sneak peak

7 Dec

hi friends,
well it’s been quite a busy last couple of weeks and this one is no different. well, it’s a little different. this weekend two very dear and talented friends of mine are getting hitched! one miss amy seeley and mr. christopher messenger (go check them out!) have given me the humbling opportunity to bake pies for their small, intimate wedding. i am beyond honored that they picked me! i’m making several different pies for their day so today i thought i would share a little peak into what i’m baking up for them!
photo 1(1)
today-spiced citrus pear pie.

pear makes a wonderful winter pie. it’s flavor is delicate enough that it pairs well with lots of things without tasting like too much is going on. and the skin is soft enough that you don’t have to peal all of the fruit and adds a little more structure to the filling.

so make this pie this weekend and have it with a glass of champagne and toast to chris and amy! may their happiness last lifetimes.

piespiced citrus pear pie:

double crust recipe of ‘a day for pie’ crust.

7 cups of sliced pears. (this usually is about 6 medium sized pears and peal only half of them. i used anjou but really any kind will do.)
1/3 cup sugar
zest of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
2 dashes of nutmeg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch

milk or an egg for brushing on top for an extra pretty crust

preheat oven to 400. prepare your crust as usual. break into two even sized balls and roll them out. place one in the pie dish and save the other to place over top of the filling. pop this in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. peal half of the pears and then slice them all and put into a large mixing bowl. add sugar, zest, spices, and juices. let sit for 5-10 minutes to let the juices ruminate. mix cornstarch in well and pour into dish. cover with the top crust. dip your fingers into water and pinch the crusts together. cut a few slits in the top crust for ventilation. make sure you cut some slits along the edges so you can see when the juices are nice and thick and bubbly. brush top with milk or egg wash and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. put into preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. turn oven down to 375 F rotate pie 180 and bake for an additional 30 minutes or until you can see that the juices are thick and bubbly.

*this tastes even better on snowy mornings in front of a glowing christmas tree. but most things do, i guess.


just add maple….

16 Nov

well it’s friday already. how did that happen?! i baked two different versions of a pie this week and neither turned out post worthy. frustrating. so i am going to post a delicious little tweak on an all time favorite of mine-maple buttermilk pie.
guys- just when you think buttermilk pie couldn’t get any better, add some maple syrup to it and your life will be changed. all you need to do is follow the recipe here for buttermilk pie, only take out 1/2 cup sugar and replace it with maple syrup and add 2 tablespoons more of flour and a 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. bake as usual and just try to stop yourself from eating the whole thing in one sitting. seriously. stop. you will feel sick. but do eat it for breakfast. i did. several times.

also, on this week before thanksgiving some of you may be planning ahead and trying to do as much food prep as possible before your big turkey dinner. well, yesterday i helped a friend of mine prep pies and freeze them so thanksgiving day all she has to do is pop those babies in the oven and voila! homemade pies! we prepped pumpkin and pecan pies. we made them just as you normally would, only when the time came to bake them we covered them tightly in plastic wrap and put them in the freezer. she (or you, if you decided to freeze your pies early) will just need to bake them a bit longer than usual to cook them all the way through. easy as pie.
cooks illustrated said we could (instructions toward the end) so i trust them. also, that recipe for apple pie from cooks illustrated is a WONDERFUL choice of pie to serve on thursday. i plan to bake my pecan pie and pumpkin parsnip pie.

on this glorious holiday of thankfulness and pie, what do you plan to make?

sweet potato pie

9 Nov

thanksgiving is literally less than 2 weeks away. this freaks me out! this means that it’s also almost christmas and then it’s 2013. holy cow these last two months of the year go so quickly. with all of our family coming to us this year there is A LOT to be done before things are in full swing. there’s menu planning, shopping, cleaning, decorating, the list goes on. i feel the procrastinator in me welling up. planning well for these last two months of the year stresses me out so instead of sitting down with a calendar, a pen and paper i’m totally avoiding the whole thing. so yesterday i baked this pie. and with the roasting, then the mashing and the mixing and the eating it takes for this pie i just didn’t have enough time left to plan out the rest of this crazy holiday season. shucks. guess i’ll have to do it today….or just bake more pie. so if you need help avoiding responsibility this pie is perfect!

sweet potato pie:
adapted from joy the baker

use one a day for pie pie crust in a 9 1/2″ pie dish


2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla

wrap two medium sweet potatoes in foil and bake in a 415 F oven for 1 hour and 15 min or until VERY soft.
you should be able to squish these easily. remove from oven and let cool. (i guess during this step i could have planned, and cleaned and blah blah blah but that’s no fun)

when cool enough to handle, peel potatoes. this is super easy you can literally just pull the skin off if they’re mushy enough. mash potatoes thoroughly with a potato masher or a whisk. there should be NO lumps.

measure 2 cups and put in a medium sized pot with the packed brown sugar, all of the spices, salt,  the melted 1/2 stick butter, and  half of the cream. cook on low flame for about 5 minutes, whipping with a wire whisk until butter and brown sugar are melted down and mixture is well blended, smooth and starts to bubble. remove from fire and let cool.

