Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

Pi Day has begun … and this is like a Blondie in pie form.

D&D_26231 graham cracker crust
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla
8 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
Pinch of kosher salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix together eggs, sugar, flour, and vanilla until well combined. Stir in melted butter, chocolate chips, and pecans. Pour mixture into crust. Bake 35 – 40 minutes until pie has lightly browned and set in the center. Cool completely before serving.

I make my own graham cracker crust. It’s a little rustic, but it is tasty.

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs – I buy the box of crumbs, much easier the counting panels of graham crackers, etc. Honestly, no one ever seems to count them the same way.
1/4 cup sugar
6 Tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Mix together and press into 9 inch pie pan sprayed just slightly with baking spray. Bake in the 325 degree oven for about 8 minutes rotating half way through.

Source: Add a Pinch

 

D&D_26209 January 2018 – Start making pies early since you never know what will be happening in mid-March – I mean, Mardi Gras occasionally, St. Patrick’s Day for sure, or just crappy cold weather that is killing everything in the garden that you planted – with ever present optimism – only to be spoiled be that late chill. Sigh.

Very chocolate-chippy kind of pie. Crunchy on the top and gooey in the middle – in the best sense.

Big success as I passed around wedges to people to get opinions. Might be even more lovely with some whipped cream – but it should not be sweet – the pie is certainly sweet enough.

Lemon Sour Cream Pie

Another new gamble for Pi Day. Also a nice way to try a pie that might just be perfect little tartlets for Easter which is fast approaching.

D&D_2697I totally cheated and used Pillsbury’s roll-out pie crust since I was taking on a baking project during the week. And you know, if you use a regular 9″ glass pie plate – not a deep dish pie plate, the dough works out nicely from blind baking for this kind of pie.

9 inch pie shell, docked, pre-baked, and cooled
1 Tbs lemon zest
1/2 cup lemon juice (depending on size about 4)
3 1/2 Tbs cornstarch
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
8 Tbs unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
Whipped cream for garnish

Pre-bake parchment lined crust filled with pie weights and place on baking sheet. Let cool while making the filling.

In a heavy saucepan, whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, cornstarch, sugar, egg yolks, and milk. Cook over medium low heat until thick making sure to whisk frequently. Remove from heat and whisk in butter. Allow the custard to cool completely. Once cool, whisk in sour cream.

Pour into baked pie shell and refrigerate at least two hours, or better overnight. Serve with whipped cream. But I like it better without.

Keep refrigerated.

Bitching: I need some kind of pie holder, so the top doesn’t get mushed. Put it needs to be a thin holder so you can stack two pies in holders on one shelf in the refrigerator.

This was a super simple, totally do-able on a weeknight kind of pie. It wasn’t too sweet either which made it big plus for me. I like my lemon desserts to be tart – not overly sweet. The custard was smooth and creamy.

Very nice. We certainly be doing this again, perhaps in aforementioned tartlets.

Apple Walnut Pie

Yep – this is Pi Day. And I actually prepared ahead of time for it. Who knew?  Well, I knew, because there is pretty much no way I’m doing anything in the kitchen on a Monday (groan). D&D_1269

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
8 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup diced Granny Smith apples
1 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped
Butter Pie Crust, chilled and rolled out into a pie plate and chilled again

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray pie pan with cooking spray. Roll out pie dough to 1/8 inch and spread over pie pan tucking excess dough into sides. Crimp around the edges. It is so pretty.

In a bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour, salt, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Fold in apples and walnuts. Pour into pie shell.

Bake until crust is golden and filling is set, 50 – 60 minutes. Let cool before serving a cuple of hours or overnight.

Notes: I kind of did the pie because I had apples and walnuts and the filling was so brown sugar-laden that I could not help myself. It is damn near amazing, and I not one to give fawning praise, but stupid good could apply in this case. I think I will be eating this for breakfast tomorrow – no matter how wrong that seems. Don’t care.

Chess Tart

I have always wanted to make a chess tart, but have no idea why. Really. Perhaps just simple curiosity because the list of ingredients is super simple stuff you have on hand. Maybe it is because every reference to it says “classic Southern pie” and I have never had one. Ever. Granted I had Southern parents, but did not really grow in the South. I’ll say it once again – sorry, Jacksonville, FL – you are not the South. Not by any stretch of the imagination. D&D_1124.jpg
“Chess pie – This is one of the South’s favorite pies, with a simple filling of eggs, sugar, butter, and a small amount of flour. Chess pie can be varied by adding flavoring so such as lemon juice or vanilla, or substituting brown sugar for granulated sugar.” Food Lover’s Companion, p. 123.

Tart Shell
1 1/4 cup ground cookies*
5 Tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 Tbs granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Filling
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 Tbs fine cornmeal
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla
8 Tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 inch tart pan (with a removable bottom) with vegetable oil spray. Grind cookies*  in the food processor. Then add butter, granulated sugar, and salt. Pulse together. Press mixture into bottom and sides of the pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press it tightly.

