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Archive for the ‘Pie’ Category

Pumpkin Pie

Every year I tell myself, that this year I am going to make a Pumpkin Pie myself. But every year I resolve to to a store-bought pie which is pretty good and so quick and easy. But if you make the pie crust ahead-of-time and store it in the freezer then it’s really not too much trouble making the pie yourself, not to mention, how wonderful this Pumpkin pie taste. The filling has an added wonderful orange flavor which really compliments the pumpkin and it is light in texture. I was contemplating making my own pumpkin puree as well but was concerned with getting the correct water content in the puree and possibly ending up with a soggy pie crust, so I opted for the canned puree, which is just fine. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie (serves 8-10)

Ingredients:

For pie crust (makes two pie crusts)

350 grams all-purpose flour ( 12.3 oz or 2 1/2 cups)

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

226 grams unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (8 oz or 2 sticks)

1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water (60-120 ml)

For the filling

15 oz canned pumpkin puree (425 grams)

1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoon grated orange zest

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup whole milk

2 tablespoons dark rum

Directions:

For the pie crust: Cut up butter and place in refrigerator until ready to use. Place flour, salt and sugar in a food processor, process of combine. Add cold butter to flour and pulse until butter is the size of small peas. Add 1/4 – 1/2 cup ice water in a steady stream through feed tube, only until dough starts to clump together when pinched. Careful not to overmix. Turn dough onto countertop and quickly work it together into a ball. Divide into two equal portions and flatten each portion into a 5 inch (12 cm) disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes. At this point you can also freeze dough for up to 1 month. Defrost dough in refrigerator overnight before using.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to fit into a 9 inch (23 cm) pie dish. To prevent dough from sticking to countertop keep lifting and rotating dough. Roll dough onto rolling pin and lift dough into pie dish. Gently press dough into place, do not pull dough as this will cause shrinkage. Trim dough with a knife around the outer edge, fold excess dough inward to form an edge and crimp edge to create a scalloped look if desired. Chill dough before blind baking.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218 degrees C). After dough has chilled, place pie dish onto a baking sheet. Using a fork prick holes in the bottom and sides of dough. Line pie with parchment paper and fill 3/4 full with pie weights or dried beans. Bake crust for 15 minutes. Remove parchment paper and weights and bake for another 5 minutes.

For the Filling: Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, orange zest, eggs, cream, milk and rum,  making sure egg whites are broken up. Pour filling into pre-baked pie shell and cover pie edges with foil to prevent excessive browning. Bake for 55 – 65 minutes or until a knife inserted into center comes out clean. Place baked pie on a wire rack to cool. Serve at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream. Store leftovers in refrigeator. Enjoy!

Source: Pie Crust – Joy of Baking. Pumpkin Filling – Barefoot Contessa, Foolproof

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Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie

Key lime pie is one of my husband’s favorite desserts and I have been wanting to make this pie for the longest time. And since we are now, well through the holidays and with the anticipation of Spring (yes, I know it’s still a little far off) this particular pie says spring to me. It is tart and sweet, and it has a real freshness about it and it makes me fall in love with the sunshine all over again.

Making Graham Cracker Crust

Making Graham Cracker Crust

Now this is a Key Lime Pie, short of actually having any Key Limes in it. Key Limes, which is associated with the Florida Keys, was nowhere to be found around here, so my delicious Key Lime pie is made with plain-old Limes and it’s still taste fantastic to me.

Making Pie Filling

Making Pie Filling

Key Lime Pie (makes 1 pie)

Ingredients:

Graham cracker crust:

125 grams Graham crackers (4.4 oz or 8 1/2 sheets)

30 grams sugar (2 tablespoons)

85 grams unsalted butter, melted (3 oz or 6 tablespoons)

Pie filling:

3 large egg yolks, at room temperature

395 grams sweetened condensed milk (14 oz can)

2 teaspoons lime zest (approx. regular 1 lime)

120 milliliter lime juice (4 fluid oz or 1/2 cup) (approx. 2 1/2 regular limes)

Pie topping:

240 milliliter cold heavy whipping cream (8 fluid oz or 1 cup)

30 grams sugar (2 tablespoons)

1 handful sweetened coconut

Directions:

Graham cracker crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Spray or butter a 9 inch (23 cm) pie dish. Place butter into small saucepan and melt over low heat. Place Graham crackers in a food processor and process into fine crumbs. (If you do not have a food processor, place crackers into a sealed plastic bag and break-up crackers by beating them with a rolling pin). Add sugar to crumbs and pulse to combine. While food processor is running, pour melted butter into crumbs. Place moist cracker crumbs into pie dish, press crackers up along side of dish and then out over the bottom of dish. Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until set and golden. Remove from oven and set aside.

