Brian Carr's Recipes

Brian Carr's Recipes

I decided to start putting personal recipes on line. So here they are:

Chocolate Milk

1/4 cup cocoa
1 cup sugar
1/2 gallon milk

Mix cocoa and sugar well and then gently put mixture on milk allowing the mixture to naturally settle. The sugar helps the cocoa mix without forming bubbles. That is the more common mixture. I personally like to use skim milk and a slightly higher proportion of sugar and cocoa.

Split Pea Soup

3 lbs split peas
14 cups water (or 1 gallon less two cups), 13 cups if you use regular onions
6 tbsp dried onions or 3 onions
1 can diced carrots
2 tbsp salt
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
12 ounces Spam (or similar canned luncheon meat) or ham or hotdogs - optional

Add salt and split peas to water. You can let it sit overnight (or not). Cut the luncheon meat into 1/4 to 1/3 inch cubes (it is optional). Don't drain the carrots. Add carrots and juice (has lots of vitamins and some nice spices). Add other ingredients and cook over low heat (slow boil, covered) for about two hours. When a few of the peas have turned to mush, start checking until all the peas are cooked to taste (I like my peas with just a little firmness left).

Instead of the can of diced carrots, you can substitute two cups of diced carrots with one half cup water and a dash of salt and pepper. You can substitute 3 medium onions for the dried onions, but don't forget to omit one cup of water.

Pie Crust

3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbs salt
1 tbs cinnamon
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water

I have been experimenting with reducing the fat in the crust so have been adding brown sugar and cinnamon to keep the crust from being really boring (just flour, water, and salt). Using vegetable oil instead of shortening also makes the crust more healthy to eat (and you don't need as much). However, those two changes make the texture not so good for pressing with a rolling pin. What to do?

Mix flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon in bowl. Add the oil, then water. Form into three balls, lightly oil three 9 inch pie pans, and press the mixture into the pie pans. Cook for a few minutes in oven until dry (optional, about 350 degrees for about ten minutes) and let cool before adding filling. A nine inch pie crust can take about 20 ounces of filling.

Crumb Crust Topping

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/6 cup butter or margarine

Mix flour and brown sugar in bowl and then 'cut' in butter or margarine. Do not over mix (leave crumbly). Sprinkle over pie and bake pie (don't press into clumps). If pie crust is already baked (very short time) and pie filling is already cooked (as in green pear pie filling), then about thirty minutes at 300 degrees is enough to brown the crust topping.

Crumb Pie Crust

24 ounce Graham Crackers (box) or Vanilla Wafers or Ginger Snaps
24 tbsp butter or margarine (1 1/2 tubs or 3 sticks) melted, warm or cool
1 1/4 cup brown sugar

Insure that the cookies are crushed to fine crumbs. Mix ingredients together until all ingredients are moistened. Lightly grease pie pans. Spread the mixture evenly in the pan and then press into place. The proportions above make enough for five nine inch pie pans. You can bake at 350 degrees until the crust is lightly browned or firm to the touch or you can freeze the crust.

Pumpkin Pie

  • 6 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar (white or brown, your preference)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • (not) 1/2 tsp cloves
  • (not) 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 2 cups (or 1 1/2 standard cans) evaporated milk (not skim) OR
    1 cup milk (whatever you keep) with 1/2 cup powdered milk (gives less fat, more milk sugars and protein, and is probably healthier for you) OR
    1 1/2 cups powdered milk (especially helpful if you make your own puree and it is a little runny)
  • 1 can (29 oz) pumpkin puree or 2 tubs of frozen homemade pumpkin puree (32 oz).

Mix all ingredients well and divide into three standard nine inch pie crusts. Bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees and then an additional 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees. Pies are done when toothpick comes out clean.

Pumpkin Puree

  • Select a ripe and firm medium pumpkin. Larger pumpkins can be used, but they begin to take on a grainy texture the larger they get.
  • Cut the pumpkin into four to eight pieces.
  • Remove the seeds and fibrous strings, some people call them pumpkin brains
  • Line a large baking pan aluminum foil. This will minimize the cleanup task.
  • Place the pumpkin pieces onto the baking pan.
  • Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for one to one and a half hours (the longer time for larger and thicker pieces), or until pulp is soft.
  • Remove the pulp from the rind with a spoon and discard the rind.
  • Blend the pulp until smooth using a blender, food processor or mixer.
  • To create a really thick puree, put the pulp into a cheesecloth and squeeze out excess water.

