2015 – Bringing in the new year!

The holidays have come to a close for another year.  Christmas decorations are coming down this week.  Since it took me nearly a week to decorate this house I’m sure it will take equally as long to get everything put away.  Right now things are piled high on the dining room and kitchen tables waiting for boxes, bins and packing paper.

This year we traveled to visit with family for Christmas, attended a late Christmas Eve service in my family’s church where we were all married and all our children baptized.  I truly enjoy going back to those roots and the warm and friendly members of that small community.  I was busy cooking Christmas Eve dinner at the farm followed by Christmas Day dinner for my father-in-law.  We missed our oldest daughter and her husband.  Now that she is a married woman with in-laws in New York we will be sharing her on the holidays…new territory for us…but a sign that life is ever-changing.

Before the holidays I spoke with a childhood friend, Susan. We haven’t seen each other in a decade.  Her family lived on a farm which adjoined our farm by the way of a short stretch of paved country road.  Susan and I not only attended school together, but Sunday school, church and Confirmation.  After church on most Sundays, Susan and I would hop on our motorcycles and ride through the orchards laying on the throttle when on the road connecting our farms.

When talking with Susan she mentioned a French apple pie of my mother’s that she makes.  I vaguely remember it but while going through some of her things after her passing, found a newspaper article with this recipe, another of her Grand Champion winning pie recipes at Apples-On-Revue, October 16, 1969.  Though the name has been changed, to promote the farm (not to protect the innocent), I’m certain this is the one.

Ivy Hill Frosted Apple-Raisin Pie


  • Pastry for a 9-inch double crust pie
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 cups tart apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup seedless raisins
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Powdered sugar frosting:  1 cup powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons orange juice, 1 teaspoon orange rind

Divide pastry into 2 parts; roll one part into a circle and line a 9-inch pie pan.  Combine sugar, flour, salt and cinnamon.  Mix with apples and raisins;  place in pie pan.  Sprinkle with orange juice and dot with butter.  Cover with crust, seal edges and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 40 minutes longer.  Remove pie from oven and spread Powdered Sugar Frosting over hot pie.

To make Powdered Sugar Frosting – Combine powdered sugar, juice and orange rind.  Spread over hot pie.

Needless to say, I had to make this pie during my brother and sister-in-laws recent visit.  It was delicious!  Hope you enjoy it too!


Cooling and smelling oh so good!


On display, waiting to be served.


What is a piece of pie without ice cream?


Layers of flaky heaven!


I used Rome Beauty apples.  I had purchased them to make a Williamsburg apple and pineapple cone for a centerpiece and ran out of time to assemble it.  The apples seemed a little ripe and soft when I sliced them .   Would they hold their shape or turn into applesauce?  I shouldn’t have worried…It was perfect.  Mom certainly did have a winner!

I didn’t use Mom’s pie crust recipe using lard.  My cholesterol levels are creeping up and I can’t find good quality lard in the stores.  Instead I used my fall back pastry recipe from a Crabtree & Evelyn cookbook, using mostly unsalted butter (okay, I know that’s no better for my blood work than lard!)  and a few tablespoons of vegetable shortening.  I subbed  1 1/2 tablespoons of vodka for part of the liquid added to the pastry to help with the flaky texture.  The crust was super too!

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