Monday, December 3, 2007

Life On The Treadmill

My parents didn't approve of television. I remember when we got our first television set. I was probably 4 or 5 years old. The set was black and white. And my parents didn't upgrade to color till I moved away to college. It blew my mind when I found out Star Trek was in color.

We were limited to one hour of TV time a day, so we had to plan and prioritize our shows that we wanted to watch. As an adult I can see the advantage of limiting the brain rot, but as a child I resented having to choose between The Flintstones and The Jetsons.

One scene in The Jetsons has stayed in my mind. George Jetson goes out to walk the dog on the treadmill, the dog chases the cat, the treadmill goes haywire, and George is running for his life on the treadmill, getting sucked into it, and coming out running, over and over, screaming, "Jane, stop this crazy thing!"

For me, December is that treadmill. I always seem to hit December 1st running, with a to-do list a mile long. Shopping, wrapping, mailing, cards to make, write, address and send, and, of course, baking. And baking in December means cookies. Lots of cookies. Cookies for neighbors, cookies for the office party, cookies for the cookie exchange, and cookies for my family to snork up. I'll be posting all (or mainly) cookies in December, so today is my last pie post for a while. (This also fits in nicely with the writer's strike since there will be no new episodes of Pushing Daisies until that's resolved.)

This is a fabulous pie. It's easy to put together, it's dressy enough for company, and it's totally delicious. If you choose to use a pre-made crust it's even faster to make. When I made my glut of Thanksgiving pies I had enough pie dough left over to roll out a single pie crust. Dorie's instructions for making a single pre-baked crust were different than I'd ever used before and I had such good success with them that I'll include them for you.

Raspberry Ribbon Pie
Adapted from Taste of Home

1 pre-baked pie shell
1 package (3 oz.) raspberry gelatin (Jello)
1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Dash salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream

To make a pre-baked pie shell, use a 1/2 recipe of Dorie's Good For Almost Everything Pie Dough from Baking and chill, wrapped in plastic, for an hour or more. Roll out the dough and place into a 9-inch, buttered pie plate. Trim and finish the edges. Refrigerate the crust, covered with plastic wrap, while you preheat the oven to 400 deg. F.

Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil, fit the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust and fill with dried beans or pie weights. (I use old kidney beans and store them in a jar labeled "Pie Beans." You don't want to try cooking those beans afterwards.)

Put the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and beans. If the crust has puffed, gently press it down with the back of a spoon. Return the pie plate to the oven for another 10 minutes, till the crust is golden brown. Transfer to a rack and cool to room temperature before filling.

To make the pie filling, place the gelatin in a bowl and dissolve it with the boiling water. Add the sugar, raspberries and lemon juice and stir till the sugar is completely dissolved. Refrigerate until partially set, about 1-1/2 hours.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Add vanilla and salt. In another mixing bowl, beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into cream cheese mixture. Spread 1/2 of this mixture over the bottom of the crust.

Spread 1/2 of the raspberry mixture over the top. Repeat the layers. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.

Yield: 8 servings.


Kelly-Jane said...

December is a hard time - you are doing really well to post!

Fabulous pie, I can just taste it, mmm.

Gigi said...

Great looking raspberry pie! As a child we were only allowed to watch TV on Saturday & Sunday morning. On the plus side, I have amassed a huge collection of 1st edition books that have made my law professors drool.

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Haha, I love the scenario from The Jetsons (love that show!), relating to the treadmill - you're so clever, Lynn!! :0)

Sounds like you'll definitely be busy in the kitchen, baking all those cookies!! You'll be living up to your blog name, for sure!!

As last pie post for a while, I couldn't think of a more elegant, delectable-looking pie than this Raspberry Ribbon Pie, to end with. Simply stunning!!

I too am saddened that new episodes of Pushing Daisies will not air for a while :0(

diannem said...

Oh Lynn,
it looks simply wonderful!! Mom was reading it to herself when I practically shrieked, " Mom, mom!! Read Lynn's blog aloud!!! Oooooo!! Quick mommy!!!! Read it!!! Oohhh...."

