One of the reasons I started this blog is to help people be less intimidated by baking – for some reason there’s a lot of fear about pie crust. You guys it’s so much easier than you think. And it’s something that’s really fun to get good at!
Pie crust is something bakers are passionate about, maybe even to the point of controversy, the battle of the pie fats is alive and well and in the twocarolines.com kitchen we are leaders of the Crisco crust gang, but we don’t want to fight you, we just want to hang out and eat pie with you.
Here’s the crust Joyce King made famous that both Caroline’s can make blindfolded. It’s fairly easy, consistently delicious and as long as you keep your Crisco supply in check, you will always have these ingredients around. I will often make 3 at a time and freeze two of them all rolled into a pan and crimped so all I need to do is take them out and fill them with something amazing. Obviously double this if you’re doing a double crust pie.
King Pie Crust:
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup Crisco shortening (not generic, not butter flavored)
4 tablespoons ice cold water (give or take for a nice playdough texture)
Mix up your salt and flour. Add Crisco and cut it in with a pastry cutter, or with this handy mix and masher tool I use all the time. Should look like shaggy crumbs at this point. Add your water and continue to mix in with your tool then get all the dough off of that with a rubber spatula and with that spatula continue to pull the flour off the sides of the bowl and press it together until you take it with your hands and mix it into a nice play-dough-ey ball. It should be malleable, not too dry but not sticky.
Press your dough ball into a disk on a floured surface (I like to work with a little bit wetter dough and dry it with my rolling surface flour). Keep working with your hands until you have a nice circle, throw a little flour on top of that. Take your rolling pin, and start rolling your dough out into a large thin circle. It helps to have a cover or pastry sleeve on your rolling pin so your dough doesn’t stick. We like our crust nice and thin.
You may need to cut around if your circle is wompy and fill in or take away until your dough is in a fairly even circle. Pull up one edge onto your rolling pin and slowly roll your dough around the rolling pin then roll it out with about an inch over the sides into your pie pan.
Next, use kitchen shears to cut where you have excessive hangover and feed that into areas where your crust looks too close to the edge. Then fold your edges under into a ridge and crimp as desired. Be sure when you crimp to press your crust up on the edge of your pan so it doesn’t slip down the sides when you bake it – this is particularly important for a blind bake. Fluted or wavy crimp is the easiest, but I also enjoy a triangle crimp which is achieved by pressing your thumb from the inside of your pan into the edge and meeting it on the outside with your index finger and thumb of your other hand. Don’t be afraid to get creative, there are loads of fun crimp instructions online. But we will be posting our own soon. Check out Facebook page for immediate crimping help.
A quick note on blind baking. Pies that do not bake such as cream pies or fresh fruit pies need a crust that is already baked or “blind baked” – in this case, we recommend poking lots of holes in your crust with a fork which will prevent bubbles. You can also bake your crust with pie weights or dry beans in parchment, but we find the hole poking method to work just fine. This crust is easy to bake alone, in a 425 degree oven, bake on the top shelf for about 7 minutes or until your crust is a nice light golden brown. If your crust slips into your pan use gloves and a clean dish cloth to push back up. Let cool before filling.
I shared this pie almost a year ago as a guest post on one of my friends blogs, but I’ve shared it MANY times with friends for various events and just whenever I want to eat one of the most delicious bakes in my arsenal. I had to post it here today because so many friends have been asking for the recipe with Thanksgiving less than a week away! This pie not only checks all the boxes, crunchy, chewy, chocolatey, nutty, sweet, salty, mouth melty…it also makes the people you serve it to think you’re a total genius in the kitchen. The cool trick is that it’s one of the easiest pies I make, and honestly, the only pie that competes with this for my favorites is chocolate cinnamon mousse, but that’s a much more involved pie so granola pie has become my go to. It’s really good served warm, but I think it’s even better served cold, it’s amazing on it’s own, but heaped high with whipped cream or ice cream and you are winning all the pie awards this year. I implore you to add it to your Thanksgiving line up and share this recipe with your pie loving friends!
Crust: unbaked 9″ Traditional pie crust – ours is easy and always delicious! I sometimes make this in a deep dish pie pan in which case I just go heavy on all the ingredients – you can’t really mess it up I promise!
½ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
¾ cup light corn syrup
⅛ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs (beaten)
4 nature valley oat’s n’ honey granola bars (2 pouches) crushed
½ cup walnuts
¼ cup oats (quick or old fashioned)
½ (rounded) chopped chocolate or chocolate chips
Prepare pie crust by pressing into pan and crimping as desired. I usually put my unbaked crust in the freezer while I prepare the filling which makes it extra flakey. Preheat oven to 350.
In large Microsoft waveable bowl melt butter, stir in brown sugar and corn syrup until blended. Beat in salt, vanilla and eggs. Stir in crushed granola bars, walnuts, oats and chocolate chips. Pour into crust lined pan.
Bake 40-50 minutes or until filling is set and crust is golden brown. During last 15-20 minutes of baking cover crust edge with strips of aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning (if you don’t want to bother, it’s not a huge deal). I use a pie shield that’s handy for pies that have a long bake time. Cool at least 30 minutes before serving. Tastes great warm, room temp or chilled with whipped cream or ice cream. Cover and refrigerate any remaining pie, but remaining pie is unlikely.
Recipe adapted from Pillsbury Bake Off winner 2004 Oats and Honey Pie (which I literally watched the winner announced on Oprah back in 2004 and I’ve been making this pie ever since!)
It’s November, and I’m hungry for pie every day. Toasted Coconut Cream Pie is such a special dessert, it’s really not very difficult, but it feels elegant and special. I like to paint my crust with chocolate which puts it totally over the top. There is just mind blowing flavor and the chewy toasty coconut bits make it have incredible texture. It’s hands down one of my favorite pie experiences and I’m going to need to bring this to my November pie line up for SURE. A cool bonus is that once you learn this recipe you have the foundation for pretty much all my cream pies. I use it for banana cream pie, strawberry cream pie, chocolate cream pie, and more! Seriously guys, stop being intimidated by pie, it’s really fun, easier than you think, and such a joy to eat and serve. You have a Caroline or two here for you every step of the way.
For the crust:
single 9-10 inch traditional pie crust 1/3 cup chopped chocolate or chocolate chips
1 teaspoon coconut oil
For the filling: 1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 cups whole milk (if you don’t have whole use what you have, or mix lowfat milk with cream)
7 egg yolks (save whites for a fancy frosting or meringue in your baking future)
3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
Make your crust:
Pre-heat oven to 450. Roll your crust into your pan, I like to use a medium pie pan, not the little tiny ones, and not the super deep dish, but you can make any size work, you might need to just keep a little filling as some pudding for later or you might need to bulk up your coconut and add cream on top. And you can always roll our traditional pie crust nice and thin for a deep dish or have a little extra for a standard 9″
Blind bake your crust, ours takes about 8 minutes in a 450 oven on the top rack. Use either pie weights or poke loads of holes (that’s the twocarolines method). You want it nicely browned on edges and if it slumps a little just use a tea towel to reshape while it’s hot. Keep your oven on but turn to 325 to toast coconut.
Melt your chocolate and teaspoon of coconut oil in a pyrex or heatproof bowl. I prefer to do this in the microwave on defrost power so it never gets too hot. If you don’t have a defrost setting melt 20 seconds at a time until chocolate starts to loose its form then let it sit and add a few seconds at at time until you can whisk it smooth.
Spread your chocolate into the crust of your baked pie crust painting up on to the sides halfway and all across the bottom. Let this cool while you make your filling so the chocolate gets hard.
Toast your coconut:
Set oven to 325. Spread out 1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened dried coconut on a baking sheet for about 8-10 minutes stirring a few times until it’s got some nice color and smells amazing. Set aside.
Make your filling:
Put sugar, cornstarch and salt into a medium/large heavy saucepan. I use this all clad one, anything decent sized with a good thick bottom will work.
Gradually whisk in your milk
Vigorously whisk in your egg yolks one at a time until no yellow streaks remain.
Stirring constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula, bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat once bubbles come up and scrape down the corners of your saucepan and whisk until smooth.
Return to heat and whisking constantly, bring a simmer and cook for 1 minute.
Take off the heat and whisk in your butter, vanilla and coconut extract.
Pour about 1/3 of your filling into baked pie crust, layer with coconut and another 1/3 of your filling alternating and ending with coconut on top. If you’re topping your pie with whipped cream save some coconut to put on top of that.
