Boozy Pumpkin Pie

I’m sure for most people, when they think of Thanksgiving dessert, they think of pumpkin pie first. In fact, according to the many Pie polls I saw, pumpkin was the number one choice.

Since pumpkin pie is pretty traditional, I decided to shake things up a bit.

Allow me to introduce to you, dear reader, my Boozy Pumpkin Pie.

That’s right. This guy took a shot of whiskey before hitting the oven. And after a taste during the doneness test, I can assure it, that shot of Jack was the right decision!

It is really yummy! It has just a hint of Jack and the alcohol cooks off, so it’s a winner for all ages. 

Boozy Pumpkin Pie

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon each: ground cloves, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground allspice 

Pinch of salt

1 can pumpkin (15oz) 

1 can evaporated milk (12oz) 

2 eggs

1-1/2 oz Jack Daniels 

In a small bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, salt, and other spices.

In a larger bowl, combine your eggs, pumpkin, and evaporated milk. Mix well. Add the sugar/spice mix. 

Add the Jack. I used the whole mini bottle.

Pour into an unbaked pie shell and bake at 425 for 15 minutes then 350 for 40-50 minutes.

Next: top with some whipped cream and watch this become a new favorite. 

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Pecan Pie

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but my family was always a big pie family when I was growing up. I remember often having various pies at celebratory events and everyone has their own favorites. For example, I love chocolate cream (which is 100% a real pie, regardless of what my sister says) and my mom is a big fan of coconut cream—with no whipped cream, and lemon meringue—no meringue. My dad loves him some berry pie. I’m not sure what my brother’s favorite is, but I think he’s a berry fan also. Either way, we all love pie.

That means when it comes to Thanksgiving, we take dessert pretty seriously. There are always a few pies to choose from and we tend to stick with the traditional ones: Pumpkin, Pecan, and Apple. Sometimes we change them up a bit like making a pumpkin cheesecake or a chocolate pecan pie, but the traditional base is always there. 

This year will be no exception. I’ll be making a pumpkin pie, this pecan pie, and my sister-in-law is bringing a caramel apple pie that sounds devine (seriously, who doesn’t love that flavor combo?!).

I think sometimes people are intimidated by pies, but you don’t have to be. They are not that difficult and if you want to buy your crust to relieve some of the pressure, by all means go for it. I doubt anyone would notice. My favorite store-bought crusts are the ones you find in the freezer that are already in a dish.

I love all three of the Thanksgiving pies I mentioned, but I think pecan may be my favorite. Here’s my recipe for a delicious pecan pie: 

Pecan Pie

Pie crust (store-bought or homemade. If you use my recipe at that link, make sure you add about a tablespoon of sugar since this is a sweet pie.)

2 cups chopped pecans

½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)

1 cup packed light brown sugar

Pinch of salt

1 cup light corn syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup whole pecans

Chop your pecans and set aside. You can buy them pre-chopped, which is fine, but you need the whole ones anyway, so it may be cheaper to just buy a bigger bag of the whole ones and chop some of them yourself. Also, I like chopping them myself because then I get different sizes some are teeny and some are just small, so it adds to the texture of the pie.

In a sauce pan over medium heat, melt your butter. Add the brown sugar and whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat.

Add the salt, corn syrup, and vanilla extract. Whisk. In a small bowl, beat your eggs. Slowly add them into the corn syrup mixture and whisk until combined and smooth. Remember this is all off the heat. You don’t want to make scrambled eggs. 

Add your pecans and stir.

 

Pour the filling into your prepared pie crust and top with the whole pecans in whatever design you’d like. The filling is thick, so the pecans should just lay right on top.

 


Bake in a 350 degree oven for 60-70 minutes, or until the filling is set. 


TIP: Check about half way through. If the crust is already nicely browned, wrap it with some foil to keep it from burning while the rest of the pie finished baking. You can do this with any pie.

 

Serve with some whipped cream and enjoy!

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving pie/dessert??

 

Apple Pie

So recently, my girl Amber over at What Makes Me Amber made a pumpkin pie. She said she had never made one before and that surprised her. It got me thinking about making something surprising that I hadn’t made before and I realized that I’ve never made an apple pie.

