Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pies for Obscene Qunatities of Cash

Yes, indeed, the community will lay down the cash for an entertaining auctioneer, a hammy chatter, a couple of excited cowboy callers and a good cause: FFA (Future Farmers of America to you city folks out there). Attendees voted on the best pie at the auction.

The winner was a six cupcake collection in a muffin tin. These were placed in a cake box with the lid propped open. The three cupcakes in the rear were dolled up to look like drumsticks complete with realistic legs. The three cupcakes in the front were dressed as 1) mashed potatoes with gravy, 2) green peas and 3) apple crisp. Very realistic.

The most extravagant for the money was the apple pie in a basket with a coffee grinder, coffee to grind, mugs, napkins, towels and many other goodies, probably a $300 dollar value that sold for a couple thousand.

I made my chocolate cheesecake with sour cream and raspberry topping with white chocolate grated over the top. I made a chocolate crust from crushed Oreo cookies and butter and baked in the oven for a bit to harden it. Then, when I went to take the crust out of the oven, I whacked the edge of the cheesecake pan on the oven and dumped the crust all over the place. Since I was out of cookies (my 13 year-old ate half of them) this entailed a trip to town to get cookies. Unless the local store, about 3 miles away has it, a trip to town means a 30 mile drive. Not really that far for rural folks, but not something a person wants to do every day just to go shopping--and not something a person wants to do just for one bag of Oreo cookies.

Several hours later...on the baked and cooled cheesecake I spread sour cream, then ringed it with fresh raspberries and dolloped in the center some fresh raspberry sauce I made while I waited for the cake to bake in my new Oreo crust. And, lastly, I grated white chocolate over the top.

Below is the easy-way-out version of the chocolate cheesecake I made for the pie auction. You can use melted raspberry jam for the topping and avoid all that extra cooking.

Chocolate Cheesecake

2 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla
2 eggs
4 squares semisweet baking chocolate (or 4 oz. semisweet chocolate chips), melted
1 or 2 prepared Oreo pie crusts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Mix cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla at medium speed. Add eggs, mix well until blended. Stir in melted chocolate.

Pour into crust(s). Bake 40 minutes or until center is set.

If you have baked the pie(s) 40 minutes and the center is no where near set, turn the oven down to 300 and check back in ten minutes or less.

Allow to cool and add toppings as desired. I usually top with sour cream, raspberry sauce and white chocolate shavings--very yummy!

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