Saturday, October 29, 2011

Raisin Pie for Grandpa

Hi everyone! This is Amy coming at you with a new pie this week. 
I have to say that I am SO blessed to have an amazing, supportive family in my life. My fave uncle Gary is a great source for recipes and general cooking/baking info and when he mentioned a few weeks ago that my grandfather's fave pie was raisin I knew it was the next pie I wanted to make for the blog. 

You see, I never really knew my grandparents. Gary (and my dad's) dad passed away when I was five and I have very few memories and a few photographs like this classic one: 
Yup....that would be me on the left! One of my favourite things about spending time with my aunts and uncles is hearing stories about my makes me feel closer to them in small ways and so did making this pie. 

Raisin pie was a total sleeper hit. What I mean is....I LOVE raisins and baked goods with raisins in them but you guys....this pie is basically ALL raisins and I wasn't sure how that would work. It worked.
It was yummy!

So starting at the beginning. I used THIS recipe for an all butter pie crust. This was actually also the first time I've attempted a lattice crust....which was kind of a hot mess but ended up looking OK and really, it's something you are going to eat and rustic is charming....right?

I found a recipe HERE for raisin pie.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 2 cups golden raisins
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter 
  • 1 Pastry for double-crust pie (9 inches)

Mix sugar and flour together in a medium saucepan and stir to combine. Add water and mix, making sure to try and get out any lumps of flour. Add raisins, salt and cinnamon. Bring to boil and let boil for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in 1 tbsp butter. Fill pie shell and top with lattice crust. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is set. 

I was amazed at how the filling thickened, it was really loose and watery when it went into the oven but it thickened up nicely. This pie was lovely served warm and would be AMAZING with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. 

Gary, thanks for telling me about grandpa's favourite pie. I love it! 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Peaches & Cream Tart

Peaches taste like summer to me. I think it's because the best, sweetest, peaches are fleeting. They appear at farm stands and markets, fragrant, juicy and so different in taste and texture than the peaches that get shipped to your grocery store in January. I think that this tart really highlights the peach flavor. you start by prebaking the tart shell. Personally i didn't love the crust recipe posted with the Peaches & Cream Tart recipe and if i made it again i would use this recipe that we used for the Fresh Fruit Tart

  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened and sliced
  • I mixed all of this in my food processor and pressed it into a 9" tart pan. the recipe calls for a 12" pan so I had left over crumbs. Bake in a 350 degree oven until lightly browned. This was about 10 minutes and I did this step the night before. 
  • This recipe has a great texture, it's almost like shortbread. 

Next we peeled and sliced up fresh peaches. Set these aside until the crust has cooled and you have finished the filling.  

The filling was a mixture of lemon zest, cream cheese, mascapone cheese that you ship until it's light and fluffy. Then you whip whipping cream  and fold it in. I loved the flavor of the marscapone and the whipped cream folded in gave it a nice lightness. 
You arrange the sliced peaches on the filling and glaze with some melted peach preserves. I think this glaze could benefit from a tbsp or so of lemon juice just to thin it out and brighten the flavor. 

Overall this pie was lovely, light and fresh and I would make it again for sure. 


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Quick and easy meat pies!

This is Amy coming at you with this week's pie. My husband and I both work full time and go to school (we are crazy) so as a result I love a quick and easy dinner recipe and in my search for savory pie recipes I came across this one

However the only thing we took from that recipe was the idea of using rolled out biscuit dough as the crust. That was one of the things that made this recipe so quick and easy. We used these: 

Rolled out 

We sauteed onions and garlic and added in around 2 pounds of ground turkey (you can substitute any meat you like...a breakfast version with sausage would be yummy!

Season to taste. We used salt, pepper and some sage. Cook until your meat is cooked completely and cool slightly before moving on to the next step. You could also put this mixture in the fridge and finish the recipt the next day for a quick dinner. 

Spoon several teaspoons into the centre of the rolled out biscuits and fold them in half. Pinch the edges shut with a fork, cut several times to vent and brush with a mixture of 1 beaten egg and 1 tbsp milk.  
Bake in a 350 degree oven until golden brown (ours took about 15 minutes but keep a close eye on them. Since the filling is completely cooked before you put them in the oven you are really just cooking the biscuit. This was an easy, yummy dinner that you could adapt to fit your own family. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Blueberries & Cream Pie

This super yummy pie took several steps but was well worth it.

Step 1: Make the crust, but do not bake yet!

Step 2: Make the cream filling with :sugar, flour, eggs, sour cream & vanilla

Step 3: Pour over fresh blueberries in the pie shell

Step 4: Crumble fave part!
I LOVE crumble topped pies!
....mostly because I am lazy & hate making a top crust on my pie
but really, I love how they taste too! It's the ONLY way I'll eat apple pie.

