Tag Archives: pie

Ugly Maple Syrup Pie

Well guys, I’ve gone from a post here about Bright and Beautiful Recipes To Make Us Happy, to pie.  Ugly pie at that.  I’ve tortured myself over this pie post.  In fact, I was so mad at the filling for cracking and the pastry for shrinking, that I left the pie to sit for two days.  Uneaten for two whole days!  After which, I seriously got ahold of myself, and realized that this world has far bigger problems than an ugly pie.

Maple Syrup Pie via SweetRevelations

And guess what?  I make mistakes too.  And this blog is a great place to learn about them.  And from them.  I bet Ree, Nigella, and Ina have had a whole mess of ugly pies.  That doesn’t mean we’re idiots, it just means that in the kitchen, we’re…well…we’re human!

So here it is….my Ugly Maple Syrup Pie.  And friends I have to say, that this was a pretty tasty ugly pie.  The cracking and shrinking didn’t compromise the taste one bit.  As a matter of fact, I was slightly miffed at myself because we let it sit so long, because we love Maple Syrup Pie!   I seriously can’t make up my mind.  I’m mad at the pie, then I’m happy with the pie.  What gives?!

Maple Syrup Pie via SweetRevelations

I’ve written posts, like this one here, on making the perfect pastry.  And when I had the bake shop, my mom was chief pastry maker, because she’s seriously good at it.  It’s golden and tender and oh so flaky.  I’ve also made more pie fillings, than I can shake a stick at.  But some days, I’m just a complete distracted mess in the kitchen, and things don’t turn out picture perfect.  Oh man, I’ve had some doozies.  It happens to all of us.

Maple Syrup Pie via SweetRevelations

Case in point, the ugly pie.  I think I’m doing a public service here really, as I tell you and show you all of the things you shouldn’t be doing with a custard pie.  First off, you should chill the pastry well before baking.  You shouldn’t take pictures of your gorgeous pie crust, as I did here, until the pastry is nice and warm for your #PiDay2016 Instagram photo.  And then, don’t overbake that sweet Maple Syrup custard.  Because if it poofs up like a soufflé, well, you’ve gone too far.

And you’re well on your way to ugly pie.

Maple Syrup Pie via SweetRevelations

Now if mom was here, she would tell me not to fret.  “There’s nothing better than a scratch baked pie!” she always said.  Even in the bake shop, as I worried over fillings that may have oozed slightly, mom would assure me that people were going to be thrilled with their authentic, homemade pie.  And she was right.

So, ugly and all, I’m going to share my recipe for this sweet Maple Syrup Pie, using local Maple Syrup, that is the essence of spring around here when the maple sap is flowing.   It’s a custard pie with pure dark Maple Syrup, brown sugar and butter, that will satisfy any sweet tooth.  It’s a springtime favourite!  Our family all agree’s that the side of unsweetened whipped cream is essential with this dessert, to balance out the sweetness in the pie.

I hope you make this.  Because if you simply pay a little more attention than me, you’ll see how locally produced sweet Maple Syrup can bake into a beautiful, rich and smooth, sweet treat.

Just because I’m nosy and it would make me feel better, I would love to hear about your kitchen disasters in the comments below!

Happy Pie Baking friends,

Renee

xo

 

Maple Syrup Pie

  • unbaked 9 inch pastry shell
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup pure dark Maple Syrup
  • 1 tbsp. melted butter
  • 2 tsp flour

Unsweetened Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup of cold heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350°

  1.  Whisk together the sugar, eggs and cream until well combined.  Whisk in the Maple Syrup, butter and flour.
  2. Pour filling into pastry shell and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.  Filling should still slightly jiggle in the center when moved.   Allow the pie to cool completely before serving.
  3. Whisk cream by hand or with a mixer until soft peaks form.  Serve the pie with the whipped cream.  Refrigerate any left over pie.

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Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie

Guys, this pie.

So. Good.

Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie via SweetRevelations

I’m completely, utterly nuts over it.   The idea came to me last week-end while still tidying up from the holidays.  What on earth were we to do with all of those in-shell nuts I bought?  And why, for heaven’s sake, did I buy so many to begin with?!  I say this, but I know why.  It’s the same reason I buy those stuck together, hard as a rock, assorted Christmas candies.  When I was growing up, there was always a bowl of mixed nuts sitting out during the holidays.   It was tradition at our house, and at my grandparents.  With the same old-school nutcracker that my mom had for years, the bowl of nuts came out and stayed out for the duration of the winter.  As kids, we cracked them simply for entertainment purposes, nut pieces and shells flying across the room.  We were so convinced that if we just squeezed hard enough, we could crack them open with our bare hands (never happened I can assure you).  But growing up, I certainly began to appreciate the value of shelled whole nuts a little more.  My husband often cracks a few for a quick snack just before dinner.  Sometimes we are catching up about our day, and we’re both just absent mindedly cracking and eating amongst the chatter.  When the kitchen is busy with guests and family, someone is undoubtedly cracking open a meaty walnut or a crunchy filbert, while usually the brazil nuts are largely ignored.

