Category Archives: Pie

Huckleberry Handpies – Montana

We’ve just returned from a glorious week in Glacier National Park. This jewel in the national park system is one of the most beautiful places on earth. At every turn, you are met with a stunning vista  . . .

Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park
Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park

a gorgeous waterfall . . .

St. Mary’s Falls, Glacier National Park

. . . or a majestic mountain.

Mt. Oberlin (with Bird Woman Falls), Glacier National Park

And huckleberries. Mid-July to August is prime huck season. Stores and shops promote huckleberry flavored everything including ice cream, coffee, lemonade, chocolate and popcorn. They are a favorite of the black bear who roams these quarters and we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a bear by the side of the road, munching away on this delectable treat (we were safe in our car, thank goodness).

This handpie recipe is a real winner. It combines the taste of a full-on

Huckleberry Handpies- Montana

pie, with the ease of a handheld pastry. Don’t fret if you can’t find huckleberries — and you probably can’t unless you live in northwest Montana, they haven’t been successfully grown commercially — just use blueberries.

Going-to-the-Sun Road is a 50-mile road (in fact, one of the only roads) that takes you from one end of Glacier to the other. Open only in the summer and often maddingly jammed with traffic, this route offers breathtaking views and passes the highest point in the park, Logan Pass.

Huckleberry Handpies

  • Servings: 8 pies
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

For Pastry:

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup cold water

For Filling:

  • 2 cups fresh huckleberries or blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Salt, pinch

For Topping:

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Turbinado sugar 

Instructions

To make pastry: In the bowl of a food processor, add flour, sugar and salt. Pulse a few times to combine. Add butter. Pulse until mixture is a coarse meal. Add water and pulse until dough comes together. Wrap dough in plastic and place in refrigerator until chilled.

To make filling: In the meantime, make the filling. Place berries in a medium saucepan. Add cornstarch, sugar, salt and lemon juice. Heat on medium until mixture begins to simmer. Allow mixture to thicken, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add lemon zest. Set aside to cool (mixture can be made a day ahead of time).

To assemble handpies: Roll the chilled dough into a 12” X 12” square. Cut out 16 squares. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling on 8 of the squares. Place pastry on top and crimp edges with fork tines. Brush tops of handpies with beaten egg and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Place each handpie on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Cut two small slits in each pie to allow steam to vent. Bake in 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

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Ohio Shaker Lemon Pie

The Shakers were a Christian sect that began in Great Britain and made their way to the Northeast of the United States in the middle of the eighteen century. By the 1840s, several communities in Ohio

Ohio Lemon Shaker Pie

existed. Shakers were a very thrifty bunch and this pie presumably came about in an effort to use every part of the lemon. Yes, indeedy-doo, this pie uses the lemon pulp, the juice AND the skin. Use Meyer lemons as the flesh is sweeter than a regular lemon and the skin is more aromatic. The bitterness of the skin is tempered by the two cups of sugar that the lemons macerate with overnight. We have seen recipes for this pie with a top crust as well, but we liked the single crust version – all the better to see and taste the sunny yellow filling. Just the thing to brighten these gray winter days.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland is a mecca for rock aficionados. With five levels of exhibits including sound booths, interactive opportunities and a U2 3D film, this museum is not to be missed.

Ohio Shaker Lemon Pie

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For crust:

  • 1¼ cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • 1/4 cup cold water

For filling:

  • 2 Meyer lemons
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions

For crust: Place all ingredients except water in food processor and blend until fine crumbs are formed. Add water a little at a time until the dough is moist and forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge until ready to use. (Can be made a day ahead).

For filling: Over a medium mixing bowl to catch the juice, slice the lemons very thinly (can use a mandolin), discarding the ends. Reserve 3-5 slices of lemon for center of pie. Chop the remaining lemon slices into small pieces, then add to the mixing bowl, along with any lemon juice. Discard any visible seeds. Add 2 cups sugar and stir to combine. Let sit for at least 3 hours or overnight in fridge.

Roll out crust onto a floured surface. Gently lift onto a 9-inch pie plate. Finish edges by fluting or forking them.

Add beaten eggs and salt to lemon mixture. Add flour and vanilla and mix. Pour lemon mixture into pie crust. Array reserved lemon slices in center of pie.

Bake at 425 degrees for the first 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for approximately 30 minutes more or until crust is golden brown, the pie is set and the filling is bubbly. If necessary, cover edge of crust with foil to prevent overbrowning. Let pie cool on a wire rack before serving.

Pumpkin Pie Bars – New Hampshire

Pumpkin became the state fruit of New Hampshire in 2006. The New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival, first held in Keene, New Hampshire, and now in Laconia, set a world record in 2013 with over

Pumpkin Pie Bars - New Hampshire

30,000 lit jack-o-lanterns. The lit pumpkins are housed on a huge scaffolding tower and honestly, it’s a sight to behold.