For more details see the whole recipe here:
I don't recall diverting from this recipe at all, unless we added cardamom to the crumb topping
( I tend to put cardamom in EVERYTHING!)....well written easy to follow directions!
Lots of other great recipes on their blog too, check them out!


Potato Pie

This was probably one of my favorite pies we've ever made. Love scalloped potatoes? Then you'll flip for this pie! It's basically garlic scalloped potatoes inside a yummy puff pastry shell.
(which was inspired by a Martha Stewart recipe)

First you need to peel & cut the potatoes into slices and boil them until soft.

Drain them and then make a creamy white sauce.
While the sauce thickens thaw out the puff pastry. NOTE: make sure you buy puff pastry & not Phyllo Dough. We had to make a second trip to the store because I got the wrong stuff.
Tip on thawing the dough: rub it until pliable and then open it up like in the picture below.
You should have two of these dough pieces, one of the top and one for the bottom of the pie.

Then place one layer of potatoes on the dough, topped
some green onions, butter, and swiss cheese. Repeat with the remaining potatoes, etc.
Sprinkle salt & pepper on top.

Top with the second piece of dough and crimp the edges all around. Cut two slits in the top of the pie and brush with an egg wash. Bake in the over for 35 minutes. (The other recipe said to chill it before baking, but we skipped that step and it worked just fine. Hey, we were hungry!)
WAIT! What about the white sauce we made!? After baking the pie for 35 minutes then pour the white sauce in the slits you cut in the top of the pie prior to baking. We had to use a chopstick to smash down and poke holes in the potato filling in order to get all that creamy goodness inside.

Bake 10 more minutes and enjoy!
Definitely will be making this one again very soon!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ice Cream Sundae Pie

Hi everybody! 
We are back from pie-iatus and have some super great new pies to share! This Ice Cream Sundae Pie Recipe has a few different elements that give it two thumbs up from the pie girls and also the chief pie taster. 

First up was the step I started with: make your own salted caramel sauce. 
This step involved making caramel by melting sugar and letting it brown and then adding cream (be sure to use a deep pot because it splatters when you add the cream) toss in some salt for a yummy home-made caramel. This would also be really yummy on plain ice cream. 

The next step was something i really loved. A DIY chocolate cookie crumb crust that you make from scratch. Our grocery store doesn't always carry chocolate wafer cookies and this crust was a super from-scratch option. 
The third element was mixing chocolate bars to the softened ice cream of your choice. We used Bryers Natural Vanilla and it was yum! 

Top with whipped cream, drizzle with salted caramel sauce and toss in the freezer to set everything.

The end result was really yummy and it was also good the next day so if you need a 
make ahead dessert try this one!

Monday, June 6, 2011


This is probably completely obvious by now but we are taking a short haitus for the summer. Living in Arizona is not exactly condusive to summer pie baking and when you combine that with fun summer travel it's time for a bit of a break! See you soon with more yummy pies. In the meantime check out our previous are links to some of my faves. 

I hope you all have a lovely summer!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Fruit Tart

Hey everybody! This is Amy coming at you with this week's pie. 
This fruit tart was a huge hit! Easy, fresh, and beautiful to boot. 
The recipe is here: Fresh Fruit Tart
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened and sliced
  • I mixed all of this in my food processor and pressed it into a 9" tart pan. the recipe calls for a 12" pan so I had left over crumbs. Bake in a 350 degree oven until lightly browned. This was about 10 minutes and I did this step the night before. 

Fresh fruit:
pick out some beautiful fresh fruit. We used strawberries, blueberries, kiwi and mango. Wash and slice any large fruit. Take your time and make the slices pretty.

  • 1/2 (6-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  •  2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/8 cup granulated sugar
I cut this in half and my quantities are noted above. 
Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer until thickened slightly. Cool and set aside to glaze tart. 

Mix. I didn't even bust out my mixer for this. Seriously this recipe has a lot of steps but it was WAY EASY.

Spread the cream cheese filling into the cooled tart shell.
Arrange the fruit artistically.
Brush with glaze.
Chill for 30 minutes to an hour. Cut and serve.

This was crazy pretty and really yummy. I would say you can make it earlier in the day and serve it for dinner but I think there was a lovely crisp element to the shortbread crust that i think would be lost if you kept the completely made tart in the fridge longer than a few hours. 
Oh, we skipped the whipped cream on top entirely. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Mushroom Spinach Polenta Pie

Hey all, this is Lou bringing you this weeks SAVORY pie.

Mushroom Spinach Polenta. This pie was so delicious!

I started with a recipe but then Amy and I kind of went off script. Best improv ever!

