31 Days Of Pie, Day 22: Gumbo Hand Pies

31-days-opening-100pxDay 22 of 31 Days of Pie: Gumbo Hand Pies.

Oh, how I love hand pies. And empanadas. And pasties. Basically anything that’s surrounded with flaky crust and eaten, with bonus points for portability. This recipe is a favorite of ours and makes an appearance a few times a year at our house. I couldn’t let the 31 Days Of Pie go by without it, ya know.


Gumbo Hand Pies

1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
8 oz cold cream cheese, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1 teaspoon pre-made Cajun seasoning

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 half of a 14.5-oz can of diced tomatoes with juice
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 onion, chopped into small pieces
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped into small pieces
1 stalk celery, chopped into small pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons water or white wine
1 boneless skinless chicken thigh cut into small pieces
1/2 cup smoked sausage like andouille
1/2 cup shelled and deveined shrimp, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup frozen or fresh okra, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the cold butter and cream cheese until combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix until the dough just comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide into 2 equal pieces. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to just a little over 1/8 thick. Cut the dough with 4.5 cookie or biscuit cutter.

Continue rolling the scraps until all the dough is used. Make sure to keep the dough covered once cut.

Making the roux: Heat a 2-quart pot over medium high heat and add oil. Once the oil is hot, sprinkle flour over it and begin to stir, cooking for 1 minute and constantly stirring. Drop the heat to medium low and continue to stir and cook for 15 minutes. The roux will turn an almost reddish-brown color. Once the roux is cooked, add diced tomatoes with juice and bay leaf. Return the heat to medium high and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and add the onion, bell pepper, celery and sautee for 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cayenne and cook for 1 minute. Add water or white wine, stirring to get any cooked bits off the bottom of the skillet. Add the chicken, sausage and okra. Saute for 6 minutes, add the shrimp and cook for another 2 minutes or until the shrimp turns opaque. Add in the tomato roux mixture and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and set aside to cool, about 30 minutes.

Make the egg wash by mixing eggs and water in a small bowl. Set aside.

To fill the hand pies, take a circle of dough and place the filling in the center, about 1 tablespoon. Be careful not to overfill. Brush the edges with egg wash and fold over to close the hand pie. Dip a fork into flour so that it doesn’t stick and use it to crimp the edges closed. Set the filled hand pies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and continue to fill and fold the remaining pies. Refrigerate the filled pies for 15 to 20 minutes before baking.

Heat oven to 425. Mix paprika and salt together in a small bowl and set aside.

Remove the pies from the refrigerator and brush with egg wash and then cut 2 small vents into the top of each pie with a sharp knife. Sprinkle the paprika and salt mixture or Cajun seasoning and place them into the pre-heated oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until pies are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Serve warm.

Recipe by Matt Armendariz for Cooking Channel


31 Days Of Pie, Day 21: Almost No-Bake Pumpkin Cream Pie

31-days-opening-100pxDay 21 of 31 Days of Pie is an Almost No-Bake Pumpkin Cream Pie

So we’re a few weeks past Thanksgiving and yet I’m still craving pumpkin pie. I suppose we’re still in the holiday season so it’s appropriate, right? Today’s pie comes from Joy, and yes it’s pretty darn delicious. Adam got creative and made a gorgeous square pie, which made me smile after tons of circles and circles and circles. I’m not complaining though!


Almost No-Bake Pumpkin Cream Pie

makes one 9-inch pie or tart or 8 individual ramekin pies

For the Crust:
1 1/2 cups finely crushed graham crackers or crisp ginger snap cookies
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
pinch of salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

For the Filling:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon molasses
2 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree

For Topping:
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

For the Crust:
In a medium bowl, combine crushed graham crackers or ginger snaps with sugar, salt and melted butter. Toss together to coat the entire mixture in butter. Press into a 9-inch baking dish, a tart pan with a removable bottom or 8 individual ramekins.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely before adding the filling.

To make the Filling:
Beat cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric stand mixer until smooth and creamy. Both fats should be well softened to ensure the filling is lump free. Add the powdered sugar to the mixture and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract, molasses, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree and beat until thoroughly combined. Spoon the filling into the cooled pie or tart shell, or divide into individual ramekins. Let pie chill in the fridge overnight.

To Make the Topping:
Beat together heavy cream and maple syrup until cream is in soft peaks. Spread over the chilled pie and sprinkle with more maple syrup just before slicing. Slice and serve.

