Classic Lemon Meringue Pie

IMG_8526

Classic Lemon Meringue Pie by twocarolines.com

 

I know we are all on a heavy diet of pumpkin spice sweets, and lemons may not seem seasonal, but the most fruitful season for lemons is winter, and we’re almost there!  This recipe is seriously old school, it’s the lemon meringue your grandma made, but even better!  I got it from a beautiful and wise older gal I went to church with named Wanda Green, is it just me or do you know a classic pie recipe will be amazing coming from someone named Wanda Green? It’s not a beginners pie, but it’s really not difficult, there are just a number of steps, and whenever you have meringue in a game, a little experience is helpful.  That being said, it was my first time making a classic lemon meringue pie and the process was smooth and simple with wonderfully delicious results that took me straight to my Grandma Lynn’s kitchen.

Traditional 9″ Pie Crust – try our King Family Pie crust! Blind baked at 450 for 8 minutes or until lightly browned.

Filling:
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup corn starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs seperated
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

  1. Mix 1/2 cup of sugar, cornstarch and salt in double boiler top (I just use a stainless steel bowl on a 3 qt saucepan).  Gradually stir in water.  Cook over boiling water, stirring constantly, until thick enough to mound slightly when dropped from a spoon.  Cover; cook 10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.  Do not remove from boiling water.
  2. Combine egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar.  Blend a little hot mixture into egg yolk mixture: ten stir all into remaining mixture over boiling water.  Gently stir in butter, lemon rind, and juice.  Cover with clear wrap to prevent top hardening.  Cool to room temperature without stirring.  Turn filling into prepared pastry shell.  cover with meringue as directed.

Meringue:

3 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons sugar

  1. Beat egg whites with vanilla and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.  (White beat fluffier at room temp)
  2. Gradually add sugar, beating until stiff and glossy and all the sugar is dissolved.  Spread meringue over filling (which is now at room temperature) sealing meringue to the edges of pastry all around.  This prevents shrinking.
  3. Bake in moderate oven – 350 degrees, 12-15 minutes, or until peaks of meringue are golden brown.  Cool at room temperature.

    IMG_8521

Strawberry Streusel Pie

IMG_2385

Strawberry Streusel Pie by twocarolines.com

Here in coastal So. Cali there have been really nice strawberries lately.  Summer is almost over for us, our kids are going back to school later this week, but the strawberries haven’t been this sweet all summer so a strawberry streusel pie just seemed like the right thing to do.  I thought about doing a strawberry pie with one of those intricate braided, flowered, super detailed double crusts, and then I remembered how I have 3 young kids and an insane schedule and no time for that mumbo jumbo right now.  I also remembered that streusel is dear to my heart – anything is better when you top it with a nice crumbly, sweet, delicious crumb.  This pie turned out so incredible!  The strawberries baked up super sweet and the streusel top made for such a texture knock out.  It’s the perfect accompaniment to any Labor Day spread!

traditional 9 inch pie crust par baked – with ours that means bake for about 6- minutes at 425 before filling (I actually used a deep dish so I just rolled our recipe really thin and it worked out well, but could have been a little more full, it will fill a 9 inch nicely but be sure to bake on a sheet to prevent spills)

For the filling:
6 cups (2 pounds) strawberries hulled and quartered
1/2 cup sugar (less if you want your pie less sweet)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon lemon or orange zest
1/4 teaspoon cardamon
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

For crumb topping:
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly

  1.  First make the crust, par bake it and set it aside.  Set your oven to 350.
  2. Make the filling: Toss the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch and spices and zest in a mixing bowl. Let sit in the fridge or at room temp for a good 25 minutes and strain out any juices.
  3. While you are waiting for your strawberries to let out some juice make your crumb streusel topping.  Combine the oatmeal, flour and sugar in a small bowl and toss to combine. Add the melted butter and stir until thoroughly incorporated. Freeze or refrigerate the topping until chilled, a good 10-15 minutes.
  4. Spoon your strawberry filling into the crust being sure to not include juice.  Spread the crumb topping over the top and bake in the middle rack of the oven (put a cookies sheet under to prevent spills) until your pie is bubbly and the crust and topping are golden brown, about 55 minutes.  Transfer to a rack to cool to room temperature before serving.

Recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasee Strawberry Crumb Pie 

Blueberry Lattice Pie

Two Carolines Blueberry Lattice Pie.JPG

If you want an easy and delicious pie recipe, this one’s for you! It is so easy to put together and has a big payoff in flavor and texture. It tastes like summer, sunshine and joy. Also, I think it probably has three to four of your daily servings of fruit—and this pie is so good—you could eat it all in one sitting. Now that I call a win-win.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
  • 1 tablespoon butter, diced
  • Turbinado sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Mix sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cinnamon, and sprinkle over blueberries. Mix well. Line pie dish with one pie crust. Pour berry mixture into the crust, and dot with butter. Cut remaining pastry into 1/2-3/4 inch wide strips, and make lattice top. Crimp and flute edges. Sprinkle turbinado sugar on the top (A tip from my pie expert mama is to spritz the top of the crust with water to make the sugar stick more easily. Bake pie on lower shelf of oven for about 40-50 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. (If the crust edges start to get too brown after 30 minutes, cover with foil.)

-CK 1.0

Chocolate Chess Pie

IMG_6132

There are so many chocolate pies that I want to eat every day, and I’ve posted enough for you to probably eat a chocolate pie every day for a month straight!  Some of my favorites are of course, Chocolate Cinnamon Mousse, Chocolate Granola, Double Chocolate Pecan and the creamy dreamy Chocolate Cream, but today I’m sharing one of the easiest chocolate pies I’ve ever made.   I think we can all agree that low effort with big reward can be nice sometimes.  The pies listed above have varying levels of difficulty, and perhaps some ingredients you don’t keep in stock – but this one is not only easy, all of these ingredients are in your pantry.  You can make it any time and you will love the surprise of a custard pie texture with a rich chocolatey taste.  Plus, we know how to make a super easy and delicious pie crust now, so chocolate chess pie is on the menu TONIGHT!

Standard 9’Pie Crust – We use a shortening crust, but whatever you prefer will taste great!
(If you’re using a deep dish pie crust go 1 1/2 on this recipe but 2 eggs is still fine)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons cocoa (if you want to be fancy step up your game and use dutch process cocoa like the valrhona one pictured – hershey’s works fine though)
pinch of salt
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
2 eggs beaten
3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional, but come on, who doesn’t choose chocolate chips?)

IMG_0293

Mix sugar, cocoa, and salt together then blend in the milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla then fold in chocolate chips.  Pour filling into crust.

Bake 45-50 minutes, until almost completely set.  The filling should just barely wobble in the center when pan is jiggled.

Cool to room temperature on a wire rack.  You can serve room temp or you can chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours or overnight before serving chilled.  I recommend serving with whip cream or even a scoop of ice cream.  If you serve hot, the butter will not set into the filling so painful as it is, it’s best to wait for pie to cool.

Recipe adapted from Mrs. Rowe’s little book of Southern Pies.

Black Bottom Vanilla Cream Pie with Salted Caramel Sauce

IMG_5502

Black Bottom Vanilla Cream Pie with salted caramel sauce by twocarolines.com

As my loyal readers have noticed, I have a new habit of slapping a black bottom on every pie I make – it’s my new favorite party trick.  I put one on the incredibly delicious peanut butter chocolate pie, my nutella pie, and lately I’m throwing this down on all my cream pies like banana cream and coconut cream pie.  This cream pie recipe is one you’ve maybe seen here before, but not when it’s atop a decadent layer of ganache and dripping with salted caramel sauce.  This was an experiment that paid off MAJOR! I was so happy with it and it’s not very hard to make! On this pi day I give you this super winning equation of chocolate + vanilla + salted caramel = PIE that will rock your world!

