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Pie Recipes


cheezepowder
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We have a thread on pie vs. cake but don't seem to have one for pie recipes. I've been practicing pie crusts lately and have been looking for pie recipes besides the usual pumpkin, apple, cherry, etc.

I made a chocolate chess pie last weekend just using a random recipe I found on the internet, but when I baked it, the chocolate floated to the top and formed a separate top layer of filling, which isn't right, so I need to try chocolate chess pie again.

I also have grapefruits to use up, so I'm planning to make a grapefruit meringue pie.

Anyone making pies and any good recipes?

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I also have grapefruits to use up, so I'm planning to make a grapefruit meringue pie.

First thought: Eeew! That sounds so gross!

Second thought: Hmm. Why not? There's lemon meringue pie; why not grapefruit? I wonder what other citrus fruit can be used.

Third thought: That should be kinda interesting.

Let us know how that pie turns out.

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Let us know how that pie turns out.

Well....The grapefruit meringue pie was just ok. I guess there's a reason it never caught on like lemon meringue pie. :P

I used a grapefruit meringue pie recipe from my Pillsbury baking book. It's similar to a lemon meringue pie recipe. The grapefruit filling didn't have enough grapefruit flavor except it had some of the bitter aftertaste of a grapefruit, probably from the zest. The recipe only called for 1/2 cup of grapefruit juice (plus 1 1/4 cups of water) and 1 teaspoon of grapefruit zest. I also used pink grapefruits which were not as sour. If I were to make it again, I would try a greater proportion of grapefruit juice to water. Overall, I had a similar reaction to this pie as I did to the grapefruit yogurt cake I tried a while ago (to make a dent in this same batch of Christmas grapefruits). Ok but not something I need to make again. Though, actually, maybe I will next year if I end up with more Christmas grapefruits.

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Well....The grapefruit meringue pie was just ok. I guess there's a reason it never caught on like lemon meringue pie. :P

I used a grapefruit meringue pie recipe from my Pillsbury baking book. It's similar to a lemon meringue pie recipe. The grapefruit filling didn't have enough grapefruit flavor except it had some of the bitter aftertaste of a grapefruit, probably from the zest. The recipe only called for 1/2 cup of grapefruit juice (plus 1 1/4 cups of water) and 1 teaspoon of grapefruit zest. I also used pink grapefruits which were not as sour. If I were to make it again, I would try a greater proportion of grapefruit juice to water. Overall, I had a similar reaction to this pie as I did to the grapefruit yogurt cake I tried a while ago (to make a dent in this same batch of Christmas grapefruits). Ok but not something I need to make again. Though, actually, maybe I will next year if I end up with more Christmas grapefruits.

I was interested to see how that pie turned out--thanks for the update. A friend of mine used to rave about a grapefruit cake she had at one of the restaurants in Disney World. I know she tried to get the recipe, but that was years ago. I'd recommend a google search to try to find it should you end up with another bounty of grapefruits next year!

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The grapefruit filling didn't have enough grapefruit flavor except it had some of the bitter aftertaste of a grapefruit, probably from the zest.
Try using candied grapefruit peel--cut strips of peel without any of the white pith and cook them gently in a sugar syrup until translucent. That should allow you to use a lot of the zest for flavor without the bitterness.
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Is there a Key Lime Pie recipe out there that doesn't use condensed milk? If so, where?

May I ask why the omission of condensed milk? If due to fat, there is a fat-free condensed milk that I've used for Vietnamese Iced Coffee with no taste issues.

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Is there a Key Lime Pie recipe out there that doesn't use condensed milk? If so, where?

:rolleyes: How to replace the main ingredient? (in volume, that is) Key lime pie filling is nothing but sweetened condensed milk, key lime juice, and egg. What are you trying to accomplish? I suppose you could try a stiff-textured pastry cream or other custard. Or follow a lemon meringue pie recipe, but then you'd have key lime meringue pie, which would be good, come to think of it, but it wouldn't be a key lime pie.