Recipe from Joy The Baker

31 Days Of Pie:, Day 20: Lemon Chiffon Pie

31-days-opening-100pxDay 20 of 31 Days Of Pie is a Lemon Chiffon Pie.

Oh, how I love anything lemon. Anything and everything. Savory, sweet, tangy, sour, as long as it’s lemony I’ll appreciate it. Which is why I was thrilled to include this recipe because you cannot have a pie roundup without including a Lemon Chiffon. This recipe comes from Cook’s Illustrated. It’s proper and makes me feel old-fashioned.


Lemon Chiffon Pie

9 whole graham crackers
3 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
4 tablespoons water
5 large eggs (2 whole, 3 separated)
1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest plus 3/4 cup juice (4 lemons)
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 ounces cream cheese, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, softened

1. FOR THE CRUST: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Process graham crackers in food processor until finely ground, about 30 seconds (you should have about 11/4 cups crumbs). Add sugar and salt and pulse to combine. Add melted butter and pulse until mixture resembles wet sand.

2. Transfer crumbs to 9-inch pie plate. Press crumbs evenly into bottom and up sides of plate. Bake until crust is lightly browned, 15 to 18 minutes. Allow crust to cool completely.

3. FOR THE FILLING: Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon gelatin over 2 tablespoons water in small bowl and let sit until gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Repeat with second small bowl, remaining 1/2 teaspoon gelatin, and remaining 2 tablespoons water.

4. Whisk 2 eggs and 3 yolks together in medium saucepan until thoroughly combined. Whisk in 1 cup sugar, cornstarch, and salt until well combined. Whisk in lemon zest and juice and heavy cream. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and slightly translucent, 4 to 5 minutes (mixture should register 170 degrees). Stir in 1 water-gelatin mixture until dissolved. Remove pan from heat and let stand for 2 minutes.

5. Remove 11/4 cups curd from pan and pour through fine-mesh strainer set in bowl. Transfer strained curd to prepared pie shell (do not wash out strainer or bowl). Place filled pie shell in freezer. Add remaining water-gelatin mixture and cream cheese to remaining curd in pan and whisk to combine. (If cream cheese does not melt, briefly return pan to low heat.) Pour through strainer into now-empty bowl.

6. Using stand mixer, whip 3 egg whites on medium-low speed until foamy, about 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high and slowly add remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Continue whipping until whites are stiff and glossy, about 4 minutes. Add curd–cream cheese mixture and whip on medium speed until few streaks remain, about 30 seconds. Remove bowl from mixer and, using spatula, scrape sides of bowl and stir mixture until no streaks remain. Remove pie shell from freezer and carefully pour chiffon over curd, allowing chiffon to mound slightly in center. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days before serving.


Recipe from Cook’s Illustrated

31 Days Of Pie:, Day 19: Frito Pie. YES. Frito Pie.

31-days-opening-100px31 Days Of Pie, Day 19: Frito Pie. YES!!!!!


Hey, it’s Friday (oh, and thank you, Tracy!) which means we should celebrate. And by celebrate I mean Frito Pie. Oh, the memories of this dish! Growing up in Texas there wasn’t a concession stand without them, and I was always happy to indulge. These days I don’t eat too many of them, and maybe every 2 or 3 years I can’t handle it any longer and give in. This was one of those moments, and considering the love and time put into this version I was happy to make them disappear. Salt + Fritos + Chili + Cheese = the stuff happiness is made of. TGIF, y’all!


 Hoosier Mama Frito Pie

Frito Crumb Crust Ingredients

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 cup cold water
3 oz corn chips, divided
1 cup all­ purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 ounce shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Chili Ingredients

1, 15-­ounce can pinto beans, rinsed well and drained
Frito­crumb crust shells
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and cored, diced small
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cored, diced small
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground beef
1 poblano pepper, roasted and diced small
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced (NOTE: Omit for a milder chili)
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
1 to 2 Tbsp chili powder (more or less to suit your taste)
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp finely chopped fresh Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper (Note: Omit for a milder chili)
1, 28-­ounce can crushed tomatoes
8­ ounces light ale or wheat beer
juice of two limes (more or less to taste)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
shredded sharp Cheddar cheese for topping
sour cream, for topping
finely snipped Mexican oregano and crushed corn chips as garnish


1. Make pie shells: Stir vinegar into water and set aside.

2. Places two ounces of chips in food processor and pulse until chips are crushed into small, uniform crumbs. (About 30 seconds.) This should make about 1/2 cup of crumbs.

