Category Archives: Recipe

Lemon Blueberry Meringue Pie

Another pie? Well I was in the shower thinking about pie, and well, I wanted to try putting blueberries between the lemon and the meringue of a pie. So here is what I did (with pictures too).  Also, I did have some help from my sister, and since there were basically no mistakes, I won’t have to blame them on her.

First, the blueberries:
2 cups blueberries
1-2 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
small amount of whiskey (It was, sort of on hand, photo-bombing the whole process)
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Heat in a small sauce pan until the berries begin to break down and juice. take a few tablespoons of the juice and put it in a lidded bin with 1.5 TBS corn starch and shake. Add back into the berries and stir on low heat until thick. Set aside for later.

The lemon, we put slightly more lemon than the consensus of online recipes called for….
1 cup water
1 1/2 cup sugar
5 TBS corn starch
Juice of 5 medium-small lemons
Some lemon peel

When it starts to thicken, added 2 TBS butter, then whisked about 1/2 cup of the thickening sauce into 4 egg yolks (whites for meringue) very slowly. Then this is added back into the lemon curd and stirred on warm until thick.
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(I have no idea what that little cup full of whiskey is doing there…)

Pour it into the baked pie shell…DSCN0851Top with blueberries…DSCN0852So that it looks awesome… DSCN0853Then make the meringue. This is accomplished carefully. First the 4 egg whites must be entirely free of yolk. Second they must be whipped on high while the 6 TBS of sugar are added slowly. (This pie is really a teamwork pie… I think it must be an old lady superpower to be able to make it alone… ‘Easy as Pie’ emphatically does not apply to Lemon Meringue pie…)DSCN0855Then you just put the meringue on top of the blueberries and bake at 350 until the meringue is golden brown (about 10 minutes.) DSCN0860

Chill for about 4 hours and then eat… the pie is awesome, like all my other pies!DSCN0875(As an interesting side note, the red pigments in the blueberries sink into the lemon curd slightly and the blue pigment seeps up into the meringue. Since I know that the lemon curd is polar (ingredients: water (polar), sugar (polar) and citric acid (polar) ) then I suppose that the red pigment is polar in nature and the blue is more non-polar… and hence the egg-white meringue must be more non-polar as well…. I could look it up probably, but… eh…. it is a lovely effect, and much better than if the blue had seeped into the yellow and I had gotten a green layer… 🙂

A couple of notes. First, the gluten free pie crust (recipe found in my post about the chocolate mousse pie…) is fairly fragile. It is not so bad when actually eating the pie, but when baking it is a bit touchy. That is why in the picture of the pie as a whole, the meringue pulled away from the crust in places upon cooling. you seal the meringue to the crust and normal crusts hold it in place. If you don’t need gluten free, refer to my pumpkin pie recipe for a good regular pie crust to avoid this issue. Well, that’s all for now… all I have to say is: Eat more pie! 🙂

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Apple Pie, Simple and Honest

Apple Pie. It is simple, honest, looks you in the eye… that’s really why it is the great American pie.  This apple pie, I do believe is the best I have ever made.

First you have to know some of my basic principles of apple pie. One, the apples must be capable and allowed to speak for themselves. I used 3 granny smith and 3 gala apples. Crisp, a little sour a little sweet… Two, the apples must be almost too many. The more apples in the pie crust the better the apple pie. And lastly, all the sugar and fats do not belong in the apples. They belong in the crust below (lard) and the crumb topping above (Sugar, butter… 🙂 ). This makes the parts of the pie complement each other, rather than have the whole pie be a sweet sugar free-for-all on your tongue.

So here is what I did:

First the apple filling: as mentioned, 3 Granny Smith, 3 Gala apples, skinned and cored and cut into thin slices (it looks like a jolly lot). Then I stirred into them:

2 Tbs Brown Sugar
2 Tbs Molasses
1 tsp Vanilla
1 Tbs Cinnamon
1 random splash of whiskey… because it was… *ahem* on hand (see that little tea-cup… not full of tea 🙂 )
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Stir this gently and let sit in the bowl until needed

Next the crust. This was just the same as the gluten-free pie crust for the chocolate moose pie. I rolled it out in pieces and put the crust together patchwork. You’d never be able to tell from the finished product.

Into the crust, place the apples. Do not pour them since that will make them all stand randomly and overflow the crust. You place them in relatively slowly all on their sides and jam them all in. In the bottom of the bowl there is some juice from the apples and sugar. I put about half of it on the apples in the pie and discarded the rest (into my mouth… its tasty)

For the (gluten-free) crumb topping I mixed together the following:

The scraps leftover from the pie crust
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup rice flour
1/3 cup potato starch flour
2/3 cup butter
3 Tbs Cinnamon (to taste obviously)
1-2 tsp ground Clove

Then you mix it up with a fork and add milk until it is crumbly but not dry: like just before pie crust consistency. (I only needed less than a tablespoon.)

