Tag Archives: pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

14 Apr

Lemon Meringue Pie

These days, my sous chef friend Lia and I find that running is the best way to discover new places, enjoy the weather, and makes an excellent excuse to treat ourselves to something sugary and delicious afterward.

On an extra-sunny day we stumbled across a local farmers market. The wonderful smells and bright colors were bursting from the stands of cucumbers, watermelons, oranges and bell peppers. Inspiration struck us when we saw a grand pyramid of lemons. What’s the old adage? When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, right?

Nope, we were going to make Lemon Meringue Pie.
This recipe comes from Lia’s personal collection. She is constantly developing and baking various recipes. I, of course, am always on hand to assist and to taste. Her version of this classic uses a shortbread crust instead of the usual pie crust. I find that the sandy texture of the shortbread is less overwhelming with the lemon curd than a traditional crust.

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Curd

3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp lemon zest
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1/2 butter, cubed

In a 2 quart saucepan, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, eggs, and butter. Cook over medium-low heat until thick enough to hold marks from whisk, and first bubble appears on surface, about 6 minutes.

Shortbread Pie Crust

1 cup butter
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly mix in flour and baking powder. Press dough evenly into a 9 inch pie pan. Bake for 15 minutes, or until light golden brown.


6 egg whites
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
a pinch of cream of tartar

Whip whites and cream of tartar until frothy, and slowly stream in sugar. Whip until glossy, soft-peaks form.


When pie shell is fully cooled, add lemon curd and top with meringue. Divide and enjoy!


What I Want for Christmas: A Quirky Wish List for the Innovative Baker

22 Dec

bf8b1bd4ef819bd35c28b0e601ff4c57Half the fun of having kitchen gadgets is showing them off. Look! I made a batch of brownies that are all edge pieces. Here’s a list of funky baking goodies for the baker who has everything:

Bake two pies at once, a pie tin for indecisive cravings.

Sample your cake before you share it with this “piece for the baker” cake pan.

Bake a cake in any shape you mold with this innovative cake pan.

Never slice again, or just make many slices differently with this portioned cake pan.

Are you a fan of edge pieces? Exclude the middle with this brownie, blondie or cornbread maker.

Do all your measuring with one cup. Adjustable amounts and easy to pop into the bowl (a great tool for sticky substances like shortening).

Bake a mustache cake for your ironically inclined friends.

Empty your cupcake center neatly and fill it back up.

I didn’t even know cakesicles existed, but now you can make them (handles included!)

Put the baking tray right on a rack, a great cooling method for a tiny kitchen.

Have a great holiday with your new gadgets!

[ Photo via Koyal Wholesale ]

Chai Pumpkin Pie

18 Nov

If you’ve ever made pumpkin pie without using pumpkin spice mix, and likewise, made your own chai without the tea mix, you may have realized that the two are not dissimilar. In fact, the only spices that separate them are cardamom, allspice and occasionally black pepper. So why not combine the two? Here’s an easy way to spice up your classic Thanksgiving dessert, without adding prep time! Continue reading

Coffee Ice Cream Day

6 Sep

Happy Coffee Ice Cream Day!

Thank you to the genius who decided to combine two of our favorite things. The only combo I can think of that might be better than coffee and ice cream is coffee ice cream and derby pie .  What do you think?

Abby’s Famous Pecan Pie

20 Aug

Until Paula was in college, she had no idea what a boxed cake taste like. That just wasn’t the way things were done in her family. No break-and-bake cookies and no ready-to-go frosting. The women in Paula’s family always bake from scratch.

On one fateful Thanksgiving eve, a few years ago when Paula was 18, her grandmother decided it was her turn. It was time she learned to make pie. They started with the crust—a simple butter crust that was always moist and kept people coming back for more—and then they moved on to the filling, one of Paula’s favorites becoming Abby’s Famous Pecan Pie. Within a few years, Thanksgiving dessert became Paula’s responsibility. At first she found it stressful and nerve-wracking.  It didn’t matter how many other Thanksgiving dishes like turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce her mother was balancing; when it was pie time, she would announce, “It’s my time to make the pies. I’m taking over the kitchen.”

Paula’s grandmother has since passed away, but now, anytime she is in the kitchen making desserts, especially those pecan and pumpkin pies, she remembers her grandmother teaching her and her grandmother in the kitchen making those delicious pies that were such a family pleaser.

Abby’s Famous Pecan Pie comes from a dear Abby column that Paula’s mom started using. While other pies make appearances occasionally, the classics always made on Thanksgiving (the most important pie holiday of the year) are Abby’s pecan pie and the classic pumpkin pie.

Abby’s Famous Pecan Pie Recipe


  • 1 9” unbaked pie crust (or for better results, a homemade butter crust)
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 heaping cup pecan halves
  • whipped cream for serving


Heat over to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine corn syrup, sugar, eggs, butter, salt and vanilla; mix well. Pour filling into unbaked pie crust; cover with pecan halves. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until center is set. Remove from over and cool. Serve with whipped cream.

Photo by Stu Spivack (CC-BY-SA-2.0), via Wikimedia Commons

Chocolate Pecan Pie

20 Aug

In honor of Chocolate Pecan Pie Day, I’m posting my favorite recipe for the occasion and the story behind it. My mom has adapted it from Daisy King’s cookbook, Gracious Entertaining, Southern Style.

