Happy Early Pi Day!

Happy early Pi Day! I thought about waiting until tomorrow, Pi Day (3.14), to talk about pie, but honestly, which is better? Making a pie on Pi Day, or making the pie the day before so you can eat it on Pi Day? I’d rather you also have the option of making a pie in advance.

I wanted to give you a new pie recipe for Pi Day, but whenever I thought about pie over the last few weeks, all I could think about was this Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie that was my first baking project after Amelia was born. So I made it again yesterday (using a frozen pie crust and forgetting to toast my oats), and all the goodness I remembered it being – a chewy oatmeal cookie-like layer over a layer of chocolate. I adore chocolate and oats together, and I don’t combine the two nearly so often as I should.

I have two other favorite pies on this site. First is Key Lime Pie. It is about the easiest pie you could ever possibly make. If you use a store-bought crust and use bottled juice (which I have almost always done), you can make the pie in less than 30 minutes. (Unfortunately, you still have to wait for the pie to chill.) I have two recipes on here, and both are rather good, but I’d probably make this one again.

My other favorite is Coconut Cream Pie. It’s a stirred vanilla custard you make on the stove, with lots of coconut added to it. Sometimes I really crave it, and I have no trouble eating almost the whole pie over a few days, even without Alex’s help. Sometimes I consider finding a different recipe for it, but I’m still really satisfied with this one.

Even if you’re not mathematically inclined, please take tomorrow as an excuse to eat some pie, like I do!

Blueberry Pie (updated)

Happy Pi Day!

blueberrypie2016.2

I had a bunch of frozen blueberries, so I made a blueberry pie. I have a cold right now,  so this recipe was about as much effort as I wanted to put into a pie – minimal.

I made this recipe in 2010 when I first started this blog, and it’s still a good, straightforward pie. Not too sweet. I think it turned out better this time. The recipe called for optional cinnamon, which I omitted. I think some lemon zest (probably one lemon) would be a nice addition. I used frozen wild blueberries but extended baking time by about 15 minutes.

I used refrigerated pie crusts as well, since I just don’t have time or inclination to make my own. I find that refrigerated pie crusts stick to whatever pie plate I use, but I always forget to grease the plate in advance. Don’t make my mistake!

blueberrypie2016.1 Continue reading Blueberry Pie (updated)

Caramel Apple Pie

I love fall. It’s hard to believe how far into fall we are. However, it’s also hard to believe I have an 8-month old.

One of the things that I enjoy, and that I missed doing for a few years, is apple picking. I finally went in St. Louis last year right before Alex and I moved. So I decided I had to see if there was a good orchard in New Jersey where I could get good apples. The one I heard of was near Philly, so I drove up there when my parents came to visit.

We got so many apples. Somehow apple pie came up. Mom wondered if you could make it without cinnamon, and I didn’t see why not. I told my mom that I would make an apple pie as long as I didn’t have to find the recipe for it. She found this Caramel Apple Pie recipe on All Recipes.

It didn’t turn out perfectly the first time, but it was tasty enough to tweak to try a second time. It’s a nice change from heavily spiced, overly sweet apple pie. I think this will be the apple pie recipe I make for a while.

caramelapplepie1

Continue reading Caramel Apple Pie

Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie

Our baby is one month old! Recently my life has been changing diapers, nursing, and napping. It’s a good thing that I stocked my freezer with meals and all the bread I made last December, because we’ve gone through just about all of it. I don’t mind emptying my freezer or taking care of Amelia at all, but it does mean that I haven’t had two hands available to do cooking or typing/blogging. As baby gets bigger, spending time in the kitchen or on the computer should become a little easier, and I can keep updating this blog!

The only thing I made before last Saturday was baked oatmeal. It was very quick and easy to make in the evenings, and I only made it to streamline my breakfast during the week. My friend Jen reminded me that last Saturday was Pi Day. Was I going to make a special pie for a super-special Pi Day, since it was actually 3/14/15, the extended digits of Pi? It was a shame not to make a pie, since Alex would be home all day and able to watch baby. I hadn’t planned to make anything elaborate, but then I saw that Smitten Kitchen had posted the recipe for a Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie, and although it was more complicated than the super-easy Key Lime Pie I made recently, I couldn’t resist it.

This pie wasn’t too difficult overall, but it was a little more involved than I probably should have tackled with a 4-week old at home. When you have the time to make it, though, it’s totally worth it. As you can see, it didn’t last long in this house.

blackbottomoatmealpie

Continue reading Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie

Key Lime Pie

Did you know that January 23 was National Pie Day? (Not to be mistaken with Pi Day, which is 3/14, but can be celebrated equally well with pie.) The only reason I know is because I looked up US food holidays last month when Alex told me that it was National Cookie Day (which naturally prompted me to make chocolate chip cookies).

