Pecan Pumpkin Pie

Just in time for the holidays, I present to you the Pecan Pumpkin Pie. This is a pie for those who want to bake something for their holiday dinner and can’t decide which one to concoct. And this is also a pie for those of you that can’t decide which slice you want for dessert. This tasty pie comes courtesy of The Gourmet Cookbook, edited for the maximum delicious by Ruth Reichl.

The crust:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 stick (8 tbsp) cold, unsalted butter cut into 1/2-inch squares

1/4 tsp salt

3-4 tbsp ice water

Blend together flour, butter, and salt in a bowl with your fingertips, or pastry blender (or do what I did and pulse in a food processor) until mixture resembles a course meal with pea-size lumps of butter. Evenly add 3 tablespoons of ice water in mix and mix (or pulse) until combined. Squeeze a small handful of dough: if it doesn’t hold together add ice water a half tablespoon at a time, mixing or pulsing until incorporated. Don’t overwork the dough or pastry can become tough, which is great for street fighting but not pie making.

Turn dough onto work surface and split into 4 portions. With the palm of your hand, smear the portions in a forward motion to help distribute the butter. Gather the dough together into a ball. Place dough on plastic wrap. Press it into 5 inch disk. Wrap and place in refrigerator until firm, at least an hour. The dough can be kept for up to 1 day, just so you know…

While you’re waiting for the dough to firm up, make your fillings.

The pumpkin filling:

3/4 cup canned, solid pack pumpkin

2 tbsp packed light brown sugar

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 tbsp sour cream

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until smooth. Set aside.

The pecan layer:

3/4 cup light brown syrup

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp finely grated lemon zest

1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/3 cups (5.5 oz.) pecans, chopped if you need to do such a silly thing

In a large bowl, mix corn syrup, brown sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla , zest, and lemon juice until well combined. Stir in pecans. Set aside.

Yay! now you just have to assemble everything…

Place oven rack in center position. Pre-heat your oven to 375F. It’ll take about 8 minutes to heat up. that will provide you the time to get your pie shell ready.

Pecan Pumpkin Pie

Pecan Pumpkin Pie

 

Roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface, using a rolling-pin to make a 13 inch circle. Transfer to a 9 inch pie plate and trim excess to leave a 1/2 inch overhang. fold it under and crimp the edge as desired. Lightly poke the crust in several places along bottom with a fork and refrigerate for 30 minutes if desired  (I didn’t put it in the fridge). Line with foil and place pie weights, rice or dried beans onto foil. Place on center rack and bake for 20 minutes. carefully remove foil and weights and bake pie shell until lightly golden, 6-10 minutes more. Remove from oven (leave oven on) and allow shell to cool.

Once shell is cool, evenly spread pumpkin filling over bottom of shell.

Carefully spoon pecan filling over pumpkin layer.

Bake the pie until crust is golden and filling is puffed, about 35 minutes (center should still be slightly jiggly). Cool completely on a rack.

The flavor of this pie really pops. It gives both the smooth spiciness of the pumpkin layer and the sweet caramelized pecan layer.  It’s like a festive holiday in your mouth! The interesting thing about the flavor is that it’s so sweet, even with less-than-usual sugar fixing. I really enjoyed baking this because it was pretty easy. And the wait is worth the effort. My wife liked it too and suggested this be a tester for Thanksgiving. This pie will be one of the few (I’m not sure how many I’ll make, maybe 3) I end up making for the holiday. Have a great Thanksgiving and if I don’t add to the blog during this most wonderful time of the year, have a great holiday:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Blueberry Sour Cream Torte

A week ago I was talking with a friend about pie and they mentioned a rather easy and super-tasty tort. It’s like a pie and a cheesecake and it has blueberries. I love blueberries. And of course I also love pie and cheesecake.

Today I added to my Sunday to-do’s the torte recipe that was sent special delivery by Edith. It was very easy and made the house smell great.

