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)

 

Pie #44- Apple Custard with Orange November 5, 2010

Alright, I am little behind on the blog part of last week’s pie….

The Apple Custard pie with Orange recipe came from a cookbook that my good friend Sharon gave me for my birthday a few weeks back.    The book is called Rustic Fruit Desserts by Cory Schreiber & Julie Richardson.   For some reason when I first thumbed through the pages, this one immediately perked my interest and I knew I had to include it as part of the project.

About a month ago my Dad pointed out I had yet to try any of the custard pies which happen to be high on his list of favorites. He was looking specifically for a blackberry, a black raspberry, or a raspberry type custard pie recipe- none of which I have tried.  As far as the custard pies go, I have made a banana cream (#24) and a coconut cream (#1) pie and would consider both in that category due to their filling.  

Well, Dad, the berry season is over so I am afraid I can’t come up with a fresh berry pie without paying a premium from the grocery store for imported berries from Guadeloupe, so you will have to try this one.  At least it fits the season. 

Plus, it wouldn’t be fair filling your pie request, then eating it here in Boise without you.  I still can’t figure out how to ship a pie to Ohio without complete upheaval in the mail…heck, my kids can’t even carry a pie two feet without flipping it flat on its face! 

Instead of using the all-butter pastry found in the cookbook, I replaced it with my Mom’s pie pastry.  

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

 

Another friend of mine, Alyssa, came over last Saturday specifically to learn how to make my Mom’s pie crust.  Here are the photos from that…

And now the filling photos ….

Personal Notes:

  • This pie had a wonderful texture to it.  I chose Granny Smith apples for the filling and I loved how they baked up slightly “al dente”.
  • As far as the custard was concerned, it took a back seat to the apples.  With a true custard pie, you notice and love it for its creamy texture.  Since the custard was intermingled within the apple filling, I couldn’t appreciate it’s creamieness.
  • Dad, you might be a little disappointed if you make this one.  Taste-wise, it is wonderful.  It scores an 8 in my book.  But as far as satisfying your appetite for a creamy custard pie, this one probably won’t do it.   Next time, I will bite the bullet, splurge on the berries and then hop on a plane and hand-deliver it to you OR I can always make one during your next visit out to Boise. 🙂  Thanks for the inspiration.
  • Thanks also to Alyssa (my 6 AM running partner and un-official personal trainer) for joining me for Crust Lesson 101.  It is because of YOU and your Body Sculpting 101 class at the YMCA, that I have NOT gained 10 pounds this year!
  • And final thanks to Sharon for another great cookbook to add to my growing library.  I aspire to be as good of a cook as you some day!

 

 

Pie #42- Crumb Top Apple October 10, 2010

I interrupt my newly scheduled pie, Pie #41- Buckeye Pie to interject this one… Crumb Top Apple…which happened earlier in the week.  (Sorry, Ohio State fans, you will have to wait one more week.)

Last Sunday night underneath the influence of a very stiff vodka tonic I came up with this great idea…or so I thought…

I was scheduled to lead Nate’s Webelo den meeting on Tuesday and I decided to take the pie project to the Cub Scouts.  Yes, each boy in Nate’s group was going to learn how to make a crumb top apple pie, home-made crust and all!  Betty Crocker would be SO proud!

I brought all the supplies with me…six bowls, six spoons, six forks, measuring cups, measuring spoons, pie plates, wax paper, rolling pins, flour, sugar, cinnamon, lemon, $18 worth of apples…and oh, the list goes on… enough to fill two laundry baskets full of pie making tools and ingredients. 

Of course, the boys were excited because this meeting for one involved food and secondly, no one had ever made a pie before.  (Nate has helped me make pies, but he has never made one on his own.)  In the end, we pumped out six crumb top apple pies in 1 hour and fifteen minutes and let me tell you it was completely INSANE!   I was laughing and crying at the same time!  The boys were bouncing off the walls!  Ingredients were flying everywhere!  Flour, sugar, apple peels and cinnamon were all over the school cafeteria floor by the time it was over!  And the boys LOVED it!!!

And when it was all finished, I about fell over with exhaustion.  We left the meeting and I drove myself and my four boys to the nearest restaurant, order dinner for my kids and drank a very stiff vodka tonic…Hmmm, now isn’t that what started this in the first place!?!…..

Here’s the Recipe:

And now the photos…

 

Personal Notes:

  • Thank you God!  No one stabbed or cut themselves and we did not need a trip to the ER for stitches.  I was praying Hail Mary’s underneath my breath the whole time they had knives in their hands….
  • Words of advice, if you are going to give your Cub Scouts the job of cutting and peeling apples, give them an apple corer.  That little kitchen tool would have saved my group of six a whole bunch of time.
  • A HUGE thank you goes out to Kim O’Brien who helped me clean up after the pie making frenzy.  I appreciate your help SO much!  Hope you enjoyed part of Cameron’s pie!
  • Nate was SO proud of his pie.  He came home (after our dinner out) and immediately wanted to bake it for dessert.  Fifty minutes later, it smelled so good and looked so delicious!  And just as Nate was pulling the cooled pie off of the counter top to serve up his tasty masterpiece to his loving family, his crumb top apple pie slid off the pie stand and landed SMACK, flat upside down on the kitchen floor.  Poor kid!  He ran out of the room completely devastated and locked himself in the bathroom to cry.  Of course, I explained the five second rule was in effect and scraped the whole thing back into the metal pie tin as best I could, smashed crust and all. A little dirt never hurt anyone.  The pie was still perfect.  Nate, I give your pie a 10.  Thanks for making pie with me!  Love, Mom

 

 

Pie #27- Apple Pie July 6, 2010

This is the first of five or so pies I will be doing on the road.

