Celebrate Pie Day throughout the Winter Season

With savory and sweet options, this tasty all-American treat can be enjoyed from morning to night

Wednesday, Jan. 23, was National Pie Day, but there’s still plenty of time to celebrate — whether with a pot pie, a pizza pie or a delicious dessert pie.

Pie Day is always celebrated on Jan. 23, with the date being a take-off of the saying that making a pie is as easy as one, two, three — or 1-23.

And in the heart of winter, there’s nothing better than warm, fresh pie, whether savory or sweet, to brighten the day.

After all, the buttery, flaky texture of the crust complements the moist filling in a most satisfying way.

There are plenty of ways to make a flaky pie crust.

Some people swear by lard, others by shortening.

Some people believe that substituting vodka for a portion of the liquid is the way to go, while others say cold water is the only option.        

Although many people consider it difficult to create a tender crust, there are two simple rules to remember — handle the dough as little as possible and keep the ingredients cool.

All the ingredients, including the flour and especially the fat, should be ice cold before mixing.

If making the dough in a food processor, you can freeze the fat before using it.

Chill the dough for about an hour before rolling to help prevent sticking.

Some recipes call for blind baking the crust, while others don’t require the crust to be pre-baked.

Always make deep slits in the top crust of a fruit pie or the crust will end up soft and soggy.

Cool baked pies on a wire rack on a counter. This allows air to circulate under the pie, preventing it from becoming soggy.

While you have many options for the crust — from the traditional pastry crust to a cookie crumb version — the filling is easily the most versatile part of the pie.

You can make a pie filling with everything from fruits to custards, puddings to ice cream, a creamy fricasse to eggs.

If you choose a sweet pie, don’t forget to finish off the dessert with a dollop of whipped cream or a bit of ice cream.

The possibilities are endless, so celebrate Pie Day with pies all day.

You could start the morning with a quiche, enjoy a savory hand pie for lunch and a pot pie for dinner.

For dessert? A fruit or ice cream pie would be delightful.

Following are some pie recipes from www.ohsweetbail.com.



Nutella Dulce De Leche Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie

For crust:
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup cold shortening
1/2 cup cold water
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vinegar
For cookie dough:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1-1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
For filling:
3/4 cup chocolate hazelnut spread
3/4 cup dulce de leche
Sea salt flakes
Ice cream
Hot fudge sauce
Caramel sauce

    For crust, combine flour and salt in a large bowl and whisk together. Cut butter and shortening into the flour.
    In a measuring cup, whisk water, egg and vinegar. Using a fork, make a well in the center of the flour mixture and slowly start adding the water, pulling in a little more flour as you pour, until the dough begins to come together but a little flour remains.
    Form dough into two discs, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
    Place softened butter, sugar and brown sugar in a standing mixer and cream for two minutes using medium speed. Add egg and vanilla and mix one minute.
    In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking soda. Whisk to combine, then add to wet ingredients. Add the chocolate chips and stir to combine.
    Freeze one dough disc. Roll  the other out and place in pie dish. Lay a piece of parchment in the pie and press around the bottom to make an impression. Cover pie with plastic wrap and refridgerate.
    Lay parchment on the counter and spread the hazelnut spread in the circle. Freeze 10 minutes, then remove and spread dulce de leche on the hazelnut spread. Freeze.
    Carefully peel the chocolate off the parchment and lay the disc in the pie crust. Add cookie dough and gently press until it reaches halfway up, reserving any remaining dough for cookies.
    Bake in a 350-degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the center is almost set. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with sea salt, then cool for 30 to 60 minutes.
    Serve with ice cream and toppings.


Blackberry Hand Pies

2 cups blackberries
1 large apple, peeled and coarsely grated
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
8 tablespoons sugar
Pastry dough for a double-crust pie-
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons sugar

    Cook blackberries, apple, flour, cinnamon and 8 tablespoons sugar in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat about five minutes, stirring frequently, until mixture just boils and is thickened. Transfer to a shallow bowl to cool.
    Roll half of dough into a rectangle that’s 1/4-inch thick on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin. Trim into four five-inch squares.
    Place about 1/4 cup fruit filling in center of one square. Moisten edges with milk and fold into a triangle, pressing edges to seal. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and press tines of a fork around edges of triangle.
    Make four more triangles and place them 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Combine milk and egg, then brush triangles with the mixture and sprinkle with remaining sugar.
    Bake in a 400-degree oven about 25 minutes, until pies are golden. Transfer to wire racks to cool.


