Pie #35 – Cherry Teleport Whipped Cream Pie

Last week, I was watching Through The Worm Hole with Morgan Freeman. The episode talked about long distance space travel. One of the segments discussed teleportation. It involves dematerializing something at one point, and transmitting the details of that particular object’s precise atomic configuration to another place in space. Big thinking to be sure. The scientist used a pie and blended it as a metaphor for teleporting. He blended that pie to show how information changes if it were to move from one point in space to another. It would be a scramble. I thought that was brilliant. Not using the pie as a metaphor, but baking a pie, blending it, and reconstituting it . So pie 35 is the cherry teleport whipped cream pie. The pie recipe came from Joy of Baking, but with a few mods.

The Pate Brisee (Fancy term for Short Crust Pastry, makes 2 crusts)!:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. granulated white sugar

1 cup unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch pieces

1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until joined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds). Pour 1/4 cup  water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube

The cherry pie before its perilous journey

until the dough just holds together when pinched. If necessary, add more water. Do not process more than 30 seconds.

Turn the dough on your work surface and gather into a ball. Divide the dough in half, flattening each half into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour.

After the dough has chilled sufficiently, remove one part of the dough from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry into a 12 inch circle. Transfer to a 9 inch (23 cm) pie pan. Brush off any excess flour and tuck the overhanging pastry under itself, crimping as desired. Refrigerate the pastry, covered with plastic wrap.

Remove the second round of pastry and roll it into a 12 inch circle. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator.

I also made a third crust for the end point of my teleportation:

The crust, part 2 (a basic 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

Science!

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. Transfer to a 9 inch pie plate. 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 extra 7-9 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Set aside to cool.

The Filling!:

4 cups pitted, sweet or tart fresh cherries (can also use 4 cups sweet or  tart canned or bottled cherries, drained with 1/3 cup cherry juice reserved)

3/4 cup granulated white sugar, or as needed

2 1/2 tbsp. quick cooking tapioca

1/8 tsp. salt

It's still a cherry pie, its data is just altered. And delicious.

1 tbsp.  fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Whipped Cream Topping:

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

2 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. cherry brandy

Pre-heat the oven to 425F and place the oven rack in the lower third of the oven.

Place the cherries in a large bowl. Add the sugar, tapioca, salt, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and almond extract and gently toss to combine. (If using canned cherries also add the 1/3 cup reserved cherry juice.) Let sit for about 10-15 minutes and then pour the mixture into the prepared, unbaked pie shell and dot with the 2 tbsp. of butter. Lightly brush the rim of the pastry shell with the heavy whipping cream. Cover top with your second pie crust and cut slits ( or your own design) to vent. Brush the entire surface with the cream.

Place the pie on a larger baking pan, lined with parchment paper, to catch any spills. Bake the pie for about 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350F. Continue to bake the pie for about 25 – 35 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown color and the cherry juices are starting to bubble. If the edges of the pie start to brown too much during baking, cover with a foil ring.

Place the baked pie on a wire rack to cool for several hours.

Cherry Pie Pie

Once pie has cooled, cut it up and throw it into a blender. I used a Vita-Mix. Blend for 1-2 minutes. I was able to get the pie blended but the Vita Mix kicked it. My wife is gonna be maaaaad. Pour the blended pie into your baked pie crust.

In a large bowl combine the heavy cream, sugar and brandy. Whip until stiff. spoon over the filling. Be wary of adding too much booze, my whip cream fell and now looks strangely like tapioca. Fail.

It should last 3 days in fridge.

A couple of things:

In 1993, physicist Charles Bennett and a team of researchers at IBM confirmed that quantum teleportation was possible, but only if the original object being teleported was destroyed.  Check. I’m ahead of the curve. I destroyed 2 things.

Since that time, experiments using photons have proven that quantum teleportation is in fact possible. I’m afraid that, in this day and age, with something as large as a pie, there will be a few manual processes to make this work. This, in project management parlance, is what is known as “semi-automation. If I were a cynic, it would also be known as “make work.”

Then there’s that whole it’s-not-the-same-pie thing. It’s like that movie with Jeff Goldblum. The one where he transports but there’s a fly in the transporter. Same thing happens with pie.

On the taste side of things, the cherry flavor doesn’t pop like I thought it would. And the texture of the whipped cream needs some improvement. It’s also really heavy. Like pudding.  It’s still good but doesn’t really excite. Oh, the things I do in the name of science.

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.

