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Old 11-17-2011, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What's your fave kind?  Do you have a favorite recipe you can share?  What's your favorite crust recipe? 

 

I'm tasked with the pies for Thanksgiving (pumpkin and mince), and looking for something excellent, as I've never made either one before.  That, and I just love pie.  :)


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Old 11-17-2011, 05:50 PM
 
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I really love apple pie. This recipe has my favorite crust too. 

 

http://www.plantfoodfabulous.com/2010/09/apple-pie-of-course.html

 

This is my favorite decadent pie. It is graham crust, chocolate, dulce de leche, banana and whip cream. Soooo good. 

 

http://www.plantfoodfabulous.com/2010/09/banoffee-pie.html

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Old 11-19-2011, 08:48 AM
 
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I always bake a pie for Thanksgiving and try to bring one that is a little different than the apple/pumpkin/pecan pies that everyone else brings.  For the last 3 years I made a chocolate cream pie that was always a hit and this year I'm making lemon meringue (one of my favorites from childhood).  DD is gluten-free so I buy the GF crust from Whole Foods (which tastes better than my homemade GF ones).  


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Old 11-19-2011, 09:07 AM
 
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Good golly, I love me some pie.  Did you ever see the movie "Michael" where Andie MacDowell sings an ode to pies?  Aaah, my anthem...

 

I am a rotten baker, but I am excellent at buying frozen Marie Callendar's Razzleberry Pie.  It is so sweet, tart, and delicious.  Makes an excellent dessert...or breakfast...and it's a fruit serving, right?  So it's basically a health food...they are expensive, though, so we only buy them a couple of times a year when they are on sale or I have a coupon (or both).

 

Fun thread!  Pie rocks!


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Old 11-19-2011, 11:44 AM
 
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I love making sweet potato pie! So easy and so yum! I originally tried it as sweet potatoes are less work then pumpkins, and I just Cook 2-3 sweet potatoes in oven, peel and mash with a little honey, plenty of cinnamon and nutmeg, butter, and some milk and 2 eggs.

I use frozen crusts smile.gif I am a poor crust maker, although I try (and fail) a few times each year...

I also do apple.... Just sliced/peeled apples tossed w a few tbsp of flour and some honey and tons of cinnamon, plus a dash of molasses. I top it with a rolled out second crust and serve w homemade vanilla bean ice cream.


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Old 11-19-2011, 04:49 PM
 
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askew- that Banoffe pie looks A-MAZ-ING!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I have a friend who loves banana cream. This would blow it out of the water!

 

I do well with the pie crust recipe from my Betty Crocker cook book. I think there are a few things to remember.

1. Do not overwork or over roll your crust. It will be tough.

2. Use ice cold water and add only just enough to bring it together.

3. Chill the dough in the fridge before you roll it. This makes it so much easier to roll out.

 

I love apple pie with crumb topping. Really, I am not a fan of making or eating 2 crust pies. I like the crust, but not that much.

 

DH's favorite pie is a peaches and cream type pie.

Use a crust for a one-crust pie. Do not bake it, yet.

Combine 4 c. sliced peaches with 1 c. sugar and 1/4c. flour. I also add a little nutmeg (about 1/4 tsp.), but my MIL never did (this is her recipe).

Pour the peach filling into the crust, then pour heavy cream over the top until the pie pan is full. This takes less than 1 cup. I usually put the pie in the oven before pouring in the cream. It is difficult to move when it is full.

Bake at 425 for 20 min. Reduce heat to 350 and bake about 30 min longer, until the center is set when you jiggle the pie.

Allow the pie to cool to room temperature before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

grandpa called this "soggy pie." Leftovers don't hold very well as the crust gets soggy, so they always tried to eat it all in one day!

 

I freeze some peaches with sugar every year just to make this.


