Aunt Bee’s Mayberry Cookbook by Ken Beck [easy meals to make]


  • Full Title : Aunt Bee’s Mayberry Cookbook
  • Autor: Ken Beck
  • Print Length: 
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson Inc; Spi edition
  • Publication Date: October 24, 2000
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558530983
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558530980
  • Download File Format: mobi

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Aunt Bee and her friends have stirred up a cookbook that brings home all the flavor of “The Andy Griffith Show’s” Mayberry. You’ll enjoy most of the 300 mouth-watering recipes (but not all?included is the recipe for Kerosene Cucumbers) for the foods served by Aunt Bee and others in Mayberry.

From good old-fashioned, down-home cooking to some of Mayberry’s more unusual meals, you’ll discover favorite Mayberry-style dishes for all occasions?inspired by Aunt Bee’s unsurpassed talents in the kitchen and her special love for her family and friends.

Aunt Bee’s Mayberry Cookbook is also chock-full of wonderful, rare photographs from “The Andy Griffith Show” and offers entertaining glimpses into “the friendly town.” Many of the recipes are favorites from members of the show’s cast and crew.

 

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together and, of course, washing or glazing the top will make your pie look beautiful and golden and shiny. Very thin silicone brushes are great because they’re easier to wash and last longer than natural bristle brushes.

Cutters of all shapes and sizes

Decorate the top of your pie with leaves, hearts, animals, numbers – anything goes. This is particularly fun when cooking with children.

Small whisk

This is for making the sauce. If you have a non-stick saucepan use a silicone whisk to avoid scraping off the protective layer, otherwise the stainless steel whisk is my favourite.

Baker’s hat and white apron

Well, you have to feel and look the part, and I reckon you will perform better if you’re suited and booted.

PIE RULES

Master the art of pie with these simple rules.

1. Think cold

Cold fat straight from the fridge, cold fingertips, cold water, work fast and let the dough rest in the fridge for 30 minutes before baking. Hot pastry shrinks in the oven and hot filling poured into a cold pie case will leave you with a soggy bottom. It’s the total opposite to bread making when you need warmth, so never knead your pastry, either. See point 6 (here) for more on thinking cold.

2. Think confident

often find in my classes that people are scared of making pastry! Come on, I bet you have done scarier things in your life than making pastry. Just go for it: you don’t need to be an expert pastry chef or a contender for MasterChef, you just need a little patience, to follow my easy instructions and to have fun – it’s only cooking!

3. Weigh out your ingredients

Why? Baking is a science and, luckily for you, the balancing has already been worked out for you, so you don’t need to second-guess. Also, don’t heap your spoonfuls when baking. Level your teaspoon or tablespoon measurements (I scrape across the top of the measuring spoon with the flat of my finger or use a straight edge).

4. Do not overwork your pastry

Overworking the gluten in the flour causes your pastry to lose its crumbly texture and become tough and heavy. To avoid this, get in touch with your feminine side (you too, ladies!): be light and airy when making pastry, only the minimal amount of rubbing cold butter into flour is required. I know it’s relaxing and feels like playing with sand, but stop it!

Once your pastry has chilled in the fridge, use a one-directional rolling technique to roll it out.

TIP

If your pastry has been in the fridge for much longer than 30 minutes, say 2 hours, or even overnight, rest the pastry on the work surface for 5–10 minutes before rolling so that it can relax and soften.

Sprinkle flour on your work surface, and also on the rolling pin. For every three one-directional rolls, move the pastry a quarter turn and repeat until the pastry is roughly the thickness of a pound coin (about 2mm). Always flour your rolling pin rather than your pastry and keep checking to see if any pieces of pastry have stuck to your pin (if so, just rub them off with your hand and roll again).

Finally, don’t stretch your pastry to fit the dish. Push the pastry down to avoid creating air pockets (you can patch up any holes in the pastry with offcuts). Leave an overhang of pastry to tidy up later once the pie is sealed.

5. Reduce the juice in your savoury pie filling

Why? Too much juice and you’re risking a soggy bottom, even if the filling is cold. The term ‘reduce’ just means to thicken the gravy of your pie filling. This mainly applies to casserole-type pies like my Classic Steak and Guinness pie here. To achieve this, take the lid off the pot and rapidly heat the mixture so that the liquid evaporates and the sauce thickens. Another trick is to put a tablespoon of flour or cornflour into a small dish, pour over some of the juice from the pot and stir it so that it resembles a thick paste. Pour this paste back into the pot and rapidly reheat – the sauce will soon thicken.

