Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Caramel Apple-Pecan Pie (5 stars)

Caramel Apple-Pecan Pie

Well, its hard to believe we have reached the end of 52 pies. I think the family is pretty sick of pies but they were good to humor me since last June. We learned many things along the way: I think our crusts have improved; we have a double boiler; we learned to use the bottom rack in the oven; and we have discovered some good taste combinations and some that we really don't like.

We were stumped when it came to the last pie. We considered many recipes, asked for suggestions, but in the end we turned to the "Pie" recipe book by Ken Haedrich that Nathan and Nicole gave me a couple of years ago. It has 300 recipes! And one Caramel - Apple - Pecan Recipe.

I heard somewhere that the king of candy used to be caramel until Milton Hershey developed a cheaper way to make milk chocolate for mass-production. After this recipe however, we might need to reconsider caramel. It really is a good combination.

Thanks to Kerry for putting up with my crazy idea and for tasting every single pie.  From now on we can make our favorite pies when we feel like it. Hopefully we will try a new recipe now and then.

Thanks for reading the blog everyone.

Cutting apples
Kerry cutting apples

Crust: Buttermilk Bottom Crust

Kerry and Reed
10 Caramels cut into quarters
7 cups peeled, cored, and sliced Golden Delicious apples
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla

Pecan Crumb Topping:
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup pecan halves
Pie 52
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter

Caramel and Garnish
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon water
30 caramels
Large handful of pecan halves
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Prepare bottom crust and sprinkle 10 quartered caramels in the pie shell, put into freezer until ready to use. Combine apples, brown sugar, lemon juice in a bowl, mix well. Mix add granulated sugar and cornstarch together. Mix into apples, add cinnamon and vanilla then mix.Pour into pie shell and bake in preheated oven at 400 F for 30 minutes.

Make crumb topping by combining flour, pecan halves, granulated sugar, salt and pulse in a food processor. Add chopped butter and pulse again. Remove pie from oven, reduce temperature to 375 F and add crumb topping. Tamp down lightly. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, tent with foil for the last 15 minutes to prevent over-browning. Cool for one hour

Prepare caramel by placing 30 caramels, water, and butter in a double boiler, melt and stir together. drizzle over cooled pie sprinkle chopped pecans and pecan halves on top of the drizzled pie. Let cool for another hour.

Last Pie

Natalie, Spencer and Pie: 5 days before the wedding

Nicole, Katie, and Nathan

Monday, June 18, 2012

Caramel Apple Pie (5 stars)

Caramel Apple Pie

Jim slicing apples

In the oven

In the Oven

 After a year and a half of planning we held the stake Aaronic Priesthood Encampment down at Escalante, Utah. It went really well. We had activities: Zip Line (ask about the rubber chickens), Canoeing, Challenge Course, Frisbee Golf, Iron Man, Top Shot, and Man Skills. We had hikes: Egypt 1, Egypt 2 (300 foot rappel), Pine Box/Death Hollow, etc. Some of us went down early on Friday and Saturday to get ready for the event that started on Tuesday. Saturday night we made a pie in a dutch oven. We have done it once before, we use a 14 inch oven and put a pie tin upside down on the bottom and then the pie on top of the inverted tin. We made the crust at home and carried it in a cooler but the top crust cracked so much we just crumbled it on top. In this recipe we used Granny Smith apples and then drizzled Caramel topping on top of each slice. It worked very well.

Jim, Reed, and Nate
Reed and pie

Out of the oven

Crust: Double Buttermillk Crust


3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1./2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
8 Granny Smith apples
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons cream

Topping: Smuckers caramel topping.

Prepare crust and keep in the refrigerator until ready to fill. Peel and core apples, cut into chunks. Mix dry ingredients then mix with apples and vanilla. Pour into prepared shell, cover with top crust. Cook at 375 F for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Allow to cool for 15 minutes then drizzle topping over warm pie.

Slice of Pie
Well set-up

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

2 More Pies

Only two more pies to go. I've decided that number 51 will be baked in a dutch oven, outdoors, over hot coals, but I'm at a loss as to what to make for the last pie, number 52. If you have any suggestions please let me know. Remember it must be unique from the other 51 pies.

