Categories
Dessert

Family pie recipe is ‘choc’ full of flavor

Ruthie's Chocolate Pie
This chocolate pie is a family recipe, passed to Adam Strunk by his mom, Ruth. It features lots of dark chocolate flavor, along with a light, fluffy meringue topping.

Several years ago, Danielle Oteri wrote a column for the website “Good Food Stories,” where she explored the differences in personality between her friends and family who preferred to cook, versus those who preferred to bake.

It’s a fun read, if you get the chance (goodfoodstories.com/the-psychology-of-baking), but one quote from her friend Melissa resonated with me from a baking experience I had this past week: “Baking [also] has seemed to me to be chemistry, while cooking is like art,” she said. “Art you can taste as you go—and for me, that’s a big part of it. I like to stick my fingers, er, spoon, into whatever I am cooking and taste at every step.”

Adam Strunk, who is the managing editor of Harvey County Now, was asked to be a celebrity baker for a charity pie auction last week, but Adam is most definitely a cook.

He’s an improviser and follows his instincts in the kitchen. If you ask Adam for a recipe, he’ll give you vague lists of ingredients, not amounts. And he makes darn good food.

So he found himself a bit intimidated by pie, which is why he asked me, the baker, to come make sure the recipe he chose turned out.

That was not only because he’s super competitive and wanted to create a great pie for the auction but also because he chose a family recipe, one his grandmother and mother made only for special occasions. I was only too happy to give the fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants cook a lesson in pie dough and patience.

So, the only source I can give you for this week’s recipe is Ruth Strunk, Adam’s mom. I can’t tell you if she would have considered herself a cook or a baker, but I can tell you after this experience that she could make one mean pie.

Ruthie's Chocolate Pie
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Ruthie’s Chocolate Pie

This chocolate pie is a family recipe, passed to Adam Strunk by his mom, Ruth. It features lots of dark chocolate flavor, along with a light, fluffy meringue topping.
Course Dessert
Keyword chocolate, meringue, pie

Ingredients

Pie Ingredients

  • 9- inch pie shell baked
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 2/3 cups milk we used whole
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 egg yolks beaten
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate we used Ghirardelli

Meringue Ingredients

  • 3 egg whites
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  • Pre-bake your pie shell and place it to the side for when the filling is complete.
  • In a bowl, combine the sugar, flour, milk, salt, butter and vanilla. It doesn’t have to be perfectly combined, just mostly mixed together and set aside.
  • In another bowl, beat your egg yolks and set aside.
  • Heat a double boiler and melt the chocolate in the top, being careful to stir it constantly so it doesn’t burn.
  • Once the chocolate is melted, add the sugar mixture and continue stirring with a whisk for 10 minutes in the double boiler.
  • After 10 minutes, add about one cup of the chocolate to the egg yolks, beating them together, then add the egg mixture to the double boiler, continuing to whisk constantly for another five minutes.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool for about five to 10 minutes, then pour it into your prepared pie shell, smoothing it out evenly, and set it aside.
  • For the meringue, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Add the egg whites to a mixing bowl and beat until they are very stiff. Add in the sugar, baking powder and salt and beat again. Spread the meringue over the top of the filling. Using a knife, create some peaks in the meringue to create a nice pattern when it browns.
  • Bake until the meringue is light brown. (I think ours took about 10 minutes. Just keep watching it.)
  • Refrigerate the pie until you’re ready to serve it.

According to Adam, we managed an excellent recreation of his mom’s classic, and it was delicious—perfectly chocolatey without being too sweet.

We didn’t earn the highest bid at the auction, but Adam’s pie still managed a very nice sum and got great reviews.

I don’t think Adam is quite ready to turn in his reporter’s notebook for a rolling pin, but I do think he’s less nervous about pie crust. Now, if I can just get him to pay attention to what he throws in the pan while cooking, I might have a few more great Stunk recipes to share.

