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

Apple Crumb Pie for Grandpa Chuck

We got to have Grandpa Chuck over for a couple nights on his way back home from a sailing road trip, so I made this Apple Crumb Pie. Houseguests are always an excuse to make pie. Regretfully, I decided to use walnuts instead of pecans on this one. What a mistake! The walnuts were kind of old and funky. Sorry Grandpa Chuck! The pie was still good, but it wasn't GREAT. I substituted arrowroot starch for the cornstarch, but otherwise think I followed the recipe pretty much to the letter.

Current Pie Tally: 208

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Fall Lab Party Banana Cream Pie

And here is the aforementioned Black-Bottom Banana Cream Pie that I made for my husband's lab party this past weekend. Whew. I think I'm all caught up now. Apologies for the scant details on a couple of those fruit pies from over the summer.

Current Pie Tally: 207

Labor Day Block Party 2016 Banana Cream Pie

This Black-Bottom Banana Cream Pie is my oldest son's current favorite, so I have been humoring his requests for it. It made an appearance on our Outer Banks vacation, here at the Block Party, and again the following weekend for my husband's lab party. Since I have high cholesterol, I have been trying not too eat too much of it myself (hello heavy cream!), but mostly that's a big FAIL. It's so good.

Current Pie Tally: 206

Oktoberfest Lunch Peach Strawberry Pie

We had some friends over for an Oktoberfest themed lunch of Weisswurst a couple weeks ago, so I made this Peach Strawberry Pie to give one last hurrah to summer's peaches. The recipe is similar to this one. Just add juice from 1/2 a lemon, use all white granulated sugar (1 c.), add one quart of strawberries, and use like 5 peaches. I baked this one at 425F for more like 30-40 min before turning down the heat to 350F for an additional 30ish min.

Current Pie Tally: 205

Week Before School Peach Strawberry Pie

Mom came to visit the week before the kids headed back to school to help me out, so I made her this delicious pie. The recipe is similar to this one. Just add juice from 1/2 a lemon, use all white granulated sugar (1 c.), add one quart of strawberries, and use like 5 peaches. I baked this one at 425F for more like 30-40 min before turning down the heat to 350F for an additional 30ish min.

Current Pie Tally: 204

Dad's Birthday Pie 2016

Whenever I'm in my father-in-law's company on or around his birthday, I always make him a pie. He's my #1 pie fan! I even occasionally catch him sneaking a piece for breakfast. This one was a lovely Peach Blackberry Pie made in a rental house in the Outer Banks, NC just before the oven exploded (not really, but there was a loud pop and then it was broken). The recipe is similar to this one. Just add juice from 1/2 a lemon, use all white granulated sugar (1 c.), add one pint of blackberries, and subtract one or two peaches. I also have been baking my fruit pies at 425F for more like 30-40 min before turning down the heat to 350F for an additional 30ish min. After the oven was replaced, I even went to far as to make a second vacation pie (a Banana Cream). Though that one doesn't count toward the tally because I topped it with Reddi Whip. There was no mixer in the house, what is a girl to do?

Current Pie Tally: 203

4th of July Pie 2016

Much to my mother's dismay, I did not make the traditional Cherry Blackberry 4th of July Pie this year (it's her favorite). I did, however, put together a very nice rendition of her Grandma Helen's Rhubarb Custard Pie (maybe a close second?). Recipe can be found here. I'm pretty sure I baked this one at 400F for about 50 min.

Current Pie Tally: 202

Summer Book Club Pie

Judging from the wine glasses and porch that were in the background on some of these pie photos, I have deduced that this one was for the Neigborhood Book Club night I hosted in June. Further investigation of the pie in the photo reveals strawberries, rhubarb, and something that looks like cherries. I'm going to go ahead and call it a Berry Rhubarb Pie. There could be blueberries and things in there too - I can't rely on my memory at this point. The recipe is likely similar to this one.

Current Pie Tally: 201

200th Pie Party

Here we go catching up on the summer pies: My husband's annual Birthday Pies on the Porch party in May ended up being a dual cause for celebration - well triple really. I hit the 200-pie mark on my lifetime goal of 1,000 or more in addition to honoring the husband's birthday AND his recent promotion to tenured professor at the University of Maryland. Hooray! The pies, Banana Cream, Apple-Blackberry-Crumb, and Something Involving Rhubarb (Peach-Rhubarb-Strawberry maybe?), were happily descended upon by friends and neighbors.

