Pie Therapy

Recipes and ruminations on pie.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Pineapple Strawberry Pie

My sister asked for a pie for her birthday. She gave me my Farm Journal pie book for Xmas last year, and wanted to pick a pie from it. We had actually been fighting beforehand. A decade and a country are between us and sometimes the differences turn acid.

Strangely, it made it hard to make a pie when I was mad. But I pushed through. The idea of strawberry and pineapple, and cooked strawberry, didn't sound appealing. But then it wasn't my pie. So I made it anyway.

Strawberry Pineapple Pie with my mods, from Farm Journal's

  • Double Crust
  • 1 c sugar
  • 4 T cornstarch
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 c strawberry
  • 2 c pineapple
  • 2 T butter
Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir in strawberries and pineapple. Put in bottom crust, dot with butter. Put on the top crust, I did lattice. Bake at 400 50 minutes.

It actually was pretty good. Not too sweet; it didn't need ice cream. It was more like a tart. And, I have moved back to all butter crusts. After a number of crusts using shortening, I just decided butter was better.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

5 Pie Thanksgiving including Key Lime Slice

We decided to do Thanksgiving at our house this year. It started out at 16 and quickly moved to 18, then 21. Cooking is shared among hubby's family members, very nice - and makes the event much less of a massive endeavor.

We decided to put together both our dining room tables and use all - I mean all - of the china and silver. The table looked GREAT, thanks to the limoges, wedgewood, Will's sister's table decoration, and Will's cousins napkin design and handmade place cards.

As one Aunt does the turkey and fixings, we decided to focus on before and after. Hubby smoked, and of course, I did pie. I decided to go all out and do 5 pies: 2 pumpkin, one apple, one pecan and a new concoction, key lime slice.

I am not going to place all the recipes for this one. Many of them are repeats. My pecan pie recipe is my standard with british cane syrup instead of Karo - yum. The pumpkin, truth be told, I used the Libby's on-the-can recipe. But with one I sprinkled about a 1/2 c. of candied ginger on top. With the Apple, I did a double crust and used cider instead of water in the crust.

The experiment was a new recipe -

Key Lime Slice pie with a Ginger crust


  • A box of Ananas ginger cookies from Ikea
  • A stick of butter
  • 1 cup of thinly sliced key limes. Around 15 or one package.
  • 1 1/2 c water
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 7 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 T butter
  • 3 whites
  • 1 t cream of tartar
  • 6 T sugar
Simmer the limes in the water for 10 minutes until the rind is soft. Add 1 c sugar and let it simmer. Mix the rest of the sugar, with the egg yolks, flour and salt. Stir some of the lemon mixture into the yolk mixture. Then pour all the yolk mixture in the simmering pan. Cook over low heat until clear. Add the butter and cool to room temp. Pour into the crust.

Whip the eggs until they form soft peaks. Whip in the cream of tartar. Whip to stiff peaks. Slowly whip in the sugar.

Put the meringue on.

The pumpkins were good as was the pecan but not amazing. My crust on the pecan was a little tough. The apple was good, and the cider did give a subtle yum to the crust. The lime was a clear winner. Hubby loved it, definitely good use for key lime. He thought though that the lime rind was too tough. I thought it was interesting.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Mary's Asian Pear Pie

I wanted to experiment with an asian pear pie. None of my cookbooks broached the asian pear. Online I could only find one recipe from Sunset. But it was overdone with caramel toppings and so forth. What I was really worried about was the consistency of the pie; asian pears seem like they have a lot of water. The Sunset article recommended 6 T of flour, so that is what I went with.

Mary's Asian Pear Pie
  • 6 asian pears (a mix of hosui, shinseki, olympic)
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 6 T flour
  • 1/2 cup of candied ginger
  • half a lemon squeezed
  • 2 T butter
Mix all the above and put it in a double crust pie. Dot 2 T of butter underneath the crust. Bake at 425 for 50 minutes.

Again, I forgot to put on the butter under the crust and had to delicately reopen it. I also used the Gourmet crust recipe again (see last post).

The taste was fantastic. The asian pear flavor shined through. The ginger and lemon accented it well. It probably could have used a bit more lemon. And, it tasted better the second day once the flavors had time to develop.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Party Pie Comparison - Double Crust Apple

Hubby and I were invited to a pot-luck pre-thanksgiving party at a friend's house. About 30 of the hosts friends were going to be there. Hubby brought smoked salmon, and I brought a pie. I decided to tackle my first double crust pie. I also decided after all the streusel toppings, I wanted to do a more simple pie that would let the apple taste shine. I used a slightly tampered with recipe from my trusty Farm Journal's Complete Pie Book for Old-Fashioned Apple Pie.
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 2 T flour
  • 3/4 t cinnamon
  • 1/8 t nutmeg
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 6 c apples (about 5 or 6)
Combine sugar, flour cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Mix lightly and thoroughly with Apples. Heap in bottom crust. Dot with butter. Adjust top crust. Cut steam vents. Bake in hot oven 425 for 60 minutes.

I also have some organic non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening so I decided to try Gourmet's pie crust recipe, to try it out. (for a double crust)
  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 9 T water
You make it like all other crust. Cut the fat into the salt and flour. Mix in the water a few T at a time.

I forgot to put the butter on the pie. So I had to remove the top crust and dot the butter on. And, it was a little crumbly anyhow. I also sprinkled the crust with cinammon sugar. It wasn't as pretty as I had hoped. But it smelled great.

So, we brought it to the party. And, boy was there a lot of pie competition. There was a peach - apple, a pumpkin, and a pecan. The pumpkin and pecan were store bought - I could tell. But I was worried about the peach-apple. It looked SOOO beautiful compared to mine, perfect actually.

But the truth was in the pudding - an old name for pies. The store boughts were from Whole Foods. The pecan was sickly sweet and soggy, not at all worth the calories. The pumkin was boring. The crusts were bland and store bought. And according to the Post Food section this Wednesday, Whole Foods makes the best of the store boughts.

Then I tried the peach-apple. I had actually asked the maked how he made his beatiful crust, half butter crisco and half regular. And, boy did it taste like it. The crust was beautiful, but it tasted yuck, just like crisco. Can't beat butter. And he used granny smith and canned peaches. It was pretty underwhelming.

What the Old-Fashioned Pie lacked in beauty, it made up for in taste. It was fantastic. You could taste the different apples as I had intended and the crust was crispy and delicate. Hubby was very upset to have to leave it behind. And, many others at the party commented on the great taste (even going for seconds).