Will you be celebrating by making your own chocolate pecan pie today?

If you saw my mom on the street, you would think that she’s been a New Yorker her whole life.  But she is a Tennesseean and proud of it, and she loves to remind us every chance she gets.  We tease her about the way pronounces certain words—for example, “pen” and “pin” sound exactly the same but she swears there’s a difference—and the fact that as soon as she’s talking to her relatives or someone else from the south, her accent comes on full force.  She also celebrates her background through her cooking, and when that happens, we all bite our tongues.

Usually referred to as “Kentucky Derby Pie”, a trademark pie by Kern’s Kitchen, is one of the South’s best kept hidden secrets, and when I mention it to my friends up North, I get blank stares in return.  Don’t be fooled by the name; you don’t need your sun hat and pearls to enjoy a slice of pie.  But if you’re feeling fancy, there’s no shame in dressing up.  You just need to love pecans, chocolate, and whiskey.  (Okay, you can’t actually taste the whiskey that much, but if you do like it, it’s a plus). This pie is traditionally made with bourbon; however, as a proud Tennesseean, my mom feels obligated to use Jack Daniels, which is technically a Tennessee whiskey.

Chocolate Pecan Pie

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup butter, melted
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • ¾ cup light corn syrup
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp Jack Daniels
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • 1 9-inch pie shell

Preheat oven to 375°.  Cream sugar and butter.  Add and mix eggs, syrup, salt, Jack Daniels and vanilla. Pour pecans and chocolate chips into pie shell.  Pour filling into shell.  Bake for 45 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

What is your favorite chocolate pecan pie recipe?

Photo by Markmark28 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Common

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pie Recipe

10 Aug

Laurie is one of six children. For her, weeknight meals were mostly macaroni and cheese or tuna casserole, but holidays were a different story. Growing up, Thanksgiving was always spent with her family in Georgia. There were aunts and uncles, her whole family. One special memory was of a piecrust from her Aunt Pix. On Thanksgiving morning, she and her siblings could be found in the basement, making and rolling out crust, constantly arguing with each other about what the pie filling should be. And growing up, Laurie assumed this is how Thanksgiving would always be.

As she and her siblings grew up and started incorporating significant others into their lives, Thanksgiving no longer meant trips to Georgia and visits with aunts and uncles. Eventually, as she and her siblings married, Thanksgiving became the holiday they spent elsewhere. Even though each sibling started attending other Thanksgiving celebrations, Aunt Pix’s piecrust always traveled with them. It was the dish they volunteered to bring and it was what continued to tie them together. In recent years, they’ve started sending pictures to one another on Thanksgiving of the pie they made that year.

Aunt Pix’s Thanksgiving Pie Crust Recipe

  • 4 cups of flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup crisco
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar

Mix flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in shortening until mix is crumbly.  In a different bowl, beat vinegar, eggs and 1/2 cup of ice water.  Combine 2 mixtures, dividing with a fork until it holds together.

Divide into 6 patties; wrap each in plastic wrap.  Chill or freeze. They will keep in the fridge for 3 days and the freezer for 2-3 months.

Fillings for this piecrust have run the gamut including apple, cherry, blueberry, chocolate pecan as well as some combinations of the above like cherry apple or blueberry raspberry pie.  The crust is easy to make and always turns out deliciously.

Laurie generally finds recipes through googling, trying to throw something together with what is in the fridge, or using because that is just the recipe she has. Conversely, the piecrust is the only recipe she cooks for a purpose… to remember her childhood Thanksgiving and connect her with her family, even as they become a part of other families.

Buttermilk Coconut Pie

1 Aug

Whenever she brings it to a picnic or dinner party, everyone raves.  They act like it’s the world’s biggest unsolved mystery and think it must have taken forever to prepare.  Second helpings, and sometimes even thirds, are absolutely necessary.  Her guests cannot wait for the next time she will make it.

She makes it because her grandma always did, as it was her go-to dessert recipe.  It reminds her of potluck dinners in the basement of her Nanny’s Methodist church, where little old southern ladies, dressed in their Sunday best, flocked together to share their most-prized creations—their pies.  My mom makes many pies, but this Buttermilk Coconut Pie, from middle Tennessee, that is so close to her heart but so mysterious to those around her, is her favorite of all.

It’s perfect to bring to people’s houses because, in the words of my mother, “it is so easy to make, but everyone always thinks it’s this great masterpiece!”  When she admits that making this pie is in fact pretty effortless, they think she’s just trying to be modest.  So when you make it and bring it to your next dinner party, you can just keep the secret to yourself and leave your friends in awe!  Unless you’re not a fan of coconut, there is no way a slice of this pie won’t leave you begging for more.

It only takes about 15 fifteen minutes to prepare, and 35 to bake.  And though my mother would love to claim this recipe, credit is actually due to Norma Gammon, who submitted it to the Nolensville United Methodist Church Cookbook in Nolensville, Tennessee

Buttermilk Coconut Pie Recipe

  • ¾ stick margarine or butter
  • 1 ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ tbsp. vanilla
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup shredded coconut

Melt margarine or butter in large bowl.  Mix together flour and sugar; add to margarine or butter.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well.  Add vanilla, buttermilk, and coconut.  Pour into 9 inch unbaked pie shell.  Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until filling is set and golden brown.

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