3. Add flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar and black pepper to the processor and pulse three more times to bring the ingredients together.

4. Add cubed butter and pulse more–just until sandy. About 20 or 30 seconds

5. Break up remaining 1 ounce of chips with fingers (or slightly crush with a rolling pin.) Add these chips and the shredded cheese to the food processor and pulse 3 times.

6. Add 1/4 cup of the vinegar water and pulse 2 or three more times. Open processor and squeeze a walnut-­sized clump of the dough in your palm. If it’s still too crumbly and does not hold together, add more vinegar water, 1 Tbsp at a time, until the dough holds together when squeezed.

7. Preheat oven to 375.

8. Butter pie tins. Press crumbs up the sides and across the bottoms of the tin. Prick the crust bottoms all over with tines of a fork.

9. Bake shells 10 to 12 minutes or until the shells are crisp, but not browned. Remove from oven.

10. Make chili: Roast poblano pepper by placing it on a cookie sheet under the broiler for three minutes on each side. Place charred pepper in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside

11. In a heavy saute pan, melt butter and olive oil over medium­-high heat. Stir in the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until onion is translucent.

12. Add bell pepper and galic; reduce heat to medium. Cook for an addtional 5 minutes until garlic is fragrant, but not browned.

13. In a separate heavy skillet, brown the beef. Pour off fat. Set meat aside.

14. Add poblano, jalapeno (if using) chipotle peppers, chili powder, cumin, oregano and cayenne pepper (if using) to the onion mixture. Stir to combine. Cook for three or four minutes, adding a few tsp of olive oil if the ingredients start to stick or dry out.

15. Stir in beef and crushed tomatoes. Add beans and beer. Heat to boiling. Cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir occasionally and add more ale if the pot dries out. Remove from heat and season to taste with lime juice, salt, and black pepper.

16. Preheat oven to 400. Spread cook sheet with parchment paper. Set pie tins on the parchment and fill each with chili. (You’ll have some chili left over to eat on the side.)

17. Top each pie with cheese; bake for 10 to 15 minutes until cheese is completely melted.

18. Garnish with sour cream, oregano and crushed corn chips. Serve immediately.


Makes Four, six-­inch pies, OR two, 4­-inch tarts plus one 8­-inch pie

Recipe from Hoosier Mama Pie Company

31 Days Of Pie, Day 18: Buttermilk Pie with Blackberry Sauce

31-days-opening-100pxDay 18 is a Buttermilk Pie with Blackberry Sauce

We started off with no personal reference for this pie. I knew it’d be good but I didn’t realize how good. Adam was extra curious about it, and now I see why it’s so loved. It seemingly transcends pie and veers into a warm, custardy dessert, complete with the sweet zing of raspberry sauce. It comes from Joy The Baker’s blog, and there’s a wonderful story behind it. Do check it out!



Buttermilk Pie with Blackberry Sauce

3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 stick melted butter, slightly cooled.
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons pur vanilla extract
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

Beat eggs slightly. Mix sugar and flour well and add to the eggs. Mix until creamy. Add melted butter, mixing well. Add buttermilk and vanilla extract. Bake at 325 degrees F for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the custard sets. Tip: the custard will still jiggle a bit in the oven even when it’s set. Just make sure that the middle does not jiggle a lot more than the sides. That means it needs more time.

Blackberry Sauce
1/2 cup seedless blackberry preserves
1 Tablespoon Chamborde liqueur, also consider orange liqueur or a bit of Triple Sec
Pour the preserves in a saucepan and arm on medium heat, stirring constantly with wire whip until smooth. Remove from heat and add liqueur. Let cool slightly and drizzle over pie.

Pie Dough
2 sticks (8 ounces) cold unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk, cold

Cut butter into 1 inch pieces and place in the freezer to chill for 15 minutes.

Sift together the flour and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Sifting eliminates lumps and aerates the mixture, making the dough tender and lighter. Add the partially frozen butter and the salt. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes, or until the butter is reduced to the size of broken walnut meats. Stop the machine and by hand pinch flat any large pieces of butter that remain.

Turn the mixer on low speed and add the buttermilk all at once. Mix until the dough comes together, about 15 seconds. The dough should be tacky, but not sticky, and still rather shaggy.

Remove the dough from the bowl and quickly form into a rough disk. Wrap in plastic. Try not to overowrk the dough. Chill for at least 1 hour before rolling out. At this point the dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 weeks. For freezing roll the dough into sheets and wrap them in airtight plastic film first.