Because Thanksgiving is coming and because we can’t get enough of all things pumpkin we decided to bring you these pumpkin pie bars. They give you all the sumptuous goodness of pumpkin pie without the hassle of rolling out pie dough. Bake these and stash them in your freezer for the next time you are craving pumpkin pie.

The Portsmouth Harbour Trail is a walking tour that passes by 70 significant historical spots including 10 national historical landmarks and 10 buildings listed on the National Register of Historical Buildings.

Pumpkin Pie Bars

  • Servings: 24 bars
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For crust:

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

For filling:

  • 15 oz. can pumpkin filling
  • 12 oz. can evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For topping:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Instructions

To make crust: In the bowl of the electric mixer, combine oats, flour, brown sugar and butter. Mix on low with the paddle attachment until just combined. The mixture will look crumbly. Press into the bottom of a 9 X 13 pan. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

To make filling: While crust is baking, combine pumpkin filling, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, spices and salt. Mix on low until smooth. When crust is done, pour mixture over it and then return pan to oven for 20 minutes.

To make topping: While filling bakes, combine brown sugar and chopped pecans in a small bowl. When filling has baked approximately 20 minutes, remove from oven. Sprinkle topping over the filling which will be wiggly and not yet set. Return pan to oven for an additional 20 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Tomato Pie with Basil and Feta – Alabama

Summer, summer, summer. Ice cream cones, lazy days at the pool, catching fireflies at dusk. And tomatoes. Lots of tomatoes. If you garden, this might be about the time you start wondering what to do

Tomato Pie with Bail and Feta

with your surplus of the red juicy orb. Tomato Pie is just the ticket. This very southern dish dates back to the 1830s. We gussied up the traditional version to include sautéed onions, garlic, basil and feta cheese which plays so nicely with tomatoes. One thing we dared not mess with is the mayo/cheese topping which bakes into a layer of gooey goodness. Serve with a green salad and maybe some grilled chicken sausages and you’ve got yourself a darn good meal.

Tomato Pie with Basil and Feta

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is a museum and cultural center that highlights the role of the city in the civil rights movement beginning in the 1950s.

Tomato Pie with Basil and Feta

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients

For crust:

  • 1¼ cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • ½ cup cold water

For filling:

  • 1 ½ lbs. tomatoes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pepper
  • Basil, diced
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • ½ cup mayonnaise

Instructions

For crust: Place all ingredients except water in food processor and blend until fine crumbs are formed. Add water a little at a time until the dough is moist and forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge until ready to use (can be made a day ahead). Roll out onto floured surface, adding a bit of flour at a time if the dough is too sticky. Gently lift into a 9-inch pie plate. Crimp edge. Set aside.

For filling: Slice tomatoes thinly and place in colander. Sprinkle with salt. Set aside for approximately 10 minutes.

In the meantime, cook onion over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. Add minced garlic and continue cooking until onion is just beginning to brown and garlic is fragrant.

With a paper towel, blot tomatoes until most of liquid is removed. Combine cheeses. Reserve ¾ cup for topping. Mix this ¾ cup cheese with ½ cup of mayonnaise. Set aside.

Put one third of the cheese in the bottom of the pie plate. Sprinkle with one third of the onion mixture, then one third of the tomatoes. Season tomatoes with pepper. Finish with a sprinkling of basil. Repeat this step two more times so that there are three layers. Cover top of pie with the mayo/cheese mixture. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until the topping is golden brown. Let pie set 10 minutes before serving or serve at room temperature.

Perfect Pairing: Strawberry Rhubarb Galette – California

Tomorrow is National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day! Didn’t know it was a thing, did you? California is the top producer of strawberries in the U.S. with 2.3 billion pounds harvested in 2014. We don’t know

Strawberry Rhubarb Galette

why they pair so well but the strawberry’s best friend is rhubarb, in all its celery-like simplicity. We decided instead of pie, we would make a rustic galette which is just a free form pastry, baked without a pie plate. We topped our galette with sliced almonds, another California product. In fact, California is the only state in the country that produces them. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you have an easy dessert that will impress any guest.

Slice of Strawberry Rhubarb Galette

Big Sur is a 90 mile stretch of gorgeous coastline from Carmel to San Simeon. Camping and hiking are the big draws, with several state parks along the route, but you can also shop, grab a bite to eat or climb the Point Sur Lighthouse.