Brown Sugar

You can make brown sugar by mixing molasses and white sugar (molasses is just the coating taken off of brown sugar to make white sugar). For dark brown sugar, it is about six parts sugar to one part molasses. For lighter color, just add more white sugar. It is generally not worthwhile to make brown sugar unless brown sugar costs more than twice as much as white sugar in your local stores (not the case in WalM-Mart supercenters at this time). Of course always buy the darkest brown sugar you can.

Malted Milk Powder

To make a malted milk powder, mix 1/4 cup malted powder, 1/4 cup cocoa, one cup sugar, and a pinch of salt (optional). Four to six tablespoons of this powder with milk and ice cream makes a nice malted milk shake.

Apple Pie Filling

8 cups thinly sliced apples (8 medium or 6 large)
1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1/4 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
dash (1/4 tsp) of salt

Mix all ingredients except apples well in a large bowl. Then stir in apples. Apples do not have to be pared, but should be cut into small pieces so will cook better. This is especially true when apples skins are left on. Press mixture into 9 inch pastry crust pie pan to get flat surface with minimal holes. A mound is to be expected as they will cook down. Top with crust as desired. Bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees and then lower temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for 40 minutes. Check for doneness with fork. It is done when apples are no longer crisp. If crust browns too quickly, you can cover pie with aluminum foil to allow apples more time to cook.

Raisin Pie (per Grandma Turner)

When I was a kid, we would visit Grandma Turner in Missouri and she would make us the best raisin pies. She didn't use a recipe, just made it by putting some of this and some of that. My mom measured the amounts and wrote down the recipe which you can see, front and back.

1 (15 ounce ) box raisins
1 tablespoon vinegar
2/3 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon of real vanilla
1 tablespoon butter

BERTHA (my mom) says
I use 1/2 cup flour
I use 3/4 cup sugar

Place raisins in sauce pan and cover with water, add vinegar and heat. Mix flour and sugar and add to raisin and vinegar mixture. Stir constantly until it boils. Remove from heat and add vanilla and butter. Cool slightly and pour into uncooked pie shell. Top with crust.

Bake in 450 degree oven for 15 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350 degree and bake for 30 minutes longer.

Makes 1 pie.

Raisin Pie, my variation for three 9 inch pies

6 cups raisins slightly packed (about 27 ounces)
3.5 cups water
3 tablespoon vinegar
1 cup flour
2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoon butter

Green Pear Pie Filling

9 large green pears quartered and cored
1 cup water
3 cups dark brown sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
dash (1/4 tsp) of salt

Pears should not yet be ripe. They should be somewhat woody and be pretty sour to taste. There is a lot of sugar to balance the sour. Pears can be quartered with skins still on and only the cores (and bad spots) removed. Put all ingredients in a covered pan and simmer until the pears have only a little firmness left. This filling can then be used with your favorite crust. You can also freeze the filling (from harvesting the pears) until you are ready to make a pie. Nine large pears make enough filling for three nine inch pies.

Baked Beans

I have tried recipes to enhance canned pork and beans by adding ketchup and brown sugar. While these additions make the result much more flavorful, they make the result too soupy (and I hate to throw away nutritional food like the excess fluid). So, that got me to considering how to make a simple recipe from dried beans (cheaper and you can really control the ingredients and amount of liquids).
3 pound navy or pea beans
6 cup brown sugar
2 cans spaghetti sauce (or 58 ounces)
2/3 cup vinegar (4% acidity, use more or less water and vinegar if your
vinegar is stronger or weaker)
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup water
  • Pick the beans over, removing any rubble such as sticks and pebbles. Rinse them well, then place in a large bowl with plenty of water they soak up a lot and expand). Let soak for at least 8 hours. Drain keeping the soaking water.
  • Mix together 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water and all the other non bean ingredients. Add beans in last.
  • Mix to a boil and reduce the heat. Simmer covered, until the beans are tender -- 10 hours. Stir every hour or so (more often towards end). Add water from the reserved soaking water as needed.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I was a kid my mom made these cookies. You can see the actual recipe or just the text of it.
1 cup shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp water
Blend together
2 eggs
Add eggs to the above and beat
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
8 oz. Chocolate Chips
Mix in dry ingredients.
  1. Set oven on 350 degrees (312 degrees if using crushed Heath Bars).
  2. Mix dough.
  3. Drop by spoonbful onto cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.
P.S. Fix some without chocolate chips for Mike (that is way ancient).

This page was last updated on November 21, 2010.