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Old 11-22-2011, 12:50 PM
 
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The secret to a good crust is lots of practice. Joy of Cooking has, like, 7 pages of instructions and that's where I learned how to make a good crust.  The 'flaky pastry dough' recipe is my favorite.  You can use either 1 cup of shortening or 1/2 cup and 8 tablespoons of butter.  I always use the butter with the shortening. For the longest time I used a butter-only recipe, but the shortening really makes a better texture. 

 

I grew up with Sara Lee frozen pies and I think store-bought crusts are just fine.  Dh, however, grew up with his mom's pies made from scratch, and I just couldn't abide being out-done by my mil.  So I had to get better at making crusts.  Oh, poor Husband. orngbiggrin.gif

 

My very favorite kind of pie is strawberry rhubarb. The smell of it baking just kills me.

 

Dh's favorite is lemon meringue, so that's what he gets for his birthday. 

 

I make pumpkin pie with butternut squash now, instead of a pie pumpkin.  The butternut has a wonderful smooth texture and fresh flavor. Dh thought he didn't like pumpkin pie.  Turns out he's just a big ol' food snob and doesn't like canned pumpkin.  eyesroll.gif  I like it, I love the Libby's canned pumpkin. 

 

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

 

5 to 6 cups, equal amounts of diced rhubarb and sliced strawberries

1 cup sugar, more if the strawberries aren't very sweet

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/8 tsp salt

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice -less if it's bottled

3 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small pieces

 

In a large bowl toss the fruit with the sugar, cornstarch, salt and lemon.  Allow the mix to sit while you roll out the crust; give a gentle stir a couple of times. Pour the fruit mix in the crust and scatter the butter across the top. Cover with the top crust and bake at 425F for 30 minutes.  Slide a baking sheet under it and reduce the temp to 350F.  Bake till the juices are bubbly, about 30 minutes more.  Allow it to cool and set up in the fridge just as long as you can stand before you tear into it.

 

I'll refrigerate a cream pie, but fruit pies I leave on the counter.  They're always eaten within 24 hours. 

 

Wow that peaches and cream pie sounds delicious!


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Old 11-22-2011, 01:17 PM
 
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duh.gif  Sorry, this isn't strawberry season. 

 

Anyway, if you're going to make a pumpkin pie or two, I suggest you try making it from scratch with fresh squash of some sort, either pumpkin or butternut.

 

1 baked pie crust

 

2 cups cooked, pureed pumpkin

3 eggs

3/4 cup milk, 3/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cloves or allspice

1/2 tsp salt

 

Pour the filling into the crust and bake at 375F 35 to 45 minutes (start checking at 25 minutes).  When the filling is set but still quivery when you nudge it, it's done. 

 

Now maybe my pie pans are extra shallow?  But there's always about 1 cup filling too much.  So I dump the extra in a small, buttered dish and bake it along side the pie. Fantastic custard for my breakfast.

 

Oh my word, that banoffee pie is almost obscene. Yum!

 

 


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Old 11-22-2011, 02:31 PM
 
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Oh, pie. I just love pie. I just ate a slice of chocolate icebox pie, actually. And I'm going back for another in a bit. I also like apple pie (I usually prefer to make apple hand pies), but my all time favorite is shoofly pie. If you like molasses, you will love and adore shoofly. The best part about it is the fact that it's a pantry pie - if you're out of fruit or eggs and milk for custard type pies, you can still make a pie! Basically all you need is molasses, baking soda and water, and a little butter for the crumb topping. It's heaven in a pie plate. 


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Old 11-23-2011, 09:07 AM
 
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I love fruit pies.  I use Julia Child's recipe for Pate Brisee (in Mastering the Art of French Cooking).  I substitute some shortening for the butter (though not always) and I base the recipe on 2.5 cups flour, which gives me a lot of scraps.  Sometimes I use all butter, but never ever no butter.

 

Here's what makes my crusts so good:

 

Cold cold cold cold cold.  Give yourself plenty of time to stick your bowl back in the freezer if it feels like it's warming up.  The butter should be very firm but not frozen.  I use really icy water to add for the liquid.  When doing the frissage (explained in the book) the heel of my hand will ache with cold.  Yup, that cold.

