Tuesday, March 15, 2011

With little else to talk about today, I think I'll talk about pies. Ten on Tuesday ( I have been woefully neglect in posting in this category) topic today is Favorite Pies. In my opinion, pie is the perfect dessert.

1. The Best Pie Standard for me will always be my mother's apple pie. When others are tried or tested or eaten, they must all compare to Mom's Apple Pie. Her crust recipe is "no fail" yet somehow, hers always seems to be flakier, tastier and crustier than mine. Her apples are perfectly textured when baked...just that right combination of slices to juice...no overcooked, not undercooked. Mom never uses nutmeg in her pie, just cinnamon. Ask anyone who's had her apple pie, and they will nominate it her favorite. The thought of eating another seems like treason to me.

2. I made Lemon Meringue Pie a few years ago for Easter dinner which we still talk about today. That pie makes my mouth water to think of it now. The recipe is from my recipe Bible..."Best Recipes." I will never think of lemon pie again without thinking about the deliciousness of this one. The perfect blend of tangy and sweet, all topped with a pile of meringue. What's not to love?



3. My husband used to say that his former mother-in-law made the best chocolate pie that he's every eaten. Until he had mine. Again, it's a family favorite, from "Best Recipes" which is always a crowd-pleaser. What I love about this recipe is that you don't have to mess with tempering the eggs and all that nonsense...eggs are cooked right along with everything else and guess what? It works! The trick to keeping the crust from getting soggy is to let your filling cool to room temp before adding to the crust. Works every time!


4. Once, when we were in Vermont a few years ago, we found a diner in Fairlee that was by far, our best diner breakfast EVER. And to top it off, just as we were finishing, the owner comes in with trays full of pies she had made that morning. I spotted the coconut cream, and new I was not leaving the Fairlee Diner without pie to finish off my breakfast. It was by far, the most delicious and perfect coconut cream pie that has ever passed my lips. A few months ago, we drove back to Fairlee so I could have a piece of that pie, and the diner was closed on Monday's!


5. Strawberry Pie.

An Easy Recipe:

1 3 ounce box of strawberry gelatin

1 cup sugar

2 T cornstarch

1 cup boiling water

  1. In a saucepan, mix together the sugar and corn starch; make sure to blend corn starch in completely. Add boiling water, and cook over medium heat until mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Add gelatin mix, and stir until smooth. Let mixture cool to room temperature.
  2. Place sliced berries in a baked pie shell. Pour cooled gel mixture over strawberries.
  3. Refrigerate until set. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

6. Chicken Pie. Made with a mom's no-fail pie crust recipe, and just chicken and gravy. I roast a chicken (stuffed with celery, garlic and onion) in the crock pot and then make a nice thick gravy.

7. When the kids were growing up, every now and then, on a late summer afternoon, they'd pick wild raspberries. Our house was surrounded by them, growing wild, just waiting to be picked before the birds could get to them. With a pot or bucket in hand, the kids would go off on their adventure,, eating as many berries as they plucked. Mission accomplished, they would come back, all proud , bramble scratched and stain-faced, with a pie's worth of berries in their bucket. Sometimes I would make a shortcake, other times, I'd make a pie...using the recipe from #5 above. I think that was my favorite pie because they tasted like my kids fingers and the fun they had.

8. For many years, I was a doll maker, and would go to retail shows all over the North East. One of the shows we did in Pennsylvania had a pie booth, sponsored by a local church. Our friend Jody, who went along to sell with us, ate so much pie on those weekends that Kate and I would marvel at his capacity. They were indeed delicious pies....worth going back for year after year.

9. Whoopie Pies...while not technically a pie, they are delicious...I love pumpkin whoopie pies instead of the traditional chocolate.

10. The Barefoot Contessa's Apple Crostada. I just don't know how you get that much butter in a pastry shell. Try it...it is incredible.


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