Recipe from Joy The Baker

31 Days Of Pie, Day 17: Butternut Squash, Apple, and Onion Galette with Stilton

31-days-opening-100pxDay 17 of 31 Days Of Pie is a galette. A galette of my dreams.

I get downright giddy when I think of galettes. Rustic, free-formed, and shockingly beautiful, they are everything I want in a baked good and then some. Simplicity is rewarded tenfold in my opinion, and if there’s one in a bakery case or counter chances are I will order it, no matter the ingredients. Because I love them that much.  Today’s savory pie comes from the Food Network Kitchens, from a group I know very well and every time we photograph their recipes I know I’m in for a creative treat that works. They always work. And they are always delicious, so thanks, FNK! What can I say about this galette? It’s gorgeous, both in appearance and flavor. It makes me feel like I am a million miles away in a cafe, and pairing a slice of this with a glass of rosé or sancerre might possibly make you the happiest person on the planet. Did I mention how gorgeous it is?


Butternut Squash, Apple, and Onion Galette with Stilton


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 large baking apple, such as Rome Beauty or Cortland
1 small or 1/2 medium butternut squash (about 3/4 pounds), halved, seeded, and skin on
1 small yellow onion, peeled, root end trimmed but intact
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1/3 cup crumbled Stilton or other blue cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces)


For the dough: Pulse the flour and salt together in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse about 10 times until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal with a few bean-size bits of butter in it. Add the egg and pulse 1 to 2 times more; don’t let the dough form a mass around the blade. If the dough seems very dry, add up to 1 tablespoon of cold water, 1 teaspoon at a time, and pulsing briefly. Remove the blade and bring the dough together by hand. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

For the filling: Halve and core the apple. Cut each 1/2 into 8 wedges and put them in a large bowl. Slice the squash and cut the onion into wedges so that both are as thick as the apple wedges, and add them to the apples. Add the butter, rosemary, and thyme and toss gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper and toss again.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch disk. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet and brush with mustard. Starting 2 inches from the edge, casually alternate pieces of apple, squash, and onion in overlapping circles—if you have extra pieces of one or another, tuck them in where you can or double them up until to use all the filling. Fold and pleat the dough over the edge of the filling. Bake until the crust is brown and the apples, squash, and onions are tender and caramelized, about 55 minutes. Scatter the cheese over the filling and bake until melted, about 5 minutes more. Cool the galette briefly on a wire rack. Cut into wedges and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen, Food Network

31 Days Of Pie, Day 16: Chicken Pot Pie

31-days-opening-100pxDay 16 of 31 Days Of Pie is a Chicken Pot Pie.

Wait, you didn’t really think we’d celebrate 31 Days Of Pie without a few savories thrown in, did you? About the only requirement for entry was pie-ish, which explains tarts, galettes and now this. Let’s say this is about as perfect of a Chicken Pot Pie as you’ll ever have, in fact I’d say this is my favorite, hands down. And we tried several, ending with our friend Elise’s version which comes from an old copy of the Marshall Field’s cookbook. It’s everything you want a chicken pot pie to be: luscious savory filling, a flaky crust, a hint of sherry. I’d be happy having one every single day for the rest of my life, I’m not kidding.



 Chicken Pot Pie from Simply Recipes


Chicken and stock ingredients:
1 (3 1/2 pound) frying chicken
1 carrot
1 celery stalk
1 small onion, halved
2 teaspoons salt
Pie crust ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced into 1/2-inch cubes (best to chill cubes in the freezer for at least 15 minutes before using)
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, chilled
3 to 4 Tbsp ice water

Filling ingredients:
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 large onion, diced (about 1 1/4 cups)
3 carrots, thinly sliced on the diagonal
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup dry sherry
3/4 cup green peas, frozen or fresh
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Egg wash:
1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water

Special equipment needed:
6 10-ounce ramekins

1. Cook chicken and prepare the stock. Combine the chicken, carrot, celery, salt and onion in a large stock pot, adding cold water until covered. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce and then let simmer and cook, 45 minutes. Once cooked, remove the chicken and let it cool for 14 minutes. While cooling, add the remaining vegetables and water to the pot and continue to cook. When the chicken is cool, strip away as much of the meat from the bone. Set aside the chicken meat pieces and return the remaining chicken bones to the pot and continue to boil on high heat until the liquid has reduced, about a quart or quart and a half. You’ll need 2 1/2 cups of stock, freeze or store the remainder.