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 #20 – Momofuku’s Crack Pie

I was having my morning coffee on Saturday, just reading about pie shops in San Francisco and Austin, and the pie blogs of others when I came across an article by Rene Lynch of the New York Times. In it, she discusses a pie so popular, people will pay up to $44 for this concoction called Crack Pie. Created by Momofuku Bakery and Milk Bar in Manhattan, this pie truly is addiction in a pie crust, and a nice twist on the Chess Pie.

Momofuku’s Crack Pie

Makes 2 pies (6 to 8 servings each)

Cookie for crust:

2/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. flour

1/8 tsp. each: baking powder, baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1/3 cup light brown sugar

3 tbsp. sugar

1 egg

1 cup rolled oats

Crust:

Crumbled cookie for crust

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1 1/2 tbsp. brown sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

Filling:

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup plus 3 tbsp. light brown sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1/3 cup plus 1 tsp. milk powder

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted

3/4 cup plus 2 tsp. heavy cream

1 tsp.vanilla extract

8 egg yolks

Powdered sugar, garnish

To make the cookie for crust:

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment (I don’t have one), or in a large bowl using an electric mixer (I have one), beat the butter, brown sugar, and sugar until light and fluffy.

4. Whisk the egg into the butter mixture until fully incorporated.

5. With the mixer running, beat in the flour mixture, a little at a time, until fully combined. Stir in the oats until incorporated.

6. Spread the mixture onto a 9-by-13-inch baking sheet and bake until golden brown and set, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to the touch on a rack. Crumble the cooled cookie to use in the crust.

To make the crust:

1. Combine the crumbled cookie, butter, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse until evenly combined and blended (a little of the mixture clumped between your fingers should hold together).

2. Divide the crust between two 10-inch pie tins. Press the crust into each shell to form a thin, even layer along the bottom and sides of the tins. Set the prepared crusts aside while you prepare the filling.

To make the filling:

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, salt, and milk powder. Whisk in the melted butter, then whisk in the heavy cream and vanilla.

3. Gently whisk in the egg yolks, being careful not to add too much air (this I don’t understand and don’t know if any air was added to my mix).

4. Divide the filling evenly between the two prepared pie shells.

5. Bake the pies for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees and bake until the filling is slightly jiggly and golden brown (similar to a chess pie), about 10 minutes. Remove the pies and cool on a rack.

6. Refrigerate the cooled pies until well chilled. The pies are meant to be served cold, and the filling will be gooey. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

I ditched the powdered sugar and went for the gooey richness. It is really delicious and the texture is nice. My wife and I tried it while it was still warm. It’ a very sweet pie that won’t hold shape unless it’s cold. Not a problem for me though:) This pie is a total diet buster. I’m going to freeze one and bring it to a potluck on Wednesday.

Pie #19 – ZTejas Ancho Chili Fudge Pie

Epilogue on the Shoo Fly Pie, it is NOT as good cold as it is warm. My first epilogue on a pie. It was also the first pie to end up in the trash. And I made two!  Blah. I hadn’t heard of the pie until my late 4o’s. Another first. I won’t be doing this one again in this lifetime…the last…did I say blah?

Which brings us to a very good-in-an-evil-way kind of pie,  ZTejas Ancho Chili fudge pie. I was having a conversation with Candy (a colleague from work) and she kindly asked how the pie adventure was going. I gave her the high notes and she suggested the pie I’m doing this week. I was told it’s very tasty and the menu is simple. Thank you to jaeleepoms of Mason, Ohio for this one. It comes from grouprecipes.com.

The recipe!

2 teaspoons pureed ancho chilies (*)

1/2 lb butter ( I had to do a double take at this, a half pound!)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup chopped pecans

2 eggs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup flour

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

9 in. unbaked pastry shell

For Ancho Chili Puree – Remove the seeds and stem from one ancho chile pepper, place in a small saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer until ancho is tender. *Go old school by mashing it through a strainer with a wood spoon. Or use a food processor.

Pre-heat oven to 325°F.  Toast the chopped nuts until lightly brown.

Melt the butter and let cool to warm. Beat eggs well and then add sugars and flour. Beat until smooth. Add warm butter to the batter and mix well (it is important for butter to be warm so chocolate chips will melt some).

Add chile puree.

Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.

Pour filling into pastry shell and bake for 45 to 60 minutes at 325°F until done. To see if its done, stick a toothpick into center of the pie. If it comes out clean, it’s done.

My wife and I tried it when it was still warm. It was like eating a big gooey cookie! We didn’t get a lot of the ancho chili taste though. Still, it’s really good.