Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy Holidays to Me

Hello Pie Princess!

I saw your blog about the Path of 1,000 Pies. The world is honored you choose to make pies. I used to live and work in Madison, WI.

Good pies to you, Pie Princess.

Anne Dimock

Monday, December 20, 2010

Party-time Pumpkin

I made this pumpkin pie for one of the holiday parties my family attended. In many aspects, it was the best pumpkin pie I have made yet. The crust was perfect - even thickness, perfect browning, no slouchy or cracked walls. Because the crust was perfect, I was able to load it up a little higher with the filling. The result was pure indulgence. My one complaint was that the pumpkin was a little underdone for my liking. I roasted the enormous pie pumpkin I grew over the summer for this one. Even though I hacked it into manageable sections, I should have left it in the oven a bit longer. No one else noticed the difference luckily. In fact, one party guest admitted he didn't like pumpkin pie, but he sure liked mine. I feel the same way.

For a preview of Christmas pies, I bring you visions of pecan and apple...and hopefully an exciting surprise.

Current Pie Tally: 41

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Next Time Make It a Double

I made a lemon meringue pie over the weekend for a gracious woman who agreed to store my family's bicycles over the winter. One tandem cruiser and two adult mountain bikes neatly tucked away indoors a few blocks away in exchange for one lemon meringue pie. My one regret is that I didn't make two pies, so that I could have kept one for personal devouring. As I was whipping the meringue topping, I thought to myself, "Hmmm, I really should have made two of these. It wouldn't have been hardly any extra work." Ah well, next time. I think the above single meringue pie came out pretty well, judging from the compliments from the recipient, but it is hard to tell for sure. I fear the meringue may have been a little runny. Granted, it was a soggy day when it was delivered anyway. Apologies if the meringue wasn't quite right.

For the above pie, I used this lemon meringue pie recipe. I made one substitution, which was that I used arrowroot starch instead of cornstarch (in the same quantities).

Current Pie Tally: 40

Friday, December 3, 2010

Leftover Turkey Pot Pie

Herb Crust (top and bottom crust)
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 T. chopped fresh thyme
1 t. salt
1 t. sugar
10.5 T. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4.5 T. ice water (or more if dough is still too dry)

Blend the dry ingredients and herbs in a food processor until well-blended. Add butter and process until mixture looks like coarse meal. Add 3 T. of the ice water. Pulse. Add more water in 1/2 T. increments, pulsing after each addition, until the mixture just starts to clump together. Gather dough into 2 balls. Place one ball in the refrigerator. Roll out the other ball and place in pie dish.

Turkey and Vegetable Pot Pie Filling
1 lb. cooked leftover turkey, cut into bite-size pieces
2 carrots, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 parsnips, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2" pieces
5 oz. package of baby spinach
1/2 onion, diced
2 shallots, diced
1-2 T. olive oil
1 c. chicken gravy (mix 1.5 T soft butter with 1.5 T flour to form a paste; whisk paste into 1 c. hot chicken broth and stir until thickened)

Boil carrots, parsnips, celery, and potatoes in 1 c. chicken broth for about 10 min. in a medium-size pot. Vegetables should be tender. Strain, reserving broth, and transfer vegetables to a large bowl. Saute onion and shallot in oil over medium heat until soft. Add spinach and cook until just wilted. Add onion, shallot, and spinach to bowl of vegetables. Add turkey and gravy and mix well. Place ingredients in prepared crust.

Roll out top crust and place over mixture. Crimp and seal edges; cut a hole in the top crust for steam to escape. Bake at 425 F for 20 minutes, then 350 F for about an hour, until the crust is golden and it looks like the filling is bubbly.

Current Pie Tally: 39

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Pies

I traveled down to Iowa City to spend Thanksgiving Day with my brother and sister in law and brought these two pies. I made my popular pumpkin and molasses pecan. Both turned out well, though I think the pecan was a bit too firm from either overcooking or not enough butter. For this version of the pecan pie, I used 1/3 c. unsulphured blackstrap molasses, which I left in the measuring cup and then topped it up to 3/4 c. with real maple syrup. The flavor was good, but boy is that molasses strong. It has an almost licorice bite to it. I'm finally almost out of the high octane stuff, so I'm excited to try local sorghum instead of molasses in the next one.

Current Pie Tally: 38