Pecan Pie

I’ve always been afraid of making Pecan Pie because I thought it would be too complicated.  I don’t know what I was thinking!  This was easy and SO worth it!  I LOVE Pecan Pie!  I got this recipe from an old neighbor of mine who made the most amazing pecan pie.  I am so grateful she was willing to share her goodness with me:) Oh, and I intended to take a picture of the whole pie, but when I got my camera out there were pieces already missing.  :)

Pecan Pie

Pie crust

3 eggs

1/2 c. Karo syrup (white)

1 c. sugar

1 Tbsp. corn startch

dash salt

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. rum (pineapple juice is a great substitute)

4 Tbsp. melted butter (I omitted this)

1-2 cups pecans (halves and pieces)

Slightly beat eggs.  Add sugar and then the remaining ingredients.  Pour into pie shell.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.  Wrap the pie edges in foil for the first 25-ish minutes to keep it from burning.

Makes 1 scrumptiously awesome pie.

Peach Pie

I love peaches.  I can peaches.  I love pie.  I love using home canned peach pie in the winter.  Yep, not traditional, but oh, so good!  It’s an easy recipe and is great to share with others or yourself.

Peach Pie

Double crust pie dough

2 quarts canned peaches (with liquid drained)

1/3 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter

Take prepared dough (not baked) and divide it.  Two-thirds of the dough will be used for the bottom crust and save one-third of the dough for the top.  Roll out the bottom crust and place in pie pan.  I cut off all the excess dough and rolled it up, snake style.  Then I wrapped it around the edge and pinched it in how I like it so that it looked uniform.

In a bowl combine drained peaches, flour, and sugar.  Gently stir until peaches are well coated and then pour the mixture into the bottom pie crust.  Cut the butter into small pieces and place on top of peaches.

For the top crust, you can cut it into strips and weave it.  I prefer to use a cookie cutter to make cool shapes on the top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Pecan Pie Bars

I LOVE pecan pie.  It’s usually my favorite pie on Thanksgiving.  But, if you’re like me you want to try all of the pies but don’t want to commit to a whole piece of each.  Here is your perfect Thanksgiving day solution.  These bars are amazingly delicious, easy, and small enough to sneak another bar or two between the big meal and leftovers the next day.  

Pecan Pie Bars

Crust:

1 pkg. dry yellow cake mix

8 Tbsp. butter

1 large egg

Mix the above on low speed for two minutes.  Press into an un-greased 9×13 pan coming up about 1/2 inch on the sides.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Top:

3/4 cup corn syrup (dark or light)

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Blend together for 1 minute.  Pour over crust.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Cool for thirty minutes and then eat up!

Apples in a Blanket

This recipe came about by mistake when attempting to make apple dumplings.  I think this is my new favorite.  Imagine apple pie with double the cinnamon covered crust. . . mmmm.  You’re getting the idea.  These are about 20% healthy, 80% naughty, and 100% delectable!  Doesn’t this just make your mouth water?  Go ahead, wipe away the drool, roll up your sleeves and get baking!IMG_0267

This recipe is simple enough to have kids help, but as most things go, if you want to get it done faster you might want to just designate the basting to little people and do the rest while they’re busy playing.

Apples in a Blanket

**pastry dough for double crust pie (try THIS one!)

5 large granny smith apples

1/2 cup soft/melted butter (divided)

3/4 cups brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1 1/2 cups water

3/4  cup sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

9×13 pan

Start by peeling, coring,  and cutting each apple into 4-5 pieces. Place apple pieces into a bowl with water and a few tablespoons of lemon juice to keep the apples from browning while you prepare the rest of the recipe.  Roll out the pastry into a thin sheet (approximately 1/4 inch).  Take 5 Tbsp of the butter and baste it onto the pastry.  In a small bowl mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Once combined, sprinkle this mixture on top of the butter-basted pastry.  Cut the pastry into small squares to wrap around each of the apple pieces (mine resembled lots of different shapes.  I wasn’t too careful about making the shapes pretty.).

