The Pie Notes

A celebration of life with a touch of sweetness

Tag: baking

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 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

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