As I have mentioned before, I decided that I was taking over the pie portion of the How family Thanksgiving dinner. Why? I donno. I wanted to. I searched high and low for perfect recipes that will be a variety to please the whole family. I stole some from my mother-in-law of course because she is pretty much my American Idol.
First, she taught me how to make crusts. Co-workers have asked for the recipe since I took an apple pie to school so here goes. The secret to how easy this is is now going to be out. (This recipe is straight out of an old cookbook like Betty Crocker or Ultimate Suzie Homemaker or Farm Wives of the 1950’s, I am sure it was one of those.)
2 2/3 Cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 Cup oil
4 to 5 Tablespoons cold water
Measure flour and salt into bowl. Add oil; mix until particles are size of small peas (or large diamonds if you prefer.) Sprinkle in water 1 TBSP at a time. (If dough seems dry, add 2 – 3 TBSP of oil.) Press into a ball, divide dough in half, or if you are like me, you divide the dough in half and then press into two balls. It’s like magic how I can take a recipe and make a few changes to make it more me.
Here is the secret: Wash your counter with a rag so it is damp and will keep waxed paper from slipping and roll dough between two pieces of waxed paper. Flip it onto pan, and walllllllaaaa, you have pie crust. Be sure to make it pretty like Curly attempted today. You can bake this stuff at 475 for 12 – 15 minutes if you need a baked crust.
Every Thanksgiving needs an old-fashioned pumpkin pie, even though I don’t eat the stuff. I followed this recipe. I had to bake it WAY longer than the recipe called for to get it to set at all. I don’t know if it will be good, I am not a good judge, but it will look like Thanksgiving and that is all that matters.
I also tackled Pecan Pie. Recipe Courtesy my mother-in-law again, because she said it is good. I may never know. Pecan pie is just for my brother. He likes it. I strongly believe nuts should never make it into baked goods of any kind.
1 Cup Sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Cup dark corn syrup (thanks, lady who left a coupon right by it at the store so I didn’t have to pay as much for something I will hardly use! It made my day!)
2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp melted butter
1 Cup pecan halves
1 Unbaked pie shell
Preheat oven to 350.
Beat eggs in bowl just until blended but not frothy. Add sugar, salt, and corn syrup, Add melted butter and vanilla, mixing just enough to blend. Spread pecans in the bottom of pie shell. Pour in filling. Be amused that pecans float. Place pie in oven.
Reduce oven to 325 at once. AT ONCE, I SAY!! Or, I don’t know, if you wait 10 seconds, I am pretty sure the pecans will hop out of the pan or something? Bake 50 – 60 minutes until crust is golden brown. The End.
Life with just pies is simple, big meals need cheesecakes so the girls and I opened our own cheesecake factory. And I had borrowed spring form pans from my boss who had no idea what to do with them since Rice Krispie Treats are really a big deal for her. That’s ok, she has other skill sets. Anywho (long time since I used that word!) I had to use them and look all cheese cake official.
First, I watched this video about how to make cheesecake.
And then I put Princess (who loves pumpkin stuff) to work on pumpkin cheesecake. I am not sure why I decided putting the cheesecake in a water bake thing when I had to leave was a wise idea, but I left the kids to try to get that thing out of the oven. They pulled it off!! I think it will be awesome, mostly because I also made homemade caramel sauce to drizzle over it. And I am pretty sure I could just drink the stuff. It is that good. I had no idea sugar would do that.
We moved on to Snicker Pie. I am very excited to try this one. Never had anything like it, but it looks cool and the presentation alone made it worth it. And, I like Snicker bars…it’s gotta be good.
We had to bring Gram’s (yep, the mother-in-law) chocolate chip cheesecake to the How family at JP’s request.
Easy Cheese Cake
Heat oven to 450 degrees.
Beat until well blended:
3 packages (8oz each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
add: 3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract and beat well
Stir in 1 2/3 cups mini chocolate chips
Pour into a 9 or 10 inch graham cracker crust (that has been baked if home made one)
Bake 10 minutes at 450 degrees. Without opening oven door, reduce temperature to 250 degrees and continue baking 30 minutes or just until set. Move from oven to wire rack.
Cool Completely Cover, refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
Place remaining 1/3 cup mini chips and 2 tablespoons whipping cream (or may use evaporated milk) in small microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high 20-30 seconds or just until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred. Cool slightly: spread over top of cheese cake. Refrigerate 15 minutes or until topping is set. Cover, refrigerate left overs.
And then we had to make German Chocolate Pie. I pretty much love it. I could eat the whole thing and not share. At all. I believe all desserts that involved chocolate are levels above non-chocolate options. Can I get an “AMEN!”
German Sweet Chocolate Pie
(serves 1 – me!)
1 pkg Baker’s German Chocolate
1/3 Cup Milk (divided)
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 T sugar
1 8-oz tub Cool Whip
1 prepared Graham Cracker Crust
Microwave chocolate and 2 TBSP milk about 1 and a half minutes until melted. Beat in milk, cream cheese, and sugar. Refrigerate about 10 minutes to cool.
Gently stir in whipped topping. Man, I love whipped topping. Spoon into crust. Freeze at least 4 hours. Store left overs in freezer.
Speaking of Cool Whip and freezers, my deep freeze was cleaned today by the hubster. Yeah, I know. Add it to the list. He uncovered my fetish. Doesn’t he look pleased? He told me I can’t buy anymore and I told him he’s not the boss of me.
We decided that apple crisp was a better option than apple pie, mostly because we can make large batches quicker, and sometimes, feeding the masses is the primary focus. All that are left to make Wednesday are French Silk Pie (scroll down) and Lemon Angel Pie. And our family can all vote on which recipes are good, and which suck.