Transfer pan to a rimmed baking sheet and bake until tart shell is golden, about 12 minutes. Let cool. Reduce oven to 325 degrees.

For the filling, whisk together sugars, cornmeal, and salt making sure there are no lumps. Whisk together eggs, yolk, vanilla, and then butter. Combine sugar mixture and egg mixture. Pour into tart shell. Bake until top is golden brown and edge is set but center is wobbly, about 35 minutes.

Transfer baking sheet to wire rack and cool 15 minutes. Then refrigerate until cooled for at least two hours, but better overnight.

* You can use graham crackers, Nilla wafers, or animal crackers.

Notes: Well, I now know why I have never made a Chess Pie – it is cloyingly sweet and underwhelming. Or maybe it’s just the recipe…
I will try again, at some point though. I can’t leave something like this alone. I have to win. I just saw a recipe from King Arthur Flour for a lemon chess pie that I will do. I just don’t like to lose – if that makes any sense. Yep, not losing to a recipe or an idea – that’s me.

AYA**

Thomas’ California French Bread

Ham & Swiss Sliders

** A Year Ago

(Lack of) Pie Repertoire

We were not a potato family growing up – that’s not to say we didn’t eat potatoes at all, but at any given meal, the starch of choice was rice. So, therefore, while I do love hash browns and home fries, I am not a huge fan of french fries, and definitely not of mashed potatoes. So, I in turn, don’t turn to potatoes all that often (potato salad excepting – there will more on that shortly). Latkes are a part of my Christmas tradition and I love a good corned beef hash w/onions and potatoes, but my repertoire is not very extensive.

The same holds true for pies. The only pie my mom made, as far as I can remember, was pecan pie for me for my birthday – that was my birthday “cake.” I don’t remember a single apple or berry pie from my childhood at all. No pumpkin or sweet potato either. Therefore the only pie I make on a regular basis is a pecan pie. I do make an occasional lemon curd tart thanks to an excellent recipe from the original (1992) Martha Stewart’s Pies and Tarts cookbook.* But I think it is past time to remedy this situation.

But then the question arises – how to do this when there are only three of us? And of those three, one who does not care for sweets, no less. Whole pies don’t make sense for just three people – at least not in my head they don’t. Is there a way of making smaller – individual pies?

Well, I did a little research and there is – I just purchased a 6″ glass pie dish from Williams-Sonoma. While I wait on the delivery, I will have time to decide how to down size recipes for pies that I want to try. Math is not my strong suit. Sigh.

What better time to start a round of individual pies than summer – and my first project will be a blueberry cream cheese pie. Blueberries are super inexpensive right now and I can get locally grown ones too — all the better.

* Amazingly good lemon curd recipe! There are many excellent recipes in this book and I will be getting more than just the lemon curd and green tomato pie sections messy in the near future.  The pictures are amazing – esp. the one of curds made from store bought eggs vs. fresh farm eggs. Need to find an egg source here that isn’t too far away.

French Silk Pie

D&D_9457

French Silk Pie

I was young-ish in one of my first jobs. This real proper job, because I was not going to go to college (how things change), was at a regional office of a fast food restaurant. One of our things was birthday celebrations for those of us in the office. And celebrations equalled pies from Village Inn. While I’m not a huge chocolate fan, and it was not my pie to order (read: lemon), French Silk was a favorite of just about everyone. My friend Marie gave me her recipe at the time and I made and enjoyed it, and while I cannot find it now, this one is not to far off the mark, and also better than I remember. It’s not too sweet, light, but slightly rich too. Small pieces are in order.

I was surprised to find that the name French Silk Pie didn’t translate to everyone. By definition, French Silk is a mousse-like chocolate pie. Am I being, as I’m often accused, a food snob again? Probably. And yes, raw eggs are used – get over it.

French Silk Pie
1 9″ pie crust, baked and cooled *
4 ozs bittersweet chocolate
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp espresso powder (optional)
1 cup cold heavy cream
1 1/2 sticks, unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
Additional whipping cream, for topping

Heat the chocolate in a microwave on medium power until melted. Whisk in vanilla and espresso powder, if using, and set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, beat the heavy cream on high until stiff peaks form, 2-3 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for one minute. Add the sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the melted chocolate and beat until incorporated. Add 2 eggs and beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add the remaining egg and beat for another 3 minutes until the mixture is silly and smooth.

Fold the chilled whipped cream into chocolate filling until no visible white streaks remain. Pour filling into prepared pie crust and smooth with an offset spatula. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours, but preferably overnight. Decorate with freshly whipped cream.

Source: The Kitchn

Notes: I used my graham cracker crust* from the Three Cities of Spain Cheesecake, my go to cheesecake recipe that never fails to impress. Here are the details:

5 ozs graham crackers (1 sleeve)
5 Tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse crackers, sugar, and salt to mix together. Add melted butter, and pulse to incorporate. Press into pie plate and refrigerate until needed.