Category Archives: Pies and Tarts

Gluten-free Apple Pie

I earlier posted my recipe for Rustic Apple Pie.  This apple pie recipe differs from that one in two ways. First, this one is gluten free. Yes, even the lovely tender, flaky crust is gluten free.  Second, the filling is pre-cooked before being added to the pie.

Gluten-free Apple Pie
Gluten-free Apple Pie

For those following a gluten-free diet, they know how difficult it can sometimes be to find a pie pastry that closely resembles a wheat flour version.  I love making pastry and enjoy a lot of quiches and pies.  It pains me that those on a gluten-free diet cannot enjoy the same foods simply because they don’t have a good gluten-free pastry recipe.  So, I have developed this pie pastry recipe that, in my opinion, rivals any gluten version (and, in fact, is better than many I have been served).  When I first started developing gluten-free pastry, I figured it would not roll out, would crumble into bits, be hard as a rock, and/or would not transfer, in one piece, to the pie plate. However, I have adapted the basic pastry recipe I have been using for years and I could not be more pleased with it.  Serve this pastry to someone not on a gluten-free diet and I think they would be hard-pressed to know it’s gluten free!

Gluten-free Apple Pie
Gluten-free Apple Pie

So, let’s start with some hints and tips on making the pastry, many of which apply to any pastry, gluten or gluten free.

The Pastry

First, all ingredients must be cold – super cold.  Yes, even the flour should be chilled for 30-40 minutes in the refrigerator. I use a one-to-one gluten-free flour in this recipe.  I have been having great success with Bob’s Red Mills 1-to-1 gluten-free flour in my baking and find it has better flavor than gluten-free all-purpose flour and has the texture in baked goods more closely resembling a wheat-based flour.

There are various schools of thought on the type of fat to use in pastry — butter, lard, or shortening. Using all butter in pastry will give a wonderful flavor and a lovely tanned crust. It can, however, be a bit finnicky to work with because it softens very easy and can quickly be over-blended with the flour. If overworked, a tough crust is likely. While lard is easy to work with and will give layers of flakiness in the pastry, it lacks the flavour that butter gives.  Using shortening will yield a nice tender crust but, like lard, has little flavor.  As with butter, shortening softens extremely easy as it is being worked with so, if the dough is overworked, it will yield a tough crust.

I find the best combination of fats to provide flakiness, tenderness, flavour, and structure to pastry is to use one part lard and one part butter.  I coarsely chop/cube the butter and lard into the flour then take my pastry cutter and blend the fats to the consistency of large peas.  There is no need to mash it or blend it finely.

For liquid, I combine vinegar, egg, and water to equal 2/3 cup – all ingredients to be super cold.  Not all of this liquid may be required. It’s important to use only enough of the liquid that the dry ingredients are incorporated and will cling together and the dough forms a ball.  Don’t add too much liquid or you will end up with a gummy mess that will yield a tough pastry. I don’t use a food processor to make the pastry as I find it is too easy to overprocess the dough. Mixing the pastry by hand gives more control and, I find, a flakier crust.

Gluten-free pastry has a different texture and consistency than wheat-based pastry. The most noticeable difference is the lack of elasticity that wheat-based pastry has from the gluten in it. To ensure the safe transferal of pastry from counter to pie plate in one piece, I recommend rolling out the pastry between two sheets of parchment paper.  Once the pastry has been rolled to the desired thickness, generally somewhere between 1/16” about 1/8” thickness, simply remove the top sheet of parchment, slide your hand under the bottom sheet and carefully lift the pastry, flip it over into the pie plate, and peel off the parchment paper. A tip is to lightly flour the bottom piece of parchment and the top of the pastry.  This will make the task of peeling off the parchment paper easier. Fit the dough snugly into the plate and trim pastry flush with pie plate edge. I don’t like thick pie crusts so you’ll notice, from the photos, that I roll my pastry quite thin.  That’s a matter of personal preference so, if you like a thicker crust, by all means, go ahead and roll the pastry a little bit thicker.

Gluten-free Apple Pie
Gluten-free Apple Pie

Roll the pastry for the top crust the same as for the bottom crust but make sure there is no wrinkle in the parchment paper as this will form a wrinkle imprint in the pastry as the pastry is being rolled out.  This is less of a concern for the bottom pastry crust but, for presentation purposes, is an issue for the top crust.  For this reason, I recommend starting with a new piece of parchment when rolling out the top crust pastry.

Don’t forget to dampen the outside rim of the bottom pie pastry before placing the top pastry over the filling.  The pastry edge needs to be dampened lightly with water which will seal the two crusts together.

Gluten-free Apple Pie
Gluten-free Apple Pie

The Filling

My traditional apple pie recipe calls for uncooked apples mixed with spices and sugar.  That version will yield a pie where the layers of apples stay intact and totally visible once the pie is baked and sliced.  For this apple pie recipe, however, I am pre-cooking the apples by sautéing them in butter, then mixing in the sugar, spices, and cornstarch while they sauté. The result is a filling that resembles the consistency of a can of apple pie filling (only this homemade version is, in my opinion, much better!).

Gluten-free Apple Pie
Gluten-free Apple Pie

There are advantages to this method of making the filling. First, juices from the apples are released during the sautéing process and are thickened before going in to the pie. I find there is less chance of the pie boiling out significantly because the juices have already been released and thickened before going into the pie. Second, it is easier to arrange the filling in the pie because the apples have softened a bit.  Whereas for raw apples there can be gaps in the filling, there are generally none with a pre-cooked filling.

The trick to this method is to not overcook the apples because, remember, they will continue to cook as the pie bakes.  You still want to be able to see the apples (not applesauce) in the filling.  For this reason, it’s important to use apples that have a crisp, firm texture so they can stand up to the sautéing and baking and still hold shape when the pie is sliced.  My favorites are Spartans, Cortland, Pippins, Honeycrisp, and Lobo. I usually use a combination of at least three (and sometimes more) different varieties. Using a mix of apple varieties will give better flavor, especially if a blend of tart and sweet apples is used.  Slice the apples at least ¼” thick for this filling.

