Pecan Pie

Here’s a pie I’d like to make.

Pecan Pie.

But I probably won’t have time right now, so there it is for posterity and your future attempts, in case you are having people over for Thanksgiving!¬† I’m travelling for Thanksgiving, which is why I am not cooking, but we can still make this the official pie of the week. I can take pictures of the lovely pies that I will be eating at the festivities and follow up with further pies soon!

Love and happy holidays ūüėÄ

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Cherry Pie

The Pie-a-week experiment is almost over, and there are still some classic pies I haven’t done. Cherry, for example. What pie is more celebrated in song and poem than the simple cherry pie? ¬†Loving you isn’t blackberry pie, after all.

But cherries aren’t exactly in season, so, I committed a baking sin.

Canned pie filling the horror

…canned pie filling! And from a big box store!

That’s okay. I’m not Martha Stewart. Sometimes using a can is just another way of doing a baking experiment!

Since this didn’t require a recipe per se, I focused a little on pie presentation.

To make the pie with canned filling, I made a double crust, poured two cans of filling in to the bottom crust, then sealed and fluted.

Sealed in a pie

Then cut slits to let out the air.

Falling pie

I realize that it looks like it’s about to fall off the counter, but, don’t worry, the pie is perfectly fine.

Tent of foil

Set oven to 425 degrees. For the first 15 minutes of baking, this foil tent was used (it goes all the way around, but, part removed for display) to keep the delicate edge from getting too brown.

egg

Then I got fancy. Lightly beat one egg…

ominous brush

And painted with a pastry brush on to the sealed crust.

sugar top

Dust lightly with sugar. Put back in the over for another 15 minutes, sans foil, then cool on rack for the finish!

Cherry Pie

So if you want to make a pie with a crust that photographs well, there’s a way to go about it. ¬†Of course it’s tasty too.

Pumpkin White Chocolate Cheesecake Pie

I said this week I was going to do a variant on the pumpkin pie that required a bit more effort. That pie is the Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Pie, which I found and ripped out of a Better Homes and Gardens magazine in 2008.

I thought to myself, then – self, I bet thanks to the magic of the internet, this recipe is posted elsewhere, and you won’t actually have to reproduce it. ¬†And I was right! These are the instructions that I followed. ¬†I did make one change, which was switching out the regular chocolate for white chocolate. I think it’s¬†delicious¬†that way, but follow your heart.

This pie takes 5 eggs, and they aren’t kidding about the deep dish. It also takes, um, a while, to make; over an hour in my case, and over an hour of baking. So be sure you have some time set aside if you attempt this.

Bottom Crust

My bottom crust prior to baking.

Cream cheese filling

Cream Cheese filling

Here is the bottom layer – cream cheese and sugar. It’s not overly sweet but the top layer will be sweeter so it balances.

White chocolate

A sort of bad photo of crushed white chocolate chips in my food processor.

pumpkin filling

cream and pumpkin

Stirring up the upper, pumpkin layer for the top half of the layered pie. This made a lot of filling; I might cut back slightly in the future on the top half.

Cheesecake pie filling bottom

Here is the cheesecake filling in the bottom of the pie shell.

Cheesecake pie bottom

This is what happens when the chocolate bits are added to the top. I know, not much difference, but, they’re there!

Pumpkin pie filling on top

This one got cut off a bit due to photography failure.  But notice the layer of stuff on top is really a lot; almost overflows the crust!

Pumpkin White Chocolate Cheesecake Pie

I’m not going to be a professional food photographer any time soon. Look at the pretty pictures at the Better Homes and Gardens site instead! ¬†By comparison I’m so¬†embarrassed. It’s tasty, though!

white chocolate pumpkin

And a bit prettier on the inside thanks to those nice layers!

It’s Just Pumpkin Pie

What’s up pie people.

I wanted to make a pie to share this week. I wanted it to be seasonable, and not an experiment. So this is the right time of year for Pumpkin Pie!

