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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 43}

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Each and every Thursday night I spend a few hours with a group of girls who have become near and dear to my heart. For the most part we all met through our church, one is a friend I’ve had since college, and one taught in the classroom right next to mine during my last couple of years teaching. Our lives are intertwined in multiple ways, and our weekly time together has done nothing but tighten those bonds. We spend time together in Bible study and discussion. We share what’s going on in our lives, we encourage each other, and we celebrate with one another. Sometimes we volunteer in community activities and just enjoy serving others along side of each other. I think each one of us would say that we look forward to Thursday nights every week, and if for some reason we miss a Thursday we feel like there has been a hole in our week. It’s of those things, that when I step back and take a look, I’m extremely happy to have in my life. This past Thursday I baked a chocolate chip oatmeal pie and brought it along to share with the group – because we also love to eat together, especially when it’s something sweet!

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Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Pie

Ingredients:
1 9-inch Pie CrustÂ…1/3 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate ChipsÂ…1/3 cups Softened ButteÂ…2/3 cups Granulated Sugar
1 cup Light Corn Syrup
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
3 whole Eggs
1 1/4 cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare the pie crust and press it into a 9-inch pie pan. Pour the chocolate chips evenly into the bottom of the pie crust. Set it aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. Whisk in the corn syrup, vanilla, and eggs until smooth. Stir in the oats.
Pour the entire mixture evenly over the chocolate chips. Bake at 350 F for 45-60 minutes or until the pie is just set in the center. Keep an eye on it and make sure to cover the edges of the crust with a strip of foil if you need to keep it from browning too much. Let it cool completely before serving!

:: Carrie ::

Everyone Loves Pie {Week 26}

You guys! It’s week 26! That means the year is half over, and it also means that I am half way through this pie a week project. Can you believe that I’ve kept this up so far? Haven’t missed a week yet – and I don’t see any signs that we are losing any momentum. People keep asking me if I’m getting tired of it, or if it is becoming a chore to do this every week, and I can honestly say no. It has been so much fun, on so many levels. Finding a new recipes, and trying so many new combinations and flavors has been a blast. It has been SO MUCH fun to share all of these pies with so many people that I care so much about. I wish you all could hear the responses that I have gotten when I hand someone a dish and tell them, “Hey, I made you a pie.” It really is true that everyone loves pie. It is such a happy thing!

So who got pie number 26? Well, the lucky girl was Haley! Haley is a recent Mizzou grad, former 1canoe2 “intern”, and current 1canoe2 production and shipping machine. She says she’s just here for the summer, but we are getting so used to having her here all day every day that I’m pretty sure she’s going to have to fight her way out if she decides to leave. *wink*wink* We love having her here! Haley’s birthday was on Wednesday, and we like to celebrate birthdays with pie!

Haley’s birthday treat was a Brownie Pie with a graham cracker crust – a recipe from the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook. Oh my goodness, it was good! A gooey and fudgey filling in a buttery, sweet, and a little bit salty crust. Yum. The Momofuku Milk Bar is a well known bakery in New York City, part of the Momofuku family of restaurants owned by chef David Chang. We are big fans, and we try and visit when we’re in the city, and we suggest that you do the same! All of the recipes are very unique, and often times involves many many steps, and sometimes ingredients that you might not find in your local grocery store. I picked up the cookbook a few weeks back and have been really anxious to jump in and make some of it. I chose this recipe to start with, because it sounded delicious, and it sounded simple, and it was!

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Brownie Pie

Crust Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup milk powder
2 Tbs sugar
3/4 tsp kosher salt
4 Tbs butter, melted
1/4 cup heavy cream
 
Filling ingredients:
4 1/2 ounces 72% baking chocolate
6 Tbs butter
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
3 Tbs cocoa flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
 
Directions:
 
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
 
Toss together the graham crumbs, milk powder, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together the butter and heavy cream. Add to the dry ingredients and toss to evenly distribute. Save 1/4 cup of the crust mixture for later, and dump the rest into a 10 inch pie plate. Press the mixture firmly into the dish covering the bottom and sides of the pan completely. 
 
For the filling, combine the chocolate and the butter and gently melt them together on low in the microwave for 30 to 50 seconds. Stir them together, working until the mixture is glossy and smooth. Combine the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip together on high for 3 to 4 minutes, until it is fluffy and pale yellow. Replace the whisk with the paddle attachment. Dump in the chocolate mixture and briefly mix together on low, then increase the speed and mix for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour, cocoa powder, and salt and paddle on low speed for 45 to 60 seconds. Stream in the heavy cream on low speed, just until the batter has loosened up a little and the cream is fully mixed in. Detach the paddle and gently fold in the graham crumbs that you set aside into the filling mixture. Scrape the filling into the graham shell. Bake for 25 minutes at 350. The pie should puff up a little on the sides and develop a sugary crust on top. If it is still liquid in the center and hasn’t developed a crust on top bake for an additional 5 minutes or so. Cool the pie on a rack.
 
:: Carrie ::

Everyone Loves Pie {week 7}

A couple of weeks ago Karen and my big brother, Mike, welcomed baby #3 into their family. It’s a boy! My first nephew, and he’s adorable. We’re all in love with him!

Everyone knows that when someone has a baby, of course, you cook for them. So, this past Thursday night I took an entire dinner over to their house. I asked my three year old niece what kind of pie she would like for me to bring and she said blueberry, without any hesitation. She LOVES the color blue, she loves anything that is blue, and she loves blueberries. So, that’s exactly what I made. We ate it with vanilla ice cream, and it was so good. Great choice, Anna Kate!

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Blueberry Pie

9 inch double pie crust
4 cups fresh blueberries
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tbs flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
dash of salt
1 tsp lemon juice

Line a 9-inch pie plate with the pastry. In a mixing bowl, combine the blueberries, sugar, flour cinnamon and salt. Fill the pastry with the mixture. Sprinkle with 1 tsp of lemon juice and dot with 1 Tbs butter. Adjust the top crust and seal. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

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:: Carrie ::