt and bring to a boil. Cook until fork tender, about 15-18 minutes.
Drain, (saving a big ladle of the potato water), allow potatoes to cool slightly. Mash them, adding in the potato water, beaten egg, and horseradish. Season with salt, to taste, freshly ground pepper and set aside. *Hint: If you are a bleu cheese fan, you can SUBSTITUTE 1/4 c. crumbled bleu cheese for the horseradish, and Oooh, that’s good, too!
While potatoes are cooking:
In a large Dutch oven or large, deep frying pan heat the olive oil until it’s warm- add the bacon pieces. Brown well, about 5 minutes. Remove and drain on a paper towel lined dish. Drain all but about 2 Tbsp. of the bacon fat. Add ground beef and brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add bay leaf, carrots, continue to cook for 1-2 minutes. Add onion and mushrooms, continue to cook until tender. Season with salt and pepper.
While meat is cooking:
Heat a small saucepan to medium heat and melt the butter. Whisk the flour into the butter and cook 2 minutes. Whisk in the beef stock, worcestershire sauce and add salt and pepper if you wish. Thicken for 5-6 minutes. Watch it carefully. Pour this gravy mixture into the meat mixture and turn on the oven.
If you wish to finish this dish in your large Dutch oven or frying pan, you can spread your mashed potatoes right over your meat mixture, top with the chives, paprika and bake.
I sometimes, transfer the meat mixture into two smaller dishes/oven casserole type dishes, and “frost” mixture with the wonderful mashed potatoes if I want to take this to a potluck event. That way, I can finish the baking at my destination. Do what works for you!
A shortcut: If you aren’t crazy about doing lots of dishes, add your beef broth, worchestershire, into your cooked meat. Sprinkle with the flour and cook that gravy right into your meat mixture. You don’t need the butter if you do it that way.
Many recipes say to just put this under the broiler to brown the top. I like to bake for about 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees to be sure those carrots are fully cooked and all the flavors can marry.
An awesome family meal. A “hit” every time!