Category Archives: pies

10 Fall Favorite Recipes

To me, fall always brings on a sense of warmth and comfort.  Cozy fires, warm apple-cider, family gatherings.  In this post, I thought I’d share with you my top 1o favorite fall recipes.  And at the end of the post are some of my other favorite fall recipes from blogs that I follow.  I hope you’re inspired to make some of these today.  Enjoy! xoxo

My Top-10 Fall Recipes

Apple Crisp

Caramel Apples

Cream Cheese Apple Dip

Owl Sugar Cookies

Pecan Bars

Pretzel Jello

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Chocolate Cream Pie

I know they say that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, (thanks Marilyn Monroe!), but for me, diamonds come a close second to chocolate being my best friend.  I wish I craved vegetables instead; it would certainly help out my waistline.  But, sadly, my sweet tooth has taken over any cravings for healthy foods.  Think I can blame my genes, or this baby girl that I’m carrying?

Cream pies have frightened me for over 16 years.  When I was in high school, I decided to make a banana cream pie for dessert.  For whatever reason, whether it was because I didn’t stir the mixture enough or the heat was too high, the mixture burned, and being a novice baker I was, I tried desperately to not let any of the mixture go to waste.  To me, this meant scraping what little bits I could from the bottom of the pan into the finished pie.  When the pie was complete and chilled, and I presented it to my family, sliced bananas on top and all, I got funny looks.  Yes, it was a little speckled from the burned part that I chose to add to the pie, but other than a little strange after-taste, it was okay.  Well, maybe it wasn’t okay.  But because of that incident, I had not attempted to make a cream pie again. Continue reading

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Turtle Pumpkin Pie

One of my biggest pet peeves is food going to waste–specifically when I have to open a can of something and the recipe doesn’t require that I use all of it.  (Like 1 cup of chicken broth when the can clearly has 2 cups, or 1 T of tomato paste when there is at least 8 T in the smallest can.)  So the remainder of the contents sit in my fridge, where I promptly forget about it, only to discover a few weeks later a science experiment growing inside the can.

Now, this recipe requires that you use only 1 cup of canned pumpkin, but with the rest of it I make either pumpkin milkshakes or pumpkin waffles.  That way, my leftover pumpkin doesn’t go to waste.  For Thanksgiving this year, I wanted to try a different take on the pumpkin pie and when I found this recipe in a stack of old magazines, I thought it was perfect.  It has caramel, pecans, and a cool pumpkin-y mousse layer.  With each bite you can taste the complexity of all three layers working together.  It’s a party for your tongue.  (Okay, that analogy was a little lame, but it’s true.  You’ll love it!) Continue reading


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Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

Pie.  The mere mention of the word would make me break into a sweat.  Why?  Not because they don’t taste good, because they do, but because they have scared me.  Scared me so bad that I have avoided making them for years.  If I had to make a pie (or had a craving I had to satisfy), I bought store-made crusts.  That was the way I made pie.  Pies are tricky.  The dough is finicky and if you don’t work with it quite right, many things could go wrong.  And of course then, your whole pie is ruined.

Today, my friend called me up and said he had a potluck to go to and he was the designated dessert-bringer.  He asked me,  if I had time today and he paid me, if I would make a dessert he could bring.  Sure, I said, without hesitation.  What would you like?

I don’t know, he said.  Something fruity.  Hmmm…I got to work thinking about what I’ve made before that was successful and didn’t take up my whole afternoon.  How about strawberry-rhubarb pie?  It’s the end of the summer and it’d be perfect!  (Of course, I blurted it out without really thinking.)  That sounds great, he said.  I’ll be by at 5 to pick it up.

It took me a minute to realize what I had just said.   Why in the world did I say I’d make a pie?!  Out of all the “fruity” desserts out there, and the many I’ve made, why did pie come to mind?  Well, obviously I hadn’t put my mind to work because I just blurted it out, and now I had to figure out a way out of this mess.  And then I remembered something.  Something I bought on a whim.  Something that could help me out today.  Oh, thank heaven!

I excitedly ran into the kitchen and pulled this out.  Yup, my new lifesaver–cloth.

I followed the directions and rubbed 1/2 cup of flour into the cloth.

I then set to work on making the crust.  I had my husband go out to the grocery store and buy me a pre-made crust, just in case I messed up.  Just in case.  It’s good to have a back-up when you don’t know what you’re doing.  I added the dry ingredients and then the cold butter and shortening.  Using a pastry blender worked well to incorporate the butter and shortening into the dry ingredients.  (You could use your hands too–get a little dirty!)

Work the dough enough to get bite-size pieces.

