The Pie Notes

A celebration of life with a touch of sweetness

Category: Pies (page 1 of 2)

Take a Vacation with Caramel Pecan Apple Pie

I spent last week in Auburn for an almost-end-of-the-summer vacation.

For the second time, Matthew and I went bowling with his roommate, Christian, and his girlfriend, Emily. They’re my favorites.

And for the second time, the girls lost to the boys. I didn’t mind too much since I finally got a strike.

With victorious grins, they requested that their prize be a homemade dinner.

Emily and I were on board with that! We went grocery shopping on Thursday and picked up ingredients to make chicken pesto paninis: sourdough bread, mozzarella, tomatoes, and chicken. Matthew had lots of basil from his gardening class, so we whipped that up in the food processor with some pine nuts, olive oil, and parmesan.

We sauteed a few thin chicken breasts, sliced them up, and built the sandwiches. Luckily we both had George Foreman grills, so it went pretty quickly.

We wanted a light side dish, so Emily thought of making a fruit salad, which is now one of my favorite snacks in the world. Diced Granny Smith apples, bananas, grapes, and strawberries = perfection.

And for dessert…you guessed it.

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Caramel Pecan Apple Pie.

Mhmmm.

It’s such an interesting pie that you won’t get tired of eating! (I warned you.)

As much as I love traditional pecan pie and apple pie, it can get a little boring sometimes.

This one has a gooey filling with caramel, pecans, and tender slices of apples. IMG_20160718_172601210

And according to Matthew, it is now his favorite pie.

The good news is it’s one of the easiest to make!

You blind bake the crust using pie weights, rice, or dry beans for a few minutes, like this…

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…and then bake it with the filling for a little while. It will transform into something magical and sweet.

In the midst of this sweltering hot summer, take a vacation to the crisp days of fall with all of the wonderful feelings and aromas that this pie provides. No harm in that, right?

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Unfortunately this is my last week to make pies for Copper Kettle Tea Bar since the summer is coming to a close and I’ll be returning to Auburn, but it has definitely been a rewarding and educational experience! They are so supportive of “locals with dreams” and it has truly been an honor baking pies for them. They are top-notch in every way…I couldn’t recommend them enough!

Recipe adapted from Aimee Broussard

A Sweet Trip to the Past: Lemon Custard Pie

I’m quite sentimental.

That’s why when any recipe has “Old Fashioned” or “Mom’s Favorite _____” attached to it, I’m all in.

There’s something special about connecting to the past through food, so in addition to all of my modern takes on traditional recipes, sometimes I like to follow the traditional techniques and ingredients as closely as I can.

This week I wanted a lemon pie, but not lemon meringue or lemon icebox…I wanted a lemon custard pie.

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Oh yeah.

Nestled in a flaky pie crust, it’s baked to golden brown perfection.

You don’t have to wait 4 hours until you can cut into it.

I REPEAT: You DO NOT have to wait 4 hours until you devour it.

It’s quite delicious warm, after sitting for about 15 minutes or so.

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Since you whip egg whites to stiff peaks and fold that into the lemony batter, it transforms the pie to a fluffy lemon curd custard. It’s seriously satisfying and will remind you of the olden days.

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Speaking of yesteryears, I have quite the inspiration to bake pies from my dear Papa’s mother, Anna.

Although I never met her, from what I’ve been told she was a loving woman who wore dresses everyday and baked pies and cakes like no one else.

She would make huge cakes, wrap them up, and freeze them to bring out for company. So smart.

When she made pies, she would roll out the leftover pie dough, fit it into a little pie tin, and pour in a little extra filling. She had to be able to test it out and make sure it tasted good, so she treated herself to the little pie.

Again, Anna was brilliant.

So in the spirit of my namesake, I gathered up some extra peaches and blueberries and rolled out that extra dough and made this little cutie:

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I honestly couldn’t tell you the exact measurements I used, but this is a guesstimate.

  • 2 peaches, diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, tossed in 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 /2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp milk or heavy cream
  • turbinado sugar
  1. Roll out two small rounds of dough and fit one into a small pie tin. Chill.
  2. Toss together all ingredients and pour into pie shell. Cover with second round of dough and brush with egg wash (egg and milk). Sprinkle with sanding sugar.
  3. Place on foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F on lower third of oven until crust is beginning to turn golden, about 15-20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake until juices are bubbling, 20-30 minutes.
  4. Let cool completely on wire rack.
  5. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream!