Strawberry Rhubarb Galette

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

For crust:

  • 1¼ cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • 1/2 cup cold water

For filling:

  • 1 ½ cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 ½ cup sliced rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Lemon zest from half of lemon
  • Juice from half of lemon
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons milk (can use non-dairy milk)

 Instructions

For crust: Place all ingredients except water in food processor and blend until fine crumbs are formed. Add water a little at a time until the dough is moist and forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge until ready to use (can be made a day ahead). Roll out onto floured surface, adding a bit of flour at a time if the dough is too sticky. Lift the dough with a spatula and transfer carefully onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

For filling: In a large bowl, combine strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add cornstarch. Mound fruit mixture into center of dough. Fold sides of dough in, leaving about a 6 inch diameter in the center. Sprinkle with almonds. Brush milk over the outside of the crust. Place in 350 degree oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or the filing is bubbling and the crust is golden brown.

Get Dirty: Mississippi Mud Pie

It is any surprise that February is National Chocolate Lovers Month? With Valentine’s Day this weekend, we decided we absolutely had to go all chocolate with this Mississippi Mud Pie. This Southern

Mississippi Mud Pie

indulgence gets its name because it supposedly looks like the thick mud that lines the Mississippi River. Lots of variations of this pie exist, some with a regular graham cracker crust, some with marshmallows, and some even with ice cream. We went with a more traditional version and oh my, we were left swooning in chocolate heaven.

If you are planning a trip to the Magnolia State, check out the Mississippi Blues Trail. This travel planning site includes information about historic sites, museums, upcoming concerts and more.

Mississippi Mud Pie

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients

For crust:

  • 1 sleeve chocolate graham crackers
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup pecans

For filling:

  • 1 ½ sticks butter
  • 1 ¾ cups brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted in microwave
  • 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon chocolate extract
  • 1 teaspoon Kahlua liqueur (optional, if omitted add another teaspoon of chocolate extract)

For topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar
  • Chocolate shavings (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted and cooled (optional)

 Instructions

For crust:

Pulse sleeve of graham crackers and pecans in food processor until fine crumbs are formed. Transfer mixture into a bowl. Add melted butter and sugar. Mix well. Press mixture evenly into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 11-13 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 325 degrees.

For filling:

In the meantime, mix butter and brown sugar together in mixer on medium speed until mixture is creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add melted chocolate chips, cocoa, heavy cream, chocolate extract, and Kalua and beat until all ingredients are incorporated. Pour the filling in the pie shell. Bake for 45 minutes or until filling is set. Let cool on counter and then transfer to fridge.

For topping:

Add heavy cream into a mixing bowl and beat on medium to high speed. Just before soft peaks begin to form, add the sugar to taste. Beat a few more minutes until soft peaks form. Add whipped cream to cooled pie, then top with chocolate shavings and pecans.

Playin’ Possum: Possum Pie – Arkansas

When we first heard about this pie, we had the same reaction that most people have. “It’s not made with possum, is it?” We assure you, it’s not (eww). This delicious concoction that should be the official

Possum Pie - Arkansas

state dessert of Arkansas goes by other names in the south including Striped Delight, Chocolate Layer Pie and Four Layer Delight. A sandy bottom crust is the base upon which a cream cheesy layer sits. A chocolate pudding layer comes next, followed by a whipped cream topping. No one is really sure where the name comes from, but the best reasoning is that this pie plays possum by pretending to be something else – in this case the whipped cream hiding the chocolate filling.

We have seen lots of variations of this dessert including those made with a graham cracker crust, instant chocolate pudding and Cool Whip for the topping. You can go that route, but we prefer our version with no processed ingredients.    

If this pie isn’t a near-religious experience, check out Thorncrown Chapel near Eureka Springs. This stunning architectural masterpiece is comprised of 6,000 square feet of glass and 425 windows. Designed to blend into its surroundings, the chapel has won numerous architectural awards and is a must-see if you are in the Ozarks.

Possum Pie

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

First Layer

  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¾ cup chopped pecans, toasted

Second Layer

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Third Layer

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • Salt, a pinch
  • 3 tablespoon corn starch
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups whole or 2% milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Fourth Layer

  • Whipped cream
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • Chocolate shavings (optional)

Instructions

 Place all pecans needed for recipe in a skillet on medium heat until they just begin to turn fragrant and brown, about 3 to 5 minutes (watch closely so they don’t burn). Remove from heat and let cool. Divide for each layer and set aside. Line a 9X9 square pan with aluminum foil, making sure the corners are tight.

For the first layer: Combine melted butter, flour and pecans. Spread the dough evenly over the bottom of the foil-lined pan, pressing down with your fingers. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes or until the dough just begins to brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

For the third layer: While the first layer bakes, in a medium saucepan, add the sugar, cocoa powder, flour, salt and corn starch. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks until broken up, then milk. On medium heat, add milk mixture to dry ingredients, whisking constantly until pudding begins to boil and thicken, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Let cool about 5 minutes. Pour pudding in a shallow bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface so a skin does not form. Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

For second layer: In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar and milk. Beat with electric mixture for 2-3 minutes or combined.