I use mostly brown sugar combined with a small amount of granulated sugar for this recipe.  Brown sugar will give a richer flavor and deeper color to the filling.  Choosing spices for an apple pie filling is always subjective.  Some use just cinnamon while others will add nutmeg.  I like a blend of spices in my apple pies so have chosen cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice for this recipe.  A splash of brandy (optional) will also enhance the flavor of the pie but, note, just a small splash! Either flour or cornstarch can be used to thicken the filling. Cornstarch, however, will tend to yield a more clear filling than will flour.

Gluten-free Apple Pie
Gluten-free Apple Pie

Preparing the Pie for the Oven

After the top pie pastry has been placed over the filling, the edges of the top and bottom pastries need to be pressed together to seal in the filling. There are various ways the pie edges can be joined. I tend to go with the simple pressing of the bottom and top pastry with the tines of a fork. I think this is also the easiest method to ensure the pie cuts out with the edges intact. Other methods, such as crimping, are raised up and can burn more quickly during baking and are also at risk of breaking off as the pie is cut.

Gluten-free Apple Pie
Gluten-free Apple Pie

It’s important that the top pie pastry be vented for baking. Otherwise, the crusts may be soggy from too much steam trapped in the pie.  It may also cause the top crust to leave the filling and puff up, leaving a hollow space between crust and filling.  This will cause the crust to break when the pie is sliced and, for presentation purposes, the pie slice will not be visually pleasing when plated.

Use a sharp-tipped paring knife to cut criss-crosses in the pie pastry starting in the center with a slightly large “X” and then adding smaller ones all around the circumference of the pie.  I also use the tines of a fork to prick the pie pastry in various places in the top crust pastry for added venting.

Brushing a very light coating of an egg-milk wash on the top crust will yield a crust with more “tan”.  A sprinkle of granulated sugar may also be added but note this may cause the top crust to brown fast and before the pie is baked.  If this happens, tent the pie loosely with tin foil.

I recommend placing the pie in the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes or so before baking.  This will chill the pastry and reduce chance of it shrinking significantly while baking.

Fruit pies have a tendency to boil out during baking, even if they are well vented and the filling pre-cooked, so I recommend placing the pie on a tinfoil-lined rimmed baking sheet.  If the pie does boil out, you won’t be faced with an oven cleaning job.

Baking the Pie

Preheat the oven to 425°F and bake the pie at this temperature for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 375°F and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until the crust is lightly tanned and juice from the pie is bubbling slightly through vented holes.

Transfer the pie to a cooling rack and allow it cool completely before cutting.  This allows the filling to settle so it stays intact (instead of running) when the pie is cut.

Serving the Pie

This pie benefits from a few hours of refrigeration after it has cooled completely at room temperature.  The chilled pie is easier to cut and the filling stays in place.

Gluten-free Apple Pie
Gluten-free Apple Pie

The most common ways to serve apple pie are plain, with cheddar cheese, or with vanilla ice cream.

Gluten-free Apple Pie
Gluten-free Apple Pie

This gluten-free apple pie is a tasty treat indeed!

Gluten-free Apple Pie

Gluten-free Apple Pie

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

Gluten-free Apple Pie

Filling

Ingredients:
2/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp salt
3 tbsp cornstarch

2-3 tbsp butter

2½ lbs apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into ¼” thick slices (about 8 medium-large sized apples)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp brandy (optional)

Method:
In small bowl, whisk together the brown and white sugars, spices, salt, and cornstarch.  Set aside.

Prepare apples and sprinkle with lemon juice and brandy (optional).  With large wooden spoon, gently toss apples to coat with the lemon juice and brandy.

In large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to medium low and add the apples.  Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring gently and frequently.

Stir in the sugar-spice-cornstarch mixture.  Cook for 4 minutes, stirring gently and frequently.  Remove from heat and cool filling completely.

While filling is cooling, prepare the pastry.

Pastry for 1 double-crusted 9” pie

2 cups (276g) gluten-free 1-to-1 flour
½ tsp salt
1½ tsp sugar

¼ cup cold butter (76g)
¼ cup cold lard (76g)

1 large egg (reserve apx 1 tsp of the yolk for the egg wash)
1 tsp white vinegar
Enough water to make 2/3 cup liquid

1-2 tsp milk
Method:

In medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and sugar together.  Cut the butter and lard into chunks and add to the flour.  With a pastry cutter, cut the butter and lard into the flour until the fats resemble the size of large peas.

In a measuring cup, whisk the egg and vinegar together.  Add enough cold water to measure 2/3 cup.  Add the egg-vinegar-water mixture to the flour, small amounts at a time, and mix with a fork.  Add only enough water that the dough clings together and can be formed into a ball.

Divide the dough in half.  Form disk shapes with each piece. Place disks in the refrigerator for about 10-12 minutes to chill. Remove one disk from the refrigerator and place between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll pastry to desired thickness, generally between 1/16”and 1/8” thickness. Peel the top piece of parchment from the rolled out pastry. Slide hand under parchment that has the rolled pastry and carefully flip it into a 9” pie plate that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray or greased.  Cut off excess dough so pastry is flush with the pie plate edge.  Place pie shell in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes to chill. Remove second disk of pastry from refrigerator.

Prepare pastry for the top crust in the same manner as for the bottom crust.  Remove pie shell from refrigerator and arrange cooled pie filling in prepared cold shell. Brush edges of bottom crust along pie plate edge with a bit of water to moisten. Transfer pastry to the top of pie filling. Trim excess pastry from the pie plate edge.  Press the edge of the pastry all around the pie plate rim with tines of fork to adhere top crust to bottom crust.  Cut slits in top of pie pastry to allow steam to escape as pie bakes. For additional venting, prick the pie in several places with tines of a fork.