Chill for a good 4 hours before serving. This pie keeps nicely in the fridge for a good 5 days or so.
Pecan pie is a Thanksgiving staple, and our Caramel Pecan Pie is guaranteed to be all the things you want from a pecan pie and MORE! But when it’s possible to take something amazing and then add chocolate, you best believe I’m going to do that. This pie is a full on game changer! Maybe you don’t prefer to make a pie per person for your Thanksgiving meal, this is an easy way to combine the needs of the chocolate crowd with the pecan pie people. The texture is part rich chocolate decadence but it still gives you that magical transparent pie layer and the nuts add such an earthy beautiful flavor and texture – It’s truly the best of both worlds!
1 traditional pie crust uncooked and prepared in a 9-10 inch pie pan (if you use a larger pan you might need to add a little cream on top to come out even)
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chopped (I use a mix of semi and bittersweet)
3 tablespoons butter
3 eggs beaten
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 pecan halves
Heat oven to 350
Take 5 ounces of your chopped chocolate and set it aside, about half if you don’t have a scale. Microwave remaining chocolate and butter in a large microwavable bowl in 30 second increments until chocolate and butter are melted and there are no chunks.
Brush the bottom of your pie crust with small amount of your beaten eggs. Add your remaining eggs, sugar, corn syrup and vanilla to the chocolate mixture and stir until well blended. Add chopped chocolate and nuts, mix well and pour into prepared pie crust.
Bake 45-50 minutes or so until there is only the slightest jiggle in the middle but it’s mostly set and a knife in the center comes out clean.
Best served room temperature with whipped cream or ice cream. I don’t recommend refrigerating as the chocolate gets so hard, but you can if you wish, it will keep at room temperature for a good 4-5 days.
We posted this pie almost a year ago and since it’s October and all, I felt it was time for an update and re-post because seriously IT’S THE BESSSST!! Now I know that many of you cannot leave your Thanksgiving table without pumpkin pie, it’s a staple of the season and although there are many versions of this pie, rarely does it taste bad, but really and truly – NEVER has it tasted this good! The brilliant and talented Caroline King v1.0 came up with the idea to spread a layer of dulce de leche at the bottom of her Mom’s pumpkin pie recipe, did I mention that she’s a genius? I use my favorite pumpkin pie filling that I’ve adapted from the Joy of Cooking classic, made with cream, not evap or sweetened condensed milk – and it is so creamy dreamy and has a nice firm texture with SO MUCH PUMPKIN FLAVOR! I love it the most. I know you will love it, but I leave you with this warning: This pie will ruin you for Costco pumpkin pie forever – sorry bout that.
One 9″ traditional pie crust – I roll thin and easily fill a deep dish, but you can make this work in a 9″ as well. We recommend our recipe, but use whatever you like!
1 can dulce de leche 2 large eggs
2 cups pumpkin puree (I can isn’t quite two cups but it works out just fine)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (or evap milk if that’s how you roll, I recommend cream)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves or allspice
1/2 teaspoon cardamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
Crust – 1 single 9-10 inch traditional pie crust, unbaked. Deep dish pie pan recommended. We use a shortening crust you can find instructions for here. Do whatever crust you like best. Preheat oven to 375
After you have prepared your crust warm up around 3/4-1 cup of the dulce de leche – just 20 seconds or less so it’s easy to spread out around the bottom of your pie pan in an even layer. You can take it out of the can and microwave it in a pyrex or just warm it up by putting the can in hot water.
Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and don’t stress on spices -you can use pumpkin pie spice if you don’t have all of the above. My advice is to take a taste and if your raw filling tastes like it needs more flavor add accordingly.
Pour pumpkin filling into your prepared pie crust over the dulce de leche layer and bake for 35-45 minutes until firm – mine took around 48 last time, check for doneness, more than bake time. You know it’s done when it is no longer liquid, it’s okay if there’s some jiggle in the middle, but your pie is done when the sides are bubbling up your dulce layer and the middle wiggles like jello, not like liquid.
Cool completely on a wire rack before serving and refrigerate remaining pie which will be delicious for a number of days but it will be gone much sooner than that. I recommend fresh whipped cream with a little cinnamon and sugar or vanilla ice cream – but even on it’s own you will go nuts for it!