The crust:

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup sugar

2 egg yolks

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

Pre-heat your oven to 400F. Combine the butter, sugar and egg yolks. Stir in remaining ingredients until it forms a dry, coarse meal. Press 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of a 9 in. spring form pan. Bake for 10 minutes and allow to cool. Press the remaining mixture 1 inch up the side of the spring form. Reduce heat to 350F. Set crust aside.

The filling:

4 cups fresh blueberries

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup quick cook tapioca

1/2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel

1/2 tsp round cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Combine ingredients and let stand 15 minutes. Cook in medium saucepan until bubbly. Pour into crust.

The filling:

2 egg yolks

2 cups sour cream

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Blend ingredients and spoon over blueberries. Bake in over at 35F for 45 minutes. Allow to cool for about an hour. Then chill for 4 hours.

I love the taste of blueberries and the consistency of a cheesecake with a graham cracker crust. I would suggest greasing the spring form before pressing the crust. Most of the crust for the torte I baked is stuck to the bottom of the pan. I liked it and Andre, my stepson, liked it enough to have 2 pieces. I might do that too.

blueberry sour cream torte2

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A Lazy Man’s Cherry Pie

It’s the first day of spring:) The weather is getting warmer in Austin (it was 76F today) and it’s almost time to go out and clear the dead crap from the yard. That’s something for the weekend if it doesn’t rain, but for today there was a need for pie. Problem is I’m feeling lazy and didn’t want to create something from scratch. So I grabbed a few things from the fridge and the cupboard and made a lazy man’s cherry pie. You can never go wrong with cherry pie, especially on the first lazy day of spring.

The crust:

2 pre-made, 9 inch, deep dish pie shells

1 tbsp. milk

Pre-heat oven to 425F. Pull pie shells from freezer and let thaw for 15 minutes. Separate one from the tin and roll it flat on a floured cutting board. You know, so it doesn’t stick. Set the milk aside to bind the top shell to the bottom shell when it’s time to bake.

The filling:

1 1/4 lbs. pitted, red tart cherries OR 2-14.5 oz. cans of Lucky Leaf cherries (I was lazy so guess which way I went)

1 cup sugar

3 tbsp. corn starch (if you don’t have corn starch, you can use 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour)

1 tbsp. butter or margarine

1 cup of water (If you use the canned cherries, set aside one cup from the cans)

In a medium sauce pan, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Add the water and mix until smooth. Stir over medium heat until mixture is thick and it bubbles. Continue to stir for an additional minute. Remove from heat and add cherries and butter.  Combine and pour into your pie crust. Brush the edge of the bottom crust with milk and place your cutting-board pie crust on top. Flute the crust and cut a slit in middle to vent.

Bake at 425F for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350F and bake an additional 25-35 minutes or until the top crust is a golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for a couple of hours. Dig in.

My vent didn’t work too well as you can see. But the pie was pretty tasty and not too sweet. I would recommend adding some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to add to it.

If you’re anything like me, I hope that spring is a way better time in 2014 than winter. I think it’s time to look for a few other recipes to try out.

Cherry pie

We have center vent fail.

..

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Schadenfreude Pie (Insert Maniacal Laughter Here)

Wikipedia defines Schadenfreude (pronounced shah-den-froy-da) as  a feeling of joy or pleasure when one sees another fail or suffer misfortune. It’s a dark and heavy emotion, which can come in quite handy when attending the 50th birthday celebration of a friend:) I’m not a jerk, I’m just not 50 yet (but almost).  This is more of a savory pie, both dark and bittersweet, with quite a bit of heft. It’s both dense and heavy.  Just like Schadenfreude. I attribute this pie to John Scalzi over at Whatever. The original posting is from 2006 and sent along to me by Alicia:) Thank you.

The crust:

Pre-made 9 or 10 inch graham cracker pie crust. I recommend 10 inch as you will have leftover filling if you choose the 9 inch crust.