Pie filling: Beat egg yolks until thickened and pale yellow (3 min). Gradually add sweetened condensed milk and continue beating until light and fluffy (3-5 min). Scrape down sides and add lime zest and lime juice, beat until fully incorporated. Pour filling into pie crust and bake for 10-15 minutes or until filling is set. Allow to cool down to room temperature and then refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Pie topping: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Place coconut in a single layer on a small baking sheet and toast for 4-10 minutes, keeping a close eye on them. Remove toasted coconut from oven and set aside.

Beat whipping cream and sugar until cream is starting to thicken (almost stiff peaks). Place mounds of whipped cream onto pie filling and top with toasted coconut. Can be stored in refrigerator for a few days. Enjoy!

Key Lime Pie without topping

Key Lime Pie without topping

Source: slightly adapted from Joy of Baking

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Perfect Pie Crust

The Holiday season is upon us and with so many foods to be baked and cooked it is really tempting to use a store-bought pie crust instead of making your own. However, this pie crust is both delicious and quick and easy to make…so why use a store-bought? This Perfect Pie Crust comes out light and flaky and it contains more butter than vegetable shortening (which I like) plus it can easily be made a day ahead saving you precious time on your busy day 🙂

Ingredients:

12 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon sugar (plus more for sprinkling)

1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening

6-8 tablespoons ice water (about 1/2 cup)

1 egg, beaten for egg wash

Directions:

Measure out ahead of time the vegetable shortening and place in refrigerator to allow to get very cold.

Dice the butter and place back in refrigerator until ready to use. Place flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the cold butter and shortening. Pulse until the butter is the size of peas (8-12 pulses). With the machine running, add the ice water through the feed tube. Continue to pulse until the dough begins to form a ball. Divide dough into two equal parts and form each dough ball into a slightly flattened disk. Wrap each dough disk tightly in plastic wrap and store in a large zip-loc bag. Place dough in refrigerator until ready to use. Can easily be stored in refrigerator overnight.

When ready to make your pie, make sure your work surface is well-floured. Place first disk on floured surface and roll out into a circle, making sure to frequently move and flip the dough, adding more flour as needed to ensure dough does not stick to work surface. Gently roll dough onto rolling-pin and lift to pie dish letting the dough extend over the edges. When fitting the dough into the baking dish, do not stretch dough as it will shrink a little during baking. Fill with pie filling and brush the edge of dough with egg wash so top dough will adhere. Roll out second dough disk and place on top of filled pie. Trim the edges to about 1/2 inch over the rim. Crimp the two layers of dough together using your fingers or a fork. Brush the entire top crust with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Cut four or five small slits in dough to allow venting. Place on a baking sheet and bake pie at 400 degrees. The baking instructions I had said to bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until the crust is browned. However, oven temperatures may vary and my pie was done in just 45 minutes so I would recommend to watch the pie like a hawk while baking or if your oven tend to run a little on the hot side, perhaps lower the temperature.

Perfect Pie Crust

Source: Barefoot Contessa Family Style

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Dark Chocolate S’mores Pie

I came across a big secret the other day. It’s called The Secret Recipe Club and here is how it works. It’s a club created by Amanda from Amanda’s Cooking which you can join. Every month you are assigned a participating food blog which you then secretly visit and choose one of their recipes to make/bake and blog about. Someone is then in turn assigned to your blog and makes one of your recipes and so on. On reveal day everyone post their recipes at the same time and the secret is out of the bag, I thought this sounds like a lot of fun.

My Secret blog turned out to be a very lovely food blog named Alli-n-son and it’s run by Allison who is the busy momma of two very cute little boys. Allison’s blog is filled with lots of delicious food and desserts. After much going back and forth trying to decide on what to make, I finally decided on Alli’s tempting Dark Chocolate S’mores Pie.

This S’mores Pie quickly became a bit of a hot topic around our house because I wanted to make it with a meringue topping instead of the traditional marshmallows, and so you see, technically it is no longer a S’mores Pie. This is true! Meringue is made with sugar and egg whites while marshmallows are made with sugar, corn syrup and gelatin. Not the same thing I admit, but both white, soft and fluffy 🙂 so therefore in my mind an acceptable substitute. I had to take the topic to my work for other opinions and imagine they all sided with my husband 😦 But as we all know, “you can always tell a Dane, but you can’t tell em much”. Yes that’s right, the stubborn Dane came out in me and so it is a S’mores Pie with Meringue topping.

Dark Chocolate S’mores Pie with Meringue Topping

The pie came out much better than expected. Originally I made this pie with cinnamon graham crackers which was too sweet, so I would recommend using regular graham crackers. Also, with the Meringue topping, the pie is best the same day it’s made. Other than that, wonderful pie and a lot of fun to make.

