Thursday, March 16, 2017

Snow Day Pi Day 2017



For Pi Day 2017, we had a snow day and my mother on hand to help watch the kids while I made pie. Score! As a thank you to mom, I made the Rhubarb Custard Pie featured here. Her Grandma Helen used to make it back in the day. I experimented with putting this in a different pie dish this time. I made it in my mom's heavier ceramic pottery dish last time I made it at her house and it came out really well. I think the heavier ceramic/pottery stuff works better. It gets nice and hot, which I think helps the crust flake up and the custard cook evenly. I'm imagining something akin to radiant (under-the-floor) heat that some fancy people have in their homes (sounds delightful!). Anyway, this pie came out bangin' awesome. I baked it in my white Corningware deep dish at 400 F for about 45 minutes. I've been eating lots of it. AND, I traded a few slices to my baker guru neighbor in exchange for a couple slices of her heavenly Lemon Meringue Pie that she made for Pi Day 2017. Thanks Angela!

Current Pie Tally: 218

Baby Shower Pie Duo



I'm really hitting my stride with these two: Apple Crumb Pie and Chocolate Pudding Pie! Everything about these babies was spot on - flaky crust, ideal whipped cream texture, chocolately richness, crispy crumb topping with perfectly toasted pecans. The two pictured were gobbled up at a neighborhood baby shower a couple weeks ago. Substitutions for the apple pie are as follows: I used arrowroot starch instead of cornstarch, fresh-squeezed orange juice instead of apple cider, and pecans instead of walnuts for the topping. For the chocolate pudding pie, I omitted the coffee ingredients as usual and used plain non-chocolate graham crackers for the crust. I will also make one additional note about the Chocolate Pudding Pie. I have been substituting Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate sometimes when we have some and I don't want to make a special trip to buy the Ghirardelli stuff. We seem to always have enough of the unsweetened on hand, but the bittersweet is the one I'm talking about. The pie is just as good I think, but different somehow. It's maybe missing that one extra level of richness that the Ghirardelli Bittersweet stuff has and I think the texture is a tiny bit firmer with the Trader Joe's chocolate, which is not a bad thing in either case. Just, as I said, different.

Current Pie Tally: 217

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Vegan Pie for Christmas!



A mere days before they arrived, my dad and stepmom informed me that they were in the initial stages of going vegan. A challenge! So I bought some Earth Balance Vegan Butter Sticks and the parentals supplied the berries, which were on supersale at the co-op. This is the first vegan pie I have ever made and I did not know what to expect, especially when it came to how the crust would handle. Turns out it was more fally-aparty, as evidenced by the above photo. It also emitted a strong popcorn odor while baking in the oven. Surprisingly though, it was not a disaster. It was tasty, though not AS tasty as real butter, and it baked up nice and flaky like a good crust should. If I ever do another vegan crust, I will attempt to do a lattice design with the hopes that the pieces will be easier to handle. Berry Pie recipe is like this one, just remove the cherries and add strawberries and blackberries. All I tweaked with the crust was a direct substitution of vegan butter in place of real butter.

Current Pie Tally: 215

Austrian Christmas Party 2016 Pies



Pictured above are the Apple Crumb and Chocolate Pecan pies I made for the 2016 Austrian Christmas Party at our house, a glorified block party really. I also made a Pumpkin Pie. Here is the photo of that one, even though it is not as aesthetically pleasing:
My favorite of the trio was the Chocolate Pecan topped with vanilla ice cream and homemade caramel. Yum.

Current Pie Tally: 214

Thanksgiving 2016 Banana Cream



The kids won the pie vote for Thanksgiving 2016. They started shouting "Banana Cream!" as I was asking my mother for her pie preference over the phone. She had been hemming and hawing over pecan until the kids chimed in. "Oh yes, let's have Banana Cream," she said. And so it came to be. With chocolate ganache and caramel drizzle to boot. Recipe can be found here. I make mine with a plain graham cracker crust and add caramel when I'm in the mood.

Current Pie Tally: 211

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Brown Sugar Custard Pie



The surface of this pie is really craggy and weird. I can see why the Bon Appetit magazine where I discovered the pie used a drawing where it is topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream instead of a photo. That aside, the heavy amount of cream, sugar, and eggs paired with it being described as "Maple Sugar Pie" piqued my interest. So I made one. It is tasty for sure, but it's no Thanksgiving showstopper. The recipe is in the November 2016 issue of Bon Appetit if you want to try it out for yourself.

Current Pie Tally: 210

Apple Picking Crapple Pie



I noticed spots developing on our Stayman apples from our apple picking trip out to Larriland Farms two or more weeks ago, so I decided to get on it. The cranberries at Whole Foods that week also caught my eye and initiated a strong craving for cranberry. Crapple Pie it is! It really hit the spot.

Current Pie Tally: 209