Crust: Traditional pie crust – our recipe is awesome and easy.  I made this in a deep dish pie pan, but it would work in a standard 9″ – it would just be really full – you could save some ganache for later if it looks like you’re filling it too full before you get to your cream filling.
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup crisco
4 tablespoons ice water

Ganache:
1 cup chopped chocolate or chocolate chips (I love it with a dark bittersweet chocolate)
1/3 cup heavy cream

Filling:
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 (scant) teaspoon salt
3 3/4 cup whole milk
7 large egg yolks
4 tablespoons butter (cut into small pieces)
2 teaspoons vanilla

Salted Caramel: 
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt

Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

  1. To make the crust, mix your flour and salt, then add the Crisco and cut it into the flour with a pastry blender as you add the cold water.  It will start to come together at which point you can pull in all the dry parts with your hands and quickly knead it into a ball.  Flour your work surface and roll it into a thin circle.  Roll it onto your rolling pin and slowly into your (ungreased) pie pan.  Make a ridge around the outside and crimp as desired.  Poke all over with holes or put beans or pie weights into your crust with parchment before baking.  Blind bake at 450 7-9 minutes until lightly browned.
  2. While crust is cooking and cooling make your chocolate ganache.  You can melt your chocolate and cream in a double boiler on the stove, or with  my preferred method –  Place chocolate and cream in a glass pyrex in the microwave on defrost for a few minutes or in 20 second increments on full power until the chocolate loses it’s shape and you can whisk it all smooth.   You don’t want it to get too hot so the key is to heat is slowly.  Pour your ganache layer into your (mostly) cooled pie crust and put it into the freezer or fridge so it can harden while you make your filling.
  3. Put sugar and cornstarch in a large saucepan with a thick bottom.  With your burner on medium/high (I keep mine just above medium) slowly pour in the milk and stir until combined then add your egg yolks one at a time, whisking after each until no yellow streaks remain.  Now switch to a heat proof rubber spatula and stirring constantly bring to a simmer.  Once the bubbles come up and you know it’s starting to boil scrape down the sides of the bowl and whisk until smooth then return to the heat and stir constantly for 1 minute while your mixture slowly bubbles (wear an apron!).  Remove from the heat and stir in butter and vanilla until all is combined then pour into your prepared pie crust on top of your cooled ganache.

    IMG_5501

    black bottom vanilla cream pie by twocarolines.com

  4. Put plastic wrap directly over the top before refrigerating.  Be sure to let it cool a solid 4 hours or so before you top it with whipped cream and salted caramel.
  5. For the Caramel whisk together sugar and water in a medium (heavy bottom) saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until sugar is just dissolved.  Add butter and bring to a slow boil without stirring.  Continue cooking over medium heat until the mixture turns a deep golden brown, almost copper (DO NOT STIR).  Remove from heat and immediately but slowly add the heavy cream.  Be careful as your caramel will bubble and steam.  Add salt.  Whisk the final mixture together well and set aside to cool – it will get thicker as it cools.
  6. To make the cream, whip heavy cream in a cool bowl and add sugar as it starts to thicken to desired consistency.
  7. To serve, drizzle caramel over each slice then serve and store refrigerated…if there’s anything left!

Cream Pie recipe adapted from Joy of Cooking vanilla cream pie and Salted Caramel adapted from Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book.

Dark Chocolate Derby Pie

img_1376

Dark Chocolate Derby Pie pc @summer_elevate twocarolines.com

I first posted this Dark Chocolate Derby pie last spring on the Elevate Everyday blog, and I’m sharing here now because it’s the perfect addition to any holiday meal.  My need for things of the chocolate mint variety this time of year is insatiable – and this one is the best versions of chocolate, and mint, plus it has a grown up taste that feels so fancy.   With one bite you taste a refreshing hint of peppermint followed by a deep, rich, complex and incredible chocolate flavor that is so smooth and dreamy it just melts in your mouth.  If you don’t enjoy rich desserts please move to the next pie recipe on the list, but if you’re a chocolate kid like me, stock up on some serious bittersweet chocolate and get to chopping, this beauty has 12 ounces of that business and I’m loving every bite!

