Paula's Pie Project Blog

52 different pies in 52 weeks

Pie #64- Apple Pomegranate (Pi Day Pie) March 23, 2013

A friend of mine,  Trudy Sullivan Stoudamire,  sent me a message a few days before March 14th, official  “Pi Day”, to remind me of this fun, mathematical day ahead.  My boys were definitely excited for “Pi Day” since their school math teachers decided to go-big on the celebration of this mathematical formula day- 3.14. There were special math activities in the classrooms, hand-made posters hung on the school hallways and the cafeteria even served pumpkin “pi” to the students that day.

I wasn’t quite sure of what I was going to make at first, but I knew I had to come up with something thematically good in order to incorporate the 3.14 into my “Pi Day” pie.

Originally, I had bought a red pomegranate fruit when I was working on ideas for Pie #61, but my son Henry wanted cinnamon apple pie, so I had to forget the red fruit idea and go a different direction. The red pomegranate continued to ripen in my fruit bowl… so when I finally came up with concept of apple pomegranate pie with 3 parts apples, .14 parts pomegranates, I went to the store to buy apples and another pomegranate fruit. The problem was pomegranates were now out of season. I had bought my original fruit at the very end of it’s growing season, so now three weeks later there were none to be found.

Well, turns out, overly ripe pomegranates are still usable. They don’t mold, they just lose some of their juiciness. My guess is that if I had used a perfectly ripe pomegranate, the insides of my pie would have turned red, but I will test that hypothesis on Science Pie Day, when ever that is!

Here’s the crust recipe from Ken Haedrich’s book, Pie.  I used this for the very first time and it was marvelous! Oh, yes, I will be using this one a lot more in the future.

Extra Flaky Pie Pastry Recipe- by Ken Haedrich,

Extra Flaky Pie Pastry Recipe- by Ken Haedrich

For the pie filling, I made this up. Here’s the recipe:

Apple Pomegranate Pie ( Pi Day Pie)

Ingredients:

  • Extra Flaky Pie Pastry recipe- Double Crust
  • 3 parts apples or (5-6)  large granny smith apples
  • .14 parts pomegranate seeds or all seeds from (1) pomegranate fruit
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of cinnamon.

Make your pie pastry. Mix filling ingredients and place into pie shell. Add double crust to top. Pinch together to form a decorative edge. Use a knife to cut slits into the top. ( I decorated my Pi Pie with a pi symbol using extra dough and a little bit of pomegranate juice for color.) Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

My overly ripe pomegranate fruit

My overly ripe pomegranate fruit

Rinsed pomegranate seeds

Rinsed pomegranate seeds

3 parts- Sliced Granny Smith aples

Sliced Granny Smith apples

3 parts apple + .14 parts pomegranate = 3.14 Pi Day Pie

3 parts apple + .14 parts pomegranate = 3.14 Pi Day Pie Ingredients

Extra flaky crust

Extra flaky crust

The apple and pomegranate fruit filling

The apple and pomegranate fruit filling

Pi pie ready for the oven

Pi Day Pie 3.14 (2013)

Pie #64- Apple Pomegranate (Pi Day Pie)

Pie #64- Apple Pomegranate (Pi Day Pie)

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Pie #59- Pear (again!) February 10, 2013

Yes, I have proclaimed that I would make 52 new pies this year, but this pie from the 2010 Pie Project is definitely worth mentioning again in the 2013 edition.

Pie #6- Pear was by far the “people’s favorite” pie of the 2010. Served in a cornmeal crust with a small piece of Gorgonzola cheese, this pie will knock your socks off.

Martha Stewart recipes always tend to be a bit over the top for me, but this one is pretty bones-bare-basic. Although it does require a bit of pre-planning with soaking the pears overnight in a wine reduced liquid, it is not very difficult to make, so even you can wear Martha’s apron this time.

Pear Pie and Cornmeal Crust recipes

I have probably have made this same pie over a dozen times now and it never disappoints. My boys even know and revere the special status of the pear pie. It usually comes out noteworthy occasions. Last night was one of them. I made this one for the boys’ school fundraiser. It was the only pie among the many desserts in the sweet shop auction. Hopefully,  who ever bought it enjoyed it as much as we do!

Pretty pears

Pretty pears

Peeling off the skins

Peeling off the skins

Pie dough ready to go!

Pie dough ready to go!