Add the water, just to incorporate it a bit more, and “fluff” it with a fork.  You don’t want the dough too wet or too dry.

To know if the dough is ready to be rolled out, squeeze about 1/4 of the dough into your hand.  If the ball holds, it’s ready to be rolled out.

This cloth was so great, it told me how far to roll it out to make my 9-inch pie.  I love it when there’s a cheat-sheet!

Work the dough from the middle out, with gentle, smooth strokes.  You don’t want to work it too much, otherwise it’ll be too tough.  And no one likes crust like that.

When the dough is to the right size, fold it in half, and then half again, so it’s 1/4 the original size.  It’s easier to transfer to the pie plate this way.

Now you add the filling ingredients, and then fold in the fruit.  Pour into the unbaked pie shell.

Now for the crumb topping.  Mix the flour, brown sugar, oats, and cold butter, until it’s crumbly.  Then sprinkle it on top of the pie.

Bake it for about 45 minutes, and you have perfect pie.  Enjoy!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

from Paula Philips,

1 egg

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 pound fresh rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 pint strawberries, halved


3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup quick-cooking oats

1/2 cup cold butter

1.  In a large mixing bowl, beat egg.  Add the sugar, flour and vanilla; mix well.  Gently fold in rhubarb and strawberries.  Pour into pastry shell.

2.  For topping, combine flour, brown sugar and oats in a small bowl; cut in butter until crumbly.  Sprinkle over fruit.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.  Cool on a wire rack.

Pie Pastry

for a 9-inch pie–recipe from my fantastic grandmother

1 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons cold butter, cut in chunks

3 tablespoons cold solid shortening, cut in chunks

1.  In a bowl, mix 1 cup flour and salt.  Add butter and shortening.  With a pastry blender or your fingers, cut in the fats with your fingers until the largest pieces are pea-size.

2.  Sprinkle 2 tablespoons water over the flour mixture.  Stir with a fork just until evenly moistened.  Gently squeeze about 1/4 cup of the dough into a ball; if it won’t hold together, crumble the lump back into the bowl and sprinkle with more water, 1 tablespoon at a time; stir with a fork until evenly moistened.

3.  With lightly floured hands, gently squeeze the dough into a ball.  Pat dough into a 4-inch wide round, pressing to make edges smooth.

4.  Lay dough on a lightly floured surface.  Coat a rolling pin with flour.  Roll firmly but gently in short strokes from the center of the dough outward to form an 11-inch-wide round.  If edges split while rolling, push them back toward the center to make the round relatively smooth.  Occasionally lift dough or turn over, dusting flour beneath to prevent sticking.

5.  Fold the dough round in half, lift it gently without stretching, and lay the folded edge across the middle of a 9-inch pie pan.  Unfold and ease dough into the pan without stretching.  Trim the dough edge evenly about 3/4 inch beyond pan rim.

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Snickers Pie

When I saw this recipe online, I thought, How can anyone pass up a pie made with Snickers?  Well, certainly not me.  This actually is very similar to a Peanut Butter Pie, only you add a little extra something–and, of course, that something is Snickers!


Cut up 3 Snickers bars.  This recipe actually called for a pretzel crust, but I was running low on time and bought a pre-made graham cracker crust.


Layer the Snickers bars along the bottom of the crust.  (There were a little leftover, since I didn’t want to layer the pie too much, so I ate some.  Nothing went to waste!)

Make the filling and pour into the pie pan.  Bake and then cool and chill in the fridge.  Cover it with melted chocolate and sprinkle with chopped peanuts and you’re ready to serve!

Snickers Pie

Southern Living, on-line recipe

 3 (2.07) oz. Snickers bars

1 graham cracker pie crust

1 1/2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup sour cream

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

2 large eggs

2/3 cup semisweet chocolate morsels

2 tablespoons whipping cream

1/4 cup coarsely chopped, lightly salted peanuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Cut candy bars into 1/4-inch pieces; arrange over bottom of crust.

 Beat cream cheese and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended.  Add sour cream and peanut butter, beating at low speed until well blended.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition.  Spoon cream cheese mixture over candy on crust.

 Bake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until set.  Remove to a wire rack, and let cool 1 hour or until completely cool.  Cover and chill 2 hours.

 Microwave chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl set at HIGH for 30 seconds or until melted and smooth, stirring at 15-second intervals.  (I just used a double boiler.  I am always worried about overheating my chocolate!)  Drizzle over top of cooled pie, and sprinkle evenly with peanuts.