The first stop is in Denver, where my brothers Dan and Brian live.  You met Dan in my previous posts from Memorial Day weekend when he, Gina and their three boys visited us in Boise.  Since I made three pies with Dan during his stay, it was now my youngest brother Brian’s turn.

Apparently, a few years back for Thanksgiving, Brian tried his hand at baking an apple pie. Unbeknownst to him, he chose the wrong apples.  Note to self, Red Delicious apples do not make a good pie.  This pie is his “redemption” pie and is his opportunity to save face wearing the baking hat.

Brian is actually quite impressive in the kitchen. He is the youngest of us five Metzger children, so Mom must have had more time to teach him a culinary thing or two.  I remember Brian telling me when he was in the dating scene that he would cook for his various female friends.  My guess is either he was too cheap to take them to dinner or he wanted to show them what great midwestern man-material he was made of.  Maybe both.  Well, his wife Andrea lucked out and caught the buckeye-gourmet, so I suppose she can comment how well fed she is….

This recipe comes from my sister-in-law, Gina (brother Dan’s wife).  It is her mom Sally’s recipe.  It’s a fantastic mid-western delight, straight from Wisconsin.

Sally’s Apple Pie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 7 cups of peeled and sliced Jonathan apples (or Granny Smith)
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp. butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 whipping cream

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 425°.  Mix cinnamon and sugar.  Pour over apples and mix.  Place apples into pie crust and place butter chunks on top.  Cover with top crust and slit.  Place tin foil around edges and bake for 50-60 minutes. Brush whipping cream onto pie crust slits 5 minutes before done.

Since this pie required a top, I used the double crust proportions.  Here’s that recipe.


Personal Notes

  • Since Jonathan apples were not in season, I had to substitute them with Granny Smith. I even confirmed this substitution with the produce grocer to make certain these apples were pie worthy.
  • Brian peeled and cut nine apples which was just a handful too much for the pie. We never measured the nine apples to see if it made seven cups. Next time I know about 8 apples will do.
  • I decided impress Brian with a lattice top crust instead of a plain one with slits.  (My first lattice top crust was in Pie #15 Strawberry Rhubarb.  I plan to do another one with Cherry Pie.)  Together, we whipped out the weave in less than five minutes.
  • This pie was DELICIOUS.  Once cut, it fell completely apart, but none the less it was perfect on the pie scale- a 10.
  • Don’t forget the vanilla ice cream!

 

Pie #18- Rhubarb with Fruit May 9, 2010

I am SO excited to write this blog post!  The Pie Queen from Ohio, my wonderful and loving Mother, was here to make pies with me!

Actually, both of my parents were here this past week making their annual pilgrimage to Boise.  I always LOVE having them here, not only because they are really sweet and interesting people to be around, but because they help out in so many ways.  With their assistance, Travis and I can finally play “man-to-man” defense with the boys, instead of “zone” when we are alone. 

My dad constantly helps to engage the boys by reading or playing with them, or giving them baseball pointers in the back yard.  One day, he even succumbed to manual labor by helping me move multiple truck loads of top soil from the house of a distant neighbor to our garden!  He is almost 70 years old! 

As for my Mom, she never sits down.  She is either cooking something delicious in the kitchen, sewing on a missing button from a suit jacket, loading or unloading the dishwasher, or folding our Mount St. Everest of  laundry. 

My parents make me feel  special because they still take care of me.  I have to admit, I love receiving their help which digs me out of the daily grind of chores and monotony of parenthood.  So thanks Mom and Dad for your constant love and generosity.  I appreciate your parental sacrifices more and more every day and I pray that I can give as unselfishly to others as you constantly do for me.  I love you both so very much!

As for the pie, it was Mom’s choice.  She picked something she has never made before and she found this recipe in my Pie cookbook by Ken Haedrich.  With 300 home-made pie recipes to choose from, it is very easy to find something that suits the fancy.  Ken calls this Elizabeth’s Pie in the cookbook, but for description-sake, I am calling it Rhubarb with Fruit.  As you will see below, Ken’s recipe suggested using an oil pastry, but since oil pastry is my Mom’s specialty, we substituted hers in for Louise’s.  Here is Mom’s again for your reference.

  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.

Here she is doing the thing that she does best!

RHUBARB WITH FRUIT PIE (or Elizabeth’s Pie)

  

Thank you Mom for making this pie so special!  I have been looking forward to your visit for a long time.  I will have another guest pie maker, my brother Dan, at the end of the month.  He and his wife, Gina and their three boys will be visiting us from Denver over Memorial Day weekend.  And he has been insistent on baking a banana cream pie together, so stay tuned for that.

Personal Notes:

  • Mom and I probably used 4 tablespoons of the quick cooking tapioca instead of the required 2.  Honestly, we just like tapioca as a filler better than flour.  Other than that, we pretty much followed the recipe verbatim.
  • This was the first pie in which Mom has used a milk glaze on her crust.  She and Dad were both surprised by how pretty it looked (light brown in color) when it came out of the oven.
  • The baked filling of the granny smith apple had a firmer texture than that of the  rhubarb and berries, so you obviously knew when you were biting into the tree fruit.  The flavors of all four fruits complemented each other and yet were very distinguishable.  This pie was delicious.  It rates a 9.5 in my book, especially if you have it à la mode.