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Everyone Loves Pie

Everyone Loves Pie {A Complete Year!}

FinishedPies

As it turns out, everyone really does love pie!

There might not be anything better than a made from scratch, home baked, fresh from the oven pie. Where we come from, pies are the preferred form of dessert at carry-in meals, recipes are handed down from generation to generation, and if someone gives you the gift of a pie you can be sure that they really care.

The combinations and possibilities seem to be endless. Cherry. Lemon meringue. Chocolate pecan. Coconut cream. At the start of the year (2013, that is) I had this crazy idea that I wanted to make a different pie every week and give it away or share it with friends. It started out as a challenge to myself, to try new recipes, to spread a little bit of love, and share the stories on our blog. I knew that it wasn’t going to be easy, but I also knew that it would be a lot of fun, and it was! I definitely got better at pie making and baking as the year went on, which is  a good thing, but the very best part of the whole project was the huge amount of joy that came from surprising someone with a pie. The excitement and the look on their face is proof that it is absolutely worth spending a little time to do something special for someone.

I was also surprised that there never seemed to be a shortage of occasions. At the start of the year the thought of finding 52 reasons to bake a pie was a little bit overwhelming. I definitely did not want to be eating any of those pies myself. That wasn’t the point, and it definitely wouldn’t have been good for me! I wanted to share them with as many people as possible. I took it one week at a time, and I really didn’t plan too far in advance. As the weeks came there was almost always a pie-worthy occasion. I made pies of birthdays, for neighbors, for friends who lost loved ones, for families with new babies, and one for my dentist. I baked pies for holidays with family, for going away parties, for dinners with friends, and one for the Missouri State Fair Pie Contest. We sent a few pies through the mail to friends who are far away,  and from what we heard they travelled quite well!

I will admit, as the year came closer to ending I found myself looking forward to the weeks when I didn’t have to bake a pie. That being said, the whole year was a complete joy, and it all seemed to go by so fast! And now that it’s over it is fun to look back and see all the people that I touched and, of course, all the different pies I made.

I’m a really big believer in setting goals and chipping away at them. Usually some pretty great things come from that. The best part, for me, is the process. Practicing a skill, seeing small improvements, and getting better. Not just in baking, but I find myself enjoying that process in many areas. I think that’s important, especially in our world, where instant gratification is such a huge part of our culture. Enjoy the process!

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Now that the year is over this is what everyone is asking me…

“So, which pie was the best? Which one was your favorite?”

I can’t really answer that question, because I didn’t taste all of them! Most of the pies were baked and given away, but I did get to have a piece of some of them. I would say that out of the ones that I tasted my favorite was the Blue Goose pie. I love both gooseberries and blueberries, but I’d never had them together in any form, and as it turns out, they’re perfect together! I also really loved the Salted Caramel Apple Pie that we had at Thanksgiving. It was full of flavor, and deliciousness, but it was one of the more complicated recipes. Not one that you can just throw together.

Some more thoughts about the year…

The pie that I didn’t taste, but want to make again so I can eat some, is the Blueberry, Basil and Goat Cheese Pie.

The pie that was the MOST labor intensive was Crack Pie.

My favorite pie delivery of the year was taking a pie to my Great Uncle Woodrow for Veteran’s day.

The pie that got the most re-pins on Pinterest was the Key Lime Pie.

The farthest travelled pie was the Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookie Pie that we sent all the way to Brooklyn.

The most unusual pie, that I probably won’t make ever again, was the Green Tomato Pie. It actually tasted great, but for some reason, it was hard to enjoy as a dessert. Knowing that it was full of green tomatoes just didn’t seem right for some reason.

Did you follow along this year? Did you make any of the pies? We hope that the project touched you in some way, and that you would take some time to so something special for someone!

:: Carrie ::

P.S. Don’t be sad that the Everyone Loves Pie project is over! We have something new for 2014 that we will be telling you about very soon!!!

