Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thanksgiving: Pie Edition!

Hello again! If you're just joining us, you're in for a treat. Our blog entries this week all pertain to the upcoming holiday, Thanksgiving! Today's entry is all about... wait for it... PIE! Now, we all know that humans shuffle through Thanksgiving dinner with the hopes of scarfing dessert. It's just a proven fact. Dessert is the focal point of family gatherings during the holidays. Well, it is in my family.

Now, in my family, if you don't have what we call a "dessert stomach", you don't fit in. We live for dessert, and truly, we pay for it the rest of the year. We stuff our faces during Thanksgiving and Christmas only to diet the rest of the year. It's worth it though to have delicious pie after a huge 10,000 course dinner. That may be exaggerating a bit, but you catch my drift.

I won't keep babbling because I'm sure y'all are anxious to get down to business. Right? Right. Now grab those aprons and wooden mixing spoons, and I'll meet you in the kitchen! (A/N: please make plenty of time for these desserts. Many of them take a couple of hours or even more to bake, cool, and what not.)


Banana Cream Pie
Makes 1 Pie

You will need:

For the Crust:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1.25 cups shortening 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 5 Tablespoons cold water
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar

For the Filling:

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 slightly beaten egg yolks
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 bananas

For the Whipped Cream:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar or 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or other flavoring

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. For the crust: In a food processor add the flour, shortening, and salt. 
  3. Pulse until shortening is combined. If you don't have a food processor you can cut in the shortening by hand with a knife.
  4. Add the egg, cold water, and vinegar and pulse until incorporated. If doing by hand, cut it in with a fork.
  5. Divide the mixture into two balls. The recipe makes enough for two crusts so reserve the other ball for later or freeze if using later.
  6. Press dough into a 9" pie pan and pinch the edges of the crust like shown above.
  7. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. For the filling: Add the sugar, flour, and salt to a medium saucepan. 
  9. Gradually stir in the milk and cook over medium heat until mixture is boiling and thickens. 
  10. Cook for 2 minutes.
  11. Remove from heat. 
  12. Stir a small amount of the milk mixture into a separate bowl with egg yolks to temper them (about 2 tablespoons).  
  13. Add the tempered eggs back into the milk mixture and cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly.
  14. Remove mixture from heat and add the butter and vanilla.
  15. Transfer to a separate bowl. 
  16. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature.
  17. Slice bananas and place them in the pie crust and add the filling on top.
  18. For the whipped cream: Place cream and sugar in a chilled mixing bowl and mix on high for 1 to 2 minutes. 
  19. Add the vanilla and beat for an additional 1 to 2 minutes or until soft peaks have formed. 
  20. Don't whip too much or you will end up will cottage cheese looking whipped cream.
  21. Spread the whipped cream over the top of the filling and chill unto ready to serve.


Coconut Cream Pie
Makes 1 Pie

You will need:

For the Pastry:
  • 1 cup very cold butter cut into small cubes
  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup ice water (Only enough to make a dough form.)

For the Coconut Cream Filling:
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened fine coconut
  • 3 slightly beaten extra large egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract

For the Vanilla Whipped Cream:
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons icing sugar (powdered sugar)

  1. For the Pastry: Using a food processor or a pastry blender cut cold butter into flour and salt until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Small pieces of butter should still be visible.
  2. Pour cold water over the mixture and work in by tossing with a fork until dough begins to form. 
  3. Use your hands as little as possible and work the dough as little as possible.
  4. Divide dough into 2 balls, flatten into 2 rounds, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rest for a minimum of 20 minutes. You can freeze the second round for another time.
  5. Roll the dough into a 12 inch round and place in the bottom of a 10 inch pie plate.
  6. Trim and flute the edges as desired.
  7. Poke a few holes in the bottom of the pastry shell, rest in the refrigerator for an additional 20 minutes before baking at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Cool completely before adding the filling.
  9. For the Coconut Cream Filling: Scald the milk in the microwave or on the stove top to almost boiling. Microwave works best as there is no chance of burning the milk.
  10. Meanwhile, in a saucepan combine the flour, sugar, salt and coconut.
  11. Over medium low flame slowly add 1 cup of the scalded milk, whisking constantly.
  12. As you notice the filling beginning to thicken, add another cup of the scalded milk continuing to stir constantly until it begins to thicken again.
  13. Add the final cup of scalded milk, stirring constantly. 
  14. Continue to cook over medium low heat until mixture begins to slightly thicken.
  15. At this point remove from heat and pour about a half cup of this mixture onto the beaten egg yolks, whisking constantly.
  16. Pour the egg mixture immediately back into the pot, continuing to constantly stir.
  17. Cook for an additional two or three until the filling reaches pudding consistency and remove from the flame. The mixture should just be beginning to boil at this point.
  18. Stir in the butter, vanilla and almond extract.
  19. Cool for about 20 minutes before pouring into the baked pie shell.
  20. Chill the pie completely for several hours or overnight before adding the vanilla whipped cream.
  21. For the Vanilla Whipped Cream: Combine the whipping cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract and beat to soft peaks. 
  22. Spread on top of the cooled coconut cream filling. 
  23. Garnish with toasted coconut and serve.


Southern Pecan Pie
Makes 1 Pie

You will need:

  • 1 sheet refrigerated pie crust 
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5+1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups toasted pecan halves
  • Freshly whipped cream, for serving

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 
  2. Unroll the pie crust and place in a 9-inch pie plate. 
  3. Fold the overhang under and crimp the edge with a fork or your fingers. 
  4. Bake the crust until light golden brown, about 10 minutes. 
  5. Cool completely on a rack. (Leave the oven on.)
  6. Whisk the corn syrup, brown sugar, salt, butter and vanilla in a medium bowl. 
  7. Lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl, then whisk into the corn syrup mixture.
  8. Finely chop 1/2 cup pecans and spread evenly over the pie crust. 
  9. Roughly chop another 1/2 cup pecans and mix into the corn syrup mixture, then pour the filling into the crust. 
  10. Arrange the remaining 1 cup pecans on top in a decorative pattern.
  11. Bake the pie until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. 
  12. Cool completely on a rack. 
  13. Serve with whipped cream.


Okay ladies and gentlemen, I hope you enjoy stuffing your faces with these pies this upcoming holiday. I'll be back soon with even more Thanksgiving goodies, but until then: happy blogging, and I'll catch y'all on the flip side!