I’m always looking for recipes with chocolate and nuts, and lately I’ve been on a pecan/ walnut binge, so it was fun to make this tart that reminded me of how magical almonds and chocolate are together. It’s likely there will be more chocolate almond combos coming your way after this smashing success. The texture of this tart is almost caramel like, it was really interesting and so so easy to make. The original recipe calls for milk chocolate chips, she says that the dark or semi-sweet option made it too rich for her. I am not familiar with the sensation of something being “too rich” – I used a combination of semi-sweet and dark chocolate and I thought it was just right!
1/3 cup butter
1 cup flour
1 egg beaten
1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
12 ounces chocolate – either one bag of chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
1/2 teaspoon (or up to 1 tsp if you really want some almond punch) almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup almonds chopped
for garnish – another 1/3 cup almonds and whipped cream
Preheat oven to 400. For the crust: In a medium bowl, cut the butter and flour with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Add the beaten egg. Stir until a dough forms. Press the dough firmly into a tart pan or 9″ pie tin. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Reduce oven to 350. For the filling – in a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add the sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, and extracts. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted. Stir in the almonds. Pour and spread evenly into the tart crust. Bake an additional 23-25 mintutes or until the edges are set but the center still has some jiggle. Cool in the pan on a rack. Serve in slices, garnished with whipped cream and chopped almonds on top.
You are not mistaken, we’ve posted a peanut butter pie before. Caroline King 1.0 made a gorgeous one a few months back and her chocolate peanut butter pie is amazing, but we can’t limit ourselves to just one! I mean, this is chocolate peanut butter we are talking about, we insist on making ALL OF THE THINGS that contain this magical combination. I had heard rumor of this pie, and once I looked it up I was sure it would be good, made better only by a thin layer of chocolate ganache on bottom. IT WAS AMAZING! My husband declared it his favorite new dessert, he wouldn’t even let me share it! It really was a triumph, so delicious, just smooth, rich, creamy, perfect peanut butter chocolate flavor. And I added a touch of coarse salt in the crust which totally makes your mouth melt with yumminess. I can’t wait for you guys to make it, you’re going to freak out for sure.
For the crust:
25 whole oreos (you could also use chocolate wafers, or chocolate graham crackers)
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
4 tablespoons butter, melted
For thin ganache layer: (double if you want a thick one, but I thought this was the perfect amount)
3/4 cups chocolate chips or other chopped chocolate
1/4 cup heavy cream
For the filling:
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 package (8 ounces) softened cream cheese
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 package (8 ounce) cool whip, thawed
chocolate curls for decoration
For the crust – Crush the Oreos until they’re fine crumbs, I used a food processor which I think works the best. Add the coarse salt. Pour melted butter over the top and stir with a fork to combine. Press into pie pan creating as even a layer as possible and bake at 350 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes, or until set.
For the ganache. Heat up the cream in a heatproof container (I just use a handy pyrex measuring cup) for about 1 minute then add chocolate and heat on defrost or in 20 second increments until you can whisk it smooth. Spread out in the bottom of your crust.
For the filling – Beat the peanut butter with the cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add in the thawed Cool Whip and beat mixture until smooth, scraping the sides as needed.
Pour filling into crust, evening out the top with a knife or spatula. If you would like sprinkle the top with chocolate curls. Chill for at least an hour before serving. Pie keeps well covered for a good 5 days, but don’t count on it lasting that long!
The dark, mysterious, beautifully flavored and often misunderstood blackberry is the star of this show. Nice firm and tart Granny Smith apples support the berries so things aren’t one note smooshy or soupy, but that gorgeous dark magenta berry bubbling out the top of these hand pies tastes like all that is right in the world. I used this butter crust recipe, and you know I’m loyal to my shortening, but for a handpie where you’re going to need to handle the dough more and it takes more of a center stage, this dough worked out well, but it is tougher to make and can be harder to work with so feel free to use a shortening dough if that’s what you prefer. You can use other berries too, but this combo made for a sweet and sour flavor explosion of total and complete hand-pie joy!
Pâte Brisée (don’t be freaked out by the name, it’s basically just a butter crust) 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon sugar 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
extra flour for dusting
1 egg lightly beaten for tops of pies
demera or raw sugar for sprinkling
Apple Berry Filling:
2 granny smith apples peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes
2 1/2 cups blackberries 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/4 cup granulated sugar (I thought this was the perfect amount of sweetness, but you can use a little more if you want your pies less sweet) 2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
First make the Pâte Brisée or crust. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt; pulse to combine. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds. (To mix by hand, combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then cut in butter with a pastry blender.)