 

The other trick I find useful is always using pastry flour.  WW is easy to find at coops, but I usually use the unbleached pastry flour, harder to find.  Using pastry flour (either kind) gives you more room to avoid developing the gluten and getting a chewy crust.  

 

For fruit pies, I always use minute tapioca (or tapioca flour, equal to corn starch measure), never corn starch or flour.  If you do use that, don't do a lattice pie or the bits will get rock hard.  If you want to do a lattice, use the tap. flour instead.  The goal is a not a solid slice of pie!

 

Use ice water (again) for sealing the top to the bottom crust.  Did I mention everything should be cold?  Keep the other half of the dough in the fridge while rolling out.

 

I always sprinkle my crusts with sugar and freshly grated nutmeg.  Brush the pie lightly with *ice* water, all the way to the edges of the crust and sprinkle liberally.  Turbinado sugar is pretty.

 

Another trick I learned, because I always make two pies at once-- five or ten minutes back in the freezer before popping into the oven seems to work wonders on the crust.

 

Very important-- put the oven rack on the *lower third* of the oven, not the center.  This will bake the bottom crust properly and avoid burning the top edges.  Bake fruit pies at 450 for ten minutes, then 350 for the remainder.

 

DO NOT UNDERBAKE!!!!!  I have eaten so many couldabeengood fruit pies that just needed 15 more minutes in the oven.  The crust should have a good light brown color all over, and the juices are thick and bubbly.  When in doubt, leave it for another 5-10 minutes.  If you've put the pie on the lower third rack, your crust will not burn.

 

Don't slice immediately (so hard!) and allow the juices to settle some.  And reheating pie never works for me-- the crust always gets soft.  Room temp is next best if it's not still just warm from baking.

 

If done properly, your crust should hold nicely together-- not shatter to pieces-- and should not be chewy.  A little crackle, mmmmm..... good to the last crumb-- no leftover crusts on anyone's plate is the best sign of all.

 

APPLE PIE FILLING: 5-6 cups chopped apples (Pink Lady's are a favorite here), 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/3 C sugar, 1 Tbsp Minute Tapioca.  Stir and let sit at least 15 minutes.  Add to pie and bake.

 

BON APETIT!!

 

 


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Old 11-23-2011, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Lots of great input, thank you ladies!  I probably should have said up top that I am an experienced pie maker, just never done these ones before.  I learned at the knee of my grandmother, who is the only other one in the family who does pies, so when people want pies, they ask me.  I was more looking to just get a conversation started, since I know I'm not the only one baking pies for the holidays. 

 

It turns out that nobody but my DH likes crust on their pumpkin pie, so we'll be doing a pumpkin custard - I think I'm going to try journeymom's recipe, since I have 3 roasted pumpkins in the fridge, and most recipes call for canned.  And nana hinted around preferring mincemeat tartlets instead of a pie, so that's going to be my task this afternoon.  In the past I've done pumpkin custard profiteroles with maple caramel sauce (the caramel makes the dish), but that's a bit too much for this casual setting. 

 

I made my regular short pie crust last night, which uses all butter and sour cream instead of water.  The lovely thing about it is that you can roll it or you can press it into a pan - rolling for tartlets is a PITA.  It also goes nicely in savory applications, so whatever is left over I can stick in the freezer for later.  I originally started making it for savory pies (meat, mushroom, cabbage, etc.) and discovered it's just so much nicer to work with. 

 

The one bummer is that neither nana or poppa like pecans, so I don't get to do a pecan pie, which is my fave holiday pie.  I'll probably do pecan pie tartlets sometime in December though, I'm sure I can come up with an excuse (even if it's "because the baby wanted them."  My DH is incredibly tolerant of anything he thinks is a pg craving. winky.gif ).  

 

I definitely second the minute tapioca.  That's what I use in fruit pies.  I've always gotten a far better result than with flour/starch.  One of my favorite fruit pies is apricot blackberry.  I halve and freeze apricots when they're in season, and freeze whole blackberries when they're in season, so I can make it all winter.  Just roughly equal parts of each, tossed with about 1/4 c of sugar and a couple Tbs of tapioca.  Still frozen into the pie crust, seal and bake.  Delish!