I know, right? Of all things, I’ve never made an apple pie. It seems so basic. Like, baking 101. Well, somehow this one escaped me. Since it’s Fall, I figured now would be the perfect time to try this one out. Let me tell you, it was super easy! Even the lattice crust was easier than I ever thought. And while it was baking… oh the smells wafting through my house were just heavenly! I wish there were someway to share that with you all, but alas, you’ll just have to try it out for yourself.

1 double pie crust recipe. (store bought or homemade. You can use my basic crust recipe here, but add 1 tablespoon of sugar. Also, double it because you need a bottom and a top crust for this)

Filling:

6 apples, peeled and thinly sliced. I used a combo of Fuji and Granny Smith

juice from 1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon all-spice
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

In a big bowl, add all of your filling ingredients and mix well to coat the apples. Set aside and let them sit for a few minutes.


Meanwhile, roll out half of your crust and put it in your pie pan.

Fill your crust with the apple mixture. Don’t forget all the juices that come out from letting them sit! Set aside.

Roll out the other half of your dough and either top your pie and cut out slits or, if you want a lattice crust, cut out strips. You don’t need a scalloped cutter to do this, you can just use a knife if you don’t have one.


To Lattice: Start out with all the strips in one direction, then fold back every other strip. Lay down one strip in the opposite direction. Fold the strips back over and fold back the other strips. Repeat, alternating strips, until the pie is complete.  If those instructions weren’t clear enough, you can watch a YouTube video like this one. (skip to the :35 mark).


Those little leaves are tiny cookie cutters. Totally optional, but adds a nice little touch.


Once the top crust is complete, bake in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes. Then turn down the temperature to 350 and bake for another 35-45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the apples are soft.


If you feel like your crust is getting to dark, you can loosely cover with some foil until the baking is complete.


Now, just serve up a slice (or two) and grab some ice cream!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie 

My sweet tooth will be my downfall, dear readers. If there is any candy or chocolate or cookies lying around, I’ll definitely be sneaking nibbles here and there… and here again. Ice cream in the freezer? Forget about it. It’s a wonder I’m not a 500-pound diabetic.

My husband, however, is the opposite. As far as sweets are concerned, he can take ‘em or leave ‘em. He’ll have a bite or two every so often, but his self-control is admirable. And possibly inhuman. I’ll have to check into that.

Since I love sweets and I love to bake, him not really caring one way or the other makes it a bit difficult when I want to make something. Sure the kids can have some too, but I don’t want them scarfing down sweets all the time. Usually, it means my co-workers benefit. I make sweet things, leave them in the breakroom and watch them disappear. Nothing goes to waste and I get my fix of both eating the sweets and making them.

That being said, I did not take this pie to work. It stayed in my fridge while I took bites out of it here and there… and here again. It was so good. Like really, so good. You know what, just try it for yourself. You’ll see. But don’t say I didn’t warn you…

Chocolate cookie crust (you can make your own, but I bought mine. Still amazing.)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 ½ cups creamy peanut butter
1 8 oz block of cream cheese, softened
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a chilled bowl, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Remove it from the bowl and set it aside.

Back in the mixer, combine the cream cheese, peanut butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until combined and creamy.

Gently fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture. It will now be almost like peanut butter mousse. In fact, that is what it will be called going forward because doesn’t that sound marvelous?!

Pour the peanut butter mousse into the prepared pie crust and smooth out.

Put it in the fridge to set up for about 30 minutes or so.

Now, at this point, I melted half a bag of chocolate chips and poured it over the top. This was big mistake and I felt it as soon as I poured the chocolate. What I should have done was heat up some heavy cream and add some chocolate chips and make a ganache.

How I did it, ended up with a thick, hard, chocolate shell that made it difficult to cut and was way too rich. After the chocolate hardened, I ended up just removing the shell. I just popped right off.

You can always drizzle chocolate over the top or make a real ganache, but honestly, the pie was better after I took the chocolate off the top. The peanut butter mousse filling was heavenly and the chocolate crust was plenty of chocolate to complement the peanut butter.

I’m thinking this mousse would make a really good cake filling too. Or you know, just in a bowl with a spoon….

