Monday, September 04, 2006

Last batch of market pies...

A couple of weeks ago when my oven was still working somewhat, I made some lovely pies for the farmers' market. And I keep meaning to share some of the recipes. Two of them were new, and one was a very old favorite. I was particularly proud of a wonderful blueberry-apple lattice pie that makes a lovely transition from summer's berries to fall's first apples. I combined recipes from Pascale Le Draoulec's American Pie, and the pie master, Ken Haedrich's fabulous apple pie primer, Apple Pie Perfect. For the market, I made nine-inch lattice top pies, but as I had some leftover apples, I made two small pies with crumble topping for Cyd who helped me get things ready for the market without too much complaint. ;-) The picture is of the little pies, but I'll give you the full pie recipe below:

Apple-Blueberry Pie

2 unbaked pie crusts (recipe of your choice)

2 cups of blueberries
6 Ginger Gold apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

Combine filling ingredients, except for the butter, in a large bowl gently with a wooden spoon. Pour the filling into a nine-inch pie pan lined with one unbaked crust. Top the filling with small pieces of the butter. Cut the other crust into strips and form a lattice top. Crimp edges to seal. Glaze with some egg wash and sprinkling of a coarse sugar if desired. Bake at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees, and bake for another 40-45 minutes or until the juices bubble thickly. Cool at room temperature for at least one hour before slicing and serving.

I also made a couple of my very favorite kind of pie for the market, that is to say, PECAN! It's a little early, I suppose, but I never turn down pecan pie no matter what time of year, so I figured there must be some people like me out there. This is my go-to, tried-and-true recipe that came from my dear friend Kurt by way of Betty Crocker, I believe. And the only way that it can be improved upon (according to my blogger pal, Anna) is to toast the pecans beforehand and brown the butter. I agree.

Browned Butter Pecan Pie

one unbaked pie crust

2/3 cup brown sugar (preferably, dark)
1 cup corn syrup (I like half light and half dark, or try the new brown sugar flavor)
1/3 cup butter, melted and browned to at least golden, if not caramel brown in color
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
2 tablespoons flour

pinch salt
1 1/2 cups pecans, whole, lightly toasted (I've been known to go as high as 2 1/2 cups!)

Mix thoroughly all ingredients except the nuts, then fold in the pecans gently so as not to break them up. Pour filling into a pie pan lined with the unbaked crust. Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes, or until the filling has set (is no longer wobbly). Cool thoroughly before serving, preferably with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Unfortunately for me, both pecan pies sold at the market, so I didn't get to take one home for my dessert! ;-) I considered whipping up another one, but I remembered a similar recipe that I had been wanting to try for a long time called Fruits of the Forest Pie, sort of like pecan pie but made with mixed nuts. Once again, this is an amalgamation of Ken Haedrich's recipe from his book, Pie, and the pie that won first place in the nut category in the 2003 National Pie Championships from a woman named Emily Lewis. It turned out very good, but I used a raw nut mix from Trader Joe's, and I toasted the nuts myself. When I make it again, I might buy pre-roasted nuts (no salt or lightly salted), and I definitely want macadamias involved next time, too! Still, this was a yummy pie, the ultimate nut-lover's experience!

Fruits of the Forest Pie

one unbaked pie crust

4 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
I cup light corn syrup (I used the brown sugar flavor instead)
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons melted butter, melted and browned (between golden and caramel-brown)
2 1/2 cups lightly toasted mixed nuts

Whisk together all ingredients except the nuts until thoroughly combined. Gently fold in the nuts so as not to break them up. Pour into a pie shell lined with the unbaked crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 degrees or until filling is set (no longer wobbly). Cool completely before slicing and serving.

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