I hope you enjoy! Try to use an old fashioned recipe this week, or use a technique that seems outdated. It might just brighten your day 🙂

Lemon filling recipe courtesy of Taste of Home

A Tasty Compromise: Tiramisu + Pie = All-Time Favorite Dessert

Well, my friends, I’ve finally found it.

I’ve found my favorite pie.

I’ve always been a little conflicted between tiramisu (my favorite non-pie dessert) and pies in general.

If it were my last day on earth and I only had one sweet treat to enjoy, before I would have chosen tiramisu over pie (shhhh, don’t tell anyone).

Let’s face it, it has all of my favorite flavors: coffee, a creamy dreamy filling, coffee, chocolate shavings, and, um, COFFEE.

Yes, I like coffee.

A lot.

So if you’ve never tried tiramisu, let me walk you through it.

Bottom layer: ladyfingers, which are like spongy Italian cookies, lightly soaked in strong coffee, arranged on the bottom of a dish.

Middle layer: a filling traditionally made of egg yolks, sugar, and mascarpone cheese (an Italian cream cheese that tastes amazing).

Top layer: chocolate shavings or sifted cocoa powder

Of course, there’s variations.

For a dinner party I threw in Auburn last semester, I, of course, made Italian. Honestly, I think it’s the easiest type of meal to fix because it’s usually a one dish dinner with a salad. The best part is it seems like you’ve been slaving away all day long!

Since I was pretty busy that day, I made this Williams Sonoma slow cooker lasagna recipe. It changed my life. Why? Because you don’t have to cook the lasagna noodles on the stove. It’s a beautiful thing. So cheesy and meaty and wonderful!

I made a quick salad to go alongside with cucumbers, tomatoes, and parmesan cheese. I don’t know about you, but I am NOT a “food separator.” I absolutely don’t mind if my peas mix in with mashed potatoes, or if my lasagna mixes in with the salad. I was nice and offered salad bowls, but I think my guests agreed with me on this 🙂

And for the grand finale, I made Giada’s tiramisu. I mentioned it was a busy day…that’s why I made it the night before!

It never disappoints.

But still, there was this void. Here I am, being the pie girl, and my favorite dessert is tiramisu. Something is wrong here.

May I introduce to you, dear friends, my absolute favorite dessert/pie/food/anything in the world: TIRAMISU PIE. 

tiramisu pie slice

Isn’t she lovely?

It just makes sense.

Let me walk you through this one:

Crust (because that’s really what tiramisu is missing): Pepperidge Farm Chocolate Collection cookies crushed up, combined with melted butter and sugar, and baked.

Filling: A thick, not-too-sweet mascarpone and cream mixture with a special ingredient that sends it over the top–white chocolate pudding mix.

A layer of coffee-soaked ladyfingers…whether you’re addicted to coffee or not so crazy about it, it’s just the right amount for anyone to enjoy. Definitely not overpowering, but it breaks up the sweetness.

Topping: chocolate whipped cream with chocolate shavings sprinkled on top.

Now how could that be anything but perfect?

(It can’t be.)

tiramisu pie whole

And plus, I’d say this is one of the easiest pies to make. It’s perfect in the summer because your oven is only cranked up for a few minutes.

It’s so refreshing, but you still feel like you’re indulging.

I’m absolutely in love with this pie. I’m enjoying browsing through Aimee Broussard’s blog  and cookbook, which is where I found this recipe! I added the ladyfingers because that’s my favorite part of tiramisu, and I can’t leave out the coffee. You certainly could skip that part if you choose.

Make it! You’ll love it!

And if you don’t want to make it, you can order a slice at Copper Kettle Tea Bar this week.

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Do you know how I know this is my favorite pie? After I tested this recipe last week, mom and I went to see Love and Friendship, a movie based off of Jane Austen’s novella, Lady Susan. 

Literally the entire time I was thinking about that pie and how badly I wanted another slice. It was quite difficult to keep up with the British accents and complicated relationships when my brain was in utter turmoil.

The movie was enjoyable, but that pie…oh boy.

I’ll stop now.

And leave you with this.

tiramisu pie

Gardens, Farmer’s Markets, and Sweet Peach Hand Pies

Aren’t peaches the perfect summer fruit?

