Thanksgiving’s almost here and that means… pie.
I previously thought I could conquer most things in the land of pastries, but a prior pie making experience was while in the company of my mom who didn’t hesitate to say, “you’re doing it wrong!” Yes, those damn pie crusts may forever mystify me. I can never find a happy medium between so sticky that I end up with a pie crust-padded rolling pin, and so dry that my one crust has now broken into five pieces. It’s fine, I wanted to make five mini-pies anyway. *sigh*
So the other night I decided to try and brush up my pie crust skills on a new recipe. This recipe comes from a book my Grandma gave me. It’s The Monroe Senior Center Collection of Pie Recipes. Which is of course a brilliant idea, because who’s grandma doesn’t make a good pie?
(full recipes are at the bottom of this post)
▲ You know I bee-lined to the section titled “ANGELIC CREAM PIES.” I think I might need to bake my way through this book. I see a lot of pies in my future.
▲ There are quite a few variations of each recipe in this book. For example, there are nine pumpkin pie recipes (!!!), ranging from “Bob Hope’s Pumpkin Pie” and “Diabetic Pumpkin Pie,” to “Famous Pumpkin Pie” and “Impossible Pumpkin Pie.” I can just imagine the debate over who’s recipe is best. Guess I’ll have to bake them all to decide for myself!
▲ Anyway, I first beat the eggs together and then added all the remaining wet ingredients.
▲ Don’t forget the brandy. Please don’t forget the brandy.
▲ Then mix in the dry ingredients just until the batter is consistent.
▲ And finally stir in all the goodies.
Side note: while the pie is baking, mix up some whipped cream (please make your own – I promise it’s easy and so very much tastier than the store-bought stuff). Plus, you can customize it to match the pie you’re making, so add a bit of brandy to go with this pie, or add a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg to go with an apple or pumpkin pie (see my easy-peasy whip cream recipe below).
▲ Voila! Warning… this pie is very sweet. If your crew likes magic bars and pecan pie, then this one will be a crowd pleaser. Next time I think I might forgo the whipped cream and just layer some un-chopped pecans across the top before baking.
(makes one 9 inch pie)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup butter (melted)
- 3 Tablespoons brandy (or bourbon)
- 1 cup pecans (chopped)
- 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 pie crust (I like THIS homemade pie crust recipe)
- Beat the eggs.
- Add sugar, cornstarch, butter, and brandy. Mix.
- Stir in the pecans and chocolate chips.
- Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell.
- Bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes.
- Optional: top with whipped cream flavored with 1-2 teaspoons brandy or bourbon (see below recipe).
Homemade Whipped Cream
(makes 10 hearty servings)
- 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (or 1 teaspoon vanilla paste – yum!)
- 1/4 to 3/4 cup powdered sugar (or to your liking)
- for apple or pumpkin pie: 1 teaspoon cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- for brandy or pecan pie: 1-2 teaspoons brandy or bourbon
- Using the whisk attachment on your blender, combine the heavy cream and vanilla for 1 minute.
- Add powdered sugar (slowly, so you’re not dancing in a cloud of sugar).
- Optional: add spices to match your pie.
- Crank your blender up on high until stiff peaks form in your whipped cream.
Now it’s your turn… what’s your favorite pie for Thanksgiving?