Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pies and Quilts, a winning combination

Every year I attend the Road to California Quilt Show in Ontario. I allow myself to buy one little project, two if I finished last year's. I often head to the booth that sells these little paper piecing quilt patterns. This pattern called to me and I just had to have it. It took a few years to get around to it but now I've got it quilted and bound and hanging in my kitchen. I imagine that pie would measure at least 10 pounds. Don't you? And Please join me at the show this year, January 19-22, 2012.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Can't Decide Pumpkin Pie

I was given permission to include the recipe so I'm reposting about this fun pumpkin apple pie.

This is a new twist on the pumpkin pie. It is made with an apple layer on the bottom. It was quite tasty. The pumpkin custard was a nice texture and had well balanced flavor. The apple layer was surprise to my kids who were wary at first and then decided they liked the pie a lot.

I got this recipe out of a fun apple cookbook. Since these are two classic fall pie flavors, I knew I had to give it a try. I hope you do too. Excerpted from Apple Cookbook(c) by Olwen Woodier, used with permission from Storey Publishing.

The recipe calls for fresh apples to be saute'ed a bit before being layered in the tin. It gives the option of using canned apples, which I did the second time around. This did not turn out well. I tried giving it a pecan topping but we still had to throw half of that pie away--so if you used canned, beware! If I tried using canned again, I would go ahead and cook them first like the instructions say to do for fresh apples.

Pumpkin Apple Pie

pastry for a single 10" piecrust
2 medium apples (Granny Smith, Braeburn, Newtown Pippin, Northern Spy) or 2 cups drained canned apple slices
1 teaspoon butter
2 cups pumpkin puree, canned or fresh
1 1/2 cups light cream or half and half
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a 10 in pie plate.
2. Roll out the pastry and fit it into the pie plate. Trim and flute the edges. Refrigerate.
3. Peel, core, and cut the apples into the 1/4-inch slices. Place in a skillet with the butter, cover, and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain. If you are using canned apples, simply drain and set aside.
4. Place the pumpkin, cream, sugar, eggs, cinnamon nutmeg, cloves, and ginger in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Beat together until smooth.
5. Arrange the apple slices in the bottom of the chilled pastry shell and pour the pumpkin mixture over them.
6. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 375 degrees and bake for 35-40 minutes longer, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before serving.
Yield: 8-10 servings.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Que Peligroso: Guest Post

My daughter Amanda had as much fun writing about the pies from this food truck as she did eating the pie. Some day I will venture into the savory pies. So far, I do Chicken Pot Pie. But this pork pie looks amazing. Visit Amanda and her reflective writings about the world and life on her blog The Flip Side of My Pillow.

Dangerously Delicious Pies are dangerous for the simple memory it
leaves you with, and possibly the effect on your wallet while in close
proximity. I experienced the Pork BBQ, Strawberry Rhubarb, and
Baltimore Bomb one blesse'd Friday of one wonderfully hot and humid
summer afternoon at Farragut Square Food Truck Friday. From my memory
I can still feel the chili pepper kick, the nostalgic remembrance and
renewal of strawberry love, the perfect explosion of chocolate chunk
and "sweet vanilla chess filling."

At times when I think of my current
meager repasts I drift back to better times where food came out of
trucks and dreams were within walking distance. That flakey crust
forged a bond between myself and those fortunate enough to partake
with me; Dangerously Delicious Pies will always have a place in my
stomach. Few memories give such forceful urges to buy the next plane
ticket to D.C., get a tax to drive straight past Capital Hill to the
origin of my reminiscence, and, after eating my weight in pie,
convince the owner to open a branch wherever I happen to be living at
the time or even a cross country delivery service. I'll do it, I swear
I will.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

My most favorite winter pie

If you know me very well at all, you know what flavor this pie is and the stories behind it. Can you guess? Have you tried it? No time to tell now because I'm on my way to Utah for Thanksgiving. Check back to find out which pie brings me so much pleasure.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Beautiful Apple Pie

My Master-of-all-things-Kitchen sister sent me this picture of her beautiful apple pies. I'm just so sad I live 600 miles away from them (and her!) They looked perfectly baked and flaky. I like the 3 vents. I bet these pies weighed in at a respectable weight.

Have you made pie recently?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Light-Textured Pumpkin Pie

This was the most unique of the pies from the Old Fashioned Pumpkin Recipes. It has a spongy, fluffy texture. The flavor is excellent and after a few bites of confusion, I got used to the unexpected texture and after a few more bites, I was hooked. You'll need a deep dish or be ready for some overflow. As you can see, I overbrowned my pie, so watch for that! And it needs to be well cooled to enjoy. Definitely try this one!

Light-Textured Pumpkin Pie

2 cups cooked pumpkin
4 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1 Tbs. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup cream
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 9" unbaked pie shell

Combine pumpkin, slightly beaten egg yolks and mixture of sugar, cornstarch and cinnamoon. Beat 5 minutes. Mix in cream and butter. Beat egg whites until rounded peaks form and fold into pupkin mixture. Pour into pie shell and bake in 375 degree F oven 45 minutes or until inserted knife comes out clean.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Molasses Pumpkin Pie

I had high hopes for this new twist on the pumpkin pie. It was way strong! So strong that I have a feeling I made a mistake in the recipe. I got this idea from my fun Old Fashioned Pumpkin Recipes book. Stay tuned for some much better variations of the pumpkin pie.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Favorite Pumpkin Pie

I've lost track of which "installment" I'm on for my pumpkin pie series. Nevertheless, this is a wonderful recipe and I share with permission from Bear Wallow Books. It comes from the Old Fashioned Pumpkin Recipes book that I have enjoyed so much.