Here is the original receipe-

I used fresh spinach rather than frozen.

I just think the tase quality is better than way.

I also sauteed in a sweet yellow onion.

The recipe only called for 8 tablespoons of parm, and I think that is skimpy.

I never skimp on good cheese!

We probably ended up using like a cup to a cup and a half.

This turned out SO GOOD! It is definetly one I will be making again.

I am going to try and get a firmer consistency with the polenta.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Grasshopper Pie

This pie came from Martha Stewart's New Pies & Tarts book, which was a gift from one pie blogger to another. Thanks Amy! I FULLY recommend this book, even if you don't bake, just to look at the pictures. It's truly decadent. I can't wait to make more pies from this book!

In case you can't wait to get your cook book, you can also find the recipe here, Grasshopper Pie. 3 layers of minty goodness, with a chocolate cookie crust, this pie was tasty!

First we steeped fresh mint in milk. The milk turned green & tasted of spearmint. Mint layer #1.

While the mint milk was on the stove, the crust was made. Instead of chocolate wafers that Martha uses we used mint chocolate cookies (aka. grocery store thin mints- see photo above.) because I couldn't find chocolate wafer cookies in our small town. It gave another layer of mint to the pie ( #2). My fave thing about this crust was the coconut in it, it gave the pie great texture. :)

We mixed some plain Gelatin with a few tablespoons of Creme de Menthe. Mint layer #3.

It got all green and groovy looking... :) Oh I spy piebakers!

Then we had to mix the green milk with the green gelatin...minty goodness.

That baby had to cool in an ice bath... which took forever... and which was when we learned the true reason why it's called grasshopper pie.

Not because it's green, but because it takes

Finally thickened we added some whipped cream to it to make it fluffy!

Refrigerate for a while and then ENJOY!

This pie was probably the fussiest pie we've ever made at the Pie Hole, but I thought it was worth it. It tasted just like the grasshopper cookies my mom used to buy when I was a kid. Some of us however thought the mint flavor overpowering, so it may need to be adjusted according to taste.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Jamaican Meat Patties

I think it's fairly obvious that a lot of the pies I want to try and make are products of nostalgia. I have no idea how Jamaican Patties became a common quick meal or afternoon snack but they were totally our version of hot-pockets growing up. This is another thing that we never really cooked at home. No secret family recipe...they were strictly from the box in the freezer section. Flaky pastry surrounding a spicy meat filling. Yum!
Here is where I found a recipe to try.

Below is a delicious recipe for Jamaican Beef Patties:

2 cups Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 cup Solid shortening
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine
1/3 cup Cold water
Recipe by ©
Sift the flour, curry powder and salt into a large bowl. Cut in the shortening and margarine until crumbly. Add the cold water to make a stiff dough. Lightly flour a wooden cutting board and roll out the dough until about 1/8-inch thick. Cut out 8-inch circles. Cover with wax paper or damp cloth until ready to use. You can place the dough in the refrigerator overnight. If you do refrigerate, remove the dough at least 15 minutes before using.
Recipe by ©
2 tablespoon oil
1 Small white onion, Finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon Chopped Scotch Bonnet pepper
1/2 lb. Lean ground beef
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Curry powder
1/2 teaspoon Dried thyme
1/4 cup Breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Beef or chicken stock
1 Egg, beaten
1/4 cup Water
In a heavy skillet, melt the margarine and sauté the onion and Scotch Bonnet Pepper until they become limp. Add the ground beef, salt, pepper, curry powder and thyme and mix well. Brown the meat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the breadcrumbs and stock and combine all the ingredients well. Cover the skillet and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When all the liquids have been absorbed, the filling is ready. It should be moist but not watery. Remove the skillet from the stove and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Uncover the dough circles and place 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling on half of each. Moisten the edges of the dough with water and fold the dough circle over the meat filling. Pinch the edges closed with a fork. Lightly brush the pastry with a mixture of the egg and water. Bake on a lightly greased baking sheet for 30 to 40 minutes or until the pastry are golden brown.
Serves: 10 Patties 

The bad:
The pastry was really hard to work with and to be honest, I wasn't in love with the texture after baking. It had a hard, crispyness as opposed to the thicker, tender, flakiness I wished for.

The good:
I liked the flavor of the filling and other than the pastry being annoying they were fairly easy to make. You could make a double batch and freeze them for heating up later.

The verdict:
These didn't really live up to my memories. Sometimes the texture of mass-produced goods is really hard to replicate and I think this was one of those times. 

Note to self:
Add these to your grocery list for two week trip to Canada this summer. Multiple boxes for late nights catching up with family and after swimming/running snacks. Extra spicy please.