Eggs and sugar

Adding Pumpkin

Ya’ll, I’m not going to reproduce this recipe, because, you’d figure out pretty quick that the recipe is just the one that’s printed on the can of pureed pumpkin. ¬†Because why not? ¬†I do mix my own seasoning, not “pumpkin pie spice,” which despite the fact that it supposedly has myriad uses, I have never bought.

pumpkinandmilk

I will say that the standard recipe calls for condensed milk, which I don’t keep around really, but I’ve experimented enough and about 2/3 cup regular milk works just fine.

pumpkin unbaked

I also almost lost this crust, bleh. I had to roll it out twice which is usually a bad idea. It turned out Ok though.

pumpkin pie

I do not actually know how it tasted because I took it to work. Judging by the swiftness with which it disappeared, it was good!

Next week I will create a more exotic variation.

Coffee Toffee Chiffon Halloween Pie for Grown-Ups

I thought this week I might come up with some kind of Halloween Pie to create, it being so close to the holiday.¬† The problem is that most searches for Halloween-related desserts turn up something abominably kid-oriented, as if Halloween is not to be enjoyed by adults.¬† I love Halloween myself, grown-up though I may technically be!¬† I have pumpkin and witch-shaped cookie cutters that have seen some use, but where it comes to a pie I’d rather it be yummy and flavorful than have any resemblance to Frankenstien’s Monster.

So, instead of doing any of the recipes I found, I decided to create one.¬† This is therefore the first pie I’ve posted that I mostly totally invented, though it’s based a bit on the chiffon recipes I have picked out of the old Betty Crocker book.¬† I think with this one I’ve finally mastered the formula for chiffon.¬† It’s creamy, but holds together well.¬† The pie is “Halloween” in that it takes advantage of the readily available fun-size candy bars in stores this time of year. It’s “for grown-ups” in the sense that it includes two important food groups adults love: alcohol and caffiene.¬† It also includes chocolate and sugar… is that all the food groups?

Coffee Toffee Chiffon Pie

The ingredients:

1 cup crushed Heath Bar (about 15 minibars is what I used, maybe a bit more than a cup)
1 cup white sugar – divided in to thirds
1 packet unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup Kahlua or other coffee liquor
1 tablespoon instant coffee (I used 3 packets of Starbucks Via, which makes about 1 tablespoon)
3 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup heavy cream
1  9 inch chocolate cookie crust (make your own or buy it)

Crushed candies

The first thing I did was crush my candy bars.  My method was to take a hammer, put the small bars on the counter, bash them a few times, then empty the results in to a bowl.

Hammer time

I call it “cooking with construction equipment.”

Now put the unflavored gelatin in a saucepot on the stove in 1/4 cup water.  Stir slightly and leave to soften.

Separated eggs

Seperate the eggs, and whisk the yolks until they are uniform consistency and lemony color.  Add 1/3 cup of sugar and whisk to blend.

Whisked eggs

Then add the¬†instant coffee, and mix again.¬† It won’t quite dissolve, but that’s okay.¬† I don’t reccommend licking this spoon unless your really, really like coffee, as at this point the flavor was a bit too strong.

Coffee stuff

Add this mix to the softened gelatin on the stove, and also add your 1/2 cup Khalua.  Heat up slowly, at medium heat, until it just begins to boil. The coffee should dissolve by this point.  Give it another stir, then chill until partially set.  Mine took about 20 minutes in the freezer.

Meanwhile, mix up meringue using the egg whites and another 1/3 cup of the sugar.  Beat until glossy.

Coffee flavored filling

When the coffee mixture is set, take it out of the freezer, and blend in the meringue.  Now add the crushed toffee pieces.

Putting cream in the coffee

Lastly, make the whipped cream by whipping the heavy cream with the final 1/3 cup of sugar.¬† Blend it all together, as much or as little as you want (I kind of like some swirls) and dump it all in to the cookie crust.¬† I used a pre-made cookie crust because I wasn’t sure how well the rest of it would turn out. Why take chances?

Put in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours. Overnight is fine.

Cross section of my coffee toffee pie

Turned out delicious. The coffee flavor is strong, but the bits of toffee and chocolate offset it just right. You really need the chocolate bits for crunch and flavor on this. You might be able to cut back on the instant coffee or coffee liquor depending on how strong you like it.

