Archive for the ‘Pie’ Category

Graham Cracker Cream Pie

November 30, 2010

Graham Cracker Cream Pie

I thought surely that I had put this recipe on my blog, but when my daughter recently asked for the recipe I realized that it isn’t here. This recipe comes from my maternal grandmother who made it for every major holiday since before I was born. It is my father’s favorite dessert, and it’s one of those things that makes the holidays complete. Frankly I don’t remember the last time I didn’t make it for a holiday. Our son loves it, and I think there would be great sadness if I didn’t whip one up for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.

The pie does not have a cream topping, so I’ve always wondered why it’s called graham cracker cream pie, but you don’t argue with years of family tradition. The pie is a simple affair. Basically it’s a graham cracker crust, vanilla  filling and meringue topping.

You’ll notice in the photo that the meringue wept a little. For me and meringue that’s the norm. There are more complicated meringue toppings that are less likely to weep, but we keep this simple pie uncomplicated.

Crumb Crust

Preheat the oven to 375

1.5 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/4. c. sugar
1/3 c. melted butter

Mix the crumbs sugar and melted butter together. Press the crumb mixture into a 9 inch pie plate. Bake 8 minutes and then cool on a wire rack.

Vanilla Pie Filling

1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. flour
1/4 t. salt
2 1/4 c. milk ( I  like whole milk best for this pie)
4 egg yolks
1 T. butter
2 t. vanilla extract

In 2 qt. saucepan mix together the sugar, flour, and salt. Stir in the milk until smooth. Over med. heat, cook the mixture stirring constantly until thickened and begins to boil. (about 10 minutes).  Boil 1 minute. Remove immediately from heat.

Beat egg yolks with small amount of hot milk mixture. Slowly pour egg mixture into saucepan, sitrring rapidly to prevent lumping. Over low heat, cook, stirring constantly until very thick (do not boil). The mixture should mound slightly when dropped from the spoon.

Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.

Pour into pie crust.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees

4 room temperature egg whites
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. sugar (I prefer to use super fine Baker’s Sugar for making meringue, but it isn’t essential)
With mixer at high speed beat egg whites and salt just until soft peaks form. Sprinkle in sugar 2 t. at a time beating after each addition until sugar is dissolved. The egg whites should stand in stiff glossy peaks.
Spread meringue over filling being sure to seal at the edges. Bake 10 minutes or until golden.

This works best if you have it all ready to go and put it onto the filling while the filling is still very hot.

Cool to room temperature and then chill in the refrigerator.

Butterscotch Pie

July 18, 2010

Butterscotch Pie

When I was in third grade my classmates and I all contributed a recipe to a recipe booklet that we made for our Mom’s for Mother’s Day. Our teacher apparently rewrote the recipes we submitted onto mimeograph paper and made copies of the recipes for us to bind together between construction paper covers that we decorated with Crayons. I’m pretty sure my front cover was originally pink and my back cover was purple. When I was home visiting my parents my mother gave me the one I made knowing I would get a kick out of it, and I did!

Booklet Cover

The recipes include one recipe for chili, and all the rest are for baked goods. The baked goods span everything from cookies, cakes, pies, bread and desserts. It’s a real treasure trove!

The recipe I submitted was for Butterscotch Pie. My Mom and I both found this interesting because neither of us remembers being smitten with Butterscotch Pie. I guess it just sounded good to my third grade brain.

Anna at Cookie Madness recently made a few Butterscotch Pies and came up with a winner. Her post is what jogged my memory about butterscotch pie. But, before I made hers I had to do a spin on this one. This recipe calls for a seven inch pie plate which I don’t own, so I made two little pies in my beautiful single serving Emile Henry Pie Dishes. I made some major changes in putting this together, but for the filling I used the same proportions of ingredients. I think you’ll be able to read the recipe as I submitted it in the photo, but I’ll type it up the way I made it today. I used the microwave for the filling. The recipe didn’t state what type of crust to use. I wasn’t in the mood for roll out pie pastry so I took a short cut and opted for a graham cracker crust. I made the simplest of all meringue toppings. The kind we would have made way back when I was in third grade.

My Recipe

We haven’t tasted the pie yet. I’ll let you know what we think of it.

Butterscotch Pie

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place 25-30 pecans on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for about 8 minutes while the oven preheats. When they’re toasted lightly chop them

For the crust: Combine 1 c. crushed graham crackers, 1 T. sugar and 3 T. butter. Divide evenly between two mini pie dishes and bake for 8 minutes.


