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!
Pear and Cranberry Pie (with toasted pecan streusel topping)
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
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
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 ::
This week’s pie was a little bit different because, well, we shared it with about 150 of our closest friends. This past Friday night the girls at Poppy threw us a little launch party to celebrate our new line of greeting cards, and it turned out to be a REALLY fun time. Thanks so much to all of you who came, and to those of you who couldn’t come but wished that you could – we feel very much loved and supported!
So how do you make pie for a big crowd? The answer to that is lots of little tiny pies, of course. It took a team of us, and a couple of ovens, but we ended up with about 200 little pies.We served up four different kinds – pecan, chocolate, lemon, and blackberry, and they seemed to be a big hit across the board. A big thanks to Beth’s mom (thanks Jean!) for whipping up the lemon and blackberry versions.
My mom and I spent an afternoon making the pecan and chocolate pies. We used pieces and parts from a couple of different recipes, and made a few small adjustments, and they turned out pretty much perfect…
Crust (for 2 dozen tiny pies)
3 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
Let the cream cheese and butter soften; blend together. Stir in the flour and mix until a dough forms. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Shape the dough into 2 dozen 1 inch balls and press into the cups of a mini muffin pan making sure the dough covers the bottoms and the sides of the cups.
Pecan filling (makes 2 dozen)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs softened butter
1 tsp vanilla
dash of salt
1/3 cup of coarsely broken pecans
Mix all ingredients together and divide the filling among the 24 cups, filling each prepared crust. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 25 minutes until the filling is set and the crust starts to turn golden. Cool and remove from pans.
Chocolate filling (makes 2 dozen)
10 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup milk
3 Tbs honey
1 egg, lightly beaten
In a medium microwave safe bowl combine chocolate, cream, and milk. Microwave, uncovered, for 3-4 minutes, or until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, stirring once each minute. Stir in honey. Place the beaten egg in a separate bowl. Gradually stir in the hot chocolate mixture into the beaten egg. Pour the filling into the prepared pie crusts. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 25 minutes until the filling is set and the crusts start to turn golden. Cool and remove from pans.
We made a few pies with a little bit of both the pecan and the chocolate fillings. I’d recommend that – they were fantastic!
:: Carrie ::