This piece first appeared in print on Aug. 19, 2021.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Cookies Dessert

Cookies are in the ‘pie’ of the beholder

Blueberry pie cookies are really just mini hand pies, but they are a delicious dessert, regardless.

I remember once reading the story of one fast food worker’s infuriating interaction with a customer.

The customer ordered “a cheeseburger, but hold the cheese.”

The worker paused and asked, “So, a hamburger?”

Instead of sheepishly admitting her mistake, the customer was incredulous.

“No. I said I want a cheeseburger with no cheese. If I wanted a hamburger, I would have asked for a hamburger.”

Despite some back and forth, the worker begrudgingly took the “customer is always right” mantra to heart and charged her for the higher-priced cheeseburger—minus the cheese.

I had a similar moment with Joey recently when I made blueberry pie cookies.

“What makes them cookies and not pie,” he asked after taking the first bite.

I was dumbfounded. It hadn’t really occurred to me until that moment that, really, I’d just made mini hand pies, but just like the woman ordering a hamburger, I’m choosing to pretend I actually made cookies.

This recipe, no matter what you want to call it, comes from the blog “The Kitchen is my Playground.” You can find the original post at https://www.thekitchenismyplayground.com/2018/08/blueberry-pie-cookies.html. I added extra cinnamon in my version.

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Blueberry Pie Cookies

Blueberry pie cookies are really just mini hand pies, but they are a delicious dessert, regardless.
Course Dessert
Keyword blueberry, cookies, pie

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 pie crusts
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a couple baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper.
  • Over medium-high heat, melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Add 1/4 cup water, blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, cinnamon and salt, stirring gently to combine.
  • Keep the pot on medium-high heat, stirring regularly, until the mixture reaches a very low boil.
  • Reduce the heat to low and cook for one to two minutes or until the mixture is thickened into a pie-filling consistency and remove it from the heat.
  • On a floured work surface, roll out the pie dough to about one-quarter-inch thick, and using a three-inch cookie or biscuit cutter (or the mouth of a large glass or mug), cut out as many circles as you can, placing half of them on the prepared baking sheets and reserving the rest. Keep rolling the dough out and cutting until you have used all of it.
  • Pour a few tablespoons of water in a small dish. Dip your finger in the water and run it around the edge of the dough rounds on the baking sheets to allow you to more easily seal your cookies.
  • In another small dish, beat the egg along with 1/4 teaspoon of water to make an egg wash.
  • Place about 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of the blueberry filling in the middle of each dough round, and top them with another, crimping the edges all the way around with a fork for a tight seal.
  • Cut a small X into the top of each cookie with a sharp knife, and brush each with some egg wash.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown.
  • Let the cookies cool, and then transfer to them to a sealed container, or serve them warm with ice cream.

This pie filling was delicious. Even if you don’t make these cookies with it, it would make a fabulous sauce to go over ice cream or pancakes. 

I also think you could get away with using frozen blueberries. Just thaw them and let them drain well before using them.

And, yeah, sure, if you bake these, you’re really just making mini pies, and maybe somebody will argue with you that they shouldn’t be classified as cookies, but honestly, once they get a taste, they probably won’t care what they’re called, either.

This piece first appeared in print on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Dessert

A salted caramel pie is quite ‘apple’ing

Salted caramel honeycrisp apple pie is a great twist on a classic, with the crunch of pecans and the sweetness of caramel and apples.

One of the cooking habits I have developed over the years is to push recipes just a bit.

I love to double spices, add extra ingredients and play with proportions. Normally, that works out really well for me. I love the extra flavor an additional teaspoon of vanilla can provide, and there’s nothing like the taste of a bit of extra cinnamon.

Of course, sometimes that doesn’t work out for me. This week, I pushed the envelope a little too far. For the salted caramel apple pie I tried, I purchased a jar of salted caramel dessert topping, and while the recipe only called for one-half cup of it, I looked at the rest of that jar and thought, “Yeah, but what if I just empty the whole thing on there?”