in a medium sized bowl, beat the eggs and add the rest of the cream, the granulated sugar and vanilla to the eggs and continue beating until creamy. pour the cooled sweet potato mixture from pot into a large bowl. stir  in the egg mixture. blend thoroughly with a whisk and pour into pie crust and bake or refrigerate mixture overnight if you’re doing some prep before thanksgiving day (how responsible of you. can you teach me?)

bake pie in a 350F oven for 45-50 minutes or until the filling has set and the center jiggles only slightly. let cool to room temp or slightly warmer or tent with foil and refrigerate and serve cold. serve with a bit of whipped cream. DE-lish.

brown sugar maple pecan pie

2 Nov

pecan pie. it’s one of my favorites but i’ve always been afraid to make it. when it comes out of the oven it looks so elegant like it took 1000 tiny grandmas to perfect each one. it seems intimidating with all the pecan floating perfectly on the top and the warm gooey filling underneath. yum and yikes. but guess what? it’s totally easy. like one of the easiest pies i’ve ever made. and you don’t even have to use those ooky syrups that usually go into them-yet another point for the ‘not actually scary’ count.
i kinda hate the idea of corn syrup, or weird kinds of milk-like condensed or evaporated so i try to avoid them as much as possible when i bake. so this pecan pie is sans weird goo and con lots of brown sugar, maple syrup and scotch! yep. scotch. the scotch isn’t necessary but it makes it extra yummy.

my husband drinks scotch. i think it’s really manly of him to do so. i try to love it. and so i drink it, with an ice cube because i’m not as manly as he. but i also bake with it. it makes this pecan pie feel a little sexier…but not sexy like the leg lamp in the christmas story…sexy like….a lumberjack (shhh- just go with it).

scandalous pecan pie (but not really that scandalous)

one ‘adayforpie’ pie crust

1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup melted butter
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/5 tablespoon scotch (optional. could also be replaced with bourbon or whiskey)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
a dash of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups pecan halves

preheat oven to 350 F. place your pie shell into a pie dish and refrigerate until filling is ready.
mix the sugar, syrup, butter, eggs, vanilla, scotch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt into a medium sized mixing bowl until well combined. stir in pecans and pour into pie shell. bake for 40-45 minutes or until center of filling is set. cool for 2-4 hours before serving and serve with just barely sweetened whipped cream…and maybe a glass of scotch too 🙂
this recipe yields a pretty sweet pie. if you want to cut the sweetness just a tad replace the 1/2 maple syrup with 1/2 brown sugar (making it 2 cups brown sugar in total). maybe also add another 1/2 tablespoon of scotch (or bourbon) to make up for the lack of liquid. either way you do it you’ll get a delicious pie. promise.

apple pie

18 Oct

apple pie and i have a history. it’s a bit messy. almost two and a half years ago my son was born. while this is typically the happiest day of any parent’s life, shepherd’s birth was a little scary. he was born 7 weeks early and spent the first two months of his life in the hospital. while this in and of itself was beyond difficult, many other parts of  our lives were shaken and pretty crumbly. to put it briefly- i was in a dark place. depressed. for a good long while. and i tried baking to make myself feel better. it had always worked in the past so, why not now? but i burned everything, or under cooked it or forgot obvious ingredients like baking soda yielding utterly flat cookies, or pathetic cakes, or turned my last apple pie into applesauce that tasted horrible. i tried to enter a pie into the state fair for one last ditch effort. i thought maybe some steak in my efforts to bake a pie that wasn’t disgusting would help knock me out of my funk. so i baked a bunch of pies and did a pie tasting and every.single.pie. was a bust. like gross. the fruit was super mushy, or not sweet enough or the crust was off or, made me wish i was eating worms instead, the list goes on. it was bad. so i swore off of baking pies in a pity party cluster. and i haven’t even attempted an apple pie since then. shepherd got out of the hospital and fast forward through a lot of other super hard junk and we moved up here to kansas city. and by god’s grace life really changed. the clouds parted and we all started to feel like ourselves again.  i started baking again, stopped rendering things inedible and then, with much trepidation i attempted the apple hand pies just a few weeks ago. they worked! no mush! no burning! no inedibleness! huzzah! had the curse been broken from me and the dreaded apple pie?! so tried it. i baked my first apple pie in two and a half years. and guys. this apple pie was so good for my soul in so many ways. it was delicious. it smelled perfect. the crust was gorgeous and the apples were the right amount of crisp and soft. the flavor was right. i feel now like i’m back in action! i can now call myself a pie baker again and not feel like i’m lying. this apple pie healed a multitude of wounds, culinary and otherwise. so here’s my recipe. now getting to baking.

use the “a day for pie” pie crust- but double it. this pie has a pretty lattice top crust

7 cups pealed, cored and sliced apples. slice the apples about 1/4″ thick
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup sugar
zest of 1/2 lemon
juice of one lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons of butter sliced into several pieces
1 egg or some milk for a little wash to brush on top to make it pretty and golden.