Easy Pie Dippers

2 sheets pie dough
Cinnamon sugar
Fresh berries, such as blueberries and strawberries
Fresh whipped cream

    Roll out the pie dough and, using a circle biscuit cutter, cut out circles. Sprinkle evenly with cinnamon sugar.
    Roll pieces of foil into tight logs, then very gently press dough around the foil log with the cinnamon sugar side facing out.
    Lean each log against the side of a muffin tin cup that’s coated with cooking spray and bake in a 375-degree oven for 10 minutes.
    Cool, then fill with fresh fruit and a dollop of whipped cream.


Strawberry Rhubarb Pot Pies

1 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/4-inch-thick pieces, leaves discarded
3 cups strawberries, sliced
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons instant tapioca
3 tablespoons orange juice
For crust:
2 cups flour, plus more for rolling
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon water
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling, optional
Vanilla ice cream for serving, optional

    In a large bowl, combine rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, tapioca and orange juice.  Mix well, then let stand 15 minutes.
    Spoon mixture into 6 one-cup ramekins. Place on parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
    To make crust, combine flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Add cubed butter and pulse a few seconds, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with a few larger pieces. Sprinkle ice water over the flour mixture and process until the dough comes together.
    Place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll until about 1/8-inch thick. Cut out six rounds of dough that are about 1/2 inch larger than the top of the ramekin. Using a small decorative cookie cutter, cut a vent into the middle of each round.
    Place dough rounds on top of the filled ramekin dishes, pressing the edges down over the rim. Combine egg and 1 teaspoon water, then brush dough with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar, if desired.
    Bake in a 375-degree oven for 35 minutes, until lightly browned and the fruit is bubbly. Let cool 10 minutes.
    Serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.



Dulce De Leche Banana Cream Pie

1 graham cracker pie crust
2 bananas, sliced
1 can dulce de leche
1 cup milk
1 3.4-ounce box French vanilla instant pudding mix
4 ounces neufchatel cheese, softened
7 ounces sweetend condensed milk
6 ounces Cool Whip, defrosted, or 1-1/2 cups fresh whipped cream with a little powdered sugar beaten until soft peaks form.

    In a large bowl, combine pudding mix and milk. Set aside.
    In another bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth, then add sweetened condensed milk and beat until smooth. Add pudding into the cream cheese mixture and stir until evenly combined.
    Add one-third of the Cool Whip to the bowl, and gently fold. Add remaining Cool Whip, a little at a time, and fold until completely combined.
    Layer sliced bananas on the bottom of the pie crust, then pour the dulce de leche over it. You may only need three-quarters of the can. Top with filling and chill at least a few minutes before serving.


Savory Chicken Pot Pie

1 rotisserie chicken, meat picked off and shredded
2 large carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons thyme
1 tablespoon parsley, dried
1 teaspoon sage
5 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
2 cups peas
3 to 4 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed and covered with a towel
1 egg white, whisked

    Place oil, carrots, celery, onion and garlic in a large stock pot over medium heat.Stir everything together and cook about 10 minutes, until tender.
    Add seasonings and stir again, cooking another minute. Add chicken and stir everything together, then add chicken stock slowly and cook 20 minutes, until the mixture has reduced, but liquid still remains.
    Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, then continue to stir for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and add to the chicken mixture, stirring together and adding the peas. Season if necessary, then pour mixture into a large bowl to cool.
    Cut puff pastry into circles or squares and fill the center with chicken mixture. Place another piece of dough on top and fold the edges over to seal. Place on one of two parchment-lined baking sheets. Brush with egg white, then bake in a 375-degree oven for 30 minutes, until golden.



Aunt Tootsie’s Lemon Meringue Pie

For filling:
1 butter pie crust, pre-baked and cooled, or a premade crust baked in an 8 or 9-inch pan
1-1/2 cups water
1-1/2 cups sugar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs yolks
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
For meringue:
4 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
    Whisk water, sugar, cornstarch, salt, lemon juice and lemon zest in a medium saucepan. Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring often, until thick and bubbly.
    Place egg yolks into a medium sized bowl and whisk gently. Once lemon mixture is thick and bubbly, carefully pour about half the lemon mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then place the egg mixture back into the pan with the remaining lemon mixture, continuing to whisk. Bring to a gentle boil, then cook two minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter until melted.
    Pour mixture into the prepared pie crust. You may strain mixture through a mesh strainer to remove any egg bits. Cover with plastic wrap.
    Place egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until soft peaks form, then continue mixing while gradually adding the sugar. Continue mixing until stiff peaks form.
    Spread meringue on the top of the lemon mixture in decorative peaks, making sure the meringue touches the crust and no lemon shows through. Bake in a 300-degree oven about 30 minutes, until meringue is browned. Cool at room temperature for one hour, then chill at least five hours before slicing.
    The pie will last a day or two in the refrigerator but tastes best on day one.


