Monday, August 15, 2011

Worth the Wait Pie

A few weeks ago I received a long-awaited treasure. I had ordered a beautiful, pyrex pie plate with silicone handles. I ordered the plate in May and had it shipped to a friend of a friend who was coming to Cambodia in June. But, the pie plate did not make the cut when all the packing took place. So, I had to wait another month to receive my beautiful pie plate until another team from my friend's church made the long flight across the ocean.
And, it was totally worth the wait to be able to make this pie!!!

Ingredients
1 red bell pepper
1 small onion, chopped
2 c. (ish) fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 c. shredded swiss cheese
2 eggs
1 c. plain yogurt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
olive oil

Directions
1. Cut the red bell pepper into bit strips and put on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Using your finger rub a very small amount of olive oil on the skin of each section.
2. Place the peppers under the broiler in the oven. Leave under the heat until the skins blister and are slightly black.
3. Remove the peppers from the oven and fold up in the foil for 5-10 minutes. Then, unfold the foil and peel the skins off the peppers. Set aside.

4. Make your Easy Peasy Pie Crust. Prick several times with a fork and bake in preheated 400F oven for about 15 minutes. Set aside. Turn oven down to 350F.

5. In a large skillet, saute chopped onion in a bit of olive oil.
6. When the onion is softened, add the chopped spinach. Saute until spinach is just wilted.
7. Add roasted red pepper, and cook maybe 1-2 minutes more.
8. Meanwhile, combine eggs, yogurt, and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine well.
9. Add cheese and spinach/pepper mixture. Stir to combine.
10. Pour into prepared pie crust.
11. Bake at 350F for about 40 minutes, or until center is set.
Verdict
This was so totally worth the wait. It was delicious!!! I am not normally a fan of swiss cheese, but it was perfect with this combination. The yogurt gave it a really creamy texture. The combination of the roasted red pepper and the spinach was really great. I am normally a big fan of extra seasoning, but this one really didn't need anything extra. (Though the nutmeg is a really good touch for bringing out the flavors.) And, it was really pretty, too.
Now, if you do not want to take the time to roast your own peppers, you could certainly by roasted peppers and just use those. I cannot find such things in Cambodia, so I have to make my own. And, they really are easy to make if you want to attempt the task! They are so worth it...and they are great in many other recipes, too. Trust me, it is worth the time and worth the wait!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Stay Another Day Pie

A week ago my grandpa and my great aunt Mary came to visit us. Grandpa actually came to attend the World Pork Expo, which happens to be in Des Moines, but since we are so close he stayed at our place. Aunt Mary came along for the ride, though she was not so enthusiastic about the World Pork Expo and opted to hang out at our house instead. Grandpa wanted to leave in the late afternoon on Saturday, but I hoped to convince him to stay until Sunday. And I know his weakness...pie and pork chops! I promised grilled pork chops and a pie for dessert if they would stay another day.

It worked! :-) Love you, Grandpa!!!!

Ingredients:


1 Easy Peasy Pie Crust
3/4 cup sugar (or 1 cup if your berries don't already have sugar in them)
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup vanilla yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups blackberries
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 Tbls butter softened

Directions:

1. Make your Easy Peasy Pie crust. Set it aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Mix sugar, eggs, sour cream, yogurt, and vanilla until smooth. Fold in blackberries.


3. Spoon into pie crust.


4. Bake 30-40 minutes or until set in the middle. Combine flour, brown sugar, and butter until crumbly. Sprinkle on the top of the pie. Bake 10 more minutes.


5. When crumbles are brown, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.


Verdict:


Confession. The recipe I found online called for 1 and 1/3 cup of sour cream, but I didn't have enough and decided to supplement with yogurt. It was AMAZING! I totally found a secret ingredient! :-) And now you know too!


Aunt Mary kept telling me that I should enter this pie in the fair because it would win the blue ribbon. Grandpa told me my pie crust was better than the crust from local pie shop he always passes on his way to Indianapolis. (Thanks, Grandpa! That means a lot coming from a pie connoisseur such as yourself!!) :-)


This pie was delicious and so, so simple to make! I will be making this one again, for sure!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Super Summer Pie

This is THE perfect pie for summer. Blueberries and ice cream. It does not get much better than that. You can also find the recipe to this amazing pie here.