25-30  toasted and chopped pecans
3/4 c. brown sugar (5.65 oz.)
2 T. flour
2 T. butter
1/4 t. salt
1 c. warm whole milk
3 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Place the pecans on top of the pie crust.
Combine brown sugar, flour, butter and salt in a 4 c. Pyrex measuring cup and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir until well combined.
Add the milk and whisk together. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Whisk well. Microwave for 3 minutes and whisk again.
Whisk the three egg yolks. Add a small amount of hot milk mixture to the egg yolk and whisk well. While whisking, add the egg yolk mixture back into the hot milk mixture. Microwave for one more minute whisking at 15 second intervals. The mixture should mound slightly when drizzled from the end of the whisk. Stir in the vanilla.
Pour the mixture into the hot pie crust.

3 egg whites
1/4 t. salt
6 T. white sugar
Combine the egg whites and the salt and mix on high speed with hand mixer until soft peaks form. Add the sugar 2 tablespoons at a time until the sugar is dissolved and stiff peaks form. Place on top of the hot filling and Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

We tasted the pie after dinner this evening. It’s very tasty. I’m glad I put in the toasted pecans because they temper the sweetness a little. I would make this recipe again. It set up nicely, and didn’t run at all.  My husband tells me that Butterscotch Pie is his Dad’s favorite. I had no idea! I’ll definitely have to make the  full size version for him someday.

Butterscotch Pie Sliced

Apple Pie

November 29, 2009

If you read my previous post you know that I planned to serve Pumpkin Cheesecake, and Apple Pie for dessert on Thanksgiving Day. Guess what? When my son asked if I was making Graham Cracker Cream Pie and I told him no I was going to try something else, he looked so sad that I changed my mind on the spot and made the Graham Cracker Cream. Sigh. He loved it, I loved it, everyone loved it. I think I will be making that pie for the rest of my life. Sigh.

Today my son, daughter, and our daughter’s boyfriend headed back to the cities. I got up early and made the Apple Pie that I intended to make on Thanksgiving day and sent half the pie down the road with them. Mmmm I bet that car smelled good! This is a variation on the pie that Anna at Cookie Madness posted about. I didn’t have time to make the crust that goes with that pie, and I had to make some adjustments to the filling as well. Even so we are very happy with this pie. My husband said, “I can’t imagine that Apple Pie could be any better than this.” I don’t think I’ll ever feel the need to mess with this recipe. It is excellent apple pie. I can only imagine how much better it would be following the original recipe exactly as written.

To see the recipe the way that it’s meant to be made click here.

Here is the way I made it when I was short on time and a few ingredients.

Two Crust Shortening Based Pastry

2c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
3/4 c. plus 1 T. shortening
5-6 T. ice cold water

Whisk together the flour and the salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in the shortening just until the clumps are about the size of peas. Use a fork to incorporate the ice water 1 Tablespoon at a time, until the dough clings together when pinched. Turn this out onto a piece of plastic wrap and press it together with your hands. Divide the dough in half. Set one half aside. Pat the remaining piece into a disk and cover with a second piece of plastic wrap. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a large enough circle to line your pie dish. I like to make this kind of pie in a Pyrex 9.5″ inch pie plate. Remove one piece of plastic wrap and line the pie dish. Remove the second piece of plastic wrap. Roll out the second piece of dough in a similar manner, but leave the plastic wrap on for now and lay it over the piece of dough and set it all aside while you make the filling.

Apple Pie Filling

3 pounds Granny Smith apples (for me this was six very large apples)
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. flour
1 t. salt
1/2. c. apple juice
1 T. heavy cream
1/4 c. butter

Egg Wash
1 egg
1 T. cream

Preheat the broiler. Toss together the apples, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla in a 13 x 9 inch cake pan. Broil until the apples start to brown. Stir them and repeat this until the apples are caramelized but not completely cooked. Remove from the oven and stir in the flour and the salt. When the flour and salt are incorporated stir in the apple juice and the cream.

Remove the plastic wrapped dough from the pie dish and pour the apple mixture into the pastry lined dish. Cut up 1/4 c. butter and distribute it over the filling. Remove the plastic from one side of the second piece of rolled out dough and position it over the filling. Remove the other piece of plastic wrap. Crimp the edges of the pie. Make one inch slits in the top of the pie.

Whisk together the egg and the cream. Brush the top of the pie with this mixture and sprinkle with sugar.

Place a cookie sheet on the bottom rack of your oven to catch drips. Bake the pie at 400 degrees for 30 minutes in the center of the oven, rotating the pie half way through the cooking time. Cover the edges with aluminum foil if they’re browning too quickly. (My whole pie was looking sort of toasty at this point so I loosely placed a piece of foil over the whole thing. After 30 minutes place the pie directly on the cookie sheet and bake for another 15 minutes, until the bottom crust starts to turn golden.

