Tena Strickler of Charleston was in touch, trying to locate a Betty Crocker cookbooklet titled “Impossibly Easy Pies.” The pies are easy because they’re crustless — Bisquick makes the “pastry” — and many are dump style.
We asked for suggestions to get the book and also a couple of recipes to share in this column.
Turns out, that was an impossibly easy task. Several readers showed the way, including Sharon Cook of Charleston.
Providing you have Internet access, which most of us do, just Google “Impossibly Easy Pies” to bring up the Betty Crocker website and a bunch of different recipes, both savory and sweet.
Vivian Filosa of Mount Pleasant also responded with two recipes from the website:
Easy Cheeseburger Pie
Makes 12 servings
l pound lean ground beef
11/2 cups chopped onion
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 (12-ounce) bag frozen mixed vegetables (or any you have on hand that you like)
1 cup Original Bisquick mix
2 cups milk
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (8 ounces)
In skillet, cook beef, onion and salt over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until beef is brown; drain.
Spread in 13x9-inch glass baking dish, sprayed with cooking spray.
Top evenly with frozen mixed vegetables.
In medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix, milk and eggs with wire whisk until blended. Pour into baking dish over vegetables.
Bake 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Sprinkle evenly with cheese and bake 10 minutes longer or till knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Easy Mini Pumpkin Pies
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/2 cup Original Bisquick mix
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup evaporated milk
11/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup frozen (thawed) whipped topping, if desired
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 12 regular size muffin cups with cooking spray.
In medium bowl, stir first seven ingredients until blended. Pour 1/4 cup of mixture into each muffin cup.
Bake about 30 minutes or until muffin tops are golden brown and edges are starting to pull away from sides of pan. Cool 10 minutes. With thin knife, loosen sides of pies from pan; remove from pan and place top sides up on cooling rack. Cool 10 minutes longer, and serve with 1 generous tablespoonful whipped topping.
We also heard from Linda Jordan of Charleston, who sent a stack of copied recipes.
She writes, “My mother, Phyllis Jordan, who was an awesome cook, collected cookbooks her whole life. She loved the specialty cookbooks you could send away free for certain products like Bisquick, Jell-O, even mustard! I still have most of them. Some go back to the 1950s. I found the ‘Impossibly Easy Pie’ recipes you were looking for in one of her Bisquick booklets.”
Here are a couple of those recipes:
Impossible Bacon Pie
12 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese (4 ounces)
1/3 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup Original Bisquick mix
11/2 cups milk
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 9-inch glass pie plate. Sprinkle bacon, cheese and onion into pie plate.
In medium bowl, beat remaining ingredients until blended; pour into pie plate.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Impossible Brownie Pie
1 bar (4 ounces) sweet cooking chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 cup Bisquick baking mix
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup margarine or butter, softened
3/4 cup chopped nuts
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease pie plate, 9x11/4 inches. Beat all ingredients except nuts until smooth, 2 minutes in blender on high, stopping blender occasionally to stir, or 2 minutes with hand beater. Pour into plate; sprinkle with nuts. Bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Serve with ice cream if desired.
LaBrasca’s lives on
We’ve seen a run of interest in recipes from the old LaBrasca’s restaurant. The last one came from Maude Johnson of West Ashley, who fondly recalls the restaurant’s meatballs and sauce.
Both Karen Hoppmann Harris and Dee Beaujon of Charleston kindly took the time to send in the recipe, which has appeared before in The Post and Courier.
Dee writes, “I had to chuckle when I read Maude Johnson’s request for La Brasca’s spaghetti sauce and meatball recipe ... My youngest son, Michael, and I were just talking about our family trips to LaBrasca’s. I had just pulled their recipe from my recipe box to give him, so I have it handy.”
The recipe was sent to the paper by Bobby Bolton, who said at the time that he was the first grandchild in the LaBrasca family. Bolton noted two things that made the sauce unique: the cooking time of the meatballs in the sauce and “As a good Italian would say ... start your sauce on Saturday and serve it on Sunday.”
Spaghetti La Brasca
For the sauce:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 large onion, chopped
2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (101/2-ounce) cans tomato puree
3 (16-ounce) cans tomatoes
25 ounces water (about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Meatballs (recipe follows)
Heat oil in a 6- to 8-quart stock pot over medium heat. Smash garlic cloves. Add them and the onion to the pot and cook to a golden brown. Add paste, puree, tomatoes and water; mix well.
Add sugar, and salt and pepper to taste.
Boil for 2 hours, stirring now and then.
For the meatballs:
2 pounds ground beef
4 tablespoons (or less; see cook’s note) garlic powder
1 tablespoons black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
6 slices white bread, soaked in water, then squeezed of the water
Cook’s note: Dee, who is a garlic lover herself, found 4 tablespoons of garlic powder overwhelming in the sauce, so she recommends less.
Mix all ingredients together and roll into 11/2- to 2-inch balls. Bake in 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until done. Turn every 5 minutes to brown all over. (Note: Cook one meatball first to see if you need to adjust seasonings)
Add to sauce after the first 2 hours. Cook at least 2 more hours. Add a little more water if needed.
Who’s got the recipe?
This fell off the radar for a few weeks, but we’ll take another shot:
Debra Taylor of Mount Pleasant is looking for a recipe for a shrimp and grits casserole that would be good for tailgating, preferably one that could be put together the night before. She also prefers more of a gravy-type recipe versus a tomato and peppers version.
Looking for a recipe or have one to share? Reach Features Editor Teresa Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-4886.