 

SweetSilver - I'm hoping DH is getting me that book for my Bday.  I've been wanting it, but the price is high enough I won't buy it for myself.  Unfortunately he got me the DVDs of her show last year for Xmas and they disappeared before I ever opened them. 

 

Journeymom - I can actually still get strawberries at the farmer's mkt.  They're at the very tail end of the season, but he still had them last week.  I can also get raspberries, which I think go even nicer with the rhubarb (IMO), as do apricots.  I'm just not terribly crazy about cooked strawberries, I guess.  Unfortunately, rhubarb is about $14/lb around here because it doesn't grow easily, and that I've never seen at the market, only the grocery store.  I usually keep some in the freezer when I make the trip inland to where it grows, but this year I gave it all away. 

 

kitchensqueen - it's not nice to tease!  How about a recipe for the shoofly?  I love molasses. 


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Old 11-23-2011, 09:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cristeen View Post

 

It turns out that nobody but my DH likes crust on their pumpkin pie, so we'll be doing a pumpkin custard - I think I'm going to try journeymom's recipe, since I have 3 roasted pumpkins in the fridge, and most recipes call for canned.  And nana hinted around preferring mincemeat tartlets instead of a pie, so that's going to be my task this afternoon.  In the past I've done pumpkin custard profiteroles with maple caramel sauce (the caramel makes the dish), but that's a bit too much for this casual setting. 

 

 

SweetSilver - I'm hoping DH is getting me that book for my Bday.  I've been wanting it, but the price is high enough I won't buy it for myself.  Unfortunately he got me the DVDs of her show last year for Xmas and they disappeared before I ever opened them. 

 

 

I haaaate pumpkin pie, but I love the version I invented for my dairy intolerant daughter.  I make a *chocolate cookie crumb crust*.  The filling is the same as a standard recipe, but just a smidgen of milk (we used soy).  If you use homemade pumpkin puree you can get by with none, but a little is nice.  With less milk, the spices are harsher, so I cut the ginger in half and checked the cinnamon.  We used Newman's Own chocolate alphabet cookies to make the crumbs.  You'd think that this recipe would be yummy with a graham crust and it is, but once you've tried the chocolate the plain graham crust is bland.  

 

About the book-- every good used book store usually has at least one copy of MTAOFC.  You're right, it is expensive new, so don't.


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Old 11-23-2011, 11:11 AM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by cristeen View Post

 

kitchensqueen - it's not nice to tease!  How about a recipe for the shoofly?  I love molasses. 


Hahaha - be careful, it's an addicting pie to make! I put a link to the post about it on my blog, but I'll type it here since I didn't post it in standard recipe format over there.

 

your favorite pie crust recipe - enough for 1 9-inch pie

 

Crumb Topping -

1 1/2 cups flour

2/3 brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

 

Base Layer -

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 boiling water (I find that the very hottest water from the tap works fine too)

1/2 cup molasses

 

1. Blend crumb topping ingredients in a small bowl until well combined and crumbly. Set aside. 

2. Combine base layer ingredients and pour into your unbaked pie shell. 

3. Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over top of liquid base layer. 

4. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, then turn oven down to 325 and bake 20-30 minutes longer, until springy and nicely browned. 

5. Let cool to room temperature before slicing. 

 

It's soooo good! This is basically the recipe exactly as is it's printed in The Lost Art of Pie Making Made Easy by Barbara Swell. If you love pie, you have to get this book. Excellent recipes and the book has a vintage-old timey feel that I just love. The only difference in what I have typed above is that the crumb topping is doubled. :-)

 

Now you'll have to excuse me ladies, I have to check on my pumpkin pie. :-) I have a chocolate icebox pie in the fridge setting up, and will be starting my own shoofly after lunch. Happy baking! 