So there I was, holidays over, company dwindling, and hoards of mixed nuts left.  I knew without a doubt that I would be using the walnuts for a pie.  A warm pie to me is the ultimate comfort food.  A sweet, nutty winter pie seemed just right.  And adding chocolate and sea salt was a logical step.  Crunchy walnuts, dark chocolate and sea salt amongst a tender, flaky pastry?  Count me in!

Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie via SweetRevelations

I knew I would be using a recipe similar to pecan pie for my base.  I took a few recipes I currently have, and adjusted them until I found something that I was happy with.  The sea salt just takes this pie over the top.  It’s only a subtle salt flavor, but one that pairs perfectly with the other ingredients.  So perfectly in fact, I’ve made it two more times since then.  So. Good.

Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie

I love baking pies in the winter.  I usually keep lots of local summer fruit frozen just for that reason.  However, a nutty, decadent Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie is not only an appropriate alternative to fruit, I guarantee you that it will warm up your house and chase those winter blues away!

So I think I’ve given that ages old tradition of whole nuts during the holidays a new twist.  And when my children are in their own houses, and questioning their own winter bowl of nuts, “why do I put these out?” and “why on earth did I buy so many?!”, they’ll think back to these days in our kitchen.  And they’ll do it just the same, after all, its tradition.

Happy baking friends,

Renee

xo

Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie

Preheat oven to 375°

Ingredients

  • 9″ unbaked pie shell
  • 1 cup Hershey’s dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 tsp sea salt (more to taste if desired)
  1. Scatter the cup of chocolate chips on the bottom of the unbaked shell, set the shell aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter with the sugar.  Add the flour, eggs and corn syrup. Mix well.  Mix in the walnut pieces.  Pour the mixture into the pie shell, on top of the chocolate chips, and bake for 45 mins to an hour.  The filling will be puffed up and set at the sides, but still slightly jiggly in the center.  Don’t hesitate to leave it in longer if need be, the filling should be slightly jiggly but not sloshing around or it won’t set.  Cool completely and sprinkle with sea salt just before serving.

Walnuts via SweetRevelations

 

 

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Easy Pie Crust Recipe ~ For Perfect Pie Every Time! Featured Post

I am ecstatic that my Easy Pie Crust Recipe is being featured today at the fabulous online magazine Hello Creative Family!
 HCFfeature

 

If you haven’t checked them out, you must!  Crystal and Karen, from Hello Creative Family,  have created the go-to resource for parents looking to ignite their creative passion with simple, everyday and back-to-basics projects.   Their motto is all about living the handmade, homemade and heart-made lifestyle so parents can raise their children in a creative home. You’ll truly be inspired!

So follow this link (here), pay them a visit, and leave me some comment love over there too!

Happy pie making friends,

Renee

xo

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Flawless Fresh Peach Pie

It’s been a jam-packed summer at our house.  We’ve been catching rays, catching waves and enjoying time with our family and friends.   I’ve stayed up all hours of the night reading and promising myself that I’ll shut out the lights at the end of the next chapter.  And then the next chapter, and then one more.

Isn’t that what holidays are all about?

sweetrevelationspeachpie

The kids are sleeping in late every morning and I find myself in the kitchen, rolling pastries or kneading dough.  It’s such a soothing way to start the day, and sometimes the only sound in the house is the noise of the rolling pin on the counter.  I’m happiest when there’s a pie or two cooling on the stove.  Even happier to give them to a friend who will enjoy them.

sweetrevelationspeachpie

It’s definitely pie season in this house.  What better way to showcase all of the fruit that summer has to offer than in a flaky pastry crust!  For me, there isn’t a fruit out there that captures the sweet, essence of summer like a juicy, ripe peach.  They’ve just come into season here and I couldn’t be happier.  I’ve already made this pie many times for barbecues and lunches on the patio.  Peaches are plentiful at market right now, and so sweet and delicate and juicy.

sweetrevelationspeachpie

Don’t be daunted by pastry, like anything it just takes a little practice.  My mother says she baked a pie every Saturday when she was newly married until she got it right. She definitely got it right.  She can make a mean pie to this day and she was often in charge of pies in the bake shop because I knew they would be perfect every time.  I have included her flaky pastry recipe for you to try.

peachpiesweetrevelations

I hope you’re having a wonderful summer!