No-bake Lemon Cream & Raspberry pie

Growing up in my family meant eating a lot of pie. We had our share of other desserts, but when it came to special occasions, we did eat a lot of pie. Apple, strawberry, boysenberry, chocolate cream, lemon meringue, coconut cream. You name it, we had it.

 I love all of them, but my favorite pie is chocolate cream. This, however, has led to many a discussion between my sister and me about whether or not this is actually a pie. In her opinion, it is pudding in a crust. I said, by that definition, then strawberry pie is just strawberries in a crust. And what about chicken pot pie and quiche? Where do they fit in? This has turned into a very circular argument, with neither of us willing to cede our opinion.

For the love of sisterhood and pie, we’ve agreed to set our differences aside and agree to disagree.

I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I don’t make enough pie. I don’t know that there’s a rule for this, but I feel like, as a self-proclaimed food blogger, I should be making more pies. Well, good news for you, my tens of readers. I made a pie last night. It was super yummy, and best of all, really easy!

I may have exaggerated a little bit when I called this a No-Bake lemon pie, because I did bake the graham cracker crust, but you don’t have to. You can just put it in the fridge and use it that way or you can buy a premade one from the grocery store (and then it would be even easier!) Just do whatever your heart desires with your crust.

 For this pie, you will need:

 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup sugar

5 tablespoons butter, melted

1 jar of lemon curd (can be found at the grocery store near the jelly/jam)

2 cups of heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup of powdered sugar (more if you want it sweeter)

Frozen raspberries (or really any frozen berry you like)

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

In a bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until it resembles wet sand. Pour into a pie dish and spread out evenly. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 7 minutes then let cool completely. I put mine in the fridge to speed up the cooling process. Or you can buy a store-bought graham cracker crust and skip all this.   

  

While your crust is cooling, prep your filling. In a mixing bowl, whip your heavy cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. In a medium bowl, dump out the contents of a 10.5 oz jar of lemon curd and add half of the whipped cream. Gently fold the two ingredients together until well combined. Don’t stir because you’ll deflate your whipped cream. Just gently fold. Set aside

  
  

In another bowl, defrost your berries in the microwave. I put them in for about 2 minutes. They were thawed, not warm, and contained a lot of yummy liquid.

Add the berries to a blender and blend well with 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Set aside.

  
  

Time to assemble.

Pour the lemon cream filling into the cooled pie crust.  
  

Spoon a circle of the berry puree on top of the lemon.

  
Add the rest of the whipped cream to a ziploc bag (or piping bag, if you have one) and cut a small hole in the corner. Pipe the cream around the outer edge of the pie. Or, really, you can put the whipped cream on however you want. It’s your pie.

    
   

After we had our dessert, I actually put the leftover pie in the freezer. It was really good that way too. A little like ice cream pie.

Fair warning, that while this pie is really delicious, it is really tart! I’m sure you could add more sugar to counter-balance the tartness from the lemon curd, but that’s up to you and your tastebuds. I thought it was just right. The hubby and my 2 year old also loved it. (The 5 year old was too busy with Paw Patrol to care.)

I’m sure even my sister would like it, even though she might not classify it as a real pie :0)

Peach Crostata 

It’s summer time and that means you have to make something with peaches. It’s like a law or something. Peach cobbler, peach pie, peach ice cream… it’s all fair game.

A crostata is an Italian pie. It is similar to the French galette. It can also be referred to as a rustic tart. Rustic is the keyword here. I call it a lazy pie because you don’t have to make the crust all pretty. You just roll out the dough in a circle, add the filling and fold the rest of the dough around the center. It’s messy, but you can call it “rustic” and everyone will love it.

Actually, everyone will love it anyway because it is delicious, regardless of what you call it.

Peach Crostata

4 large peaches
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
2 t cinnamon
¼ t ground ginger
Pie crust (homemade or store bought, whatever your favorite is)

Peel and dice the peaches and place in a large bowl. Add the sugars, cinnamon, and ginger and mix well. Set aside and prepare your crust

Roll out the dough to a large circle about 1/4” thick. Pour your filling in the middle, leaving about an inch or two around the edge. Fold the leftover dough up over the edge of the filling, crimping together as you go around. It will look very rustic. Make sure there aren’t any cracks in the dough.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and cooked through.

Serve with ice cream or whipped cream and dream of summer nights.