 


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Old 11-23-2011, 02:50 PM
 
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This is a wonderful thread.  Cristeen, I'm glad you're using the fresh pumpkin.  It's yummy.

 

OK talk to me about tapioca versus corn starch.  How/why is it superior? 


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Old 11-23-2011, 05:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by journeymom View Post

This is a wonderful thread.  Cristeen, I'm glad you're using the fresh pumpkin.  It's yummy.

 

OK talk to me about tapioca versus corn starch.  How/why is it superior? 

It's a personal taste, but corn starch gives a filling that's... hmmmm... has more pronounced artificiality to the thickness.  Think of industrial cherry pie filling.  Now obviously you can tone it down by using less (and fruits like apple and quince hardly need any at all).  But it's still.... bouncier (?), stickier (?), glue-ier (is that even a word?)... than tapioca starch/ minute tapioca.  (Sorry I can't quite describe it.  It's not *bad* but just not preferable.  Better than flour, though.)  Minute tapioca pulls the moister to the granules, so the liquid has a pure, fruity taste, but some people are bugged by the bits.  Honestly, though, my sisters hate tapioca and never notice that I use the granules.  But tapioca starch completely eliminates that possibility, and in addition can be used under a lattice crust.

 

I just think that the tapioca is a more "invisible" ingredient in pies and in my experience has less problem with over-setting than corn starch.  
 

 


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Old 11-23-2011, 05:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post

It's a personal taste, but corn starch gives a filling that's... hmmmm... has more pronounced artificiality to the thickness.  Think of industrial cherry pie filling.  Now obviously you can tone it down by using less (and fruits like apple and quince hardly need any at all).  But it's still.... bouncier (?), stickier (?), glue-ier (is that even a word?)... than tapioca starch/ minute tapioca.  (Sorry I can't quite describe it.  It's not *bad* but just not preferable.  Better than flour, though.)  Minute tapioca pulls the moister to the granules, so the liquid has a pure, fruity taste, but some people are bugged by the bits.  Honestly, though, my sisters hate tapioca and never notice that I use the granules.  But tapioca starch completely eliminates that possibility, and in addition can be used under a lattice crust.

 

I just think that the tapioca is a more "invisible" ingredient in pies and in my experience has less problem with over-setting than corn starch.  


Clear jel is the most invisible of them all. :-) 

 


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Old 11-23-2011, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Clear jel is the most invisible of them all. :-) 

 



But what *is* Clear-jel?  Ah, a quick google search turns up it's modified corn starch.  No thanks, I'll stick with non-GMO. 

 

And I agree, I don't care for the texture that cornstarch or flour gives the pie - it's hard to describe, but it's a texture issue.  It just feels wrong to me.  Tapioca doesn't give it that texture. 

 


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Old 11-23-2011, 06:23 PM
 
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I'm trying pecan pie again this year.  Hard to make *bad* pecan pie, but still, I've had trouble with "curdling" in the past.  I've always thought it was from overcooking, but this year I think I'll try to bring the filling to room temperature before adding the melted butter.  I'm thinking that the congealed bits of butter is causing the trouble, we'll see.

 

Anyone try making pecan pie with no corn syrup?  I already substitute 1/4 C maple syrup for part of the measure, but I'd really like to make it with 100% sugar or some other ingredients that wouldn't affect that classic flavor noticeably.  This year I'm using up the corn syrup from the last pecan pie I made, but I'd like it to be the very last time!

 

Edited to add: Nnnnnnope!  Overbaked...again!  When will I even figure out when pecan pie is done?  It jiggles, even when set.  Clearly I'm doing this wrong.  Oh, well, if any one complains they don't have to eat it!


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Old 11-23-2011, 08:16 PM
 
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Quote:
 but some people are bugged by the bits.  Honestly, though, my sisters hate tapioca and never notice that I use the granules. But tapioca starch completely eliminates that possibility, and in addition can be used under a lattice crust.

 

So I did a search on tapioca starch and came up with tapioca flour.  Is that the same?  I love tapioca pudding, it's a happy memory from my childhood.  But I don't really like fish eggs in my pie (I say that with all affection). 

