Tag Archives: pie

Coconut cream pie

13 Dec

It’s been a little while since I made a pie, and I love pie!  In an unusual fit of activity last week I bought a bag of coconut, a can of mandarin oranges, and a can of pineapple and made ambrosia (yum).  I had some leftover coconut, so decided to make a coconut cream pie.  Growing up I never had dried shredded sweetened/unsweetened coconut and I still find the texture a bit strange, but I have fallen in love with coconut macaroons [wow I can’t believe I haven’t blogged those!  That’s on the list now] and am coming around to having a twiggy texture in my sweets.

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This is vaguely tropical, so I bet it’s a PIErate’s favorite dessert.

Coconut cream pie is a basic custard pie: you bake a pie crust (I love the make-in-pan lazy one but I actually rolled and chilled one for this pie), slowly make a creamy set custard to fill it, and top the whole thing with whipped cream.  Next time I think I’ll make this a banana cream pie instead of coconut, just omitting the coconut and tossing in sliced bananas.  And by next time I mean tonight.  And by tonight I mean I paused writing this blog post, went and bought some whipping cream and milk, and then made this pie before continuing the post.

First you want to make the crust (or buy a store bought one as I often do).  I use a food processor to pulse together very cold butter with flour and salt.  Probably don’t use frozen butter because your food processor isn’t that strong, but fridge butter is great.  Do that (or use two knives or a pastry blender) until it’s pretty well mixed and your remaining bits of butter are maximum 2-3 pea sized.  Then drop in a tablespoon of ice water and press the dough together with your hands just until it holds together.  It’s gonna get real crumbly in there, and try not to knead it too much- we want flaky pie crust, not gluey pie crust.  Wrap it up in plastic wrap and stuff it in the fridge.

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If I saw one of the main characters of “Empire” throwing a piece of scrap paper in the trash, I’d just have to say “That’s the way the Cookie crumb-ples”

Fun “trick” for this- I add the ice water directly to the food processor, press a little bit, and then dump the whole thing onto a big piece of plastic wrap on my counter.  Minimize mess.  Then you can wrap it up in the plastic wrap (bonus- if the piece is big enough, you can use it later to roll out the dough!)

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Are you feeling sad?  No need to be so dough-lful, pie is on its way!

While the dough chills, you can measure you all your ingredients for the filling.  Also preheat your oven.  Usually I’m a lazybones and avoid recipes like this, where you have to stir a lot/mind something on the stove, but I cooked dinner while making this pie and it was perfect.  First, microwave your milk (I did two minutes) and while that’s going, measure and mix your dry ingredients in a pot on the stove.

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The best way to make your dreams come true as you reach for the stars… is the (coconut) milky way

We’re slowly incorporating sugar, milk, coconut milk, coconut, and flour together, adding a bit more at a time, until we have the texture we want.  Then at the end you stir in your egg yolks for richness and cook until everything is set.  This can actually take about as long as you want it to.  The first time I made this it was luscious and creamy and not a clump to be found in my custard, and it took about 35 minutes.  The second time (just now) it took maybe 15 and it’s a little lumpy but still delicious.

So mix your flour, coconut, sugar, and pinch of salt in the dry pot, then add 1/3 of the milk and stir over medium-low (35 minute method) or medium (15 minute method) until the flour has started cooking into the liquid and it’s a little bit thickened.  Then add 1/3 of the milk and stir stir stir again, until that’s thickened.  Finally add your third batch of milk and stir.  Each thickening takes 2-10 minutes depending on heat.

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I didn’t constantly stir, just every minute or so.  So once the pudding got started, I pulled out the chilled dough and rolled it out thinly between two sheets of plastic wrap (this is not necessary; it just makes it so you don’t have to wash the rolling pin and counter).  Lay it into your pie tin, poke a few fork holes in it so it doesn’t puff up, and toss it in your preheated oven.

Once the third thickening has happened, add a little of the hot pudding to some beaten egg yolks so that they don’t curdle when you put their eggy deliciousness into the custard, and cook for another couple minutes until you’re juuuuust about to bubble/boil (but don’t boil, ever!).  Turn off the heat, dump in half a stick of butter and some extracts (this is the key to flavor), and let cool.  Pull your pie crust and let it cool too.  Should take 20-30 minutes depending on how hot your kitchen is for both things to cool off enough to put one inside the other, and then stick it in the fridge.

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We can see the inside of this pie; it’s naked!  Oh the improPIEty!

After a few hours, make some whipped cream (I won’t tell if you use the ready made stuff, but the homemade stuff is GOOD) with a little sugar and vanilla in it, and put it on your chilled custard.  Chill again, overnight is best.  Toast some coconut in a dry pan on the stove for 30 seconds or so (til brown and fragrant), let cool, and decorate your pie with it.  Or don’t!

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I’m not so great with speeches but I would definitely call myself a toastmaster.

