Monday, June 30, 2014

Simone's Pet Strawberry Pie

At last, after a month of cooking a variety of pies, here is the long awaited Pieathalon Pie swap pie recipe! I was assigned Simone's Strawberry Pie, which was simultaneously a relief and a disappointment. Having read through the archives of many a recipe swap I'd looked forward to a crazy vintage recipe combining strange ingredients in never before thought of ways. Of course, I hadn't looked forward to eating it, and this recipe produced a lovely pie that I've been happy to eat most of myself!

I will say that for a recipe that calls for Jello and a prepared pie crust this was remarkably tricky and I even used a shortcut not available when Simone wrote this recipe. Out of general squeamishness I used pasteurized egg whites since they aren't cooked in this recipe, and I had to whip up two batches to get them airy enough to fold into the egg yolk custard. I did make another change--because I'm bad at following directions, and jazzed up the pureed strawberries with some lemon zest. 

The eggs were the hardest part of the whole thing--cooking the yolks over the water bath without them curdling, then getting the whites beaten up enough to fold in. I used less sugar  in the whites, because the first time I added the sugar it deflated the whites. So the second time I added half as much sugar--which was plenty.

I was a big worried about the jello--the recipe called for strawberry gelatin, but no indication of the size of packet. The package I used was pretty small, so I worried it would not set up properly. This turned out not to be a concern, as the whole thing came together very well. In fact there was extra filling, more than could fit in the graham cracker crust. I figure that maybe the crust Simone used was bigger.


The filled pie goes in the fridge to set up. I left mine in there overnight because I wasn't ready to eat it after I made it, but it set up after a couple of hours. I topped it with sliced strawberries as directed, and served it with strawberry puree and whipped cream from a can. You can probably see the texture in the picture--it was super light and airy, with a good strawberry flavor.

One thing I really liked about this recipe was that the pie held onto the water and didn't leak liquid like other pies I've made. So it was good for several days after it was made, which is nice when it is just me to eat it over the week.

I was pretty lucky with this recipe from Jenny of Silver Screen Suppers--if you want to check out some other lucky bakers trying their hands at pie construction I listed the links at the end of the post!
Brian of Caker Cooking – Chess Pie
Mimi of The Retro WW Experiment – Nesselrode Pie
Erica of Retro Recipe Attempts – Curried Egg Pie
Jenny of Silver Screen Suppers –Mile-High Lemon Chiffon Pie
S.S. of A Book of Cookrye — Upside Down Chicken Pie
Sarah of Directionally Challenged Cooking –Simone’s Pet Strawberry Pie
Kelli of Kelli’s Kitchen –Butterscotch Pie
Ashley of A Pinch of Vintage –Schoolteacher Pie
Poppy of Granny Pantries –Black Bottom Pie
Carrie of Ginger Lemon Girl –Chocolate “Pie”
Emily of Dinner is Served 1972 –Seafoam Cantaloupe Pie

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Moroccan Chicken Pie

I love, love, LOVE the flavors of this dish--similar to the Chicken Tagine I made a while back. In fact, I made it even more like that dish by adding the olives and preserved lemon. This is out of one of the books I bought at the thrift store, and I was happy that I could find a savory pie dish that wasn't the same old thing.

    • 2 tbs butter
    • 3 lbs chicken breasts and thighs
    • 1 lrg onion chopped fine
    • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp ground ginger
    • 2 tsp ground cumin
    • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne or to taste
    • 1 tsp ras al hanaut
    • pinch saffon soaked in 2 tbs warm water
    • 1/2 c chicken stock
    • 1 c egg substitute
    • 1/2 c cilantro
    • 1/4 c chopped parsley
    • 1/3 c chopped olives
    • 1/2 chopped preserved lemon
    • 16 sheets filo pastry


