Mocha Mousse Pie

‘Tis the season for lots of sweet treats!  My husband requested a chocolate dessert for Thanksgiving. This naturally gluten-free pie fit the bill. Perhaps you’ll find a place for this on your holiday table.

I took this recipe from The Pioneer Woman. The only adjustment I made was to decrease the amount of sugar and still I think it’s plenty sweet. This pie is fluffy, yet rich, and incredibly delicious with notes of chocolate and coffee shining through. I love the nut crust on this, but you could just as easily use a crushed cookie crust, regular pre-baked pie crust, or even just serve the filling in cups without any sort of crust. As a disclaimer, this pie does contain raw eggs.

MOCHA MOUSSE PIE
(very slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman)
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Crust
1 cup Pecans, Finely Chopped
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 ounces, weight Semi Sweet Chocolate Grated
2 Tablespoons Kahlua
Dash Of Salt

Filling
2 sticks Butter, room temperature
1-1 1/4 cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Instant Coffee Granules
1 teaspoon Kahlua
3 ounces, weight Semi-sweet (or Bittersweet) Chocolate
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
4 whole Large Eggs

To make the crust, combine chopped pecans (which you can chop in the food processor, if desired), brown sugar, grated chocolate, and salt. Stir with a fork to combine, and then drizzle in Kahlua, stirring until combined. Press mixture into a pie pan, bringing it up the sides a bit. Set aside (do not bake) or refrigerate until needed.

In small microwave safe bowl, melt 3 ounces of unsweetened baking chocolate until smooth and completely melted (about 45 seconds on high). Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter, sugar, 2 teaspoons instant coffee, and 1 teaspoon Kahlua until fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes. When melted chocolate is cooled, drizzle it into the butter/sugar mixture as it beats on medium speed; use a rubber spatula to get it all out. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Beat the mixture thoroughly until combined, scraping the sides if necessary.

On medium speed, add the four eggs, one at a time, over a period of 20 minutes; leave about 5 minutes between each egg addition (allowing the mixer to run for 5 minutes with each egg addition). Scrape sides of bowl halfway through this process. The filling will gradually lighten in color and become fluffier. Pour filling into the pie crust.

Smooth out the pie filling and place pie in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours.

Serve with whipped cream and more grated chocolate, optional.

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Sweet Potato Maple Bacon Pie

Deliciouness abounds in this pie. I absolutely love the combination of sweet and salty. The candied bacon and maple cream kind of stole the show – as in, I could eat a whole bowl of just those two combined. 🙂 Seriously though, this pie was good! I served it to my parents and husband and they all proclaimed it delicious and they were all surprised at how much they LOVED the bacon.

Personally, I still like pumpkin pie better than sweet potato (it’s a texture thing) but I would totally make this again and serve it to guests and especially find more uses for that bacon. This is really an awesome twist on the traditional pumpkin pie. I’m already dreaming of the leftovers for breakfast. [Just a small note – the bacon looks dark in the picture but it was not burned I assure you!]

There are a few steps to this pie but it is not difficult and the steps do not need to be completed all at once.

SWEET POTATO MAPLE BACON PIE
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1 pie crust in a pie pan (you can make your own or buy a prepared one)
2 c. pureed sweet potato
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 c. evaporated milk
2 Tb. maple syrup
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine the sweet potato, milk, egg, and maple syrup in the blender. Add the spices. Pour into the crust. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes.  Then decrease oven to 350° and bake for 35-45 minutes until set.

CANDIED BACON
3 strips bacon, roughly chopped (mine was fairly thick)
1 tsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. brown sugar

Toss the bacon with brown sugar and maple syrup. Cook until crisp stirring and moving continually. It cooks fairly quickly and you need to keep an eye on it. Drain and cool completely.

MAPLE CREAM
1 c. whipped cream
2 Tb. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Just before serving, whip the cream for 1 minute. Add maple syrup and vanilla. Whip until stiff peaks form. Spread on top of pie. Top with candied bacon pieces.

Nantucket Cranberry Pie

Cranberries are in abundance this time of year and this dessert is a perfect way to capture the beauty and flavor of the cranberry. This is really more like an upside down cake, but for whatever reason, it’s called a pie. It’s super simple, so if you aren’t a lover of all things pie, you might just enjoy adding this sweet treat to your Thanksgiving Day dessert spread. I ate the entire pan myself, (granted, it was just a half a recipe, I didn’t eat it all in one day, and my husband apparently doesn’t like cranberries, but still…) and enjoyed every bite!