 

YUM.

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Here I am eating it out of the pan for breakfast.  Because I’m pregnant?  Or because it’s pie?

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Coconut cream pie, adapted from Rock Recipes:

Crust:

1/2 c (1 stick) butter

1 1/4 c flour

2-4 TB ice water

Using a pastry blender, two knives, or a food processor, cut butter into flour until pebbly and well mixed.  Add ice water 1 TB at a time just until the dough holds when you push it together with your hands.  Knead once or twice (just to hold together), wrap in plastic wrap, and chill.

Filling:

1 can coconut milk (1 3/4 c), light if you want

1 1/4 c whole milk

1/3 c flour

2/3 c sugar

1 c unsweetened dried shredded coconut

1/4 tsp salt

3 egg yolks

4 TB (1/2 stick) butter

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp ALMOND extract

  1. Preheat oven to 400 for the pie crust.  Microwave milks for 2 minutes.  Mix flour, sugar, coconut, and salt in a pot.
  2. Over medium or medium-low, add 1 c of milks to pot and stir until combined, then stir occasionally  until slightly thickened.
  3. Add next 1 c of milks and stir occasionally until thickened.
  4. Roll out chilled pie crust, put in a pie pan, and bake for 11-15 minutes until golden brown, and then let cool completely.
  5. Repeat step 3.  In between stirrings, lightly beat the egg yolks, measure out the butter and extracts.  Add 1/4-1/2 c of hot pudding to the egg yolks (whatever measuring cup is handy) and stir, then add the egg yolk mixture to the pudding and cook for another few minutes until pudding-like.
  6. Turn off heat, add butter and extracts and stir, and let sit until cool.
  7. Put cool custard into cool pie crust and put into fridge for several hours

Whipped cream and topping:

1 c heavy whipping cream

2 TB powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 c shredded coconut

  1. Beat cream, sugar, and vanilla together for a few minutes until it turns into whipped cream (peaks hold).
  2. Meanwhile, toast coconut in dry pan over medium heat for 30-45 seconds until fragrant and light brown.
  3. Spread whipped cream over chilled pie.
  4. Sprinkle with cooled toasted coconut.
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Peachberry pie, and news

11 Oct

Hello!  You may be wondering where I’ve been for three weeks.  Well, I’m still in Texas, and I have this old draft lying around that I never posted.  News at the end of the post!

I don’t know about where you are, but here in Texas it’s still summer and peach season.  I’ve made four peach pies in the last two weeks because they’re so cheap, so easy, and sooooo yummy.  I didn’t grow up eating a lot of peaches (I’m from Minnesota), but when I saw them for 88 cents a pound at the grocery store I remembered all the peach cobbler I’ve had in my travels since going to college.  Also I remembered that I still own the Moosewood cookbook, which definitely has an easy recipe for peach pie in it.

Of course, me being me I was unprepared with the number of peaches I had (I bought enough I promise but then we ate some oops), so I threw in some blackberries and strawberries I had lying around for one pie, and some blueberries in another, and the one in the oven right now is just peach.

For fruit pies, it’s nice to let the fruit macerate for a few minutes so that the sugar can suck the juices out.  So I make the filling first, then make the crust.  Peel and chop peaches, berries, etc. to make about six cups of filling.  Each medium-large peach gives a little less than a cup of peach slices, so with four peaches I had to add a dozen strawberries and a handful of blackberries.  Sprinkle the fruit with sugar and lemon juice and let sit while you make the crust.

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It’s not the secret to world peach but my news is berry exciting.

Generally with pies I buy premade frozen pie crusts because I am lazy, but sometimes I’ll do the slightly less lazy mix-and-pat in the pie pan which gives you a nice oil-based slightly salty crust that’s very flaky and tender, or I’ll do the much less lazy butter-based pie crust that I used in this pie.  Honestly I prefer pie crusts made with a mix of shortening for texture and butter for flavor, but shortening freaks me out so I don’t have it in my house.

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You’d butter scroll to the end of the post

This is the Moosewood pie crust recipe, where you cut together butter with flour and mix in cold liquid until it’s dough.  Pretty easy!  I used a knife to cut the butter into these small pieces, and a fork to break it into the dough until it looks like coarse crumbs and there’s no butter chunks bigger than a pea.

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You won’t fork-ive yourself if you don’t read the end

Then add your liquid and mix it with your fork, then with your hands, and roll it out on a floured surface.  I LOVE my French rolling pin the way I love my mortar and pestle- I’m a very tactile person and these things feel good! Roll out the dough to just a bit bigger than the pie tin, and then carefully drape it over the whole thing.  Trim the edges and make a pretty design on the crust if you want (I am not a prettyfying person so I just leave it plain).