Allow the pie to cool for at least 2 hours before serving. (Mine hadn’t cooled nearly that long before we sliced it, but as you can see in the picture it wasn’t completely set yet.)

Lemon Meringue Pie

August 22, 2009
Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

This lemon meringue pie is almost everything I want a lemon meringue pie to be. The lemon flavor is pronounced and is sweetened with just the right amount of sugar,  the meringue didn’t separate,  and is tall, light, and not too sweet. The filling is firm without being gummy, the crust is flaky, and there is no sogginess. I would give it five stars out five, but for one thing, and it is my fault, not the fault of the recipe. I”m not sure exactly what happened. When I completed beating the egg whites they seemed just right, and then I let them sit while I reheated the filling to make sure it was really hot before putting it in the pie shell. When I put the meringue on top of the filling the texture had changed and I couldn’t make nice peaks with it anymore. I went ahead and used it anyway.

I would definitely make this pie again. It is far, far better than other lemon meringue pies that I’ve made. I have never been happy with my lemon meringue pies. If it weren’t for Anna at Cookie Madness I probably wouldn’t have even bothered to try to make lemon meringue pie again due to previous disappointments, but I’m so glad I tried this. Check out Cookie Madness to see Anna’s recent lemon meringue pie recipes. We’ve been chatting and she’s going to try this version too. I hope she likes it as much as I do!

I found the filling to be slightly tart, but just the right amount of tart. There were extra steps to the meringue, and I think they were worth it. I’m going to make it again sometime to reevaluate that part of the recipe since I mucked it up this time. But, since there is no puddling, and almost no beading to speak of, the extra steps were worth it to me.

The recipe for this pie can be found in The Dessert Bible by Chris Kimball. If you don’t have the book, the recipe is temporarily posted here. Get it while you can, or buy the book.

Raspberry Chiffon Pie

June 25, 2009
Raspberry Chiffon Pie

Raspberry Chiffon Pie

Last winter I purchased a copy of “The Best of America’s Test Kitchen, Best Recipes and Reviews 2008”. I think I bought it solely for the recipe for Raspberry Chiffon Pie, but then there is a gorgeous photo of a Lemon Layer Cake on the cover that was probably a draw as well. So, here we are six or more months later and I haven’t made a single recipe out of that magazine.

We still have raspberries in the freezer from our bumper crop last summer so when my husband asked me what I wanted for my recent birthday the Raspberry Chiffon Pie immediately came to mind. I was a bit hesitant to ask him to make it because he is more of a cook than a baker. The science of measuring ingredients is something that I think he finds tedious and he often wings it instead of measuring carefully. Sometimes you can get by with that, and sometimes you can’t, but I knew he really wanted to make something for me, and he was willing to go for it.

The results are fantastic. This is quite possibly the most wonderful raspberry pie I’ve ever had! It was really hot here the day he made it so I encouraged him to use a no bake ‘Nilla Wafer crust, and since there were only two of us to celebrate we opted for a can of Redi-Whip. We’ve been topping individual pieces as we eat our way through the pie. We could share with friends and neighbors, but we’ve been keeping it to ourselves. I know I’ll be making extra trips to the gym to work off this indulgence!

Click here for the full recipe on the Cook’s Country website.

And thank you to my husband for making this for me. It is a big treat!!

Cherry – Red Raspberry Pie

April 13, 2009
Cherry Red Raspberry Pie

Cherry Red Raspberry Pie

To blog about this pie or not? That’s the question. Obviously I decided to go ahead and share it with you. The filling is very tasty and although the recipe needs some tweaking to make the filling less runny it will be worth the tweaking.

I got this recipe from here . Many of the reviewers mentioned the filling being runny but I decided to make the recipe as posted and then fiddle with it in the future based on my results. I made my own crust, and that was also a mistake on my part. The filling is still hot when the pie is assembled. I used an all butter crust, and the hot filling and an all butter crust made it very difficult to assemble because of course the butter starts to melt as soon as it comes in contact with the hot filling.

Back to the filling. Next time I make this I will definitely cut back on the liquid. I think I will go down to 1/2 cup of juice from the fruit instead of the 1 cup called for in the recipe. I had more filling than would fit in a pie dish, which was fine because it was excellent on top of ice cream!

If you like a sweet/tart pie go ahead and make the recipe. The flavor combination is excellent, but definitely cut back on the liquid in the filling and use a shortening based pie crust for a pretty crust.