They are sweet and incredibly refreshing, especially after working in a garden.

During my little Auburn vacation, I went to SpringHouse to help out in the culinary garden on-site. Matthew goes there every week to  assist the gardener and he invited me to tag along.

It was an absolutely beautiful day. Surprisingly not too hot (probably due to the sprinklers soaking us from head to toe) and clear blue skies.

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Pre-gardening Matthew

All of the vegetables are grown organically, so naturally there is quite a bit of work to accomplish.

We weeded, picked more red onions than you could ever imagine, and staked tomato plants.

Somewhere in between I got attacked by giant ants. I threw off my gloves and ran towards the sprinkler…the sprinkler that was moving in a circular motion. I tried not to get right on front of the stream of water, so I ended up running around the bed of eggplant chasing it while swatting at my arms.

Not my best idea.

I got all of them off eventually, but let’s just say they left their mark on me.

All of that aside, I absolutely love gardening. There’s something about pulling your food out of the ground or picking it off the vine that is so comforting and rewarding.

Plus, it tastes worlds better than the stuff in the grocery store.

They grow black cherry tomatoes there, and a couple weeks before Matthew had called me just to tell me how delicious they are.

He plucked a perfectly ripe one off the vine for me and I was immediately hooked. Best tomato I’ve ever tasted. It’s sweet and plump and juicy, and the color is a deep deep purple.

After our gardening adventures, we headed back to Auburn, but not before stopping at a roadside stand to buy a few peaches to snack on.

We ravenously pulled them out of the bag. I had one, Matthew had five.

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Post-gardening Matthew

They hit the spot.

And our shirts were completely covered in peach juice. Were we complaining? Nope.

Fast forward to last week. The Auburn Farmer’s Market happens every Thursday during the summer and I had never been! I was planning on making roasted chicken thighs with roasted vegetables for dinner, so I needed some fresh local ingredients to make it even better.

We got new potatoes, the most beautiful onions I’ve ever seen, a green bell pepper, and black cherry tomatoes. For the salad, we found bibb lettuce, cucumbers, and microgreens which really sent it over the top.

And of course, we got distracted by all of the sweets.

My sister Sarah had told us about Cindy Cakes a couple weeks ago, saying it was the best pound cake she’s ever had. We took her word for it and bought a peach pound cake. We ended up slicing it and warming it up on a cast iron skillet. The sugars caramelized and a yummy crust formed. Perfect with a cup of coffee.

We also picked up a bag of kettle corn–sweet and smoky–and a couple individual pies that were very tasty.

And in true Matthew/Anna Claire style, we got a couple Chilton County peaches to snack on in the car.

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Post-farmer’s market Matthew

I just realized how many pictures I take of him while he’s in the driver’s seat…

That was one of my favorite experiences I’ve ever had in Auburn. There’s nothing quite like the charm of a farmer’s market, and the opportunity to meet the people behind your food is special. If you have some extra time in your day, stop by and support your local farmers. It’s so important that they have a community to back them up.

And your tastebuds will thank you profusely.

In the spirit of local ingredients and portable snacks, I’ve decided to experiment with some hand pies. Never heard of such a thing? Take a look at my previous post and scroll down to the dessert section of our SpringHouse meal.

Since the peaches have been so wonderfully delicious lately, I made some peach hand pies.

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If you like flaky crust, this is the dessert for you.

Every bite has buttery crust and ooey gooey sweet peachy filling.

I can’t stress this enough–buy fresh, good quality peaches! Every time I have used Chilton County peaches from the farmer’s market, I’ve had good luck. You’re taking a risk if you use anything else.

These are good at room temperature, but even better when warmed up in the toaster oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

It’s the perfect summer bite–go try one at Copper Kettle Tea Bar this week!

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Peach filling adapted from Bakerella

Perfect Peanut Butter Pie for the Win!

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Can we talk about peanut butter for a minute?

It’s an honest-to-goodness magical food product.

Sweet, salty, thick, satisfying…it’s the first thing I turn to for breakfast and lunch (and occasionally dinner on busy days, especially when I have a research paper due the next morning). Paired with blackberry jam between a couple slices of white bread, it is comfort food like no other.

Slather some on Granny Smith apple slices and you’ve got yourself a perfect snack. Dad always thought that was the weirdest thing. I got the idea from the TV show “Blues Clues” when I was five and never looked back.