It was a fantastic idea, until the caramel decided to create a steady, sticky stream inside my pie carrier. I mean, it was still delicious, don’t get me wrong, but cleaning up caramel wasn’t the most fun I’ve had lately.

So, the recipe I tried comes from the blog “Inspired by Charm.” You can find the original at https://inspiredbycharm.com/salted-caramel-honeycrisp-apple-pie/. I did double the cinnamon and nutmeg in my version below, but if you want to push past the listed amount of salted caramel, I’ll leave that up to you.

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Salted Caramel Honeycrisp Apple Pie

Salted caramel honeycrisp apple pie is a great twist on a classic, with the crunch of pecans and the sweetness of caramel and apples.
Course Dessert
Keyword apple pie, honeycrisp apples, pecans, salted caramel

Ingredients

Pie Ingredients

  • single pie crust
  • about 5 to 6 large Honeycrisp apples peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Topping Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons butter cold
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup pecans chopped
  • 1/2 cup or more salted caramel dessert topping

Instructions

  • Roll out the pie dough and place into a deep pie plate. Place in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of your ingredients.
  • Preheat the oven to 375, and place a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil on the bottom rack for catching overflow from the pie.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  • For the topping, combine the butter and flour using a pastry cutter or two forks until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the brown sugar, oats and salt.
  • Pour the prepared apples into the dough and then crumble the topping evenly over the top of the apples.
  • Bake for 60 minutes, and then add 1/2 cup of the chopped pecans and bake an additional five minutes.
  • Let the pie cool to room temperature and then chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  • Pour the caramel sauce over top of the pie and then top with the remaining pecans.

This pie seems like it would be overly sweet, but it was actually really well balanced, thanks to the pecans and not a lot of added sugar on the apples. 

We really enjoyed it, even though I had to nest my pie into a second pie pan to try to contain the mess. Joey just rolled his eyes and enjoyed his piece of apple pie. At this point, he knows better than to try to stop me.

This piece first appeared in print on Dec. 10, 2020.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Dessert

Time commitment not a deal-‘baker’ for no-bake pie

This no-bake chocolate peanut butter pie has quite a few steps that require refrigeration in between, so have plenty of time to prepare—and plenty of people to enjoy—this decadent dessert.

As a general rule, when I see the words “no-bake” in the title of a recipe, I assume I’m about to have a really easy time in the kitchen. 

Those are the types of recipes I save for when I need a quick dessert to bring at the last second.

Well, this week’s recipe completely defies its no-bake moniker, my friends. I’m a little embarrassed to tell you that I started this recipe on a weekend and didn’t finish it until the end of the next week.

Despite that—and I mean this seriously—you absolutely have to try this. It’s delicious and created a pie that was completely demolished during a backyard get-together.

This no-bake monstrosity comes from the blog “Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons.” You can find the original at https://kitchenfunwithmy3sons.com/no-bake-chocolate-peanut-butter-pie. I added extra vanilla in my version, and while calories are the least of your problem with this pie, you can substitute fat-free cream cheese and whipped topping with ease for this.

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No-bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

This no-bake chocolate peanut butter pie has quite a few steps that require refrigeration in between, so have plenty of time to prepare—and plenty of people to enjoy—this decadent dessert.
Course Dessert
Keyword chocolate, M&Ms, no bake, Oreos, peanut butter, pie

Ingredients

Crust Ingredients

  • 15 to 20- ounce package double-stuffed Oreos
  • 1/4 cup mini M&Ms
  • 1/2 cup butter melted

Filling Ingredients

  • 16 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 8 ounces whipped topping
  • 1/4 cup mini M&Ms

Ganache Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 semi-sweet chocolate chips plus a handful for sprinkling
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup mini M&Ms

