Chocolate Pecan Pie*

new-chocolate-pecan-bourbon-pie-570x410This is a lovely pie, with real chocolate taste. The nuts are a great addition as well. It’s very smooth and mouth friendly I found. Give it a try.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pie shell, uncooked (there are several to choose from under desserts in the menu here)
  • 1 container (12-13 oz) of silken tofu or soft, drained
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup date puree
  • 1/3 cup sweetener of your choice (I use Swerve)
  • 1 tbsp molasses (you can omit if you don’t like the flavor
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 1 tsp arrowroot or cornstarch
  • 1 cup of pecans, whole

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place all ingredients (except the nuts) in a blender or food processor and blend until very smooth.
  2. Pour into the pie shell.
  3. Spread the pecans on top.
  4. Bake in a 350° pre-heated oven for about 45 minutes.
  5. Cool thoroughly and then transfer to the fridge for chilling. (It will firm up as it cools.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: You can chop the nuts if you like. You could also substitute any other nut you prefer. You can eliminate the date puree and use additional sugar of your choice. Serves up nicely with either whipped cream or ice cream on top.

SOURCE: Inspired by Chocolate Covered Kate

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A Healthier Pie Crust*

piecrustOh even when eating a low carb diet (or at least eating less carbs) you still want your sweets, and really there are some great substitutes. No, it won’t be the same, but it can be okay.

This makes a fine pie crust, but it is not a roll-out crust. It’s a pat-in type, which makes it easier but not as flexible since you can’t have the nice fluted edges.

But the taste is pretty darn good, and I’ll share a cheaper way of making it. Almond flour is very expensive as are many of the no white flour substitutes, but with a good food processor or a good coffee grinder, you can make your own and save some money.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/4 c almond flour (meal is the same)
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp of sweetener of your choice
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Whisk all the dry ingredients to evenly distribute.
  2. Add the egg and mix, and then drizzle in the butter until all is moistened.
  3. Grease the pie plate WELL. (I use Crisco because it works the best for me)
  4. Pat into a 9 inch pie plate.
  5. Place in freezer for at least 30 minutes or until ready to put in the filling.
  6. Add whatever filling you are using and bake as directed. If you are using a non-baked filling, then bake for 15 minutes at 350° watching carefully to avoid burning.

SERVES: 1 bottom crust

NOTES: It is essential to not omit the greasing, otherwise it will stick badly to your dish. Works fine for a crust for cheesecake springform pans as well. This recipe will go up the sides about 1/2 inch. Just add a bit more flour and a bit more butter if you want to get it up higher. You can also substitute some oat flour (whirring up regular oat meal in either a food processor or coffee or spice grinder). I use almonds and simply rough chop them and then put in my food processor to make my flour. It is fine if it’s mealy. The taste is unaffected and the texture is great. The coconut can be dried chips (which I can get at my supermarket) and they whirr up nicely in a spice grinder but be careful it will turn to “butter” quickly so do it in short bursts of grinding. You can buy coconut flour on Amazon and it lasts a good while since you don’t use much at a time. Beware of using very much because coconut flour sucks up moisture and will make cakes dry. Which is also true of Splenda which I don’t use for other reasons.

SOURCE: Inspired by All Day I Dream About Food

Hoosier Sweet Cream Pie

Hoosier-Sugar-Cream-Pie-0510-recipe-xlI had never heard of this pie until I saw it on one of my food recipe sites.

It looked easy, and kind of old-fashioned.

So I gave it a try.

I’m sure there are a dozen or more “authentic” ones. I’m not sure where this one falls regarding that, but it was quite tasty.

So give it a try if you are inclined.

It’s sort of like a custard pie with a deeper creamy texture and a sweeter flavor.

INGREDIENTS:

  • A single pie crust
  • a bit of milk (2 tbsp)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (plus more for dusting)
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 375°F. Roll out crust. For a 9-inch pan your bottom crust should be around 11 inches in diameter. Place bottom crust in pie pan or dish. Flute edges and brush pie shell with milk. Refrigerate crust while you prepare filling.