Now you’re ready to finish the filling!  Preheat the oven now, and add the flour and spices to the filling (cinnamon goes with every fruit!)  Gently and thoroughly toss, so all the fruit pieces have some sticky flour on them.  We add flour so you don’t have soup inside a pie crust- I think adding a little cornstarch mixed with berry juices would also work.

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Glisten up, folks, cup your ears because I’ve got something to say

If I’m using a frozen pie crust/don’t have that much time, I just top the pie with the second pie crust, cut some slits in it to vent, and bake it.  But I waaaay prefer fruit pies with streusel topping.  Since I have a toddler, our house always has Ritz crackers in it.  Use a rolling pin to crush a sleeve of Ritz crackers- you can actually do this in the sleeve with little mess if you’re careful, or toss them in a plastic bag and whack away.

Then mix in melted butter, brown sugar, and that ever-present cinnamon.  Pour the fruit in the crust, pat on the streusel topping, and toss it in that preheated oven.  I like to put pie on a baking pan/cookie sheet in case of overflow (the bottom of my oven is a gross mess from previous drips).  Or put the baking sheet on the rack below.  Or forget it, like I did in this photo:

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All alone and pie-tiful in the oven.  What a pie-ty if it drips (this one did not drip though!)

Let sit for at least 15 minutes after baking so the inside cools a bit and glops up, then serve warm with vanilla ice cream (yummmm!)  We ate it too fast for me to take photos of the finished pie.

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Okay, time for NEWS/partial explanation for why I haven’t been posting.  I’m having another baby!!!  She’s due in March!  She’s also making my life a little complicated; I’d forgotten that I spent most of first trimester last time throwing up and lying down.  This time I laid down a lot, didn’t throw up a ton, but did have a lot of pain!  Now I’m into second trimester and ready to be a person again.  And by this time next year, my daughter will be becoming a person too!  Also, my son turned two last week, which is cool because those of you who have been reading this blog for a long time were there when I got engaged, married, and had my first baby.  Yay!!!

Peachberry pie (adapted from the Moosewood cookbook and allrecipes).

Crust: 1 c flour

4 TB (half a stick) very cold butter

2 TB cold water or milk

Filling: 6 c sliced fruit (6 peaches, or peaches and enough berries to fill in the rest)

1/4 c sugar

2 TB lemon juice (or squeeze half a lemon)

3 TB flour

1 tsp cinnamon

Topping: 1 c crushed Ritz crackers (about one sleeve)

1/2 c brown sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

4 TB (other half of the stick) butter, melted

  1. Mix the fruit with the sugar and lemon juice, let sit.
  2. Cut the butter into tiny pieces and mix with the flour for crust, until very small pieces (smaller than a pea) remain.  Mix in liquid teaspoon by teaspoon until a dough forms.  Roll out to bigger than the pie pan, and carefully place into pie pan.  Trim crust.
  3. Mix the flour and cinnamon for filling, gently mix into the macerated fruit mixture.  Pour into prepared crust.
  4. Preheat oven to 375.
  5. Crush the Ritz crackers, mix with brown sugar and cinnamon.  Melt the butter, and mix with the topping mix.  Pat filling evenly onto pie.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes, until bubbly on the edges and golden brown on top and crust.  Serve warm with ice cream

Dutch apple pie

22 Mar

The first things I baked were “butter cookies” from my mom’s copy of Joy of Cooking, which she bought at a garage sale in the ’70s.  So probably that battered, well-loved, dog-eared copy (which I have somewhere in my house) is from the ’60s.  That’s where I learned to make my famous Jello parfaits (my parents even bought me an ice-cream parlour style old fashioned parfait glasses set for Christmas one year), as well as Dutch apple pie.  The “Dutch” part, in my mind, just means using an awesome streusel topping instead of a second pie crust as the top crust, as all fruit pies should.

Man, remember that amazing kringle from a few months ago?  Mmmm can’t wait for next Christmas season so I can buy another O&H kringle from Trader Joe’s.  I realize that Dutch and Danish come from two very different places but they sound sorta similar and it’s only an 8 hour drive between random points in the countries: that’s the distance between Austin and Wichita.  Though Austin food is very different from Wichita.  (Mmmm breakfast tacos!  And… Kansas foods?)

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Oats are oa(p)tional, I didn’t use them this time because I only had steel-cut oats at home and that would not work well for a streusel.

Whenever I see my mom I try to bake her a Dutch apple pie, and she often eats the whole thing.  My mom is 4’11” and tiny so imagine a tiny Vietnamese woman eating an entire apple pie.  It’s just as cute and impressive as it sounds.  Hence I usually make two, one for her and one for everyone else.  It’s about 3 large Granny Smith apples per pie, so my pies were light on the apple this time.

First thing: cut up your applies.  I peel, core (cut into eights by making a tictactoe grid around the middle), and slice thinly.  Others cut in quarters, ignoring the tictactoe, and then chop out the seeds/stem and then slice.  Whatever works for you.