In small bowl, lightly beat the reserved egg yolk with 1-2 tsp milk.  With a pastry brush, lightly brush the pie with the egg-milk mixture.  Sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Place pie in refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow filling to settle and to chill pastry to reduce shrinkage while it bakes.

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Transfer pie to oven. Bake at 425°F for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 375°F. Bake for another 40 minutes then test with fork inserted into slit in center of pie to determine if apples are cooked. Apples should be fork-tender when pie is done. If not done, return pie to oven and check every 5 minutes until apples are fork tender.  If pie browns too quickly before it is cooked, loosely tent pie with tin foil.  Remove pie from oven and transfer to cooling rack.

Yield:  1 – 9” pie (apx. 6 servings)

Gluten-free Apple Pie
Print

Gluten-free Apple Pie

A lightly spiced cooked apple pie filling sandwiched between a tender, flaky, and flavorful gluten-free pie crust.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2-3 tbsp butter
  • 2 1/2 lbs apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4" thick slices (about 8 medium-large sized apples)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp brandy (optional)

Gluten-Free Pastry for 1 double-crusted 9" pie

  • 2 cups (276g) gluten-free 1-to-1 flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (76g) cold butter
  • 1/4 cup (76g) cold lard
  • 1 large egg (reserve apx 1 tsp of the yolk for the egg wash)
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • Enough cold water to make 2/3 cup liquid
  • 1-2 tsp milk

Instructions

  1. Filling:  In small bowl, whisk together the brown and white sugars, spices, salt, and cornstarch. Set aside.

  2. Prepare apples and sprinkle with lemon juice and brandy (optional). With large wooden spoon, gently toss apples to coat with the lemon juice and brandy.
  3. In large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and add the apples. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring gently and frequently.
  4. Stir in the sugar-spice-cornstarch mixture. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring gently and frequently. Remove from heat and cool filling completely.

  5. While filling is cooling, prepare the pastry.

Gluten-free Pastry for 1 Double-crusted Pie

  1. In medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and sugar together. Cut the butter and lard into chunks and add to the flour. With a pastry cutter, cut the butter and lard into the flour until the fats resemble the size of large peas.
  2. In a measuring cup, whisk the egg and vinegar together. Add enough cold water to measure 2/3 cup. Add the egg-vinegar-water mixture to the flour, small amounts at a time, and mix with a fork. Add only enough water that the dough clings together and can be formed into a ball.
  3. Divide the dough in half. Form disk shapes with each piece. Place disks in the refrigerator for about 10-12 minutes to chill. Remove one disk from the refrigerator and place between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll pastry to desired thickness, generally between 1/16”and 1/8” thickness. Peel the top piece of parchment from the rolled out pastry. Slide hand under parchment that has the rolled pastry and carefully flip it into a 9” pie plate that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray or greased. Cut off excess dough so pastry is flush with the pie plate edge. Place pie shell in refrigerator for 15-20 minutes to chill. Remove second disk of pastry from refrigerator.
  4. Prepare pastry for the top crust in the same manner as for the bottom crust. Remove pie shell from refrigerator and arrange cooled pie filling in prepared cold shell. Brush edges of bottom crust along pie plate edge with a bit of water to moisten. Transfer pastry to the top of pie filling. Trim excess pastry from the pie plate edge. Press the edge of the pastry all around the pie plate rim with tines of fork to adhere top crust to bottom crust. Cut slits in top of pie pastry to allow steam to escape as pie bakes. For additional venting, prick the pie in several places with tines of a fork.
  5. In small bowl, lightly beat the reserved egg yolk with 1-2 tsp milk. With a pastry brush, lightly brush the pie with the egg-milk mixture. Sprinkle with granulated sugar.
  6. Place pie in refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow filling to settle and to chill pastry to reduce shrinkage while it bakes.
  7. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  8. Transfer pie to oven. Bake at 425°F for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 375°F. Bake for another 40 minutes then test with fork inserted into slit in center of pie to determine if apples are cooked. Apples should be fork-tender when pie is done. If not done, return pie to oven and check every 5 minutes until apples are fork tender. If pie browns too quickly before it is cooked, loosely tent pie with tin foil. Remove pie from oven and transfer to cooling rack.

 

For my Rustic Apple Pie recipe, click here.

Gluten-free Apple Pie
Gluten-free Apple Pie

Rustic Apple Pie

Apple Pie
Rustic Apple Pie

There is something warm, inviting, and nostalgic about walking into a kitchen to the tantalizing scent of an apple pie baking.  In my opinion, one of the best desserts is homemade apple pie, especially when topped with a nice round scoop of high-quality vanilla ice cream!  Fall is a great time to make apple pies (and some extras for the freezer) because the apples are so fresh and there is a great selection. The house smells so divine while the apple pie bakes!

Apples
Apples

One of my favorite fall rituals is to go picking apples.  I love being out in the middle of an orchard on a crisp, sunny autumn day surrounded by trees heavy laden with gorgeous big apples.  Typically, we make the annual trek to Arlington Orchards, west of Summerside, to pick a supply of apples.  It’s fun to load up some apple baskets into one of the orchard’s little red flyer wagons and strike off through the orchards.  They have many different varieties of apples from which to choose.

The Apple Wagon
The Apple Wagon

I like making pastry and baking pies and have been doing so since I was about 11 years old.  I watched my mother and grandmother make pies and as soon as I could mix the dough and handle a rolling pin, I was off and running! And, apple pie just happens to be one of my favorites to make.

Not all apples are suitable for making pies.  Some (like MacIntosh variety) are just too soft and, essentially, become apple sauce while the pie cooks. Soft flesh apples that have no crunch when you bite into them are not suitable for pies. It is important to choose apples that have good structure – i.e., those that will cook well but, at the same time, hold their shape.  A slice of a good apple pie will reveal the apple slices still in tact and recognizable.

