The very best combination

Blueberries and lemon. They get me every single time. I mean really. Some combinations are just meant to be and let me be clear here, there is NOTHING better than chocolate but lemon and blueberries are a very close second. While I’ve made many blueberry pies (and even received a first place ribbon at the county fair, but no one is bragging [except me]). We mounted this attack on the blueberry pie as a practice run prior to the holiday of all holidays, Thanksgiving.

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This filling recipe comes out of the Better Home and Gardens New Cook Book. They have a neat table that simply outlines the recommended amount of flour and sugar for different kinds of berries and fruit. I find it very handy. I usually add a couple of teaspoons of lemon zest to my berry pies (and their blueberry pie recipe has lemon zest in it). To bump up the lemony flavor in this pie, we also did a lemon whipped cream to top our individual slices.

Frozen fruit should be allowed to thaw slightly before you incorporate everything. This usually takes less then an hour. Mix all of your thickener (flour) and sweetener (sugar) and lemon zest together in a separate bowl and when the berries are ready toss it all together. If you’re using frozen berries the added benefit is that the moisture collects on the partially thawed berries and evenly distributes the flour/ sugar mixture when you combine it with the berries.

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Don’t fill the bottom crust until you have the top crust rolled out and ready to go, so the filling doesn’t sit in the unbaked crust too long. The goal is to not have a soggy and saturated bottom crust. I usually sprinkle a little flour (1 or two spoonfuls) in the bottom of the pie crust prior to putting the filling to soak up any errant juices in an effort to keep the bottom pie crust from getting soggy.

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After you’ve wrestled both of the crusts out flat and filled the bottom crust you really are in the home stretch.

Make sure to press and roll the seam of the top and bottom crusts together. Or I know some people have good results wetting (lightly) and pressing the seam together. Whatever your method the point is to make sure you have a solid seam. Otherwise the crusts can separate when baking and juices leak out and make a mess. You want your pie to be fortress of flavor!

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I just use a standard thumb and finger pattern on the my pies, but feel free to get fancy.

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Make sure to cut some vents in the top.

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The way your pies look should be consistent and unique to you (so everybody knows whose it is). One of my favorite pie things is to have a maker’s mark. This is a unique design that you put on pies that you have made. I’ve seen a star, half circle designs, etc….. Personally, mine is the outline of the state of Nevada! I know, it’s really great.

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Once you get the hang of making pies they really aren’t too bad to make (easy as pie!…… anyone…. no?) There are few things people find more impressive then a delicious and well made pie. Prepare to impress and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. They’re only ingredients.

These pies were for our respective Thanksgiving parties. But that wasn’t going to do. So we made a smaller pie we could devour that night.

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Garlic-y Atomic Goodness

Garlic is one of those things that is thoroughly enjoyable and supremely upsetting all at the same time. I generally try to avoid the stuff because I’d rather be unapproachable due to my dour disposition rather because of an unbearable stench. I mean who knew it was a bad idea to have the garlic chicken dish at the Thai restaurant during a work lunch? However, when I decide to indulge I go all the way. So when we saw this recipe of a garlic aioli we knew we had to try it.

Making your own mayonnaise is a surprisingly simple endeavor with few ingredients and the results are very impressive. This recipe involves the extra step of mashing the garlic cloves in the with the regular mayonnaise process. All during the concoction of this spread the smell was amazing.

If we were to make this again we would probably try roasting the garlic cloves prior to using them so as to take some of the edge off. Despite being delicious this cooking adventure left us reeking of garlic for the next day or two thanks to the raw garlic. The final product was smooth with a very nice yellow hue and once again that smell was worth the price of admission. We paired the aioli with some baked potato wedges (and really by the end of the night I was eating this stuff with a spoon).

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Even that night we pretty much were unable to taste anything but garlic and in an effort to assuage our garlic-y burning we turned to the the all-wise internet. The internet oracle suggested many things, but we decided to try their suggestion of eating parsley. As with most things on the internet, it may have worked….. and it may not have.