 

Put the sliced up apples in a bowl, squeeze a lemon over them, and toss with sugar and cinnamon.  The sugar macerates the apples and they get nice and juicy while you prepare the crust (if you want; I used store-bought) and streusel.

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Sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what baby boys add to bowls.  (Look at his little baby hand!)

Every time I make a Dutch apple pie my streusel is a little different.  It’s the same general principle: brown sugar/white sugar, oats/flour, and butter.  You use two knives or a pastry blender to cut the butter into the sugar mixture, until the mixture resembles “coarse crumbs” aka the butter pieces are smaller than peas.  You can also use a food processor and carefully pulse it.  Food processor is nice if your butter is frozen; otherwise you’ll want to put it outside the fridge for maybe an hour so it’s just a little soft/easy to cut up.

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She knows I’m just trying to butter her up, but streusel is so appeeling

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Time to dust for fingerprints, it’s a messy crumb scene in here.  (This is not coarse enough by the way, keep cutting up the butter into smaller pieces)

So unwrap or make your crusts (I love this lazy crust made right in the pie tin), layer the apples prettily into them (or dump them in), and sprinkle with the streusel topping.

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Bless us and these thy gifts… pie-ty 

Then toss those pies in the oven, step back, and enjoy them after they start smelling delicious!  They’re great warm with vanilla ice cream on top.

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Dutch apple pie

Makes two pies (8 slices each)

5-6 large Granny Smith apples

1/4 c white sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 lemon or 1 tsp lemon juice

Two pie crusts (frozen or homemade)

1/2 c butter

1/2 c brown sugar

3/4 c total mix of oats and flour

  1. Peel the apples, core them, thinly slice.  Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Sprinkle sugar, spices, and lemon juice over apples, toss them together.
  3. Mix oats, flour, and brown sugar.  Cut butter into small pieces into the flour-sugar mixture using two knives, until coarse crumbs.
  4. Put the sliced apples into crusts, and sprinkle streusel evenly over the pies.  Bake for 40-45 minutes, until topping is lightly browned.

LIME PIE IS SO GOOD

14 Mar

Pi day is almost over and I almost didn’t post!  Nothing exciting mathematically for this quick post; just a RIDICULOUSLY DELICIOUS AND EASY LIME PIE.  If you buy a graham cracker crust, it has THREE INGREDIENTS.  If you don’t, it has five!

Fun and cutely embarrassing fact: when I was in high school, my best friend and I would come up with codenames for our crushes- hers were a series of colors, and mine was a series of fruits.  Also, how we became best friends is I “stole” her “boyfriend” (we were 14), whom we later dubbed “orange” because it’s the only color which is also a fruit.  Anyways, I saved lime for a really serious one, because it was at the time my favorite flavor.  In fact I think “lime” never got assigned to anyone.  I wish I could go back to my teenage self and ask her if this guy I married is worthy of the “lime” title (hopefully she’d say yes!  I’d say I think he is, but it’s now unclear to me how good the title is.  In any case I like my husband a lot, but maybe not as much as I loved small green fruits when I was 15).

How pi-tiful would it be if I missed a pi(e) day post?

How pi-tiful would it be if I missed a pi(e) day post?

The not-secret ingredient behind lime pie is a can of sweetened condensed milk- this is also the not-secret ingredient behind Vietnamese iced coffee.  You too can make ca phe sua da or ca phe sua nong at home: pour some sweetened condensed milk in the bottom of a glass, add some espresso/very strong coffee, then add ice cubes or some hot water.  Stir.  I used to squeeze sweetened condensed milk over bread pudding as a sort of creme anglaise substitute.  Also, shaved ice + freshly cut chilled fruit + pour over some sweetened condensed milk = DELICIOUS.  And of course you need sweetened condensed milk for magic bars, which I will make and blog someday.  Just thinking about sweetened condensed milk is making me happy right now.

You may notice that this is not a key lime pie.  Key limes are small.  This pie would require juicing 20 or so key limes.  There are four limes in the picture above.  I am fairly lazy. You do the math.  (This is funny because there’s no math to be done here, besides maybe realizing the inequality 4<20.  However, in my meeting with my advisor a few weeks ago he told me that the key point that I had missed somewhere was the fact that 4/3 of three is less than five.  So there is math!  Or something something about me.)

This was my first graham cracker crust, and my friend actually made it (this may be the second time I’ve made a pie with someone.  First time was also in high school, with a friend who coincidentally shared my last name– we made a beautiful apple pie.  She showed me her secret of leaving the apple slices in a bowl of water to keep them from turning brown.)  We microwaved a stick of butter, crushed a bunch of graham crackers in a plastic bag, and mixed the two with a pinch of salt right in the pan.