Wine soaked cut-up pears in the pastry shell

Wine soaked cut-up pears in the pastry shell

Pie #59- Pear (again)

Pie #59- Pear (again)

Personal Notes:

  • Yes, this is my favorite pie to make. Its ease of assembly and it’s delectable flavors, keep this as my personal front-runner.
  • I love the wonderful flavors you get in every bite of this pie. The firm, wine-soaked pears have a hint of clove and cinnamon. The sweet cornmeal crust is coarse and crumbly. Add a little bite of  Gorganzola cheese and a nice Sauternes glass of wine and you have got yourself a little slice of heaven on a plate!
 

Pie #58- Strawberry

My friend Angie picked out this recipe on Thursday evening and by Friday morning we were in the kitchen together. She loves old fashion things- including her pie crusts.  Strawberries were ripe and on sale in the grocery stores.  She picked up the berries and I supplied the crust and within a few short hours we were enjoying this refreshing, delicious strawberry pie.

Here is the link to the recipe:   http://www.recipe.com/strawberry-pie/

With my new rolling pin in hand… one that I rescued from an antique shop a couple of miles down the street from my house… we were off to create a mid-winter delight.

Rolling out the dough with my new rolling pin

Rolling out the dough with my new rolling pin

The perfect pie crust

The perfect pie crust

Angie hulling the strawberries

Angie hulling the strawberries

Beautiful berries!

Beautiful berries!

Busted! Berrry taster!

Busted! Berry taster!

Showing off our prize

Showing off our prize

Looks like summer to me!

Looks like summer to me!

Fresh berries in the pie shell

Fresh berries in the pie shell

Whisking the strawberry gelatin into the sugar and cornstarch mixture

Whisking the strawberry gelatin into the sugar and cornstarch mixture

Pouring the gelatin mixure on to the berries

Pouring the gelatin mixture on to the berries

Pie before dinner with Angie!

Pie before dinner with Angie!

Pie #58- Strawberry

Pie #58- Strawberry

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

Personal Notes:

  • Everything about this pie is simple and basic. Strawberries, gelatin, cornstarch and sugar. Ahhh, an easy pie to make. The only time involved was waiting the two hours for the gelatin mixture to set. It proved to be very simple and surprising more delicious than I had expected.
  • We left out the strawberry extract, since we did not have it on hand and really didn’t miss it.
  • Three of my four boys loved this pie. The surprise was that Nate, who is normally my fruit-aholic, did not care for it because he does not like gelatin products. On the other hand, my regular non-pie-eater Henry, LOVED it since he is big on jello.
 

Pie #56- Fudge Nut January 24, 2013

Filed under: 2013 Pie Project,Pie #56- Fudge Nut,Sweet Pies — paulaspieproject @ 4:29 pm
Tags: , , ,

On Saturday evening, our family had been invited to a dinner party for 16 hosted by Bob and Kathryn Hunter. This meant I needed to bake two pies to feed our group. Coming off of my four-hour pie from the previous post, I was desperate to find a chocolate pie that I could whip out in far less time.

A good friend of mine from my Ohio days, Lisa Blidar (Llama Lisa), sent me a little pie recipe book for Christmas this past year. Lisa and her husband Ron now live in Colorado near my two younger brothers and their families.  And if I have my way this year, I will be baking a pie with her at some point. Let’s hope it is not out of a camp trailer.

Pie cookbook Llama Lisa Blidar

Simple pie recipe

I used my mom’s crust recipe. (See below.) With the exception of the pecan garnish on top of one, these Fudge Nut pies are the same.

JAN MOM’S PIE PASTRY

  • 1 cup flour + 2 tablespoons
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup Crisco vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons cold water

Mix flour, salt and oil with a fork. Add water and form into a ball. Roll between two pieces of wax paper. Peel top layer of wax paper off and flip other layer of wax paper and rolled dough onto a 9″ pie pan. Form decorative crust. (Poke holes around rim of crust if single). Bake for 12-14 minutes at 400° or until golden brown if recipe asks for a “baked pastry shell”. Cool on a wire rack.

This is one of two pie crusts I made since I doubled the recipe.

This is one of two pie crusts I made since I doubled the recipe.

Beautiful fresh eggs from the Rudin family that went into our pies.

Beautiful fresh eggs from the Rudin family that went into our pies.

My one bowl filling. All the ingredients are in there. Note the recipe was doubled.