TIP

Especially useful for fruit pies: brush the white of an egg around the sides and bottom of the pastry shell and sprinkle lightly with flour before adding the filling. This will help the juices to stay put, resulting in a golden pie bottom.

6. Never put hot filling into cold pastry

Why? Because the base of your pie will absorb moisture from the hot filling and it won’t cook through, resulting in a soggy bottom. You’ll be so disappointed and let down that you might revert to just plonking puff pastry on top of your pies. But by baking your pie with your filling and pastry at the same temperature, you will have a golden, cooked bottom and you’ll never doubt your pie-making skills again.

Rembember, think COLD. Cool your mixture down before you put it in your pastry shell. (You could make it the night before and leave it in the fridge so that it has time to cool down completely.)

TIP

For fast cooling, fill the sink or a basin full of cold water and gently rest your pan with the pie filling in it so that the pan floats on top. The cold water will draw out the heat faster than natural cooling. Change the water a couple of times as it warms up until the heat from the filling is removed.

7. Finish your pie properly (sealing, holes, crimping and glazing)

Every pie deserves to be finished neatly – it will taste better for it, trust me. Egg wash is important – your pie won’t hold together without it. To make egg wash, take 1 egg and a teaspoon of cold water and whisk together. Egg-wash around the rim of your pie, place the pastry lid on top and press together to seal. Poke a few holes in the top of your pie to let the steam escape as it cooks, or you can use a ceramic pie bird. (Place the bird in the centre of your filling before you lay the pastry lid over the pie and cut a cross in the pastry lid for him to poke through.) Trim the edge of your pie with a knife and crimp it all the way round using your fingertips or a fork. Glaze the top of your pie with more egg wash for that golden glory moment when your pie comes out of the oven. See here for more instructions on how to finish your pie.

8. Preheat the oven before baking

Don’t think, ‘Oh well, it won’t matter.’ It does. If you don’t preheat your oven, your pastry will melt and sink on top and you will not achieve your crispy pastry goal. There’s no point failing at the last hurdle, so make sure you preheat the oven to the correct temperature before inserting your pie(s). (All ovens vary, so it might be worth investing in an oven thermometer to check the temperature before you start baking.)

To make doubly sure that your pie has a crisp bottom, place a baking tray in the oven while it’s preheating and place your pie dish(es) directly on to the heated tray to cook. The blast of heat to the pastry on the bottom will help enormously.

A NOTE ON GLUTEN

Before we make our pastry, a little science.

Gluten comes from the Latin for ‘glue’. It is a protein composite found in cereal grains that gives dough the elasticity required to roll and shape it into your dish. The pastry will be unmanageable and crack without at least some gluten.

However, if too much gluten is formed it can result in tough dough. To avoid this, keep everything cool and keep handling the dough to a minimum (be sure to be as quick and light as possible at each step).

TIP

To help keep excess gluten at bay, add a dash of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to the cold water (usually a teaspoon or tablespoon depending on your recipe). The acidity stalls the development of gluten, keeping the crust light and flaky and lending it a melt-in-the-mouth texture. This is an especially useful tip in the summer months when everything heats faster.

BAKER’S NOTE

For the purposes of this book, eggs are always large and preferably free-range; butter is always salted for savoury pies, unsalted for sweet pastry; sugar is caster unless specified otherwise. I prefer to source my meat from my local butcher, but just try to get the best-quality meat you can find.

HOW TO MAKE PASTRY

We use shortcrust for most of our pies; rough puff to be a little flash and be able to say, ‘Yeah, I can make puff pastry, I don’t buy it’; easy tartlet pastry because you will have a soirée from time to time; and flaky pastry for lighter savoury or summer fruit pies.

Note: Some recipes in this book call for their own unique pastry methods so I’ve included instructions for these on the recipe pages and not in this chapter.

Shortcrust

Ratio of fat to flour: 50%

Shortcrust pastry is the most common pie pastry and the most versatile for sweet and savoury pies, tarts and quiches. It is made with three or four main ingredients: flour, butter (lard or vegetable shortening can also be used depending on the recipe) and water for savoury pastry; flour, butter (or lard or vegetable shortening), water and sugar for sweet pastry – plus a pinch of salt. Its texture is light and crumbly yet robust.

The easiest way to remember how to make shortcrust pastry is to use the half-and-half method, which is half fat to flour, and half water to butter. For example: 300g flour + 150g butter + 75ml water + a pinch of salt.

TIP

If you fancy something a bit different, blend some sticks of celery or onions in a juicer, sieve and cool in the fridge to use instead of water. This vegetable liquid will give a subtle flavour to your pastry and it’s a good way to squeeze in a few more vitamins for the family.