Thanks, Reed

Monday, June 4, 2012

Coconut Cream Pie (5 stars)

Coconut Cream Pie

We were home teaching Sarah and she mentioned that her favorite pie is Coconut Cream. I thought we had made a coconut pie already but after reviewing the posts, I guess not. It is a Lion House recipe and I really like their pudding - it beats the jello pudding, cooked or instant that we used to make. We doubled the amount of coconut from the recipe because it sounded kind of skimpy. The recipe is for two pies so we can give one to Sarah. It was her idea after all. We exceeded the maximum capacity of the double boiler trying to make two pies, so for the last stage we sent to a medium pan directly on the stove at a lower temperature and it seemed to work. Here's our modified recipe.

Paula Dean Double Boiler

Crust: 2 Buttermilk bottom crusts

4 cups whole milk, divided
2 cups half-and-half
2 Tablespoons butter
1-1/4 cups sugar, divided
3 egg yolks, discard the whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
Adding garnish
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups coconut
Whipped cream and toasted coconut for garnish

Place 3 cups whole milk, half-and-half, butter and 3/4 cup sugar in double boiler and stir. Heat over medium high heat until butter is melted.

In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar and salt. Slowly add egg mixture to hot milk mixture, stirring constantly. Cook for 15 - 20  minutes stirring frequently.

In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup whole milk, and cornstarch then add slowly to hot mixture, stirring constantly. Continue stirring for about 2 minutes and then stir frequently for 15 - 20 minutes. When pudding is thick, stir in vanilla and coconut. Allow to chill in refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours. Top with whipped cream and toasted coconut.
Coconut Cream Pie

Joslyn, Dante, and Jordan

Monday, May 28, 2012

Chocolate Cream Pie (4 stars)

Chocolate Cream Pie

The issue of Cook's Country came just in time with a recipe for a reduced calorie Chocolate Cream Pie. I learned that neutchatel cheese is actually reduced fat cream cheese. It didn't taste reduced, it has a very chocolaty flavor. 


Adding Cream


6 whole chocolate graham crackers
3 Tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 ounce neutchatel cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa
1/8 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 cups whole milk
1 large egg
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Process graham crackers and sugar in food processor to fine crumbs. Add butter and neufchatel and pulse until combined. Spray pie plate with vegetable oil spray, press crumbs into pie plate. Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 350 F. Cool completely.

Combine sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, and salt in bowl. Beat milk and egg together in a medium saucepan, Whisk sugar mixture into pan. Add bittersweet chocolate and bring mixture to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low and cook for 3 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into pie shell, cover with wax paper an refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Whip cream, sugar, ad vanilla until soft peaks form, cover pie with layer of cream.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Peanut Butter Pie (4 stars)

Peanut Butter Pie

It turned out to be quite a weekend. Abby graduated from Seminary and we had a solar eclipse. Of course we didn't get to see the eclipse because we were at Seminary Graduation but we are proud of Abby. Kerry didn't think you could have peanut butter without chocolate. It must be a Reeses thing: "You got your chocolate in my peanut butter", "No you got your peanut butter on my chocolate". So this is a variation on a recipe by adding a black bottom of chocolate fudge. Natalie didn't think we had enough chocolate, maybe we should add another layer.

Abby's Seminary Graduation Certificate

Crust: Single pre-baked buttermilk crust
3/4 cup peanut butter
1-1/2 cups powered sugar
2 cups whole milk, divided
1 cup half-and-half
1 Tablespoon butter
3/4 cup sugar, divided
2 egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
6 oz Smucker's fudge ice cream topping.

Layer bottom of pie crust with about 6oz fudge topping. Mix together peanut butter and powdered sugar with a pastry cutter until it resembles course corn meal. place on top of fudge layer, saving some aside to place on top of pie.

Place 1-1/2 cups milk in top of double boiler, add half and half, butter and 3/8 cup sugar. Cook until butter is melted and milk is scalded.

In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks until broken up, add remaining sugar and whisk very well. Add to hot mixture slowly, stirring constantly. Allow to cook for 15 to 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

Mix 1/2 cup milk and cornstarch together and slowly add to the hot mixture. Sir constantly to avoid lumps forming. Stir for two minutes then every 5 minutes until mixture has cooked for 15 - 20 minutes.Add vanilla, stir well.

Pour filling over peanut butter mixture in pie shell. Sprinkle reserved peanut butter filling on top. Chill.

