Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Pie-Day: Maple Orange Walnut Pie

Get ready for the upgrade on pecan pie! This pie reminded us so much of that old classic, except even better, if that’s possible.

I found the recipe through a video by Bill Daley, who got it from Ashley English’s book A Year of Pies. I didn’t have the book, and the video wasn’t clear on exact ingredients, so I kinda merged it together with ideas from All Recipes… and it turned out great!

Begin by making the pie crust! I usually use this recipe, but today I made this recipe, which allowed me to combine all the ingredients directly in the pie pan and not have to roll it out.

While you are preparing that, put your walnuts in the oven to get toasted. I ended up not really chopping them, just breaking the full walnuts in half.

The pie filling is pretty easy to make too – start with the dry ingredients (flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt).

Add in some eggs.

Pour in the butter and maple syrup. (The maple syrup takes the place of corn syrup in pecan pie recipes, and it’s so much more flavorful!)

By now the batter looks something like this.

Grate in some orange peel. (This is where I wish these pictures had a scratch and sniff option – fresh oranges smell so good!) Also, I ended up just squeezing the juice from half the orange rather than using the orange juice pictured with the ingredients above.

And don’t forget the orange marmalade!

Finally, add the fragrant walnuts, fresh from the oven. Mmmmm!

Once it’s in the pie pan, it gets to bake twice – intensely for 10 minutes, and then to a lesser degree for 30 minutes.

It smelled (and tasted) so good! It was the same principle as pecan pie, but even better, because the maple syrup was so much more flavorful than corn syrup, and also oranges make everything better.

It was also rather simple and quick to prepare, which made this mouth-watering delicacy even better!

Some similar pies I’ve made in the past: pecan pie, lemon pecan pie, orange pie

Maple Walnut Orange Pie 

⅓ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt
3 eggs
2 T. butter, melted
1½ cups maple syrup
rind of 1 orange (about 2 T.)
3 T. orange juice
2 T. orange marmalade
2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted

  1. Prepare pie crust in pan and toast walnuts at 350 degrees for 7 minutes.
  2. Whisk together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. Add in eggs, butter, maple syrup and stir to combine.
  4. Stir in orange rind, orange juice, and orange marmalade.
  5. Add toasted walnuts and stir until coated with pie filling.
  6. Pour pie filling into prepared pan and bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.
  7. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 30 minutes more or until golden and just set.
  8. Transfer to rack, let cool, and garnish with orange zest and whipped cream if desired.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday Pie-Day: Macadamia Caramel Pie

Tomorrow’s Pi Day! (3.1415...) Here’s what we made yesterday… Sticky doesn’t even begin to describe this delicious pie. Yes, it’s amazing, outstanding, gorgeous, and all that jazz, but it’s homemade caramel, so what do you expect?

I wasn’t expecting it to be so simple to make, that’s for sure. So that was a plus.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Pie-Day: Peanut Lover Pie

We have ourselves another family favorite! Of the 61 different pies we’ve made over the last 5 years, this makes the top 5. 

It takes a little time and effort, but it can be made in advance and frozen.

Also, there are nuts in it. Lots and lots and lots of peanuts! So don’t make or eat this if you have a peanut allergy. This pie is for those of us with a peanut obsession (aka my entire extended family).

First, the ingredients. Not too difficult. Let’s move on.

This was my first time using a food processor. I think I’m in love. If I had left it on a little longer, these honey roasted peanuts would have turned into peanut butter!

It was also (surprisingly) my first time making a graham cracker crust! It is just so much easier to buy them usually, but adding peanuts to the graham crackers was a worthwhile investment of my time.

This experience was much better than when I tried to make a crust for my Oreo pie several years ago!

I couldn’t stop photographing this gorgeous crust, and I also can’t believe how simple it was to make!

By the way, throughout the entire crust-making process, I had the chocolate ice cream carton sitting out on the counter getting soft.

These are all the ingredients you need for the filling! (Yes, I finished that jar of peanut butter.)

I worried needlessly about mixing peanut butter with ice cream – the melted ice cream absorbed its counterpart easily.

It doesn’t even look like ice cream anymore, does it? Looks more like a chocolate peanut butter milkshake…

Take the pie crust out of the freezer, where it has gotten firm for the last 30 minutes, and pour half the filling into the crust. Then refreeze the pie and the other half of the filling (still in the bowl).

Meanwhile, chop up some peanut butter cups! (These were leftover from Christmas.)

I chopped each one into eighths.

Set aside the best looking ones, about a third of them, and place all the others as the middle layer of the pie! (after it’s had an hour in the freezer)

Then while the pie is freezing for half an hour, take out the ice cream mixture bowl and let it melt a little. Spoon it over the pie, remembering that the pie will be very full and almost overflowing. (That’s the way we like it!)

This is what 2 more hours in the freezer will do to it! Note the garnishes I had ready to sprinkle on top.

Peanuts all the way through – crust, filling, and even topping!

But wait, there’s more! A little peanut butter mixed in with caramel, anyone? I heated it for 30 seconds in the microwave.

My family tried to be patient with me as I garnished each of the plates with this delicious (and sticky) peanut caramel sauce.

And then as I placed a slice of pie on each plate.

And then as I garnished each slice of pie with more peanut caramel sauce.

Some descriptive words I heard while we were all digging in were, “rich,” “delicious,” “favorite,” and “oh yeah!”

Compared with our peanut butter cup pie, I'd say this is a little more work but a lot more peanutty and delicious! Even with all the freezing times, I would classify this as an easy pie to make. I love that you can prepare it in advance. And the taste is well worth the effort!