 

http://www.bobsredmill.com/tapioca-flour-mtx1532.html

 

Pecan pie reminds me of my aunt from Texas.  She made pecan pah with kay row syrup.  orngbiggrin.gif


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Old 11-23-2011, 08:19 PM
 
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But what *is* Clear-jel?  Ah, a quick google search turns up it's modified corn starch.  No thanks, I'll stick with non-GMO. 

 

And I agree, I don't care for the texture that cornstarch or flour gives the pie - it's hard to describe, but it's a texture issue.  It just feels wrong to me.  Tapioca doesn't give it that texture. 


Pretty sure it's not genetically modified, just processed in a way that the corn starch comes out "clearer" if that makes sense. Granted, still an industrial agriculture product, but regular corn starch is too. 


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So I did a search on tapioca starch and came up with tapioca flour.  Is that the same?  I love tapioca pudding, it's a happy memory from my childhood.  But I don't really like fish eggs in my pie (I say that with all affection). 

 

http://www.bobsredmill.com/tapioca-flour-mtx1532.html

 

Pecan pie reminds me of my aunt from Texas.  She made pecan pah with kay row syrup.  orngbiggrin.gif

As far as I know, but you know, I'm not sure.  I have used Bob's tapioca flour, though.  If there is a difference I'd like to know.  I'm usually using Minut Tapioca, though.

 

How did your Texas aunt pronounce "pecan"--  PEE-kan, pu-KAHN??
 

 


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Old 11-23-2011, 08:50 PM
 
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 PEE-kan  orngbiggrin.gif  She was a sweet lady with a gravely voice who played bridge and drank bourbon with a baby on her lap.  I think she talked up her Texas accent for her California nieces. 

 

 


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I'm trying pecan pie again this year.  Hard to make *bad* pecan pie, but still, I've had trouble with "curdling" in the past.  I've always thought it was from overcooking, but this year I think I'll try to bring the filling to room temperature before adding the melted butter.  I'm thinking that the congealed bits of butter is causing the trouble, we'll see.

 

Anyone try making pecan pie with no corn syrup?  I already substitute 1/4 C maple syrup for part of the measure, but I'd really like to make it with 100% sugar or some other ingredients that wouldn't affect that classic flavor noticeably.  This year I'm using up the corn syrup from the last pecan pie I made, but I'd like it to be the very last time!


Funny, an article about making pecan pie without corn syrup just popped up in my blog feed. Apparently golden syrup is a kind of treacle, or syrup made by partially inverting sugar molecules (basically, splitting some of them in half into separate glucose and sucrose). 


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Pretty sure it's not genetically modified, just processed in a way that the corn starch comes out "clearer" if that makes sense. Granted, still an industrial agriculture product, but regular corn starch is too. 

 

 

Unless it's organic, corn is GMO about 99% of the time.  No getting around it. 

 

As for pecan pie, I do make it without corn syrup.  I've never actually filled a (full sized) pie shell with this filling - you might want more pecans, but I make mini pies with it, and as a bar cookie it's excellent (and way easier than pie!).  That's why it calls for chopped pecans - for a full sized pie, you would use them whole. 

 


Filling:
2 Eggs
1 cup Sucanat
2 tablespoons Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1 generous cup Pecans, Chopped
24 whole Pecan Halves

For tartlets, it bakes at 350 for about 20 minutes, don't know about the timing on a full sized pie. 


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Old 11-24-2011, 01:15 AM
 
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Best pie crust ever- rich and delicious

 

1 1/8 cup flour

1 stick cold butter

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbls sugar 1 egg yolk

ice water

 

Combine flour, salt and sugar. Cut in butter. Add in egg yolk and 3 tbls ice water. Add more as needed to make a good consistency. Use for pies or tarts

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Old 11-24-2011, 07:34 AM
 
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Unless it's organic, corn is GMO about 99% of the time.  No getting around it. 