Finished Product

Peanut Butter Pie

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lemon Meringue Pie (4 stars)

Lemon Meringue Pie

A friend told me he took his wife to an urban planning meeting for Mother's Day. I wasn't sure that would work with Kerry so decided to go with flowers and a pie. I asked her which pie we should make on Mother's Day and she chose Lemon Meringue from the Lion House pie book. The meringue didn't turn out and I'm not quite sure why. I have never been a fan of meringue. The lemon was excellent, very smooth and a great flavor.

Double Boiler
Baked shell

Crust: Single buttermilk crust pre-cooked

Pie with wax paper
1-1/2 cups sugar
7 Tablespoons cornstarch
5 egg yolks
2 cups water
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 Tablespoons butter

5 egg whites
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar

Cutting the pie
Mix together sugar and cornstarch and pour into top of a double boiler. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks until well mixed. pour 1/2 cup of water into egg yolks and whisk well. Pour in remaining water an mix, add to egg yolks and stir well. Add lemon juice, stir well. Place double boiler on top of water pan and cook stirring frequently, cook for 30 to 40 minutes until thick and clear. Remove from heat, cut butter into pieces and add to hot mixture. Stir until butter is melted and well blended. Pour into baked pie shell. Cover with wax paper and place into refrigerator until cool.

Beat egg whites until foamy, stir in 3 Tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon and continue beating until stiff. Spoon on top of lemon pie. Bake at 425 F for 3 to 5 minutes, or until meringue is lightly browned.

Mother's Day pie

Lion House

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Bumbleberry Pie (4 stars)

Bumbleberry Pie

We love Zions National Park and have been there many times. As you pass through the small community of Spingdale, Utah, just outside of the Park, there is a hotel called The Bumbleberry Inn, home of the famous Bumbleberry Pie!. I've never stopped but I will some day. On their website they have this description: "According to Grandpa, bumbleberries are burple and binkel berries that grow on giggle bushes, so named because they giggle when the berries ripen and the bush begins to quake, and at the precise moment that they ripen, they giggle. If you were to eat a berry while it was giggling, you would spend the rest of your life giggling!." 

Cutting the pie
Natalie asked what is the difference between bumbleberry and jumbleberry pie. Our jumbleberry is usually a combination of two or three berries where bumbleberry has a lot more. The Pie book has a couple of bumbleberry variations and here's our own. 

Crust: Buttermilk Double Crust

1 cup blueberries
1 cup blackberries
1 cup cherries (if canned, don't use 
   the pie filling kind in heavy syrup)
1 cup strawberries
1 pear, diced

1 Granny Smith apple, diced
1 Teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
2-1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
Bishop and pie
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 Tablespoons butter, in small pieces

Prepare crust and chill. Combine fruit, lemon juice in large bowl. Combine cornstarch and sugar, mix and tehn add to fruit mixture. Stir well but avoid crushing fruit. Turn filling into pie shell, dot with butter, add top. Brush with cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at preheated oven at 40 F for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 F and rotate pie 180 degrees. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the steam vents bubble thickly.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Almond Chocolate Pie (4 stars)

Almond Chocolate Pie

Everyone loves chocolate pie so I should have doubled the batch. This is from Lion House and is very sweet, very rich, and very easy to make. I used a store-bought graham cracker crust which was too small for the filling but there wasn't enough for a second. We used a large symphony bar and a dove bar to add up to 7 oz. I should have made my own crust in a deep dish and it would have fit and had more than just micro-slices for everyone.

Melting chocolate bars

Heavy cream

Crust: Graham Cracker Crust
Toasted Almond Slivers

1/2 cup almond slivers, toasted
1 (7oz) chocolate bar
1/2 cup half-and-half
18 large marshmallows
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Toast almonds on a cookie sheet at 350 F for 7 minutes, don't over-cook. Place chocolate bar, marshmallows, and half-and-half in a double boiler and heat until everything is melted. In a large bowl, whip the cream until stiff; fold cream and almonds into chocolate mixture. Pour into crust and refrigerate to cool. Once cool, place in freezer. Remover from freezer 1 hour before serving.

In the crust
Slicing the Pie

Monday, April 23, 2012

Fresh Strawberry Pie (5 stars)

Fresh Strawberry Pie

I'm a little late with this pie. I ended up at the State Republican Convention all day on Saturday and I do mean all day. It was my first time at the convention and what an experience. I think everyone should have the opportunity to go and see what it is like.I was looking through the Lion House Pie book and this recipe looked patriotic with red strawberries, white whipped cream, and blueberries. So in keeping with the convention, here it is.