About a year ago I made homemade caramel sauce to drizzle over an apple pie, and I had so much left over. I thought, “What would go nicely with salted caramel sauce?” I put on my thinking cap and opened the pantry, looking for inspiration. It was as if the light from heaven beamed down on the jar of peanut butter.

Half a spoonful of caramel sauce + half a spoonful of peanut butter = heaven on earth

It’s like butterscotch times 10000000.

Try it.

That caused Matthew and I to literally make a blueprint of a pie…a Chocolate Caramel Peanut Butter Pie.

It took me until last Christmas to make it, but it was as good as we hoped it would be. Very, very rich but still delicious.

This week I wanted something a little more traditional.

In comes the classic peanut butter pie, which can be as simple or as involved as you choose.

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This is literally “easy as pie.”

I made a homemade graham cracker crust, but by all means, if you want to use a store-bought one then go for it! Go by the directions on the crust, load it with the filling, and you’re good to go.

Since I think peanut butter pies can tend to be a little one-note and heavy with peanut butter flavor, I added a chocolate ganache bottom layer that makes it reminiscent of a Reese’s cup. Don’t have chocolate chips or heavy cream? No problem, just skip that step.

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For the filling, if you don’t have heavy whipping cream you can use 1 cup of Cool Whip and use the rest of it to spread over the filling. I personally don’t think it needs the extra whipped cream on top, but it’s up to you!

I like this filling because I’m not a big fan of peanut butter pies made with cream cheese. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still amazing, but I think it takes on a tangy flavor.

Instead, the vanilla pudding mix gives it a more mild flavor and causes the mixture to thicken when combined with the milk, while the peanut butter gives it a warm, brown color. Then when you fold in the whipped cream it becomes light and fluffy. Yum!

Plus you won’t feel like you need to take a nap after eating it 🙂

Top with anything your heart desires. Reese’s cups, chocolate drizzle, whipped cream, roasted peanuts, or even a heavenly salted caramel sauce.

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*Note: For the filling, if you like a fluffier pie you can increase it to 1 cup of whipping cream instead of 1/2 cup. Either way, it’s delicious!

Graham cracker crust: Back in the Day Bakery | Peanut butter filling: adapted from The Baking Chocolatess

Picnics, Dancing, and Jazzy Key Lime Pie!

What a weekend.

Between all of the pie recipe testing, grocery shopping, and preparation for some of my family coming in for the weekend, I decided it was high time for a picnic.

Matthew came home from Auburn this weekend so in addition to pies, I whipped up some picnic favorites. Roast beef sandwiches, pasta salad with every veggie known to man, deviled eggs, fresh fruit salad, banana bread, fruity water, and rhubarb spritzer iced tea from Copper Kettle Tea Bar made for a perfect afternoon meal in the Foley Heritage Park.

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It brought me back to when I was a kid. That folded picnic blanket was made by my mom, and probably explains why I am obsessed with gingham. My sisters and I spent many an afternoon under the sycamores with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on that blanket.

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Ah, the memories…

We spotted an Airstream trailer parking near some festivities in the park, so we strolled over to discover that it served coffee! I ordered my typical hazelnut latté and Matthew enjoyed a café au lait. Talking with the owners was just as much of a treat as the coffee.

Before we knew it, it was time to go DANCING!

Seaside Stomp, a swing dancing workshop in Pensacola, FL, was kicking off the weekend with a dance complete with a live band.

We had a blast seeing all of our friends from Auburn and scenes from across the south.

Speaking of swing music, I can’t think of a better way to describe this week’s pie at Copper Kettle Tea Bar: Jazzy Key Lime Pie.

This one is rich, thick, and zesty! The almond graham cracker crust is inspired by my trip to Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House in Savannah, GA almost 6 years ago. It adds a little extra flavor and texture to the creamy, refreshing pie.

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When I spend time baking I enjoy listening to music that reflects my mood, the food that I’m preparing, or even the weather. More often than not, that music ends up being jazz.

I’m convinced that the sweet sounds of Louis Armstrong’s trumpet alongside Ella Fitzgerald’s vocals make any pie taste better.

It’s funny how so many swing-era songs have desserts in the title–everything from “Banana Split for my Baby” and “Shoo Fly Pie” to my all-time favorite, “I Like Pie, I Like Cake.”

