Saturday, December 25, 2010

Crumbly Blueberry Pie

While pie-maker Lou was out of town we jumped on the chance to make blueberry pie! Lou's not a fan but Kimmy and I (Amy) love it and this recipe did not disappoint! We had a guest pie-maker, Elizabeth, and she also thought it was a hit.

The filling recipe was found here and our edits are below.

4 cups or 2 pints blueberries (frozen are fine)
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons lemon juice

The basic technique is that you cook 1/3 of your fruit (in this recipe just over a cup of blueberries) with the sugar, zest and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat until combined and liquified. This is the gooey part of the filling. Mix the cornstarch and water together in a bowl until smooth and add to the saucepan. Let mixture come to a simmer and the cornstarch will thicken the "goo". If you would like the filling a little thicker mix an additional tablespoon of cornstarch and water together and repeat.
Add remaining fruit and stir to combine. Taste and adjust, ours needed a little more lemon to balance the sweetness. Let cool to room temp (or close) before adding filling to pie shell.

The crumb topping recipe was found here and our edits are below.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup quick oats
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Stir all ingredients except butter together. Cut butter into small pieces and cut in with a fork until it's a coarse texture. Small pieces of butter are great, but no big chunks.

This topping was great on this pie and I think it would work well on any fruit pie that you want a crumb topping. The oatmeal gave it a great texture.

Add the pie filling to the pie shell of your choice and dot with
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Add crumb topping over filling and bake in a 375 degree oven for 30-45 minutes.

Pie is done when your crust and crumb topping are brown. If the edges of your crust are browning too fast cover with strips of tinfoil.
Let cool a little because this filling is HOT right out of the oven. Would be yummy with fresh whipped cream OR vanilla ice-cream.

Per my father-in-law's request i'm making this one again for Christmas eve dinner. Yum!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Orange Dreamsicle Pie

It is actually called Fluffy Orange Pie, but it tastes just like an Orange Dreamsicle so that is what we have re-named it. It is the EASIEST pie I could find, which at this time of year is a necessity. But it turned out to be really good. I think we all liked it.

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (6 oz.) can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
2 C. prepared whipped topping
1 small can Mandarin oranges, drained
1 (9-inch) prepared graham cracker pie crust

In mixer bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk and thawed orange juice until smooth. Fold in whipped topping and oranges. Pile into crust.

Chill 2 hours or until set. Refrigerate leftovers.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sylvia's Perfect Pie Crust from PW

Hey all! This is Amy posting and one of the things i've been trying to do as we explore the world of pie is find a great, easy, reliable pie crust recipe. This recipe is from the wonderful Ree over at Pioneer Woman and you can find it here. 

I get to use my fab pastry cutter that my awesome Aunt M.J. bought me. It's a dream. I may have to to do a whole separate post about it. 

It makes THREE pie crusts that store in the freezer until you need them. BONUS! 

The mixing together, making the crust part is super easy...very easy!

Super flaky and buttery.


Not the easiest to roll out. It tends to be a little sticky but if you can work it out it's great, also if you have to patch it's still flaky.

Shrinks a little as it bakes. 

Overall I like this recipe a lot but i'm still searching to see if I can find an easier to roll out version.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Key Lime Pie with Gingersnap Crust

Hi! It's Amy coming at you with this weeks pie. It's a total mashup of two recipes from Martha Stewart.

Key Lime Pie

This filling recipe was from the Martha Stewart Key Lime Pie Recipe found here.

With gingersnap crust.

The gingersnap cust recipe was found here.

This recipe turned out really yummy. We smashed up some pre-made gingersnaps in the food processor (it was finals week or i may have baked my own). Side-note, this recipe was made much easier by the right tools. A food processor while not essential was very helpful in getting a great texture. Another helpful tool was a micro plane zester like this one. It makes a super fine zest that is perfect.

Pre-bake the crust, it would be helpful to do this the night before.

Key lime juice is essential but if you absolutely can't find it use bottled key lime juice OR fresh lime juice. Key limes are smaller and have a sweet smell but zippy tart flavor. So yum.

The filling was super easy. Mix together the key lime juice, zest, sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks and bake until just set but still a little jiggly. (check out the links for more specific bake times etc)

Let chill thoroughly and enjoy with a little whipped cream. We had some the next day with whipped cream and fresh berries and it was really yum!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Caramel Pear Pie

I altered a Pampered Chef recipe for Caramel Apple Tartlets to make this pie. I loved the flavor of the tartlets, but I'm more of a whole pie girl & I don't like apples much (I know, being a teacher that's rather sacrilege)... So I did my own thing.