TIP

Also, why not introduce some dried herbs or grated hard cheese to your pastry making – add before the water is mixed in.

HOW TO MAKE SHORTCRUST PASTRY BY HAND

Remember, think COLD: cold hands, cold butter (straight from fridge) and cold water. Refer to the individual recipe for specific measurements.

Step 1. Tip the flour into a mixing bowl with a good pinch of salt. Use a knife to cube the butter and drop it into the flour.

Step 2. Quickly start rubbing the butter and flour together with your fingertips and thumbs, breaking down the lumps until they resemble ground almonds or small breadcrumbs. Lift the flour from the bottom of the mixing bowl to circulate lots of air, and to find more lumps to rub. Go for it: lift it high, mix and let it fall, rubbing as you go.

Step 3. You have to know when to stop. I know it feels lovely, but the more you handle your pastry, the warmer it gets. Think COLD. When most of the lumps of fat have magically disappeared and your mix resembles ground almonds, STOP. Sometimes what you may think are lumps of butter might only be the shortcrust pastry naturally clumping together, so STOP it. Conquer your pastry. You have to control it; don’t let it control you.

If you are making sweet pastry, mix in the sugar now.

Step 4. Make a well in the mixture and slowly add the cold water. With one hand holding the side of the bowl steady and the other hand shaped like a claw, make quick circular motions in the flour mix to bring the crumbs together into dough. Don’t worry if it’s a little crumbly at this stage.

Step 5. Turn out the dough on to a lightly floured surface. Now, with both hands, squeeze the dough together so that all the crumbs merge together. Turn and squeeze, then turn it upside down and squeeze again; try not to handle it too much, just squeeze it all together about six times, until you achieve a lovely smooth dough. If you need a little more moisture, dip your fingertips in cold water and tap them on to the pastry; this should be enough to bring the dough together. Don’t add too much water.

Step 6. Once you have a smooth dough, flatten it and wrap it in cling film (flattening the dough instead of forming it into a ball will let in the cool air faster). Place your wrapped dough in the fridge for about 30 minutes to chill.

TIP

REMEMBER THE IMPORTANT PIE RULE: Cool your pie filling right down. If your filling is too hot for your cold pastry you will have an uncooked soggy bottom to your pie, so don’t skip this step. I cannot stress this pie rule enough.

HOW TO MAKE SHORTCRUST PASTRY USING A FOOD PROCESSOR

It’s all right if you make your shortcrust pastry in the food processor. It’s not cheating, it just saves you time and, by using the pulse button, you won’t over-handle your pastry (but don’t be tempted to press that button too much). The only time you have to be slightly careful is when you add the liquid, so go for it.

Step 1. First check the processor’s tool. You need a dough tool, not a blade. Place the flour, cubed butter (or lard or vegetable shortening) and salt into the processor’s bowl.

Step 2. Pulse a few times, using the pulse button, until the mixture resembles ground almonds or small breadcrumbs. Don’t overwork it. I know it sounds good – just like revving up a motorbike – but restrain yourself.

Step 3. Through the funnel on the top of your processor, slowly add the water, a little at a time, and pulse away until the mixture comes together in a dough ball. Now stop. If you are making sweet pastry, this is the time to add the sugar, ensuring it’s well mixed in.

Step 4. Tip out your pastry on to a lightly floured surface and shape it into a rough round. Flatten it, wrap it in cling film and into the fridge it goes for about 30 minutes to chill.

Rough Puff

Ratio of fat to flour: 100% (bet you never knew that)

Rough puff is a faster, cheat’s way to make puff pastry, but it’s still effective. Puff pastry is light, crispy and rises in layers as a result of the technique of folding butter into the dough – the butter divides the layers of dough. Puff is used for lighter pies with fish, cheese or sweet fillings, as well as sausage rolls and appetisers.

Step 1. Tip your flour, with a pinch of salt, into a mixing bowl. Use a knife to cube the butter and drop it into the flour.

Step 2. Loosely rub the butter and flour together. You only want to break down the cubes of butter – with puff pastry we want to see lumps of butter in the flour.

Step 3. Make a well in the middle of the mixture and add the cold water, either all at once or half at a time. With one hand holding the side of the bowl and the other hand shaped like a claw, make quick circular motions to bring the mixture together into a firm dough. Flatten the dough, wrap it in cling film and rest it in the fridge for about 20 minutes. (Flattening the dough instead of forming it into a ball will let in the cool air faster.)