 

Oh yeah, I suppose that's more or less true these days.  I miss the time when food was just food and we didn't have to worry about this kind of junk. 


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Old 11-25-2011, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyway, if you're going to make a pumpkin pie or two, I suggest you try making it from scratch with fresh squash of some sort, either pumpkin or butternut.

 

2 cups cooked, pureed pumpkin

3 eggs

3/4 cup milk, 3/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cloves or allspice

1/2 tsp salt

 

Pour the filling into the crust and bake at 375F 35 to 45 minutes (start checking at 25 minutes).  When the filling is set but still quivery when you nudge it, it's done. 

 

 

This was amazing!!  I'm never going back!

 

Thank you for sharing the recipe.  It was a huge hit.  My pumpkin was a little undercooked before I tried to puree it, so it came out a little bit gritty, but it still had an amazing flavor.  We just served it in bowls with fresh whipped cream. 

 

I did have a bit of a problem telling when it was done though.  Because I was using a glass pyrex dish and no crust, I turned the heat down to 350, and at 25 minutes it was still jiggly when I shook the pan, but after another 15-20 minutes, I didn't notice an appreciable difference.  I'm wondering if it was actually done that first time, and I was just being over-cautious. 

 

The mincemeat was amazing.  I started it "brewing" on October 10, and left it until yesterday morning before preparing it.  I was a little hesitant at first to try it, since my stomach is a little more tender when I'm pg, but it was SOOOO good, and nana was practically having fits over how amazing it was.  If anyone wants to try it, you could start it this weekend and have it ready for Christmas...  let me know and I'll post the recipe.  It is a bit pricey to make, but it makes something like 1.5 gallons of mincemeat, and a pie uses 2 cups.  I packed up 4 pint jars for nana, topped each off with a shot of brandy to keep them moist and sealed the lids.  And you can barely tell the crock has been touched, it's still full.  I'll be giving a lot of it away, I'm sure.  But the nice thing is so long as I keep it closed (and the critters out of it - it's a huge fruit fly attractant), it'll keep indefinitely because of the alcohol content. 

 

The one thing I do have to remember is that my pie crust takes a lot longer to bake than most, since it has eggs in it.  So the mincemeat got a bit scorched, and I had those tarts in and out of the oven 3 times because the crust was still too soft to get out of the pans.  Oh well, nobody was paying attention to my crust, the mincemeat definitely outshined it. 

 

Hope everyone had a great holiday, and looking forward to more pie talk as we have another holiday looming. 


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Old 11-25-2011, 01:51 PM
 
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I'm so glad the pumpkin worked out!  I wonder if you could treat it like pudding/custard and cook it even lower and slower in a water bath.  Maybe bake it 325F, don't start checking until 40 minutes.

 

Please post your mince pie filling recipe! I spent a good hour sitting and reading about mince meat pies, and then fruit cake, the other night. 

 


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Old 11-25-2011, 06:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So - this is what I typed up the day I made it.  You need a really big crock or jar to let this steep in.  I have a 3 gallon jar that i used, and it was about 2/3 full, so somewhere around 1.5-2 gallons of finished mincemeat.  Each pie uses about 2 cups of mincemeat and 2 cups of apples (I used equal parts instead of the suggested ratio).  I wound up adding a full bottle of brandy and almost a full bottle of sherry the day I made it.  And added the rest of the sherry and maybe another cup of brandy a week or so later.  It's absorbed most of the liquid by this point (6 weeks later), but it's not so dry I think it needs more.  I still have most of the 2nd bottle of brandy still in the cabinet.  I used Trader Joe's alcohol - so cheap but decent.  Don't spend a lot of money on it (I think the brandy was $9/bottle). 

 

Make sure your lid is bug proof.  Mine is not, so a sheet of wax paper under it proved a really good idea (secure it with a rubber band if necessary), or it would have been full of fruit flies.  As it was, every time I opened it I had to shake off the layer of dead flies.  To give it away, I just filled pint jars with it, added a shot of brandy to each jar (to keep it moist), and sealed the lids.  It'll keep like that for quite a while.  Make sure the recipients have the instructions to add tart apples (I used Fuji). 

