Monthly Archives: June 2011

Pie #31 – Strawberry Cream Pie

It’s a True Blood evening. Our friend Piph is coming over to watch it with Tammi. I don’t include myself in this as I don’t have much of an interest in the series. I’ll just do something else. But I did keep in a theme (sort of) for the show. Pie number 31 is a strawberry cream pie. Strawberries for the (tasty, delicious) bloody gore, and cream for these vampires silky complexions (until they fight and tear each other up). So saxy. I did this pie with a graham cracker crust. I don’t really have anything to tie into for the crust. Charring at first sunlight? Doesn’t sound very yummy. I don’t know. I don’t watch it, seriously.

The crust!:

16 -20 graham crackers

5 tbsp. butter, melted

3 tbsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, blend the graham crackers until fine. Add butter, sugar and salt and mix until blended. In a 9 inch pie plate, spread the mixture along bottom and sides of pan. Bake for approx. 15 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool.

The filling!:

Two (8 oz.) blocks cream cheese, softened

3 cups strawberries

1 tbsp. sugar

6 tbsp.  sugar

3 tbsp. corn starch

3 tbsp. confectioner powdered sugar

1/2 cup whipped cream

Place the sliced strawberries in a dish and sprinkle with 1 tbsp. sugar. Let sit for 30 to 60 minutes to make juice. Set aside 1/2 cup strawberries and juice for later.

Add the remaining berries and juice in a saucepan and add remaining sugar and the cornstarch. Set at medium low heat (don’t go too high, you could burn the berries) and simmer until berries break down and the mixture thickens, about 20 minutes. Let cool.

While strawberries simmer , beat together the cream cheese, reserved juice, powdered sugar, and whipped cream until smooth and creamy.

Place the set-aside strawberries in the bottom of the cooled pie crust. Spoon the cream cheese mixture on top of them, using a spatula or flat wooden spoon to smooth it out.

Pour the cooled strawberry sauce in the center of the pie and smooth out toward the edges with a flat wooden spoon. Top with more strawberries as desired. Chill for two hours and serve with whipped cream.

I had a bit of it before the steak-with-garlic dinner, and it is delish. It’s heavy on the creaminess. The taste of the strawberries is very sweet. I like it; it’s like jelly. The sweetness stays a while. Having it with a graham cracker crust is an extra added bonus. It’s a good one.

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Filed under Cream Pies, Graham Cracker Crust Pies, Strawberry Pies

Pie #30 – Pecan Pie with Creme de Cacao and Chocolate Chips

 It’s 104F in Austin today. Needless to say, things are moving slowly. Inside with air conditioning, baking and watching murder mysteries. Fun! I probably should have made something with ice cream. Pie number 30 is pecan pie with Creme de Cacao and chocolate chips. The original recipe called for Kahlua. Unfortunately, I don’t have any. And it’s Sunday so the liquor store is closed. You go with what you have, and perhaps serve it with ice cream.
The recipe is from epicurious.

Smiling pecan and chocolate

The crust was from the pie that I made last week.  If you want the recipe go to pie #29. Let’s just say, pre-made:)

The filling!:

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 tbsp. all-purpose flour

3/4 cup dark corn syrup

1/4 cup Creme de Cacao or Kahlúa or coffee liqueur

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 large eggs

1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I added a full cup; I like chocolate)

2/3 cup chilled whipping cream (or cool hwip)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Beat sugar and butter in medium bowl until smooth; beat in flour. Gradually beat in corn syrup, then Creme de Cacao and vanilla. Mix in eggs, then chopped pecans. Sprinkle chocolate chips over bottom of crust. Pour filling into crust.

Bake pie until filling is puffed around edges and just set in center, covering edge of crust if browning too quickly, about 45 minutes. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Beat cream in medium bowl until peaks form. Drop whipped cream in small dollops around edge of pie. Or slather with Cool Hwip.

It’s a good gooey pie with the melted chocolate and it tastes like hot brownie with nuts. I have a bigger piece later, probably with the ice cream. Hey, it is HOT!

After serving be sure to cover and refrigerate.

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Filed under Booze Pies, Homemade Pie Crust Pies, Pecan Pies, Unique Pies

Pie #29 – Cindi’s Jambalaya Cajun Pot Pie

This week I’m bored with sweet pies. Fruit too. I searched through a bunch of recipes this weekend and came upon this one from aaron cindi at allrecipes.com. The crust is a basic crust from the cookbook 500 Pies and Tarts.

The pie of pie

This pie clocks in at a whopping 858 calories per serving so let’s be careful people!

The crust (makes 2 crusts)!:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/8 tsp. salt

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter

1 large egg

2 tsp. white vinegar

2 tbsp. ice-cold water

Combine the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Cut the shortening and butter into small chunks and blend into flour mixture using a pastry blender or 2 knives in a criss-cross motion. Blend until mixture has texture of coarse sand with a few small pea size balls of butter and shortening. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, vinegar and water. Slowly pour into flour mixture and stir only until moist. The dough should stick together and hold the form of a ball. Divide the dough into 2 balls and wrap in plastic wrap. Flatten each into a disk and put in fridge a minimum of 30 minutes.

