this is the maple-pecan butternut squash pie from week #10 as baked by aimee. to see the full recipe, follow this link. and remember, if you bake one, send me the photo-this is proof that i will post it!
wow-the final pie. how quickly the year went. well, now what? don’t know yet but i will be sure to do something crazy, something inappropriate, something stupid and who knows what else but in the mean time, i’ve got some splaining to do…
i decided to have some fun on thanksgiving and all at the expense of my family and guests. they were kind enough to play along-some more than others (kids-what are you gonna do with them?) and they were served a pie and told to guess what i made it from. it kinda looked like it could be some sort of squash pie but alas, it wasn’t…only one of our guests was able to figure it out-and he nailed it!
the inspiration for this pie came from my job. every day, or at least it seems like every day, i partially bake pie shells for use in my pie recipes. to do this, i line each pie shell with a restaurant sized coffee filter and fill that with pinto beans. the beans act as a weight and keep the crust from puffing up. the running joke is that the bean pies must be popular since i bake so many…yes, those are crickets chirping-i don’t find the joke very funny either; after hearing it on a nearly daily basis for 7 years, can you blame me? so anyway, what was funny though was the day one of my latino coworkers had the realization that if she bakes those bean pies every day, they must taste good-he then proceeded to taste some of the beans. did i mention that i reuse the beans, a lot, until they stink so bad that i replace them? we never did talk about those beans he tasted and trust me, he never tasted another. but anyway, i came across a recipe for navy bean pie in an old farm journal cookbook and decided to give it a try but not tell anyone what was in the filling.
a few notes, first of all, anytime i am going to fill a pie shell with a custard filling, i partially bake it to be sure that the bottom crust is baked and not gummy when the pie filling is finished baking. the recipe calls for evaporated milk which is something i never use and i have found that half and half is a perfect substitution. to save time, i used canned beans that were drained and rinsed and then pureed in a food processor.
so it was the week before thanksgiving and all through the house…wait, wrong story…well, it was the week before thanksgiving and i got completely derailed from my plan of posting this before the holiday. it ultimately ended up being done in time for thanksgiving but sadly, not in time for anyone to see and attempt it. hopefully, you will forgive me and then run out and buy the ingredients to try and bake one for the next big holiday celebration.
remember last year’s big thing-cherpumple cakes? when i saw them posted all over the internet, i wanted to try one. then i saw the recipe-frozen pies and cake mix…major disappointment! no time to play with that many scratch recipes this week. instead i decided to bake my own version based on things my family enjoys. there was one holiday season that after baking about a bejillion pies in the cafe, i refused to make any for our annual thanksgiving trash can turkey extravaganza. needless to say, even though they enjoyed the pumpkin cheesecake i baked, they missed having a pie on the table. this year i decided to combine two pies with a cheesecake and see what would happen.
word of warning, this is not a quick dessert. to do it right, right meaning so that it doesn’t fall apart, it will take you more than a day to complete, possibly 2 to 3 evenings if you have limited time to work on it. another important note, i never use springform pans or a water bath to bake cheesecakes!!! this recipe uses heavy gauge cake pans and if you follow the directions, the cake will work just fine. you may even want to consider baking your cheesecakes in a cake pan all the time; it is so much easier to use than a springform pan and a water bath!
first step was to make half of a pecan pie in a 6″ cake pan. it was so cute! after baking it, i chilled it completely so that i could take it out of the pan without destroying it. by gently warming the bottom over very low heat on the stove, i was able to turn the cold pecan pie out in one piece. since the crust stood a little taller than the filling and got a little dark, i carefully cut it off using a serrated knife.
the cheesecake filling was quickly assembled in the food processor. the cookie crust was pressed into a 10″ cake pan. i set the pecan pie in the center of the crust and carefully ladled in the cheesecake filling. it was baked and then completely chilled overnight before i set out to make the turtle pie topping.
the cheesecake is removed from the pan using the same method as the pecan pie. cover a flat platter with plastic wrap and lightly spray it with pan spray. gently warm the bottom of the cake pan, place the prepared platter upside-down over the cheesecake and invert it. the cheesecake should slowly slide out of the pan. then you can place your serving plate onto the bottom of the cake and invert it again. sounds tricky but it works!
neatly spread the hot caramel over the cheesecake portion of the cake. spread it out evenly. then back into the fridge to chill it so the chocolate topping can go on. the chocolate topping is made very quickly in the microwave and is easily applied to the pie with a piping bag.