With machine running, add ice water through feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until dough holds together without being wet or sticky. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Test by squeezing a small amount of dough together; if it is still too crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Turn out dough onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Shape into flattened disks. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. (The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.)
To make the filling in a medium bowl, add apples, blackberries, lemon, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and cardamom; stir to combine, set aside.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with Silpats (a French nonstick baking mat) or parchment paper.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll one half of dough into a large rectangle, about 1/8-inch-thick. Using a 5-inch cookie cutter, cut out 6 rounds. Transfer rounds to prepared baking sheet. I used a small bowl and just traced around it with a knife because I don’t have a large cookie cutter – I think mine was just short of 5 inches.
Place about 3 or so tablespoons of the apple/berry mixture onto one round – use a slotted spoon and leave any juices in the bowl so you don’t get soupy pies. Lightly brush egg around the edge of each round. Take another dough round and put it on top. Gently press edges together to seal. I then took a fork to the edge for decoration, do what you think looks cool. Brush the tops of each pie with egg. Using a paring knife, slash the top of each pie. Sprinkle generously with raw or demera sugar.
Repeat this process with second half of dough and remaining filling on second baking sheet.I was able to make 8 total, but you can use less filling and roll them over into half moons to make more.
Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer pies to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving. Or let cool completely, and store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 4 days.
Give us ALL the chocolate pies! It’s a recurring theme, there’s German chocolate, chocolate chess, chocolate cinnamon mousse, chocolate cream and actually about 5 more chocolate pies, so did we really need another one…..YES!! Introducing this beautifully smooth, super chocolatey, fudge-like, chewy chocolate brownie pie. This one came my way from a fellow baker and friend named Kristin, not our sister Kristin, but same name (possible two Kristin’s blog in the future??). It’s nice when your rep for chocolate pie making is so renowned that amazing recipes like this come to you without having to search and find them. This pie is a cinch to make and you can really change up the flavor by using milk chocolate for a lighter sweeter pie. We prefer the dark stuff, but suit yourself – either way I know you’ll love it!
1 9″ unbaked traditional pie crust – we recommend you use ours!
1 cup chocolate pieces (you can use chocolate chips, milk, semi, or chopped up dark chocolate – whatever you’re in the mood for)
2/3 cup evaporated milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 eggs beaten
3/4 cup sugar (reduce if using milk chocolate)
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 375. Combine chocolate pieces, evaporated milk and butter in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat until mixture is creamy and smooth.
Combine remaining ingredients and gradually stir in the chocolate mixture.
Pour (through a fine sieve if you want to avoid any lumps) into prepared pie shell. Bake at 375 for about 35-40 minutes or until firm around edges and barely jiggly in the center.
As you might have gathered by now, us Caroline’s enjoy food that is not just sweet, but sweet with a twist, such as sour, spicy, salty etc. I’ve had my eye on the grapefruit custard pie in my Four and Twenty Blackbirds pie book for some time now, and Caroline 1.0 was in town so making a new exciting pie was first on the agenda. But to our dismay, one of the grapefruits we were planning to use was no good, so we scaled my orange tree (the only ones left are up high in the very middle) and ended up combining our grapefruit juice with backyard orange for a bright, subtly sweet, citrusy, dreamboat of a pie that was fun to make and even more fun to eat.
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit and orange juice
a few dashes angostura bitters (totally optional)
1 cup heavy cream
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 325. Place your par-baked pie shell on a rimmed baking sheet.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, salt and melted butter. Whisk in the eggs and egg yolk one at a time, blending well after each addition. Whisk in the grapefruit/orange juice, bitters if using, and heavy cream. Strain the filling through a fine sieve directly into the pie shell. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 47-55 minutes, rotating 180 degrees when the edges start to set, 30-35 minutes through baking. The pie is finished when the edges are set and puffed slightly and the center is no longer liquid but still quite wobbly. Don’t overbake or the custard will separate. The filling will continue to cook and set after the pie is removed from the oven. Allow to cool completely about 2-3 hours and serve at room temperature or cool.