Frosting Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Instructions

  • For the crust, pulverize the entire package of Oreo’s with a blender or food processor. In a bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, butter and M&Ms until everything is well mixed, and press the mixture into a 9- to 10-inch springform pan (or a pie pan, but the springform is so much easier!), going up the sides.
  • Place the crust in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • For the filling, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the whipped topping, and then fold in the M&Ms. Spread the filling evenly over the crust, and refrigerate for one hour.
  • For the ganache, combine the chocolate chips and cream into a glass bowl and microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between each, until the mixture is smooth. Pour the ganache over top of the filling and spread it evenly. Sprinkle the top with chocolate chips and M&Ms, and refrigerate for another hour.
  • For the final step, beat all the frosting ingredients until it’s fluffy, and then transfer to a piping bag or a plastic bag with the tip cut off to pipe the frosting around the edges of the pie. Or, if you’re exhausted at this point, just spread it on there and decorate with a couple more M&Ms and call it good.
  • Serve immediately and keep any leftovers in the refrigerator.

I highly encourage you to cut this pie into small slices, as it is sinfully rich. Joey called it comical after it was finally done. It would be absolutely a show stopper for a birthday celebration.

And even though it took me a few evenings to finally get through all the steps, it was worth it, especially since I might have “accidentally” purchased too many M&Ms and had to clean those up myself. Waste not, want not, right?

This piece first appeared in print on Sept. 17, 2020.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Dessert

Baking pumpkin cake easier than pie

A pumpkin pie cake has all the flavors of a traditional pie with very little effort.

For the week before Thanksgiving, some friends of ours invited us to their house for a “Friendsgiving,” where we’ll all enjoy a big potluck meal together with a large group. This is the second year for the tradition, and we’re really looking forward to spending time with everyone while eating a great meal.

I will be taking pie this year, and it led to a discussion on the best Thanksgiving pies between Joey and myself.

Joey is a big advocate of pecan pie above all others. I tend to be one of those folks who will try a sliver of everything on the dessert table.

But one thing is certain, and that is that baking pies can get labor intensive pretty quickly. Although I’m a big fan of the process, I would guess I’m in the minority, so I decided to try a new recipe this week that might help those of you who want to bake something at home but don’t want to have to fiddle with pie crust this Thanksgiving.

This recipe came from the blog “The Country Cook.” You can find the original at https://www.thecountrycook.net/pumpkin-pie-cake/. I used just pureed pumpkin instead of pumpkin pie filling in my version and added extra spices.

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Pumpkin Pie Cake

A pumpkin pie cake has all the flavors of a traditional pie with very little effort.
Course Dessert
Keyword cake, cake mix, pie, pumpkin

Ingredients

  • 30 ounces pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • 1 cup butter melted
  • 1 container vanilla frosting

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9×13-inch baking pan by spraying the bottom with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat together the pumpkin, eggs, salt and spices until the mixture is smooth.
  • Beat in the cake mix and butter for two minutes until well combined, and then spread the mixture into the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until the center doesn’t jiggle. (Don’t use the toothpick method. Since it’s a little pie-like, it won’t be a good indicator.)
  • Once the cake is cooled, spread the frosting on top and serve.

My entire house smelled just like I baked a fresh pie in my oven, which was a nice way to get in the mood for Thanksgiving, and it was an extremely easy recipe to complete. 

I’m still planning on making a pie for Friendsgiving this week, but this cake would fit in perfectly on any Thanksgiving dessert table without making anyone too disappointed.

Well, anyone but Joey, who would wonder why you bothered with making a pumpkin pie version of cake instead of figuring out how to do the same thing with pecans.

This piece first appeared in print on Nov. 21, 2019.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Dessert

Gelatin pie will make you say ‘Jell-O, there’

Strawberry gelatin pie is a cool treat for a hot day, with very simple ingredients and preparation.

With heat advisories peppering the weather reports this past week, I found myself in serious need of a cool, summer dessert that wouldn’t heat my kitchen past its breaking point.