I feel like graham crackers look much better than they taste- a fool's gold of cookies.  Just like pie, right?  (according to this slate article: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/assessment/2011/06/pie.html)  [This is a pun on pyrite]

I feel like graham crackers look much better than they taste- a fool’s gold of cookies. Just like pie, right? (according to this slate article: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/assessment/2011/06/pie.html) [This is a pun on pyrite]

I didn’t realize graham cracker crusts were so easy!  To make it a bit prettier you can tamp it down with a measuring cup or anything flat.  Then bake it while you make the filling.

If you code in Pi-thon instead of Python, what comPiler should you use? (consultant on this pun: husband)

If you code in Pi-thon instead of Python, what comPiler should you use? (consultant on this pun: husband, programmer extraordinaire)

Step one of filling is zesting the lemons.  If you don’t have a microplane grater yet, I highly highly recommend buying one.  This is one of very few kitchen tools I’ve bought (rolling pin?  Why not a wine bottle? Any other gadget?  Why not a knife?).  Also, think about how long this would take if you used 20 key limes instead of four normal limes.

I wonder if anyone has analyzed the horoscope data of people who are really good at memorizing digits of pi.  Are there more Pisces and ScorPios?  Are Capricorns pretty good, but more likely to accidentally throw in some other digit?

I wonder if anyone has analyzed the horoscope data of people who are really good at memorizing digits of pi. Are there more Pisces and ScorPios? Are Capricorns pretty good, but more likely to accidentally throw in some other digit?

Next, toss in some egg yolks.  You could of course use the whole eggs, but yolks make things more custardy/rich and they’re what I used.  Then I had egg whites for breakfast (you could also use the opportunity to make pavlova, the best thing I’ve ever made).  I used my stand mixer and mixed that up really well, til pretty light.  You could also just use a fork/whisk and a bowl for this recipe, but I do think that using a beater makes the texture super smooth.

I wonder if I can make it through this whole post only doing Pi jokes.  No reason in pi-ticular.  Just kidding, it's Pi Day!

I wonder if I can make it through this whole post only doing Pi jokes. No reason in pi-ticular. Just kidding, it’s Pi Day!

Now add in your can of sweetened condensed milk and beat that too.

Speaking of memorizing digits of pi, I'm horrible at it.  I was pretty bad at P.E. as a kid, but I'm even worse at Pi E.

Speaking of memorizing digits of pi, I’m horrible at it. I was pretty bad at P.E. as a kid, but I’m even worse at Pi E.

I guess I should add "memorizing digits of pi" to the big Pi-le of things I'm bad at (also, editing out weak puns is in this pi-le)

I guess I should add “memorizing digits of pi” to the big Pi-le of things I’m bad at (also, editing out weak puns is in this pi-le)

Ugh I’m using my husband’s stupid little computer and I accidentally published this post here.  Sorry!  Updating as fast as I can to finish it.

Finally, juice those four limes (or 20 key limes) and toss that in to the filling, and mix.  I have some asides about recipes here: generally, key lime pie recipes I found listed graham crackers and lime juice using cups as units of measure: so 1 1/2 c of crushed graham crackers and 2/3 c of lime juice.  The lime juice I understand, because limes come in different sizes/might be juicier or less juicy, and you want recipes to be repeatable.  But aren’t all graham crackers the same size?  Every time you crush X number of graham crackers, you should get 1.5 c of crumbs.  I’m just saying as an amateur graham cracker crust maker, I did not know how many graham crackers to use.

Pour your filling into your parbaked crust (it’s been in the oven for about ten minutes by the way, unless you’re really slow at juicing limes in which case maybe you took it out after ten minutes), and bake for another ten minutes until it looks not jiggly.

I've gotten myself into quite a mess.  I should've brainstormed pi puns ahead of time, then selectively chosen from the list.  Then I'd be out of this pickle by my pi-culling.

I’ve gotten myself into quite a mess. I should’ve brainstormed pi puns ahead of time, then selectively chosen from the list. Then I’d be out of this pickle by my pi-culling.

I want Weird Al to make a parody of that N Sync song, from the point of view of the White and Nerdy.  ("Yo I know Pi to a thousand places") It'd clearly be called "Pi Pi Pi"

I want Weird Al to make a parody of that N Sync song, from the point of view of the White and Nerdy. (“Yo I know Pi to a thousand places”) It’d clearly be called “Pi Pi Pi”

We let this cool for a little bit, then stuck it in the freezer because we wanted to eat it.  You could also put freshly whipped cream on top if you wanted.  But it’s great on its own, and is SO EASY.  We literally went from “hey, do you want to make a pie?” to eating a pie in one hour, which includes the 15-20 minutes of freezer time.