    1. Melt the butter in a dutch oven, add chicken, onion, spices, and the stock. Add salt and pepper and cook until chicken is cooked through. Add the eggs and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture is quite dry. Stir in cilantro, parsley, olives, and preserved lemon.
    2. Place first filo sheet on parchment sheet, and spray with cooking spray. Place another and another in a pinwheel pattern, spraying in between, until you've used half the sheets. Then add the mixture (it should be pretty dry, otherwise the liquid will ruin the dough) Fold the dough up around it, and top with more sheets spraying in between, tucking the edges under until you have a round pie. Spray the top with cooking oil.
    3. Bake in pre-heated 350 oven for 40-45 minutes or until cooked through and brown. I cooked it on a pizza stone, moving it on a parchment sling.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Baked Alaska Pie

This recipe comes from the same cookbook that I found the pie recipe for the Pieathalon exchange--the Lion House Cookbook. I found this vintage 1980 cookbook in the Deseret Industries so I feel all local pride to make this dish. Though I have to admit I only have one memory of going to the Lion House and not any of eating there, though I must have. Certainly if I did eat there, I never had this dish--I would remember something as distinctive as this pie! I followed this more in spirit than the letter.

Prepared graham cracker crust
ice cream
dessert sauce
egg whites
1/3 c sugar
cream of tartar

Put ice cream into crust, top with sauce (I used blueberry), and return to freezer. I did this a week or so ago, and then today I pulled it out and topped it with egg whites beaten into meringue, with the sugar, vanilla, cream of tartar, and salt. That went into a 500 degree oven for 5 minutes. It got a little burnt on top and didn't really cooked through.

It was pretty hard to cut, and while it tasted good, it was a less than impressive presentation on the plate. It was fun to do the meringue though, so I might have to do a lemon meringue pie soon!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Pot Pie

While I've discovered a love of cooking since the first of the year, I still haven't figured out a way to fit in cooking more than one or two days a week. I'm the worlds slowest cook, and have no energy after a long day of work to throw things together, plus I work two nights until 9:15. So every Sunday I cook one big meal for the rest of the week. This week I knew it would be pie of some sort--since it is pie month! I had two recipes in mine, and the one that won is a pot pie from a Rachel Ray cookbook I bought at goodwill. Buffalo chicken pot pie--with extra veggies!

The recipe is posted all over the internet--it was on TV after all. I used my book and made some changes.
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 large onion, chopped into bite sized pieces4 carrots, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
8 oz mushrooms chopped
half a head of cauliflower, chopped into fine florets5  stalks celery, chopped into bite sized pieces
3 roasted garlic clovesSAUCE4 tablespoons light butter4 tablespoons flour2 1/2 cups chicken stock1/2 cup hot sauce

Cornbread (the original calls for 2 boxes, but I made two batches of Cooks Illustrated Southern Cornbread)
blue cheese

First you cook the chicken in a pan, if you follow the original recipe you use a lot of olive oil to do so, and then once it is cooked, take it out and then cook the veggies. While the veggies cook you make a roux and then add the broth and hot sauce and let it cook until thick. I used the last bag of frozen stock--3 cups, but didn't end up using it all. Once the veggies are softened, the chicken is added back, and then the sauce poured on. I made so much that I put it in a pie pan and a 9x13 inch pan. Then covered it with the cornbread with the blue cheese mixed in. That goes in a pre-heated oven for 20 minutes or until the cornbread cooks through.

It turned out pretty good--I used part buffalo sauce and part another hot sauce because I ran out of the buffalo sauce. It has some heat, but with so many veggies and the corn bread it is tamed. The one challenge I had was that the cornbread cooked all the way through in the pie pan, but was under done in the 9x13 pan. I didn't realize this until I went to dish it out for work lunches. Well, it will be more polenta like! I am looking forward to a good week's worth of meals.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Blueberry Cream Pie

When I was younger, my mom used to make a no-bake cheesecake that she served with cherry pie topping. It was so rich that you could only have a small slice. I believe it had sweetened condensed milk along with the cream cheese, but I don't recall exactly. This pie is something like it, though less rich. I found this recipe in a Farmer's Market cookbook from my time living in Ohio. It has everything one could hope to find in a cookbook put together by neighbors--convenience foods that can be tossed together at the last minute to make a dessert for any church supper or potluck. I did find it somewhat ironic that a cookbook celebrating the bounty of the Farmer's Market had so many recipes calling for not fresh ingredients. To celebrate the spirit, if not the letter of this cookbook, I made the blue berry topping from scratch with fresh berries!

