Archived entries for pies

Pie-Eyed Meat Pie: Drunken Pulled Pork

In old timey days, two bottles of cider was enough to make one completely pie-eyed.  Well, in this recipe, it won’t even take one!  This delicious “pie-eyed” pastry is stuffed with “drunken” pulled pork which is slow roasted in hard apple cider.  We’re upping the old timey ante by turning the classic British meat pie on its head, by substituting the traditional round shell for a tantalizing EYE shape, whose interior is porked out with our cider roasted meat.

This Eye of Pi looks great and tastes even better, especially when garnished with the delicious hard cider au jus as a dipping sauce!  The recipe itself is quite simple, however the shape of the eye complicates the process quite a bit.  To get the eye shape, we created a custom mold using a spring form pan, aluminum foil and rice.

Mold made using a spring form pan, aluminum foil and rice based from a drawing above.

Because classic British meat pies are tall and stand on their own, we needed a mold which would give stability during cooking, but then could be easily removed.   Using a spring form pan, allowed us to easily remove the sides, discard the rice, which gave the aluminum walls of the mold stability and cut off the aluminum mold.

Mold being removed half-way through baking process.

After slow roasting the pulled pork in hard cider, we pulled it apart and compressed it into a tight ball to give us a proper filling texture.

Compressed ball of pulled pork to be used for filling.

Once our mold and our meat filling was ready, we made a pastry dough and began construction of our eye pie.  Because the pie needs to stand on its own, once cooked, the dough needs to be thick, about 1/4″.

Once the dough topper was in place, we decorated with extra pieces of dough cut out to mimic the eye lashes,  pupil, iris and tear duct.  Food coloring was applied for added effect and the parts were laid on the pie to create the final touches.

The pie was baked for an hour at 325 degrees, until it was strong enough to have the mold removed.  Once this was done, it was brushed with egg yolk and put back in the oven for an additional 30-45 minutes at 400 degrees.

It was sliced and served warm.  Delicious.

Here is the full recipe with detailed steps.  Check out the slide show for more images.

Scrap Dough Pie

Don’t you always have scrap dough left over when making a pie? I do. I hate throwing anything away, so I’ll put it in the fridge, only to forget about it and have to throw it away later. Don’t do that either. Make a scrap pie!

Scrap Pie

(Yes, this is obvious, but I don’t care. I’m going to blog about it anyway.)

  1. Just set aside some extra fruit to use as a pie filling. When you’re done with your other pies, combine all your scraps and roll them out.

  2. Mix your fruit filling (I like to do something a little different with it then the other pies so it is more special) and place in the center of the dough.
  3. Fold the dough up and around the pie filling to form a little rustic tartlet.
  4. Brush with egg. milk, oil, or whatever you use and drizzle with sugar.
  5. Throw that bad boy into the oven with your other pies.

Bam! A delicious little treat. Kids love them!

Blue Food: Blueberry and Lime Pie

You don’t like blueberry pie? Why not. You’re grossed out by blue food? Well, get over yourself. You’re a jerk. Stop reading my blog.

OK, Ok, Alright. You’re not a jerk. Different stroke for different folks. Its not our job to preach about pie, but for 99.9% of you, when I say blueberry pie is the best, I know, I’m preachin’ to the choir. To all you .1% out there, get over yourself. Ahh! There I go again. Don’t pay attention to me. Lets just get to the recipe.

Blueberry and Lime Pie

  • 2 pints blueberries
  • 2 tsp. lime zest
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 Tbs Pimms Cup liquor
  • 1/4 corn starch
  • 1 pie crust

I guess technically this could be called Blueberry Citrus pie as the Pimms Cup liquor is a nondescript citrus flavor, but I liked the sound of blueberry lime pie. The lime zest and the Pimms helps set off the sweetness in the berries. If you don’t have Pimms, I suppose you can substitute an orange liqueur like Grand Marnier or sweetened lime juice. If you don’t drink, again, why are you reading this blog? Just kidding. I don’t know why I am so antagonistic today. I love all my readers. Truly. Try some orange extract. If you don’t have that, just add a bit more lime zest and perhaps some juice.

(pretty much the same as the Raspberry Rhubarb pie from the last post.

  1. Preheat the oven to 375

  2. Roll out bottom pie dough. Place in a pie pan, and pre-bake for 10 minutes until golden brown.
  3. Mix filling and place in the pie crust.
  4. Put a top crust on in whatever decoration you choose. You can do a whole top or a lattice. Above, I used 2 different sized juice glasses to cut out circles and overlap them as my topping. Fun!
  5. Brush pie with egg, milk, or oil, whichever you choose. Sprinkle the top with sugar.
  6. Bake at 375 for 45-60 minutes until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.
  7. Cool completely before eating.

99.9% of you can now dig in.

A Sweet Tart Treat: Raspberry Rhubarb Pie

This week I was pondering an important pie question: Can tart + tart = tasty? Normally you want to pair a sweet fruit with a tart fruit. Strawberry Rhubarb is classic. Peach and raspberries is the best. What happens when you take out the sweet and pair tart with tart: raspberry and rhubarb. Will they cancel each other out? Will it be too tart to take?