You put this on top of the apples evenly and then bake the pie in a medium oven until done. (About 350 F for maybe an hour…) hmm… There was still a little whiskey left at the end…
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I also have recipes (from me) for:
Magical Pumpkin Pie
Stupendous Chocolate Mousse Pie

Stupendous Chocolate Mousse Pie

Yet another celebration has past, and I have yet again created my own pie. This pie started because certain members of my family have gone Gluten free, and I wanted to make a pie with a real gluten free crust. Then I decided that I wanted chocolate mousse in that pie crust, then I decided that I wanted a thick cherry topping on that pie… so here is the recipe of my Christmas pie that turned out to be really amazing. (I am basically amazing at pie making… 🙂 )

Pie

Pie Crust (gluten free)
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/3 cup lard

Yes you have to use lard… it is the fundamental component of pie crust… besides for this gluten free, it makes the crust work right despite the lack of gluten.

Cut the lard into the flours until thoroughly mixed, add water little by little until you have added enough to make a ball of dough that is not moist. Roll it out, put it in a pie pan, and back at 350 for about 10 min. Let crust cool before adding mousse.

For the mousse, I whip heavy whipping cream with a touch of vanilla and sugar until very stiff, and then melt one bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips. When they have almost cooled entirely, you fold the chocolate gently into the whipped cream. I always have varying success at making the mousse smooth and chocolate looking, however, if your chocolate does make little clumps, the flavor is unaffected. Scoop mousse into pie crust and smooth the top.

For the cherry topping:
~ 1lb of fresh cherries, halved and pitted
1/2 cup late bottled vintage port (you could use a tawny port too…)
touch of vanilla
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
no more than 1-2 tablespoons sugar. (The goal of the pie is rich, not sweet)

Heat on medium to low heat until the cherries have thoroughly juiced. All of the  actual cherry parts should be slightly submerged in the liquid.

To thicken, place 1.5 tablespoons corn starch in a bin that has a lid, add 3-4 tablespoons Port and shake. Pour into cherry sauce and stir. Remove from heat as soon as it thickens. Allow this to cool completely, and then spread on top of the mousse.

I always make mousse pies the day before both for time and because the mousse improves with overnight refrigeration. The pie crust was flaky, crumbly, and yet held together, and the mousse and cherry combination was rich and absolutely amazing.

Magical Pumpkin Pie

Well, most people think of pumpkin pie, and they think “Oh, great, a transport for whipped cream…”. Pumpkin pie is very underrated because no one makes it tasty. They make it with canned pumpkin goo from the store with almost not spices. Well, here is a pie to end all pies. This is my recipe, although it has been influenced by ‘Suzanne’s Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie‘, especially in the proportion of eggs to pumpkin to milk… however, since the pumpkin pie is really the spices you put in it, I do not feel it inappropriate to claim the following pie as uniquely my own.

Remember that all parts of the pie are equally important, a good filling in a crappy crust is a crappy pie… etc. so if you make it, I highly recommend following all the suggestions (like using lard for the crust.) I hope you all make pies and enjoy them. Here is the pie I made today, the first of its kind!

I present to you: Magical Pumpkin Pecan Pie

First you make a pie crust, use lard.

1/3 cup lard
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
Small amount cold water until dough constancy

Cut lard into flour and salt with a fork a lot. Then add water, the dough should be neither wet or dry. Kneed the dough 8-10 times but no more. Roll the dough out with plenty of flour flipping it at least once. Fold dough in half, and lay in the 9” pie pan. Pinch the edges up, or cut the crust to the size of the pan and press all around with a fork. Set pie crust aside.

Next you have to make the pecans/almond mix.
½ cup pecans
¼ cup ground almonds
3 tablespoons butter

Grind the almonds, and ¼ cup of the pecans. Then take the rest of the pecans and smash them with your fingers to be big chunks. Place all the nuts into a small saucepan with 2-3 tablespoons of butter and sauté then on medium heat for a few minutes. Add 1-2 oz. bourbon, and continue sautéing for a few more minutes. Allow them to cool while you make the pumpkin filling.

For the filling, you really need to use a real pumpkin. The canned pumpkin is good for refugees and POWs, but in America, you can afford and find a real pie pumpkin. A small pie pumpkin is about enough pumpkin (roughly 2 cups) any extra you have you can use for something else. Cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and stuff, and put in a 13×9 in pan with about 1 inch of water in the bottom, cut side down. Bake at 400 for about 30 min (until soft) and then let cool, peel, and puree with a blender.

In a bowl, mix the following really well (the order doesn’t really matter).

2 cups Pumpkin
2 eggs and 1 egg yolk
½ cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
1/3 cup molasses
1 teaspoon salt
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk

3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground clove
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ to 1 teaspoon lemon zest

To put the pie all together, scoop the nuts into the bottom of the pie shell, any sauce involved should be added as well. Then, pour pumpkin mix (which is very soupy) into the shell until the shell is COMPLETELY full. The pumpkin mixture does not rise at all, so it will not overflow while baking. Carefully transfer the pie to the oven. (I actually put the shell on the oven shelf and then pour in the pumpkin mix, that way all you have to do is carefully slide the shelf back into the oven and close the door.)

Bake at 425 for 15 min then turn the oven down to 350 and bake until done, 30- 40 min (I think). A knife inserted about 1.5 inches from center should come out clean. The center is still a little sloppy since it finishes cooking on the countertop!

Serve warm, cold, lukewarm, whatever. With whipped cream or not, with coffee or not, this pumpkin pie does not need whipped cream to be tasty, the pie speaks for itself. Enjoy the tasty delicious pie!