Search This Blog

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lime pie and Quilting

My husband has enjoyed working for a dynamic manager for the past few years, and was sad when she decided to pursue another career opportunity back East.  She's a big Wizard of Oz fan, so it seemed natural to make her a Wizard of Oz quilt for her farewell gift.  When I volunteered to make the quilt it seemed like I had plenty of time to get it done, but the month of June whizzed by and suddenly I had only a few days left before she would be leaving - and the quilt was pieced but not quilted.  My wonderful friend Mary volunteered to help me with the stitching, and we ended up having a nice time quilting in the shade on a perfect summer day.  To "sweeten" the deal, I made a cool and refreshing frozen lime pie for us to enjoy when we took a break (and to keep our husbands occupied).  We all liked this pie, although the girls thought it was best when it was mostly thawed.  The men didn't let it sit around long enough to find out if they liked it thawed.  Give this one a try - you don't even have to make pastry!

Lime Freeze Pie

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages  Neufchatel Cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 (3 ounce) package lime gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 (8 ounce) tub light whipped topping, thawed

  • 1 1/2 cups finely crushed pretzels
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

Mix pretzel crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and butter; press into bottom of springform pan or pie pan.

Beat Neufchatel cheese and 1/4 cup sugar with mixer until blended. Add dry gelatin mix, zest and juice; mix well.
Fold in whipped topping and pour into prepared pan. 
Freeze 3 hours or until firm.  Let t stand at room temperature 15 min. to soften slightly before cutting to serve.  Top with sweetened whipped cream or whipped topping.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Coconut Cream Pie!

A couple of weeks ago at work, we had a pie from a popular restaurant in the area.  A few people were raving about the coconut cream pie (which was apparently made by throwing some cookie crumbs in the bottom of a pie pan then filling it with a mixture of cool whip and instant pudding then topping with a bit of toasted coconut).  I boasted that I can make a better coconut cream pie.  That kind of bragging didn't go over so well with Paul.  He challenged me to put my money where my mouth today I took a homemade REAL coconut cream pie to work and asked people to give it a try and let me know if they voted it better than the pie from the Maddox restaurant.  I almost didn't make it to the break room in time to get a picture of this pie!  The judge emailed me that the pie was "excellent", and a couple of people called me "evil", so I think this one is indeed a winner.  It takes a little time to make, but it is definitely worth it.

Coconut Cream Pie

Baked pastry for 9-10 inch pie
4 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk
2 tablespoons softened butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup sweetened whipped cream

  • Beat egg yolks with a fork or a whisk in a medium sized bowl and set aside.  Mis together the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan.  Gradually stir in the milk.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it gets thick and boils.  Boil and stir one minutes.
  • Gradually stir at least half of the hot mixture into the egg yolks, then stir back into the hot mixture in the saucepan.  Boil and stir for one minute, then remove from the heat.  Stir in the butter, vanilla, almond extract and 3/4 cup of the coconut.  Pour into the pie crust.  Press plastic wrap or waxed paper onto the filling to prevent a though layer from forming on top.  Refrigerate for at least 3 hours to allow it to set.
  • Remove the plastic wrap or waxed paper and top the pie with the sweetened whipped cream.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup coconut.  You may toast the coconut before topping the pie, if desired.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Blackberry and Apple

We got a treasure in our produce basket this week:  blackberries!  So naturally I needed to make a pie with blackberries in it.  Our neighbors, Dave and Katie, came over with their kids to try it out.  Sadly, Katie didn't get much because the men were so eager for seconds (so I owe her more pie!)  Everybody gave this pie a "thumbs up"!

Apple-Blackberry Pie

Pastry for a double crust pie
1 cup white sugar
4 teaspoons instant tapioca
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup fresh blackberries
3 cups peeled and sliced apples
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

  • Mix together the sugar, tapioca, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Add the berries and apples to the bowl and gently stir to cover with the sugar mixture, being careful not to break up the blackberries.  Set aside for 20 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Line pie pan with half the rolled out pastry, and spoon the fruit into the pan.  Dot with the butter and cover with the top pastry.  Crimp edges and cut vents into the crust.  I like to brush the top with ice water then sprinkle with sugar.
  • Bake the pie for 10 minutes at 425 degrees, then turn oven down to 375 degrees and bake for 35-40 minutes more (until juices are bubbling and apples are tender).
  • Remove from oven and let cool slightly.  We loved this pie with vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Berries and chocolate - doesn't get better than this!

A couple of years ago one of my sons brought me a little box for Mother's Day that contained some absolutely delectable chocolate covered strawberries.  What a treat!  Chocolate and berries is one of those classic food combinations that almost everybody likes.  Everybody who tried this berry and chocolate pie really liked it, although my husband said the chocolate was a little "too rich".  (Too rich?  What the heck is that?)  We served it topped with sweetened whipped cream.  Try it out if you can handle the richness!

Patriotic Pie

1 baked pie crust (I used a deep pie pan, but would have been better off with a "regular" one - the recipe didn't fill this up well)
6 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon butter
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Whole strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, rinsed and stems removed
2 tablespoons red currant jelly

Combine the chocolate and butter in a saucepan.  Heat and stir over medium-low heat until melted.  Add cream cheese and orange juice.  Heat and stir until combined.  Remove from heat and stir in the powdered sugar.  Spread in the baked pastry shell.  Arrange whole strawberries and other berries on filling, placing strawberries stem ends down.  Melt jelly and brush over the berries.  Cover and chill for at least 4 hours.

Let pie stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.  Top with sweetened whipped cream.