1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I subbed about 3 ounces semi-sweet just to make sure it wasn’t too bitter and it turned out amazing)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (stick to this – a little goes a long way)
2 tablespoons bourbon (I had never used it before, but you cook it than bake it so you won’t get drunky and it adds a very complex amazing flavor.  You could probably omit it and be fine though)
cocoa powder for dusting

  1. 1 pre-baked 9 inch traditional pie crust.  Our recipe is super easy and perfect for this pie.  Pre-heat oven to 325.
  2. Combine the milk and cream in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring just to a boil. Put your chopped chocolate into a large bowl and once you see those bubbles coming up with your cream mixture pour it over the top of your chocolate.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Next add salt and whisk steadily until all the chocolate is melted.
  3. Crack the eggs into a separate bowl and whisk.  Slowly stream a small amount of the chocolate mixture into the eggs, whisking as you pour.  Continue until the egg mixture feels warm to the touch, and then mix it back into the chocolate mixture.  Add the peppermint extract and bourbon (if using) then whisk until smooth.
  4. Strain the filling through a fine-mesh sieve directly into your pie shell.  Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 30-35 minutes rotating at around 20 minutes for an even bake.  The pie is finished when the edges are set about 2 inches in and puffed slightly and the center is no longer liquid but the filling will continue to cook and set after the pie is removed from the oven.  Allow to cool completely on a wire rack 2-3 hours.  Before serving dust with cocoa powder.

Recipe adapted from Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book 2013

 

 

Chocolate Cinnamon Mousse Pie

image

Chocolate Cinnamon Mousse Pie by twocarolines

You guys, I’m about to drop some life altering pie knowledge on you, it’s a gift that is likely to end up being better than anything under the tree.  I’m even going to go there and declare this my FAVORITE PIE OF ALL TIME! Chocolate Cinnamon Mousse Pie is legend in these parts made famous first by our sister Kristin, then by me, but originating with Caroline v1.0 who has literally won awards with this pie that trumps all pies.  Every time I’ve served it people respond with big eyes repeated by even bigger bites, followed by requests for more and always ending in wide applause.  It’s layer upon layer of creamy, chocolatey goodness and I seriously can’t wait for you to try it and become a Chocolate Cinnamon Mousse Pie devotee for life. – CK 2.0

1 deep dish traditional pie crust baked and cooled (try ours! It’s a cinch and flaky perfect every time)

2 eggs separated
½ teaspoon vinegar (white or rice vinegar)
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup sugar
8 ounces chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
¼ cup  + 2 teaspoons water
3 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Beat together egg whites, vinegar and salt until almost stiff but not dry. Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff. Spread meringue over bottom and up sides of a pie shell (the many layers are why you should use a deep dish pie pan) Bake in 325 oven 15-18 minutes until lightly browned.

IMG_0060

meringue layer for chocolate cinnamon mousse pie

Melt chocolate chips over hot, not boiling water, beat together room temperature egg yolks lightly. Thoroughly blend yolks into melted chocolate, add water and mix well. Spread 3 -4 tablespoons of the chocolate mixture over the cooked and slightly cooled meringue. Chill remainder of chocolate until it begins to thicken and set aside.  Beat together cream, sugar, and cinnamon until very thick.

Spread ½ of whipped cream mixture over chocolate mixture in pie shell. Fold chilled chocolate mixture into remaining whipped cream (it helps to make a divot in each layer so the layers don’t get too high) Pile the chocolate whip cream layer on top of pie last. Top with shaved chocolate if you wish. Chill at least 4 hours