Apple Pie
Apple Pie

My favorite apples for pies are Cortlands, Spartans, Honeycrisps, Lobos, and Pippins. The one thing each of these apples has in common is crisp texture which makes them ideal choices for pies because they don’t break down in the baking process.  I also like to use more than one kind of apple in my pies because each brings its own flavor and characteristics and, in my opinion, a blend of different apple varieties with various degrees of sweetness, tartness, and juiciness will result in a pie with a great depth of flavor.  Cortlands are a bit tart and quite juicy and, of these five varieties, perhaps has the least crisp texture which means it will soften the most in the pie and that will help to bind the filling .  Honeycrisps have a sweet-tart flavor and are quite aromatic which gives the pie that lovely scent while it is baking.  Spartans are juicy and have an ideally balanced sweet-tart apple flavor. Lobos are a bit tangy and Pippins have juicy flesh, are very aromatic, and reveal a balance of sweetness and acidity.  A combination of any three of these apples will yield a tasty pie. Some apples of each variety can, of course, be used in the pie if you have them.

For this 9” pie, 3½ pounds of apples are needed. It may look like a lot but the apples will settle as the pie bakes and the pie looks more impressive if it has some depth to it.

Apple Pie Under Construction
Apple Pie Under Construction

I peel, core, and quarter the apples when preparing them for pies.  I then slice each quarter, horizontally, into slices about ¼” thick and toss them with a tablespoon of lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.

Apples Sliced for Pie
Apples Sliced for Pie

A perfect blend of spices is necessary to enhance the flavor of the pie.  I use cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. It is important that just the right amounts of spices be used because they are meant to enhance, not dominate or mask, the flavour of the apples.  Because apples are juicy, some thickening agent needs to be added to the pie – either all-purpose flour or cornstarch works for this. I like to use a blend of brown and granulated sugars in my pie.  I find the addition of brown sugar gives a deeper flavour and an enhanced color to the pie filling.

Apples mixed with spices for pie
Apples mixed with spices for pie

Mix the sugars, spices, a bit of salt, and the thickening agent (flour or cornstarch) together in a small bowl then toss the dry ingredients with the prepared apples to coat them.  Immediately transfer the apples to the pie plate fitted with the bottom crust pastry, ensuring that they are arranged so that any gaps are filled in.  Dot with some pieces of cold butter.

Once the top crust pastry has been placed over the apples, be sure to cut slits in the pastry to allow the steam to escape as the pie bakes. I also use the tines of a fork to prick the pie pastry in various places. It’s important that the steam have an escape valve as, otherwise, it may cause a soggy pie crust if it is trapped inside with the filling.

Venting the Apple Pie
Venting the Apple Pie

I don’t always brush an egg wash on the top crust of the pie but, for a more rustic looking pie, it does give a nice finish and appearance as it browns well.  If the pie browns too quickly before the apples are cooked, simply loosely tent a piece of tin foil over it.

I recommend placing the unbaked pie in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow the filling to settle and to chill the crust to prevent shrinkage during baking.

Fruit pies are known for bubbling out as they bake, even if they are well vented.  I think, so long as they aren’t too messy, some filling that has escaped to the top pie crust just makes the pie look like a good homemade pie and it really doesn’t bother me too much at all. However, the one thing I do not like is a messy oven to clean after the juices of a pie have boiled out. For this reason, I recommend placing the pie on a rimmed cookie sheet lined with tin foil.  If the pie does boil out, it’s on the disposable tin foil making clean-up easy.

Apple Pie Ready for the Oven
Apple Pie Ready for the Oven

For this pie, I pre-heat the oven to 425°F and bake the pie at this temperature for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 400°F for the remainder of the baking time.  Be patient. This pie will take at least 50 minutes (maybe a bit longer) to bake. To check for doneness, carefully insert a fork into the center slit of the pie – the apples should be fork tender, not baked to mush, but not too firm that they will taste somewhat raw in the pie.

Apple Pie
Rustic Apple Pie

What follows is the apple pie recipe I have been making for many, many years. I hope you enjoy it!

Apple Pie
Rustic Apple Pie

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

Rustic Apple Pie

Ingredients:

3½ lbs apples, peeled, cored, and sliced ¼“ thick (any combination of Spartans, Cortlands, Pippins, Honeycrisps, Lobos)
1 tbsp lemon juice

Pastry for double crust 9” pie

2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
¼ cup all-purpose flour or cornstarch
1¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp allspice
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter, chopped into small pieces

1 large egg yolk + 1 tbsp milk
Apx. ½ tbsp granulated sugar

Method:

Prepare apples, place in large bowl, and toss gently with the lemon juice. Set aside.

Roll pastry for bottom crust to approximately 1/8” thickness.  Transfer to pie plate and trim pastry flush with edge of pie plate.

In small bowl, combine the flour or cornstarch, sugars, spices, and salt together.  Mix into prepared apples.

Arrange the sliced apples in the pie plate, taking care to ensure that any gaps are filled in.  Top with small pieces of butter.

Prepare pastry for the top crust in the same manner as for the bottom crust.  Brush edges of bottom crust along pie plate edge with a bit of water to moisten. Transfer pastry to the top of pie filling. Trim excess pastry from the pie plate edge.  Press the edge of the pastry all around the pie plate rim with tines of fork to adhere top crust to bottom crust.  Cut slits in top of pie pastry to allow steam to escape as pie bakes. For additional venting, prick the pie in several places with tines of a fork.

In small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolk and milk together.  With a pastry brush, lightly brush the pie with the egg-milk mixture.  Sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Place pie in refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow filling to settle and to chill pastry to reduce shrinkage while it bakes.

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Transfer pie to oven. Bake at 425°F for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 400°F. Bake for another 40 minutes then test with fork inserted into slit in center of pie to determine if apples are cooked. Apples should be fork-tender when pie is done. If not done, return pie to oven and check every 5 minutes until apples are fork tender.  If pie browns too quickly before it is cooked, loosely tent pie with tin foil.  Remove pie from oven and transfer to cooling rack.

