Creamy Lemon Icebox Pie

Creamy lemon icebox pie!

The recipe that I used for this pie called it something like “lemon cream cheese pie” but there is such a small amount of cream cheese I felt like that title was a little misleading. It really is more of a creamy lemon version of a key lime pie. I think I’ve said that before about another lemon pie I made.

I like this one better.

It’s smooth and creamy and not-too-tart. Maybe like the coconut cream version of lemon pie.

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Yum.

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I used a deep dish pan and thought it was lacking a little height so I added a layer of whipped cream. The original recipe I followed said to garnish with whipped cream but I love the look of a smooth whipped cream top so I went ahead and slathered it on there.

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* Quick note on timing. This pie requires that you make the first half then let that cool in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours then come back and make the second half. It’s totally necessary and you can’t skip this step. So, if you don’t have three hours of cooling time choose another pie.

This mid-pie cooling method is kind of fun though because if you do the initial crust and cool then have people over you look like a pie wizard when you say “hold on, let me make a quick pie.” Then throw the rest of the ingredients in the mixer, pour it all in the crust and voila – an amazing, delicious lemon pie in 5-10 minutes flat! They’ll think you’re a super hero. And in the I-can-pre-plan-pie-like-a-boss kind of way, you are. A pie hero!

Pie Filling Ingredients: 

1 1/4 cups water

1/2  cup sugar

1/4 cup corn starch

3 well beaten egg yolks

1/2 cup lemon juice (split) 

1 1/2 T butter

Dash of salt

7 oz (a little less than 1 cup) sweetened condensed milk

1/4 cup instant lemon pudding mix

Whipped Cream

 

Graham Cracker Crust:

Pre-heat oven to 350

Smash 1 1/2 sleeves of graham crackers (about 1 1/2 cups of crumbs)

Add 3 Tablespoons sugar

Add 1/3 cup of melted butter

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Mix until you have distributed the butter evenly to create nice wet crumbs:

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Press into pie pan and put in oven for 12 minutes (enjoy the smells, they will be very nice. But don’t enjoy them too much because you don’t get to eat any pie for at least 3 hours.)

Remove and let cool.

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Pie Filling:

Separate your three egg yolks (save the whites for something else. Maybe a healthy omelet because you’re going to be eating a bunch of pie soon.)

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Mix the yolks well.

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Combine 1 1/4 c water, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup corn starch in a sauce pan.

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Stir the water, sugar, and cornstarch over medium heat until it bubbles and get’s thick. Mine got super thick. Like a giant ball of gack.

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Remove from heat and add about half to the egg yolks. You don’t want the egg yolks to cook so don’t put the hot gew directly in them. I pu them on the sides of my bowl and slowly mixed them in.

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All mixed!

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Now add that yellow mix back into your sauce pan with the rest of your gack and mix.

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Squeeze your lemons

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Add 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1 1/2 T butter and mix.

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Stir over medium heat until it bubbles. Or, if yours is super thick like mine, just leave it there until it seems like it would be boiling if it wasn’t the consistency of rubber cement.

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Pour your yellow blob into a bowl.

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Cover directly over the blob with plastic wrap (otherwise it will weep a lot) and put it in the fridge to cool for at least 3 hours.

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Come back in three hours and do this part – yey! Your pie will be done in about 10 minutes! So fun.

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Add your almost-1-cup of sweetened condensed milk, 4 oz or cream cheese, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of jello mix.

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Stir until creamy.

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Add cold-from-the-fridge gelatinous blob.

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Mix until smooth.

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Mmmm.. looks like butter.

Add filling to your (cold) crust:

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Yum! Lemon pie!

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I decided to put my “garnish” whipped cream as a second layer of my pie:

(instructions: make whipped cream, spread on pie)

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Present your beautiful pie to the hungry masses.

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Cut and serve pie-hero. You’re done!

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Looking for a different pie from my blog but don’t feel like scrolling through the archives? Check out my pinterest board dedicated to this blog! I will try to keep it updated with all the recipes on this blog. Friday’s Pie Days on Pinterest

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!

 

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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Pie Day 11 – Crack Pie – FAIL.

Yep. It finally happened. I totally completely failed at making this delicious looking (and smelling) pie.

think I did everything the way that I was supposed to, but obviously something went wrong because, well, the pie that was supposed to look like this:

Came out looking like this:

You might be thinking, “ok, that looks a little burnt on top, but maybe it’s just a nice brown crust and it still has a tasty inside. Maybe it’s not soooooo bad.”

You would be wrong.