No Bake Creme Brulee Pie

1 9-inch shortbread, graham cracker or Golden Oreo crust
3.4-ounce box instant vanilla pudding
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup nonfat milk
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or extract  Sugar

    Whisk pudding with whipping cream and milk for two minutes, until smooth. Stir in vanilla bean paste. Let sit five minutes.
    Spread pudding into the bottom of prepared pie crust. Chill for at least four hours.
    Slice into pieces. Sprinkle each slice with sugar, then use a kitchen torch to brulee the top.
    If you don’t have a torch, place 1/4 cup sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. Do not touch it, but watch it closely and once it starts to turn to liquid, stir with a wooden spoon, being careful not to get it on the sides of the pan. The sugar will turn to crystals then to liquid again and become a light amber color. Drizzle some onto each slice of pie.  The sugar hardens more than it does with the torch so err on the light side of adding it to the top.

Snickers Peanut Butter Brownie Pie

For pie:
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 pie crust
For filling and topping:
1 7-ounce jar marshmallow fluff
1 cup peanut butter
17 caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup peanuts
2 tablespoons hot fudge sauce
3 snack sized Snickers bars, cut into quarters

    Unroll pie crust and place in pie plate.
    Combine melted butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl. Stir in cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt. Pour over crust.
    Bake in a 350-degree oven for 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before topping.
    Stir together peanut butter and fluff in a large bowl. Spread evenly over brownie layer. Place caramels and milk in a medium microwave-safe bowl and heat about 1-1/2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Once the caramel is melted, stir in the peanuts and spread over the fluff mixture.
    Warm hot fudge sauce in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds. Place in a zipper-lock  bag with a corner cut off and drizzle over pie.
    Place sliced Snickers bars around the edge for decoration.

Apple Cider Pie

For crust:
1 cup unsalted butter. cold
2-1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 to 4 tablespoons cold apple cider
For filling:
1-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons apple cider
5 to 6 cups apples, sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Heavy whipping cream and sugar for dusting, optional
Ice cream, whipped cream, and/or apple cider syrup for topping, optional

    Dice butter into cubes and refrigerate. Place flour and salt in a food processor and pulse until combined. Add butter and pulse until crumbly. Add 3 tablespoons apple cider and process until the mixture starts to clump. If it’s too smooth to form one full ball in the food processor, add 1 teaspoon apple cider at a time but no more than 1 tablespoon until the mixture forms a ball when the processor is running.
    Divide dough into two balls. If the dough is too soft, chill 30 minutes before rolling it out. Roll out each ball separately on a lightly floured surface until at least 1 inch larger than an inverted pie plate. Place one crust in a 9-inch pie plate. Place the other on a cookie sheet covered with parchment or wax paper. Chill both crusts until the filling is ready.
    Place apples and 1 -1/2 cups apple cider in a large skillet. Cover and cook over medium heat five to seven minutes, stirring often, until the apples are almost translucent. Remove apples. Reserve cooking liquid in the pan.
    Stir together sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch and salt. Stir in 2 tablespoons cold apple cider. Add cornstarch mixture to the reserved apple liquid in the pan and cook over medium-low heat about five minutes, until thickened. Add butter and stir until melted. Remove from heat and place apples back into the hot liquid. Cool five to 10 minutes.
    Remove crusts from the refrigerator. Slice flat crust into 1-inch slices using a knife or pizza cutter. Sprinkle brown sugar, cinnamon and remaining cornstarch in the bottom of the pie crust in the pie plate. Place slightly cooled apples into the pie plate. Top with strips of dough in a lattice pattern.
    Brush top of the pie with a little heavy whipping cream and sprinkle with sugar. Place on a cookie sheet and bake in a 400-degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Cool completely before serving. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream and apple cider syrup.


Chocolate Chess Pie

For crust:
15 graham crackers
1/3 cup sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For filling:
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs plus 1 large egg white
1 cup peanut butter cups, chopped, optional
Chocolate whipped cream

    Grind graham crackers in a food processor until they are fine crumbs. Place in a bowl and stir in sugar and melted butter with a fork. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 10-inch pie plate or 9-inch deep dish pie plate. Bake in 350-degree oven for 10 minutes, until firm.
    Melt the butter with chocolate in a medium sized bowl. Whisk in the flour, sugar, vanilla and salt. Whisk in eggs and egg white, one at a time, until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the chopped peanut butter cups, if using. Pour mixture into crust. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is puffed and filling is set in the center. Cool and serve at room temperature. Top with whipped cream or ice cream.



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