Everyone Loves Pie {Week 52}

Pear and Cranberry Pie

 

Week 52! Holy cow. The very last week of the year. Which also means, the very last pie! I kind of can’t believe it. And, I really can’t believe that I was successful in making 52 different pies this year! (I’ll talk about all of that more in a future post!)

They very las pie was a Pear and Cranberry pie that I took to our last family Christmas gathering of the season!  My entire mom’s side of the family spent the day together at my Aunt Mary and Uncle Gary’s house last Saturday. We ate some amazing food, exchanged some gifts, and played some cards. We also chased around their four week old baby goats, and took turns pitching to each other in the new batting cage in the basement. Seriously! Some of us can hit the ball MUCH harder than others. It was a great way to wrap up the season, and I’m glad that my very last pie went straight into the bellies of all my loved ones!

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Pear and Cranberry Pie (with toasted pecan streusel topping)

Ingredients:
 
1 recipe for a single 9 inch pie crust
5 cups peeled and sliced ripe pears
1 cup fresh cranberries
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 Tbs. cornstarch
 
topping:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup butter, cut into small chunks
 
Directions:
 
Preheat oven to 350°. 
 
Prepare the pie crust and fit to a 9 inch pie pan. Combine pears, cranberries, sugar and corn starch in a mixing bowl and then transfer to the pie crust. 
To prepare streusel, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and pecans in a medium bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle the topping over the pear mixture. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until bubbly and streusel is browned. Cool at least 1 hour on a wire rack.
 
:: Carrie ::

Everyone Loves Pie {Week 51}

German Chocolate Pie

I hope your Christmas was full of love and warmth and some good things to eat! Food is never scarce this time of year, it is? Goodness. It’s a real good thing that Christmas only comes once a year! This Christmas Eve, after church, and a big dinner of my mom’s beef brisket, sweet potatoes, green beans and home made rolls, we all dug into this pie. German chocolate pie. A buttery flaky crust filled with gooey chocolate, coconut, and toasted pecans. It was rich, and sweet, and full of deliciousness! A perfect Christmas treat!

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German Chocolate Pie

Ingredients:

recipe for a 9 inch single crust
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
4 ounces of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 cups half and half
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 Tbs cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
 
Directions:
 
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare the crust and fit it to a 9 inch pie pan and crimp the edges.
 
Combine the coconut and pecans in a medium bowl and mix well.
 
Break the chocolate into small chunks. Put the chocolate and butter in a small saucepan on medium heat until melted. Add the half and half, stir well, and set aside.
 
In a separate bowl combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir well. Add the chocolate mixture and stir until combined. Pour this mixture into the pie shell, and sprinkle the coconut-pecan mixture over the top.
 
Put the pie into the preheated oven and bake until the filling is puffed up, lightly browned, and fairly firm – 45-50 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
 
:: Carrie ::

Everyone Loves Pie {Week 50}

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This French Coconut Pie (#50!) went to Beth’s mom and dad, Tom and Jean. They have been behind us 100% from the very beginning, when we had this crazy dream to build our own company. They’ve spent many hours helping us with all sorts of things, from making little wooden recipe boxes, to packing orders, to fixing us lunch. We’ve said it many times before, but we have the best families! Also, Beth’s dad recently had shoulder surgery, so I thought a little bit of pie would make it feel all better!

Tom and Jean, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for all you do for us! (and Merry Christmas!)

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French Coconut Pie

Ingredients:

1 9 inch uncooked pie crust
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup flaked coconut
1 stick butter, melted
1 Tbs white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 pinch salt

Directions:

Prepare the pie crust and fit to a 9 inch pie pan. Mix all the filling ingredients well and pour into the pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Let the pie cool completely before slicing.

:: Carrie ::

Everyone Loves Pie {week 49}

pecan cheesecake pie

Pie number 49. Oh boy, we are SO close to finishing the year! This pie went to my big brother, Mike, for his birthday! Mike is a big fan of cheesecake, so I thought it would be right up his alley. This recipe comes from Southern Living, and I’ve made it in the past and it was a big hit. Cream cheese is good in pretty much anything, but put it with a sugary sweet filling and top it with pecans and you’ve got yourself a winner!