I found this recipe on The Pioneer Woman blog. But I did decrease the sugar from her recipe. I like my cranberries to retain a little bit of their tartness. If I make this again, I think I’ll add a bit of orange zest to the cranberries and maybe a squeeze or two of fresh orange juice. Or, you could do as I did here and add the orange zest to your whipped cream! Also, if you don’t care for the flavor of almond extract, you might try substituting vanilla extract.

I made this gluten-free by subbing in my gluten-free all-purpose blend and it worked out great.

NANTUCKET CRANBERRY PIE
(slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman)
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2 heaping cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 c. chopped pecans or walnuts
1/2 c. sugar
orange zest (opt.)
1 c. flour (or gluten-free flour blend)
3/4-1 c. sugar (depending on how tart/sweet you want it)
1 stick of butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp coarse sugar for sprinkling (opt.)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Liberally butter a cake or pie pan. Pour in the cranberries. Sprinkle with the chopped pecans, orange zest, and 1/2 c. sugar.

In a bowl, combine flour, 3/4-1 c. sugar, melted butter, eggs, almond extract, and salt. Stir gently to combine the ingredients.

Slowly pour the batter over the cranberries, making sure to cover the surface. Spread gently, if needed.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. If using coarse sugar, 5 minutes before removing from the oven, sprinkle the surface with 1 Tbsp of coarse sugar.

Serve with freshly whipped cream or ice cream.

Baker’s Delight: Peach Pie

Summer fruit pie has been on my mind. So, last week I made three batches of pie crust and froze two. The other one I made into a peach-blueberry pie. Each bite was like a taste of summer!

Since it’s just Jeremy and I here, a 9-inch pie is a little too much for us. I found a lovely 6-inch Pyrex pie plate at the thrift store and it’s become my go-to pie baking pan. One 9-inch pie crust becomes a top and bottom crust for this little pan. When I made this pie, I cut the recipe in half, but aired on the side of a heavy-half. If you want to make the recipe into a peach-blueberry pie, substitute a cup or two of blueberries for some of the peaches.

PEACH (-Blueberry) PIE
(slightly adapted from Pie Pie Pie)
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Basic pie dough for a 9-inch, 2-crust pie (I made a gluten-free pie crust)

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (for gf, use a gf all-purpose flour)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 pounds peaches, halved, pitted, and thinly sliced, to make about 7 cups fruit
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Roll out half of the dough for the bottom crust and fit it into a 9-inch pie pan. Roll out the remaining dough for the top crust and set it aside on a sheet of waxed paper.

In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt with whisk until evenly mixed. Add the lemon juice and peaches and toss until the fruit is completely coated with the sugar mixture. Pile the peaches in the dough-lined pan, mounding them slightly in the center. Scatter the butter over the fruit.

Put on the top crust, then trim and flute the edges. With the point of a sharp knife, cut several vents in the top for steam to escape.

Bake for 25 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F. Bake for another 25-30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and you see juices bubbling through the vents.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Baker’s Delight: Strawberry Pie

I love fresh strawberry pie. It makes me think of my mom, as I associate it with her late April birthday. I used local strawberries to make this lightly sweetened pie. I wasn’t in the mood to work on a pie crust, so I just made a coconut crust (shredded coconut and melted butter), but really, I’d recommend going to the trouble of a regular pie crust. Strawberry pie doesn’t keep fabulously well, so you’ll want to eat it within a couple days.

I have this lovely cookbook devoted solely to pies! I found this recipe in there–fresh berries are mixed in with mashed and lightly cooked berries. It’s super easy, delicious, and isn’t the deep red color of this gorgeous?

FRESH STRAWBERRY PIE
(from Pie Pie Pie by John Phillip Carroll)
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Prepare  your basic pie crust recipe for a 9-inch pie shell

1 3/4 to 2 pounds fresh strawberries, 6-8 cups, depending on berry size
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Whipped Cream

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Roll out the dough and fit it into a 9-inch pie pan. Trim and flute the edges, then bake the pie shell fully. Cool completely before filling.

Dump the berries into a colander and rinse them. Drain well, shaking to remove excess water, then remove the stems. Pick out about 1 cup of whole berries and reserve for garnish. Cut half of the remaining berries into thick slices (or leave them whole if they are small) and set aside.

Put the remaining whole berries in a medium saucepan and crush them with a potato masher. Add the cornstarch, sugar, and salt and stir until the cornstarch has dissolved completely. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils and thickens. Reduce the heat and cook gently for about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, then cool for 20-30 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times, until just faintly warm.

Stir in the sliced strawberries. Pour the mixture into the pie shell, and refrigerate for 2-3 hours, until the filling is softly set.