Please note, if you follow the filling recipe, you will have enough jambalaya for at least 2 large pies. My wife was happy about this; she had a bowl for dinner:)

The filling!:

1/4 cup canola oil

1 (16 ounce) package kielbasa sausage, cut into 1 inch
pieces

1 pound cooked chicken meat, shredded

2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning, or to taste, divided

2 tablespoons Cajun blackened seasoning, or to taste, divided

1 onion, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

1 large green bell pepper, chopped

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 quarts chicken broth, or as needed

1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice

1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 tablespoon ground black pepper, or to taste

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

2 (9 inch) prepared pie crusts

1 beaten egg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

1. Heat canola oil in a large saucepan, and cook the kielbasa sausage and chicken meat over medium heat until the sausage has browned, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the meat with 1 tablespoon of Cajun seasoning and 1 tablespoon of blackened seasoning as it cooks. Remove the sausage and chicken from the pan, and set aside. Cook the onion, celery, and green bell pepper in the hot oil until the onion has turned translucent, about 5 minutes, sprinkling with 1 more tablespoon of Cajun seasoning and 1 tablespoon of blackened seasoning. Remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon, and set aside.

2. Make a roux (I’m still not sure what this is, even though I made it) with the oil left in the pan by sprinkling it with the flour. Whisk the flour and oil together, and cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture is a pale brown color. This could take up to 15 minutes; watch carefully so the roux doesn’t burn. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, to make a thin, smooth gravy. Bring the gravy to a simmer, mix in the cooked sausage, chicken, and vegetables, and cook until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Mix the rice into the gravy mixture, and simmer until the rice is almost tender, about 15 minutes; mix in the shrimp and cook until they are opaque and pink, 5 to 10 minutes. Season the filling with black pepper and cayenne pepper remove the filling from the heat.

4. Fit a pie crust into 1 9-inch pie dish; brush crust with beaten egg, and poke holes all over the crust with a fork. You can also use pie weights, which I finally bought! Bake in the preheated oven for 3 minutes. Fill the parbaked crust with the jambalaya filling, top with the second crust, and pinch and crimp the edges of the crust together with a fork. Brush the crust with more beaten egg, and cut several steam slits into the top of the crust.

5. Bake in the preheated oven until the crust edges begin to brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Line the edges of the crust with foil, and bake until the whole crust is golden brown, about 5 more minutes.

I have never made jambalaya before so I’m thrilled about it. To put it in a pie is certainly unique but I don’t think it’s totally necessary:) The whole thing put together does taste really nice though. The kids and their friends, who ate over before their big out-of-state  move , did really like it. So this one’s a winner. Thanks Cindi!

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Filed under Dinner Pies, Homemade Pie Crust Pies

Pie #28 – Foggy Bottom Lemon Curd Pie

Today was a day of labor. I mowed the lawn (a downside of the American Dream, especially in 98 degree heat) and did a lot of plant pruning. But hey, the yard looks nice and the work to get there further motivated me to cook dinner for my lovely wife, and to create pie number 28, the Foggy Bottom Lemon Curd Pie.

Foggy Bottom Lemon Curd Pie = Yum

This is a non-bake pie, but I did a sweet crust from scratch, courtesy of the 500 Pies and Tarts cookbook. It didn’t come out that great and I’m not sure why. I mean, the crust doesn’t look great but I’m sure it’ll taste really good. The edges retreated a bit and the fluting, that looked so wonderful in dough (thanks Claudius Rex!), ended up disappearing. The filling is from a recipe at cooks.com. The original recipe is actually called Black Bottom Lemon Curd Pie, but I can never find chocolate nilla wafers. So I did my own crust and changed the name of the pie. Plus I used a glass pie dish and when the pie is frozen it actually has a foggy bottom. Is that bad?

The crust!:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/8 tsp. salt

1 quarter cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter (that’s one stick of butter)

1 large egg yolk

1-2 tsp. ice-cold water

Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a medium sized bowl. Cut the butter into small chucks and add to the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender or two knives in a criss-cross motion, blend the butter into the mixture until it has the consistency wet sand (sweet, delicious wet sand)with a few pea-sized pieces remaining.

Using a fork or whisk, beat the egg yolk and the water. Pour the egg mixture over the flour, stirring only until the mixture becomes moist. The dough should stick together and be able to hold the form of a ball. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and flatten into a disk. Chill in the fridge a minimum of 30 minutes.

To roll it out, I used a cloth dinner mat. Flour the surface, cover the dough with your plastic wrap and roll out into a 9 inch circle. I was able to pick up the crust and transfer to my pyrex pie dish. You can also just slide it from the cloth surface to the pie dish. Trim or fold the excess under the edge of the crust and flute. Place a pie weight or beans in tin foil over the center of the crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove the weight from the crust and bake an additional 5-7 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.

The filling!:

1/2 stick of unsalted butter

1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice (that’s 2 large lemons)

Lemon zest from 1 large lemon

3/4 cup sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

3 large eggs

1 pint of vanilla ice cream

Melt the butter. Stir in the lemon juice, zest sugar and salt. Cook until the sugar is dissolved. Beat the eggs (don’t just yell at them); gradually blend in the lemon mixture into the eggs. Return to heat. Cook over LOW heat an additional 2-3 minutes or until the filling starts to thicken. Do NOT allow to boil. Remove from heat, allow to cool and then chill in the fridge for 15 minutes or so.

Nuke your ice cream for about 15 seconds in the microwave and slather along the bottom of your crust. Use the whole pint. Remove the cooled lemon curd from the fridge and place over the top of the ice cream. Freeze for about 6 hours. Or until you can’t stand it anymore and must have a piece. You can add shaved chocolate as a garnish if you’re feeling it but it isn’t necessary.

It’s very tasty. The lemon is a nice partner to the vanilla ice cream. It’s just a pain to cut a piece of solid ice cream and lemon curd. I recommend a heated knife to cut yourself a piece. Or you can just brutalize it with a large spoon.

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Filed under Homemade Pie Crust Pies, Ice Cream Pies, Lemon Pies, Non-bake Pies