Sunday, March 27, 2011

Chocolate Chess Pie

We like Chess Pie, so we thought we ought to try a chocolate variety.
Here is the cast of characters.

We melted the chocolate in the melted butter. It was just easier. I would suggest a little more chocolate personally. It wasn't very chocolatey. But I think the others liked it just like it was. So it depends on your tastes.

Above you see the dry ingredients and the butter, below you see the finished filling. It was really runny, and we were kind of worried, but it turned out fine. However, this was supposedly only enough filling for one pie. Not so. We filled two. If we had tried to stuff it all into one it would have been a major disaster.

This is the finished product. Looks kind of strange. Kimmy and I kind of dubbed it "wrinkly old man pie" but it tastes good.

The perfect slice. Amy and Kimmy think it kind of tastes like hot chocolate. I liked it.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Raspberry Cheesecake

On Monday 3/14/2011 a.k.a. Pi day! Kimmy pi  and i (amy) made a quick and easy pie to celebrate. 

We actually just reworked this recipe for quick and easy cheesecake and gave it a fresh, fruity topping. 
So....make the cheesecake and for the topping follow the recipe below. It was really yummy and fast which was great for a spur of the moment, after work, kind of a pie. 

Raspberry Topping

1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in about 2 tsp water
1 tsp lemon juice

Mix together sugar and raspberries in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir while the mixture gets hot, breaking up the berries with your spoon. When the mixture is hot (simmer) and the berries are broken up to your liking (this took maybe 5-7 minutes for us) add the cornstarch mixture and stir. You should notice a thickening pretty much right away so keep stirring for a minute or two and then turn off your heat. Carefully, taste and see if it needs a little lemon juice. Ours did! Let cool and top your cheesecake. Easy! We loved it. The topping was great, almost like a raspberry jam. Some people may have been spotted scraping out the bowl it was chilling in in the fridge with a spoon and eating it plain. It's good folks!

Full disclosure: I was out of cornstarch (remember this was a totally on the fly pie) so we ended up using 2 tsp of Horne's Custard Powder. It worked like a charm. I have random ingredients because i'm Canadian and this is a key ingredient for Nanaimo Bars. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Happy Pi Day!

So usually we are all about PIE but today we recognize PI! or 3.14159265!

Besides letting you do cool math tricks like calculating the area of a circle and having a super fun shape:

pi has also come to a fun convergance with PIE like this adorable Pi Plate!

and serious eats has a fun pi recipe today!
and an annual pi day contest (check out the winners from last year. seriously cool!) 

So in honor of our very own KimmyPi....HAPPY PI DAY!

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Spanakopita, besides being really fun to say, is Greek spinach pie.

We combined two recipes for our Spanakopita:
this one from Epicurious & this one from All Recipes.

We used:

2 lbs of fresh spinach
1 small yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
3 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 cup garlic feta cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg beaten
2 sticks of melted butter
1 package of phyllo dough (thawed)

First brown the onions & garlic in the olive oil. Clean & cut the spinach. Add to pan and cook for 4-5 minutes until wilted. Let cool completely & chop finely. (You may want to chop your spinach before you cook it but I think that would reduce the spinach even more.) This was 2 lbs of spinach, overflowing the pan, and it reduced down to about half a skillet full.

Mix the cheeses and egg together.

Combine with spinach mixture.
* The following excerpt is taken directly from Epicurous- as these directions are pretty much exactly what we followed and they are well written...

"Take 1 phyllo sheet from stack and arrange on a work surface with a long side nearest you (keeping remaining sheets covered) and brush with some butter. Top with another phyllo sheet and brush with more butter. Cut buttered phyllo stack crosswise into 6 (roughly 12- by 2 3/4-inch) strips.

Put a heaping teaspoon of filling near 1 corner of a strip on end nearest you, then fold corner of phyllo over to enclose filling and form a triangle. Continue folding strip (like a flag), maintaining triangle shape. Put triangle, seam side down, on a large baking sheet and brush top with butter. Make more triangles in same manner, using all of phyllo"Read More

Tip: Use a pizza cutter to cut your phyllo dough!

We like our Spanakopita more crusty than filling, so we used smaller amounts of filling and made more of them. This recipe can also be made into a large pie instead of the small handheld ones.

We had some left over phyllo dough so we buttered the layers and filled it with Nutella, cinnamon, and pecans for a yummy dessert!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Strawberry Icebox Pie

Hi everyone! This is Amy coming at you with this week's pie. We made Strawberry Icebox Pie from this recipe from Martha Stewart and it was DELICIOUS!

A note on pie crust. Martha's recipe calls for 10 graham crackers (2 1/2 by 5 inches) doesn't give a measurement. This is awesome if you are grinding up your own but we used boxed graham cracker crumbs and used 1 1/2 cups. This graham cracker crust recipe was a keeper for sure...the pre-bake gave it a nice texture and crunch. As for it holding together to form the crust you are looking for a texture of wet sand (per kimmy) or snowball snow (per me). The mixture should stick together when you press it together between your fingers....if it is too dry add a little more melted butter until it does stick together. 

The method of this pie was to cook 1/2 of the strawberries with sugar, cranberry juice, cornstarch and a pinch of salt and mash them as they cook with a potato masher. We added about a tablespoon of lemon juice at the end just to add some brightness so taste your mixture and see if you think it needs that. Then you stir in sliced strawberries, let cool. 

After cooling we filled our pie shell and chilled in the fridge overnight. The next day, pie met whipped cream, lots of whipped cream, and it was time to taste.

Verdict. It was AMAZING. It was almost a pie version of strawberries and cream and with the red and white it would be a pretty dessert for Canada Day! It was great after a day in the fridge (per Eldon) and while it might not look all that pretty totally made up for it with taste.