Yield:  1 – 9” pie (apx. 6 servings)

Rustic Apple Pie

Yield: 1 - 9" double-crusted pie

A classic apple pie made with a combination of sweet and tart apples and a perfect blend of spices.

Ingredients

  • 3½ lbs apples, peeled, cored, and sliced ¼“ thick (any combination of Spartans, Cortlands, Pippins, Honeycrisps, Lobos)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Pastry for double crust 9” pie
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour or cornstarch
  • 1¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 large egg yolk + 1 tbsp milk
  • Apx. ½ tbsp granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Prepare apples, place in large bowl, and toss gently with the lemon juice. Set aside.
  2. Roll pastry for bottom crust to approximately 1/8” thickness. Transfer to pie plate and trim pastry flush with edge of pie plate.
  3. In small bowl, combine the flour or cornstarch, sugars, spices, and salt together. Mix into prepared apples.
  4. Arrange the sliced apples in the pie plate, taking care to ensure that any gaps are filled in. Top with small pieces of butter.
  5. Prepare pastry for the top crust in the same manner as for the bottom crust. Brush edges of bottom crust along pie plate edge with a bit of water to moisten. Transfer pastry to the top of pie filling. Trim excess pastry from the pie plate edge. Press the edge of the pastry all around the pie plate rim with tines of fork to adhere top crust to bottom crust. Cut slits in top of pie pastry to allow steam to escape as pie bakes. For additional venting, prick the pie in several places with tines of a fork.
  6. In small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolk and milk together. With a pastry brush, lightly brush the pie with the egg-milk mixture. Sprinkle with granulated sugar.
  7. Place pie in refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow filling to settle and to chill pastry to reduce shrinkage while it bakes.
  8. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  9. Transfer pie to oven. Bake at 425°F for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 400°F. Bake for another 40 minutes then test with fork inserted into slit in center of pie to determine if apples are cooked. Apples should be fork-tender when pie is done. If not done, return pie to oven and check every 5 minutes until apples are fork tender. If pie browns too quickly before it is cooked, loosely tent pie with tin foil. Remove pie from oven and transfer to cooling rack.
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Classic Apple Pie made with a combination of sweet and tart apples and a perfect blend of spices

 

 

Classic apple pie made with a combination of sweet and tart apples and a perfect blend of spices
Classic apple pie made with a combination of sweet and tart apples and a perfect blend of spices

Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie Recipe

Blueberry Pie
Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie

There are many ways to make blueberry pie but I have found that this is one of the tastiest. It’s also a great alternative to anyone who is not overly fond of double-crusted pies as this one is all about the filling!

Now, I love blueberries but sometimes I find they need a little help with a flavour boost.  That’s why I have created this recipe for a blueberry filling that adds a gentle amount of cinnamon and nutmeg along with some orange juice and orange rind.  To add a bit of depth and complexity to the flavor, I add a couple of tablespoons of Grand Marnier liqueur after the filling has cooked and been removed from the heat.  As with any food, it is important to know what flavor combinations work and will complement each other.  Cinnamon and nutmeg are two spices that go well with blueberries and, of course, blueberry and orange have long been a successful flavor combo. The other thing that is important is not to add in too many different flavors (or too much of any one additional flavor) as that can confuse the palate, detract from the authentic blueberry flavor, and not have the desired result.  Sometimes less really is more!

The blueberries I used in this recipe are locally-grown here on PEI. I am very fortunate in that I am not far from the Tryon Blueberries U-pick field of high bush berries.  When they are in season in August and early September, we always have these fresh.  The berries freeze well and this pie can certainly be made with the frozen berries so it can be enjoyed at any time throughout the year.

Summer Berries
PEI Blueberries

This is one of the those pies that is best eaten the day it is made so plan to make the pie early in the morning, let it chill for the afternoon, and enjoy it with a dollop of whipped cream as a special dessert treat for dinner.

Blueberry and Grand Marnier Pie
Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie

[printable recipe follows at end of posting]

Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie

Ingredients:

9” baked pie shell, cooled

6 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp sugar
1½ tbsp milk
½ tsp vanilla

¾ cup granulated sugar
3½ tbsp cornstarch
Dash salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp finely grated orange rind
12 oz. high bush blueberries (apx. 2½ cups)
2 tsp orange juice
2 tbsp Grand Marnier liqueur
½ tbsp butter

1 cup whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp sugar

Method:

In small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, milk, and vanilla. Spread over bottom of baked and cooled pie shell. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

In small bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and grated orange rind together.  In medium-sized saucepan, combine the blueberries, orange juice, and cornstarch-sugar-spice mixture.  Cook and stir over medium-low heat until mixture is thickened.  Remove from heat and stir in Grand Marnier liqueur and butter.  Let mixture cool to room temperature then spread over chilled cream cheese base.  Refrigerate for at least one hour to allow pie to set.

Beat whipping cream and vanilla until soft peaks form then slowly beat in the sugar. Add a dollop of the whipped cream to each individual pie serving or, alternatively, completely cover chilled pie with the whipped cream. Refrigerate until use.  Pie is best eaten the day it is made.  (Note: Cool Whip can be substituted for the whipped cream, if desired.)

Yield:  One 9” pie.

