Pie #34 – Screwed Up Texan Creamy Watermelon Pie

Excessive melon-o-mania

The social committee at my place of employment decided that we needed to have a theme day at the office. Team spirit and all that. The Crew organized what is now dubbed in agency lore as “Wacky Watermelon Wednesday.”  You could win prizes for your creations, which was enticing:) They had individual categories for taste, as well as presentation. So, I decided to partake in this wacky theme day and brought to work, pie 34, the Screwed Up Texan Creamy Watermelon pie. Actually, I brought in two pies. And I won a $25 dollar gift certificate for the pies! It’s baby steps on my march to Top Chef Desserts masterdom.

This recipe is very simple and quick to make and is excellent on 100+ degree days, which we have a lot of in Texas right now.

I attribute the recipe to Allie which I found on her site, Confessions of a Screwed Up Texan. Really good stuff.

The crust!:

1 prepared graham cracker crust (I bought one original and one chocolate graham cracker crust for this exercise)

The filling!:

2 cups of cubed or balled watermelon chunks. Seedless watermelon is the way to go.

1 cup sugar

1 package cream cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

2 drops of red food coloring (optional)

2 cups prepared whipped cream for topping (you can also use cool whip which for ease of use is the direction I took)

In a large bowl, whip the sugar, cream cheese, sour cream, heavy whipping cream, and (optional) food coloring together until smooth and fluffy, about two minutes.

Using a spoon or rubber spatula, fold in watermelon.

Spoon mixture into the prepared graham cracker crust and top with whipped cream. Chill for at least one hour if possible or just eat right away.

Because I had to transport these from home to work, I didn’t spoon the whipped cream on the top of the pies until the contest Wednesday afternoon. It only added to the mystique:) The pie was very well received and I enjoyed it as well. The creamy mix and the texture and coolness of the watermelon worked very well together. The only downside for me was the pie “melted’ very quickly but no one seemed to mind. If you have leftover, it’s important to keep refrigerated.
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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.

Pie #27 – Cherry O Cheese Pie

If a cherry pie and cheescake married, you would get pie #27. It’s very simple to make; the biggest challenge should you choose it, is the pie crust. This one is from Sharon, a creative that I have the pleasure of working with.

Pip pip cherry o, fork up and all that

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 (super easy)!:

1 block (8oz.) cream cheese

1 can Eagle brand sweetened condensed milk

1/3 cup of lemon juice (about 2 1/2 if you go fresh squeezed)

1 tsp. vanilla

1 can cherry pie filling (or make your own, unlike me)

Blend all ingredients except the cherry pie filling until creamy. Put filling in a prepared graham cracker crust. Chill then add a can of Comstock cherry pie filling and chill until you serve it.

I love the combination of cream, tart cherries and the graham cracker crust adds good texture. Thanks Sharon:) This pie is in the very tasty range.

Pie #24 – S’More Pie

Swap out campfire for oven. Swap out stick for plate.

Happy Mothers Day to all you moms! Tammi and I went to Taco Express with our friend Piph this morning for a few breakfast tacos to celebrate her day. The place was jammed. But the food is always good. After that, we went thrifting for costumes for an upcoming party. While Piph and Tammi continued on (I’m not much of a thrifter), I came home and jumped into baking pie #24. It’s S’More pie. I found this one on the Food Network website.  The pie crust is from Martha Stewart. It’s my favorite pie crust, if you’ve forgotten. A suggestion to all you moms with young children, if you want your kids to worship you, make this pie. In parental circles, it’s known as “leverage.”

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!:

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 stick butter, melted

3 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 (5-ounce) can evaporated milk

1/4 cup coffee liqueur or Kahlua (I used Kahlua)

2 cups miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar thoroughly combined and pale yellow. Whisk in melted butter, cocoa powder, evaporated milk, and coffee liqueur. Set aside.

Place pie shell on baking sheet and place on an oven rack. Carefully pour in filling. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. About 5 minutes before pie is finished, mound marshmallows in the center of the pie (they will spread as they
melt). Continue baking until marshmallows are golden brown.

Let cool slightly. Serve warm. It’s gooey and I like the hint of liqueur along with the cocoa. The marshmallows make it fun, but a little sticky.

And now we’re off with the kids for Mother’s Day dinner. Canolli Joe style. So much for desert.

Pie #22 – Coconut Key Lime Pie

Happy Easter! It’s been a busy weekend. Getting ready for Easter Sunday. Easter egg hunt for the kids on Sunday morning. The Easter Rabbit brought the kids an Xbox Kinnect but didn’t bother to set it up. So I took care of that too. We also have a BBQ at friends today. I made Coconut Key Lime pie for the event. Actually I made two. The below recipe yields one pie. The recipe comes courtesy of Martha Stewart.

The crust!:

6 ounces cookies (about 12 graham crackers or 46 vanilla wafers or 30 chocolate wafers, such as Famous)

3 tbsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. coarse salt

5 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, pulse cookies until finely ground (you should have about 1 1/2 cups). Add sugar, salt, and butter and pulse until combined.

Firmly press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate. (If using a springform pan, press crumbs halfway up sides.) Bake until crust is dry and set, about 12 minutes. Let cool completely in plate on a wire rack before filling.

The filling!:

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

1 can (13.5 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk

1/3 cup fresh or bottled Key lime juice

7 large egg yolks

2 cups cold heavy cream

2 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar

3 tbsp. sweetened shredded coconut, toasted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together condensed milk, coconut milk, lime juice, and egg yolks until smooth. Pour into crust and bake until set but still slightly wobbly in center, 40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack, 1 1/2 to 2 hours, then refrigerate 3 hours (or up to 1 day).

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream and sugar on high until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. To serve, top pie with whipped cream and sprinkle with toasted coconut.

The pie is really tasty but quite heavy.  Smaller slices will do quite well. The whip cream is thick,  fluffy and sweet,  they custard is rich. The graham craker crust is my new favorite. It’s very simple and holds to the custard well so you get the full range of texture and taste.