Thursday, January 12, 2012

Baking a Pie.....or Five

When I decide to bake pies it always goes something like this:

Oh, we have a pumpkin left. I think I'll make a pie.
Hmm. Will one pie be enough? Better make two.
Dear me...just to be safe, I should make two recipes of dough. instead of simply whipping up a couple of pies, I now have 5 crusts to fill.

Yes, that is exactly how it went one afternoon this week. I always overestimate, so ended up with many piepans, and without an exact idea of what to put in them. I only had enough pumpkin puree for two pies, so I finally decided to do one mock mincemeat (that was easy, as I had some mincemeat all ready that we had canned a couple of years ago...) and then (my favorite) custard pies. Yum!

 There is just something so fun about pie-making. I love to make them as pretty as possible, and experiment with decorating the tops in various ways. (And you must wear a checkered apron. That makes everything better.:)

(makes 2)
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. salt

Cut in 3/4 c. shortening

Add - 7-8 Tb. cold water

Mix until it just all comes together. Don't overwork.
Take half the dough and roll out thin with a rolling pin. Use a thin spatula to carefully raise the dough off the table and flip it over on to the pie-pan. Press gently down into the pan. Trim the edges with a butter knife and then crimp with your thumb and first two fingers. (at least that is what I do! :)

For the shortening, I prefer to use some type of oil. I've been using cottonseed oil, but this time we were out and I used a mild olive oil, and it was wonderful! Easiest, smoothest, stretchiest pie dough I've ever worked with. And since it was so mild, there wasn't a strong taste. So, I think I may be switching to olive oil permantenly...

Mock Mincemeat Pie

1 1/2 c. raisins
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled cored and sliced
1 Tb. orange zest
1/3 c. orange juice
1/2 c. apple cider
3/4 c. white sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. cloves
2 soda crackers, finely crushed

Preheat oven to 425. Stir the raisins, apples, orange zest, orange juice, and apple cider together in a pan. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until apples are very soft, about 20 minutes. Stir in the sugar, spices, and crackers until well blended. Refrigerate until ready to use, or pour into pie crust. Bake for 15 minutes in preheated oven, then reduce oven temp to 350 and bake until top is golden brown, about 30 minutes more.

For mincemeat, I think you are really supposed to do a complete top crust, but...
I love using mini cookie cutters for pie tops!
The other day I made a blackberry pie and used a star shaped cookie cutter for the top - it looked quite patriotic and pretty.
This particular leaf shaped cutter came from the cute Fall Leaves set.

Fresh Pumpkin Pie
I learned a valuable lesson while chopping up pumpkins. (after a cut and bleeding finger...)
 DON'T try to peel the pumpkin fresh. Instead, half, clean, and cube the pumpkin with the peel on, boil the cubes until soft, and after they are cooled and drained, THEN peel and puree them.
So. Much. Easier. (and safer) Wish I had been doing that all these years. Sometimes I feel really dumb. *ahem* Anyway. Now I know.

2 cups fresh pumpkin puree
3 eggs, beaten
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. cloves
1/2 t. ginger
1/4 t. nutmeg
2 t. vanilla
1/3 c. milk
1/2 c. honey (or 3/4 c. sugar)

Mix all together and pour in uncooked pie shell. Bake at 350 until center is firm.

Coconut Custard Pie

4 eggs, beaten
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
2 c. milk
1 t. vanilla
3/4 c. shredded coconut

Mix and pour into uncooked crust. Bake at 350 until firm and and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.

This particular coconut variation of custard, I just tried for the first time. It was excellent! The recipe came from a great little recipe book called 'The Lost Art of Pie Making".

It was a nice treat for the boys when they came home from work to see all the pretty pies just waiting for supper to be over! (but they didn't last long....)

What is your favorite type of pie? Any pie-making secrets you'd like to share?


PrincessR said...

Hahaha!! I guess it never hurts to have too much pie!!! :D

I copied the mince meat and coconut pie recipes- I haven't tried them before. :) Now to come up with a good excuse to bake them...."I just happened to buy some Granny Smith apples and decided to make a pie!". :D:D

hugs and love to you!

SisterlyLove said...

Mm.. they look so delicious and beautiful too!
I love ALL kinds of pie. Seriously, all. Have you ever had a Chess pie? SO good.

Naomi said...

Hi Atlanta
WOW those pies look GOOD!! (: I always wanted to do pies but the once or twice that I have tried they have kind mean they were tasty but I always feel discouraged after I make a pie!! ): :D

a Matula ikrek said...

My favourite is a plain pie only with half plums, some sugar and cinnamon. Sooo smelly and tasty. :o)

Maddie said...

The same thing happens to me. This past summer we had 2 bushels of apples that we had to use up in about a week, and I couldn't stop making apple pies! I think we ended up with 6 pies (frozen for future use) and lots of fresh apple pies and tarts. Because it's good to be prepared for snacking :-)

Miss_Ra'chel said...

oh those look awesome! I love pie and you did a really good job on those. :) Thank you for making me hungry. LOL

Lizzy and Sammi said...

yummy! i love pies.

A modest christian style blog

Kellie said...

Pie... baking them is one of my delights. And my dad's is eating them. We make a good team;)

I need to try your mock mincemeat! It looks scrumptious. Add the little crust shapes and you have perfection!

Anonymous said...

The pies look very good. Good job. Keep up the good work.

Caytlin Sebo

barcak flock said...

I am sure your family appreciates the pie surplus! Thanks for the recipes, we will be trying the coconut soon!


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