Baker’s Delight: Pie

Today we are going to share with you several different pie recipes and two pie crust recipes as well. Any of these would be perfect for your holiday celebrations!

We have collaborated on this post so our names appear next to the recipes we have contributed. We hope you enjoy!

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RUSTIC APPLE TART – Heather

3 1/2 – 4 lbs granny smith apples (about 10-12 apples)
1/4 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 c. flour

1 1/2 Tbsp. butter
cream or milk for glazing

1 recipe of pie dough (enough for a 2 crust pie)

Peel, core and slice the apples into a large bowl. Add sugars, lemon juice, cinnamon and flour.

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Roll out half of the pie dough into a large circle and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or well-greased.

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Place half of the apples into the center of the dough. (If half of your apples seems to much, use a bit less.)

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Place a few pats of butter on top of the apples. Fold the edges of the dough over the apples.

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Brush the top of the tart with cream or milk and bake at 350F for 70-80 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly and tender. Makes 2 tarts. (This recipe is easily halved.)

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PIE CRUST – Heather
(original recipe from Martha Stewart)

2 1/2 c. flour
1 c. butter (8 oz.) — use either salted or unsalted, whatever your preference
ice cold water

Combine the flour and butter in the food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Tip crumbs into a bowl and add just enough ice water to make a good dough. Knead briefly and divide into two rounds. Wrap with plastic wrap or waxed paper and chill.

If making by hand, rub butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add ice cold water as above.

Makes 2 pie crusts, usually with a bit left over.

This is the first year I’ve made this cranberry-blueberry pie and it is amazing. Blueberry pie is one of my very favorite kinds of pies, and the addition of cranberries, along with orange, makes for a very festive dessert. I will be making this recipe over and over again.

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CRANBERRY-BLUEBERRY PIE – Heather
(from The Thanksgiving Table by Diane Morgan)

1/2 small orange, including peel, seeded and quartered
12 oz. fresh or frozen cranberries, picked over
4 c. fresh or frozen blueberries (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 2/3 c. sugar
5 Tbsp. cornstarch

Coarsely grind the orange in  a food processor or blender. In a large saucepan, combine all the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened and the sugar has dissolved, about 4 minutes. Set aside and cool completely.

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Preheat the oven to 400F. Roll half of the pie crust out and line your pie pan. Spoon the cooled filling into the pie shell, mounding it in the center. Roll the second half of the pie crust and drape over the pie. Trim the excess dough and crimp the edges. Cut slits in the top of the pie to allow steam to escape. Brush the pie with milk and sprinkle with sugar.

Place the pie in the oven and place a rimmed baking sheet below it (to catch drips). Bake until the crust is golden brown and the center is bubbling, 50+ minutes. Cool on rack. Makes 1 pie.

I first started making this pie for one of my brother-in-laws. It is his favorite and I had never attempted it. I must say, it is now one of the favorites among much of the family. The silky texture and decadent richness are so wonderful!

This pie can easily be made gluten free by omitting the crust and making it as a mousse in ramekins or using a gluten free cookie crust.

FRENCH SILK PIE – Alaina

2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar (superfine sugar would be an excellent choice)
4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs*
1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked

In the top of a double boiler, heat chocolate, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool to lukewarm.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until pale yellow and very fluffy**. Blend in the melted chocolate and vanilla. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat in the eggs, one at a time, taking 5 minutes for each egg*. Pour filling into baked pie shell. Refrigerate 4 hours before serving.

I top with shaved chocolate (white & dark) and/or fresh whipped cream!

*I use farm fresh eggs since they are not cooked in this recipe. The FDA recommends that children and pregnant women not consume raw eggs.

**Beating the butter and sugar until very fluffy and adding the other ingredients and beating for the times mentioned is absolutely important. Do not skip those steps or you will have a grainy pie.

This pie is scrumptious! A little tart, a little custard, and a nice crisp top. It was so good. I made it once a few years ago and hadn’t made it again until recently and it received great reviews. It will definitely be appearing at our Thanksgiving gathering this year!

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CRANBERRY CHESS PIE – Alaina
(Williams-Sonoma’s Pie & Tart Book)

1 rolled-out basic pie dough (recipe below)
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted
1/8 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. buttermilk
1 tsp. cider vinegar
2 tsp. orange zest, finely grated
2 c. fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsly chopped (use a food processor or food chopper)

Roll pie dough out and transfer to a 9-inch pie dish. Crimp edges and refrigerate or freeze until firm. About 3o minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Partially bake the pie shell in the lower third of the oven. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool.

In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, melted butter, and salt. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Stir in the flour, then the buttermilk, vinegar, and orange zest, mixing well. Stir in the cranberries. Scrape the mixture into the partially baked pie shell.

Bake the pie in the 375 degree oven for 50-60 minute or until the top is lightly golden brown and domed and the filling is firm. Cool completely. Serve at room temperature. Makes 1 pie.

PIE CRUST – Alaina
(Williams-Sonoma)
1 1/4 c. flour
1 Tb. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. unsalted butter (I’ve used salted before)
3 Tb. ice cold water (may need a bit more if not coming together)

Mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal with butter no larger than small peas. Add the water and mix with a fork just until the dough pulls together.

Pat into a ball and flatten into a disk. Lightly flour the work surface and rolling pin then roll out. Re-flour as needed and turn dough to keep from sticking.

Makes 1 crust.

What would Thanksgiving be without a pumpkin pie? I like pumpkin meringue pies, frozen pumpkin pies, pumpkin custard pies, and pretty much any other variation on the pumpkin pie. And yet, there is nothing quite like a piece of traditional pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream on top. Not too sweet and just the right amount of creaminess.

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PUMPKIN PIE – Alaina
(adapted from Better Homes & Garden)

2-1/4  cups canned pumpkin (about 1-1/3 15-ounce cans)
3/4  cup sugar
1 – 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2  teaspoon ground ginger
1/4  teaspoon ground nutmeg
3  eggs, slightly beaten
3/4  cup whole milk, half-and-half or light cream

For filling, in a large bowl combine pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Add eggs. Beat lightly with a fork just until combined. Gradually add half-and-half; stir until combined. Pour filling into prepared pastry shell.

To prevent over-browning, loosely cover edge of the pastry shell with foil or a pie guard. Carefully transfer pie to oven rack. Bake in the 375 degrees F oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil. Bake 25 to 30 minutes more or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate within 2 hours. Serve with fresh whipped cream!

* Variation: Add 1/2 c. apple butter and 1 Tb. flour and decrease pumpkin by 1/4 c. Delicious!

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4 responses

  1. yeah, now my mouth is watering.:) that tart looks pretty simple and delicious. maybe since i’m home today, i should attempt something. i can’t wait for thanksgiving! and cranberry chess pie! (and pumpkin too:).

  2. Now I want some pie!
    #1 I wish my husband could eat regular pie crusts (haven’t attempted anything gluten-free there)
    #2 I wish my husband loved pie as much as I do
    #3 This makes me enjoy Thanksgiving and other celebrator occasions even more!

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