Ingredients:

3 cups blueberries (I used frozen)
1/3 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 tsp cornstarch
pinch of salt
zest of 1 lemon
juice of half a lemon
pinch of nutmeg
1 quart vanilla ice cream
(this photo also shows sour cream and whipped cream, I did not use these, but they are in the original recipe)

Directions:

1. Make your No Flour? No Problem Pie Crust. Cool completely.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. In a saucepan, combine blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, salt, lemon zest, lemon juice, and nutmeg. Stir to blend. Cook and stir until slightly thickened. Set aside to cool (I put mine in the fridge for awhile).


4. Transfer ice cream to a mixing bowl. Put in the fridge for 30-40 minutes or until soft enough to spread. Spoon half into prepared crust. Top with 3/4 cup of blueberry sauce.



5. Spread remaining ice cream on top.

6. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer overnight.

7. Slice and serve drizzled with remaining warmed blueberry sauce.


The Verdict:


This pie is absolutely AMAZING!!! It really is a SUPER Summer pie! The ice cream step proved to be a tricky step for me. I didn't let the ice cream soften long enough, so the top layer ended up smeared with blueberries. I actually thought it ended up kind of pretty. We devoured this pie and enjoyed every bit. Delicious!!

No Flour? No Problem Pie Crust

Our wonderful friend Erika found a recipe for blueberry ice cream pie with an almond crust. Of course, when she visited us a couple of weekends ago, we had to make this pie! Doesn't it just sound amazing? Yes, it was as amazing as it sounds! I was especially intrigued by the almond crust because it didn't have any flour in it!



Ingredients:




1 and 1/2 cups slivered almonds

2 Tbsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

3 Tbsp melted butter



Directions:


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In food processor, combine almonds, brown sugar, and salt

2. Grind until coarsely ground.


3. Move almonds to another bowl and add the melted butter. Stir until well combined.


4. Put into a pie plate. Press with your fingers to evenly spread on the bottom and up the sides of your pie pan.


5. Bake 8-12 minutes until lightly golden. Allow to completely cool on a wire rack.


The Verdict:


This pie crust is AMAZING! It is a wonderful alternative to a graham cracker crust (and gluten free!). I will definitely be using this pie crust in future recipes. Delicious!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Simply Irresistible Pie

My good friend, Melissa of Free From the Gluten that Binds, recently agreed to become our second guest blogger here at Pie Inspired! She and her family recently visited us and she brought along this gluten free recipe for French Silk Pie with Free From the Gluten that Binds pie crust. Of course we had to give it a try! Who says you can't make amazing gluten free pie?? Not me and here is the recipe to prove it!!! :-)

Ingredients:
(makes 2 pies)

1-1/2 C granulated sugar
1 t salt
2 (13 oz) cans evaporated milk
2-2/3 C water
2/3 C cornstarch
6 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
4 t vanilla
Whipped cream/mini chocolate chips (optional, for topping)

Directions:

1. Make your Free From the Gluten that Binds pie crusts. Set aside.

2. In a large saucepan, combine sugar, salt, evaporated milk, water, and cornstarch; stir mixture vigorously with a fork to prevent the cornstarch from clumping. Heat mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches a boil and thickens.

3. Reduce heat to low and add chocolate. Stir quickly until chocolate melts. Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla.


4. Pour filling into prepared crusts.


5. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before adding toppings and serving.


The Verdict:

Oh my goodness! Gluten free is DELICIOUS! :-) This pie was silky and creamy and chocolaty. Wonderful. The Free From the Gluten that Binds pie crust tasted like a real graham cracker crust (though the consistency was different--more like regular pie crust-only denser). I highly recommend this pie for all of you out there who are cutting out gluten. Really, really good!


Oh and you should head over to Melissa's blog, Free from the gluten that binds, for lots and lots of other yummy gluten free recipes as well! Yum!

Free From the Gluten that Binds Pie Crust

I am excited to introduce our second ever guest blogger, my friend Melissa of the blog Free From the Gluten that Binds. She and her family have gone completely gluten free in their diet. They recently visited us for a long weekend, and during their stay we went gluten free as well. Just because you can't have gluten, doesn't mean you can't have pie-and very, very, VERY yummy pie at that! :-) We made this gluten free 'graham cracker' crust and it was amazing!