If the singer of "Party in the USA" had been really into saying digits of the ratio between the circumference and diameter of a circle as a kid, would she be called Piley Cyrus?  (instead of Miley, which is short of Smiley, rather than her given name.  Thank you wikipedia)

If the singer of “Party in the USA” had been really into saying digits of the ratio between the circumference and diameter of a circle as a kid, would she be called Piley Cyrus? (instead of Miley, which is short of Smiley, rather than her given name. Thank you wikipedia)

SO GOOD.  SO EASY.  SO GLAD THIS POST IS DONE SO I DON’T HAVE TO KEEP COMING UP WITH PI PUNS.

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Lime pie (adapted from the ever-amazing smitten kitchen)

1 sleeve of graham crackers

1 stick of butter (1/2 c)

Pinch salt

1 can of sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)

4 limes or 20 key limes

3 egg yolks (or eggs)

Crush the graham crackers (we stuck them in a plastic bag then pulverized with a bottle, but a rolling pin or something would work well too).  Melt the butter.  Mix the graham crackers and salt in a pie pan, then pour over the melted butter and mix.  Tamp down into a crust.  Bake at 350 while you make filling (set timer to ten minutes to be safe).

Beat the egg yolks with the zest of the limes for several (5 per SK) minutes.  Meanwhile, juice the limes.  Then add sweetened condensed milk and beat more (3 minutes per SK).  Stir in lime juice.  Pour into parbaked pie crust.  Bake for another ten minutes.

Let cool completely, then chill.  Then eat.

Apple blueberry yogurt pie

26 Nov

This is an old pie I made for a party I went to on the 4th of July.  I always liked the look of those whipped cream-strawberry-blueberry 4th of July cakes, so I had blueberries in the hope of making one.  But I didn’t get strawberries, and our friendly visiting postdoc made an AMAZING pie crust and had left the extra dough in our fridge.  So I went with apple pie for the America! theme.

This was in a sublet apartment- i was just borrowing the Pad.  It was a good place to store Apples.

This was in a sublet apartment- i was just borrowing the Pad. It was a good place to store Apples.

So I did the usual peel and slice the apples, top with sugar and cinnamon, put into a pie crust.  But ALAS!  Three apples wasn’t enough to fill the pie!

This sin(namon) is so scandalous, that [go to next caption]

This sin(namon) is so scandalous, that [go to next caption]

I am APPalLEd!

I am APPalLEd!

After seeing my pie crust sadly filled about halfway, I raided our fridge.  I found a package of blueberries and a container of yogurt, so thanks to google I rescued the pie!

I wonder if this happens every time the person who played Storm in X-men tries to bake anything

I wonder if this happens every time the person who played Storm in X-men tries to bake anything

Basically it’s a normal apple pie, plus yogurt and blueberries.  The creaminess of the yogurt really makes this pie special and different.

I wish this recipe had been written by a guy named Barry.  So there'd be no more need to feel blue, Barry to the rescue!

I wish this recipe had been written by a guy named Barry. So there’d be no more need to feel blue, Barry to the rescue!

For fruit pies I always prefer a streusel topping.  Actually, for anything I prefer a streusel topping.  If streusel is at all appropriate I say go for it (so toss it on top of any cake or bread/muffin possible, but maybe avoid the pavlova).  I like it so much I rarely use a recipe for it anymore: just mix flour and brown sugar (equal parts), and then cut in slightly soft but chilled butter until you have crumbs.  I use a fork and knife like the butter is a very soft steak.

If you're running low on butter you may find yourself in a streu-seller's market.  I had to investopedia "seller's market" to write this pun

If you’re running low on butter you may find yourself in a streu-seller’s market. I had to investopedia “seller’s market” to write this pun.

Then sprinkle the streusel over the pie and spread it out so the whole top is covered.  You want some of this deliciousness in every bite.

I thought not enough apples would be a pi(e)ty, but pie with only apples is really a piety of our time (again you have to look up the alternate definition of piety here)

I thought not enough apples would be a pi(e)ty, but pie with only apples is really a piety of our time (again you have to look up the alternate definition of piety here)

Bake, let cool, and eat!

IMG_20140704_131539112

IMG_20140704_131554568

 

Apple-blueberry yogurt pie, adapted from allrecipes

One pie crust

3-4 Granny Smith apples (note: tart apples make better pies)

1 c blueberries

1 c plain yogurt

1/2 c sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 c flour (note: if you have oats, try replacing half the flour with oats)

1/2 c (1 stick) butter

1/2 c brown sugar

 

Preheat oven to 350.  Slice and peel apples, toss with blueberries, yogurt, sugar, and cinnamon.  Put into pie crust.

Using two knives or a pastry blender or a fork and knife, cut the butter into the flour and brown sugar until coarse crumbs appear.  Top pie.

Bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.

Holiday gift 2013: mini pecan pies

7 Jan

So for my very first post on this blog, I wrote about mini fruitcakes that were SO MUCH WORK and also SO WORTH IT.

Remember me?