Fresh Strawberries
Crust: Single buttermilk pie

4 cups diced ripe strawberries
2 cups sugar
1/t teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups halved strawberries
1/2 cup blueberries, divided
Whipped cream

Place diced strawberries in a gallon-sized zipper lock bag; seal well and knead bag to crush berries. Pour crushed berries into a large saucepan and combine with sugar and salt. Remove 1 cup of this mixture and blend with cornstarch in a small bowl; pour back into saucepan. Cook and stir strawberry mixture over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and continue to stir and scrape the bottom of the pan until thick and clear. Stir in lemon zest. Place in a chilled, medium sized bowl and cool in refrigerator, about 1 hour. Stir in lemon juice.

Place halved strawberries and 1/4 cup of the blueberries in bottom of baked pie shell. Spoon chilled glaze over berries. Garnish whit whipped cream and remaining blueberries.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Black Bottom Key Lime (5 stars)

Black Bottom Key Lime Pie

Key Lime is one of my favorite pies, but not the fake one with green food coloring. This is a recipe from Crisco and is a little twist on the simple Key Lime. It uses a fudge bottom layer, macadamias, and then a key lime - sour cream layer. I've discovered that the key to pies with sour cream is to add the sour cream after the filling has cooled to room temperature.

Fudge Layer

Crust: Single Buttermilk Crust

1/2 cup chocolate fudge ice cream topping
2/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1 tsp unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch

1 cup milk
Crushed Macadamia
3 egg yolks lightly beaten
1/3 cup key lime juice
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup sour cream

1 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
Chocolate shavings

Bake bottom pie shell at 425 F for 15 minutes or until lightly browned, cool completely.

Spread fudge topping over bottom of cooled pie crust. Sprinkle with nuts. In a separate bowl, stir gelatin with boiling water until completely dissolved.

Combine sugar and cornstarch in medium saucepan. Stir in milk until smooth. Sir in egg yolks and key lime juice. Add shortening. Cook on medium heat stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in gelatin mixture slowly. Pour into a large bowl and chill for 40 to 50 minutes. Fold in sour cream and pour into pie crust over the fudge and macadamia nuts. Chill two hours.

Combine cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Beat until stiff, spoon on top of pie, garnish with chocolate shavings.

Natalie and Pie

Slice of Heaven

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Lemon Swirl Cream Cheese Pie (3 stars)

Lemon Swirl Cream Cheese Pie

We got together for our traditional Easter egg coloring. Savannah and Sage were in town and kept us all laughing. We also have a traditional Easter dinner on Sunday with spiral ham, funeral potatoes, and dinner rolls. I couldn't think of a traditional Easter pie so I went to the Crisco website which has a lot of great ideas. Lemon must be one of our favorite flavors because we seem to make a lot of them.

Baked Crust
1-1/2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
3/4 cup ground almonds, toasted
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
7 teaspoons butter, melted

Lemon Curd:
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
Adding Cream Cheese Mixture
3 large eggs
1/4 cup butter, cubed

2 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

Adding Swirl
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
12 to 15 fresh raspberries
1 lemon thinly sliced and quartered

Whisk together sugar, lemon juice and lemon peel in small saucepan. Whisk in eggs. Add butter. Cook over medium-low heat 7 minutes of until thickened, stirring constantly. Transfer lemon curd into bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface to prevent skin from forming. Cool 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 350 F. Coat a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate with no-stick cooking spray. Stir together crumbs, almonds and lemon peel. Stir in butter. Press mixture onto bottom and sides of pie plate. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until set. Cool completely on wire rack.

Beat cream cheese and sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes or until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed until just blended. Measure 1/2 cup prepared lemon curd and set aside. Add remaining lemon curd to cream cheese mixture with sour cream, vanilla and lemon extract. Mix until blended. Pour into prepared crust. Spoon reserved lemon curd by tablespoonfuls over cheesecake filling. Swirl into filling with a sharp knife. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely on wire rack. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Beat cream, powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in small bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks from. Pipe whipped cream onto pie, along inside edge of crust, creating a decorative boarder. Garnish with raspberries and lemon slices. Chill until ready to serve.

Jeff and Karly

Abby, Sage, and Savannah