Apple Crisp

Hello. ¬†Fall is a great time for apple desserts! ¬†This week I’m here to present something which is not quite a pie. However, it can be made in a pie tin, and that’s good enough for right now.

See, I’ve never actually made an apple pie, traditional though it is. Usually instead I make an apple crisp, which is like a pie with a crumble topping and no need for a regular crust.

Cutting apple

I would almost¬†recommend¬†this as a “simple dessert for busy moms” or something like that, except for the fact that you have to chop 5 apples. ¬†That part takes a little while, though I guess it’s not that hard. I just don’t want to oversell the simplicity, since many “simple” recipes seem to assume you have a vegetable/fruit-chopping fairy in your kitchen and discount that as part of the prep time.

Apples in the pie tin

First, butter up the bottom of a 9 inch pie tin so nothing sticks. Then slice up your 5 apples and arrange them in the bottom of your pie tin. ¬†This isn’t so much ‘arranged’ as tossed in, but you know, do what works.

Mix!

I am a bad food blogger and possibly a horrible person since my real reason for making this was that I had this mix in my cupboard and finally wanted to use it while apples were in season. That’s right, a mix. ¬†Well, if some cooking bloggers can use canned soup and what-not, I can occasionally use a mix, but if you don’t have one available, create basically the same thing by mixing the following dry ingredients:

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup oatmeal
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt

Then melt 4 tbsp of margarine or butter.

Mm melted butter

Apple crisp topping

Mix your dry ingredients with the butter.

Putting on the crumble topping

Put this on top of the apples in the pie tin.

Apple crisp

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Ta-da!

For best results, serve while still warm (you can just scoop it out with a big spoon). ¬†You can also add vanilla or cinnamon ice cream, but it’s not necessary. ¬†Other fruit might also work, so if you’re pressed for time and don’t want to slice apples, canned peaches could do the trick!

Most of my recent pies have been hits, but this one disappeared in record time.

French Silk Pie

Another pie on the internet which had caught the interest of my husband is the Pioneer Woman’s French Silk. ¬†This was originally posted as a Valentine’s pie, but since I already did a decadent dessert on Valentine’s, this turned in to a “no particular occasion” pie for me, since I happed to have all the needed ingredients just lying around.

The advantage of doing the Pioneer Woman’s pie is I do not need to replicate the recipe. ¬†The disadvantage is her food photographs are much better than mine. ¬†So go there if you want to learn how to make it! ¬†For me, here’s my meager photographic proof…

Melting chocolate

Softened butter

Mixing butter and sugar

Chocolate and butter and sugar

Mixing chocolate and butter and sugar

Above is the pie before eggs.

Mixing in eggs

Yummy raw egg

Here is the pie filling during the egg process. Yes, the raw eggs were used. Though if you are squeamish, ¬†my cookbook states that “egg substitute” is perfectly acceptable for this. ¬†For me only real eggs will do.

Filling French Silk Pie

Here’s the pie crust filled with the filling. Other than my smaller kitchen and inferior photography skills it looks just like the one in the example! I’m almost there!

Whipped cream

I prefer to whip the cream and just cover the pie evenly for show.  Ironically seen in the background Рgym membership passes to be useful if I decide to actually eat any of the pie.

frenchsilkwcream

Here is the pie after coming out of its fridge stay and being covered in the whipped cream.

Making choco curls

I thought to myself: the chocolate curls from that post do seem like kind of a hassle. But then I thought, well, I’m a food blogger of some stripe, so I’d be copping out if I didn’t at least try it. I used the “semi-sweet chocolate chips” method.

Chocolate curls in progress

And here’s the chocolate coating on a cookie sheet in my freezer.

Choco curls on pie

French Silk Pie

Ta-da!

Having done it now, I probably wouldn’t do the chocolate curls again. They’re really pretty, but something about the shortening I used left a weird aftertaste in them. ¬†I think it might be more delicious to just put the semi-sweet chocolate chips on the pie directly.

French Silk Pie Slice

The pie itself, however, is delicious and probably a sin.  Yum!