The ingredients

2-3 pears
Chopped Nuts
Caramel Candy (We made caramel apples and used the left over caramel, but you can just use caramel candy from the store)
Caramel Butterscotch Sauce (for ice cream) 1/2 jar
Tsp. Flour

Crumb Topping:
1/2 cup Brown sugar
1 cup Flour
1 stick Butter
First I minced my pears. I don't like the texture of cooked apples/pears so I cut them small as to avoid that and keep the flavor. Then i mixed the pears in a bowl the the chopped nuts, & caramel butterscotch sauce. I added a teaspoon of flour to help bind it together. I also added some cinnamon and cardamom to taste.

I put the caramel candy in the bottom of the pie shell and topped it with the pear caramel sauce mixture.

I made a crumb topping by using a pastry blender to combine the butter, brown sugar, flour & spices. I sprinkled it over the pie and put it in the over at 350 for about 20 minutes until it started to get brown & crispy.

After removing the pie from the oven I added some some caramel sauce to the top! So sweet and rich and sticky, but everyone loved it! :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Crystal's Quiche

This is Amy coming at you from the pie hole project with this week's recipe! This is the second savory pie I've made for our project and a family favorite; Quiche!

One of the things i like best about quiche is that it's totally customizable to your tastes...the recipe is really for the egg/cream mixture and the vegetables and cheeses that you use you can play around with until you find YOUR family fave!

This recipe is one that my sister Crystal brought back from her mission in France.


Egg Mixture:
4 medium to large eggs

1 tsp of chicken or beef bouillon or 1 cube
1 1/2 tsp of parsley (I used dried our of necessity)
500 ml of heavy cream (this translated into us using a 16 oz or pint sized bottle of cream)

2 1/2 to 3 cups of shredded cheese (we used 2 cups of sharp cheddar)
1 cup of ham, lunch meat style, cut up
1 cup mushrooms, sauteed, cut into bit sized pieces
1 cup small steamed broccoli florets
1/2 small onion, finely diced and sauteed
1 tbsp chopped garlic, sauteed with the onion

1 pie crust, pre-baked for 10-15 minutes until it's starting to look cooked but not brown.

My method with quiche is to have all of the filling ingredients EXCEPT the egg mixture cooked. Put these items into the pre-baked pie shell and pour the egg mixture over the top.

It's helpful in case you end up with too much of the filling (just take some out and save it for omelet filling).

Bake for an additional 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven until the middle is set. Watch the crust carefully and cover with tin foil if it looks like it is getting too brown. Serve hot, warm or cold!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Quick & Easy "Cheesecake"

Hey everyone! I hope you are having a great Sunday. This is Amy, coming at you with this week's pie. 
This pie is a super quick and easy one that takes very little effort. Also a total bonus in that most of the ingredients are shelf stable (with the exception of lemon juice and cream cheese. Since both of those keep for ages in the fridge I always have ingredients for this pie on hand.
 Ingredients are:

  • 1 pre-made graham cracker pie crust (you can of course make your own if you so desire)
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1 16 oz block cream cheese
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (fresh is best but use what you have)
  • 1 can of pie filling for topping (i like cherry) 
Mix together the sweetened condensed milk and room-temp cream cheese, use a hand mixer or stand mixer for this part. Once combined use a spatula to mix in lemon juice & vanilla until combined. 
Pour into your pie shell and you are done! Let the pie chill in the fridge a few hours before serving. If you want to add toppings (and why wouldn't you) let pie chill for 30 or so minuted and add 3/4 of a can of cherry pie filling on top (the whole can will overflow, don't ask how I know that). Or E's family (where I got this recipe) likes to top the pie with pineapple & maraschino cherries. However you top it this is a tasty, easy, quick desert. 

Thanks for checking in here at the pie blog! Catch ya later!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Apple Pie

I am a big apple pie fan. Especially if it is done right.
And this ladies and gentlemen is one awesome apple pie!

I started with homemade crust, this is the same crust I used for the Orange Meringue pie.
I really like how easy and yummy it is. 4 ingredients, very little work.

We peeled, cored, and sliced our apples. We used Gala. I have used this same recipe with Honey Crisp and it was divine, but they are expensive and intermittent in our store.

The filling is cooked and pour over the top of the apples, already resting on their crust.
I used this recipe, and it is wonderful!