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Lemon Pie

My husband’s birthday is next week and I decided to make him an early birthday present–a pie.  I had quite a few lemons and a Pillsbury frozen pie crust, so I looked through my cookbooks and found an old family recipe that I remember my grandmother making for me all the time.  This lemon pie is tart, so if you don’t like to pucker up when eating a fruit dessert, then this isn’t the dessert for you. 

 I grabbed my nice 9-inch pie plate and sprayed cooking spray inside the plate before rolling out my thawed-out pie dough.  I thought, I don’t want this crust to stick to my nice glass pie plate!  (Nevermind the fact that I’ve made pie crusts before and it alluded me that this is a no-no.)  It looks so pretty in the glass plate and I even fluted it!

I baked it as the instructions said, and this is how it turned out.

 What happened to my pretty pie crust?  The only thing I can think of is that I used cooking spray.  I reread the package instructions, and low and behold, it said to not use spray.  So, I dumped the crust in the garbage, washed the pie plate, and tried again, this time making sure I followed the directions.  While the crust was in the oven a second time, I made the pie filling.  First, I squeezed lemon juice.  (That is so fun!)

I then mixed all the ingredients in a saucepan and let the mixture thicken to pudding-like consistency.

The kitchen timer dinged and I eagerly opened the oven to see my beautiful pie crust.  What?  It looked just like the first one.  Argg!  I even followed the directions to a T.  I should have just made my own pie crust.  (Well, maybe I would have had the same problems.)

I decided to put the filling in anyway, since I didn’t want it to go to waste.  Some of the filling went over the edge, but since it was just for my husband and me, presentation didn’t matter.

And with the meringue, you didn’t even notice.

Two hours later, I had my pie, but, I couldn’t eat it yet because it had to cool.  So sad…I had to wait until the next day to enjoy it.

Lemon Pie


4 tablespoons flour

4 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

2 1/4 cups boiling water

3/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed

grated lemon rind of one lemon

1 pie crust, baked

1 tablespoon butter

3 egg yolks, beaten

3 egg whites, beaten

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

pinch of salt

6 tablespoons sugar

Mix together the first 4 ingredients in a medium-size saucepan; add water, lemon juice, and grated rind and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Cook until thick.  Add beaten egg yolks to a little of the mixture (tempering the yolks, otherwise you’ll cook the eggs–scoop out some of the mixture and put it in a container with yolks), then add to entire mixture in the pan.  Cook on low heat 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and add the 1 tablespoon butter.  Once the butter is incorporated, pour into pie crust.

Meringue:  Beat the egg whites until frothy.  Add cream of tartar and salt.  Beat whites until thick, adding sugar–2 tablespoons at a time–until stiff.  Spread on pie.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned.  Cool completely before serving.


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Perfect Pie Pastry

My grandmother, Viva, makes all her pies from scratch, even the dough. This is her favorite recipe. She likes her pie crust thin, but you can make it a little thicker, depending on whether or not you want a thick, decorative crust. This recipe can be used for a 9-inch single crust, or a 9-inch double crust.

Perfect Pie Pastry
For a 9-inch single-crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut in chunks
3 tablespoons cold solid shortening, cut in chunks

For a 9-inch double-crust
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut in chunks
6 tablespoons cold solid shortening, cut in chunks

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, whisk the flour and the salt. Add butter and shortening. With a pastry blender or your fingers, cut in the fats (butter and shortening) with your fingers until the largest pieces are pea-size.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cold water (single crust) or 4 tablespoons water (double crust) over flour mixture. Fold (take the fork and move the dough from the bottom of the bowl to the top of the bowl, rotating the bowl with each stroke) with a fork just until evenly moistened. Gently squeeze about ¼ cup of the dough into a ball; if it won’t hold together, crumble the lump back into the bowl and sprinkle with more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Stir with a fork until evenly moistened.

With lightly floured hands, gently squeeze dough into a ball. For a double crust, divide the dough in half and shape each half into a ball. Pat dough into a 4-inch wide round (2 rounds for a double crust), pressing to make edges smooth.

Lay dough (1 round for double crust) on a lightly floured surface. Coat a rolling pin with flour and roll firmly but gently in short strokes from the center of the dough outward to form an 11-inch-wide round. (Make sure that you don’t add too much flour, as it will make your dough really tough.) If edges split while rolling, push them back toward the center to make the round relatively smooth.

Occasionally lift the dough or turn over, dusting small amounts of flour beneath the dough to prevent sticking. Fold the dough round in half, lift it gently without stretching, and lay the folded edge across the middle of a 9-inch pie pan. Unfold and ease dough into pan without stretching. Trim dough edges evenly ¾-inch beyond pan rim. Prick with a fork.

Bake 10-15 minutes, but check about 8-10 minutes in. The dough should be a light golden brown color.

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