There’s one thing that may be better than listening to this music…that’s dancing to it!

This video pretty much encompasses everything I find to be joyful and perfect about swing dancing. Watch it if you like to smile.

And this may be part of the reason I’m growing my hair out again 🙂

Here’s to summer, jazz, dancing, and dessert!

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Filling recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen.

A Little Baker’s Dream

 

IMG_20160522_174150511_HDRChocolate and I go way back.

It all started with a dream. Watching my mom and older sisters baking away in our farmhouse kitchen, I thought, “Hey, I want to do that, too!” I channeled all of the culinary confidence a six-year-old could possibly hold, tied my apron strings, and marched to the counter that happened to be just a tad too high for me.

My sister, Sarah, assigned me easy tasks such as handing her cup measurements and fetching vanilla extract in the pantry. We were making chocolate chip cookies. Emphasis on the chocolate chip. Sarah noticed that I wasn’t doing half bad at my menial responsibilities. To my surprise, she gave me arguably the most important job of all–the pourer of chocolate chips into the beautiful, buttery dough. With wide eyes, a half smile, and an expanding ego, I tore open the bag, held it by the bottom, and right as I lifted my hand to pour–you guessed it!–disaster struck.

Morsels. Went. Everywhere.

Everywhere, except into the bowl.

I’d never thought about how many chocolate chips are really in a bag, but after picking each one up off the floor and counter, I’d estimate approximately 2.7 million. Luckily, we had an extra bag so all of our effort wasn’t wasted completely.

I didn’t have high hopes in my dream of being a great baker coming true.

Fast forward a few years. I was more comfortable in the kitchen, a bit taller, and more motivated than ever to prove to myself I could make something delicious. I decided to make for my family chocolate chip cookies without any help. I pulled out the trusty Southern Living cookbook from our aged wooden bookshelf, gathered the ingredients, preheated the oven, and got to work. By the time I was finished mixing and ready to scoop the dough, I noticed it looked different than usual. A little stickier, more liquidy, but hey, it had chocolate chips this time! Surely an improvement. I went for it. Eight minutes later, the oven beeped and I opened the door.

“MOM!!!!!!” I shouted. “What’s wrong with my cookies?!”

It was one ugly, transparent, rock hard sheet with sad little hills of chocolate chips.

“Did you add flour?” she lovingly asked.

“Of course I did!” I answered in an irritated frenzy.

Then I thought about her question and hesitantly looked over at the unopened container of flour on the counter.

“Well, maybe I didn’t…” I said, absolutely defeated by the science of baking. All I wanted was a big bowl of mom’s spaghetti and to never think about chocolate chips or flour again.

About that time, dad came in the back door after working in the field and saw the sheet of cookie paper cooling and his discouraged daughter on the verge of tears leaning against the counter. He nonchalantly broke off a piece and tasted it.

“Anna Claire, this is so good!” he said with lit-up eyes. “I love crispy cookies!”

My spirits were instantly lifted. Despite dad’s “preferences,” Mom helped me put flour in the dough and make the rest of the batch. I didn’t let any of my siblings lay a finger on dad’s special “crispy cookie.”

Needless to say, I rarely forgot to add ingredients after that incident, but when I do, I can count on my sweet mom to help me fix the problem and dear ole dad to eat my creations with a genuine smile on his face.

The good news? There isn’t flour OR chocolate chips in this delectable pie!IMG_20160523_210446809

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Recipe adapted from Lee Ann Fleming, Food and Wine

Something for Your Sunday – Chocolate Hazelnut Pie

Chocolate. Hazelnuts. Pie.

Chocolate Hazelnut Pie full

 

Good combination, right?

I thought so, since Nutella is my absolute favorite food in the world.

If you don’t like luscious gooey chocolatey nutty goodness, it may be best that you exit this post at this time.

The thing is, I ate all the Nutella a while back and haven’t gotten around to restocking the pantry with more.

But we did have hazelnuts and chocolate chips! It’s all about making do with what you have.

This recipe is an incredibly easy “one-bowl filling”.

I made my favorite Pate Brisee pie dough as the sturdy, buttery, and flaky foundation.

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And the best part is that the recipe makes two 9-inch dough rounds, so I just froze the other one for a rainy day.

