Pie #14 – Apple Vanilla Cream Pie

Apple Cream

Nicole is in town from San Francisco. Jewelz is in town from Houston. Tammi and I are very excited to see the both of them. It’ll be a slumber party!

Nicoles favorite pies are in cherry or apple form. I looked up apple pies and found one that calls for vanilla and cream. It sounded tasty so I decided this weeks would be apple vanilla cream.

The recipe is Frankenstein. I did a double crust from a recipe in the Bon Apetit Desert Cookbook. I pulled the filling from a recipe in cooks.com. It’s attributed to CW. Thank you CW:)

The crust!

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flower

1/2 tsp. salt

10 tbsp. (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening

3 tbsp. (or more) ice water

The filling!

6 cups thinly sliced apples
1 tbsp. vanilla extract or freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cream
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla
4 tablespoons butter, softened

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Line a pie dish with the bottom pie crust. Mine became a 4 piece jigsaw puzzle. Todays bottom crust was not pretty. Amazingly, the top crust wasn’t as bad. And it was room temperature. Advice – roll out the dough while it’s still cold.

Wash, peel and core apples. Arrange thinly sliced apples in the bottom pie crust.

Combine all remaining ingredients, mixing well. Pour mixture over apples. Cover pie with second crust; crimp or flute edges and cut slits in top, creating vents to allow steam to escape.

Brush the crust with milk, cream, or an egg wash.

Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until apples are tender (check through the center vent). Make sure to check it at 45 minutes to see how the crust looks. If it’s got a nice tan to it, I might be time to remove from the oven.

After I pulled the pie from the oven, a small group of us went to the Salt Lick in Drifwood for some BBQ. We came home to a very pleasant desert, garnishing with vanilla ice cream. The pie is still slightly warm, the apples held up well and didn’t go mushy. It has a good hint of vanilla and cinnamon. The crust is a nice, flaky crust. My friends like it. I want another piece…


Pie #13 – Banana Cream Pie

NOT a Frito Pie

Today’s selection comes to you courtesy of “Loud” Jen Beck. It was more of a plan B than plan A though. Her original request was something called Frito Pie. It isn’t something I would consider pie. It’s more like nachos and I would call it a pie in name only. Of course she had to counter that Shepherd Pie is also only a pie in name only as it has no crust. She would classify it as more of a casserole. That’s fine, I wasn’t going to make one of those either:)

I’m not a huge fan of bananas, let alone bananas in custard topped with whipped cream. Doesn’t mean I won’t eat it though…

The crust:

1 cup of graham cracker crumbs, about 16 graham crackers destroyed in a food processor

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (I used 1/3 of a cup as the crumbs seemed dry, and I like butter)

1 tbsp. granulated sugar

1 tbsp. all-purpose flour

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all the ingredients until well blended. Press evenly into a 9 inch pie dish, starting at the center and working your way outward until the crust is even on bottom and sides of pie dish. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Transfer to wire rack or your oven top to cool.

The filling:

3 large egg yolks

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch

1/4 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups of whole milk

1 1/2 cups whipping cream

2 tbsp. butter, softened

2 tsp. vanilla extract

4 large ripe bananas

1 tbsp. lemon juice

Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Blend in a bowl. Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a saucepan. Slowly whisk in the milk, vanilla extract and the whipping cream. Cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook for an additional minute. Remove from heat and blend half the custard into the egg yolks. Combine the mixture with the yolks and return to the saucepan. Return to a boil and cook until thickened which is about 6 minutes. Add the 2 tablespoons of butter and stir until melted. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl, cover the top with plastic wrap. Cool the mixture before chilling in refrigerator for 2 hours.

Cut the bananas into 1/2 inch slices and blend in with lemon juice, gently. Fill the pie crust with one cup of the chilled custard mix. Place a layer of bananas. Repeat the layers twice. The recipe at this point says to refrigerate for 6 hours. Forget that! Topping stat!

The topping:

1 1/4 cup whipping cream

2 tbsp. confectioner sugar

1 large ripe banana, sliced into 1/3 inch pieces to decorate the top

cinnamon to dust the top

Beat the chilled whipping cream and granulated sugar with an electric mixer until firm. Slather the mix over the top of the pie. Place the banana pieces decoratively in the whipped cream. Dust with cinnamon.

I whipped the topping earlier in the day, while the custard was chilling. We have friends visiting from Houston and San Francisco and this evenings event was Texas roller derby. So basically the topping is one of those “plan ahead” things you can do if you need to tend to other things in your life. I got home at 10 pm and assembled the pie and will be having this with Jen, and others, tomorrow morning with my coffee.

Pie #12 – Blueberry Sour Cream Pie

Busy, busy weekend. Lots of Halo Reach. Lots o’ basketball, shopping and prepping for Andre’s 9th birthday party.  A party of over a dozen 8 and 9 year-old boys, with a few 10-year-old girls thrown in for nerf gun target practice. There were games, cake, a pinata, and lots of sugar. Our last guests left around 7pm. I wanted to go with something comforting but simple. Blueberry sour-cream it is.


