Pies

Perfect Pie Dough (by Cook's Illustrated)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (they said it should be cold, but I didn't bother chilling mine)
1/4 cup cold Vodka
1/4 cup cold water
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse 1 1/2 cups four, salt, and sugar until combined.  Add the butter & shortening and process until clumps that look like cottage cheese start to form, about 15 seconds.  Add remaining flour and pulse 4-6 times, or until mixture has been broken up.  
Place mixture into another bowl and add the Vodka and water.  With a rubber spatula mix by folding the liquid into the dough, pressing down as you go until dough sticks together.  Divide into 2 even disks, and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before using - this is important because this is a pretty wet dough and you will have a hard time rolling it out if you don't refrigerate it first.  Dough can also be frozen for later use.  Makes one 9" double pie crust.

Apple Pie in a Paper Bag (adapted from King Arthur recipe)
 
For crust: use 1/2 of Pie Crust recipe (click here for recipe)
About 10 cups apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
2 tbsp lemon juice
2-3 tbsp flour

Preheat oven to 425. Spray pie plate with cooking spray - you are probably thinking you can skip this because you don't normally do this, but I am warning you that it is necessary (something about that steam makes the crust stick to the pie plate if it's not greased). Line the pie plate with the pie dough, fold seams under and either pinch it all around or use a fork to crimp it.  Put sliced apples in microwave safe bowl and stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and lemon juice. Microwave uncovered for 5 minutes. Spoon apples into pie plate, leaving the juices at the bottom. Add flour to bowl and whisk together with the juices left from the apples. Pour this over the apples.
Topping: In bowl of food processor, add 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup cold butter cut into pieces. Pulse until mix is crumbly. Spread topping over the apple filling.

Place pie into paper grocery bag. Fold it close and staple it shut all along the fold (can also use paper clips). Bake at 425 for one hour, then shut the oven off and let the pie set in there with the door shut for another 10 minutes. Remove pie from oven and carefully open it. Take pie out of bag and set on rack to cool completely before slicing (unless you like it warm and you don't care if it falls apart on you).

THE Best Coconut Cream Pie

1 1/2 cups 1/2 & 1/2 
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup toasted shredded coconut (bake on cookie sheet at 350 for 5-7 min.)
1 tsp vanilla
1 (9 inch) pie dough, baked
1 cup frozen Cool Whip, thawed

In medium saucepan, combine 1/2 & 1/2, coconut milk, eggs, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Bring to boil over medium-low heat stirring constantly. Once it has thickened, remove from heat and stir in 3/4 cup of toasted coconut and the vanilla. Pour into pie shell and chill in refrigerator until firm, about 2-3 hours. Top with Cool Whip and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of toasted coconut on top (of course you can make homemade whip cream instead if you like).

Pineapple Pie

1 (20 oz) can + 2 (8 oz) cans crushed pineapple, unsweetened
3/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
Pastry for 9-inch double-crust pie

Combine crushed pineapple, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and clear. Add butter, lemon juice and zest. Set aside to cool slightly.

Pour filling into unbaked 9-inch pastry shell. For top crust, cut into strips for a lattice topping. Brush top with cream (or can use milk or 1/2 & 1/2) and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Blueberry Pie (by Stonewall Kitchen) 

Perfect Pie Crust recipe above (9-inch double pie crust)
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
6 cups blueberries
11/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Melt butter in medium saucepan on medium heat. Add flour and stir to combine, about 1 minute. Add half the blueberries and all the sugar and cook 8-10 minutes. The sugar will be dissolved and the mixture has thickened. Add the remaining blueberries and the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook for another minute, then remove from heat. Let the filling cool to room temp.

Roll out one of the disks of dough and transfer to a 9-inch pie plate, making sure the dough falls over the edges of the pie plate. Spoon blueberry mixture into the pie plate. Roll out the other disk of dough, and cut into strips about 1/2 inch wide. Place strips on top of filling, creating a crisscross lattice pattern. Trim off excess crust and crimp the edges with together with a fork. Place pie in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.

Place pie on cookie sheet and brush top with cream or 1/2 & 1/2, then sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375 for 50-60 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.





Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

3 cups strawberries, cut in half or quartered
2 1/2 - 3 cups rhubarb, chopped
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp minute tapioca
1 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
dash of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
3 tbsp butter
1 recipe for 9 inch double crust (click here for recipe)
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp cream or 1/2 & 1/2
Turbinado sugar
 
Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl toss the strawberries and rhubarb together with the sugar, tapioca and flour.  Add the lemon juice, vanilla and a dash of cinnamon & nutmeg and stir to combine.  Line your pie plate with the bottom layer of pie dough and pour in the filling. Break up the 3 tablespoons of butter and place evenly on top of the filling.  Cover with the top crust and either crimp the edges all around with a fork or use your fingers.  Cut 4 slits into the top crust to let the steam escape. 

In a small bowl add the egg yolk and cream and stir to combine.  With a pastry brush spread the egg mixture evenly over the top crust.  Sprinkle the Turbinado sugar all over the top.  Bake for 40-45 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.  Make sure to let pie cool completely before cutting in to it.   


Peach Pie (Cook's Illustrated)

1 recipe for double crusted pie dough (click here for recipe)
7 medium ripe peaches
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup sugar, + 1 tbsp
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
3 tbsp minute tapioca

Preheat oven to 500, and bring a large saucepan of water to a boil.  Add all the peaches & boil for 2 minutes, then remove them and immediately plunge them into a large bowl filled with ice water.  Roll out your bottom crust and place it in a shallow pie dish (you don't want to use a deep dish pie plate for this pie).  Peel the peaches, using a pairing knife, then cut them into about 3/8" slices.

Place the sliced peaches into a large bowl and add the tapioca, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Toss to combine, then pour mixture into your dough lined pie plate.  Roll out your top dough and cut into strips to make a lattice topping, and add it to the top of the pie.  Lightly brush or spray the lattice topping with water and sprinkle with sugar.  

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray, then place your pie on the tray.  Lower oven temperature to 425 and place pie in oven and cook for about 25-30 minutes, or until crust begins to brown.  Rotate the pie and reduce the oven temperature to 375 and continue baking for another 25-30 minute longer, or until crust is a deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling.  Remove from oven and cool for 2 hours before serving.



Chocolate Silk Pie

Dough for 1 9" pie crust
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 tbsp water
8 oz semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled (original recipe called for bittersweet)
1 tbsp vanilla
8 tbsp unsalted butter, softened & cut into 8 pieces
Fresh whipped cream for serving

For the crust:  Line a 9" pie plate with the dough, and crimp the edges.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer for 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 375, and line the chilled pie shell with parchment paper, letting it hang over the edges.  Fill the pie plate with pie weights, the place in oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the pie weights and parchment paper and return to oven to bake for another 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.  Cool completely before filling (sometimes I will even cook it the day before I want to make the entire pie).

For the filling:  Add the cream to the bowl of an electric mixer and whip on medium speed until it forms stiff peaks.  Transfer to another bowl, cover and refrigerate.

Combine the sugar, eggs and water in the bowl of a double boiler (or you can place a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the water doesn't touch the bowl).  With a hand mixer on medium, beat until the egg mixture is thickened and reads 160 F - the original recipe said it would take 7-10 minutes but it was more like 20 for me and it only got to 150 F on my thermometer and it still came out perfect.  Remove bowl from heat and continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and cooled to room temp, about 8 minutes.  

Add the melted chocolate and the vanilla to the egg mixture and beat until combined.  Add the butter 1 tbsp at a time until fully incorporated.  Fold in the whipped cream gently  until no white streaks remain.  Transfer to the baked pie shell, cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.  Serve with whipped cream. 

Alternate Go-To Pie Crust (Fine Cooking Magazine)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
8 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp very cold water

Place flour, sugar and salt in large bowl. Cut in the butter and shortening with a pastry blender just until coarse crumbs for (you can also do this in a food processor). Add the lemon juice and water and stir with a fork until combined just enough to hold together when pressed with your hands. Turn out onto counter and gently shape into 2 equal disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using. This makes one 9-inch double-crust pie dough.



Strawberry Rhubarb Galette

2 cups strawberries, cut in half or quartered
2  cups rhubarb, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp minute tapioca
1 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp lemon juice
dash of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1 tbsp butter
1, 9" pie crust (click here for recipe) - I put the other half in the freezer for a later date
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp cream or 1/2 & 1/2
Turbinado sugar
 
Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl toss the strawberries and rhubarb together with the sugar, tapioca and flour.  Add the lemon juice, a dash of cinnamon & nutmeg and stir to combine.  Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.  Roll out the dough and gently place it on the cookie sheet.  Pour the filling into the middle of the pie dough, then gently fold each side up and over the filling - it doesn't need to be completely enclosed, just about halfway to the center. Break up the butter and place evenly on top of the filling. 