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Sauce Aioli (Provencal Garlic Mayonnaise)
Author: 
Recipe type: Sauce
Serves: About 2 cups
 
Ingredients
  • 1 slice stale homemade-type bread
  • 3 TB milk or wine vinegar
  • A heavy bowl or mortar
  • A wooden pestle
  • 4 to 8 cloves mashed garlic
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1½ cups good olive oil
  • A wire whip
  • 3 to 4 TB boiling water or fish stock
  • 2 to 3 TB Lemon Juice
Instructions
  1. Remove crusts and break the bread into a small bowl. Stir in the milk or vinegar and let the bread soak for 5 to 10 minutes into a soft pulp. Twist the bread into a ball in the corner of a towel to extract the liquid.
  2. Place the bread and garlic in the bowl and pound with pestle for at least 5 minutes to mash the garlic and bread into a very, very smooth paste.
  3. Pound in the egg yolk and salt until the mixture is thick and sticky.
  4. Then, drop by drop, pound and blend in the olive oil. When the sauce has thickened into a heavy cream, you may switch from a pestle to a wire whip and add the oil a little bit faster. Thin out the sauce as necessary with drops of water or stock, and lemon juice. Sauce should remain quite heavy, so it holds its shape in a spoon.
  5. Correct seasoning.

Tollhouse Cookie Pie

This pie has become a staple at the annual Wright Pie Party. It’s like a chocolate chip cookie in pie form. Who wouldn’t love this?!?

This is another pie my dad made during my last visit home. Super easy and so delicious!

Again with the mise en place. It brings a tear to my eye.

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I could just eat the filling. Yum!

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Add filling to pie shell.

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Bake for 55-60 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

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Serve with ice cream.

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Tollhouse Cookie Pie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 Pie
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • ½ C All Purpose Flour
  • ½ C Granulated Sugar
  • ½ C Packed Brown Sugar
  • ¾ C Butter, Softened
  • 1 Cup Chocolate Chips
  • 1 C Chopped Nuts
Instructions
  1. ) Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. ) Beat eggs in large mixer bowl on high speed until foamy. Beat in flour, granulated sugar, and brown sugar.
  3. ) Beat in butter.
  4. ) Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
  5. ) Pour batter into pie shell.
  6. ) Bake 55 – 60 minutes or until knife inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean.
  7. ) Cool on wire rack.

 

 

Pumpkin Butter Pecan Pie

Now that we have pie crust taken care of, it’s time for the filling. First up, pumpkin butter pecan.

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I’m not a huge pumpkin pie fan. In fact, I couldn’t even tell you the last time I ate a slice. However, pumpkin butter pecan pie is delicious! I love the crunchy texture on top and the depth of flavors in this pie.

I also love how easy this pie is!

Start with ingredients. The last time I was home in Arizona I asked my dad to make a couple pies for the blog. These are his recipes. This is a beautiful display of mise en place, am I right?

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Mix all filling ingredients in medium bowl.

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Pour filling into unbaked pie shell.

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Sprinkle cake mix evenly over filling.

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Drizzle melted butter over cake mix.

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Bake at 350 for about an hour. I would start at 50 minutes and then check the pie. If crust is starting to get too dark, cover with foil and continue baking. Pie is done when knife comes out clean.

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Easy as…pie. This is a great alternative to the traditional pumpkin pie. I like it best served with vanilla ice cream.

Pumpkin Butter Pecan
Recipe type: Pie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 Pie
 
Ingredients
  • Filling
  • 1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • Topping
  • ½ box yellow cake mix
  • ½ cup butter (melted)
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350o.
  2. Prepare 9 inch unbaked pie shell.
  3. Mix all filling ingredients together in a large bowl.
  4. Pour the filling into the unbaked pie shell and level off.
  5. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over filling, spreading to the edges of the crust.
  6. Drizzle melted butter over cake mix.
  7. Sprinkle chopped nuts over cake mix and butter.
  8. Bake the pie at 350o for about 1 hour or until knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. If the crust or pecans start to get too brown, cover the pie with foil for the last 15 minutes.
  9. Serve hot or cold, with ice cream or whipped cream topping.