2. To prepare the pie crust dough, combine the flour and salt in a food processor. Add the chilled butter cubes and pulse 5 times to combine. And the shortening and pulse a few more times, until the dough resembles a coarse cornmeal, with some pea-sized pieces of butter. A tablespoon at a time, slowly stream in ice water, pulsing after each addition, until the dough sticks together when you press some between your fingers. Empty the food processor, placing the dough on a clean surface. Use your hands to mold into a ball, then flatten the ball into a disk. Sprinkle with a little flour, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 days, before rolling.

3. To prepare the filling, preheat oven to 400°F. In a large skillet, melt butter on medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery, and cook until the onions are translucent, this takes about 10 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, one minute more. Whisk in 2 1/2 cups of the chicken stock. Whisk in the milk. Decrease the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often. Add the chicken meat, thyme, sherry, peas, parsley, salt and pepper and stir well. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Divide the warm filling between six 10-ounce ramekins.

4. Prepare the crust. Roll out dough on a lightly flour surface to a little less than a quarter-inch thick. Cut into 6 rounds, slightly larger than the circumference of the ramekins. Lay a dough round on each pot pie filling. Fold the excess dough under itself and use the tines of a fork to press the dough against the edge of the ramekins. Cut a 1-inch vent into each individual pie. Use a pastry brush to apply an egg wash to each pie. Line a baking sheet with foil, place the pies on the baking sheet. Bake at 400°F for 25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe from Simply Recipes. Thank you, Elise!

31 Days Of Pie, Day 15: No-Bake Orange & Cream Pie

31-days-opening-100pxToday’s Pie is a No-Bake Orange & Cream Pie from Joy The Baker.

Let’s hear it for the combination of orange and cream. You love it, I love it, we all love it. And it’s everything in this pie, which requires minimal baking of the crust before you fill it and only just a little stovetop time. It’s easy, delicious, and satisfies in the way only orange & cream can.  Joy, thank you for this pie. Oh, and thank you for you. I suppose I should thank your parents, too.



No-Bake Orange & Cream Pie from Joy The Baker

For the crust:
1 2/3 cup crushed graham crackers
1/4 cup sugar
dash of ground cinnamon
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons melted butter
Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and melted butter until evenly moistened. Press into a 9-inch pie plate and bake at 350 degreesF for 10-13 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool before filling.

For the filling:
3 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon orange zest
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
3 large egg yolks
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream (for the whipped cream top)

Combine the sugar, cornstarch, orange juice, zest yolks and milk in a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium heat. Cook until thick, stirring constantly. Add butter and stir until melted. Cool the mixture for 15 minutes, then add the sour cream. Stir to incorporate. Pour into cool pie crust and chill for 3 hours.  Joy says to cover your pie loosely if you’d like, but she also likes to let it sit so that a skin forms on top (I dig that firmness too!) Whip up the cream, adding a few tablespoons of powdered sugar if preferred then spoon on top of the orange filling.

This recipe is from Joy The Baker

31 Days Of Pie, Day 14: Maple Pecan Pie

31-days-opening-100pxDay 14 of 31 Days Of Pie is a Maple Pecan Pie

I appreciate any and all pecan pies. It’s in my blood, and I never turn down discovering another version. This recipe comes from Cooks Illustrated, it’s a not-too-sweet pie that will have a permanent place on every holiday table. The addition of maple syrup is lovely, and as usual the recipe works flawlessly!


 Maple Pecan Pie


Pie Shell
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for dough and rolling surface
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/4 -inch pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, frozen, cut into small pieces
1 large egg white, chilled, thoroughly mixed with ice water (about 2 tablespoons) to equal 1/4 cup
1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1/8 teaspoon water

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon table salt
3 large eggs
1 cup maple syrup, pure, preferably Grade B or Grade A dark amber
1 1/2 cups whole pecans (6 ounces), toasted and chopped into small pieces


1. For Pie Crust: Mix flour, sugar, and salt in food processor fitted with steel blade. Scatter butter and shortening over dry ingredients and pulse
until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, 10 to 15 seconds. Turn mixture into medium bowl.