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Blueberry and Grand Marnier Pie
Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie

Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie Recipe

Yield: One 9" pie

A luscious and decadent blueberry cream cheese pie that combines high bush blueberries with cinnamon, nutmeg and orange liqueur flavorings

Ingredients

  • 9” baked pie shell, cooled
  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1½ tbsp milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 3½ tbsp cornstarch
  • Dash salt
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp finely grated orange rind
  • 12 oz. high bush blueberries (apx. 2½ cups)
  • 2 tsp orange juice
  • 2 tbsp Grand Marnier liqueur
  • ½ tbsp butter
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Instructions

  1. In small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, milk, and vanilla. Spread over bottom of baked and cooled pie shell. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
  2. In small bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and grated orange rind together. In medium-sized saucepan, combine the blueberries, orange juice, and cornstarch-sugar-spice mixture. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until mixture is thickened. Remove from heat and stir in Grand Marnier liqueur and butter. Let mixture cool to room temperature then spread over chilled cream cheese base. Refrigerate for at least one hour to allow pie to set.
  3. Beat whipping cream and vanilla until soft peaks form then slowly beat in the sugar. Add a dollop of the whipped cream to each individual pie serving or, alternatively, completely cover chilled pie with the whipped cream. Refrigerate until use. Pie is best eaten the day it is made. (Note: Cool Whip can be substituted for the whipped cream, if desired.)
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For more great blueberry recipes from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on these links:

Blueberry and Grand Marnier Jam

Blueberry Bread Pudding with Grand Marnier Sauce

Blueberry Barbeque Sauce

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Grunt

Blueberry Buckle

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut Cream Pie
Coconut Cream Pie

Funny how certain foods will evoke great memories. When I was a small child, our family often went to a tiny local restaurant in North Tryon, PEI, on Sunday evenings for dinner.  Simmons’ Restaurant was built and run by Jean and Harold Simmons and they served up really good traditional home-cooked meals.  One of the desserts I most fondly remember from their restaurant was coconut cream pie with mile-high meringue. Every time I have coconut cream pie, I remember Sunday dinners at the Simmons’ restaurant.

Coconut Cream Pie
Coconut Cream Pie

While not all coconut cream pie recipes use coconut milk, I have included it in my recipe to give the pie extra coconut flavor. It does make a difference.  Some tips on successfully making custard pies:

  • Whisk the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients to make a smooth custard.
  • Separate the yolks from the whites of the eggs while they are cold but let them come to room temperature for 20-30 minutes before using them in either the custard or the meringue. Room temperature eggs will blend better into the custard and, for the meringue, they will whip faster with more volume.
  • Temper the beaten eggs with a couple of tablespoons of the hot custard mixture before adding the eggs to the custard. This will prevent the eggs from curdling.
  • Stir the custard constantly as it cooks to prevent it from scorching.
  • Add the sugar slowly to the egg whites when making the meringue and do so after first beating the egg whites to the soft peak stage.
  • Work quickly to make the meringue as it is important that it be applied to piping hot custard in order for it to seal to the filling. This will also help prevent the meringue from shrinking.
  • When applying the meringue to the pie, make sure it completely covers the custard, right to the pie shell edges. This will seal in the custard and will also help to keep the meringue from shrinking.
Coconut Cream Pie
Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut Cream Pie

Ingredients:
1 – 9” pie shell, baked
¾ cup granulated sugar
3½ tbsp cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup whole milk or 10% blend cream
3 extra large egg yolks, slightly beaten (reserve egg whites for meringue)
1½ tbsp  butter
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp almond flavoring
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Meringue:
3 extra-large egg whites, room temperature for 30 minutes
¼ tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp vanilla
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp granulated sugar
¼ cup sweetened shredded coconut

Method:
Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in medium-sized saucepan.
Combine coconut milk and milk (or blend cream). Gradually whisk liquid ingredients into the sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens (apx 10-15 minutes).

Stir approximately 2 tbsp of the hot custard mixture into the beaten egg yolks then pour the eggs into the custard and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove custard from heat and stir in butter, vanilla, and almond flavoring. Gently stir in the coconut.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

To make meringue, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and vanilla together until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar while continuing to beat egg whites. Beat until stiff peaks form.

Pour hot coconut custard into cooled, baked pie shell.

Spread meringue over hot custard, spreading to the edges of pie shell to completely seal it.

Swirl meringue into decorative peaks with the tip of a knife, if desired. Sprinkle with coconut.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until meringue is lightly tanned in color. Cool pie on wire rack for at least 3 hours before serving.

Yield: 1 – 9” pie

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Coconut Cream Pie

Yield: 1 - 9" pie

Ingredients

  • 1 – 9” pie shell, baked
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 3½ tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup whole milk or 10% blend cream
  • 3 extra large egg yolks, slightly beaten (reserve egg whites for meringue)
  • 1½ tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp almond flavoring
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • Meringue:
  • 3 extra-large egg whites, room temperature for 30 minutes
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup sweetened shredded coconut

Instructions

  1. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in medium-sized saucepan.
  2. Combine coconut milk and milk (or blend cream). Gradually whisk liquid ingredients into the sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens (apx 10-15 minutes).
  3. Stir approximately 2 tbsp of the hot custard mixture into the beaten egg yolks then pour the eggs into the custard and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove custard from heat and stir in butter, vanilla, and almond flavoring. Gently stir in the coconut.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  5. To make meringue, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and vanilla together until soft peaks form. Slowly add the sugar while continuing to beat egg whites. Beat until stiff peaks form.
  6. Pour hot coconut custard into cooled, baked pie shell. Spread meringue over hot custard, spreading to the edges of pie shell to completely seal it. Swirl meringue into decorative peaks with the tip of a knife, if desired. Sprinkle with coconut. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until meringue is lightly tanned in color. Cool pie on wire rack for at least 3 hours before serving.
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Coconut Cream Pie
Coconut Cream Pie

Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie

Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie
Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s summer berry pie time!

Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie
Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie

As I write this post in August, the raspberries are in full swing on Prince Edward Island so today’s posting is all about raspberries!

I never mind picking raspberries because there is no bending or crouching involved so it’s not hard on the legs or back. I picked these raspberries at Belanger’s U-Pick near Hunter River, PEI.