2.In a large bowl mix together flour, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir in heavy cream, half and half, and vanilla until well incorporated. Pour into prepared pie shell and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown and the center of the pie is set. Dust with additional cinnamon, if desired. Cool for about 15 to 20 minutes before slicing.
SERVES: 8
SOURCE: Serious Eats
OVEN TEMP: 375°
OVEN TIME: 45 minutes

Chocolate Pumpkin Mousse Pie

chocpumpOh this one was good. Very very good. There is something magical when you put pumpkin and chocolate together. Seriously.

Decadent.

Smooooth.

Melt in your mouth.

Makes you kinda moan and giggle at the same time.

Try it.

INGREDIENTS:

For the Chocolate Cookie Crust:

  • 6 ounces chocolate wafer cookies (about 27 wafers)
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  •  
  • For the Pumpkin Mousse:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  •  
  • For the Spiced Cocoa Whipped Cream
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • pinch ground cloves
  •  
  • For the Garnish:
  • 3 ounce bar bittersweet chocolate

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In food processor, process chocolate wafers and sugar until finely ground. Add melted butter and pulse to moisten. Transfer mixture to pie plate and firmly press into bottom and up sides. Set in fridge to chill while you make the pumpkin mousse.

  2. In large bowl, stir cream cheese, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves until completely incorporated. Stir in pumpkin and vanilla until smooth and incorporated.
  3. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip cream on medium-high speed until cream holds soft peaks that slowly dip down when whisk is pulled out of cream. Using rubber spatula, gently fold into pumpkin mixture. Pour mousse into pie shell and chill in fridge while you prepare the cocoa whipped cream.
  4. Into unwashed mixer bowl, add all ingredients for the spiced chocolate whipped cream and chill in fridge for 30 minutes. Place bowl in standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment and whip on medium-high speed to almost stiff peak. Spread over top of pumpkin mousse. Chill pie until set, about 3 hours.
  5. Place chocolate bar on work surface. Using paring knife, scrape chocolate shavings from bar and use to garnish top of pie.

SERVINGS: 8

NOTES: The Nabisco chocolate wafers are hard to find for some folks. My store does carry them, but you could easily substitute a place chocolate cookie (with mint is fine), or Oreos. Just scrape the filling out and proceed normally.

SOURCE: Serious Eats

 

 

Never Say Die Pie Crust

Pie-Crust-Recipe-1Pie crust used to be my friend, but ever since we moved to a higher elevation, I’ve had terrible troubles. My old standby no longer works, and I’ve went through a couple of others looking for the perfect one. Even the much touted vodka pastry dough didn’t work, though I plan to give it another shot before discarding it.

This one does work, but I was forced to alter it somewhat to make it work. That may be a function of the elevation or not, I’m unable to tell, so I’m going to give you the alternative recipe in parentheses.

Why all this matters is that I love pies and fighting with pie crust makes one not want to make pies, which creates a dilemma does it not?

This one worked for me, in the all important roll out without breaking or tearing. So if you are having trouble do try this one.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 2/3 c of flour (3 c)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp of sugar if you are making a sweet recipe. Otherwise omit
  • 3 sticks of butter, cubed
  • 1 c sour cream, full fat (3/4 c)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Whisk the flour and salt and sugar if using.
  2. Put the butter in the flour, and cut in with fingers or with pastry cutter until pea-sized scrabble.
  3. Add the sour cream, using a fork to bring it together and then hands to knead into balls.
  4. Divide into 2 balls, flatten and wrap in plastic. {I found that 3 c made really enough for three pieces of pie crust, so freeze the third disk for later use}
  5. Place in fridge for at least 30 minutes and a couple of hours if you can.
  6. If you leave it longer than 30 minutes then let it sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes before rolling out.
  7. Roll out and use as you normally would.

SERVES: 2 2/3 c will give you 2 very generous pie crusts for a top and bottom. 3 cups of flour will give you enough for three crusts.

NOTES: Really, you have to play with his a bit. If your dough won’t stay together–wants to fall apart, add a bit more sour cream or a few drops of water until it does. If it is too wet, then add some flour. As you roll out, if it sticks to the pin, dust with more flour. What this dough did do was roll without splitting all up, breaking and be unwilling to roll around the pin to transfer to the baking dish. It all held together nicely and I didn’t have any patching to do.

SOURCE: Simply Recipes

A Peach of a Pie

lattice peach pieNothing says summer like peach pie.