peal, core, and slice your apples. put them in a large mixing bowl and add spices, sugar, zest and juice and let sit for 10-15 minutes to create all the lovely juices that make pie wonderful. preheat the oven for 400 F

while the apples are juicing, divide your prepared pie crust into two parts- one slightly larger than the other. roll out the larger and place it in the pie dish. next, roll out the smaller one into a 13×18 rectangle and cut into 12 1″ strips (i like to use this). pour apples into dish and cover with butter slices.

now for the lattice top-it sounds difficult but once you start it’s super easy so bear with me.
look at that photo and you’ll see that there are vertical strips and horizontal strips. take 6 -7 strips of dough and place vertically on top of the apples. now gently fold every other strip down and place one of the remaining strips horizontally across the unfolded ones at the top. then take the folded strips and lay them back down over the new strip. then take the vertical ones you didn’t fold and fold them up now and add another strip and then fold them down and continue doing this until you’ve used all your stripes and covered the whole pie. in the photo i am about 1/3 of the way done.
now with wet finger tips pinch the ends to the bottom crust and remove any over hanging pieces.

brush with an egg wash (one beaten egg with a bit of water-don’t use all of it, just enough to cover all the dough) or milk and then dust with sugar. pop into a 400 F oven for 30 minutes then decrease the temperature to 375 F for a remaining 30-35 minutes or until the juices are thick and bubbling around the edges . remove from oven and let cool for at least one hour before serving.

eat it for all meals of the day. and share it with your friends because it’s delicious and not gelatinous and rejoice that it’s not two years ago. halleluiah!

pumpkin parsnip pie

12 Oct

guys. today was quite a day. it started wonderfully and slowly. my little guy slept in until 9! i got to lay in bed and read for a whole hour! it felt like vacation.  then he woke up and the cold he’s been fighting took over his brain and mutated him into a crazy person. he spent most of his waking hours angry or in time out, being angry. by the time his early bed time came all i wanted was a happy piece of this pie. and thanks to some of my favorite friends up the the street i now also have a very delicious adult beverage to accompany it.
it’s not your average pumpkin pie. the parsnip cuts the sweetness just a little but adds a warm depth, and with some brandied maple whipped cream this little treat is off the chain! it tastes good with pretty much anything and if you eat it on the porch with a hot cup of anything you will feel like it’s vacation again…even if it’s thursday night, vacation is really far away and stupid wordpress just deleted your blog post just as you were about to hit publish…i might need some more pie.

pumpkin parsnip pie:

one recipe for ‘a day for pie’s’ crust…only add a dash of nutmeg and cardamom to the dry ingredients.


3 large eggs
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup parsnip

first pre-bake the crust. preheat oven to 400 F. make, roll, and pop crust into pan. line it with tin foil and fill with dry beans (or pie weights if you’re fancy). bake for 15 minutes then remove the foil and beans and reduce oven temp to 375 F and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes. remove from oven and set aside.

next peel, slice and steam the parsnips until very soft. then puree until completely smooth. measure out 1/2 cup. (one large parsnip should do the trick)

next beat eggs slightly in a medium mixing bowl and then whisk in the cream, maple syrup, and vanilla. then add the brown sugar, spices, flour, and salt whisking in well. mix in the pumpkin and parsnip (watching for chunks of parsnip. remove them if you find any) until fully combined and pour into the prepared pie shell.
bake at 350 F for 50-55 minutes, rotating mid-way through for even baking. pie will be ready when the middle is set (doesn’t slosh when moved).

while the pie is baking make the whipped cream

 brandied maple whipped cream:

ok guys, honestly i don’t measure for this. i totally wing it on this one (but if this stresses you out, i have guesstimated some measurements below). i simply pour what looks like enough whipping cream for what i need into a small bowl (keeping in mind that it almost triples in volume when whipped) and then i add about half a “glug” of brandy and slightly more maple syrup and then just the tiniest bit of vanilla. with an electric mixer whip for a few minutes until thick. watch carefully as your cream thickens. if you whip it for too long it will begin to form chunks and that just ain’t pretty folks!

measurements for the structured:
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
2-3 teaspoons brandy
1-1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

when pie is ready, remove from oven and let cool for 20-30 min. serve with whipped cream and a little sprinkle of cinnamon. keep fresh in the fridge for up to 3 days.

pie, etc.

5 Oct

                                                                                                    *not all tissues shown*

well it seems the sick germs that were floating around the air here in kc landed on my face. i am sick. so there will be no pie baking this week. however, i will not leave you with nothing to read! here are a few links to some of the things that make me the most excited about pie, and food, and fall.

pie related:

ken haedrich is the boss of pie. go here and learn great things. then come back here because i love you. and you love me too…right?
this lady gets the heart of pie. and i love her. read about her.
ezra pound cake dominates this chocolate pecan bourbon pie. yes. that’s right. i said chocolate pecan bourbon pie. just what you need on this cold day!
my favorite quiche recipe ever by joy the baker. i add a little bit of green onion even. yum.

not pie related (but still delicious):

my favorite fall meal. ever. i seriously count the days until i can eat this. had it tonight. perfect.
honey roasted pears from sprouted kitchen. you won’t regret it.

do you have any happy weekend plans? my little guy has gotten his very first birthday party invitation and we’re going on saturday. i WILL be better be then.