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

2 lbs split peas
8 cups water
4 tbsp dried onions or 2 medium onions
1 can diced carrots
1 can sweet peas
1 tbsp salt
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp chili powder (optional)
1 cup chopped broccoli bits (optional)
1 cup vegetable oil (i.e. canola, olive, or whatever you have around) - optional OR
4 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. I was surprised to discover that just adding a cup of vegetable oil gives a richness as an alternative to the common ham which mostly just provides fat and salt anyway.

Pie Crust

3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 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
1/8 cup frozen vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix flour and brown sugar in bowl and then 'cut' in frozen vegetable oil (replaces 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. The frozen vegetable oil and salt is an alternative to a stick of margarine or butter, but you need to be quick about mixing and freeze the result if you can't bake right away.

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

Mix dry ingredients well and then mix in other ingredients. If you use powdered milk, it is best to let the mixture set for 8 or more hours allowing the powdered milk 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


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 twenty parts sugar to one part molasses. For lighter color, just add more white sugar. That can be approximated to one ounce / two tablespoons of molasses per cup of sugar (really dark). So if white sugar costs less than dark brown sugar by more than 25 cents per pound, buy white sugar and molasses. That assumes you can get Brier Rabbit Mollases (most dark and flavorful with more nutients than Grandma's) for $3 for 12 ounces. As I use almost all my sugar in recipes, white sugar can be eaiser to measure and add; the molasses is added separately.

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

45 ounces raisins (by weight), three boxes, two cylinders
3 cups water
1.5 cup vinegar
1.5 cup flour
1.5 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (optional)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (i.e. canola, olive, or whatever you have around)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon powdered milk (if you are a purist and want to fully mimic the original butter, omit if you want a non dairy version)
Use standard pie crust and crumb crust topping. Heat as for crumb crust topping.

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).
2 pound navy, pea, or Northern beans
7.5 cups of water
4 cup dark brown sugar (or 2lb bag)
1 can spaghetti sauce (or 26.5 ounces)
1 cup vinegar (4% acidity, use more or less water and vinegar if your
vinegar is stronger or weaker)
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup water
   2 tbsp vegetable oil (i.e. canola, olive, or whatever you have) - optional
OR Spam (or similar canned luncheon meat) - optional
OR ham or hotdogs - optional
I was surprised to discover that just adding vegetable oil gives a richness as an alternative to the common ham which mostly just provides fat and salt anyway.

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 20, 2016.