1 (14) ounce can sweetened condensed milk
heat the oven to 350. pour the sweetened condensed milk into a small covered casserole dish. place the dish in a pan of water so that the water comes up to the same height as the milk. carefully place in the oven and bake. every 30 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and whisk the milk completely to ensure even caramelization. this will take about 2 hours and during that last 30 minutes, you may have to do this a little more often to prevent scorching. using the photos above as a guide, top the cheesecake portion (after you have taken the cake out of the pan!!!) with the caramel. chill completely before topping it with the chocolate mixture.
and now that my food coma is lifting, bake one and send me a photo-i will post it here! firstname.lastname@example.org
pie # 50…have to let that sink in for a minute. i realize that it is a little late in being posted but that couldn’t be avoided-i lost 3 weeks when the house was robbed and i am still trying to get back to normal, don’t know if i ever will. last two pies will be part of our trashcan thanksgiving extravaganza so look for them this week.
anyway, since the kids are both out of the house for the foreseeable future, my husband and i have been able to find the bottom shelf of the pantry closet as well as see to the back of it. amazing what has been lurking in there. i found two boxes of ibarra chocolate and the unopened box of cinnamon toast crunch cereal that i purchased for a visiting 6 year old-had no idea that a 6 year old wouldn’t like cereal that was sweet. no matter, it makes a fantastic crust for a no bake tart.
to make the crust, i crushed the cereal after i measured it. don’t turn it into a powder but rather a collection of crumbs that are not completely uniform in size. to punch up the almond flavor, i toasted some almonds in a skillet on the stove so the tart was truly a no-bake tart!
when apples come into season, i love to make applesauce. the rest of the time, i indulge in apple butter-i love the spicy flavor. linzer tarts have always been a favorite of mine. the spicy, nutty dough is so rich and the tartness of the traditional raspberry filling go so well together. since it is definitely fall, i decided to left these two favorite things collide and see what came of it.
i took a traditional linzer tart dough and used some walnuts in it. the tart shell was filled with purchased apple butter, topped with a lattice and baked until golden brown. the filling was slightly tangy and a perfect compliment to the rich walnut dough. since the apple butter is the predominant flavor , use a good one that you like, either purchased or home made.
and so it starts-the catching up that is. so many pies, so little time to spend here sharing them. first, let me say that it is wonderful to be able to share those pies. after 3 weeks of wallowing in the whole robbery drama, i am now connected and secured but damn, i’m still mad! i lost 10,000 photos and tons of files as well as one fantastic camera. but, i need to move on…
so, first up is a personal favorite, shoo fly pie. it even comes with its own catchy little song, “shoo fly, don’t bother me! shoo fly, don’t bother me…” just don’t ask me to sing that too you. the inspiration was a trip to pennsylvania and a chance to roam antique stores with my mom. i was up there to appear on qvc and if you like, you can watch my appearance on “in the kitchen with david” here. what an amazing experience that was and david is every bit as nice and friendly as he seems on tv. but, i digress, while out hunting with mom, i spied a nifty little pie dish and it came with a recipe for shoo fly pie-i had to give it a try.
as you can see, there aren’t any clear directions and the amounts are a bit sketchy too. but i managed to figure it out and forged ahead with the plans. something so simple, so easy and believe it or not, quite tasty. however, being in the south, i used sorghum rather than molasses and for anyone who wants to make this, i suggest you do the same if you can find it.
in my previous post, i baked a tart with my daughter alix; a sort of all growed up/movin out on my own party for the two of us. this week, i was given the opportunity to do the same with my daughter devon. you see, she too has moved out and is now in california where she will be attending school. it was important to me to take the time to teach each of them a little about baking with the hope that they will take this new skill and use it to make their lives a little sweeter. and in devon’s case, it was a chance to pass a baton; apple pie is my father in laws favorite pie and since she is now living with my in laws, it is something that she can make for him.
no matter what, i enjoyed every minute of baking with my daughters and cannot wait for the next chance to do so. for now, i am adjusting to an empty nest and a husband who works all different shifts; in other words, i am spending a lot of time by myself. it may be a little quiet here but it gives me a chance to do all the things that a book release requires. my book was released the first week of september and it has been a little hectic. since the book is out there, i decided to use my recipe for apple pie as this weeks challenge.