Renee

xo

Flawless Fresh Peach Pie

For the Pastry:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup Crisco Shortening
  • 4-6 tbsp cold orange juice
  1.  Stir the salt and flour in a medium bowl.  Cut in the Crisco, with a pastry knife (pieces should be about the size of peas).  Sprinkle on orange juice and stir with a fork just until it holds together.  Divide the dough into two and press each half into a smooth disk.  Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

 

For the Filling:

  • 4 cups of peaches, peeled and sliced, approx. 6 medium peaches
  • 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup of sliced almonds for sprinkling on top crust (optional)
  • 1 tbsp of heavy cream for top crust
  • 1/2 tsp of sugar for sprinkling on top crust

Preheat oven to 450°

  1.  Mix the sugar, cinnamon and flour for the filling in a small bowl and set aside.  Roll out 1 pie crust disk on a lightly floured surface to a size approximately 12-inches round. Transfer it to 9-inch pie dish.
  2. Put two cups of the sliced peaches in the bottom of the pie shell.   Sprinkle half of the sugar mixture on top.  Put the last two cups of peaches on top of that and sprinkle with the remaining sugar mixture.  Dot with butter.
  3. Roll out the second pastry disk to approximately 12- inch round.  Because I didn’t do a picture tutorial for a lattice crust, you will find an excellent tutorial here.  The pictures make the process very simple, if this is your first time.  Once complete, trim the excess pastry to about 1/2 over hang.  Fold the top and bottom crusts together and crimp the edges to seal.  You can also do a simple pie crust on top by simply rolling out your second disk, to a 12-inch round and placing it on top of the peach filling.  Simply put 4 steam slits, with a sharp knife, about 3/4 of an inch long near the centre of the pie.
  4. Lightly brush some heavy cream on top of the top crust and sprinkle with sugar and almond slices.   Bake for 15 minutes at 450° then reduce heat to 350° and bake for 35 minutes longer until crust is golden and filling is bubbling.  Best eaten slightly warm.

Notes:

  1. I often bake my pies in a convection toaster oven.  That way I don’t heat up the house in the summer.
  2. I’ve made this pie and frozen it before baking many times with excellent results.  I just add an extra teaspoon of flour or tapioca sprinkled on the bottom crust before I put the filling in.  Just add an extra 20 or 30 minutes of baking time. What a treat a summer peach is in the dead of winter!

 

 

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{Beat The Heat} Bourbon Molasses Ice Cream Pie

My earliest memories of baking involve rolling endless amounts of Molasses Cookies with my mom.  Standing on a chair beside her, we rolled trays and trays and dipped them in sugar.  Years later, when I opened my first bake shop, that was the first item to go on the menu, and it’s still on there to this day.   Large, bakery style Molasses Cookies also make the very best s’mores.

Its something about the slightly bitter, intensely sweet, robust flavour that seems to go so well in baked goods .

molassespie

This week-end we had company over for an afternoon barbecue.  We are in the throes of an extreme heat warning, so we decided that the best place to be was right beside the pool.  If you’ve been following me for a while, you know my go-to desserts are generally make ahead items that allow me to spend more time with my guests than in the kitchen.

I decided a grown up, {Beat The Heat} Bourbon Molasses Ice Cream Pie was just the ticket.

molassespie

 

It’s a simple, throw together dessert that’s big on flavour.  Have I mentioned that no ice cream maker is required?  A creamy, Bourbon Molasses Ice Cream is piled high into a gingersnap crust and left overnight to chill in the freezer.  Just before serving, beautiful dollops of whipped topping and premium dark chocolate shavings are added.

It’s a cool summer treat, with all of the excitement and nostalgia ice cream brings, and a boozy adult kick.

molassespie

Molasses is often mistaken as a cool weather ingredient.  But you would be very surprised at the sweet, caramel flavour that this ice cream has.  The generous splash of bourbon just simply puts this over the top.  We were all completely over the moon with this flavour combination and the creamy texture is outstanding!

molassespie

 

Summer is here, and it’s time to combine cool friends and boozy frozen treats for the perfect duo.