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Now, pause on your pastry and make your way over to the stove.  Bring the water to a gentle boil and add the sugar, vanilla, and remanding 3 Tbsp. of butter.  Stir until ingredients are completely incorporated.  Pour some of the liquid into the bottom of your pan – just enough to cover the bottom, not too much.  Now is a good time to start preheating your oven to 400 degrees.

Back to the counter:  Wrap each square piece of pastry around the apple with the brown sugar mixture touching the apple.  It may not cover the apple completely, but feel free to  stretch it out a little so that you can pinch the dough together in at least one area.  Now you can place the wrapped apples one by one into the pan.  Once all the apples are snug in their blankets and laid into the pan pour the remainder of the liquid over them all.  Bake for one hour, or until slightly browned on top.

**I used my own ground wheat, so the appearance of the dough is a lot darker than what you will see with white pastry flour.

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Done! Isn’t it beautiful! Take a bite. I dare you, your life with apple pie may change forever.

Caution:  Make this for company, or start practicing self control now. . . :)

Banoffee

This is an English dessert originally made with dominate flavors of banana’s and coffee.  It seems to have evolved into more of a decadent, rich caramel joy for your mouth.  This is extremely scandalous in the world of dessert and you will love your piece of this pie.  This is great to make for a large group, because of the rich flavor, small pieces go a long way.  Happy baking!

Banoffee Pie

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

6 tablespoons + butter, softened

2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk -***carmelized

3 large bananas

1/2 bag toffee bits

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

Pecans optional

opt: grated chocolate

***To create toffee filling, caramelize the sweetened condensed milk. Put unopened cans in a pot with water and boil it for about 4 hours on medium heat. Add water when running low, just be sure cans are always covered. About half way through the time take cans out with oven mits and shake them.  When cooled, open cans upside down and over the pie crust, because sometimes it will shoot out., or just make the toffee the day before and stick it in the fridge.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix graham cracker crumbs with softened butter and brown sugar and press mixture into 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes.  Once the crust (and toffee filling, if it’s still hot) is cooled, slice the bananas and fold them as well as the toffee bits into carmel filling or place on crust in layers. Place any remaining bananas over the top with some of the toffee bits, grated chocolate, and nuts. Whip the cream with the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla or almond extract and arrange on top of toffee filling and bananas. For aesthetics you can grate chocolate over the whipped cream just before serving. Store in fridge.  If it’s hot outside store it in the freezer, before serving (even up to a day or two before you’re ready to serve)  the semi frozen caramel goodness will melt in your mouth.

Note:  If you’ve never whipped cream before here’s a tip:  use a metal bowl and metal attachments on your hand mixer or kitchen-aid.  Put the bowl and mixing attachments in the freezer for at least an hour before you need to use them.  Beat at a medium/high speed for 5-10 minutes until it’s the right consistency.  In the picture above I grated some chocolate into the whipped cream after it had already reached the right consistency.

Pastry for Double Crust Pie

This is a must in your recipe box.  Whether you’re making, pie, fruit pastries, or apple’s in a blanket.  This is the best pie crust recipe I have ever come across, it’s sweet without being too sweet, it doesn’t crumble before you can take a bite, and it’s easily moldable.  Thank you Lion House Bakery Cookbook for this Recipe (slight alterations made)!

Pastry for Double Crust Pie

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup white sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup butter-flavored shortening

1 egg, beaten

1 Tbsp. vinegar

1/4 cup ice water

  In a medium bowl, mix together flour, sugar, and salt.  Cut the shortening into the flour until pea-sized crumbs form.  Carefully stir in beaten egg and vinegar.  Gently sprinkle in water until dough starts to hold together.  Shape dough into two disks.  Refrigerate for about an hour or up to a day.  Use to make 2 single-crust pies or 1 double-crust pie.  when recipe calls for a baked pie shell, roll out dough, press into pie plate, trim and flute edges, prick bottom of shell with a fork and bake for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees.

Pastry perfection!