The original recipe for this pie calls for bittersweet or dark chocolate chips, but I used semisweet and didn’t think it was overly sweet; however, milk chocolate would probably bring way too much sweetness to the table. Just go with whatever you have stashed away in your pantry and I’m sure it will be a success!

Chocolate Hazelnut Pie half

The best way I can describe this pie is like pecan pie’s sophisticated cousin. The chocolate chips melt with the corn syrup (the main ingredient in pecan pie) and the hazelnuts impart a nutty, earthy, almost exotic flavor. Make sure they’re still a little chunky when you add them to the filling. You want that crunchy texture.

I like this recipe because I prefer to save pecan pie for the fall, namely Thanksgiving. Well folks, as much as I would love for a cool breeze in this Southern heat, it is not happening any time soon. Although, I have been hearing Christmas music on the radio for the past couple days which blows my mind. I used to think that playing those songs before Thanksgiving was odd. They are taking “Christmas in July” to a whole new level.

Anyways, here is an all-year-round pie for you! You can listen to Michael Bublé Christmas while you’re eating a slice – you know you want to.

 

Chocolate Hazelnut Pie 1

Chocolate Hazelnut Pie 2

This one is going straight in my recipe box.

 

I’ll leave you on that note. Pie awaits me…

Chocolate Hazelnut Pie close up

Chocolate Hazelnut Pie

We’re Talking Dough.

Today, I want to talk about the best pie dough. Ever.

It is the first pie dough I ever made. It has never steered me wrong. I got a little experimental the past couple years, branching out and trying different recipes with more ingredients that supposedly make it better.

But no.

A word of advice: Simple is better.

In all aspects of life.

Thank you, Martha Stewart, for introducing me to pate brisee back when I was a freshman in high school.

All it consists of is butter, all-purpose flour (not fancy cake flour), salt, sugar, and ice water.

Easy enough?

A few things to remember when you’re making pastry dough:

1. Keep your ingredients COLD. Don’t go crazy and freeze your ingredients and equipment, but make sure that after you cube your butter you stick it back in the fridge to firm up. It’s important for a nice flaky crust that won’t fall apart!

2. I’m just going to say it, and some won’t agree — don’t use a food processor. I’ve used it before, and the crust turned out tough and chewy. I’m sure it can be done with great finesse (I’m talking to you, Martha) but it’s not the same. And maybe it’s just because my favorite part of making pie is making the crust by hand. It’s a truly calming experience. Even when it doesn’t turn out perfectly, it’s all about the love that you’re putting into it. Nobody cares what it looks like, they just want to eat it!

So how do you make it by hand? With a pastry cutter.

pastry cutter

It works by cutting the cold butter into the dry ingredients and blending them into a coarse mixture.

This, and only this, is the reason I have biceps. Most notably, a right bicep.

So if you missed a workout, make pie dough. Problem solver right here!

Back on track. After you cut the ingredients together, leaving pea-sized chunks, add your ice water one tablespoon at a time. Switch to a wooden spoon at this point, because you don’t want to break up any more butter.

3. And now, feel the dough. Be the dough. You are the dough. (Miss Congeniality quote there, sorry.) It should still look pretty dry, but hold together when you squeeze it. I went for a long time adding water until it looked like a perfectly uniform ball of dough. It was harder to roll out and wasn’t flaky. Don’t over-mix it once you reach the right consistency.

4. As far as chilling, I used to wrap the flat discs in plastic wrap, but it was extremely irritating trying to rip a piece off the roll with my floury, sticky hands. Now I use plastic sandwich bags. Life saver. Gather half the dough and gently press it together, forming a ball. Pop it into the bag and press down, forming about a 1/2 inch thick disk. I try to press together the cracked edges so it is easier to roll out. Make it look as uniform as possible. Chill the two disks for, say, 30 minutes. An hour would be nice, too.

5. Here comes the scary part for most of us – rolling out the dough. One remark I must make:

YOU ARE IN CONTROL. DO NOT LET THE DOUGH BE THE BOSS OF YOU. YOU ARE A COMPETENT HUMAN BEING.

Seriously, stand up straight, get the rolling pin in your hand, toss some flour on the board and go at it! Just DO it. If you act like you’re scared, the dough will sense it and it just won’t work.

Work quickly so it doesn’t warm up too much.

Lightly flour everything – the board, the rolling pin, the top of the dough, maybe even your cheeks if you want to really get into it.

