Archive for December, 2009

This week is my office’s holiday party.  One of my friends at work, Maureen, can’t have gluten, so I decided I would experiment with gluten-free pie crust.  Being stingy and unwilling to invest in a bunch of non-traditional starches to mix together, I just bought this pie crust mix.  You combine the mix with a buttload of shortening (or half butter and half shortening, but since I am all about the butter flavor Crisco, that’s what I used), plus some baking powder, 2 eggs, some cider vinegar, and a little bit of water.

This basically made some seriously sticky goo, which you then chill, like sugar cookie dough.  Then you roll it out between two pieces of plastic wrap.  I was pretty concerned about this crust, because it was absolutely nothing like any pie crust I’ve ever made.  It was incredibly squishy and moist.  But, hey, in for a penny, right?

For the filling, I made a peaches and cream pie, from Page 314.  Except, instead of using flour, I used corn starch (half the amount, per some instructions for substitution I found on the internet), and instead of peach halves, I used a pound of frozen peaches I’d thawed out.  Very straight-forward.  It baked up in 45 minutes in our 400 degree oven and turned out looking right.  I took a little piece of the crust to taste, and it was very crumbly…but tasted like pie crust.

Because some people prefer a gluten-laden pie, I also made a raspberry and peaches and cream pie.  It was just like the gluten-free one, except that it had a standard flour crust, and flour in the filling instead of corn starch, and I sprinkled raspberries on top of the peaches before pouring the cream over the top.  I think the raspberry one turned out looking very festive, good for a holiday party.

I took both pies to the party, and got rave reviews.  Maureen asked me to tell her the name of the company that made the pie crust mix, and one of my other coworkers who eats gluten actually took a slice of the gluten-free one home to his wife, who also liked it.  I think the fruit-and-cream pie concept is a serious hit!


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Pie Therapy

I find making pie very soothing.  There’s something really comforting about rolling out a crust and filling it with something delicious.  I’m going through a sort of rough patch emotionally this week, so on Monday I had a little pie therapy.  I made a dozen pumpkin pies-in-jars, the start of Christmas and hostess gifts for the holiday season.  And then I made a pecan pie, and an eggnog pie.  No, there is no eggnog pie recipe in the Betty Crocker cookbook, but as I was pulling eggs out of the fridge for the pumpkin pie, I realized that we have a big jug of eggnog hanging around in there.  So I thought, “Hmmm, I wonder if you could make a pie with that?”

Five seconds of search the net, and there it was, an eggnog pie recipe. OMG delicious, seriously!  J loved it too, and he doesn’t even like eggnog.  In fact, I invited my friend Anne over for some pie the next day, and she also said it good.

Eggnog Pie

But here’s my beef with this recipe: it made too much filling for the 9-inch pie pan I used.  And it was extraordinarily runny, and took an extra 25 minutes to cook up longer than the recipe said it would.  But the basic concept and flavor were good.  Next time, I’d use only a cup and a half of eggnog instead of two cups, and I’d add in some cinnamon and nutmeg.  I might also add in some spiced rum, because we love the Captain in our house.

Now that all the pies are done, I feel pretty good.  Almost good enough to face the giant pile of dishes in the sink.  Almost.

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