Ingredients:

For the crust:

1 1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs (123 g or 4.3 oz)

1/4 cup granulated sugar (55 g or 1.9 oz)

4 tablespoons butter, melted (56 g or 1.9 oz)

For the filling:

4 egg yolks

1 cup granulated sugar (220 g 7.7 oz)

1/4 cup cornstarch (33 g or 1.1 oz)

6 tablespoons cocoa powder

a pinch of sea salt

3 cups skim milk (710 ml or 24 fl oz)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (28 g or 1 oz)

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the topping:

4 large egg whites

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (130 g or 4.6 oz)

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Directions:

To make the crust:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C)

Place graham crackers in a food processor or blender and process until you have a fine crumb. Place cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a small bowl and stir to combine. Place crumb mixture in a 9 inch baking dish and gently press crumbs out and up the sides of the pie dish. Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden. Set aside to cool. Shut oven off but keep oven door closed to preserve the heat for later use.

To make the filling:

In a medium bowl using an electrical mixer, beat egg yolks to combine and set aside. In a medium sauce pan combine sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, salt and milk. Whisk vigorously to combine at first, then set heat to medium and bring mixture to a simmer stirring frequently. Allow to simmer for 1 minute, remove from heat.

While beating the egg yolks, slowly add 1 1/2 cups of the chocolate mixture to the egg yolks. Then pour the beaten egg mixture back into the sauce pan with the remaining chocolate mixture, return to the stove and over medium heat bring mixture back up to a simmer. Allow to continue to simmer for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla, stir to combine. Pour pudding mixture into baked pie crust and set aside, the pudding filling will continue to set.

To make the topping:

Separate the egg whites from the yolks and place the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl of your electrical mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Meringue should still have a glossy appearance.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C)

Spread meringue over the pie filling or fill meringue into a piping bag fitted with a decorating tip and pipe meringue onto the pie filling, starting in the center working your way out to the edge of pie. Return the pie to the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until peaks are golden brown.

Place on wire rack and allow to cool. Serve and enjoy same day!

Source: crust and filling adapted from Alli-n-son, meringue is from Joyofbaking

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Chicken Pot Pie in ramekin

Chicken Pot Pie is a regular visitor at our house especially during the winter months when you need some warm comfort food. However, I have been known to serve piping hot pot pie  in the middle of summer if the mood strikes. Recently we’ve had some nice warm spring days here in Virginia but then it turned cold again (they even threatened us with snow) and so the mood was set for a wonderful warm Chicken Pot Pie.

In this post I wanted to share two different versions of my Pot Pie. They are both equally good, one is just quicker than the other. I like to use either Cilantro or Thyme but you can use whatever is your favorite herb. Sometimes I make it as a 2 crust pie, sometimes in ramekins with a top crust, which is what I did in this recipe.

Here’s a little interesting Pot Pie trivia for you. Did you know that the crust in pot pie was typically not eaten but placed there to keep the taste of the iron pot away from the food. “ONE CRUST OR TWO?” Leslie Land, Los Angeles Times, September 24, 1992 (p. H11)

Chicken Pot Pie Ingredients

Ingredients:

3 skinless boneless chicken breasts, diced

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 small onion, chopped

2-3 tablespoon dry sherry

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup frozen carrots

4-5 sprigs fresh Thyme or Cilantro

Pepperidge Farm puff pastry

1 egg, for glazing pie crust

Quick version sauce:

1 – 2  cans Cream of Chicken with Herbs (10 3/4 oz cans)

Homemade version sauce:

5 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup flour

chicken stock

Chicken Pot Pie filling

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degree F.

Clean chicken and cut into bite size pieces. Season chicken with salt, pepper. Spray pan with cooking spray and lightly brown chicken, remove from pan and cover with foil to keep warm. Add chopped onion and cook over medium heat until translucent. Add chicken back into pan and then add sherry and simmer for 1 minute.

For quick version sauce: add cans of Cream of Chicken with Herbs, peas, carrots and Thyme. Simmer covered 10-15 minutes.

For homemade version sauce: in small saucepan melt butter, then add flour and whisk until combined, simmer 1-2 minutes to remove flour taste. Add chicken stock while whisking until desired consistency. Add sauce to onions in pan. Then add peas, carrots, Thyme and simmer covered 10-15 minutes.

Add chicken filling to ramekins. Unfold puff pastry and cut out circles 1 inch bigger than ramekin size. Cover filled ramekins with circles of dough. Beat egg with fork and brush onto dough to give a nice golden finish. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. If dough is browning too fast cover loosely with foil. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy.

Chicken Pot Pie made as a 2 crust pie

Source: My Danish Kitchen

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