This is me tipping my pie sideways:

See all that buttery, sugary goo on the right hand side? That just poured right out. And before you ask, yes, I tried cooking it longer. In fact, I cooked it 30 minutes longer than it said checking the middle for the right “wiggle” every 5-10 minutes. It was pure burnt liquid every time.

Want to see what happens when I tried “cutting”into it?

Yep. Just butter under there. WHERE DID ALL THE FLOUR AND EGGS AND SUGAR GO?? No one knows.

This is how my husband found it when he got home.

I had abandoned it.

If you are wondering if he tried it: yes, yes he did. He said the first bite wasn’t so bad but after that he just stared hating himself. I guess he must have been really hungry. Or maybe it was just hard not to try it because It Smelled So Damn Good. Or both.

I’ll be working towards figuring out what went wrong, hopefully tomorrow.

In the mean time, check out this yummy Chocolate Chess Pie and Coconut Cream Pie from Lauretta Jean’s Pie Bakery, which turns out to be a convenient 0.9 miles from my house! I brought a slice of their cherry pie home too, but I’m saving that for later.

 

The verdict: Their Chocolate Chess Pie was my son’s chosen pie and was amazing amazing amazing. unfortunately I only got to have a couple bites before he very sternly insisted that the chocolate was his pie then pointed to my Coconut Cream and told me “that one’s all yours.” Sigh.

The lady behind the counter suggested the Coconut Cream as her absolute favorite so that is what I ordered for myself. It was OK but didn’t have enough coconut in the cream for me. Honestly it tasted like whipped cream in a crust with shaved coconut on top. I didn’t finish it, so that says a lot. But it was an OK pie if you are in the mood for a slice of heavy whipping cream in a super flakey and delicious crust.

Apparently the Cherry is their number 1 best seller. I’m looking forward to warming it up and eating it with some ice cream tonight!

I’m also really looking forward to berry season! Which is just around the corner so I can finally start baking some berry pies of my own! Aaaah spring and summer  and delicious fruit pies; how I love you.

 

Pie Day 9 – Pay De Lima (Lime Pie)

I Love Lime Pie.

This isn’t a new pie for me, this is a long time family favorite.

I got this lime pie recipe out of a cookbook for the restaurant Dona Tomas in Oakland, CA. If you are ever in Oakland or Berkeley or even SF and wanting to take a trip across the Bay then I would highly recommend you try this amazing restaurant. I love it so much that I bought the cookbook and everything I have tried from it has been amazing, including this lime pie.

Also, they serve the best margarita’s in the Bay Area.

This pie differs from Key Lime Pie in that it does not have any sweetened condensed milk, in fact, it has no milk of any kind. It is creamy and smooth and tart, tart, tart. I haven’t met a person yet who hasn’t absolutely loved it.

I make the recipe exactly as it says to in the book and it has never once, not one single time, come even close to acting/looking the way they say it’s supposed to.

See those skinny opaque slices of pie? Yeah, mine never looks like that. Mine looks more like a Key Lime pie, I don’t know why. Either way, it’s delicious.

I’ll tell you what it says, and I’ll tell you how it has turned out for me and you can just go try it out and see how it goes for you.

So here we go:

Graham Cracker Crust: 

12 Graham Crackers, pulverized

6 T melted butter

3 T sugar

pinch salt (I over slated mine this time but it was still good)

Mix together, press into a deep pie pan, put in fridge to cool.

Delicious Lime Filling:

Zest 3 limes – about 1 t or more if desired (I put in about 1 T because I like the zest)

Squeeze 3/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 8 limes, depending on the juiciness)

Fill a large sauce pan 3/4 of the way with water and boil – you are going to use this to double-boil your filling.

Chop 1 stick of room temp butter into 1/4 inch pieces and set aside.

In a large metal bowl combine:

1 1/2 cup sugar

4 eggs

Lime zest

3/4 cup lime juice

Using a hand mixer, mix the ingredients slightly.

Put the metal bowl over the boiling water and continue to mix for 15 minutes (Time it! If you are unsure of your consistency just whisk for 15 minutes and you’re probably good to go)

The book says to mix it for 15 minutes or until it “doubles in size, turns frothy and opaque, and forms ribbonlike folds off the end of the whisk”. It does double in size for me, but it has never done any of the other things. Mine is always thick and creamy looking and about the consistency of a hot pudding that hasn’t set. It doesn’t stand on end but it is thick.

See, not even kind of opaque – more like a less sticky marshmellow cream with lime zest.

Gradually mix in the butter bits until completely melted, I did about 1/6 of the butter at a time and it melts quick. Incorporate completely.