1 pkg softened cream cheese (I used Greek yogurt cheese)
1 c powdered sugar (I used abt 3/4 of a cup and might use less if I made this again)
1 tsp vanilla
lemon zest, lemon juice
1 container cool whip
1 prepared pie crust
blueberry pie filling

Mix cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, and a squeeze of the juice, until smooth. Fold in one cup of cool whip. Spoon into prepared pie crust. Spoon pie filling on top and add more cool whip to cover pie. Chill.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Berry Parfait Pie--Family Recipe

Years ago, when my Mom was clearing out her cookbooks, I snagged a cookbook that had been compiled by my Father's mother's family. It is one of those self published cookbooks, similar to those put out by churches and other civic groups. It has the typical types of mostly 1950's type convenience recipes. I've not made anything from it--the only family recipes I have are my Mom's gazpacho and my Dad's Grandma's cheese sandwiches (not sadly, in this book). So for my Pie Month celebration, I decided to make a pie from the collection. I selected one called "Strawberry Parfait Pie," only since I didn't have strawberries I used raspberries.

1 3 oz pkg raspberry jello
1 1/4 cup hot water
2 c vanilla ice cream
1 1/2 c raspberries
1 9 inch baked pie shell

Dissolve jello in hot water, add ice cream, and stir until blended/melted. Chill until thick, but not set. Add fruit, and pour into pie shell. Garnish with whipped cream and more fruit.

I made half batch, in a 5 inch pie, because I wasn't sure how this would turn out and didn't want to waste the ice cream. I used sugar free ice cream and jello, and a home made vanilla wafer crust.

Surprisingly it didn't taste that bad, though it moved in an alarming way and the crust got a little soggy as liquid came out of the fruit. I liked that it was lighter than other pies I made so it was more like eating a fruit salad than pie. Plus I ate it with some fruit and a dash of whipped cream! I'm not saying I'd make it again, but I'm not tossing it out.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Impossible Leftover Pie

This past week I made a massive batch of sloppy joes for work. I thought they were delicious, with great flavor and loads of veggies. I based them off of this recipe and received some compliments, though they were apparently not to everyone's taste. Regardless, there were leftovers. So I brought some home and since it is Pie month, decided to use them to make a pie. Sound impossible? Ha! Just kidding--I'm using them to make a pie in the style of Bisquick's many Impossible Pies. I based it loosely off of a recipe from a cookbook for a broccoli pie. I just added spinach, the sloppy joe mix, ricotta, shredded cheese, and poured the bisquick/egg/milk mix on top.

Having just finished off a bunch of it, I can tell you there are two real impossible things about this pie--one is figuring out how long it needs to bake, and the other is eating just one piece! The recipe I used said to bake it for 30-35 minutes, but it ended up taking more like 50 minutes and even then it was a little on the soft side. As a leftover pie, this is a really loose concoction--more an outline than a recipe.


