Category Archives: Pies

Pecan Pie

Image

My sister’s pie mood was infectious apparently. Ever since she posted the all-butter crust, I had been craving a good old fashioned slice of pie. With all the pumpkin recipes floating around, I decided on a rich, satisfying.. pecan pie. Ha! Why not? It’s just as seasonal, and probably even more delicious. Now pecans are a little hard to find in Jordan, you will need to go to one of those places that sells nuts and spices and ask for raw pecans, although sometimes the larger supermarkets will have them. This pie is fantastic, with crunchy nuts overlying a sweet candy-like filling. Start with a small slice as it can be super rich. I went with a very classic recipe as that is what pecan pie to me should be like, sweet and simple.

Image

Pecan Pie (adapted from Food Network Kitchens)

Ingredients:

For the crust: use Farah’s all butter crust recipe, it will give you the most amazing flaky crust.

*tip: I didn’t roll out the crust, I just put big chunks of it in the tart pan I was using, and patted it down with my hands, it worked out perfectly

For the filling:

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 cups chopped toasted pecans
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten

Prepared the crust as instructed, and press into the tart pan (I used a 9 inch)

In medium saucepan combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and stirring constantly, continue to boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the pecans and the vanilla. Set the mixture aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. (If the crust has cooled, return it to the oven for 5 minutes to warm through.) Whisk the beaten eggs into the filling until smooth. Put the pie shell on a sheet pan and pour the filling into the hot crust.

Bake on the lower oven rack until the edges are set but the center is still slightly loose, about 40 to 45 minutes. (If the edges get very dark, cover them with aluminum foil half way during baking.) Cool on a rack. Serve slightly warm or room temperature.

Advertisements

1 Comment

by | October 21, 2012 · 1:11 pm

Chocolate Pudding Pie

Here is that pie recipe I promised you…it consists of a baked pie shell filled with the creamiest most indulgent homemade chocolate pudding contrasted nicely with slightly sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings.  The pudding is delicious because it is not overly sweet, and it gives this amazing dark chocolate taste that lends it some class.  This is not your kids average jello pudding!  I’ve been toying with the idea of making a chocolate pie for some time now, and was torn between chocolate silk pies, a chocolate pie with an oreo crust (which I will definitely have to make sometime soon) and this recipe which I got from Smitten Kitchen.  Smitten Kitchen won out, as it usually does.  I’m glad I went with this for the end of a foodie meal (recipes coming soon) because it was a real crowdpleaser, and an easy recipe to pull together to conclude a day of cooking.

Chocolate Pudding Pie adapted from Smitten Kitchen (who adapted it from Gourmet)

Chocolate Pudding Pie
One single pie crust after it’s been wrapped and chilled for at least 30 minutes

Pudding filling:
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (not more than 60% cacao), finely chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chilled heavy cream

Bittersweet chocolate shavings for garnish (optional)

Prepare pie dough: Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into an 11-inch round, then fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang, then fold overhang under and crimp edge decoratively. Prick bottom and side of shell all over with a fork, then chill shell 30 minutes. While shell chills, preheat oven to 375°F (190 C) with a baking sheet on middle rack. Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights*.

Bake on baking sheet until pastry is set and edge is pale golden, about 25 minutes. Carefully remove weights and foil, then bake shell on baking sheet until pale golden all over, 15 to 20 minutes more. Cool shell.

*NOTE, I used Deb’s technique of baking the pie crust without using pie weights (the reason pie weights are usually used is to prevent crust shrinkage) and it worked like a charm! I’d suggest using it, find it below)

Make pudding filling: Whisk together cornstarch, 1/3 cup sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, then boil, whisking, two minutes (mixture will thicken). Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate and vanilla until smooth.

Pour filling into cooled shell and chill, its surface covered with wax paper (if you want to prevent a skin from forming), until cold, at least two hours.  Mine didn’t solidify much, it was classic pudding texture which made for some messy cutting but yummy eating.  This pudding makes a great stand alone pudding recipe if you don’t want to make the whole pie!

Just before serving, beat cream with remaining two tablespoons sugar until it just holds soft peaks. Spoon onto pie and garnish with bittersweet chocolate shavings to make it look all prettty.  Pie can be made and chilled up to two days. Pie, without whipped cream, can be chilled up to one day before serving. Whipped cream is best added at the last minute before serving.

* Instead of using pie weights, Deb blind bakes pie and pastry shells by freezing the crust that has been rolled into the pie pan for 20-30 minutes until solid, then pressing a piece of buttered foil, buttered side down very tightly against the frozen shell.  You then blind bake according to regular directions (or directions in the first step above). When it is time to remove the weights,  pull back the foil, and press any part of the crust that has bubbled up gently back with the back of a spoon and continue baking the shell until light golden brown.

Leave a comment

Filed under Desserts, Pies

All Butter Flaky Pie Crust

I was in a pie mood.  Do you ever get in that mood?  So what needed to be done was to make a pie crust.  I don’t like using shortening in baking, and avoid it whenever possible, so the recipe that follows is now my tried and true recipe for pie crust that takes about 5 minutes of active work to pull together.  Some people are nervous about making any form of pastry dough, including pie crusts, but this doubt is completely unfounded because it really is such a simple thing to perfect.  I usually make double the amount the recipe specifies, which is enough for either a double crusted pie (think most apple or berry pies) or a single crusted pie(pumpkin, chocolate,etc.) with a crust leftover, stored in the freezer for whenever my next pie craving strikes.  I have a feeling it won’t be too long a respite… I made a fantastic chocolate pudding pie with this crust,  and the remaining pie crust seems destined to be used in a pie recipe that makes me drool everytime I look at it..coming soon!

Basic Pie Dough

Adapted from Annie’s Eats, click the link for some useful tips and tricks on pie crust making (originally from Williams Sonoma)
Yield: 1 9-inch pie crust*
Ingredients:
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbsp (226g). cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 tbsp. very cold water (I usually put a few pieces of ice in the water to keep it cold, and add this slowly.  When doubling the recipe I found 5 tbsp to be sufficient, you want to stop adding water just when the dough comes together)

Directions:
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix briefly to blend.  Add in the butter pieces and mix on medium-low speed to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse sand and the largest butter pieces are not much bigger than peas.  Mix in the cold water on low speed just until the dough comes together.

Shape the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  (This dough can be frozen for up to 2 months.)  Remove from the refrigerator.  Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface.  Use as directed in whatever pie recipe you desire. 

See that marbling and white flecks? Those are the intact butter pieces that will give the crust its flaky texture. This is why we don’t want to overmix!

*Double the recipe for a double crust pie, then divide the ball of dough into two equal sized portions (weighing gives the most accurate results).  Freeze one crust if you will not be using immediately, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap.

A pie recipe using this pie crust coming very soon!

3 Comments

Filed under Desserts, Pies, Tarts