Ingredients:

(makes 2 crusts)

Dry Ingredients:
1-1/2 C brown rice flour
1/2 C cornstarch
1/3 C packed brown sugar
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt

Wet ingredients:
5 T cold butter
6 T milk
3T honey

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Place dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor; pulse to combine. Add the butter; pulse until coarse. No large pieces of butter should remain. Add milk and honey. Pulse until a dough forms.

3. Form into 2 balls; one ball per pie pan. Using your fingers, spread each ball out evenly to cover the bottom and sides of each ungreased pie pan. Prick with fork several times.

4. Bake for 15 min.s, or until evenly browned.

5. Remove from pan and allow to cool on wire rack.



The Verdict:

This pie crust was delicious! It actually tasted just like a graham cracker crust! The dough was a little sticky to work with (and did not look at all like a graham cracker crust), but the taste was amazing! Two thumbs up from all taste testers surveyed! :-)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Missionary Budget Pie

Ok, so after an extended absence, I am back. I made pie. I took pictures. I am blogging. I apologize for not being better about making pie, but it is not as easy to make pie in Cambodia as one might imagine. I am calling this pie "Missionary Budget Pie," but it is certainly not the cheapest meal that we could make. I do think it is one of the cheaper options for an American-style meal, though. So, here it is. And, I will tell you how I made it...and then give you lazy American substitutes that are affordable in America but not Cambodia.

Ingredients
1 Easy Peasy Pie Crust (If you don't have a food processor, you can use the same recipe, just use a fork to cut in the shortening and form the dough into a ball yourself. A little extra water may be necessary.)
3 cups-ish mashed potatoes
1 to 1-1/4 c. milk
1 cube bouillon
3 to 3-1/2 Tbsp. flour
2-ish Tbsp. butter or margarine
2-ish c. mixed vegetables, chopped (carrot, green beans, peas, corn, onion)
bay leaf
salt, pepper, & rosemary, to taste
(Not all ingredients are pictured. Sorry!)

And, I want to note that if you can pull off to the side of the road and get some corn on the way home, that would really be best.
This gentleman would be happy to accommodate you, I am sure.

Ok, I will be serious now.

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Prepare 1 Easy Peasy Pie Crust.

3. Make your mashed potatoes. (I used 3 medium to large size potatoes. Peel and boil them until soft. Mash with a fork, adding milk and butter until a good consistency. Season to taste.)

4. In a large saucepan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Saute onions for about a minute. Add other uncooked or frozen vegetables with enough water to cover. (I didn't put the corn in because it was already cooked.)
5. Boil vegetables for about 5 minutes, just enough to soften slightly but have them still be crisp.

6. In another saucepan, melt butter.
7. Add the flour and make a paste.

8. Stir in the milk and bouillon.
9. Stir constantly over medium heat, adding seasonings, until thick.
10. Drain vegetables. Add gravy to vegetables and stir to coat vegetables.
11. Pour vegetable mixture into prepared pie crust.

12. Dollop mashed potatoes on top of vegetable mixture.
13. Spread potatoes to cover the full surface and seal all the edges.
14. Bake for approximately 30 minutes in preheated oven, or until potatoes begin to brown. (You could turn on the broiler for the last minute or two of cooking if you want your potatoes really brown.)
15. Let cool for a few minutes. Slice and serve!
The Verdict
This is Midwestern cooking, friends. It was delicious. It was easy. It was hearty. It would be great for a cold, blustery day, even though my roommate and I ate it on a hot, humid day. There are a few things I would do differently next time. The crust was still a bit gooey in the middle, so next time I would pre-bake my crust for about 10-15 minutes before putting in the filling. I also think I would broil it for a minute or two at the end to get the potatoes more brown and crisp on top, but that is totally a personal preference. As far as substitutes to make this easier and faster, you could definitely use a bag of frozen mixed vegetables. I would recommend thawing them in the microwave, which I don't have, and draining off all the excess water. Instead of making your own gravy/sauce, you could use a can of creamed soup. I think I would go with cream of celery, but you could really use anything you wanted. You could also add meat to this. I didn't because neither my roommate nor I are big meat-eaters. But, I think it would be good with shredded chicken or turkey if your family is carnivorous.