Before serving, prepare the whipped cream and spread it over the pie. Garnish with the whole berries.

Cook’s Note: If you want to make this gluten-free, just make a gluten-free pie crust. The pie filling is naturally gluten-free.

Additional Note: The photo above is far from my most stellar effort, but alas it was the best I could get. The coconut crust didn’t cut well, so creating a pie-shaped piece wasn’t all that easy. But, it was tasty!

Baker’s Delight: Pie

(Alaina) This past week, my November Martha Stewart Living arrived – it’s a new subscription for me. The cover had delicious looking pies. So when I wanted to try a new pie to suggest for the blog, I turned to this issue. I selected the Pear Streusel which is actually a pear and cranberry pie. It is fabulous. Perfect balance of flavors – sweet and tart.

PEAR STREUSEL PIE
(Adapted from Martha Stewart Living, November 2010)
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1 recipe single pie crust

FOR THE CRANBERRY SAUCE
6 oz. fresh or thawed frozen cranberries (1 1/2 cups )
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. water
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

FOR THE STREUSEL TOPPING
1 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. packed light-brown sugar (I did a little less)
3/4 c. old-fashioned oats
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Coarse salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

FOR THE FILLING
1 1/2 lb. firm, ripe pears, such as Bosc or Bartlett, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1/4 c. granulated sugar
Coarse salt
2 Tb. all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Make the crust: Roll out dough to a 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Crimp edges. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the cranberry sauce: Bring cranberries, granulated sugar, water, and cinnamon to a simmer in a pot. Cook until cranberries are tender and start to burst and sauce is thick, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make the streusel: Whisk together flour, brown sugar, oats, ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers until combined and mixture resembles coarse meal with some large pieces remaining. Refrigerate.

Make the filling: Mix together pears, granulated sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, the flour, and lemon juice. Stir in cooled cranberry sauce.

Transfer filling to crust; top with streusel. Bake until filling is bubbling in the center and top is golden, about 1 hour and 10-20 minutes. Let cool.

(Stephanie) As requested, I’m sharing my pumpkin pie recipe,which is actually my mom’s recipe. When I made this pie, I made a gluten-free pie crust. This was my first venture into gluten-free pies and I was happy with the recipe I found in The Gluten-Free Good Health Cookbook by Annalise Roberts.

MOM’S PUMPKIN PIE
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1 9-inch pie crust (unbaked)
16-oz can pumpkin
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1-1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2-1 tsp ginger
1/4-1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4-1/2 tsp cloves
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 c. evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 425°. Prepare pie crust and set aside.

Thoroughly combine pumpkin, sugar, salt, and spices. Blend the eggs and evaporated milk into the pumpkin mixture.

Pour into pie shell. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes.  Then decrease oven to 350° and bake for 35-45 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

TRADITIONAL PIE CRUST
(from The Gluten-Free Good Health Cookbook)
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1 c. + 2 Tbsp Brown Rice Flour Mix*
2 Tbsp sweet rice flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces (don’t use margarine)
1 large egg
2 tsp orange juice or lemon juice

In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together the flours, sugar, xanthan gum and salt. Add the butter and mix until the mixture is crumbly and resembles a coarse meal.

Add the egg and orange juice. Mix on low speed until the dough holds together; it should not be sticky. Form the dough into a ball using your hands and place on a sheet of wax paper. Top with a second sheet of wax paper and flatten the dough into a 1-inch thickness. Roll out the dough (if it seems tacky, refrigerate for 15 minutes). Remove top wax paper and invert into 9-inch pie pan. Remove second sheet of wax paper and crimp the edges. Fill with desired filling.

Makes 1 9-inch pie crust.

*Brown Rice Flour Mix: 2 c. Brown rice flour; 2/3 c. Potato starch (not potato flour!); 1/3 c. Tapioca flour.

Here are some previous ideas!
Rustic Apple Tart
Cranberry Blueberry Pie
French Silk Pie
Cranberry Chess Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin White Chocolate Cheesecake

Gluten-free Walnut & Pecan Tart

Counter Culture

Just stepping in briefly to say hello and give you a glimpse into my kitchen in the past month. While I haven’t been able to participate in the November Magazine Review, I have been enjoying browsing through the food magazines and drooling at the amazing line-up of recipes. Midwest Living and Cooking Light were my favorites.

One Sunday this past month we enjoyed a pork roast with a dried fruit sauce that came from Southern Living. It was simple to make and not very time consuming. The results looked outstanding on the plate.