I guess I didn’t really “need” it, but when the heat index is pushing into the triple digits, I often search for something sweet to try to cool things down a bit. Of course, I’m nearly always in search of something sweet.

This time, I opted for a non-ice-cream treat, which is rare for me, and I instead reached for a box of strawberry gelatin sitting in my pantry.

I was in the mood for a slice of pie, and since I’d recently found a recipe for a gelatin pie I wanted to try, I decided it was high time to whip one up.

The recipe I found was on the blog “Spaceships and Laser Beams.” You can find the original post at https://spaceshipsandlaserbeams.com/no-bake-strawberry-jello-pie/. I changed absolutely nothing, except I realized quickly that there is way too much filling produced by this recipe for just one pie, so I added an additional crust. If you’d rather make just one, you’ll just have leftover filling that you can let setup in the fridge and eat in non-pie form.

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Strawberry Gelatin Pie

Strawberry gelatin pie is a cool treat for a hot day, with very simple ingredients and preparation.
Course Dessert
Keyword gelatin, Jell-O, no bake, strawberry

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup boiling water
  • 3- ounce package strawberry gelatin
  • 1 cup ice cold water
  • 16 ounces frozen whipped topping defrosted
  • 2 prepared 9-inch graham cracker crusts

Instructions

  • Add the gelatin to the 2/3 cup of boiling water and stir until it is completely dissolved.
  • In a large bowl, combine the gelatin and cold water and stir it until it begins to thicken just a little. Add in the whipped topping and stir well.
  • Refrigerate the filling for 30 minutes to let it begin to set up.
  • Stir the filling and spoon evenly into the two crusts.
  • Refrigerate the pies for at least three hours or overnight before slicing.
  • Store covered in the refrigerator.

This is one of those recipes that would be perfect for a beginning cook, especially if you do like I did and boil the water in the microwave instead of on the stovetop.

I also lazily created my ice water by putting a cube in my one-cup measuring cup, filling it with cold water, and waiting. As you can imagine, it didn’t take long to dissolve into nice, super cold water.

If you’ve never tried a gelatin pie before, it’s incredibly airy, making it the perfect, light after-dinner treat, and since it’s such a pretty shade of pink, it’s a nice addition to the table. You could easily decorate it with some more whipped cream if you wanted to.

And, while I won’t claim this as a health food, I did use the low-fat whipped topping and a reduced-fat graham cracker crust, so despite the fact that it’s most certainly still a dessert, it didn’t pack the calorie wallop that most pies tend to have.

Plus, it did cool me down, for at least a couple minutes, which was nice, but full disclosure, if Mother Nature persists with this balmy weather, it will probably take more than one slice to do the job.

This piece first appeared in print on Aug. 22, 2019.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Dessert

It’s time to revisit your ‘pie’orities

This cherry pie uses tart cherries packed in water, so it has a fuller flavor than traditional cherry pie filling does.

There were quite a number of years when I was younger that I wouldn’t eat cherry pie, despite always having loved it.

My last piece before my break with the dessert was while sitting at my grandparents’ dining room table.

“You know,” my cousins told me. “Those aren’t cherries. Those are baby animal hearts.”

I immediately dismissed them as liars, and they argued with me a bit before running off to whatever little boys do, and I stared at my half-eaten piece of pie, knowing they were lying but also not being 100 percent sure I should keep eating.

I love my cousins dearly, but I feel like I should get some kind of restitution for avoiding Grandma’s cherry pies for a few years. I suppose the restitution can come now that I’m tattling in newsprint almost 30 years after the fact. (You are reading this, right Grandma?)

Despite my early run in with cherry pie, I’m now back on the wagon and tried a new recipe for a family get together—no baby animal hearts included.

I liked this recipe, because it uses cherries packed in water instead of corn syrup, so they don’t taste quite as candied as they sometimes do. (Although it was still plenty sweet.)

