Perfect Peach Pie, A la Mode

I love peaches. They are probably one of my favorite fruits if only because they smell so luscious when I walk past them in the market.

This was my first peach pie ever. I’ve made peach crisp before and I love it. I make it at least once every peach season, so it was a little scary to diverge from that and make a pie. But I’m glad I did! This pie was delicious! And now I have TWO must-make recipes for every peach season! It doesn’t get better than that.

I used an all shortening curst for this pie because I wanted it to be light; I didn’t want the crust to be heavy and detract from the flavor of the peaches. I was very happy with this crust, although next time I would sprinkle raw sugar over the top.

As usual, prepare your crust first and put it in the fridge for 3 hours minimum.

Peach Pie Filling

5/6 cups of sliced peaches. About 10 medium sized peaches.

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup corn starch

2 T butter

1/4 t salt

1 t cinnamon 

1/2 t nutmeg 

First peel all your peaches. It makes it REALLY easy to peal them if you blanch them. Boil water and drop your peaches in for 1 minute.

Remove from water and pull of the skin. It will peel right off leaving all the peach flesh behind.

Slice peaches into 1/4 inch slices. Mine did not want to pull off the pits and were a total pain in the butt to cut. Just do your best!

Pour peaches into a colander to get rid of extra juice and squeeze a lemon over them then toss lightly with your fingers. Doing this in a colander will drain some of the juice so that your pie won’t be soggy.

Mix the dry ingredients (1/2 c white 1/2 c brown sugar, 1/4 c flour 1/4 c cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg)

Pour the peaches into a large bowl and pour the mixed dry ingredients over the top.

Toss together to evenly coat peaches.

Roll out your bottom crust and lay in pie pan.

Pour peaches into pie pan.

dollop your 2 T of butter over the fruit.

Roll out top crust and cut into long strips (if you are making a lattice top crust) or just lay over the top and cut vents.

TaDa! A pretty pie!

OH SHOOT! I forgot to dollop the butter on top!

So I smeared it into the open spots on my crust and everything was ok. Fewf.

Bake at 450 F for 10 minutes then reduce to 350 F for another 30-35 minutes. Pie filling should be bubbling and crust brown.

Let cool for about an hour while you hide somewhere outside so that you can’t smell it and don’t cut it too early. Good thing it’s so nice and warm out, this shouldn’t be too hard. You want to wait until it’s still warm but not too hot.

Serve with ice cream!

Eat outside in the sunshine with friends!

The perfect summer pie :)

Chocolate Chess Pie – AKA Brownie Custard Pie!

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MMMmmm… chocolate chess pie.

This is an absolute must-try-pie for the chocolate lover.

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I first tired this pie at a Loretta Jean’s Pie Bakery. It was the pie of choice for my three year old son and it was life changing. I would easily say it was the best chocolate pie I have ever had.

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Mine was good, but it wasn’t as good as Loretta Jean’s. I think I over baked it. But it was still really really good. I’m going to try again because I know how good it can be and I didn’t quite get there.

For now, I’ll tell you what I did because it had beautiful flavor and was almost perfect in texture. I’m guessing 10 minutes less in the oven and it would have been perfect.

Crust

First, make your crust. A single crust is all that is needed but I always suggest making a double and freezing the extra for another day. For this pie I would suggest a shortening crust with only 1 teaspoon of salt rather than the 2 that my regular recipe calls for.

You are going to pre-bake the crust for this pie. Once your crust dough is ready (has been in the fridge for 3 hours or so) roll it out, lay it in your pan, and poke with a fork. Then cover with tinfoil so none of the crust is showing.

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Fill with pie beans or regular uncooked beans (I have a zip loc of uncooked black beans labeled “pie beans” in my baking cupboard)

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Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes.

Take out of the oven and carefully remove your tinfoil and bean. The crust will still be soft, not fully cooked, so be careful not to pull on the crust and break it.

Put the un-covered crust back in the oven at 350 F for 10 minutes.

While it’s cooking make your pie filling.

Chocolate Pie Filling 

3 large eggs, separated (you will use the white and yolks so separate and save)

3/4 c granulated sugar

1/3 c butter melted

1/8 t salt

1/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 c buttermilk

1 t cider vinegar

3 T cocoa powder

In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, melted butter, and salt

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In a stand mixer beat the egg whites on med/high until they are stiff and stand on their own.