You can probably tell that I used a cheater crust (Marie Calender's frozen crust is my favorite ready made crust) but when you are trying to fit in all the pie recipes in the que before Thanksgiving, you have to take some shortcuts.

The pie has the classic flavor and texture. It's nothing extr-ordinary, but a wonderful, basic recipe.

Favorite Pumpkin Pie
2 cups cooked pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/ tsp. nutmet
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup light cream
1 9" unbaked pie shell
1/2 tsp. salt

Combine pumpkin, sugar, spices, salt. Blend in eggs and cream. Pour into pie shell. Bake 40-45 minutes in 400 degree F. oven until knife inserted off-center comes out clean

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pumpkin Hand Pies

Hand pies are seriously addictive! Is it a good thing that they take hours and hours (a small exxageration) to make? For these I used Paula Deen's pastry crust. It's the first time I liked a butter/shortening combo crust and I will definitely try it again. The filling is the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie I've already posted about.

I used my new Petite Pie Mold in the pumpkin shape. In the directions you are instructed to use the mold to cut you pastry. Then you line the mold, stretching to fit. Next you add the filling and lay the top crust over. When I make them again, I'll cut the top and bottom crust bigger than the mold to avoid the stretching step. Then I'll trim away the excess.

Man oh man were these delicious!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie

This is the second in my Pumpkin Pie Series. My family has probably liked this version the best of my recent attempts. I also liked it, although it was very rich. It would be well served for a special occasion and not so much for a dinner/breakfast substitute as many of my pumpkin pies turn out to be.

The recipe I used is one that came with my cute new "Petite Pie Mold" from (see future Pumpkin Hand Pie Post) Their recipes are available online but I will include the pumpkin pie version here.

BTW: Paula Deen has another Pumpkin Pie recipe that uses cream cheese. I'll let you know. . .

Pumpkin Pie

1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
2 cups canned pumpkin, mashed
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg pluss 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
unbaked 9" crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a hand mixer, combine the cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon and beat until incorporated. Poor into crust and bake 35 minutes or until filling is set.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Costco Pumpkin Pie

This is the famous $5.99 Costco pumpkin pie. It is truly a great value! A 10" pie is the perfect size to feed the family for dinner dessert and breakfast too. I do love the pumpkin filling. As I have stated before, I have felt challenged by the filling since many recipes just don't measure up. The crust, however, is far inferior. It is a very whimpy crust and it comes soggy and doughy on the bottom more times than not.

I have bought many pumpkin pies from Costco. In fact, once they start selling them in the fall, I never leave the store without one! But I am happy to report that my Pumpkin Pie Series effort has waxed successful and I no longer consider Costco the "best" pumpkin pie. Stay tuned for some great pumpkin pie recipes. It's a virtual PARADE!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Praline Pumpkin Pie

The first of my pumpkin pie series will be the delicious Praline Pumpkin Pie. It has a thin layer of pecan praline on the bottom that gives the pie a nice surprise. Pumpkin and praline go so well together, this is a natural twist on the old tradition. Or you could say you are putting two Thanksgiving favorites into one wonderful pie. I definitely recommend this recipe from my book Old-Fashioned Pumpkin Recipes by Bear Wallow Books. (see links in previous post)

Praline Pumpkin Pie

1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons soft butter

Combine these ingredients and press into bottom of 9" unbaked pie shell. Prick sides with fork. Bake in 450 degree oven 10 minutes and cool.

2 eggs slightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
2 cups cooked pumpkin
1 14oz can condensed milk

Mix together eggs, sugars, flour, salt and spices. Blend in pumpkin. Gradually add mil. Mix well. Pour into baked pie shell and bake at 350 degrees 50 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted in filling comes out clean.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Village Inn Strawberry Rhubarb

Hoorah to Village Inn for using a shortening crust with a beautiful flute and a sturdy pan. These little touches make such a big difference. It's hard to make a strawberry rhubarb pie when you can't find rhubarb at the local market so I was thrilled that Village Inn would fill the need. I can't wait to try more flavors of pie there.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Loyal Blog Followers

Sweet and caring Jeri visits my blog often. So when her generous and helpful husband was heading in for surgery, I thought it important that they have one of my comforting apple pies. Thanks for your loyalty Jeri and thanks for being a great "hometeacher" B Calder. Best wishes for a quick recovery.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Quest

For the past several years, I have considered myself a failure at making a good pumpkin pie. The 'ol Libby's recipe just didn't cut it! Frozen pumpkin pies were better. Costco pumpkin pie was better. It was very discouraging!

A few summers ago I was in Pennsylvania for a neice's wedding with all of my sisters and my mom. We took the opportunity to travel through the Amish and Mennonite areas and stopped at lots of the fun grocery stores and bakeries. I found this awesome little cookbook at one of the stores and decided to try every pumpkin pie recipe listed to discover a winning recipe.

Over the next several posts, I will be sharing the results. So check back often for my Pumpkin Pie Series and together we'll take Costco to task. BTW this is a wonderful book with breads, soups, sweets, and of course lots of pumpkin pies. Bear Wallow Books in Indiana is a great source of cookbooks for the "Old Fashioned" baker in all of us. You can buy one or all of their 40 books from Abel's Apple Acres or from Kauffman's Fruit Farm.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Spreading the Pie


You never know where you are going to find a good recipe for pie. I enjoy this blog about cupcakes. In fact, it was my inspiration for starting a pie blog. The bottom line is, baking is a passion shared by many of us, whatever our final product. So if you love baking more than just pies, check out the Cupcake Activist! You might just find a recipe for pie and cupcakes too.