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Pecan Cheesecake Pie

Ingredients

1 recipe for a single pie crust
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened 
4 large eggs, divided 
3/4 cup sugar, divided 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups chopped pecans 
1 cup light corn syrup

Directions

Fit piecrust into a 9-inch pie plate. Fold edges under, and crimp. 

Beat cream cheese, 1 egg, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, and salt at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour cream cheese mixture into piecrust; sprinkle evenly with chopped pecans.

Whisk together corn syrup and remaining 3 eggs, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 tsp. vanilla; pour mixture over pecans. Place pie on a baking sheet.

Bake at 350° on lowest oven rack 50 to 55 minutes or until pie is set. Cool on a wire rack 1 hour or until completely cool. Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 2 days.

:: Carrie ::

Everyone Loves Pie {week 48}

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Woah. This one was good.

For our family Thanksgiving feast I made a really delicious black bean, corn, and quinoa salad (which is a family favorite) and it got stuck in my mom’s refrigerator and we forgot to get it out when it was time to eat. Oops. I guess there was just so much food that no one missed it. It’s okay, we ate it later, don’t worry! I also made this salted caramel apple pie, which only lasted a little while on the dessert table. We devoured it, and it was out of this world good! Seriously. I’m not taking the credit here. I ran across this recipe really early on in the year and decided it would be a perfect pie for Thanksgiving. It comes from Four and Twenty Blackbirds, a pie shop located in Brooklyn, NY, which I’m thinking would be a fun place to visit next time we are in the city! It’s your classic apple pie, but pumped up a notch with a sweet and just a little bit salty caramel sauce mixed in with the apple filling. Really, it does taste like a caramel apple. It is just as good as you are imagining!

I’ll warn you – this recipe is not easy as pie. The caramel sauce takes some time on the stovetop, and you need to be careful not to burn it. The sugar and butter mixture will go through some really strange consistency changes on it’s way to caramel goodness. I ruined it the first time, and had to start over, so don’t give up! It’s a little tricky, but take it slow and steady, and you’ll be just fine. It’s worth it!

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Salted Caramel Apple Pie

(from Four and Twenty Blackbirds)
 
INGREDIENTS:
 
recipe your favorite (2-crust) butter pie crust
Salted Caramel:
cup white sugar
1/4 cup water
stick (1/2 cup) fresh unsalted butter
1/2 cup fresh heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Apple Filling:
to 6 lemons
to 6 medium to large apples
Apple Filling Seasoning:
1/3 cup raw sugar (castor, unrefined, large granule sugar)
tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
 
Assembly:
egg beaten
raw sugar, for sprinkling on top
teaspoon sea salt (flake)
 
DIRECTIONS:
 
To make the pie crust: 
Prepare one 2-crust batch of your favorite all butter pie crust. Roll the bottom crust to fit a 9-inch pan, and cut the top crust as a lattice, approximately 1-inch in width or as desired. Chill the rolled crust while you prepare the salted caramel and apple filling. 

To make the salted caramel: 

Cook the sugar and water together over low heat until just dissolved. Add the butter and bring to a slow boil. Continue cooking at a low boil until the mixture turns a deep, golden brown color, almost copper.
Cook’s Note: This process can take awhile depending on the heat source. Keep an eye on it, if the caramel begins to smoke, you’ve burned it and you’ll have to start over. 

Once the mixture has turned a copper color, remove it from the heat and immediately add the heavy cream – the mixture will bubble rapidly and steam – be cautious as the sugar will be very hot. 

Whisk the final mixture together well over low heat and sprinkle in the sea salt. Set the caramel aside while you prepare the apple filling. 

To make the apple filling: 

Juice the lemons into a large mixing bowl. Core, peel, and thinly slice the whole apples.

Dredge all the apple slices in the freshly squeezed lemon juice to prevent browning and to add flavor. Set the prepared apples aside. 