Step 4. Lightly flour your work surface, tip your chilled dough on to it and knead briefly, shaping the dough into a rectangle. Flour your rolling pin and roll in one direction, until the dough is three times its original length. You will see a marble effect in the dough. Don’t over-roll it and keep the edges straight and even.

Step 5. Fold the bottom third of the dough up to the centre, then fold the top third down over it so that you have a block of folded pastry. Turn the dough a quarter turn (either way) and roll out it out until it is three times the original length. Fold over as before. Wrap the folded dough in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out and using for your pie.

Versatile Tartlet

Ratio of fat to flour: 65%

I call this the easiest pastry in the world. Forget ‘blind-baking’ (the process of pre-baking a tartlet crust without its filling to ensure a crisp base), this pastry is buttery and crisp already, thanks to the added egg white, and it feels like you’re moulding warm play dough into the tins – no fuss.

Step 1. Tip the flour into a mixing bowl with a pinch of salt. Gently melt the butter in a saucepan and pour it into the flour. Take a wooden spoon and mix the flour and butter together. If you’re making sweet pastry add the sugar now.

Step 2. Add an egg white and continue to stir until you have a smooth, soft dough. Leave it to rest for a few minutes, then divide into even pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Place one ball in each patty tin hole and press it out to line the tin so that the pastry comes over the edge or, for larger tarts such as the Chocolate, Date and Ginger Tart (see here), press the pastry into the base of the tin and up the edges to form a pastry shell. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or pop into the freezer for 5–8 minutes (that’s what I do!). After chilling, the dough shells should feel very firm and cold, ready for filling.

Flaky

Ratio of fat to flour: 65% or 70%

In the US it’s all about The Crust! It’s an obsession. You hardly ever hear about it in the UK, and I never noticed it until I started checking out how the Americans make their pies. Where we give the recipe for pastry, they give the recipe for ‘The Crust’. Flaky pastry gives the crumbliest, flakiest pie crust, perfect for fruit pies. It can be made with or without egg.

Flaky pastry pies like the Apple Huckleberry Three Generations Pie are baked for 15 minutes on a high heat and then lowered for the remainder of the time. Why? The pastry puffs up resulting in a crisp and light flaky pastry, of course. Use a mixture of vegetable shortening (e.g. Crisco, Trex, Cookeen) or lard for texture, and butter for flavour.

Step 1. Add vinegar or lemon juice to ice-cold water (a teaspoon or tablespoon depending on the recipe). If you are adding an egg to the flour and fats, the vinegar or lemon juice can be whisked in with the egg instead.

Step 2. Cube the cold fats and loosely rub together with the flour using your fingertips, leaving pea-sized lumps. (Yes, it’s GOOD to leave lumps for this recipe.)

Alternatively, the Delia Smith way is to wrap the fats in foil, freeze them for 45 minutes and simply grate them into the flour, mixing until evenly crumbly. This is a brilliant method and quite easy, too.

Step 3. Next add the ice-cold water mixed with vinegar or lemon juice, and lightly bind together until you have a soft dough. Flatten the dough and wrap it in cling film. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling out and using it to line your pie dish. Refrigerate the dough (in the dish) for 15 minutes before adding the filling.

HOW TO ASSEMBLE AND FINISH YOUR PIE

This is when all the magic comes together, but I don’t want you to feel under pressure! It’s a very simple process – you just need to learn a few basic techniques. Refer back to my section Pie Rules (see here), for more handy tips on achieving pie perfection.

Step 1. When your pastry and filling are completely cool, remove the pastry from the fridge and roll it out to roughly the thickness of a pound coin (about 2mm), using a one-directional rolling technique (see here). Remember to flour your rolling pin and worktop and not your pastry, so your pastry doesn’t dry out.

Step 2. Don’t stretch your pastry to fit the dish. Push the pastry down to avoid air pockets (you can patch up a few holes with leftover pastry). Leave an overhang of pastry to tidy up later once the pie is sealed. Tip your cold pie filling into the pastry-lined dish, then egg-wash all around the rim.

Step 3. Place your pie lid on top and press the edge firmly to seal. Trim the edge with a knife and poke a few holes in the top of the pie to let the steam escape. (If you want to use a pie bird, place it in the centre of your filling before you lay the pastry lid over the pie. Cut a cross in the pastry lid for the pie bird to poke through.)

Step 4. Crimp your pie edge and decorate using one of the methods here, then brush the top of the pie with egg wash, so it will have a lovely shine, and place it on the hot tray in the oven to bake.

CRIMPING AND DECORATING YOUR PIES

LATTICE TOP

To make a traditional lattice pie top, use a long ruler and a knife to slice the pastry into roughly 2cm-thick strips.

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