I mailed them out to loved ones, and kept a few for myself, basting them with brandy every few days and munching on them every chance I had.  This year I wanted to make mini baked goods to mail out again, but with minimal effort (given the whooping cough thing).  So I recycled Ellie’s pecan pie recipe, but made teeny-tiny cupcake sized pies and froze them instead.

If that guy that Han Solo killed was suddenly infested with teeny parasites made from shrinking the forest protectors in LOTR, they would be in-Greedo-Ents.

If that guy that Han Solo killed was suddenly infested with teeny parasites made from shrinking the forest protectors in LOTR, they would be in-Greedo-Ents.

It helps that this recipe is the easiest.  First I made the crusts by mixing flour, sugar, salt, milk, and oil in a bowl (from my chess pie post), then patting little balls into the cupcake tins.  Made 18 little crusts from one big crust.  I would recommend pre-baking these crusts for 10 minutes before adding the filling; I didn’t and they were waaaay too crumbly.

If you leave metal out in the ocean, you'll get a similar result to this: (Sea)-rust!

If you leave metal out in the ocean, you’ll get a similar result to this: (Sea)-rust!

I want a Simpsons episode where they open up a bakery.  And maybe where Homer says D'oh dough! over and over again

I want a Simpsons episode where they open up a bakery. And maybe where Homer says D’oh dough! over and over again

I was tempted to draw a female smiley on this and listen to Lady Gage.  Po-po-po-poke her face po-po-poke her face.

I was tempted to draw a female smiley on this and listen to Lady Gage. Po-po-po-poke her face po-po-poke her face.

Once you’re all crusted up, mix the pie filling in a big bowl, first beating egg yolks and then adding everything else.

All yolks aside, baking can be serious business

All yolks aside, baking can be serious business

I whisk I could say otherwise

I whisk I could say otherwise

But lightheartedness just isn't in the mix

But lightheartedness just isn’t in the mix

Don’t forget that the pie filling puffs up a little bit, so try not to overfill each little cup.

Why do I fill you up, buttercup baby just to set you down, and bake you around and then worst of all, I never take you out when I say I will, but I love you still!

Why do I fill you up, buttercup baby just to set you down, and bake you around and then worst of all, I never take you out when I say I will, but I love you still!

A full sized pie takes about an hour to bake, while these little babies take about 20 minutes: 10 at 375, then 10-15 at 350, or until the top looks dry.  Let cool completely, then wrap in foil, then wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze.  Mail them with instructions: 5-10 minutes at 350 to thaw them out.  So tasty!

P1010700 P1010699

Mini pecan pies:  Easy crust from allrecipes, filling from Eleanor Reeves

For crust:

Mix together:

1.5 c flour

1.5 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

Then pour in:

2 TB soy milk (add 1/2 tsp sugar if using regular milk)

1/2 c oil

Stir well, then pat into cupcake tins.  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or so while you prepare the filling.

Filling:

Beat:

3 eggs

Add:

1/4 c. soft margarine (or butter)
1 c. chopped pecans
1 tsp vanilla
1 c. light karo syrup
1/2 c. sugar

Pour about 1/4 cup into each cupcake crust, then bake at 375 for 10 minutes, and lower heat to 350 and bake another 10-15 minutes or until done.

Raw vegan key lime pie, or on failure, part II

4 Aug

My friend pointed out a while back that raw recipes really shouldn’t count as baking.  This surprises me because she was there when I made the turducken and it was 84 degrees outside my house and hotter inside when the oven was on.  You guys, it’s August in Chicago.  I’m not turning on the oven and if I could I would just have gazpacho and salad for all my meals.So!  Key lime pie!  I’ve never made it and I’ve only had it once before.  This is more of an avocado-lime pie (it doesn’t even use the key ingredient of key lime pie).  Whenever I don’t feel like schlepping over to the gym I do a few pilates youtube videos from Cassey Ho, and today two days ago I accidentally clicked on one of her food videos instead of the ab video I wanted.  So I thought I’d try it out, with a few modifications.  Also, since I’m not that experienced with making raw food (the brownies were my first time), I didn’t realize you’re supposed to soak the cashews overnight.  Thank  you, internet, for telling me what I could do instead!

OK so raw recipes?  You really have to plan them ahead.  This is not my forte, if you couldn’t tell from the way I throw things together for baking.  So this post and pie turned from baking to failure.  I think it’s a sign.  Within a year after I graduated from college, several people and an animal close to me all died (separately), and someone told me that it seemed like the universe was trying to tell me something.  Since then I’ve focused more time on things I love (this blog, the people dear to me, traveling, reading) and less time on other stuff (stressing about how little work I’m getting done in grad school or what I’ll do with my life/future).  Similarly, this is the FIRST TIME I have ever had to throw out something I made because it was so bad.  I think I’m telling me (through my willful negligence of the recipe and thoughtfulness) that I shouldn’t become a raw foodist.  I’m OK with that, given the first sentence in this post.

