Good Cooking

In the Gravert family, the art of making a good farm meal with dessert afterwards has been passed on through the generations.

Here are a few of our favorite recipes.

Church Supper Fruit Salad

  • 2lbs. unpeeled apples (about 6 apples), chopped
  • 1 can chunk pineapple (save juice)
  • 1/4 pkg. mini marshmellows
  • 1/2 lbs. green grapes, cut in half
  • 1/2 lbs. red grapes, cut in half
  • 1 can fruit coctail
  • 1/4 cup celery, chopped

Dressing

  • 1 1/2 cups salad dressing
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup pinepple juice
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk
Drain canned fruit. reserve pineapple joice for use in the dressing. Mix and add dressing to fruit. Chill. This recipe is made every year at the annual Green Island Church Supper. the best apple to use in salads is one that will stay white after cutting without the use of lemon juice. Cortland is the best. Empire, Golden Delicious, Golden Supreme, and Jonagold all stay white also.

Apple Crisp

  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teas. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 lbs. apples (about 6)
  • 2 TB. sugar
Combine oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter until crumbly. Peel, core and slice apples. Put apples into a 10X6 baking dish. Sprinkle with sugar. Sprinkle crumb mixture over all. Bake 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Serve with ice cream. There are a lot of apple crisp recipes; I like this one best because it's so easy. For crisps, I look for an apple that breaks down completely and is saucy and tart. It's hard to beat a Wealthy or Gravenstein in this recipe; McIntosh and Empire also are great.

Apple Dip

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 teas. milk
  • 1 teas. vanilla
Mix thoroughly with a mixer. Serve with sliced apples or other fruit. This is just like the store-bought dip except it makes a whole bunch for a lot less cost. Use a good eating apple with this dip. There are many to chose from - use your favorite! It always bothers me when I hear someone won't attempt a homemade pie because they're scared to make the crust. It's actually quite easy - I follow three rules - keep it cold, use lard, don't overwork it. Pies do take some time in comparison to a crisp; and you may be dismayed when your family eats up in half an hour what took you 1 hour to make plus bake, but there is a lot of satisfaction in being a good pie baker! As for the types of apples - choose carefully - it can make the difference between a tasteless goo and a blue ribbon. we recommend Ida Red, Empire, Gravenstein, Wealthy, MacIntosh, Chieftain or Bonnie's best. At the grocery store, you can use Granny Smith.

Apple Pie & Crust

  • 2 lbs. apples (about 6), peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbs. flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add to sliced apples and toss to coat. Put into a pastry-lined pie plate, dot with 1 tbs. butter. Put on top crust. Sprinkle sugar. (I like the large crystal type best.) Prick top.

Crust

The key to making a good crust is to have everything cold. I will even refrigerate the flour if the day has been hot. The second secret is to work fast and light handed. Don't overwork the crust. Hers is a step-by-step:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup cold lard (true lard makes a fail proof flaky crust)
  • 6-7 tbs. cold water

Mix the flour and salt together. Cut in cold lard with a pastry cutter. Cut until there are coarse crumbs, but not lumps. Add 1 TB of cold water at a time stirring it in gently with a fork just until dough sticks together in a ball. There will still be some flour flakiness in the bottom of the bowl.

Divide dough into approximately a 1/3 and a 2/3 ball. Put the smaller ball in the fridge. Roll out the crust between two sheets of wax paper until it will fit your pie plate. (It will be very thin.) Take off the top wax paper and fit crust over your pie plate. Carefully lift the other piece of wax paper off. Pour apple filling in. Roll out the small ball between two new sheets of wax paper. Fit on top like bottom crust.

With your fingers, roll the two crusts together along the edge. Seal edge anyway you like, but I simply take a fork and press the two together. Then sprinkle sugar over the top, especially on the edges. Lastly, prick the top with a fork to let air escape.

Put foil over the whole pie, but tear a hole in the middle of the foil. Peel back foil until the middle of the pie is exposed to heat and the crust edge is covered. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove the foil edge and bake for 20-25 minutes more. I serve it warm with ice cream.