I found this on the blog “Artful Parent” by Jean Van’t Hul. Jean claims this is the best cherry pie ever. I can’t vouch for this statement, but I did really like it. You can find the original at https://artfulparent.com/best-cherry-pie-recipe-ever/. I doubled the almond extract in mine.

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Cherry Pie

This cherry pie uses tart cherries packed in water, so it has a fuller flavor than traditional cherry pie filling does.
Course Dessert
Keyword cherry pie

Ingredients

  • 3 14.5- ounce cans pitted dark cherries in water
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 9- inch pie crusts refrigerated

Instructions

  • Combine the undrained cans of cherries along with the cornstarch, sugar, salt and almond extract in a large saucepan.
  • Bring the mixture to a slow simmer over medium-low heat and stir regularly for about 10 minutes until the liquid is thick.
  • Set aside.
  • Once the mixture is cooled down, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Roll out the bottom crust and place into a pie pan, making sure it hangs over the sides a bit for crimping.
  • Pour in the cherry mixture and roll out your top crust. Place it on top and either cut some vent holes or weave a lattice.
  • Trim and fold under the edges of the crust and crimp to seal them.
  • Bake for 20 minutes and then reduce the heat in the oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the crust is browned and the cherries are bubbling. (The author suggests putting a foil-lined baking sheet underneath in case it drips into your oven, which is a great idea.)
  • Let the pie cool for a few hours so the cherries can thicken up before you cut into it.
  • Store in an airtight container.

We cleaned up this pie pretty quickly, and I noticed my cousins didn’t shy away from grabbing a piece, too, so maybe they got over their fears of what’s actually in cherry pie.

Of course, my abilities will never compare to my grandma’s pie baking skills. There’s always something better about hers. It’s definitely not some sort of animal parts, but I do think she puts a lot of heart—and love—into each one she makes.

This piece first appeared in print on June 7, 2018.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Dessert

No-bake pie is better chocolate than never

A small piece is the perfect serving size for this rich, chocolaty pie.

We recently had a get-together with my mom’s side of the family. As always, we had an amazing spread of way too much food and had lots of fun catching up.

I volunteered to bring a few pies for dessert, and my family is used to being guinea pigs when it comes to me trying out new recipes.

One of the pies I made was this week’s recipe—a no-bake chocolate truffle pie that was super easy to make. When I pulled it out of my Tupperware container, my cousin’s little girl gasped and immediately grabbed me around my middle.

She could barely wait to finish her lunch before diving into a piece of pie. If you’re wondering, Miss Avery gave it two thumbs up.

I found this recipe on the website “Kitch Me.” You can find it at http://www.kitchme.com/recipes/no-bake-chocolate-truffle-pie-5-ingredients. I added ingredients to make a homemade whipped cream to top it and used a graham cracker crust instead of the chocolate crust the recipe called for.

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No-Bake Chocolate Truffle Pie

A small piece is the perfect serving size for this rich, chocolaty pie.
Course Dessert
Keyword chocolate chips, graham cracker crust, no bake, truffle, whipped cream

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream divided
  • 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 9- inch pre-made graham cracker or chocolate cookie crumb pie crust
  • about 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  • Combine the chocolate chips (save a few to decorate the top of the pie, if you like) and 3/4 cup cream to a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between each time, until the mixture is smooth.
  • Set it aside and let the chocolate cool to room temperature.
  • Once the mixture is cooled, mix in the sugar and vanilla.
  • In another bowl, whip another 3/4 cup of cream until stiff peaks form, and then beat in the chocolate, a little at a time, until it’s all fully combined.
  • Spread the filling out evenly into the pie crust and refrigerate at least eight hours. Before serving, whip the remaining cream, one tablespoon powdered sugar and one teaspoon vanilla together until stiff peaks form. If the cream is not sweet enough, whip in a bit more sugar until it’s where you like it.
  • Top the pie with the whipped cream and some chocolate chips or chocolate shavings.
  • Refrigerate any leftovers.