My one-bowl filling. All the ingredients are in there. Note the recipe was doubled.

Same filling just garnished differently.

Same filling just garnished differently.

Both pies baking in the oven. Wow. Look how high they rose!

Both pies baking in the oven. Look how high they both rose!

Pie #56- Fudge Nut

Pie #56- Fudge Nut

Ready to eat. Fudge Nut Pie

Ready to eat with ice cream!

Enjoying the pie project with Fr. Brian and the Hunter and Rudin families!

Enjoying the pie project with Fr. Brian and the Rudin and Hunter families! Thanks for a fun evening!

Personal Notes:

  • A HUGE thank you to the Hunter family for the gracious invite and delicious dinner. What a fun evening it was!
  • Thanks also to the Rudin family chickens for the tasty eggs. I will trade left-over carpet samples (to keep your chicken feet warm) for fresh eggs any time! They are liquid gold. A dozen doesn’t last long at our house.
  • Love the recipe book, Lisa! There will be more pies coming out of this little paper treasure!
  • This pie was EASY and delicious. All of the dry ingredients came straight out of my pantry with no extra trip to the grocery store needed. Between the pie crusts and the filling, this took me about 35 minutes to assemble.
  • This is another version of a chocolate pecan pie…. chocolate + pecan= soooooo good!
 

Pie #55- Chocolate S’mores with Cherry Jubilee Sauce

Note to self: Always read recipe ahead of time and plan accordingly.

Truly, I loved the idea of this pie because s’mores just scream FUN!.  Who doesn’t love a s’more- whether you are camping or making one with graham crackers smothered with Nutella and Marshmallow Cream?

Travis and I had invited one of our favorite, FUN! work colleagues over for dinner. We both have had the pleasure of collaborating with the amazingly talented and always jovial John Warfel. Travis and John worked together when they were at Wirestone and more recently, John and I have worked together on product photo shoots for Scentsy. It’s always a good time when you are assigned to work on a project with J5.

Nothing like a fine meal and a good pie to impress a self-proclaimed sweet tooth. John was familiar with the 2010 Pie Project, so he came in with some high expectations. Needless to say, I pulled out all the stops for this guest and his family.

I pulled out my go-to pie book, Pie by Ken Haedrich and found this FUN! recipe. Back in 2010, I made the base recipe, Chocolate Mousse Chiffon Pie as my Pie #12. This one for Pie #55- Chocolate S’mores Pie with Cherry Jubilee Sauce just had a few more steps added to the recipe.

Pie #55- Chocolate S'mores Pie recipe

Chocolate Mousse Chiffon Pie Recipe

Home made graham cracker crust

Home made graham cracker crust

Coffee, butter and melted chocolate mixture

Coffee, butter and melted chocolate mixture

Whisking in the egg yolks after the mixture has cooled.

Whisking in the egg yolks after the mixture has cooled.

Close up of the texture

Close up of the texture

Stiff beaten egg whites + sugar

Stiff beaten egg whites + sugar

I actually had to heat up the mousse a bit since it got so cold during the cooling off process.

This mousse got too cold, thanks to the frigid air temperatures outside. I had to heat it up on the stove top in order to get it smooth enough to mix it with the egg/sugar mixture.

Now it's time to whip the cream

Now it’s time to whip the cream

Now ready to mix the whipping cream in with the new mixture.

Now ready to mix the whipping cream in with the new mixture.

Cold marshmallows in my refrigerator

Cold marshmallows in my refrigerator

Adding the cold marshmallows to the mousse chiffon

Adding the cold marshmallows to the mousse chiffon

The chocolate mousse chiffon now in the graham cracker pie shell topped with mini chocolate chips.

The chocolate mousse chiffon now in the graham cracker pie shell topped with mini chocolate chips.

My pie "quick set" method. Thanks to Mother Nature's 8 degree day.

My pie “quick set” method. Thanks to Mother Nature’s 8 degree day.

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

The Warfel family!

The Warfel family!

Alex Warfel's pie art!

Alex Warfel’s pie art!

The blackboard wall in our dining room. LOVE this!

The blackboard wall in our dining room. LOVE this!

Pie #55- Chocolate S'mores Pie with Cherry Jubilee Sauce. Happy Leftovers!

Pie #55- Chocolate S’mores Pie with Cherry Jubilee Sauce. Happy Leftovers!