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Add egg yolks one at a time to the sugar/butter mixture, mixing well between each addition. This is how it should look after all three have been added.

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Stir in the flour, buttermilk, and vinegar, mixing well.

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Mix in 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder (If you leave this out it will just be Chess Pie, which I have never tried but is the classic form of this pie!)

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Yum… smooth chocolate yumminess.

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Fold in your stiff egg whites with a flexible rubber spatula.

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Pour the final batter into the (at least mostly cooled) crust.

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Bake at 350 F for 20-30 minutes (I thought mine wasn’t done at 25 and put it back in for an extra 15 minutes (whoops) – I bet 30 minutes would have been enough)

When it’s done it will have a domed top which will flatten out about 10 minutes after it come out of the oven – this is a picture with the domed top:

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Let cool to room temperature or about 1 hour. Serve with whipped cream. Enjoy!

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This is seriously, no joke, one of my favorite pies of all time.

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It’s great served with coffee!

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It is a must try for chocolate lovers.

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Try this pie, you won’t regret it!

 

Pulled Pork Tamale Pie With a Polenta Top!

Pie for dinner, it just doesn’t get any better than that.  Well, ok, maybe it does: Mexcian style pie for dinner! With Pulled Pork! Today’s pie is a Tamale Pie with pulled pork and polenta. Today’s pie is awesome. Today’s pie also happens to be gluten free! Today’s pie is the best.

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I love pulled pork and I love cheese and I love salsa and polenta and beans so, obviously, I love this pie. And so did everyone else in my family, including my starting-to-get-picky 3-year-old.

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This is a great comfort food style pie. It is warm and hearty and filled with meat. And it heats up great as leftovers! Plus I made too much pulled pork so I had leftovers of that too, which is just fine by me. I’m already looking forward to BBQ pulled pork sandwiches and pulled pork tacos :) Anyway, back to this delicious pie…

Start by making the pork. It needs to boil for 2 hours so start early.

First get all your ingredients for flavoring your pork while it boils.

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Pulled Pork:

3-4 pounds pork shoulder or butt

4 T Olive Oil

2-3 teaspoons Salt

2-3 Cups chicken broth

3 tomatoes

1 large yellow onion

1 large purple onion

3 jalapenos

8-10 cloves garlic

2 limes

oregano (dry or fresh) to taste (I put 3 fresh sprigs)

Cumin to taste (I put about 1 teaspoon)

Canned Chipotle Peppers to taste (These will make it spicy and smokey, I used 2 peppers from the jar so my 3 year old could eat it, but I would probably have liked 4)

I made 4 pounds of pork, you probably only need to make 3 if you don’t want extra… but who doesn’t want extra pulled pork?

Cut the pork into chunks about the size of a deck of cards, maybe a little smaller, and cut out the big chunks of fat.

Rough chop 1 yellow and 1 purple onion, 3 tomatoes, 3 jalapenos, garlic cloves

Add olive oil to a large sauce pan and all the chopped veggies and any fresh spices

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Saute your veggies until soft

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Add chipotle peppers and dry spices

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Add the chicken broth. Mine was frozen from a chicken I had boiled on a different day.

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Bring to a boil and add your meat.

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Add the juice of 2 limes or lemons limes ar best but if they are super expensive because of a drought in California feel free to use lemons.

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Bring back to a boil for 1-2 minutes and then cover and reduce heat to LOW. Simmer for 2 hours. At the end of two hours your pork should be SUPER tender. I pulled mine out with tongs and if I wasn’t very gentle while lifting it would fall apart!

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Once you’ve separate all your pork from the broth shred it up in a large glass baking dish.

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I added about 1 1/2 cups of broth to the pork after I shredded it so it wouldn’t dry out in the oven.

Place on a high rack and bake at 450 F for 20 minutes so you get those nice crispy tips.

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While your pork is baking you can make your Polenta!

Polenta:

6 cups of water

2 t salt

1 3/4 C Corn Meal

3 T butter

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Bring water and Salt to a boil.

Add the Corn meal, sprinkling it into the water while whisking constantly.

Reduce heat to medium low and cook until it gets as thick as pudding, about 20 minutes. (It will harden up quite a bit after it cools slightly.)

Remove from heat and mix in butter.

Tada! Polenta is done.

Drain 1 can of pinto beans and heat in the microwave, covered, until hot.

Mix the beans with about 2 – 3 cups of pulled pork and fill the bottom of your deep dish pie pan.