Stay cool everyone,

Renee

xo

molassespie

{Beat The Heat} Bourbon Molasses Ice Cream Pie

  • 1 1/2 c fine gingersnap crumbs (about 20 cookies pulsed in a food processor)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp Fancy molasses, divided
  • 1/4 cup bourbon (optional)
  • dark chocolate shavings, for garnish
  • 2 cups whipped topping, for serving

Preheat oven to 350°

1.   Combine gingersnap crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl to combine. Press the crumbs into the bottom and 1″ up the sides of an 8″ springform pan or pie dish.  Bake for 8 minutes and allow to cool.

2.  Whip the heavy cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form.  Set aside.   In another bowl, mix the sweetened condensed milk and 1/2 cup of molasses.  Fold into the whipped cream.  Stir in the bourbon.   Spread into the cooled pie shell.  Take the remaining 1 tbsp of molasses and marble it throughout the top of the cream filling.  Chill for at least 6 hours or overnight.  Top with whipped topping and chocolate shavings just before serving.

 

 

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Fresh Strawberry Pie { And A Sweet New Beginning}

This week-end is a celebration of sorts in our house.  It’s a period of huge transition and we’re all really excited.

strawpie1

Let me set the scene for you.  For almost 20 years I have been working with elementary children.  Some with challenges far larger than I or you will ever face.  But they are some of the happiest, brightest and most endearing people I have ever met.   They have taught me huge lessons about myself and the world around me.  And I adore each one of them.

I also own a bakery that I have been running for the last few years in the evenings out of a local warehouse.  A different kind of love for me, but a passion that I’ve had for a long time.  It started as merely a challenge for me.  Could I start a community bakery, sharing my passion for locally produced food, and have it be a success?  Well it certainly was.

strawpie3

Let me tell you, I have full appreciation for anyone who is running their own business.  It’s such a huge personal investment that comes with amazing rewards and scary challenges.

But I did it and it was embraced by the community.  I’ve met some pretty awesome people and been a part of some amazing celebrations.  And I’ve grown a huge appreciation for  buying locally produced foods and seen the businesses in my community in an entirely different way.

strawpie

 

My children are in their teens so initially I thought that being away from home for so many hours wouldn’t phase them at all.  They are the independent, smart kids that I’ve raised them to be and my husband never complained at doing double duty.   Dinner was often on the fly, running out the door between jobs, always answering calls and emails and checking the to-do list.  I often got in the door at bedtime and poked my head in their rooms to say goodnight.  They were fine, good kids and no worse off for the crazy busy life we were living now.

But I missed them.  I missed our dinners and lazy Saturday mornings.  I missed our camping trips and after school discussions and their sports.  I cherished our Sundays at home.  My babes seemed to be growing up before my eyes and I felt like I was missing out.  So I made the decision recently to close up the bake shop and keep working my day job.  It’s been a bittersweet decision but one this whole house is excited about!  After my announcement the kids seemed relieved and told me they missed me too.

strawtart

So today is our Sunday at home.  We have eight more days until we close the bakery doors for good.  I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to show my children that taking a risk can have such a positive pay off.  And I’m so thankful that I get the opportunity to be at home with them again for the next few years until they head out the door for their own adventures.   I already feel far more happy and fulfilled and the best part is that I can still share my love of all things sweet with all of you.

What a sweet new beginning!

strawpie5

 

We are celebrating our final week with this Fresh Strawberry Pie using locally grown sweet berries.  Literally 15 minutes to make and no baking required.  Use the strawberries in tarts, a larger pie, or in sundae cups with sweetened whipped cream.  This is hands down my favourite all time summer pie.  Yum!  Happy summer everyone!

 

Fresh Strawberry Pie

  • 1 pre-baked 9″ tart shell or 24 small tart shells
  • 1 1/2 quarts of strawberries (about 6 cups), rinsed and hulled
  • 1 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 tbsp. corn starch
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 pkg clear gelatin (or 1 tbsp.)
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp. powdered sugar

1.  Place 4 cups of whole berries into the pie shell (or however much of a quart that you can neatly fit).

2.  Place gelatin in the cold water and let it sit while you prepare the filling.  Crush the rest of the berries and place them in a small pot.  Add sugar, lemon juice and corn starch.  Cook on medium heat until mixture begins to thicken, stirring often.  Remove from heat and add gelatin mixture.  Mix well.  Poor over berries in shell.  Chill until set.

3.  Whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar with a hand mixer until soft peaks form (best to use a chilled bowl).  Serve with the pie.