Personal Notes:

  • The other title for this pie could be, Pie #55- the FOUR Hour Pie.Why I didn’t reread my own previous post on Pie #12- Chocolate Mousse Chiffon Pie is beyond me. My personal notes on that post say it all, “Making this pie was a little time-consuming.  It took me a couple of hours from start to finish with some down time interspersed while I waited for the fudge sauce to congeal.  Once completed, it still needed at least 4-6 hours in the refrigerator to completely “set”.  So, if you plan on making this pie, give yourself plenty of time.”  If you count the grocery shopping, all the prep work, the home made graham cracker crust, the melting, cooking, cooling  and waiting plus the extra steps that turn this into a Chocolate S’mores Pie with Cherry Jubilee Sauce, give yourself about four hours.
  • Oh, yeah, the four hours doesn’t count for the fact the recipe wants you to let the mousse chiffon sit for at least 6 hours or overnight. THAT didn’t happen. There happened to be sub-zero temperatures outside that day and I did a pie quick freeze on my patio two hours before our guests arrived. My pie was able to “set” with mother nature’s helping hand.
  • Is it worth it? YES, definitely! And the Cherry Jubilee Sauce on top is pretty out of this world!
 

#54- Chocolate Pecan Whiskey January 15, 2013

It’s when I have a pie like this that I begin to convince myself I should be making a pie a week for the rest of my life, not just in 2013! Things this good should be eaten weekly, or at least until I am diagnosed with diabetes. Let’s hope I am years away from that. Ha!

I love trying new recipes and this pie proved to be one that knocked it out of the ballpark for me. This one was amazing! All the flavors of chocolate, pecans and whiskey were in each and every bite. And even though I have no idea from what magazine or cookbook I cut this recipe out of, it definitely will be tagged now in a new category as one of my favorites.

My pie crust this time around was the Basic Flaky Pie Pastry from cookbook, Pie, by Ken Haedrich. Also, I should note two other things. One- that I accidentally added 1/2 cup more cornsyrup than the recipe called for, but rather than starting over, I just forgave myself for the mistake and moved on. And two- whipping cream was optional, but in my opinion is a must. This pie is so very rich that the fresh whipped cream really helped me quickly devour my piece and want to indulge myself with seconds.

Basic Flaky Pie Pastry Recipe

Chocolate Pecan Whiskey Pie Recipe

Pie crust + whiskey = Yum!

Pie crust + whiskey = Yum!

Let 'er Buck! Hats off to Pendleton, Oregon whiskey!

Let ‘er Buck! Hats off to Pendleton, Oregon whiskey!

The chocolate, pecan and whiskey filling

Oven ready.

Oven ready.

Didn't come out as pretty as I had hoped. My pie crust shield prevented the crust from burning, but smashed the crust in the process.

Didn’t come out as pretty as I had hoped. My pie crust shield prevented the crust from burning, but smashed the crust in the process.

Serving up pie!

Serving up chocolate pecan whiskey pie!

Pie with Danielle!

Pie with friends!

 

Pie #53- Winter Pie January 7, 2013

A big shout out to my good friend, Sharon Weis, who gave me the recipe book Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson for my birthday back in 2010.  The subtitle on this book says “crumbles, buckles, cobblers, pandowdies and more”.  Although I have yet to bake a buckle or a pandowdie, the “more” portion of the subtitle includes some really incredible recipes for pie.

The winter pie filling includes dried figs, apples, pears and cranberries- all fruit that is in season now. I also liked the idea of baking this pie in a springform pan. My last springform pan pie was Pie #51- Coffee Toffee Pie. And as Travis says, that was a restaurant grade quality dessert. This pie I suspect will not disappoint.

Here’s the recipe.

#53 Winter pie recipe

#53 Winter pie recipepg2

Folding the crust into the springform pan

Folding the crust into the springform pan

Mixing the beautiful colors of the winter pie filling

Mixing the beautiful colors of the winter pie filling

Filling in the crust

Crumb topping!

Crumb topping!

Out of the oven. Look at that crust!

Out of the oven. Look at that crust!

Top view.

Top view.

Ready to eat. Where is my fork?

Ready to eat. Where is my fork?

Best part is sharing- with friend and amazing musician, Chris Guitierez and Chad and Erica Dryden

Best part is sharing- with friend and amazing musician, Chris Guitierez and Chad and Erica.

These boys dig their pie.

These boys dig their pie.

Henry eats pie!!!!

Henry eats pie!!!!