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Pour your Polenta over the top, I covered the pork with about an inch of polenta and had some left over which I put in a pan and will eat with a different meal; create the proportion that you think you would like best.

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Add about 1 cup of shredded cheese of your choice to the top. I used a Colby/Jack mix and it was very good, but I may use mozzarella next time.

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Here is a side view so you can see my proportions. I would have liked a little more pork, I only used 2 cups, next time I would use 3.

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Bake at 350 for 15 minutes until cheese is melted and slightly browned. You might have to hit the broil button for the last 5 minutes.

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Wow. That’s cheese.

Serve right away while piping hot!

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Eat with your favorite salsa and hot sauce!

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Yum. Yum. Yum.

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Yum.

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Caramelized Banana Cream Pie – Yumtastic

My little sister served carmalized bananas over ice-cream the last time I was at her house for dinner and it sparked this idea in my mind: why have I never had Caramelized Banana Cream Pie? I’ve always kind of found Banana Cream Pie to be an unexciting bland kind of pie… maybe I just haven’t had a good one… but to me caramelizing the bananas seemed like the perfect solution.

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I LOVED this pie. It was sweet and delicious and beautiful and easy!

Use whatever curst you would like – Graham Cracker is a popular option. I made mine with a gluten coconut cookie crust. It was delicious and I would absolutely make it with this crust again (if I could get the crust to hold together a little better).

This sentence is a link to the coconut cookie crust as well as a DIY on making your own coconut flour from shaved unsweetened coconut. 

Make your crust and have it cooled and ready to fill. This pie is a no-bake pie, so make sure you pre-bake whatever crust you choose.

Caramelized Banana Cream Pie Filling

1/2 Cup Sugar

1/2 Cup Corn Starch

1/4 teaspoon Salt

1 1/2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream

1 1/2 Cup Milk

3 Large Egg Yolks

2 Tablespoons Butter

1 teaspoon Vanilla

1 1/2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream

Mix sugar and cornstarch in a large thick sauce pan.

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Turn heat to medium high and whisk the whipped cream and milk into the sugar and cornstarch mixture.

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Once it is fully incorporated, mix in your three egg yolks.

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Stir continuously until it turns into a thick pudding, about 8-10 minutes.

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Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla.

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Mix until fully incorporated. Move pudding to a cold bowl and let cool completely, whisking every now and then so it doesn’t get a thick crust on top.

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While the pudding cools:

Cut up two bananas into 1/4 inch slices.

Put 1 T butter into a hot pan. Add your banana slices. Sprinkle the tops of your bananas with 1-2 T of sugar.

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Flip bananas and sprinkle opposite sides with 1-2 Tablespoons of sugar. Cook until bananas have a dark brown caramel crust.

Cut two more bananas (total of 4 largish bananas) into 1/4 inch slices.

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Arrange the fresh banana slices into the bottom of the crust in an even layer.

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Spread a layer of the pudding over the fresh banana layer.

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Use about half of the pudding.

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Layer your cooled caramelized banana slices over your first pudding layer.

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Cover with the rest of the pudding.

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Whip your heavy whipping cream — sweeten to taste.

Cover the top of the pie with your whipped cream!

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Ta-DA! A beautiful pie :) Put in the fridge and let cool for at least 2 hours. Keep refrigerated.

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Can be served with a salted caramel sauce for extra awesomeness – I had some on hand and served it with the sauce, but it is totally not necessary. This pie stands on its own.

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See the beautiful layer of caramlized bananas? Yum.

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With a salted caramel sauce:

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Coconut Cookie Crust – Gluten Free and Delicious + DIY Coconut Flour!

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Let my start by saying that this crust is incredibly aromatic, incredibly tasty, and incredibly crumbly. It didn’t hold together well. So, if you have any suggestions I’m open to them. But here’s the thing, it was so delicious and such a great glutton free option that I’m posting it anyway. And when I figure out how to get it to hold together I’ll let you know.

I made this crust for my Caramelized Banana Cream Pie and the combination of coconut crust and Banana Cream was to die for. I highly recommend it!

When I started to make this crust I made the wrong assumption that I could simply food-proccess flaked coconut and turn it into coconut flour, the same way you can with Almond. That is not the case. It is quite a process to turn flaked coconut into flour… and one that leaves you with coconut milk too! So, I’m going to show you how to make coconut flour from the much more available and cheaper flaked coconut and let you decide if you want to take the time to do it or just buy flour.