2. Sprinkle egg white mixture over flour mixture and, with blade of rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix. Press down on dough with broad
side of spatula until dough sticks together. Shape dough into ball with hands, then flatten into 4-inch disk. Dust dough lightly with flour, wrap
tightly in plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

3. Roll dough on lightly floured surface into 13-inch circle and transfer to 9-inch pie pan, preferably glass. Press dough into corners and sides of pan, being careful not to stretch dough. Trim edges of dough to make 1/2-inch overhang. Tuck overhanging dough under so that folded edge is flush with rim of pan. Flute edge (illustration 1).

4. Chill shell until firm, about 1 hour. Prick sides and bottom with fork and line entire shell with heavy-duty aluminum foil, pressing foil firmly against shell and extending it over fluted rim, (illustration 2). Prick foil with fork (illustration 3) and return shell to refrigerator while oven is heating.

5. Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake, pressing once or twice with mitt-protected hands, if necessary, to flatten any puffing, until crust is firmly set, about 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until bottom begins to color, about 10 minutes longer. Remove from oven, brush sides and bottom with egg yolk, and return to oven until yolk glazes over, about 1 minute longer. Remove from oven, and set aside while preparing the filling.

6. Lower oven temperature to 275 degrees. Place pie shell in oven if not still warm.

7. For Pie: Melt butter in medium heatproof bowl set in skillet of water maintained at just below simmer. Remove bowl from skillet; mix in sugar and salt with wooden spoon until butter is absorbed. Beat in eggs, then maple syrup. Return bowl to hot water; stir until mixture is shiny and warm to the touch, about 130 degrees. Remove from heat; stir in pecans.

8. Pour mixture into warm shell; bake until center feels set yet soft, like gelatin, when gently pressed, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer pie to rack; let cool completely, at least 4 hours. Serve pie at room temperature or warm.

Recipe from Cooks Illustrated




31 Days Of Pie, Day 13: Coconut Cream Pie

31-days-opening-100px Day 13 of 31 Days Of Pie is Coconut Cream Pie.

Ladies and gentleman, I give you a favorite. As in lifelong-all-time-I-will-always-go-for-this-pie pie.  It’s actually tied with Banana Cream Pie, but either will do. And I’m not sure why it’s a favorite, but it has been since childhood days. And when it comes to Coconut Cream Pie, I’m embarrassed to admit I like them all, from homemade to the trashiest frozen version. Guilty pleasure, I suppose. But today’s recipe is definitely a winner, and why shouldn’t it be? It comes from Cook’s Illustrated so you can rest assured it’s delicious and that it works. This pie always disappears instantly in our house, even though I actually like it the next day once the topping has had a chance to thicken and deflate a bit. It just gets denser, if that makes sense.



Coconut Cream Pie


6 ounces animal crackers
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 (13 1/2-ounce) can coconut milk
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3/8 teaspoon table salt
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 2 pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whipped Cream and Garnish
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (cold)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted in a small dry skillet until golden brown

1. For the crust: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. In food processor, pulse animal crackers, coconut, and sugar to fine crumbs, eighteen to twenty 1-second pulses; then process until powdery, about 5 seconds. Transfer crumbs to medium bowl and add butter; stir to combine until crumbs are evenly moistened. Empty crumbs into 9-inch glass pie plate; using bottom of ramekin or 1/2 cup dry measuring cup, press crumbs evenly into bottom and up sides of pie plate. Bake until fragrant and medium brown, about 15 minutes, rotating pie shell halfway through baking time. Set on wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

2. For the filling: Bring coconut milk, whole milk, shredded coconut, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt to simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to ensure that sugar dissolves. Following illustrations 1 through 6, whisk yolks, cornstarch, and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in medium bowl until thoroughly combined. Whisking constantly, gradually ladle about 1 cup hot milk mixture over yolk mixture; whisk well to combine. Whisking constantly, gradually add remaining milk mixture to yolk mixture in 3 or 4 additions; whisk well to combine. Return mixture to saucepan and cook until thickened and mixture reaches boil, whisking constantly, about 1 minute; filling must boil in order to fully thicken. (To determine whether filling has reached boil, stop whisking; large bubbles should quickly burst on surface.) Off heat, whisk in butter and vanilla until butter is fully incorporated. Pour hot filling into cooled pie shell and smooth surface with rubber spatula; press plastic wrap directly against surface of filling and refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours and up to 12 hours.

3. For the whipped cream: Just before serving, beat cream, sugar, and vanilla with electric mixer until soft peaks form, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Top pie with whipped cream and then sprinkle with coconut. Cut pie into wedges and serve.

Recipe from Cooks Illustrated