And that’s getting harder to say because peaches aren’t at all what they used to be when I was a kid.

When I was young, a peach was heaven. It was a fragrant dark soft thing. The first bite caused a juice explosion and you worked hard to suck it all in. You glorified in every bite, sorry when you were down to the pit which you pulled free of every last strand of peach meat.

Now?

Peaches tend to be quite beautiful to look at and usually juiceless, or hard as rocks. They smell good and look good, but taste of nothing. They are probably excellent for packing and storage and that is how they are now bred.

The only ones that I have found that are good are the new white-fleshed variety. I find them with all the qualities of my childhood. I used them for this pie and I can say that I was quite satisfied.

INGREDIENTS:

  • One recipe for a double crusted pie dough. I have two you can find here and here.
  • 2 1/2 lbs of peaches, peeled, sliced (I used about 6)
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • A pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg and salt
  • 1 lg egg beaten
  • sugar for dusting

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Make the pie crust. Divide in two. Roll out the first and place in the pie plate (deep dish). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to fill.
  2. Roll out the second and then cut into 8 strips for the lattice (don’t omit this since this is part of why this pie works). (I found that I had nearly half of the 1/2 left after this so I wrapped it and threw it in the freezer for a rustic something or other later). Place the strips on some dusted parchment on a cookie sheet, cover with plastic and put in the fridge as well.
  3. Place all your peach slices in a large bowl with the cup of sugar. Set aside on the counter for 1 HOUR stirring occasionally to let the juices release.
  4. Drain the peaches in a colander, reserving 1/4 c of the juices. Place the peaches back in the bowl, with the saved juice, add the rest of the ingredients up to the egg, and mix until the spices and so on are thoroughly distributed.
  5. Take the cookie sheet with the lattice strips out about 5 minutes before using to let them warm a bit.
  6. Take the pie plate out and load in the peaches.
  7. Arrange the lattice atop, weaving 4 strips with 4 strips.
  8. Paint the lattice with the beaten egg and dust with sugar.
  9. Place a rimmed cookie sheet on the bottom shelf of the oven and pre-heat to 425°. Place the pie on the cookie sheet and bake about 25 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375° and continue for another 25-35 minutes until nice and bubbly.
  10. Place on a rack to cool.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: The point of the lattice and the removing some of the liquid is to avoid using a ton of cornstarch to thicken it, which allows more peach flavor. Use the reserved juice to drink or reduce and use for topping on ice cream. The lattice also lets some of the liquid steam away in the oven. While there was some initial liquid when first sliced, what there was, was little more than an 1/8th of a cup.

SOURCE: Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

 

Certainly Cottage Cheese Pie!

pie2Yes, I said cottage cheese.

I’m sure this is a very old recipe. I’m sure farm women have made this pie forever. It was cheap. It was easy.

I ran across this and just had to make it. I made it as directed. The taste was fabulous but I was not keen on the texture. As I was perusing photographs, most seemed creamy so I looked up other recipes for this pie, and lo and behold, I had the answer.

You can make it both ways.

Confused.

Read on, I’ll explain.

INGREDIENTS:

  • One pie crust recipe for a single crust pie.
  • 2 c cottage cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 c sugar
  • zest from about 1/2 of a lemon and 1 tbsp juice
  • 1/4 c heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Make your bottom crust as usual, refrigerate while preparing the filling.
  2. Place the cottage cheese in a food process and whirr until smooth. (you can omit this step. Your pie will taste the same but you will texturally “feel” the curds which to me was simple bizarre.
  3. Add the eggs and cream to a medium bowl and whisk until eggs are well incorporated.
  4. Add the flour and whisk in well.
  5. Add the balance of the ingredients except the nutmeg.
  6. Pour into the pie crust. Sprinkle with the nutmeg.
  7. Bake at 350° for about 40 minutes or until center is set but still a bit jiggly.
  8. Cook and then refrigerate.

SERVES: 8

NOTES: this is similar to a custard pie. A fruit compote or sauce would be excellent. You can omit the nutmeg, especially if you are using fruit to complement. The pie is definitely more “chewy” if you don’t puree the curds. Up to you.

SOURCE: Adapted from Serious Eats

OVEN 350°

COOKING TIME: 40 minutes