If you just buy the coconut flour you can skip to the cookie recipe. Otherwise…

Start by boiling water. For coconut water boil 4 cups of water to 1 cup of coconut, for a thicker coconut milk, use less water depending on how thick you want it. I did a little over 1:1 – about 3 cups of flaked coconut and 4 cups of boiling water because I wanted a thick milk.

Pour you flaked (unsweetened!) coconut in your blender. Add your boiling water.

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Hold the lid on the top when you start the blending (mine blew off!) and then blend until super creamy – about 10 -12 minutes.

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Put a cheese cloth in a bowl and pour your creamy coconut into the cloth. Squeeze out as much of the milk as you can into the bowl twisting your cloth and squeezing the coconut ball. It will be very hot, you can stick it in the freezer for a few minutes now and then to help make it squeezable.

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Once you have squeezed out as much milk as humanly possible open your cloth and feel your coconut. It should feel quite dry.

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Yummy! Look at all that great coconut milk! Save that and use it in coffee or add yummy fall spices to it for a delicious drink.

Pre-heat your oven to 175. Spread your coconut as thin as possible on parchment paper on baking sheets.

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Bake until you touch the coconut and it is completely dry. My coconut was quite thick on my pans so it took 2 1/2 hours of baking to dry out completely! I would check after 45 minutes and then again after 15 minutes and add time accordingly. It will start to dry at the edges of the pan first.

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Take your dried coconut and blend in the food processor until it is a fine flour. I think I could have processed mine more, I think my slightly too course flour may have contributed to the fall-apartness of my end product crust.

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Ta- Da! Coconut flour!

Coconut Cookie Crust

1 1/2 cups coconut flour

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup soft butter

1 egg

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Mix butter and honey in a large bowl with a hand mixer.

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Add egg and mix

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Add flour and mix. (I forgot to take pictures of these steps – sorry!) My dough was very sticky and buttery.

Flatten out to about 1/4 inch thickness on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees F for approx 20 minutes until edges are browned and it is cooked to the middle.

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Crumble cookie (mine totally fell apart just touching it)

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Add 1 T melted butter and 3 T Sugar, mix, and press into pie pan.

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Bake at 350 F for 6-10 minutes. When it smells done it probably is. Take out of the oven when toasty brown and let cool. Fill with your favorite filling! Enjoy!

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Gluten Free Lemon Icebox Pie With Almond Crust

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Lemon Icebox Pie. I chose this pie for this week because I love a citrus pie and because I like the word “icebox”; it makes me feel like a southern lady from an old timey movie.

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I would describe this pie as a lemon key lime pie. Basically it’s a key lime pie with lemon instead of lime. It’s very good: tart, creamy, smooth, great for a hot summer day. I over zested my lemons (got a little too much white in there) which gave it a little bit of a bitter flavor, but if I hadn’t done that it would have been perfect! My husband absolutely LOVED it.

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I also made this pie with an almond crust instead of a graham cracker crust. I wanted to try something gluten free because I know lots of people with gluten intolerance and they deserve pie too! I was pleasantly surprised by this crust. I feel very comfortable saying that you could substitute any graham cracker crust with this almond crust and be happy with the outcome. It held together beautifully and if I hadn’t known it was made with almond flour I would have thought it was some kind of nutty graham cracker cookie or something.

Crust:

1 1/2 Cups Almond Flour (I bet almond meal would work as well, although I used almond flour. They are both ground almonds, but almond flour tends to be more finely ground and without the skin while meal tends to be more coarse and can be ground with the skin)

3 Tablespoons Melted Butter

3 Tablespoons Sugar (If your filling isn’t very sweet you may want to add an extra Tablespoon or two of sugar to keep the same balance of sweetness that you would have with a graham cracker crust)

Add melted butter and sugar to almond flour.

Mix until fully incorporated.

Use fingers to press into pie pan.

Bake at 425 F for 15 -20 minutes until slightly browned.

Remove and let cool.

Make the filling while the crust cools.

Lemon Filling:

2 (14 oz) Cans Sweetened condensed Milk

1 1/4 Cups Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

Zest of 2 Lemons (Only press hard enough to get the bright yellow! If you get too much white it will be bitter)

8 Egg Yolks 

Zest 2 lemons and set aside.

Squeeze the juice out of about 8 -10 lemons, including the 2 you zested.