To make the apple filling seasoning: 

In a large measuring cup or small mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Sprinkle this mixture over the apples in the mixing bowl. Use your hands to gently mix and coat the apple slices. 

To assemble the pie: 

Preheat the oven to 375 to 400 degrees F (depending on the hotness of your oven). 

Gather your rolled pie crust, salted caramel, and apple mixture. Begin by layering 1/3 of the apples in the bottom of the crust so that there are minimal gaps. Pour 1/3 of the caramel over the apples. Add 1/3 of the apples and caramel for a second layer, and then add a third layer of apples, and then the caramel again. Cook’s Note: Save a small portion of the caramel to pour on top once the lattice is assembled. 

Assemble the lattice crust and flute the edges of the crust. Pour the last bit of caramel on top. Brush the crust with the beaten egg and lightly sprinkle with raw sugar and sea salt. 

Bake the pie on a baking sheet larger than the pie pan for 20 minutes (otherwise the caramel will bubble over and burn on the bottom of your oven). Reduce the oven temperature to 325 to 350 and bake for 25 to 35 minutes. You can test the apples for doneness with a long toothpick or small knife. The apples should be just soft. 

Let the pie cool, then slice and enjoy.
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:: Carrie ::

 

Everyone Loves Pie {Week 47}

chocolate pretzel pie

This past week was my younger brother, Dustin’s, birthday, so I made him a Chocolate Pretzel Pie! Yum. A little salty and a little sweet – the perfect combination! I posted this photo on Instagram a few days ago, and I have had several people let me know that they want to make this pie for Thanksgiving, and “please post the recipe on the blog soon!” Well friends, here you go! I hope it is a perfect ending to your Thanksgiving meal!

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Chocolate Pretzel Pie

Ingredients:
Crust:
1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels
2/3 cup butter, melted
2 Tbs brown sugar
Filling:
3 large eggs beaten
3 Tbs butter, melted
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 cup sugar
2 Tbs good quality bourbon
Chocolate Ganache:
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup whipping cream
9-10 whole pretzels for garnish
Directions:
In a medium bowl, combine the crushed pretzels,  butter and brown sugar.  Combine and mix thoroughly. Press this mixture in to a 9 inch, shallow pie pan and place in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up.  Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, butter, and corn syrup. Then add the sugar.  Pour this into the chilled pie crust and place on a baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes at 375 then reduce to 350. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the pie is just set.
Allow to cool to room temperature.
For the ganache:  In a small saucepan over low heat combine the chocolate chips and whipping cream.  Stir periodically while the chocolate melts, whisking to remove any lumps if needed.  Allow to cool slightly until the chocolate reaches a thicker, pouring consistency.  Spread, using an off set spatula over the top of the cooled pie.  Place pretzels decoratively around the edge.  let the chocolate firm up a little bit before serving.
*** The original recipe calls for 2 Tbs of bourbon in the filling. I didn’t add it, but I’m sure it would be really good. You should probably go with the bourbon.
:: Carrie ::

Show Us Your Best Pie!

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You guys. It’s time! It’s time for YOU to show us YOUR pies! With Thanksgiving coming up, this next week might be the biggest pie baking week of the whole year, so we decided that a pie contest is in order!

You probably know that at the start of the year I came up with this crazy plan to make a pie every week and give it away. Well here we are 46 weeks into the year and that plan is still going strong! It’s been nothing but fun, and it has become bigger than I ever imagined it would. My hope is that with all of the pies I have been baking that it might have inspired you to get out your own rolling pin!

The contest is simple! Pick out your favorite pie recipe, bake a beautiful pie, take a photo of it, and upload it so the world can see! The contest starts this Friday, November 22nd and the last day to submit your photo is Saturday, November 3oth. All of the contest details (and prizes!) are outlined below, so get to work!

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I have my pie all picked out for this Thanksgiving, and we can’t wait to see yours! Plus, contests are FUN! I entered my first pie contest this past summer at the Missouri State Fair, and the competition was serious. I know there are some amazing bakers out there. This is your chance to show us what you’ve got!

Good Luck!