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May I ask why the omission of condensed milk?
What are you trying to accomplish?
The reason is I just bought and ate a slice of this sickeningly-sweet-over-condensed-version of the office cafeteria's Key Lime Pie that had that gritty-condensed milk texture that I am trying to avoid. I don't know about you all, but I seem to always taste this condensed milk-grit, which is why I was wondering if there was a way to avoid it. So, I thought I would try to find a way to avoid the grit and the sickeningly-sweet sensation. I did find a recipe using silken tofu, but that doesn't sound right to me. Porcupine: thanks for the suggestion - now I need to find a good lemon meringue recipe....
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The reason is I just bought and ate a slice of this sickeningly-sweet-over-condensed-version of the office cafeteria's Key Lime Pie that had that gritty-condensed milk texture that I am trying to avoid. I don't know about you all, but I seem to always taste this condensed milk-grit, which is why I was wondering if there was a way to avoid it. So, I thought I would try to find a way to avoid the grit and the sickeningly-sweet sensation. I did find a recipe using silken tofu, but that doesn't sound right to me. Porcupine: thanks for the suggestion - now I need to find a good lemon meringue recipe....

Yeah, that's tricky. All the sweetness comes from the condensed milk; hopefully that cafeteria isn't adding more sugar. Sometimes I get that grit, too, and wonder if its from sugar that came out of solution while the can sat on a store shelf. My fix is to not scrape out the stuff stuck to the bottom.

Try this: make a batch of the filling - or even half a batch - and see if you like it.

About lemon meringue, I just looked it up in an old standby, Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook, 1950. Seriously, there are some good recipes in here. I'll write up the recipe later when I have time. Funny thing, though: the index also points to a section called "Short Cuts", and guess what the recipe is for "shortcut lemon meringue pie"... yep, a filling made from egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, and lemon juice. In other words, a key lime pie.

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Try this: make a batch of the filling - or even half a batch - and see if you like it.

About lemon meringue, I just looked it up in an old standby, Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook, 1950. Seriously, there are some good recipes in here. I'll write up the recipe later when I have time. Funny thing, though: the index also points to a section called "Short Cuts", and guess what the recipe is for "shortcut lemon meringue pie"... yep, a filling made from egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, and lemon juice. In other words, a key lime pie.

That's hilarious! I think I have a later version of that exact same cookbook, too. Last night, I drained some plain yogurt and folded that into the condensed milk to cut the sweetened grit, and it ended up not authentic, but pretty tasty. Thanks!
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Yesterday I made three cherry pies. I used flour to thicken the filling for one of the pies; it came out kinda runny. For the other two I used cornstarch. Same amount of berries, sugar and cornstarch, but one pie was really runny and the other was almost inedibly runny.

So... what happened? Which thickeners do you all use? Do you choose different ones for different fruit? I need to figure this out before peach season arrives.

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I also use tapioca starch to thicken fruit pies, which provides a glossier, less gluey final product than flour or cornstarch. Arrowroot is very similar to tapioca. But the thing about cherries that I have discovered is that the same rule applies with pie and preserves: sour cherries can be really juicy and you can't include all of the juice if you want the pie or preserves to thicken. My guess is that the pies that were runnier had a bigger percentage of juice. The amount of thickener that you used was probably inadequate to the task. Also, starch-thickened pies tend to be runnier the warmer they are. Chilling a pie for a few hours in the fridge will firm up the filling, although it's yummier when still a little bit warm.

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I also use tapioca starch to thicken fruit pies, which provides a glossier, less gluey final product than flour or cornstarch. Arrowroot is very similar to tapioca. But the thing about cherries that I have discovered is that the same rule applies with pie and preserves: sour cherries can be really juicy and you can't include all of the juice if you want the pie or preserves to thicken. My guess is that the pies that were runnier had a bigger percentage of juice. The amount of thickener that you used was probably inadequate to the task. Also, starch-thickened pies tend to be runnier the warmer they are. Chilling a pie for a few hours in the fridge will firm up the filling, although it's yummier when still a little bit warm.

Here's a link to Michael Ruhlman's blog post about cherry pie:

http://blog.ruhlman.com/

He uses a LOT of cornstarch.

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I don't have an answer for the runny cherries, though I would agree with tapioca. I have a great recipe for peach pie from Jim Fobel. I have made this recipe multiple times over two peach seasons, and it is wonderful every time. Let me know if you're interested.

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I don't have an answer for the runny cherries, though I would agree with tapioca. I have a great recipe for peach pie from Jim Fobel. I have made this recipe multiple times over two peach seasons, and it is wonderful every time. Let me know if you're interested.

I'd be interested in the peach pie recipe if you're willing to share.

