Grasshopper Pie

A little bit fussy, Pie
Happy Pi Day! No one could talk me out of making this grasshopper pie – it’s light and tasty and goes down easy. Which is a good thing since I’ll have to make this about 20 more times now that I have this entire bottle of creme de menthe.

Chocolate Cookie Crust:

  • 2 1/4 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (chocolate graham crackers, nabisco wafers, etc)
  • 4 TBSP unsalted butter

Grasshopper Filling:

  • 3 TBSP sugar
  • 1 package unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup creme de menthe
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 egg whites
  • 3 TBSP sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Sweetened Whipped Cream Topping:

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 TBSP sugar

Chocolate Ganache Drizzle:

  • 75g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Make Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine chocolate cookie crumbs and melted butter. Pat into the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ pie shell.

Bake for 15 minutes. Set aside to Cool.

Make Filling: Whisk together sugar, gelatin and creme de menthe in a small saucepan. Whisk in egg yolks. Whisk over medium heat until thickened – about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat just before the mixture starts to boil (bubbles around the sides of the pan are fine). Transfer to a bowl and let come to room temperature – stirring occasionally.

Beat egg whites until frothy. Gradually add in 3 tablespoons of sugar. Beat until firm peaks. Set aside.

Whip heavy cream in another bowl. Combine cooled creme de menthe mixture with the whipped cream – folding until smooth.

Gently fold egg whites into the creme de menthe/whipped cream mixture until combined. Pour into cooled chocolate crust. You may have filling leftover. Chill.

Make Sweetened Whipped Cream: Beat cream and sugar together until stiff. Top the pie with whipped cream – by piping or spreading. Chill.

Make Ganache Drizzle: Heat heavy cream in a small liquid measuring cup in the microwave until hot but not boiling. Add chopped chocolate and stir until smooth. Drizzle over the chilled pie. Chill until ready to serve.

Dreamy Lemon Meringue Pie

Fussy, Pie
I’ve always loved Lemon Meringue pie, but often been disappointed by the dry meringue and gelatinous lemon filling. Here is the lemon meringue pie I have been dreaming about – a creamy tart lemon filling (closer in texture to Key Lime pie) and marshmallowy Swiss meringue on top.

Cream Cheese Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 TBSP powdered sugar
  • 6 TBSP cold butter
  • 2 ounces cold cream cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. cider vinegar
  • 2 TBSP heavy cream

Lemon Filling:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • Zest of 5 lemons
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

Swiss Meringue:

  • 6 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • generous pinch salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Make Crust: Combine flour, salt, baking powder and powdered sugar in food processor. Cut butter and cream cheese into tablespoon-size pieces and add to flour. Pulse food processor until butter and cream cheese are incorporated but the mixture is still dry.

Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in vinegar and heavy cream with a fork. Turn out onto work surface and smear the dough with the heel of your hand until the dough sticks together and you can form it into a ball.

Roll out between pieces of wax paper until it is large enough to line a 9″ pie plate. Line pie plate with dough, crimp, and poke holes in the bottom with a fork. Cover with wax paper and freeze for at least an hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line frozen crust with parchment paper. Fill with pie weights, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove pie weights and parchment and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool completely.

Make Filling: In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir together sugar and lemon zest. Whisk in eggs. Whisk in lemon juice. Place over medium heat and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens – don’t neglect the edges of the pan. Continue cooking until one bubble pops at the surface, then immediately remove from heat and strain the mixture into a blender, discarding lemon zest and any bits of scrambled egg.

Let the mixture rest in the blender for 5 minutes. Cut the butter into tablespoons. Turn the blender on high and add the butter, one tablespoon at a time. After all the butter has been added scrape down the blender and continue to blend for another minute until the mixture is smooth and thick. Refrigerate until completely cool, at least 4 hours.

Whisk together lemon filling to loosen. Fill baked and cooled pie shell with the cooled lemon filling. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the lemon filling and refrigerate until ready to serve. Make meringue and top pie as close to serving as you can manage.

Make Meringue: Fill a medium saucepan that will fit your mixer bowl in it without touching the bottom with a couple inches of water and bring to a simmer.

