Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Holiday Pie Schwag #1

My mother bought me this beautiful pie basket for Christmas. Can't wait to put some pies in it! It's the double-decker model, so I can fit two pies inside. We have company coming this week, so more pies are likely to pop up on the blog. In the meantime, I've been experimenting with homemade mozzarella cheese and baking cookies.

Current Pie Tally: 44

Monday, January 24, 2011

Orange You Glad

This pie almost slipped through the cracks and didn't get posted on the blog. This is another Perfect Pecan Pie, except this one was made with orange zest instead of lemon. I must say, I prefer the orange, though both are delicious. I baked this when my mother came to visit for a week after the holidays. Then, I must have forgotten about it the next week, when my family went on vacation. No pies were baked on vacation or have been baked since, but they are coming, I promise.

Current Pie Tally: 44

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas Apple Crumb

Christmas Apple Crumb Pie
5 lbs. Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, thickly sliced
1 T. fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 T. unsalted butter, finely diced
1/3 c. sugar
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 T. arrowroot starch
1/4 c. homemade baby food applesauce

3/4 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. (packed) golden brown sugar
3/4 c. chopped walnuts
6 T. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 t. salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a pie dish with homemade pie crust. Prick all over with a fork. Stick in the freezer for about 10 minutes while you prepare the filling and topping. With the exception of the butter, mix all filling ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour into pie crust. Dot with butter. Using your fingers, blend the topping ingredients together until well-mixed, moist, and crumbly. Heap on top of pie filling. Bake at 350F for about one hour. Crumb topping will be nice and brown, but not burned and apples will be soft when pierced with a fork.

Current Pie Tally: 43

Monday, January 3, 2011

Perfect Pecan Pie

This is the first of two Christmas pies. I showed up with this one, my father-in-law's favorite, in hand when we arrived for our holiday stay. This is the first time I finally got to try sorghum instead of molasses, and my oh my is it good. It gives the pie less bite and a more mellow, well-rounded flavor. Also, with the tamer flavor of the sorghum, the other flavors, like the lemon zest, really sing out.

Perfect Pecan Pie
7 T. unsalted butter
1 heaping cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 c. sorghum
1/8 c. real maple syrup
1/8 c. good quality honey
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
2 cups pecan halves (1/2 pound)

Preheat oven to 350F. Roll out crust dough and line pie dish. Prick dough all over with a fork and stick in the freezer for about 10 minutes while you prepare the filling. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in brown sugar until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in sorghum, honey, syrup, vanilla, zest, and salt. Whisk syrup mixture into eggs. Pour pecans into pie shell. Pour liquid mixture over. Bake at 350F for about 50 minutes. Pie is done when filling is set and crust is golden brown. Enjoy!

Current Pie Tally: 42