I was curious, so I mixed rhubarb and raspberry together in pie form to see what would happen. The results were delicious. These fruits are strong enough to maintain their individual flavors, but subtle enough for the sugar melt into the flavors so the sweet and the tart work together to form this little sweet tart. Here is the recipe I came up with:

Raspberry Rhubarb Pie

  • 2 pints of raspberries
  • 2 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. corn starch (or flour)
  • 1 Tbs rosewater
  • 1 Tbs powdered ginger
  • 1 pie crust

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Make your pie crust. Roll out the dough and place bottom into a 9″ pie pan. Here are 3 dough recipes I use all the time depending on my mood, and here are some tips to help with your dough.

Place pie pan with bottom crust only in oven and bake for about 10 minutes until the crust is hard and a bit golden. I like to pre-bake my bottom crust whenever I’m making a pie with a super soupy filling.

Mix above ingredients together and place into the pre-baked bottom pie crust. These ingredients get very soupy, which is why we need to add cornstarch or flour to the mix, to help the fruit juices thicken.

Place your pie crust top over your filling. I like doing a lattice crust top, but you can do whatever top you wish. You probably don’t have to do a top, but for fruit fillings which can be pretty liquidy, I like having a top crust to help keep the pie shape when serving. Here’s some tips on doing a lattice pie crust

Place pie on a baking sheet (to catch any overflow from your pie so it doesn’t end up on the bottom of your stove) and put pie into the oven.

Bake for approx. 45 minutes, until crust is golden. Let cool completely before serving. It will help the filling harden so you aren’t serving raspberry rhubarb soup.

Eat up and enjoy. This is the best part!

A Super Quick Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving is:
Turkey Pilgrims Pumpkin Pie
We will eat until we die.

Did you like my poem? OK, lets make a quick pumpkin pie you can easily squeeze into your busy holiday schedule!

Grandma’s Pumpkin Pie

2/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. pumpkin**
2 egggs
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp cinamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1 2/3 c. milk

Mix everything together in a blender. Slowly add milk. The consistency of the filling once you add the milk will be very liquidy.

Pour in a pie crust. Here are the directions to my Grandmother’s Quick Pie Crust recipe.

Brush the edges of the crust with milk.

Bake for 15 minutes at 450 and then lower for 30-40 minutes at 350.

If your tester looks like this, you’re pie is not done.

Check pie with a toothpick or knife to test if done. When tester comes out clean with no pie liquid, your pie is done!

**You can use fresh pumpkin or canned. In my experience the canned pumpkin tastes just as good, and there are not additives in it. Around this time, stores often have the Libby pumpkin on sale pretty cheap. If you want to use fresh pumpkin, you need to cook it first. I suggest roasting in a similar fashion to the butternut squash we roasted for the butternut squash soup recipe.

A Quick Pie Crust

My Grandmother’s no-chill pie doughis delicious, easy, and quick because you don’t need to chill it for a couple hours before rolling out!

This recipe requires:

2 1/2 c. Flour
1 c. Shortening
1 Tsp. Baking powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 egg + 1/2 c. cold water


Sift the dry ingredients together. Using a fork or a pastry cutter, mix shortening in until dough is chunky.

Take a liquid measuring cup. Add 1 egg (best if at room temp). Add cold water to egg until mixture measures 1/2 cup.

Use cold water only as it helps bind dough and keep dough solid when handling. Mix Egg and water together with fork.

Using a pastry cutter, mix together pie dough.

Fork water and egg mixture into the dough.

Kneed your dough together. I like to use an old pillow case I reserve only for baking purposes. It helps limit the handling as well as the mess!

Kneed dough in pillow case until a nice dough forms

The pie dough recipe is enough for two pie crusts. Cut dough ball in half to prepare your crust.

Roll out your dough on a floured surface. When your crust is the right size, roll dough around rolling pin and gently transfer dough to pie pan. Pat dough down into contours of pie pan.


Pie Rolling TIP:
Use a piece of parchment paper sprinkled with flour, roll out pie dough. I like rolling on parchment because you can spin it around easy to change your angle and you can lift the edge of the paper to ease your dough onto your rolling pin when you need to move rolled dough into the pan. Parchment paper is not expensive and found at every grocery store. It has many other handy uses in the kitchen so is always good to have around.

Add your pie filling.

If you are making a crust top for your pie, repeat previous step to get your dough rolled out. Using a pastry brush, brush on egg mixture to help top and bottom crusts join.

Once your top and bottom crust are together or if you only need a bottom crust: Cut off any excess pie dough around the edges, leaving about a half an inch for decorative pinching.

Decoratively pinch to finish edges and make your crust very pie-like. Brush remaining egg mixture on pie crust and your pie is ready for oven.


For your filling you can try this apple pie or this pumpkin pie.

Quick Apple Pie

What’s a chicken dinner without apple pie? I don’t know but the term “un-amurican” comes to mind. So here is the dessert I whipped up while my chicken was in the oven, and baked while we ate dinner. A quick apple pie!

For the dough I used my Grandmother’s no chill pie dough recipe, which besides being fast, is also super delicious. Here is an instructable, which shows the recipe and directions.