In a small bowl add the egg yolk and cream and stir to combine.  With a pastry brush spread the egg mixture evenly over the crust.  Sprinkle the Turbinado sugar all over the top.  Bake for about 45 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.  Make sure to let it cool completely before cutting in to it.   Best served with vanilla ice cream! ☺


Maple Pecan Pie (adapted from Sally Wilkins Sweet)

1, 8" pie crust (click here for recipe - you just need to cut it in half, or freeze the other half)
2 eggs 

1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup Dark Amber maple syrup (Vermont syrup is best of course!)
1 cup pecan halfs
pinch of salt
pinch of ground nutmeg

Line a 8" pie plate with your dough and crimp the edges.  Preheat oven to 375.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs.  Add the sugar, salt and nutmeg and beat until well incorporated.  Slowly drizzle in the butter as you are beating.  While the mixer is still going, add the syrup and beat for another minute.  Turn off mixer and stir in the pecans.  Pour mixture into pie plate and cook for about 40 minutes, or until middle doesn't jiggle anymore.  Cool completely before cutting and serving.



Salted Caramel Banana Pie (adapted from Ann Thornton)

45 Vanilla Wafers + extra for layering pie
6 tbsp butter, melted
3 large bananas, sliced
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp confectioner's sugar

Filling:
3/4 c sugar
1/3 c cornstarch
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
2 cups half & half
2 tsp vanilla

Caramel Sauce:  Click here for the recipe to make the caramel sauce.  After it's mostly cooled add 1 tsp of salt and stir well to combine.

Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 9 in pie plate with cooking spray.  Pulse 45 vanilla wafers in a food processor until it turns into crumbs.  Transfer to a bowl and add the melted butter. Stir to combine then pour into the pie plate, and firmly press the mixture down with your fingers and up the sides of the dish.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool completely before assembling the pie.

For the filling:  Combine all the ingredients, except the vanilla, in a medium saucepan and whisk them all together until well incorporated.  Continue to whisk as it cooks until it thickens, should be like the consistency of pudding. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla.  Set aside to cool.  

Topping:  In the bowl of an electric mixer add the cup of heavy cream and beat on high until it starts to form a whipped cream.  Add the confectioner's sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.  

To assemble pie:  Slice the bananas, place in bowl and coat with 1 cup of the caramel sauce.  Arrange about half of the banana slices on the bottom of the crust.  Spread half of the filling over the bananas, top with vanilla wafers, then the rest of the banana slices.  Spread the remaining filling over the bananas, then top with the whipped cream.  Drizzle more caramel sauce over top and serve!  



 Dutch Pumpkin Apple Pie (by Nestle)

Apple Layer:  2 cups apple, cored, peeled & sliced
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp flour
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cinnamon
1, 9" pie shell, unbaked

Pumpkin Layer:
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tbsp butter, melted
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375, and line your deep dish pie plate with the unbaked pie dough.  Combine the ingredients for the apple layer in a large bowl, then pour into the pie dish.  In a separate large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the pumpkin layer and pour over the apple mixture.  Bake for 30 minutes then sprinkle the crumb topping (crumb topping recipe below) evenly over the top of the pie, and bake another 20 minutes or until center of pie is set. 

Crumb Topping:  combine 1/2 cup flour, 5 tbsp sugar and 1/3 cup chopped walnuts in a bowl.  Cut in 3 tbsp cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs (you can also do this in a food processor to make it easier).


Pumpkin Pie (slightly adapted from Bobby Flay)  

Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tbsp butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg 

Filling:
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks 
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean, split & scraped 

Crust:  Preheat oven to 350.  Place all the ingredients for the crust in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until combined (should look like wet sand).  Spread into a 9 inch pie plate, and using your finger tips firmly press it along the bottom and up the sides of the dish.  Cook until light brown, about 12-15 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool completely before adding the filling.

Filling:  Preheat oven to 275.  In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, yolks and the sugars.  Add the butter, pumpkin, cream, spices, salt, vanilla and vanilla bean seeds and whisk to combine.  Strain the mixture into a a bowl, then pour into the the pie plate with your cooked & cooled crust.  Bake until almost set, about 1 1/2 hrs.  Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.  Refrigerate until serving.  

*NOTE:  Bobby Flay tops his pie with bourbon-maple whipped cream.  While that sounds delicious and probably is the perfect touch for this pie, there was too much going on at my house to deal with making the whipped cream so I skipped it.  Visit FoodNetwork.com if you are interested in using his whipped cream to top your pie. 

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