• Baking,  Blue-Ribbon Pies,  Recipes

    Honey Ginger Pumpkin Pie

    I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to my traditional recipes, so generally speaking, I stick to the absolute most iconic version of a pie and do it very, very well. Last year, however, we had a bit of an impromptu Thanksgiving dinner, and I couldn’t track down my own pumpkin pie recipe (which is here, on my website – how hard is that, Candace?), and I found one I’d printed from somewhere ages ago and decided to give it a whirl. How did we end up putting together a full turkey dinner on the fly? Well, you see, my friends David and Meghan got married on Thanksgiving…

  • Croissants
    Baking,  Recipes,  Shaw Christmas Favourites


    2019 Update: I’ve cleaned up the recipe to make it easier to understand, and added new photos. 2017 Update: I first published this recipe in 2009, at which time we’d been making croissants for three years, so it looks like it’s been a family tradition for more than a decade now.  It’s nice to see things you’ve come to know and love have longevity; I remember when we began creating the traditions that we wouldn’t do without, after years of sad, stressed, miserable Christmases. Now it’s a time of year we all look forward to, which is the best thing. Original post 2009:  Croissants have started to become a Christmas…

  • concord grape pie
    Baking,  Blue-Ribbon Pies,  Recipes

    Concord Grape Pie

    From the time I was little and well into my teens, my Papa would drive to the Niagara Region every Autumn to buy bushels of concord grapes so that he could make his yearly supply of of sweet red wine.  Sometimes I would help out with the press, but mostly I was just eager to steal some concord grapes for myself, that incredible sweet-tart burst of flavour a treat that came with my favourite season.  In the following months, the demijohns would bubble away in the basement, filling the whole room with the smell of wine. As an adult, I’ve often bought concord grapes at the market and been instantly…

  • Nana-Approved Turkey Pot Pie
    Baking,  Blue-Ribbon Pies,  Recipes,  Shaw Christmas Favourites

    Nana-Approved Turkey Pot Pie

    2017 Update: I posted this Turkey Pot Pie recipe in 2010, and two years later my lovely Nana died.  This recipe still reminds me of her; her approval meant a lot to me.   2010 Original post: This is essentially a basic turkey pot pie recipe, but I like to think that I’ve particularly made it mine by emphasizing the thyme, salt, and pepper.  This savoury pie could probably handle a little sage, too, but have a light hand – the thyme really makes it irresistible. And don’t be stingy with the salt and pepper. I find too that no matter how badly I think I’ve screwed up the homemade pastry,…

  • Blue-Ribbon Pies,  Recipes

    Pumpkin Pie

    One of the greatest pleasures of Autumn is pumpkin pie.  I wasn’t converted until I was well into my twenties; the idea of vegetables in desserts didn’t sit well with me.  Nowadays, as soon as the weather turns cooler I start to think of the creamy deliciousness of my own homemade pumpkin pie.  I got this recipe from Terri, who took me under her wing when I was at theatre school and away from my family for the first time. Whether for Thanksgiving, Hallowe’en, or just to celebrate Fall and harvest-time, this easy pumpkin pie recipe is exactly the thing you’re looking for. As with all of my sweet recipes,…

  • Baking,  Blue-Ribbon Pies,  Recipes

    Pie Pastry (Basic)

    This recipe is from a copy of The Canadian Cookbook which my Uncle Johnny gave to my Mom for Christmas in 1975. ((In a strange coincidence, I won a copy of the exact same book at a pie-making competition where the pie I’d entered used this pastry recipe!))  I’ve copied it directly with a couple of side notes where I differ from the ladies who wrote the recipe. Trust me when I say you should not go check with Martha or any of the other gods of the food world; just trust me and the 1970s, and follow this recipe to the letter, and you will have a pretty good…

  • Blue-Ribbon Pies,  Recipes

    Apple Pie

    Easy-peasy, lovely and delicious, Apple Pie is the perfect thing for just about every day, if you feel like it. I know oldsters and orchard-owners will tell you all kinds of things about which apples make the best pie, but I’d say that MacIntoshes and Granny Smiths are the absolute best apples for pie making that are regularly available in most grocery stores (in Canada, anyway).  I know other apples hold together better in the pie, but taste is my issue, not texture, and you can’t beat Macs and Grannies for perfect sweet-tartness. If you want a pie that tastes less like a straight-ahead old-fashioned version and more like candied…