Dark, heavy, bittersweet and tasty. Suffer, you!

Dark, heavy, bittersweet and tasty. Suffer, you!

The filling:

1 cup dark brown sugar

1 cup dark corn syrup

1/2 cup molasses

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks

3 large eggs

2 tsp. cinnamon

1-2 splashes Kahlua or other coffee liqueur

Pre-heat oven to 375 F. In a large mixing bowl add melted butter, corn syrup, molasses, brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix well. Melt chocolate and blend into syrup mixture. Add eggs and coffee liqueur; blend until mixture has smooth consistency. Pour mixture into your pie crust. Smile in sinister fashion.

Place on center rack in oven, bake for about 45-50 minutes. At 45 minutes, poke pie with butter knife. If it comes out clean, pie is ready; otherwise give it five more minutes.

Once pie is out of oven, let it set about 20 minutes if you are desiring to eat right away. When I took it out of the oven, it actually looked like it was breathing. It freaked me out a little.

John’s rec (and I agree) is that this be eaten in small slices. It’s really rich and very heavy, and you’ll regret eating a large slice. And this would make me happy:) Have with a scoop of ice cream or a large glass of cold milk for maximum joy.

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Lemon Macaroon Pie

The is before piping. For this one I wasn't going for presentation. It was really tasty.

Lemon Macaroon Pie before piping. Low quality presentation, high quality taste.

Happy Day-After Thanksgiving:) I hope everyone who wanted to be with family and friends enjoyed their holiday. I wanted to post this earlier than today but didn’t have my to-do list organized well enough to bake the pie until the morning of turkey day.  This is the recipe for a Lemon Macaroon pie. It is attributed to the Bon Appetit Dessert Cookbook by Barbara Fairchild and was done almost to the letter (as best I could). I wanted to do something besides the traditional pie fare, but I baked 3 pumpkin pies too.

The Crust:

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cake flour

t tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

8 tbsp. butter

3 tbsp. water

Blend the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add the butter, using on/off turns until the mix resembles a coarse meal. Add the water and blend until moist clumps form. Remove from processor, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Set oven to 350F. Place rack in bottom third of oven.

Remove dough from fridge and roll to 12 inch circle. Place in 9 inch pie dish and trim so there’s half-inch of overhang. Fold under and crimp the edges. Or not. I wasn’t in it for presentation at this particular outing. Freeze for 15 minutes.

Remove from freezer, line bottom with foil and add beans or pie weights. Place in oven for 20 minutes or until edges or golden brown. Remove from oven, allow to cool, remove weights and foil. Set aside. Leave oven at temperature.

The Filling:

3 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

1/4 tsp. salt

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 1/4 cups sweetened flake coconut

1/4 cup chilled heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp. melted butter

2 tsp. grated lemon peel

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. almond extract

Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs, egg yolks and salt in a large bowl. Add sugar and beat until thick and fluffy. Beat in coconut, whipping cream, lemon juice, lemon peel, butter and vanilla and almond extracts. Pour filling into crust.

Bake until filling is golden and set, about 40 minutes. Remove from oven, cool completely and then chill in fridge until cool. About 3 hours.

The Topping:

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tsp. powdered sugar

3/4 tsp. vanilla extract

8 thin lemon slices (optional – I didn’t use them)

Using your electric mixer, beat the cream, sugar and vanilla in a small mixing bowl until  stiff peaks form (please note this will take a while, even on whip setting). Fill a pastry bag with a star tip (or plastic bag with corner cut) and pipe around the edges of your pie.

The pie is yummy and the lemon flavor is outstanding. There was one tiny slice left this morning and that was my breakfast. Olivia wants 4 of them for her upcoming 14th birthday. I’ll probably just make 2.

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Filed under Homemade Pie Crust Pies, Lemon Pies, Lots O' Butter Pies, Unique Pies