Anonymous said...

Lynn, this looks AMAZING! I'd love to recreate it as I have almost every ingredient ready to go in my pantry...except for the rasberry jelly crystals :( Could I just use plain gelatin instead, do you think?

Ellie @ Kitchen Wench

Maria said...

We used Dorie's pie crust recipe at Thanksgiving as well and of course the results were amazing!! Your pie looks great!

Deborah said...

What a wonderful pie to post as your last pie for now!! I'm excited to see the cookies to come. I've used Dorie's recipe and method for tart crusts, so I'm sure it's just as successful for a pie. I'll have to try it the next time I make a pie!

Anh said...

I didn't have a TV set until 4-5. Just because the country at the time just got out of the war and we were all poor. No TV around, but when we had it, the program was only on for 2-3 hours at nite. So much has changed now :)

Anonymous said...

Looks so good! Gorgeous pie. Love the Jetson anecdote!
I've been on that treadmill! Things have become much quieter since Louisa is at university now. But, some of the children plays and Christmas activities I really miss being involved with.
I can just imagine the beehive of activity at your house. I bet you love it all!
Any hints on what cookies you are going to do?

Happy Homebaker said...

What a lovely pie! How I wish fresh raspberries are as easily available over here!!
I remembered our first black & white TV set when I was about 5-6, it was as big as a side cabinet! My current TV set was down, and we have been living in world without TV for the last 3 months, and it's amazing that no one is complaining!!

Peabody said...

I love Taste of Home...and that pie looks so very festive and fun.
I know what you mean about the treadmill...I always seem to be going and yet never quite seem to get it all done. Sigh.

Cakespy said...

That crust makes me want to weep. So good looking!

Patricia Scarpin said...

This pie is fantastic, Lynn! I love the beautiful, vibrant color - raspberries are really favorites of mine.

I can't wait for your cookie recipes, I'm sure I'm gonna bake some of them!

eatme_delicious said...

Mmm that looks like a good pie. I'm looking forward to your cookie recipes!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I love raspberries and this looks super fine so why am I thinking wouldn't this be good with cranberries, dried soaked in something. ;)) What's with me. Always looking for a twist.
Sorry about the show.
The treadmill, yes and like peabody I feel I go faster and don't get as far as I once did at the same speed.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Kelly-Jane - Thanks for the encouragement!

Gigi - 1st edition books wins out over lame TV any day!

VeggieGirl - Reruns and cookies will have to sustain us.

Dianne (aka Emily) - Glad you liked. Maybe when you all can have sugar you can try it.

Ellie- You could try substituting plain gelatin, but I'd add extra sugar (Jello is sweetened) and if you have raspberry juice, substitute that for the boiling water to punch up the flavor a bit.

Maria - You just can't go wrong with a Baking recipe.

Deborah - I haven't tried Dorie's tarts yet. Maybe in January I'll go on a tart binge.

Anh - I don't know that you missed much at all. Now there's hundreds of channels and still not much to watch.

Melinda - Well, there might be some peppermint, some critters, and definitely some chocolate!

Happy Homebaker - How wonderful for your family to be TV-less. I have a friend who brings out the TV only in the winter. In the summer it's locked up in the closet and the kids do farm chores and play outside.

Peabody - What is done? There is no such thing for a homemaker. Dishes, laundry, vacuuming - done is only a temporary state.

Cakespy - How sweet of you to say! Don't weep, though. Just make it yourself. Dorie's directions are very clear and easy to follow. In no time you can have the pie of your dreams.

Patricia - Thanks, sweetie. I hope I can come up with something that you'll love.

Eat Me Delicious - We'll have fun with cookies!

My Kitchen In Half Cups - You are just too creative to stick with a recipe. You need to write your own cookbook so people can see food through your eyes.

WokandSpoon said...

Wow. That's a lovely pie (or tart as I would call it!)! And you know what, I'm right there on that treadmill next to you!

Julie said...

That's a gorgeous pie! So no more Pushing Daisies, huh? My husband and I are totally loving that show--the strike is such a bummer, but I'm rooting for the writers.