After pouring the filling over the apples add your upper crust and seal the edges. Don't worry if your filling looks thick and caramel-y.
It will melt and ooze down through your apples in the baking process.
You then bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce to 350 and bake for another 40 minutes give or take. Keep an eye on it, you don't want to burn your crust.
The finished product is best when served warm, but delicious no matter what.
Serving warm a la mode... pure heaven.
This will make my thanksgiving table. First time an apple pie has earned this fine distinction in my home.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Amy's Ultimate Tourtiere

So this recipe is an Amy special. I grabbed some inspiration and ideas from but decided to just do what worked for me in the end. The result? Tourtiere that reminded me of home. Yum!
Ultimate Tourtiere
  • 1 pound lean ground pork
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Large baking potato (pre-baked)
  • 1/2 cup beef or chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)
  • 1 tbsp milk (for egg wash)
  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
1.    Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
2.    In a saucepan, saute onion and garlic. Once onion is translucent add pork, beef, stock, salt, thyme, sage, black pepper and cloves. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils; stirring occasionally. Peel the baked potato and cut into chunks, add into pan. Simmer the potato with the meat mashing up with a fork as you stir. Reduce heat to low and simmer until meat is cooked, about 10 minutes.  Since the filling is fully cooked at this point now is the time to taste and adjust seasoning to taste.
3.    Spoon the meat mixture into the pie crust. Place top crust on top of pie and pinch edges to seal. Cut slits in top crust so steam can escape. Beat egg with 1 tbsp water and brush over crust.
4.    Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, cover edges of pie with strips of aluminum foil and return to oven. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes before slicing.
A note about pie crust. For pies like this where the filling is already cooked you are really looking for that golden crust to go with your yummy filling. We discovered that the best method (for us) was to as we say reflect & protect. Watch your edges and when they get golden remove and protect with some foil strips. We tried it the other way around but with the egg wash covering the edges before the pie hit the oven ended the foil ended up sticking to the 
egg wash, bad.

I feel like the pie that we made with filling that we cooked and then cooled had better crust too. So if you can. Make the filling ahead and chill. 

Also, my normal MO would have been to brown the meat and then add the liquid etc after, but I have ot asy it worked well to have everything cook together. I realy like my onions cooked so I would still sautee them in the pan first before adding other ingredients.
There are lots of variations of this classic French Canadian recipe. Some use all pork or skip the potato altogether. We experimented this week and made one all pork and one mixed. We also tried adding extra spices such as cardamom but I personally found it a little overwhelming so I left it out of my ultimate recipe. The moral of the story is, experiment! If there is an herb you love, throw it in….taste and adjust as you see fit.

Pie Delay!

I will have our new pie up later today. Sorry for the is pretty much eating my face in a bad way.
On the upside I leave  you with the link to the pie crust recipe i've been using for the past few pies.
Posted on Pioneer Woman it's called Sylvia's Perfect Pie Crust and so far i'm in LOVE. It's makes three crusts at a time and i'll post my full review later today.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Shoo Fly Pie

This week's pie was one of my personal favorites.. Shoo Fly Pie.
Shoo Fly Pie is a molasses based pie. I decided to try Alton Brown's recipe this time instead of using my own. ( We did not use the crust recipe included- Amy made the crust from a Pioneer Woman Recipe- she'll be making a separate post about the crust later)The resulting texture was more cakey & spongy than what I was used to, but I liked it. One of my fellow pie bloggers did not like the texture of this pie at all.

First we mixed the dry ingredients with butter to make crumbs & reserved some for topping the pie. Slight alteration to Mr. Brown's recipe here, the addition of cardamom. :)

Then we mixed all the wet ingredients and poured some of the crumb mixture in to the bowl...
we mixed just until blended, which I think is why the pie had such an odd texture, there were big chunks of crumb in there! We were just following the recipe though and that was what it said to do!
Then we poured it into the pie pans and topped with remaining crumbs. This recipe made two pies, and after previous experience with par-baked crust we used the pie shields on this one.

Finished Pie... great flavor, weird texture.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Cannoli Pie!

We decided we wanted to do something easy this last week.
I needed something simple after the week I had had.

This was super easy and delicious, and it makes two pies.
There are a few changes we would make however.

We thought we should use mini-chocolate chips and chop the roasted almonds. Smaller pieces so as not to interrupt the smoothness of the pie. And instead of whole chips in the filling doing a chocolate ganache layer then the filling.

Cast of characters. Artistically displayed a la Kimmy.

You have to have your crusts made and fully cooled prior.

Filling is just the pudding, the milk, the cream cheese, the almond extract, etc...

The filling prior to mixing. Pretty isn't it?

Fill the crusts. Then whip the cream and top it.
Then we put chopped almonds and chips on top, with a cherry. It looks so pretty.

The perfect slice. Awesome.