Click on box to start instructable and then click on steps at top to scroll through each one.

For the filling, I just peeled, cored and sliced about 8 apples. They were on sale at the corner store for $0.75 a lb, so I think all the apples cost me two or three bucks. Here is the recipe for the filling:

  • 6-8 apples peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1/2 -1 cup of sugar
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon
  • 1-2 tsp of rosewater
  • 3 Tbs sliced butter placed on top of filling (not mixed in)

The amount of sugar depends on the sweetness of the apples. My apples were naturally really sweet so I only added 1/2 cup. I love adding rosewater to apple pie because it compliments the apples so nicely yet in a very subtle way.

After a quick hand mixing of the sugar/cinnamon and rosewater into the apple slices, I placed the butter slices on the mixture and covered with the top pie crust layer. I cut a few slits into the pie crust to allow for the pie to breath and brushed with egg yolk.

I baked the pie for 30-45 mintes at 375 degrees or until golden brown. Then its ready to be served; we chose a la mode! A quick dessert with a quick dinner. We were all winners!

Quite Berrylicious

Wild Raspberries
Originally uploaded by Bien Stephenson

I love raspberries. They’ve got to be my favorite fruit. Growing up, we had a huge raspberry patch in our back yard which I used to lay under gorging myself with the plump red juicy berries until I was sick. Picking them by the gallons, my mom would make multiple raspberry pies every summer, along with jams, and still have trays and trays of frozen berries for the winter.

I get so sad every time I go to the store, and see that a pint costs $5.00 0r more. Why! I scream at the berry overlords. To make a raspberry pie, it would cost me like $30.00. Ugh. As much as I love you, I just can’t afford you. So for the sake of economy, (without sacrficing too much in taste) I dilute the raspberries with peaches and thus: Peach Melba Pie!

My Peach Melba Pie with homemade fresh whipped cream!

Peach Melba was invented in 1892 or 1893 by the French chef Auguste Escoffier at the Savoy Hotel, London to honor the Australian soprano, Dame Nellie Melba (1861 – 1931). So you can feel nice and historical as you dine on this divalicious dessert!

Doughn’t You Know

I’ve heard people say that making pies intimidates them because of the crust. Listen, its not rocket science. I mean, I can do it; anyone can do it. I guess it just takes the right recipe. There are tons out there for every different taste and diet. My mom prefers my Grandma’s recipe where the secret to its flakiness is lard (although she sometimes substitutes vegetable shortening). When Ira was a vegan, I relied on using his mother Janice’s oil crust recipe, which is animal friendly and simple with three ingredients: flour, oil and water.

My favorite pie dough is a recipe I got out of Bon Appetit many years ago. It’s a basic butter crust recipe, with an addition of a bit of sugar added to the dry ingredients and water spiked with just a splash of cider vinegar to give the dough a more tart flavor, which I think makes the crust so much more fun to eat. Of course, my Mom thinks I’m a cretin for abandoning the traditional family crust.

I know you want the complete recipes for the three pie crusts mentioned above.


Here are four useful tips I hope you will find helpful when working your dough.

  • Use cold butter, either kept refrigerated until right before using, or placed in freezer for a short period before mixing into the dough.The hard cold butter will give a better texture to the dough, as you will have areas of chunky butter which, when baked, will make the crust more flaky.
  • Use ice water to mix the dough. The cold helps bind the dough better and keeps the butter from melting when you are handling it.

  • Use an old pillow case to knead your dough. This limits the handling, which will insure a more flaky crust as well as reduces the mess you have to clean up afterward. Don’t over work the dough, a quick knead is all you kneed. Obviously you’ll want to make sure the pillow case is clean and has all the lint picked out, because head grease and fuzzies aren’t the best accents to your pie dough.

  • Roll the dough on a piece of parchment paper. You can spin the parchment around to easily roll the dough from different angles. When moving the dough to the pie pan, I wrap the dough around the pin to give it support. By rolling on parchment paper, you easily lift the dough onto the rolling pin so you can avoid breaking or tearing.

Ahhh. Andrea…Shut up. No more tips. Lets make pies!

Backwoods Baker

What better way to get the Forkable Pie Fest started then with my Blueberry and Apricot Pie, I mentioned yesterday. A pie in a cast iron skillet is always a crowd pleaser, giving the impression of being cooked on the campfire with good back country spirit. Top it with a lattice crust and you’re pie’s as unstoppable as bluegrass fiddler powered by corn whiskey.

A lush deep blueberry flavor paired with the sweet sumptuous taste of apricots and nectarines, lightened with a crisp splash of fresh lemon zest and underscored with the subtle rich flavors of the browned butter and amaretto. Serving this pie with fresh whipped cream or ice cream will bring smiles to everyone’s faces. Click here for the full recipe and here for my Instructable.

Although I was totally working a gimmick to get attention in the Instructable Pie Contest, I can still totally vouch for the pie inside. I ate it and it was awesome! But don’t take my word for it. Here was Eric’s reaction.

It’s impossible not to be overcome with a violent and expressive sense of VICTORY when eating this pie. Its skilletastic!

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