Starting in the middle, roll away from you, then turn counterclockwise about 45 degrees, not back and forth. It’ll shrink if you do that. Constantly move it, rotate it, whatever you have to do. If the edges crack, patch it up with some water and extra dough. No big deal! I usually roll it until I can place my pie plate upside down over it and there is about 2 inches of extra dough around the sides.

Now using the rolling pin, transfer it to the pie plate by rolling the dough around it and unroll it into the pie plate. Don’t stretch the dough. Gently press the inside, making sure the dough is touching the plate. Now trim the edges with scissors or a knife, leaving about a 1 inch overhang. Tuck the edges underneath so that it is even with the edge of the plate. Now you can crimp using your fingers, a fork, a spoon, or just leave it plain. Let it chill in the fridge until you fill it. Or you can freeze them for up to one month. Just let them thaw in the fridge before you use them.

 

And there you have it! Pie dough made easy.

One more trick for you. I’m on a roll.

You’ll probably have a bit of leftover dough, but don’t throw it away! Roll it back out and cut into 1 inch strips, then place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake at about 400 degrees (or whatever temp your pie is baking at) until golden brown, about 5-10 minutes.

They are absolutely incredible. It really highlights the simplicity of the buttery, FLAKY crust and will hold you over until you can slice into the pie!

I hope these tips have encouraged you to try making your own pie dough or perfecting your own recipe. Most importantly, have fun while doing it!

Happy dough-making!

Pate Brisee

 

It’s Friday Pi Day!

Something worth celebrating.

Although I dislike despise math, I’ve always been partial to good ol’ 3.14 .

 

And yet another reason to celebrate–today is also Albert Einstein’s birthday! Go Al!

…and I also get to go swing dancing tonight! Today is a good day.

Also, The Pie Notes is featured on the Auburn Poultry Science website in the March student spotlight section. It was such an honor to be recognized! The article is so well written, and another Auburn blogger in the agricultural field, Anna Leigh Peek, was also featured. Her blog is so interesting!

Our spring break is sadly coming to a close, but it has been fun-filled…and sun-filled. We got to soak up some rays at the beach and do a little shopping. And it was also my fantastic friend, Frankie’s (aka Francesca, Frank-a-lank, Frankster, etc.) birthday this week!

frankie bday

We beep-bopped around town, ate way too much, and had too good of luck at the mall. We are dangerous in each others’ company. I love my Frank, though! As neighbors, we have some unforgettable memories, and I know we’ll continue to have a blast together!

And get ourselves in food-comas. It’s inevitable.

So today, I wanted a key lime pie.

There’s a couple reasons it’s a favorite of mine.

First, it was my Papa’s absolute favorite pie. I can hear him now saying, “I want a keeey liiime pieee.” He certainly had good taste in pies. I love my Papa so very much.

Second, back in 2010 my parents and I took a trip to Savannah and Charleston, which was definitely one of the best vacations I’ve ever had. We dined at Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House in Savannah once we arrived. With a view of the water and a laid-back atmosphere, we were in heaven. Dad loved the chargrilled oysters with a parmesan topping, and I ordered Paula Deen’s fried chicken, just in case we couldn’t make it to The Lady and Son’s the next day.

I simply had to have her chicken, and I was not disappointed. Her chicken was fried to perfection–crunchy, crispy, juicy, and tender. Maybe it had something to do with butter.

But the star of the show was dessert–key lime pie.

The graham cracker crust was filled with slivered almonds, and the tartness of the creamy filling coupled with the sweetened whipped cream sealed the deal for us!

The next day, we enjoyed Sunday brunch at The Lady and Son’s. It was everything I hoped it would be, and much more.

Thank you for your wonderful Southern food, Paula!

Charleston was so rich with history and culture.

 

Live oaks, southern drawls, seafood…can’t beat it.

I would love to revisit those cities and explore a bit more!

Moving on from my reminiscing session, here is a refreshing key lime pie that I whipped up in just a few minutes. Seriously easy to make.

key lime pie angle

And in honor of National Pi Day….

mini key lime pi pie

Mini “Pi” Pie

Mom picked up a few of these mini pie plates at TJ Maxx for me. So adorable!

Here’s the simple and delectable recipe. Enjoy your weekend!

Key Lime Pie with Almond Graham Cracker Crust

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