Friday, December 30, 2011

Black Forest Pie (4 Stars)

Black Forest Pie

We tried a couple of pies ( Coconut Cream and Banana Cream) since our last post which failed miserably and resulted in a search for a double boiler at JC Penney's, Dillard's, the Bosche Center, Sears, and online. We finally picked up a Paula Dean set at Sears. We will revisit those pies in the future hopefully with better success. We really liked the Black Forest Pie from the Lion House Pie Book, kind of like a brownie in a pie shell. It takes several steps to make but it wasn't that difficult. We made it for the annual trek to Aspen Grove and had to divide it into 12ths to give maximum tasting coverage. Brad tried to get the first slice by using his cute baby Paisley as a distraction and it nearly worked.

Crust: Buttermilk bottom shell

3/4 cup butter
6 Tablespoons cocoa
1 cup sugar, divided
2/3 cup ground blanched almonds
2 tablespoons flour
3 eggs, separated
2 Tablespoons water

1/3 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup canned cherry pie filling

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1-1/2 teaspoons shortening

In a saucepan, melt butter, stir in cocoa and 3/4 cup sugar. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes. Stir in almonds and flour. Add egg yolks and stir well then add water and stir. Beat egg whites in a separate bowl until foamy, add 1/2 cup sugar, beat until soft peaks form. Fold chocolate mixture into egg whites until blended. Pour mixture into unbaked shell. Bake in preheated oven at 350 F for 35 to 45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, sugar, and vanilla. Spread over warm pie, spoon sherry pie an return to oven for 5 minutes. Melt chocolate chips and shortening in a saucepan, stirring constantly. Drizzle over pie and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Adding Chocolate Glaze
Rebecca, Melissa, Melissa, Paisley, & Kevin

Rebecca, Melissa and Melissa taste testing

Neil Reed tasting the Black Forest Pie

Monday, December 19, 2011

Stayman/Winesap Apple Pie (5 stars)

Stayman/Winesap Apple Pie

Okay I cheated with this pie. We went to Pennsylvania for Nathan's graduation (MS in nuclear engineering from Penn State). The best part was spending time with Nate, Nicole, and Katie. We went to the Way Fruit Farm, which was established 1826. It's a great place, big wood barn full of good stuff, especially apples. The first thing you notice when you walk in is the smell of apples and there are apples all over. They have a huge variety of apples including Granny Smith, Cortland, Northern Spy, Ida Red, McIntosh, Jonagold, Honeycrsip, etc. We asked about cooking apples and chose Stayman/Winesap which I'd never heard of before. They turned out to be crisp but much sweeter than Granny Smith. The problem was that Nate and Nicole are in the process of moving to Chicago and the movers had already taken just about everything so we ended up cheating by using a ready made pie crust and Apple Pie Spice. The crust was pretty workable, probably because it used lard. The pie flavor was excellent but the bottom crust just didn't brown probably because we used a tinfoil pie tin which resulted in an undercooked crust. I'll keep my eye out for these apples but try to avoid using anything but a Pyrex pie plate and homemade crust.

Crust: Weigman's ready made crust


7 Stayman/Winesap Apples
3/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon Apple Pie Spice (Blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice)
3 Tablespoons Tapioca
2 Tablespoons Lemon juice
1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest

Peel, core, slice apples. Add lemon juice and zest and mix. Blend sugar, tapioca, Apple Pie Spice, then add to the apples. Pour into pie shell, cover with top crust, brush edge with egg-water mixture then seal. Brush top with egg-water mixture and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in pre-heated oven at 425 F for 20 minutes, rotate pie 180 degrees, then reduce heat to 350 and bake for 40 minutes or until filling is bubbling thickly. Cover with foil if it browns too quickly.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Raisin Cream (5 stars)

Raisin Cream Pie

Sunday was Grandma Elison's birthday and we went to Kip and Diana's to celebrate. We decided to make a Raisin Cream pie for the party. We have tried other recipes that called for the raisins to be ground-up but we like this version the best which keeps the raisins whole. Grandpa Elison said it reminded him of his mom's raisin pie. If fact he was the biggest fan. I agree with him it was good.

Crust: Buttermilk Crust

1 cup seedless raisins
1-1/2 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon butter
1 cup heavy cream

Rinse and drain the raisins. Place in pan with 1-1/2 cups ware. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Mix dry ingredients: sugar, salt, and cornstarch together in a bowl then add to raisins. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until mixture is clear and thick. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, butter, and cream. Allow mixture to cool. Place in pastry-lined pie pan, cover with top crust. Bake at 400 F for 30 minutes.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Key Lime Pie (5 star)

23 - Key Lime Pie

This is one of the easiest pies to make and one of my favorite's, in fact its probably in my top 10 list. We had been so disappointed in store-bought  and restaurant key lime pies. In fact, we were having dinner with Ramon and Marcy at Frontier Pies and we ordered key lime pie. When it came it was green, that was the first clue that it was not key lime pie, but I tasted it anyway. It was pistachio. What followed was an argument with our server where she insisted it was key lime. She never backed down and I didn't eat the pie. So, I had to make our own. We use Nellie & Joe's Key West Lime Juice and always have at least one bottle in the fridge and a graham cracker crust in the pantry. We brought this to the DOI Christmas Lunch too. One taste of real Key Lime Pie and you start to sweat - its great.

Crust: Store-bought Graham Cracker Crust


One 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks (whites not used)
1/2 cup (and a little more) Key Lime Juice

Combine condensed milk, egg yolks, key lime juice and blend until smooth. Pour filling into pie shell and bake in pre-heated oven at 350 F for 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes before refrigerating. Before serving, top with whipped cream and lime slices.

Annette and pies
DOI Christmas Lunch

Real Key Lime Pie

Jumbleberry Pie (5 Star)

22 - Jumbleberry Pie

Every year since 1993 our office has put on the "DOI Christmas Lunch." It started as a small lunch where, just five of us brought our favorite dish to share and then whatever was left over was shared with the rest of the building. It morphed into a way for us to thank everyone for their help and support during the year. Many other people help out now bringing their favorite dishes including Ron's Burrito Casserole and Linda's stuffed mushrooms. I decided to add a Jumbleberry pie which is one of my favorites. We've tried a variety of berry mixes and found out that Strawberries do not work well, they just go mushy. This pie had frozen Boysenberries, Raspberries, and Blueberries.

Crust: Buttermilk Crust

4 cups mixed berries
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 Tbs Lemon Juice
Thaw frozen berries. Prepare bottom crust and refrigerate while preparing filling. In a large bowl add lemon juice to berries. Mix cornstarch and sugar together dry and then add to berries, gently mixing to avoid mashing the berries. Pour berry mixture in pie shell, cover with top crust, brush with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar. Preheat oven to 425 F and bake pie for 20 minutes on lowest rack. Reduce heat to 350 F, rotate pie 180 degrees, bake for 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Bruce sneaking a piece of pie
Jonathan with Jumbleberry Pie

Jumbleberry Pie
Linda, Chris, and Kerry 
Jumbleberry Pie