Current Pie Tally: 200

Monday, April 18, 2016

Baby Shower Berry-'Barb and Chocolate Pudding Pies

A neighborhood baby shower was just what I needed to slide me into the home stretch toward the 200 pies mark. I made a Strawberry Rhubarb, the first of the season, and a Chocolate Pudding Pie to satisfy the chocophiles. 200 pies, here I come - maybe for my husband's annual Birthday Pies on the Porch party!

Current Pie Tally: 197

7-Layer Bar Birthday Pie

More multi-recipe pie hodgepodge is at work here! My mother came to town for my birthday. Whenever she is in town, she tries to get some limited edition 7-Layer Bar ice cream at Ben & Jerry's. I thought, "Why not make that a pie?". So I did. I assembled it in layers, much like the bar cookie version. First, I baked the non-chocolate graham cracker crust that I use for my Chocolate Pudding Pie recipe. Then, I baked the coconut custard from this recipe in a separate greased pie dish of the same dimensions. When the crust and custard were cool, I pulled a little pineapple-upsidedown action and flipped the custard into the crust. Then I tamped the custard down with a spoon so it was nestled into the crust. Next, I made some chocolate ganache (same as I make for the Banana Cream Pie) and toasted some pecans (about 3/4 cup). Over the custard went the chocolate ganache. The nuts and 1/2 - 2/3 cup of butterscotch chips got sprinkled on top of that. When all that was cool and set, I used the leftover caramel from my Banana Cream pity party and drizzled that over the top. We had some whipping cream at the time, so I dolloped some whipped cream on top of all that. I am definitely making this one again! Happy Birthday to me!

Current Pie Tally: 195

Monday, March 21, 2016

Pity Party Banana Cream Pie

I finally got to make my Pi Day Pie this past weekend. If only I had baked the Pi Day pie on that Sunday before! I was without water and full kitchen use for most of last week because of a plumbing disaster of epic proportions. Everything was functioning again in time for the weekend and my cream and bananas were still fresh (enough), so I banged this puppy out on Friday night for some serious stress eating. I upped the ante from the last version of this sucker with the new addition of toffee caramel (from this pie recipe). It looks way better on top than a bunch of crappy browning banana slices, am I right? It's a must on any future Banana Cream Pies. Banana Cream Pie recipe (with chocolate ganache layer) can be found here. I did not make the futzy crust and instead used my go-to graham crust from my Chocolate Pudding Pie recipe. If you or someone you love are seriously stressed out, I definitely recommend stuffing your face with this pie. It will make you feel better.

Current Pie Tally: 194

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Apple Blackberry Pie with Crumb Topping

Dinner guests on the horizon means an excuse to make pie! Trader Joe's had some beautiful looking LARGE containers of blackberries last week, so I scooped up a couple and used one for this Apple Blackberry Pie with Crumb Topping. The apples were the bagged Granny Smith ones from Trader Joe's also. It was truly a decadent experience to be eating a wonderful berry pie at the tail end of winter (I hope!). The recipe is very similar to the Plum Lucky Apple Pie from my contest win last year. Substitute 5 Granny Smith apples and a quart of blackberries for the fruit, fresh orange juice for the apple cider, and one Berry Go Go Squeeze packet of applesauce for the apple-prune puree. Topping is the same. Since I used my larger deep dish, I baked it at 350 for an hour. Now I've got my sights set on Pi Day coming up on March 14th. I've been thinking about trying to make a 7 Layer Bar Pie of some sort, but might go with a fruit pie if I can find some rhubarb or affordable and nice looking berries at the store. Or maybe I'll make something else entirely.

Current Pie Tally: 193

Good Pie Makes a Good Neighbor Vinegar Chess Pie

I sent some neighbor friends home with some of my Chocolate Pudding Pie after a playdate with my older son and they reciprocated! A few days later I got my pie container back with a slice of Crack Pie from the Momofuku Milk Bar at Metro Center in DC. It was sensational and reminded me that I really should make a Vinegar Chess Pie sometime soon to fill out my winter pie docket. I also wanted to make a pie to welcome my mother for one of her visits, this one a much-needed break from moving into a new house for her. The Crack Pie is better, but much more futzy than quickly cranking out a simple Vinegar Chess. Still I might have to make it sometime because it was soooo good. It had a caramel-like depth too it. I'm drooling just thinking about it again.