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Cobbler isn't pie, but for 1 quart sour cherries (roughly 3 1/4 cups), I just used 2 T quick tapioca. Perfect quantity, though I will say that I fiddled w a new recipe for the topping and it was twice the amount I would have chosen to produce, so I have to wonder if the excess dough soaked up a lot of the juice. Runnier while cooling; after 35-40 minutes, perfect.

* * *

I just use flour and powdered spices for peach pie. Love the open-face one in the small, early Martha Stewart cookbook on pies and tarts that the DC public library system has in dozens.

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Mr. S and I are going to try to replicate a pie we had while on vacation. I love cakes, and pies are good too, but this one was tranforming; it was absolutely the best I have ever eaten.

Okinawan sweet potato and haupia (coconut pudding) pie topped with whipped cream, on a macadamia nut shortbread crust. We've seen a few recipes on the'net, but will be reviewing the different recipes before deciding which to try out first. If successful, this could be a contender for the next picnic!

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Sorry this took so long!

Peach Pie

6-8 large freestone peaches (about 6 oz. Ea.)

¾ c. granulated sugar

2 T all purpose flour

2 T cornstarch

½ t. gr. Cinnamon

½ t. grated nutmeg

¼ t. salt

1T fresh lemon juice

2 T unsalted butter, cut into bits

Pastry for double crust pie

Glaze (optional)

1 egg yolk

1 t. water

  1. Adjust the rack one-third up from the bottom of the oven and preheat to 425°F. Line a baking sheet wit aluminum foil.
  2. bring a medium-sized pot of water to boil over high heat; add two or three peaches and blanch for 10 to 30 seconds (depending on ripeness), then rinse under cold water. Repeat with remaining peaches. Peel and cut into slices about ½ inch thick or slightly thicker; you will need about 5 cups.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the larger portion of dough into a round about 12 inches in diameter. Loosely drape it into a 9-inch pie pan (4 – 4 ½ cup capacity) and, without stretching the dough, fit it to conform to the pie pan: there should be a generous overhand all around. Refrigerate until needed. Roll out the remaining piece of pastry to an 11 to 12 inch round. With a pastry wheel or a knife, cut into strips about ¾ inch wide. Refrigerate until needed.
  4. In a large bowl combine the sugar, flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; stir together until blended. Add the peaches, lemon juice and butter bits and toss gently but thoroughly. Turn into the pie pan.
  5. Evenly space 5 strips of the pastry over the filling. Weave 5 more strips through, crosswise, to make a lattice top. Using a finger dipped in water, moisten the underside of the ends of the pastry strips and press them to the overhanging pastry all around. Tightly roll up all around to make a raised edge and then flute or crimp.
  6. If glazing the pie crust, beat the egg yolk in a small bowl with 1 teaspoon of water and paint onto the lattice strips, but not the fluted edge. One yolk will be enough to glaze 3 pies. Place on a baking sheet and bake 25-30 minutes, until light golden brown. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake about 20 minutes longer, until golden brown and bubbly. Cool on a rack.

Recipe courtesy of Jim Fobel’s Old Fashioned Baking Book

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Is the sweet potato or the pie Okinawan? If the former, what is an Okinawan sweet potato like? Whatever the case, it sounds delicious!

Oh it is delicious! The Okinawan (or Hawaiian) Sweet Potato is purple, and tastes more like a chestnut than a sweet potato. It is high in antioxidants and fiber, and is said to have a low glycemic value. We've been purchasing them recently at Lotte and sometimes H-Mart. We simply boil or microwave and eat them like candy! That is, until we had that pie in Hawaii...now I'm on a mission to replicate the pie, but the potatoes sold here are much smaller than the ones we found in Hawaii.

some info here and here

The Okinawan Sweet Potato should not be confused with the Peruvian Purple Potato, which is not a sweet potato at all, but rather a regular potato that just happens to have a blue-purple skin and purple flesh. The Okinawan Sweet Potato on the other hand, has a light brown skin, and deep lavender flesh, and, is surprisingly sweet and extremely nutritious. The color is due to anthocyanins, which act as antioxidants. They are rich in carotenoids, saponins, flavonoids, alkoloids, and tannins, and have a high vitamin E content. They are extraordinarily high in vitamin C, and are thought to contain large amounts of dioscin, an anti-inflammatory compound. There is mounting evidence that the Okinawan Sweet Potato contains a significant am ount of lycopene, the powerful anti-oxidant and carotenoid found in tomatoes that has been associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer in many studies. A one- cup serving contains only 140 calories, and is packed with dietary fiber. In addition, the Chinese believe that the Sweet Potato is helpful in relieving the symptoms of arthritis.