Whisk together egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer. Fit your stand mixer with the whisk attachment.

Nest the mixer bowl over the simmering water and whisk the egg white and sugar mixture until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is hot to touch (test with your finger for temperature and for sugar granules) – about 5 minutes.

Transfer to stand mixer and mix on low until frothy. Increase speed to high and whip until light, cool and marshmallowy – about 7 minutes. Mix in vanilla extract. Immediately pipe or spread meringue on the chilled pie.

Preheat oven to 500°F.

Bake pie for 5 minutes, watching closely, to brown the meringue. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.

Cherry-Raspberry Streusel Pie

A little bit fussy, Pie

This combination of cherries and raspberries is quite nice. And you can’t go wrong with a streusel topping.


Pie:

  • 1 single pie crust
  • 1 lb. sour cherries
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 TBSP cornstarch

Streusel:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats

Drain cherries, reserving liquid – you should have about 3/4 cup.

Prepare pastry for single-crust pie. Flute the edge but do not prick the bottom Refrigerate.

Prepare Streusel: Whisk together flour, cinnamon and brown sugar. Stir in oats. Cut in butter. Using your fingers, pinch mixture together until clumps form and there are no dry patches.

Make Filling: Combine sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Whisk in cherry liquid. Cook over medium heat until thick and clear. Stir in drained cherries and raspberries.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Pour filling into prepared pie crust. Sprinkle with streusel.

Bake at 425° for 15 minutes, then reduce oven to 350° and bake for 25-30 minutes more, until golden brown and bubbling.

Homebakers Collective July Challenge: Bake Your State

A little bit fussy, Homebakers Collective Challenge, Pie

Iowa Cherry Pie

I have moved around too much to feel ownership of any state other than the state I was raised in. Iowa means a lot of things to me, but dessert-wise, it has to be pie, and cherry pie in particular. It was my birthday request every year as a kid. I remember when the cherries on the tree were ready, everyone would get together to pick them, then gather around the porch table armed with bobby pins to pit the cherries. Cherry juice would run down your forearms to your elbows until you were so sticky you had to hose off.

Pie Crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 1 stick cold butter (115g), cut into pieces
  • 1/3 cup lard (70g), cup into pieces
  • 1/3 cup ice water

Combine flour, salt and sugar in food processor. Add butter and lard and pulse until the butter pieces are no larger than peas. Add ice water and pulse until dough just comes together, about 5 times.

Divide dough into two pieces, shape into disks, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Cherry Pie Filling:

  • 2 pounds sour pie cherries, thawed if frozen
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1/4 almond extract

Drain cherries, reserving liquid – you should have a little more than 1 cup. Place cherries in a medium bowl.

Combine sugar, salt, and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Gradually add reserved cherry liquid and lemon juice, whisking until smooth. Cook over medium heat until thick and clear. Remove from heat, stir in butter and almond extract. Pour over cherries and stir to combine. Sneak a taste here.

Assemble and Bake:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Roll out each pie crust between two pieces of wax paper, peeling the paper and flipping the crust over to make rolling easier and uniform.

Line pie plate with bottom crust. Refrigerate until ready to use. Cut top crust into strips, if you’re doing the lattice. On a square of wax paper, prepare the lattice by weaving the strips together, starting with the longest pieces in the middle and working outwards. Sandwich the lattice crust with another piece of wax paper and refrigerate for 15 minutes to firm it up. Pour prepared cherry filling into bottom crust. Brush the edges with egg wash. Peel one piece of wax off the lattice and gently flip it over onto the pie, trying to get it centered. Crimp the pie and trim the excess pastry.

Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the cherries are bubbling.

Rhubarb Custard Pie

Pie, Unfussy

This is a family favorite – sweet custard under tart rhubarb with a healthy dose of nutmeg.

  • 3 cups diced rhubarb
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 TBSP flour
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine rhubarb, sugar, flour and nutmeg. Whisk eggs and cream together in a small bowl. Pour egg mixture over rhubarb mixture and stir well to combine.

Pour into pie shell. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until the custard is set.

Serve at room temperature or chilled.