Current Pie Tally: 192

Leftover Cream Chocolate Pudding Pie

My Kentucky Derby Pie rolled right into this one when my husband came home with a bunch of half-and-half leftover from the coffee bar at a local conference he hosted. What to do with leftover cream? A pie of course! I had enough chocolate and graham crackers on hand to pull off my preferred Chocolate Pudding Pie, so that's what I made. I probably still had to run out to the store to buy the heavy whipping cream for the top though. Delicious as always!

Current Pie Tally: 191

Cabin Fever Derby Pie

I kept riding the pie wave while I was cooped up in the house during a week of post-blizzard school cancellations. I churned this one out for my husband's poker game (and because I wanted to eat more pie). It was great with the Hershey's caramel topping slathered on top. The recipe is Kentucky Derby Pie from the book "The American Country Inn and Bed & Breakfast Cookbook" by Lucien and Kitty Maynard. I added 1/2 t. vanilla to my version and pre-baked the crust so it wouldn't come out gummy on the bottom.

Current Pie Tally: 190

Chocolately Banana Cream Pie

The Blizzard of 2016 also inspired this pie for personal household consumption. A lovely Black-Bottom Banana Cream Pie. I didn't futz around with the chocolate crust. I made the standard graham cracker crust from my Chocolate Pudding Pie recipe instead. Also, I do not recommend decorating your finished pie with banana slices on top as the recipe suggests. They look junky and do not age well. Next time I might top mine with chocolate shavings instead. Anything that involves this much cream and chocolate is pretty much guaranteed delicious, so yes it was superb and did not last long.

Current Pie Tally: 189

Fall Dreams Pie

I made this Fall Dreams Pie as part of a neighborhood Iron Chef challenge during the Blizzard of 2016 (Snowzilla, Jonas). My secret ingredient was sage, which I paired with some apples, pears, dried cherries, and cheesecakey goodness - and bundled nicely into a pie shell. It was a hit! Here is the recipe, though I don't think I'll make it with the sage next time (you couldn't taste it anyway):

Fall Dreams Pie (makes one 9" pie)

buttery pastry dough for bottom and top crust
2 Gingergold apples (peeled, cored, & thickly sliced)
2 pears (sliced and peeled)
1/2 t. minced fresh ginger
2 T. to 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. white sugar
1/2 c. dried tart cherries
6 oz. cream cheese, room temp
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. vanilla yogurt
1/4 t. vanilla extract
2 T. dried sage
1/4 t. cinnamon
2 T. unsalted butter

3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
3/4 c. chopped pecans
6 T. butter, cut into small squares
1/4 t. salt

Roll out dough and place in 9" pie dish. Crimp overhang and pierce all over with fork. Freeze while oven preheats to 375F. Line pie shell with pie weights and bake at 375F for 12 min. Remove pie weights and bake an additional 12 min. Cool while filling and topping are prepared. Toss fruit with lemon juice. Melt butter in a large skillet over med heat. Add brown sugar and cinnamon and stir to blend. Add fruit and saute until tender and goopy. Set aside. Whip softened cream cheese, yogurt, vanilla, and 1/2 c. sugar. Pour into prepared pie crust. Top with fruit mixture. Refigerate at least 4 hours to firm up cheesecakey stuff. Mix topping ingredients together in a large bowl with your fingertips until clumpy. Sprinkle onto baking sheet. Bake at 350F golden brown. Cool until slightly warm. Crumble onto pre-refrigerated pie. Drizzle with honey and serve. Enjoy!

Current Pie Tally: 188

Christmas Pie Duo 2015

This Chocolate Pecan Pie and Apple Crumb Pie served as happy endings to our Christmas feast this year. Pictured with some Hershey's caramel topping that we liberally applied to the Chocolate Pecan Pie in addition to some vanilla ice cream. Yum!

Current Pie Tally: 187