These glorious and perfectly-shaped tasty red berries are versatile and can be used in many ways.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie
Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie

One of my favorite ways to use raspberries is in a raspberry cream cheese pie.  It’s a cross between a pie and a cheesecake – the best of both worlds.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie
Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie

This pie is not difficult to make although it does take a bit of time.  It’s also the type of pie that is best eaten the day it is made.  I like to use the real whipping cream for the topping but Cool Whip works just fine, too.  Sometimes, I like to just pipe the whipped cream around the outer edge of the pie because it allows the rich red raspberry filling to show which, of course, doesn’t happen if the entire top of the pie is completely covered in whipped cream.  Alternatively, I sometimes don’t put any whipped cream on the pie top, preferring instead to simply drop a dollop of whipped cream on each pie serving as it is plated.  Any of the three versions works just fine.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie
Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie
Raspberry Cream Pie

Ingredients:

9” baked pie shell

6 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp sugar
1½ tbsp milk
½ tsp vanilla

3½ tbsp cornstarch
¾ cup granulated sugar
Dash salt
2½ cups fresh raspberries
3 tbsp pineapple juice
1½ tsp lemon juice
½ tbsp butter

1 cup whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp sugar

Method:

In small bowl,  beat the cream cheese, sugar, milk, and vanilla. Spread over bottom of pie shell. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

In small bowl, combine the cornstarch, sugar, and salt together. In medium-sized saucepan, combine the raspberries, pineapple juice, lemon juice, and cornstarch-sugar mixture. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until mixture is thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Let mixture cool to room temperature then spread over chilled cream cheese base. Refrigerate for at least one hour to allow pie to set.

Beat whipping cream and vanilla until soft peaks form then slowly beat in the sugar. Pipe on to pie in decorative design or, alternatively, completely cover chilled pie with the whipped cream. Refrigerate until use. This pie is best eaten the day it is made. (Note: Cool Whip can be substituted for the whipped cream, if desired.)

Yield: One 9” pie.

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Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie

Yield: 1 - 9" pie, apx. 8 servings

A delectable and flavorful raspberry pie with a layer of cream cheese and a topping of whipped cream. Always a showstopper.

Ingredients

  • 9” baked pie shell
  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1½ tbsp milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 3½ tbsp cornstarch
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • Dash salt
  • 2½ cups fresh raspberries
  • 3 tbsp pineapple juice
  • 1½ tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tbsp butter
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Instructions

  1. In small bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, milk, and vanilla. Spread over bottom of pie shell. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
  2. In small bowl, combine the cornstarch, sugar, and salt together. In medium-sized saucepan, combine the raspberries, pineapple juice, lemon juice, and cornstarch-sugar mixture. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until mixture is thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Let mixture cool to room temperature then spread over chilled cream cheese base. Refrigerate for at least one hour to allow pie to set.
  3. Beat whipping cream and vanilla until soft peaks form then slowly beat in the sugar. Pipe on to pie in decorative design or, alternatively, completely cover chilled pie with the whipped cream. Refrigerate until use. Pie is best eaten the day it is made. (Note: Cool Whip can be substituted for the whipped cream, if desired.)
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Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie
Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

Strawberries and rhubarb are always a winning combination as their flavors and textures play off well against each other.  On PEI, there is a very short window of opportunity to have both fresh rhubarb and Island strawberries available at the same time.  As I write this posting, our rhubarb season is just about done and the strawberry season is in full swing.

While it is possible to use frozen rhubarb in the strawberry-rhubarb pie recipe I am sharing, the strawberries do need to be fresh, not frozen, since frozen berries will release too much moisture into the pie filling.  So, now’s the time to make a fresh strawberry-rhubarb pie!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

Lightly spiced, this pie is a summertime treat, especially when served with a scoop of high-quality French vanilla ice cream.  This is a double crust pie so choose your favorite pastry recipe that makes enough for a 9″ pie.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Ingredients:

Pastry for two-crust 9” pie

3 cups rhubarb, cut into ½” pieces
1½ cups fresh strawberries, sliced

1¼ cups white sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger
Pinch nutmeg
1½ tsp grated orange rind
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp butter cut into pieces

Method:

Assemble ingredients.

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Grease 9” pie plate. Roll out pastry and line pie plate, trimming pastry to fit.

In small bowl, mix sugar, cornstarch, salt, spices, and grated orange rind.

In separate bowl, beat egg with orange juice. Blend in dry ingredients.

Add rhubarb and strawberries and stir gently to mix.

Transfer filling to prepared pie crust.

Dot with butter.

Dampen edges of pie pastry with a finger dipped in water.

Roll out remaining pastry for top crust. Place over filling and trim to fit. Crimp or press edges of pastry together with fork tines to seal.

Cut slits in top of pastry and prick with fork tines in several places to allow steam to escape as the pie bakes.

Circle edge of pie with a collar of tin foil to prevent over-browning. Remove this collar after 35 minutes of baking to allow edges to bake and brown.

Place pie on rimmed baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake 15 minutes at 425°F then decrease temperature to 375°F and bake for approximately 45 minutes longer or until pastry is golden brown and fruit is cooked.

Remove pie from oven and cool completely before slicing and serving.

Yield: One pie,  apx. 8 servings

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie
Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

Yield: 1 - 9" pie, apx. 8 servings

A lightly spiced double-crusted pie that combines two of summer's best flavours.

Ingredients

  • Pastry for 2-crust 9” pie
  • 3 cups rhubarb, cut into ½” pieces
  • 1½ cups fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1¼ cups white sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1½ tsp grated orange rind
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tbsp butter cut into pieces

Instructions

  1. Assemble ingredients. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Grease 9” pie plate. Roll out pastry and line pie plate, trimming pastry to fit.
  3. In small bowl, mix sugar, cornstarch, salt, spices, and grated orange rind.
  4. In separate bowl, beat egg with orange juice. Blend in dry ingredients. Add rhubarb and strawberries and stir gently to mix. Transfer filling to prepared pie crust. Dot with butter.
  5. Dampen edges of pie pastry with a finger dipped in water. Roll out remaining pastry for top crust. Place over filling and trim to fit. Crimp or press edges of pastry together with fork tines to seal. Cut slits in top of pastry and prick with fork tines in several places to allow steam to escape as the pie bakes.
  6. Circle edge of pie with a collar of tin foil to prevent over-browning. Remove this collar after 35 minutes of baking to allow edges to bake and brown.
  7. Place pie on rimmed baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake 15 minutes at 425°F then decrease temperature to 375°F and bake for approximately 45 minutes longer or until pastry is golden brown and fruit is cooked.
  8. Remove pie from oven and cool completely before slicing and serving.
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Squash Pie

Move over pumpkin!  Your cousin, squash, makes better pies!