I have a cardboard box on the floor of the kitchen filled with my stash of fall squash: butternut, cheese pumpkin, acorn, and pie pumpkin. Some of the squash found their way to the mantel for my fall decoration. We’ll eat those in December and January. The recipe below was from Rachael Ray (October I think). Butter, brown sugar, and herbs formed a sweet/savory coating on these acorn squash wedges.

Mustard greens recently came in my CSA. They looked different from the ones in the grocery store. I was so surprised to find they were mild and delicious when sautéed with onion and olive oil.

The kids and I are working on US geography this year — studying one state a week. The highlight for me is finding food specific to each state. Rhode Island was our last state and we ate “pizza strips” with “coffee milk.” I can hardly believe they call cold, sauce-less pizza a delicacy. Ours was warm, and it was good.

Something I haven’t made in many years is Cornish Pasties. I used to make them regularly for picnics as they are delicious and filling. Needing a portable dinner for a trip I decided to pull them out of the file. I used whole wheat flour for the pastry and they tasted great!

CORNISH PASTIES
(The Picnic Gourmet)
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Filling:
1 lb. raw beef cut into ¼” cubes
3 raw potatoes, diced
5 green onions minced (or one small reg. onion)
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
dash pepper
seasonings of your choice: garlic powder, steak seasoning, etc.

Crust:
1 c. butter
4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking powder
ice water

Mix together the filling ingredients.

Mix together flour, salt and baking powder. Cut in butter and mix with hands until small crumbs form. Add ice water to make a workable dough. Knead a few times. Divide into small balls. Roll balls into circles. Place a spoon or two of meat filling to one side of the circle. Dip your finger in water and “paint” the edge of the circle.  Fold dough over to form half circles. Seal edges. Brush with milk. Bake at 425 for one hour.

Serves 8. Easily halved.

Another recipe I recently tried recently was Butternut Squash with Pecans and Vanilla. It was nice, but next time I’ll throw the vanilla extract in at the end so we can taste it more.

The apples leftover from my orchard trip were slowly turning nasty. The answer to that problem was pies. Lots of them. Yum, yum, yum! Pie for breakfast three days in a row is such a treat! (I used part whole-wheat crust and only a dab of honey to sweeten them.)

I can’t believe I’ve had zinnias blooming up to the first week of November! They brighten our table and mix well with the pumpkins.

I hope you all are eagerly anticipating Thanksgiving and thinking ahead to what you’re going to cook!

Gluten-free Goodness: Dutch Apple Pie

Apple pie is one of my very favorite comfort foods. I could eat it day in and day out. And, I would much rather have a pie than a cake for just about any occasion. So, when contemplating gluten-free, it’s the pie crust that sticks in my mind as the hardest thing to say good-bye too. That was until I found this recipe. After trying out this pie crust, and realizing how good it was, I would not be afraid to go gluten-free.

GLUTEN FREE DUTCH APPLE PIE
(crust: adapted from Mennonite Girls Can Cook)
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6-8 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. cinnamon

3/4 cup rice flour (white or brown)
1/2 cup nuts (pecans, almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts)
4 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. honey (or one good glug from the honey jar)

Crust:

1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup potato starch (NOT potato flour)
1 cup rice flour
dash of sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
rounded teaspoon of xanthan gum
1 cup butter
1 egg
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1/4 cup ice water
rice flour for rolling

Blend together the flours, xathan gum, salt and sugar. (Flours for gluten-free baking must be well-blended.)

Cut in butter.  Beat egg , add vinegar and ice-water.  Stir into flour mixture forming a ball.  Add a little more water if too dry. (Note: I find the dough almost wet, but it still works.)  You may knead the dough a bit since rice flour crust can stand handling. Knead until you have a smooth soft ball.

Refrigerate dough for 1 hour or more to chill.

Roll out between wax paper dusted with sweet rice flour. I scotch tape the wax paper to the counter to keep from sliding. Peel off top layer of wax paper , flip over onto pie plate and then carefully peel off the other layer of wax paper and fit pastry into pie shell fluting edges.

Filling: Mix together apple slices, lemon juice and cinnamon. If you like a sweet pie, add 1/2 cup sugar. Place the apples inside of the lined pie plate.

In a food processor, mix together the rice flour, nuts, butter and honey. It will be a wet consistency. Drop the nut mixture in globs on top of the apples.

Bake at 375′ until the apples are tender and the topping browned (Note: because of the honey, the topping will probably brown faster than the apples cook.)

Crust makes enough for 2 single crust pies so you can either freeze the extra dough, or double the filling recipe and make 2 pies at once.

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!

cranberry pie
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.

pumpkin

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!