Several people who taste tested this pie for me said they really liked the dark chocolate flavor and were surprised when I said it was made with only semi-sweet chocolate. Letting it set overnight really developed a deep flavor.

I’d also suggest cutting this into smaller pieces, because it’s a very rich flavor, and it’s tough to eat a big piece in one sitting.

I’m guessing I’ll need to work this recipe into my regular rotation—at least when bringing pie to my little cousin. The pie was delicious, but the big hug really made it worth it.

This piece first appeared in print on April 26, 2018.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.

Categories
Dessert

You won’t be‘weave’ this easy as pie recipe

Blueberry peach pie can be made with fresh or frozen fruit and looks a lot more complicated than it really is.

Years ago, when I was on summer staff at Camp Mennoscah, several staff members spent a bit of an afternoon harvesting tons of mulberries off of a couple trees.

This resulted in some time spent that afternoon in serious pie-baking mode, and it was the first time I ever saw a latticed pie top made from start to finish.

To be honest, it ruined the magic a little for me, because it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be, but the pie was yummy enough to bring some of the enchantment right back again.

I don’t make fruit pies all that often, so I haven’t tried my hand at too many lattice tops since, but I got the chance again recently for the recipe I’m sharing with you this week for a blueberry peach pie.

Obviously, fresh peaches and blueberries are tough to come by this time of year, so although the recipe calls for fresh ones, I’ll tell you that I made my pie with frozen fruit.

If you’d like to give this a shot before fresh fruit is back in season, make sure you fully thaw your frozen fruit and then leave it in a colander for quite awhile until you’re sure it’s done giving off all of its extra moisture. (This will take awhile—maybe a couple hours. Be patient.)

I also added about a tablespoon or so of cornstarch to my fruit to really make sure that any juices were congealed and wouldn’t end up making a soggy pie, and I spooned it into my crust so that I didn’t accidentally pour in any more juice that gathered at the bottom of the bowl I had it in.

This recipe came from the blog “Sally’s Baking Addiction.” You can find the original at https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/06/14/blueberry-peach-pie/. I played with the spices in mine, and as I already noted, I used frozen fruits instead of fresh.

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Blueberry Peach Pie

Blueberry peach pie can be made with fresh or frozen fruit and looks a lot more complicated than it really is.
Course Dessert
Keyword blueberry, peach, pie

Ingredients

  • 2 pie crusts homemade or store-bought, chilled
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 3 cups fresh peaches sliced and peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 egg beaten
  • sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Fold the fruit in with the sugar, flour, cinnamon and all-spice.
  • Roll out one of the pie crusts and line an eight- or nine-inch pie pan with it.
  • Spoon in the fruit mixture. Cut the butter into small pieces and dot it along the top of the filling.
  • Roll out the second crust and either place it on the top and cut several steam vents in it after crimping it together with the bottom crust or cut the dough into long strips and weave a lattice top on the pie, crimping the edges with the bottom crust when you’re finished.
  • Brush the top with a thin layer of the beaten egg and sprinkle on some additional sugar and cinnamon to your taste.
  • Bake on a baking sheet lined with foil (you don’t want to clean this out of the bottom of the oven—or off the baking sheet, for that matter) for 20 minutes.
  • Reduce the temperature to 375 degrees and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes.
  • Let the pie cool before serving (or serve it while warm, but be ready for runny filling).

If you’re feeling a bit intimidated by making a lattice crust, don’t be, and if you need some guidance, I’d recommend searching for a tutorial video on YouTube. You’re bound to find dozens.

And for those who don’t know quite how easy a lattice top is, be ready to hear how impressed they are with your pie handiwork, and even if you don’t give it a shot, the pie is good enough to get you accolades either way.

This piece first appeared in print on Jan. 11, 2018.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.