 

I will say that if you plan to make this next year, buy the candied peels now, or plan to candy them yourself.  They are not available in most places 11 months of the year (although I think bakerscatalogue.com carries them year-round). 

 

If you're going to use this in an uncooked recipe (like the mincemeat ice cream recipe I'm eyeing), mix it with the apples and cook it until the apples soften and it no longer smells of alcohol before cooling and continuing with the recipe. 

 


Mincemeat My Way
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The original recipe was a bit short on the details - what kind of figs, whether the citron was fresh or candied, whether the sherry is sweet or dry, etc.  I made this with what I could easily find (and my best guess).  I used the candied peels because I had them, and most other recipes I looked at used candied and not fresh.  I added the fresh zest for more of the flavor, though (but in hindsight probably could have skipped it).  

Ingredients:

2-3 pounds Beef Rump or Bottom Round, trimmed
1 Beef Tongue, (2-3 pounds)
1 pound Beef Kidney Suet (not rendered fat, the fresh fat - ask the butcher, you may have to order it)
4 cups Raisins
4 cups Golden Raisins
2 cups Currants
1 cup Candied Citron, Diced
1 cup Candied Orange Peel, Diced
1 cup Candied Lemon Peel, Diced
1 cup Dried Black Mission Figs, Chopped
3 cups Sugar
1 teaspoon Ground Clove
2 teaspoons Salt
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
2 teaspoons Ground Allspice
1 whole Nutmeg, Grated
2 bottles Brandy
1 bottle Cream Sherry
Zest of 1 large orange, Finely Grated
Zest of 1 large lemon, Finely Grated

Directions:

Simmer the beef and tongue in water to cover until tender, approximately two-three hours (you want it easily forkable, but not mushy/shredding).  Remove from the heat and cool.  Remove any fat from the beef roast, skin and trim the tongue.  Cut both into cubes and run them, along with the uncooked suet, through the food processor in batches, pulsing to chop finely (do not turn to mush).  

Into your biggest bowl, add all the remaining ingredients except the brandy and sherry, and mix well.  Pack into your long-term storage container, then add enough brandy to make a nice gooshy mixture (I had to use the entire bottle of brandy and most of the bottle of sherry that first day).  Cover and let stand for at least a month.  After a week or so if the mixture has absorbed most of the brandy, add enough sherry to moisten again.  Lift the lid every week or two, add brandy and sherry alternately as needed to keep the mixture moist. 

 

There was no note to stir the mixture, so I never did, but in hindsight I probably should have.  The top layer is a bit dry while the bottom layer is quite wet - so when measuring it out I scooped from the bottom. 

When you're ready for pies, add one cup chopped tart apples to each 1 1/4 cup of drained mincemeat before using.  

Notes:
4 c of raisins = approx 1.75 lbs
1 c candied citron = approx 6 oz or .3 lbs
1 cup chopped dried figs = approx 6 oz


 


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Old 11-25-2011, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm so glad the pumpkin worked out!  I wonder if you could treat it like pudding/custard and cook it even lower and slower in a water bath.  Maybe bake it 325F, don't start checking until 40 minutes.


Ya know, I thought about that, and next time I probably will treat it more like a custard or cheesecake... lower heat and a water bath.  It was still delicious, but it had a massive crack running right through it.  Nobody but me cared, but it was a tad annoying, since it looked perfect when I pulled it out of the oven. 

 

As for the fruit cake, I'm actually eyeing a nut cake recipe I have.  Similar to a traditional fruit cake, but made with all nuts instead of candied fruit, then wrapped in cheesecloth and soaked in alcohol for several weeks before Christmas.  I was assigned dinner for Boxing Day, so I'm thinking I'll make that for dessert and stick with something simple like a big pot of soup, which isn't much work, since we'll be on the road all day Christmas Eve and won't even get to the grocery store until that morning. 


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