The crust:

1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 stick chilled unsalted butter cut into 1/4 inch cubes

2 tbsp. sugar

pinch of salt

3 tbsp. or more of ice water

Blend the flour, butter, sugar and salt in a food processor using on/off turns. Add 3 tablespoons of water and mix until moist clumps form. Add additional water by teaspoon if the mix is dry. Remove from processor and form into a ball. Flatten and wrap in plastic wrap. Let set in the fridge a minimum of 3o minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and remove the dough after half hour. Roll out on lightly floured surface into a 13 inch circle. Transfer to a 9 inch pie dish. Trim the dough and use the remnants to patch any holes you might have around the crust edge or in the dish. It doesn’t have to be pretty, you’re going to fill it with blueberries in cream.

Freeze the crust for 10 minutes. Line crust with foil and add dry beans or pie weights ( I still haven’t seen these) and bake for about 15 minutes until the sides are set. Remove from oven, remove beans and foil.

The filling:

1 cup of sour cream

3/4 cups sugar

2 1/2 tbsp. unbleached flour

1 egg, beaten  (physically not verbally)

3/4 tsp. almond extract

1/4 tsp. salt

2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries (2 containers, 4 bux at HEB)

Whisk the sour cream, sugar, salt, flour, almond extract and egg  in medium bowl. Mix in the blueberries. Spoon the filling into the crust. Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes, until the filling sets.

The topping (it’s clumpy crumble):

6 tbsp. unbleached flour

1/2 stick unsalted butter (I used one stick by mistake and added a couple of tablespoons of flour to give it more crumble. It kinda worked)

1/3 cups chopped pecans

2 tbsp. sugar

Using your fingertips, mix the flour and butter until small clumps form. Mix in the pecans and sugar. Sprinkle the topping over pie. Continue to bake at 400 degrees F until the topping is lightly browned, about 12 minutes. You may want to place a tin foil collar around the crust as you would be reaching the point of super crunchiness. Cool on a rack and serve at room temperature.  And that’s it. The prep time isn’t long and the baking isn’t really bad either. And it is reaaallllly tasty.

Pie #11 – Gotta Have Samoa Pie

Let me start by saying congrats Green Bay! Nice job in the Super Bowl. Not super impressed with half-time or the commercials though…

So, Olivia asked me to make a pie out of Girl Scout cookies. It’s that time of year. Girl Scout cookies are everywhere and if you have a Girl Scout in your house, you probably can’t walk more than 20 steps without running into a box of cookies. I had originally agreed to do a pie with peanut butter sandwiches but couldn’t find the recipe when I looked for it. So, I went with a recipe I found on The Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana’s web site.  They have quite an impressive list of what you can do with them, from Cheese Cake, to Tarts, to Brownies, to Chocolate Sauce. The site’s a diet buster of major proportions. The recipe list is here.

The pie I made this week is called Gotta Have Samoa Pie. It’s a meringue pie created by a gentleman named John Ramsey and I guess they still call “Carmel Delights” Samoa in Kentuckiana. Or it’s an older recipe:)

The Crust:

2 packages Girl Scout Cookie Samoas (also called Carmel Delights)
1/2 stick butter

Coarsely chop one full package and six additional Samoas. Melt the half stick of butter. Mix and press into a standard 9″ pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees F for 5 minutes and refrigerate until firm.

The Filling:

3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 1/2 cups of milk (2% is fine but don’t do skim)
3 eggs, separated
1 cup flaked coconut, divided
1 tbsp. butter, softened
1 1/2 tbsp. vanilla extract, divided
1/4 tsp, cream of tartar (something I wasn’t really expecting and un-appetizing sounding)

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F. Combine 1/2 cup of sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan. Add the milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat and set aside.

Beat egg yolks with an electric mixer at high-speed until thick and lemon colored. Stir about 1/4 of the custard into the yolks and blend well. Stir the blended mixture back into the remaining custard and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. When mixture thickens to custard-level consistency remove from heat. Stir in butter, 3/4 cup coconut flakes and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until butter has melted. Pour mixture into your baked pie shell.

The meringue (which I did right this time):

Beat the egg whites at high-speed with an electric mixer until just foamy. Add the cream-of-tartar (blech) and vanilla, and gradually add the remaining 3/4 cups of sugar. Continue beating until stiff peaks form and the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes or until you can turn the bowl upside down and the meringue stays in place. I learned that one watching Top Chef.

Spread the meringue over the pie filling, covering to edge of pie dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of coconut. Bake at 425 degrees F for 5 minutes or until meringue is lightly browned.

It’s very chocolatey, custardy, sugary deliciousness. It’s a candy store in your mouth. I thank you John. And because I’ve already shown you a meringue pie, this week I give to you cat-in-a-party-hat.