:: Carrie ::

Everyone Loves Pie {Week 46}

blackberry raspberry

This past week we celebrated Veteran’s day! I’m sure most of us have a family member or friend, or at least someone we know that has made sacrifices in their life to serve our country. I’m also sure that we can all agree that if it weren’t for those people, who fought for our freedom, that our lives would be much different. We are so blessed to live in such an amazing country!

One of my favorite veterans is my great uncle Woodrow. He’s my Grandma’s big brother, my dad’s uncle, and he’s 96 years old and still going strong! Uncle Woodrow served in the army and fought in WWII. One of his assignments took him up into Canada and into the Alaskan territory as part of the crew that built the Great Alaskan Highway. During this time he helped chart new territory and became really skilled at driving a bulldozer. When the war broke out he was sent straight to Europe, and from what I’ve heard, he put his bulldozer driving skills to good use, risking his life on multiple occasions, while saving other lives in the process. Recently my Grandma brought me a box of letters that she and her parents received from him during the war. I’m looking forward to digging into them soon and reading a little more about that time.

So, for Veteran’s Day I made Uncle Woodrow a Blackberry Raspberry Pie! I hopped in the car to deliver it to his house, but I before I got there I met him in his pickup truck in the road going the other direction. I turned around and finally caught up with him where he had stopped to check on how the guys were coming along with harvesting his corn fields. I only hope I’m still getting around that good when I’m 96! He was tickled to get a pie, and he put it right in the back of his truck to take home. I think it might have been my favorite pie delivery of the year!

uncle woodrow

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Blackberry Raspberry Lattice Top Pie

Ingredients:

1 recipe for a double pie crust
3 cups blackberries
2 cups raspberries
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
1 large egg

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the blackberries, raspberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and lemon zest. Let stand, mixing occasionally, 20 minutes.

Prepare the pie dough and fit half of it into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the edges, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Refrigerate while you continue. Cut the remaining piece of dough into approximately eleven 11/4-inch-wide strips.

Spoon the berry mixture into the pie shell. Dot the top with the butter. Arrange the dough strips in a lattice pattern on top of the filling and trim the strips close to the edge of the pan; roll up and crimp the edge. Lightly beat the egg with 1 tablespoon water and brush on the top and edge of the pie.

Place the pie on a baking sheet in the oven and bake until the filling is bubbling, 45 minutes to 1 hour. If the crust browns too quickly, cover it with foil and continue baking. Let the pie cool before serving.

:: Carrie ::

Everyone Loves Pie {Week 45}

cranberry pie

The first pie in the month of November went to my own Mama. It was her birthday, and I made her a Cranberry Pie!

I think November might be one of my favorite months of the year – for several reasons. In my family we have lots of birthdays to celebrate in November. By this time of the year we are deep in the heart of fall. The weather is crisp. Sometimes it’s downright cold. We get to celebrate Thanksgiving – my favorite holiday. And, everything starts to feel really festive with Christmas on it’s way. We also eat some really delicious foods at this time of year – and it is definitely a good time for pie. Cranberry pie sounded like the perfect flavor to kick off the month. (Maybe it could be a good Thanksgiving pie?)

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Cranberry Pie

Ingredients:
 
Recipe for a 9 inch double crust 
1 Tbs butter, softened
1 Tbs all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups raw cranberries
1/2 cup golden raisins
 
Directions:
 
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the pie pan with the crust leaving a half inch overhang. Keep the pastry for the top crust handy.
 
In a bowl, combine the butter and flour and mash them to make a smooth paste. Add the sugar and continue mixing to combine everything into a crumbly mixture.
 
Add the cranberries and raisins, and toss and stir to mix everything together well. Pour the filling into the pie crust. Position the top crust and seal the edges. Cut several slits in the top to allow the steam to escape. Place the pie on a baking pan and place in the oven. Bake until the crust is golden brown, and the filling is bubbly and thick, 40-50 minutes. Place the pie on a cooling rack or a folded kitchen towel and let cool to room temperature.
 
:: Carrie ::