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Friday, March 18, 2011

Apple Strawberry Pie

I've been making pies since I was about 14 years old, and developed some favorites along the way.  My family likes those tried and true pies and I could have kept my pie-eating family happy by continuing to make the same pies over and over.  But a couple of years ago I challenged myself to try new things more often, and that has led to the discovery of some fabulous new pies.  This pie is one that I never would have thought to try in the past, and it was a delicious revelation.  This is why trying new things is worth it!  It was National Pi Day (3.14) and I thought that was a fun excuse to make a pie, but I didn't have time or money to go shopping.  So I had to come up with a pie using what I had on hand.  Who knew apples and strawberries could play so deliciously together?  Give this one a try!  We ate it slightly warm with sweetened whipped cream, it would be great with ice cream as well.


Prepared pastry for a deep dish double crust pie

4-5 apples (I used Braeburn because that's what I had in the house.  Any kind of apple could work)
1/2 cup sugar
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1 quart strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/4 cup flour

  • Roll out half of pastry and put in bottom of deep dish pie pan.
  • Combine the apples, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest and mix together well.  
  • Mix in the strawberries, then carefully stir in the flour.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Spoon the filling into the pie shell.
  • Roll out remaining pastry and place on top of pie and flute edges.  The strawberries make this a pretty pie for a lattice top.
  • Bake pie for 30 minutes.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees then bake pie 30 minutes more, or until apples are tender and juices are bubbling.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sour Cream Lemon Pie

On Monday I was getting ready to do the weekly grocery shopping and feeling uninspired about what to plan for dinner when a friend mentioned having had fettuccine alfredo at The Olive Garden over the weekend.  This is an easy dish to make so I immediately latched on to the idea of  making it with chicken, broccoli and sauteed mushrooms.  It also reminded me of my last visit to The Olive Garden, when I tried a new little dessert they had.  It was a lemon dessert served in something resembling a shot glass and was the perfect ending to a pasta meal.  I didn't know how to make that dish, but I did have some fresh lemons in the fridge.  I also had sour cream.  So I made this luscious Sour Cream Lemon Pie.

This pie is so yummy, I don't know why I don't make it more often.  It's probably time to remedy that situation!


9 inch pie crust - baked

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup milk
juice of one large lemon
3 eggs yolks, beaten slightly
1/4 cup butter
zest of one large lemon
1 cup sour cream (do not use low fat or fat-free sour cream in this recipe)

  • Combine the sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan.
  • Stir in the milk, lemon juice and egg yolks.  Cook over medium heat until it thickens, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the butter and lemon zest.
  • Cool slightly.
  • Fold in the sour cream.
  • Spread the filling in the crust and refrigerate at least two hours.  It's even better if you can let it set up in the fridge overnight.
  • Top with sweetened whipped cream.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Banana Cream Pie

I recently finished reading the book American Pie: Slices of Life (and pie) From America's Back Roads by Pascale Le Draoulec.    It's the author's story of her experiences driving across the country in search of good pie - this would be such a dream trip to me!  The book was a fun read, and includes recipes she gathered along the way.  I've been making serious banana cream pie for years, the kind that requires lots of standing at the stove stirring milk and sugar and eggs until it thickens up into a creamy and delightful pudding.  But when I read the story of the author acquiring this recipe in Veyo, Utah, I just had to give it a try.  Our friends Curtis and Mary came over to try the pie and give their review of it. Oh yes, they liked it.  In fact, Curtis loved it enough to pose for a picture with his second slice.

This recipe calls for banana extract, which is not carried in any grocery store I could find.  I did find something called "banana creme" flavor at a specialty kitchen store so that's what I used here.  I don't know if it banana extract would be much different.  This pie was creamy and delicious.  We definitely recommend it (but I think it would be just as delicious without the banana flavor).

Evaline's Banana Cream Pie

1 9-inch pie crust

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup light cream (half and half)
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon banana extract
1-2 bananas, depending on size

Whipped cream topping:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch of salt

Combine sugar, salt, and cornstarch in a small mixing bowl and set aside.

Scald milk and cream and slowly beat in the sugar mixture.  Cook on low flame until filling thickens.

Beat a small amount of this filling into your 3 beaten egg yolks.  Mix thoroughly, then incorporate egg mixture into the filling.  Cook at low temperature, stirring constantly, until thick, about 3-4 minutes.

Remove from heat.  Add butter and flavorings.  Pour 1/3 of filling into prebaked pie shell.  Slice bananas on top.  Add remainder of the filling.

Let cool.  Beat topping ingredients together until thick.  Slather on pie.