(photo courtesy of gourmetsleuth.com--which also includes a recipe for the pie, yet to be tested...)

okinawasweetpotato.jpg

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So... what happened? Which thickeners do you all use?

I also use tapioca starch to thicken fruit pies, which provides a glossier, less gluey final product than flour or cornstarch.

I used tapioca flour to thicken my peach pie last night, which definitely gave it a more gluey final product, such as Zora described. So, Porcupine - I recommend against using that at least to thicken. Will have to add tapioca starch to the shopping list, but for some reason, I thought they were the same?

Also, as I was eating my pie last night, I was thinking that my palate is now confused on a good pie crust. I know it's supposed to be flaky, but flaky soft or flaky on the more cooked end (crispish, in my case, which hit the spot for me)?

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I used tapioca flour to thicken my peach pie last night, which definitely gave it a more gluey final product, such as Zora described. So, Porcupine - I recommend against using that at least to thicken. Will have to add tapioca starch to the shopping list, but for some reason, I thought they were the same?

Unless I am mistaken, tapioca flour and tapioca starch are the same thing. The problem with your gluey texture was probably that you used too much starch, always a risk whatever type of starch you are using to thicken--cornstarch, arrowroot, potato starch, regular wheat flour or tapioca. What kind of fruit were you using? The juiciness of the fruit relative to the amount of starch can have a huge impact on the final texture.

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Unless I am mistaken, tapioca flour and tapioca starch are the same thing. The problem with your gluey texture was probably that you used too much starch, always a risk whatever type of starch you are using to thicken--cornstarch, arrowroot, potato starch, regular wheat flour or tapioca. What kind of fruit were you using? The juiciness of the fruit relative to the amount of starch can have a huge impact on the final texture.

Oh good. I was hoping I wasn't imagining things. I was using yellow peaches, but not using a spoon for my flour, so it was the at-your-own-risk-shake-it-out measuring method. Thanks so much for your wisdom Zora!

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Earlier this month I made an attempt at Chess Pie... One was a success, the other not so much. Regardless, I will try again and this time make my own crust.

Even Kleiman, the host of Good Food on KCRW in LA, is obsessed with pie. Last summer she made one every day (or had someone make one). This year she is obsessed again but to less of an extreme. She has some amazing resources on her site, including a great discussion about basics amateurs should consider, including some information about tapioca cf. corn starch cf. flour.

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Yesterday I decided to make a pre-Thanksgiving test pumpkin pie, since I've been wanting to tweak the recipe and of course it has to be perfect if I'm serving guests... Anyway, while I was at it I decided to try the Cook's Illustrated Foolproof Pie Crust, because I've been intrigued by the idea of using ethanol (Alton Brown did this, too) to make the dough easier to handle.

Sometimes I have to really discipline myself to follow a recipe exactly as written, despite my common sense. I figured this was especially important with CI recipes, given how they develop them. So, despite reservations about

1) using sugar

2) not enough salt

3) the inclusion of vegetable shortening

4) the flour to fat ratio,

I made it exactly as written (even timing the food processor pulses). The result?

Well, let's just say there's a good reason they call it "foolproof". The texture was fantastic. However, the flavor was downright insipid. I attribute this to

1) using sugar

2) not enough salt

3) the inclusion of vegetable shortening.

And seriously, if the crust isn't delicious, what's the point? You may as well bake pumpkin pie filling in a ramekin and serve it that way.

So I'm going try again, adapting my pâte brisée formula to include a little vodka, and see what happens.

Has anyone else played around with this?

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^ I have when I made wheat flour piecrusts, and I replaced half the water with alcohol. The nice thing about the alcohol is you can use different types of liqueurs depending on what is in the pie: Poire William for a pear pie, Grand Marnier with berry pies, Amaretto for peaches, etc. I thought about using wine instead of water for crusts for things like quiche, but then I had to start making everything GF, so I never tried it. Wine is 88% water, so I figured I could replace all the water. For the liqueurs, I found no difference in the feel of the dough when handling it, and I never got a tough dough, even with the scraps that I kept working just to see if I could mess it up. And I didn't use their recipe, just modified the one I use, which I modified from Ann Amernick's master recipe by cutting out most of the Crisco. I'm not a big fan of that flavor (or lack thereof) either.

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