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