Pour into the pie crust and let cool. The book says to let cool for at least 6 hours, I’ve always found mine is ready to eat after 3. If you can wait the full 6 hours, good for you! It’s totally not necessary though.

If you like a tart creamy textured pie, this is the pie for you! I have never met a person who didn’t love this pie, and if I did, I probably wouldn’t like them.

Just kidding.

Sort of.

Pie Day 8 – Cabbage and Sausage Pie – Success!!

Cabbage and Sausage pie: Success!

This pie is a fun and delicious meal.

I was served a cabbage pie almost 10 years ago and when it was brought out I remember thinking something like: Eeeew! Cabbage pie?? And then trying it and dreaming about it in fond confusion for 10 years until I made this similar one yesterday.

It is a hearty pie full of sausage, cheese, hardboiled eggs and cabbage and wrapped in a butter crust… yet somehow it feels almost light when it hits your belly. The smell of it will make your mouth water while it is baking, it tastes heavenly when you eat it, it will confuse your friends and family when you serve it, it is a fun pie.

And the prep is fairly quick and easy.

I pieced the recipe together from a number of different recipes that I found on-line, some that had sausage, some that didn’t, some that had egg and some that didn’t. I basically put in all the stuff that sounded good to me, and it worked out.

Crust

First, as always, make a double crust recipe and put it in the fridge for 3 hours minimum. I made a full butter crust this time because I like a substantial crust with my savory pie, but you can do whatever you like.

The Filling

First boil at least 4 eggs and set aside to cool. (they don’t have to be completely cold, just manageable. Eggs are hard to slice when really hot)

I made four because I only had four. I would probably double it next time, maybe even triple it.

Ingredients:

1 pound sweet italian sausage (the good kind that you can take out of the casing)

1 head green cabbage

1 bunch of fresh dill (about 1/4 -1/2 c)

1 yellow onion

4 oz cream cheese OR 6 oz of feta cheese (or both, be crazy!)

4-6 T olive oil or butter

Salt

Pepper

instructions:

Heat oven to 375 F (you don’t have to do this right away, I just wanted to put this somewhere that it would be easy to find. I would turn it on while you cook the cabbage)

Remove the sausage from the casing, breaking into pieces, and cook on medium heat until well browned.

I chopped it up much more than this as it cooked – to about the size that you would find if you ordered sausage on your pizza.

Once cooked through remove from pan and set aside.

Cut up the cabbage into coleslaw size pieces. I have always done a horrible job cutting up cabbage, so I looked up the best way to do it. If you are already great at chopping cabbage than you can scroll on past this little cabbage cutting tutorial.

Holding the cabbage stem side down, cut in half. Then cut each half in half again so you have 4 pieces with the stem split in 4 ways.

Cut the stem out of each wedge at an angle.

Lay the wedge down on the flat spot you made when you cut out the stem and cut thin slices from the bottom to the pointy top of the wedge.

Once you have cut the whole wedge, cut those little slices down the middle so they aren’t quite so long.

Do that to all of your cabbage.

Next cut up your onion into small pieces.

Then chop up your dill. It doesn’t have to be tiny, just chopped.

Mix all these ingredients together.

Next you’re going to wilt/cook the cabbage mix.

In a large fry pan (I used the same one I cooked the sausage in) put 2-3 T olive oil (or butter). If you can put all your cabbage mix in the pan, go for it (and double your olive oil/butter), I had to do two batches. Salt slightly during wilting.

Once all the cabbage mix has been softened and lightly browned mix it with the sausage and add a healthy sprinkle of black pepper. If you decide to use feta (I didn’t, but only because I forgot, I will next time) then crumble it and mix it in now.

As you can see in the picture below, I didn’t kill the cabbage, it was soft but not completely mangled.

Roll out your bottom pie crust and lay it in a 2 inch deep pie pan.

If you decide to use the creme cheese then mix it up so it spreads easily and spread it in the bottom of your pie crust. I thought I had enough regular cream cheese but it turns out I didn’t and needed to use chive and onion. It was fine but I think it would have been better with regular.

Slice the eggs. I used one of those fun egg slicer made specifically for slicing eggs.

Layer them over the cream cheese.

I only had enough for one layer, I would have prefered 3 or three layers.

Pile on your sausage and cabbage mix.

Lay top crust over the filling.

If you want to you can brush the top crust with an egg wash (egg white with a little water mixed in) this will make the crust look really pretty.

Cut some wholes in the top crust.

Place the pie on a baking sheet (to catch any drips) on the middle rack.

Bake for 45 minutes at 375 F

Remove and let cook slightly (10-15 minutes)

Cut (it’s ok if it’s a little juicy), Serve, Eat, Share, Enjoy!