Monday, October 31, 2011

Pie # 13: Homemade Pumpkin Pie

Yes: I made my own pumpkin filling. The verdict? Overrated. (Sorry, Mom.) I actually took the time to place an entire pumpkin into the oven for over an hour only to be disappointed. Then again, I probably would have liked this pie more if I had used a better crust recipe.

Silky Pumpkin Pie
from Better Homes and Gardens
(Printable version)

Every Day Pie Crust
(I cut this recipe in half since I only needed 1 pie shell. Have fun halving 1 egg, lol)

3 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Bake pumpkin:
Snag a pumpkin of your choosing (I stole a ghost pumpkin from my parents' farm. I've also heard that sugar pumpkins and Cinderella pumpkins are good varieties for making pie.) Using a sharp knife or fork, poke several holes all over your pumpkin. Place on foil-lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 for an hour or until pumpkin is soft when poked with a fork. Cool completely. (This could take several hours.)

Cut open pumpkin, scrape out seeds and guts. Using an ice cream scooper, scrape the rind into a bowl. After you've collected as much rind as your patience allows, puree it in a food processor. (If you don't have a food processor, you should invest in one now.) Voila: You have pumpkin mash ready for pie!

Mix all ingredients together with pumpkin mash. Pour into prebaked pie crust. Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes or until filling is set along the edges and slightly loose in the middle.

Pat yourself on the back. You just spent hours doing something that won't taste any better than if you had grabbed a can of pumpkin pie filling off the shelf at Winco. Try not to feel like you wasted time.

Better Homes and Gardens Pie Crust

Reason #128,974,957 I'm a terrible blogger: This is the only photo I took of the entire process.

Before I begin, I'd like to reiterate that there is a reason why I make the same pie crust each time. It's easy. It works for me. I know how it's supposed to look and feel. When it comes to pie crust, I'm a big believer in finding what works for you and sticking with it. Now that I'm blogging about pie, however, I'm forced to try new recipes - even when I don't want to. So here it is: a new crust recipe. (Don't get your hopes up.) Although I had mediocre results, maybe this will be "your" crust recipe.

Every Day Pie Crust
(Makes enough for 2 single-crust pies)
(Printable version)

3 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons cold butter (1 stick)
1/4 shortening
3 tablespoons ice water
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons white distilled vinegar
(I know: that's a lot of ingredients. Should have been my first clue.)

Combine dry flour, sugar and salt. Cut in butter and shortening using a pastry blender.

Combine eggs, water, and vinegar in a separate, small bowl. Add to flour mixture.

EPIC fail: I had to keep adding water to get anything to stick together and by then, it was too late. I had "manhandled" the dough waaaaaaaay too much; the result was a tough crust. Not light and flaky like it's supposed to be.

To pre-bake: (I did this, because I used this crust for my pumpkin pie.)
Preheat oven to 425. Place rolled out pie crust into pie plate; using a fork, prick the bottom of the crust 3-5 times. Line with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 6-8 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pie # 12: Caramel Apple Pie

Everyone will love this pie. I promise. I found this recipe about a year ago online and it became an instant hit. Ladies: if you ever want to impress a guy, this pie guarantees success. I know from experience.

(Printable Version)

All-Shortening Crust

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup flour
5 cups sliced apples (I used Granny Smith)
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons corn starch
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Caramel-Apple Dip (found at any grocery store)

Make Taffy:
In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, melted butter and 1/3 cup flour. (I heated mine on the stove for a few minutes) Mix and set aside.

Make Apple Filling:
Combine sliced apples, white sugar, 3 tbsp corn starch, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Mix well.

My helper insisted that I take a photo.
Spoon half of apple filling into pie crust. Top with several spoonfuls of store-bought caramel as well with 1/2 taffy. Repeat with one more layer.

Place top of pie crust over filling and seal edges before brushing with melted butter and sprinkling with raw sugar. Don't forget to cut vents and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes and 45-60 minutes at 350 degrees.

As you can see, the pie was a success. This photo was taken less than 24 hours after pulling it out of the oven.

Share this with any cute boy you want to ask you out. (Trust me.)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pie # 11: Key Lime Pie

I've only had this pie once or twice before I made it myself. When my parents came back from Arizona last weekend with fresh key limes in hand, I knew this pie was in my near future. The filling is tart, but the graham cracker crust and whipped cream add a nice balance. Definitely an easy recipe with great results!

Recipe from: Epicurious
(Printable version)


Filling: (Seriously, only 3 ingredients!)
3/4 cup fresh key lime juice
6 egg yolks
1 1/2 (8 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk

Prepare crust.

Squeeze limes and collect 3/4 cup juice.

Add sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks. Whisk well.

Pour into crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Cool on wire rack until pie reaches room temperature. Chill in refrigerator overnight.

Top with whipped cream and enjoy!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pie # 10: Peach Pie

A basic peach pie: one of the best. For my dad's birthday, I baked this pie upon my mother's request.
(Printable version)


6 cups fresh, sliced peaches
1 cup sugar
6 Tbsp tapioca (Looking back, I should have used corn starch as a thickener. The tapioca didn't mix in well enough for an open face/lattice top pie.)
1 Tbsp butter
Raw sugar

Combine peaches, 1 cup sugar, and tapioca. Place into unbaked pie shell.

Roll out pie top. Use awesome cookie cutter to press adorable leaf shapes. Arrange artistically on pie.

Melt butter and brush over pie. Sprinkle with raw sugar.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 45-60 minutes. Share with family and friends :) DE-lish.