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Deconstructed Black Bottom Banoffee Pie

I know I’m slightly behind the times on deconstructed desserts, however I’m going to relish in the beauty and simplicity of this dessert for a moment or two….

Really, deconstructing a dish simply means to plate it differently while allowing the individual components of the dish to shine.  Call it what you want, this dessert is stunning and absolutely delicious.   It takes no time at all.  None.  A quick pretzel crust, a few decadent layers and you’re done.

A layer of ganache, a layer of dulce de leche, a layer of whipped cream and some banana spears.   Top it off with pieces of pretzel crust and grin from ear to ear at your creativity.  This is a make-ahead dessert that will wow any guest.

Truth be told, this kind of dessert is perfect for me.  I’ve baked many a pie that looked as though it should be on the cover of Cooks Illustrated, only to discover I needed a jack hammer to cut into the bottom crust.   And, the filling is my favourite part, so just a wee bite of pastry is enough for me.

No one was home when I was photographing these and I’m delighted ashamed to say that I ate one of these for supper and one of these for dessert.  Not a soul around to tell me to get control of myself.  I loved every last spoon licking, glorious bite!

Deconstructed Black Bottom Banoffee Pie

Pretzel Crust

*adapted from Food and Wine

* you really only need half of this recipe for cookie sized pieces as garnish

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups coarsely crushed thin pretzels (3 1/2 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg

1.  In a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with 3/4 cup of the pretzels and the sugar at low-speed until creamy. Beat in the flour and egg. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of pretzels, being sure to leave some pretzel pieces intact. Flatten the dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes.

2.  Roll out dough about 1/4″ and cut with cookie cutters.  I placed the dough back in the fridge before baking the cut pieces (for about 10 minutes).  Bake at 325 degrees for approx 13 minutes or until golden.

Ganache

*I had enough ganache for 7 servings

  • 1 1/3 cup of chopped bittersweet chocolate such as Callebaut
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp Bailey’s Liquor (Grand Marnier would work too)

1.  Place cream in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Pour over chocolate and salt in a medium bowl and let mixture sit, untouched for 5 minutes.  Whisk until smooth and add the liquor.  Mix until incorporated.  Pour mixture into serving dishes and refrigerate.

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tsp icing sugar

1.  Whip cream and sugar on high-speed until whipped cream reaches desired consistency.

Assembly

1.   Pour chocolate ganache into serving bowls or mugs.  Be creative!  I also used ramekins for some of the servings.  Chill in the fridge for at least an hour.

2.  Top chocolate ganache with approximately a tablespoon of good quality dulce le leche.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

3.  Just before serving, spoon some whipped cream on top of the caramel and add 2 spears of banana.  Garnish with your pretzel cookie.

Enjoy every last morsel!

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Wild Blueberry Pie

My sister bought me a blueberry candle for my birthday.  I had it lit last night for quite a while and, no kidding, I woke up this morning with plans to bake a pie today.  Yup, blueberry pie to be exact (I bet you knew that was coming).

I love blueberries for many reasons – if you’ve picked up any kind of magazine lately the blueberry is sporting the fancy ‘superfruit’ title because it’s packed with antioxidants and vitamins.   This tiny fella tastes good on just about anything.  And, check out the august issue of Canadian Living for its gorgeous Blueberry Martini recipe.

I love them because they remind me of Cape Breton Island and my trips there during the summer.  My dad had a beautiful home right on the water and dozens of wild blueberry plants growing all over his property.   Nova Scotia is the second largest grower of blueberries in the world.

So… I guess it’s fate…the candle, my new magazine, Cape Breton on the brain… time to get to work!

First, use your best pastry recipe for a double crust 9″ pie.  Then fill with wild blueberries (recipe to follow).

The whole time I was making this pie I was thinking about all of the times I have visited Cape Breton.  I always seem to associate good memories with some kind of food…weird isn’t it?

Is it?  Do you think of someone or something when you bake a certain kind of pie or cake?  Post a comment, I sure would love to hear it.

Wild Blueberry Pie Filling

*from Canadian Living Magazine

  • 6 cups fresh or frozen wild blueberries
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1.    Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and set aside while you prepare the crust.

2.  Pour filling into the bottom half of a 9″ crust.  Place top crust and pinch crusts together.  Brush top with an egg wash (1 yolk mixed with 2 tbsp water) and sprinkle with coarse sugar.   Cut steam vents in the top.

3.  Bake at 425° for twenty minutes, then reduce temperature to 350° and bake for 55-60 minutes until crust is golden brown.

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