Previous paragraph aside, I want to emphasize that failure is not a sign that you should give up, but a sign that you should learn.  There’s no way to learn without failure, and since I’m in the business of learning, I’m pretty much destined to fail.  Over and over again.  And in the face of much, much failure, and very few milestones (none for the next few years, and then I’ll suddenly have a dissertation), it will seem easier to quit and switch to something else than keep going.  But this connects back to that other life lesson I had from all the deaths- do what you love.  This is what I love, so I’ll do it, and keep accumulating failures on my path to success.  This is true for anyone who is ambitious, because anyone ambitious should have learning be a major part of their life.

So things I learned from this poison pie:

  • Make sure your avocados are ripe.  Generally I throw avocados in a paper bag with some bread to get them to ripen faster.   Below I’ll tell you how I poisoned us with the avocado.
  • Read your recipe ahead of time.  Apparently you’re supposed to soak cashews overnight for cashew cream.  I asked the internet and did the quick soak method for the cashews (you bring them to a boil, then cover and let them steam for an hour) but I don’t think it turned out as well (also I didn’t wait for the full hour).
  • Follow directions exactly.   I don’t think this can be on my list because I didn’t learn it, in the face of much evidence.  Man I’m like a climate change denialist in this aspect of my life.  Luckily it doesn’t affect anyone but me (and whomever I’m feeding).
  • My blender sucks.  Use the food processor or immersion blender instead.
  • DON’T POISON YOURSELF.  I mean it’s not like we all died or anything because I’m writing this to you.  I cut open the avocados and realized they were not ripe, so I put them in a plastic bag (this was the big problem) and closed it and left it out.  A day later it was full of gases from the avocado respiring, and the fats in the avocado had gone rancid (I think, I’m not sure).  I didn’t notice until much later, after making and tasting the pie.

Crust: Food process all your stuff!  I used walnuts, dates, coconut, and almond.  Then press it into a pie pan.

I was driving my date nuts with talk of my interests.  I don't see what's wrong with cocoa and walls.

I was driving my date nuts with talk of my interests. I don’t see what’s wrong with cocoa and walls.

This is a little crazy: apparently almonds aren't nuts!

This is a little crazy: apparently almonds aren’t nuts!

Of coarse, the internet could've told you that (besides this blog)

Of coarse, the internet could’ve told you that (besides this blog)

And you probably weren't whirr-ied about it anyway.

And you probably weren’t whirr-ied about it anyway.

But if you were, just apply a little pressure and everything will be fine

But if you were, just apply a little pressure and everything will be fine

Then throw that crust in the freezer.  I actually kept my crust after throwing out the rest of the pie because it was so tasty!  And I think this pie would be yummy if you didn’t use rancid, unripe avocados.

Next you take your soaked overnight cashews and drain them.   I meant you throw your cashews in a pot with some water, bring it to a boil, turn off the heat and let it steam for an hour (so cover it and don’t peek!)  Then blend those cashews up into cashew cream.

I'm a pot!  I'm holding cashews!  The kettle is super black right now!

I’m a pot! I’m holding cashews! The kettle is super black right now!

cASHEWS!  (bless you!)

cASHEWS! (bless you!)

Next add your avocado, zest and juice of two limes, and whatever else (I did honey and vanilla).  Blend that up!
If you squeezed lime juice in your eyes you'd probably be temporarily blinded.  Maybe that's the source of the exclamation "blimey!"

If you squeezed lime juice in your eyes you’d probably be temporarily blinded. Maybe that’s the source of the exclamation “blimey!”

If two limes from the same tree grated against each other, would that be incest? (inzest)

If two limes from the same tree grated against each other, would that be incest? (inzest)

Deep into the belly of the beast (The Blender)

Deep into the belly of the beast (The Blender)

If your blender isn’t stupid, you’ll have a beautiful, fluffy lightly green cream filling that you can spread on your crust and chuck in the fridge.  Top with some additional lime and shredded coconut.

Covering up the crust's indecency with some PASTE-ies

Covering up the crust’s indecency with some PASTE-ies

P1000955

But really I think this pie would be great without rancid avocado.  I’ll probably make the non-raw, non-vegan version first, but if I make this again I’ll let you know!

Raw vegan key lime pie (inspired by blogilates)

Crust:

1 c walnuts

1/2 c almonds

1/2 c shredded coconut

8-10 dates (about a cup)

Use a food processor to grind up the nuts, then add the other ingredients and process until fine and crumbly.  Use your clean hands to press into a pie pan, then throw in the freezer.

Filling:

2 avocados

2 limes, zested and juiced

1 c cashews, soaked overnight

1 tsp vanilla

2 TB raw honey

optional: more shredded coconut

First blend or food process the cashews until very fine.  Then add the other ingredients and blend until smooth.  Spread over crust, top with shredded coconut and/or more lime, and chill in freezer.

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