In a stand mixer mix the egg yolks and zest until light in color (about 60 seconds on medium high speed) as seen below.

In a bowl with a hand whisk, whisk together the lemon juice and the two cans of sweetened condensed milk.

Pour the lemon juice/milk mixture into the yolk and zest mixture, whisking on medium until fully incorporated.

Pour into cold crust.

Bake at 350 F for 25-35 minutes until only the center jiggles about like a custard.

Cool for about an hour and at room temperature then freeze for about 6 hours or leave in the fridge over night.

Cover with plastic wrap or it will weep! But don’t let the plastic wrap touch the top or it will pull off the top of your pie and make it messy looking, like mine:

Messy looking plastic wrap pie top:

Serve with whipped cream! If you mess up your top and you are presenting your pie to friends, cover with whipped cream and no one will know! I was just serving it to my husband and three year old so I just plopped the whipped cream on each slice.

Whipped Cream:

Heavy Whipping Cream whipped at high speed. Add 1 t vanilla and powdered sugar to taste (6-10 T for 1 pint of whipped cream is about right)

Serve, eat, enjoy!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with a Lattice Top Crust

You know how some ties you see a big bucket of delicious ripe strawberries at the store and they are on sale and all you want is to have an excuse to eat all the strawberries?

Well, here you go: strawberry Rhubarb Pie

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This pie is so easy and delicious it is kind of ridiculous. I mean, how can you go wrong with strawberries and rhubarb? You can’t. This is a great versatile pie because with just a shift in ingredients you can make your pie sweet or tangy to your preference. I made mine sweet because my husband likes a sweet pie.

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If I was making it for myself alone I would probably have leaned a little more towards the tart rhubarb but half the fun of making a yummy pie is watching others enjoy it. You can skew it any way you want: More strawberry = Sweeter, more Rhubarb = Tarter :)

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As always, make your crust first. Preferably the night before or first thing in the morning so it has time to sit in the fridge and chill. I just made a post devoted to creating the perfect crust. Here’s a link: Crust.

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You can use any fat combination you want: for a lighter tasting crust go all shortening, for a heavier, heartier crust go all butter, for something in the middle do half and half. I did a half and half crust for this pie. It was perfect.

Once you have your crust ready to go, gather your fruit.

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Ingredients (for a sweet pie)

4 1/2 Cups Strawberries halved/thirded (depending on how big your strawberries are, you want them to keep some of their shape, so don’t cut them too small)

2 Cups Rhubarb cut into small pieces (the larger the pieces the tangier they will be)

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar packed

1/2 Cup White Sugar

1/4 Cup Cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon Salt 

(For a more tart pie do 3 1/4 c strawberries and 3 1/4 cup rhubarb or for a really tart pie do 4 1/2 cups rhubarb and 2 cups strawberries! -YUM!)

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Cut up your fruit.

Add dry ingredients.

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Mix until fruit is thoroughly coated.

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Roll out your crust and place bottom crust in pan with pie bird (not necessary, but very cute and helpful – pie birds help reduce overflow and get a non-doughy bottom crust in moist pies)

Roll out your top crust.

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For a lattice top cut your top crust into 1/2 – 3/4 inch strips.

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Fill your bottom crust with the fruit. There will likely be some juice at the bottom, make sure you get it all in there!

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To put on your lattice top crust lay about half of the strips across the pie fairly close to each other. Then weave the second set of strips in by folding back every other strip and laying the new ones across like so:

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Fold the strips back flat across your pie.

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repeat with the next set of strips (fold back, lay down, fold over) until you have used all your strips or the pie is covered.

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Fold your lattice strips under the edge of your bottom crust and pinch into place.

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Brush with an egg wash – one egg white whisked with about 1 T of water. It’s fine if the wash drips in to the pie. This wash is what will give your pie top that beautiful browned look that you want.

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Place on a cookie sheet to catch boiled over sugar deliciousness that would be practically impossible to clean out of your oven.

Place the pie at one level below middle.

Bake for 20 minutes at 400 F.

Reduce temperature to 350 F and bake for another 1 hour 20 – 1 hour 30 minutes.

Let cool until almost completely cold. If it is still hot then it will likely be very runny.

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It has to be very cold for the slice to hold together like this:

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If you don’t mind a little hot strawberry juice, cut it earlier :)

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Serve with ice cream or whipped cream or eat it on it’s own! It’s delicious any way you slice it.

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