A pie holiday, plus a recent post from Smitten Kitchen, spurred me to make Key Lime Pie on Friday. I love making Key Lime Pie; it’s always very quick and simple to bake. I’ve always from the recipe from the Joy of Baking. This time, I mainly followed the Smitten Kitchen recipe, although I found the differences between the recipes to be minimal. Alex and I were very happy with the results. The pie disappeared very quickly.

keylimepie2015

Continue reading Key Lime Pie

Slab Pie

At some point in July, I recalled that I’d read once about a flat pie. Not a galette or a free-form, open-pie. A large, flat, double-crusted pie that was perfect for sharing with a large group of people, without a high ridge of crust along the edge that I can never get through since there’s never enough filling to go along with it.

The internet confirmed what I remembered. Slab pies do indeed exist! I’d bought blackberries on a whim, since they were at a great price, but eating a few reminded me that I still don’t like blackberries that much on their own, even if I do have relatively good fruit. They were definitely destined for pie.

I settled on the Slab Pie recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I’ve made 2 versions of it – one with blackberries, cherries, and blueberries, and the other with peaches and blueberries. The berry one was fine, but peach-blueberry won by a large margin in my book. I also made a margarine crust (pictured below), and a butter crust. Definitely go with a butter crust.

slabpie1 Continue reading Slab Pie

Vegan Pecan Pie

I made a fantastic pecan pie last weekend – and it just happened to be vegan. You heard that right – an egg-free and dairy-free pecan pie. It was quite good. Just as sweet and flavorful as the original.

We had Friendsgiving over the weekend, and one of our friends is vegan. She requested that I make a vegan dessert, and while I enjoy simplicity, I don’t always go the easy route. I thought about a fruit pie or cobbler, which is pretty easy to veganize, but if I wondered, what is something that my friend wouldn’t usually be able to have? Pecan pies came to mind. It’s easy to substitute shortening or oil for butter in a recipe, but the eggs that go in pecan pie would be much harder to replace.

I came across this Best Vegan Pecan Pie recipe, and without trying other recipes, I suspect that it might be the very best. It has a half-whole wheat crust and a filling that you boil on the stove briefly, and then bake. Without eggs, what thickens it? Applesauce, cornstarch, and a secret ingredient – saltine crackers.

Vegan Pecan Pie
Vegan Pecan Pie

You can check out the original recipe via the link above. Here’s how I’d make it again. Continue reading Vegan Pecan Pie

Fresh Blueberry Pie with Flaky All-Butter Pie Crust

Can you believe it’s already mid-August? The summer has flown by, it seems. In a lot of ways, summer isn’t so different from any other time of year when you’re not in school. My job was tied to the academic year until about 2 years ago, and although August still seemed to arrive sooner than I thought it should, at least I knew it was coming. Summer’s not so different from any other time of year when you’re not tied to school. The weather’s just a little (and sometimes a lot) warmer. While avoiding back-to-school shoppers the other day, I discovered that Target has long-sleeved pajamas on display already. Who’s ready for long sleeves and pants? I’m not yet, no matter how cold my office may be.

My draft recipe reviews are full of things that I’ve made this summer and just haven’t gotten a chance to write about. I’d better get to writing! For the 4th of July (so long ago!), I made Strawberry Summer Cake, which is one of my favorite recipes, and this Fresh Blueberry Pie.

I even made the all-butter Flaky Pie Crust recipe that was recommended to go with the pie – and I used my food processor to make it, which is something I’ve never tried before. I’d been curious about making a pie crust in a food processor for a while, so I was happy to have the opportunity to play around.

Fresh Blueberry Pie
Fresh Blueberry Pie

Continue reading Fresh Blueberry Pie with Flaky All-Butter Pie Crust

Peanut Butter Pie

Would you believe that I didn’t own a food processor until recently? 500+ recipes I’ve made and blogged about over the past 3 years, and yet I didn’t have this kitchen appliance. I thought about getting one from time to time, but I continued to put off the purchase. I finally read enough recipes that I needed a food processor for, so I took some gift cards and took the plunge, buying a 14-cup Kitchenaid model. I think it’s the most expensive thing I’ve ever bought for my kitchen myself.

I haven’t done much with the food processor yet; I made hot chocolate mix and sliced vegetables for salad, but that’s about it. One of the things I planned to use it for was making homemade almond and peanut butter at some point. So of course when I saw Alton Brown make peanut butter, and then Peanut Butter Pie, I could hardly wait to use the recipe to test my new food processor.

Peanut Butter Pie
Peanut Butter Pie

Continue reading Peanut Butter Pie

Apple Galette

Alex and I went to visit friends in Boston this past weekend. Our original flight back to St. Louis was cancelled due to the hurricane, so we enjoyed the chance to stay a little longer with our friends Randy and Sarah. (Thank you again for putting us up!) What better way to enjoy an extra day of vacation and an impromptu day off of work than by doing a little baking?

We’d made a trip to an apple orchard earlier in the weekend, so we had tons of delicious apples at our disposal. Sarah had never made a pie crust before, so I recommended we try an Apple Galette, which is really just a free-form apple pie.

Apple Galette

Continue reading Apple Galette