3/4 c heart smart bisquick
3/4 c milk
1 cup egg substitute
1/2 c ricotta
1/2 c shredded reduced fat cheese, plus more for sprinkling on top
8 oz frozen spinach defrosted and drained
8 oz shredded broccoli stems
3/4 c leftover sloppy joe mix
salt and pepper
steak seasoning

Basically the pan is sprayed with oil and then the ingredients mixed--I'd mix the bisquick first with the egg and milk to get out the lumps, and then add the rest. That goes in the pan, and cheese sprinkled on top, then it goes in the oven until it is done--at least 50 minutes. It needs to set in the middle and a crust forms on top. It was delicious--eggy, cheesy, with a good amount of veggies. I was surprised how little I could taste the sloppy joe meat. It probably could have used a little more of the steak seasoning and salt. Still a fun way to use up some leftovers!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Beet Galette

This was my most successful galette--with a good balance of filling and crust. I've not cooked with beets myself, so this was a new experience. I found the basic outline for this recipe here and made some changes. I used regular beets, and added some roasted new potatoes to extend it out. The dough was the best--I modified a recipe from Martha Stewart, using half butter and half Greek yogurt. I brushed it with egg white and sprinkled herbs and salt over it. It browned up very nicely!

Here is the recipe for the crust as I modified it. I found that putting it in the freezer after rolling it out, really helped to solidify the fats. I'm hoping to try the crust out this month with a different filling in a proper pie pan. I think reducing the salt would be called for if this was for a sweet application, and of course no herbs!
    • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
    • 1/4 c toasted oat bran
    • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
    • 1/4 c greek yogurt, whey drained
    • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk


    1. In a food processor pulse together all-purpose flour, toasted wheat germ, salt, and baking powder. Add cold, unsalted butter, and process until largest pieces are the size of small peas.
    2. With machine running, add low-fat buttermilk until dough just holds together.
    3. Pat into a disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour (or overnight).
    4. After rolling out, roll up in parchment and stick in the freezer for 5-10 minutes

Friday, June 6, 2014

Feeling Blue--A Blueberry Galette

For my first week of pie month, have mostly galettes. My second attempt at almost pie, I made a blueberry galette. I didn't really have a recipe--which is typical for me. I've been making blueberry sauce and thought I'd use some of that and some frozen blueberries with a crust made with a light butter. I added some Greek yogurt cream cheese, sweetened and thickened with some egg to the bottom. The blueberries released a lot more liquid than I anticipated, and it was sort of a soggy mess. It tasted good--particularly with a good amount of ice cream and blueberry sauce.

I hope I have better success with my upcoming fruit pies!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Galette--A Pie by Any Other Name

Galette was the Home Cooking Dish of the Month at the Chowhound website, and I thought I'd give it a try. I have to admit that before I saw it on there I didn't know what it was, I thought it was a cake! Turns out it is a free form tart/pie that can be savory or sweet. 

While I was intimidated by the pastry dough, I found a fun recipe at Smitten Kitchen I wanted to try. I didn't use her crust recipe, since the amount of fat in it was daunting to me. Instead I found a quick olive oil whole wheat recipe that promised to be low fat. It was ok, but not something I'll be repeating. The filling was amazing, though! I will for sure repeat the combination of zucchini, herbs, ricotta, feta, and mozzarella. 

I cooked it on my pizza stone, which gave a nice crunch. The only big changes I made to the filling was using more herbs--thyme and rosemary instead of basil. One thing I liked a lot was that it was good hot or room temp, and reheated well. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

June is Pie Month!

So I've gotten a little lost lately from the blog--I've been stepping up my physical therapy to try to fix my knees, and haven't had the energy to post. I have been cooking up a storm, lots of complicated projects and fun dishes. I may go back and post some, but I've been drawn back to the blog this June by pie!

A bunch of bloggers are participating in a vintage pie recipe swap--Pieathalon! I found a fun recipe in the Lion House Cookbook to send--Four-step Black Bottom Pie, which uses gelatin, which to my mind makes it plenty vintage! I'll be baking a strawberry pie of some sort and posting on June 30th along with a bunch of other bloggers. To get in the mood, I thought I'd declare June Pie Month. I thought about celebrating actual PI day on March 14th, but didn't make it. So this month I'll be featuring a variety of pies, leading up to the reveal of my contribution to the Pieathalon!

I should probably admit that I've only ever made one pie, besides pot-pie, and it involved a pre-made graham cracker crust and fresh peaches. This should be an interesting month of pastry making!