Peanut Lover Pie (recipe from Taste of Home)

6 T. honey-roasted peanuts, divided
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
7 T. butter, melted
3 pints chocolate ice cream, softened
1 cup plus 1 T. peanut butter, divided
¾ cup coarsely chopped peanut butter cups, divided
½ cup caramel ice cream topping

  1. Chop 1 T. of peanuts; set aside. Place remaining peanuts in a food processor; cover and process until ground. In a small bowl, combine ground nuts, cracker crumbs, and butter. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9-inch pie plate. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine ice cream and 1 cup peanut butter until blended. Spoon half into crust. Return remaining ice cream mixture to freezer. Cover and freeze pie until almost firm, about 1 hour.
  3. Sprinkle with about two thirds of the chopped peanut butter cups. Freeze for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, resoften remaining ice cream mixture. Spread over peanut butter cups (pie will be very full). Cover and freeze for at least 2 hours or until almost firm.
  5. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and remaining chopped peanut butter cups. Cover and freeze until firm, about 1 hour longer.
  6. Remove from freezer 15 minutes before serving. Combine caramel topping with remaining peanut butter; drizzle some over dessert plates. Top with a piece of pie; drizzle with remaining caramel mixture.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Pie-Day: Cranberry Pecan Pie

Have you been searching for the perfect pie to make for the holiday season? A delicious one that is really easy to make, doesn’t make a mess, uses seasonal ingredients, but is a creative twist on some classics? Well, look no further!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Pie-Day: Orange Sweet Potato Pie

Is it pumpkin pie? Is that grass growing out of the top? Is this the easiest recipe you’ll ever make? The answer to all those questions is no. But is it worth it? Definitely!

We’ve made a sweet potato pie before, but this far exceeded that experience. Using fresh (rather than canned) sweet potatoes might have had something to do with it, or it could have been the welcome additions of oranges and rosemary. So delicious!

Yes, it did require buying a few ingredients, but I was curious to see what this blend of flavors would taste like. And I was not disappointed!

I began by making the crust. Which you must begin by chopping fresh rosemary.

It was my first time having a crust that contained cornmeal, powdered sugar, or rosemary, but what a delightful combination!

This was what it looked like with the butter cut in…

…And here is the final crust dough (after water was added) before I put it in the fridge to chill for half an hour.

Meanwhile, I began the arduous task of preparing the sweet potatoes! (Please pardon my crazed expression as I beat them to a pulp... literally.)

Well, it was not that hard, since while the pie crust was being prepared, the sweet potatoes were baking in the oven (wrapped in foil, placed directly on the oven rack). That made it very easy to scoop out their insides!

Who needs a food processor when you can just as easily use your hands?! This would be a fun task (and play exercise and sensory experience) for little ones too! Just make sure you allow the sweet potatoes enough time to cool before squeezing them with your hands! (Mine were cooled for almost an hour, and they were still a little warm.)

But they melted easily in my hands and turned into a beautiful pulp to be used as the pie filling!

By this time the pie crust had had time to chill, so I rolled it out and placed it in the pie pan. Well, there are a couple steps in between that. In actuality, I rolled it out 3 times, broke it 3 times,, got frustrated, and smooshed the ball of dough to the sides of the pie pan. Maybe if I had chilled it longer it would have rolled out more easily. But it still tasted good!

While the pie crust is baking for a few minutes and then cooling, begin making the pie filling! Combine sugar and melted butter with prepared sweet potatoes.

Add in the evaporated milk.

Sprinkle in the spices.

And don’t forget the titular orange zest and juice like I did! I had the pie in the oven for 3 minutes before realizing it was missing the orange! Luckily, I was able to add it and gingerly stir it directly in the pie pan!

Here is the beautiful pie cooling after doing its time in the oven. Looks like pumpkin pie, doesn’t it?

I added fresh rosemary sprigs as garnishes. (I originally had them sticking up out of the pie, but my sister thought it looked like grass growing.)

What an amazing flavor this pie had! The sweet potato pulp was still evident and perfectly accented with the oranges and spices, and the rosemary was very evident in the pie crust and was such a great complement to the pie filling.

These leftovers didn’t last long in our house!

Orange Sweet Potato Pie (recipe from My Recipes)
¾ cup flour
½ cup cornmeal
¼ cup powdered sugar
2 tsp. fresh chopped rosemary
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup cold butter (cut in pieces)
¼ cup VERY cold water

  1. Whisk together first 5 ingredients.
  2. Cut in butter with fork until crumbly.
  3. Sprinkle water 1 T. at a time over mixture; stir with fork.
  4. Wrap in plastic; chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Roll into a 12 inch circle on a floured surface; fit into a 9 inch pie plate. Fold edges under and crimp. Chill 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake crust 20 minutes, shielding edges to prevent browning.
  7. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour).

1½ lb. sweet potatoes
3 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
3 T. butter, melted
2 tsp. orange zest
1 T. fresh orange juice
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
1½ tsp. vanilla

  1. Wrap sweet potatoes individually in foil and bake at 400 degrees for 50-55 minutes. Let cool at least 5 minutes. Cut in half lengthwise, scoop out pulp, mash pulp, and discard skins.
  2. Whisk together eggs and sugar.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, stirring until blended. Pour mixture into mostly cooled pie crust.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 and bake 20-25 minutes or until center is set. Let cool 1 hour on wire rack before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.

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