Squash Pie

Growing up, it was more common in our household to have squash rather than pumpkin pie.  My ancestors always claimed squash makes a better, more tasty pie and I have to agree.  Squash gives a richer pie with a depth of flavour that I don’t find characteristic of pumpkin.

Squash Pies
Squash Pies

There are several different kinds of squash that can be used for pie making but my preference is the tall vase-or bell-shaped butternut squash. Butternut squash is considered a variety of winter squash.  Though harvested in autumn, butternut squash is generally available in supermarkets through the winter months because of the squash’s long “keeping” quality.  I’m guessing it is their availability through the winter months that has earned them the term “winter” squash since they certainly wouldn’t be harvested in the winter in our cold and frosty northeastern climate!  With its mildly nutty flavour, butternut squash has a natural sweetness to it.   The  pulp of the butternut squash is bright orange in color and, while it loses that color when made in to a pie, it turns to a lovely caramel color.

Squash Pie
Squash Pie

My grandmother always cooked her squash in a pot with some water on the stovetop.  However, squash already has a high moisture content and adding more water to the mix can make it difficult to get the cooked squash sufficiently drained that you don’t end up with a soupy texture pie.  My preference is to, instead, roast the squash as it reduces the moisture level and I find it also gives the squash an even deeper, richer flavour.

For my squash pie recipe (found at the end of this posting), 2 cups of puréed squash is needed.  I used a butternut squash weighing 3 pounds which yielded 4 cups of purée, enough for 2  – 10″ pies.  So, if all you want is one pie, try to find a squash that weighs 1½ to 1¾ pounds.

Butternut Squash
Butternut Squash

To roast the squash, I simply began by cutting the squash in half, starting at the top narrow end, slicing all the way through to the bottom.

With a spoon, remove the seeds.

With a soft brush, apply a thin layer of olive oil to both the flesh and skin sides of the squash.

Place squash, flesh side down, on a greased, foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet.  Bake in preheated 425°F oven for about a half hour. Remove the squash from the oven and, with a large lifter, carefully flip the pieces over, applying another light brushing of olive oil to the flesh side. Return the squash to the oven for about another half hour or so, until the flesh of the squash is very soft.  Remove from oven.

As soon as the squash has just cooled enough to handle, scoop the flesh from the skin of the squash and put it in the bowl of a food processor.

Process until the squash is puréed smooth.

Then, transfer the purée to a cheesecloth-lined colander fitted over a large bowl or pot and leave it to drip for about an hour or so.  The goal is to remove as much remaining liquid as possible.  I find it helps to stir the mixture two to three times and to press down the mixture with the back of a large spoon to extract the liquid.

To make one pie, transfer 2 cups of the purée to a medium-sized bowl.

Add the slightly-beaten eggs.

Next, add the sugars, salt, spices, and evaporated milk.

Mix the ingredients well – I use a hand mixer.

Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust.  Although not necessary, I sometimes (but not always) pre-bake the crust for about 10 minutes to set it.  If you do this, be sure to use pie weights to ensure the crust does not bubble up, creating air pockets underneath.

I find it useful to place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet for easy transport into the oven.  The filling is very liquid at this point and it is very easy to spill it or slosh it up over the sides of the crust edges.  In fact, sometimes, I only partially fill the pie, then set it on the oven rack and finish filling it there.

It helps to start baking the pie at 375°F for the first 15 minutes to give it a quick set then lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for another 1¼ hours longer or until a knife, or a toothpick, inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean.

The pie should be thoroughly cooled and allowed to set before cutting.

Squash Pie
Squash Pie

Squash Pie

1½ – 1¾ lb butternut squash
Pastry for deep 10-inch single crust pie

For the pie filling:
2 cups squash purée
2 extra large eggs, slightly beaten
⅔ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
⅓ cup white sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
¼ tsp cloves
¼ tsp mace
⅛ tsp nutmeg
1⅔ cup evaporated milk

To roast the squash:

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Line large rimmed baking sheet with tin foil. Spray with cooking oil.

Cut the squash in half from top to bottom. Remove and discard seeds. Lightly brush olive oil on both sides of squash. Place squash, flesh side down, on baking sheet. Roast for about 30 minutes then remove from oven and carefully flip the squash halves over. Apply a light brushing of olive oil on the flesh side of the squash.  Return squash to oven and continue roasting for another 20-30 minutes or until squash is very soft.

To prepare the squash purée:

Line a large colander with cheesecloth.  Set aside.

Remove squash from oven. As soon as the squash has just cooled enough to handle, scoop the flesh from the squash and place it in the bowl of a food processor. Purée the squash until it is very smooth.

Transfer the purée to the cheesecloth-lined colander. Let sit for about an hour to allow any excess water to drain from the purée. From time to time, stir the purée and, with a large spoon, press out the moisture from the purée.

To make the pie filling:

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Transfer purée to a medium-sized bowl and add the eggs, sugars, salt, spices, and milk. With a mixer (either a hand or stand mixer), mix ingredients thoroughly. Pour mixture into prepared pie shell. Place on rimmed baking sheet.

Bake pie in lower third of oven at 375°F for 15 minutes then lower temperature to 350°F and continue baking pie for about 1¼ hours longer or until knife or toothpick inserted in center of pie comes out clean.

Let pie cool completely before cutting.

Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Yield: 8-10 servings

Squash Pie
Squash Pie

Squash Pie
Squash Pie

 

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