Recipe Review: Whole Foods & Paula Deen

27 Jun

Anyone who knows me know that I love cooking and baking.  One of my favorite shows on TV right now is Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag on OWN.  The premise of this show is that these two adorable, “real-life” women test recipes from a cookbook and have a renowned chef grade them on it, often to hilarious results.


I thought it would be a fun little challenge to do something similar, only in this case, I would do a weekly rating of a recipe from various sources.  This week, I’m testing Summer Berry Pie from Whole Foods and Wild Blueberry Oat Muffins from Cooking with Paula Deen (issue: July/August 2011, p. 58-59).  Let’s begin with the berry pie:



2 1/2 cups flour, divided
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
3 cups (about 3/4 pound) blackberries
3 cups (about 3/4 pound) raspberries
2 cups (about 1/2 pound) blueberries
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon raw or turbinado sugar, divided
Zest of 1 large orange or lemon
1 tablespoon milk or heavy cream



Put 2 cups of the flour, granulated sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse briefly to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. (Alternatively, cut butter in by hand with two table knives.) Add 1/4 cup ice-cold water and pulse, or mix by hand with a fork, just until dough begins to come together. Form dough into two 4-inch discs, cover and chill until firm, about 2 hours or overnight. 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Put blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, 1/2 cup of the raw sugar, remaining 1/2 cup flour, zest and a pinch of salt in a large bowl and mash together gently until well combined and juicy but still chunky; set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of dough into a 10-inch circle and gently transfer to an 8-inch pie pan. Transfer berry mixture to pie pan; set aside.


Tip: Roll dough between two floured sheets of wax paper to avoid sticking.

filled pie shell


Roll out remaining dough as you did the first piece and transfer to pie pan, gently draping it over the berry filling. Firmly press the edges together then trim away excess dough. Pinch or crimp edges as desired and cut 3 slits in the top of the pie to allow steam to escape. Brush crust with milk and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon raw sugar then bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 1 hour. Set aside to let cool completely then serve.


The finished result!


Whole Foods states that “delicious year-round, this pie is particularly special in the summer, when berries are at their sweetest and most juicy” and they are not kidding.  I’ve made many pies and I have to say that by far this is the best pie I’ve ever tasted.  The crust is pastry-shop perfect and the filling is the right blend of sweet and tart.  I was curious about brushing the top of the crust with milk at first, since I usually use egg, but this really made a difference with this pie.  This is a recipe that I will keep in my pocket and pull out to impress again and again (or just to make on a summer weekend for my husband and myself).


I’ve made several Paula Deen recipes in the past and usually love them (especially her Country Stuffing and Chicken Bodine), but I know that she’s famous for her over-exuberance with butter.  I’ve been trying to cut down on unnecessary fats, calories, and sodium where I can, so I was a bit wary of this recipe.  Here’s the recipe with my photos:



1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal (I used Quaker oats)
1 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. orange zest
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups frozen wild blueberries, divided (do not thaw)




Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. (NOTE: I used a 6-cup nonstick muffin tray and this worked just as fine).

In a large bowl, stir together oats and milk; let stand for 10 minutes.  Add sugar, zest, oil, and egg, stirring well.



In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.  Add pecans, tossing well.


Add flour mixture into oatmeal mixture, stirring until just combined.  Gently, but quickly, fold in 1 cup of frozen blueberries.



Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup frozen blueberries.



Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown (mine came out at about 18 minutes).  Remove from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.



I cannot get over how amazing these muffins turned out!  I also love that this recipe did not involve any butter, which I think means hell has frozen over in Paula Deen-land.  These were so delicious and better than any muffin I’ve made thus far (even the millet muffins I made a few weeks ago).  These were moist, easy to make, and something I would make again and again for a Sunday morning breakfast.  I enjoyed these with a cup of wild blueberry tea.  It was a perfect morning and a recipe success.


This coming week, I have a few new recipes that I will be trying out, including the Chicken, Millet & Mushrooms One-Skillet Meal from Whole Foods.  Happy eating!

One Response to “Recipe Review: Whole Foods & Paula Deen”


  1. Recipe Review: Chicken Two Ways « amandaauchter - July 3, 2011

    […] Amanda Auchter @ 12:51 PM Tags: cooking, gwyneth paltrow, recipes, Whole Foods As I said in this post last week, I have made it a challenge to myself to cook and review two recipes each week.  This […]

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