To make pie: Spread cream cheese mixture over the dough base. Remove pudding from fridge. Carefully spread pudding over the cream cheese layer. Top with whipped cream, toasted pecans and chocolate shavings if desired. To serve, remove pie from the pan by lifting up by the foil. Transfer to a serving platter.

Pucker Up: Key Lime Pie – Florida

Key Lime Pie is one of those dishes that reminds you of that fun beach vacation every time you taste it. The official state pie of the Sunshine State since 2006, the origins of this pie are murky.

Key Lime Pie - Florida

Historians tend to agree that the recipe was created in order to push a new product called sweetened condensed milk which was brought to Florida in the 1850s by a ship salvager named William Curry. This canned milk was shelf stable, important for an area of the country that did not get refrigeration until the 1930s.

Folks like to quibble over the type of crust (regular or graham cracker?) and the type of topping (whipped cream or meringue?) but one thing everyone agrees to is that the filling must be light yellow and not green. We stuck with a pretty traditional recipe here, from Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami Beach, and we have to say, it’s the best we’ve tried.

Grab your old milk jugs and duct tape for the Anything That Floats Race in Key Largo, August 15, 2015. Homemade vessels rule in this race that awards the fastest teams, the best decorated boats and the best looking crew.

Key Lime Pie

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients

For crust:

  • 1 sleeve graham crackers (or 1¼ cup graham cracker crumbs)
  • 5 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/3 cup sugar

For filling:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • Zest from 2 limes, grated
  • 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice (use key limes if available, if not, use regular limes)
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Instructions

For crust: In the bowl of a food processor, add graham crackers, butter and sugar. Pulse until completely mixed. Press crust into a greased 9-inch pie pan, pressing firmly into the bottoms and sides of the pan with a bottom of a measuring cup. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until crust just begins to brown. Remove and let cool.

For filling: Add egg yolks and lime zest into a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on high speed, about 5 minutes. Mixture will expand and be frothy. Gradually add the sweetened condensed milk, beat about 5 minutes longer. Add lime juice and mix by hand. Pour into the cooled pie crust. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees or until filling is set. Let cool, then refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve cold with whipped cream.

Tiny State, Big Flavor: Maple Hazelnut Pie – Vermont

You can always tell by the smell when spring arrives in Vermont. From about early March to mid-April, sugarmakers in the state head outdoors to tap sugar maple trees and process the sap by boiling it

Maple Hazelnut Pie - Vermont

 

down into the rich, brown syrup our pancakes couldn’t live without. (And, FYI, the evaporation process is pure olfactory heaven.) In 2014, the effort yielded 1.3 million gallons of maple syrup, once again making Vermont the leading producer of syrup in the United States. In fact, maple is the official flavor of the Green Mountain State. If you visit, you’ll find so many products made with it, including maple candy, maple mustard and maple cream.

We decided to bring you a recipe for Maple Hazelnut Pie that is easy and delicious, and could rightly be considered the Yankee answer to the South’s pecan pie. The hazelnuts – sometimes called filberts – are very crunchy, and once baked, have a great toasted flavor that really complements the maple.

If a visit to Vermont is in your future, check out the Open House Weekend, March 27-28, 2015, when sugarhouses across the state give tours, demos and samples.

Vermont Maple Hazelnut Pie

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients

For crust:

  • 1¼ cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • 1/4 cup cold water

For filling:

  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup plus one tablespoon brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts

Instructions

For crust: Place all ingredients except water in food processor and blend until fine crumbs are formed. Add water a little at a time until the dough is moist and forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge until ready to use. (Can be made a day ahead.)

For filling: Melt butter on low heat. Add brown sugar until dissolved. Add maple sugar. Bring to medium heat and boil for 60 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add vanilla and salt. Allow mixture to cool.

In a separate bowl, beat eggs. Add cooled maple syrup mixture slowly. Add nuts and stir until coated. Place nut and maple mixture into rolled-out crust. Finish crust edge by fluting or press with fork tines. Place in 350-degree oven for 50 minutes or until filling is set.

 

 

 

 

Tart Cherries are so Very – Michigan

Yes, we will admit, we are smitten with the mitten – the state of Michigan, that is (look at a map of the state if you don’t get the mitten reference). The whole state is crazy for cherries, but tart cherries are a whole ‘nother story. Michigan is the top producer of tart cherries in the country, with 217 million pounds produced in 2013 according to the USDA.

DSC_0092 sign

Besides being delish, tart cherries are good for you. Studies link tart cherries with soothing inflammation and arthritis symptoms, easing muscle pain after a workout and enhancing sleep, according to the Cherry Marketing Institute. Continue reading Tart Cherries are so Very – Michigan