Katie’s Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie (1)

I’m not going to write a big long blog post here about our Early Thanksgivin, which was amazing, because I wrote about it in another blog post, in which I referred to this wonderful pie that Katie made. It tasted so good! It was sweet with a lemony bite that I loved — topped by a delicious meringue. Thanks for doing your part to spoil us this year, Kate!

Lemon Meringue Pie

1 – 9’ pie crust, baked  

— This pie crust recipe from The Pioneer Woman is similar to the one my grandmother used to make, which came from Doyle Walker of Walker’s Cafe, whose pies were pretty amazing. But the restaurant and Doyle for that matter are now long gone. Well, the recipe is essentially the same, except Doyle (and my grandmother) used lard rather than Crisco, and lard isn’t as readily available as it used to be; and I’d share that recipe, hoping you could find lard, except I haven’t been able to find it; but when I do find it, I will share it! Anyway, you will need a 9” baked pie shell — you could even use store-bought.

Filling

1 c. sugar

2 Tbsp. flour

3 Tbsp. cornstarch

¼ tsp. salt

1 ½ c. water

2 lemons, juiced and zested

2 Tbsp butter

4 egg yolks, beaten

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a saucepan. Add the lemon juice, water, and butter. Temper the eggs yolks, add to the mixture and bring to a boil. Boil until the mixture begins to thicken. Pour into prepared pie shell.

Meringue

4 egg whites

6 Tbsp white sugar

Whip the egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy, at this point, gradually add the sugar until, and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pie, sealing the edges at the crust. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until meringue is a golden brown. Remove from oven and cool. 

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Brittanie’s Coconut Cream Pie

a coconut cream pie

Instead of making an instant pudding version of this pie, Brittanie went to the extra effort of making a truly homemade coconut cream pie; and I have to say, it was worth the extra work – instead of eating vanilla pudding sprinkled with coconut out of a pie shell, we enjoyed a delicious, delectable dessert, topped with toasted coconut, it’s rich, creamy filling was perfect. She modified the base recipe she used by adding coconut creme to the filling – I think that made it even better. It was so good, it was my breakfast of choice among the pie leftovers. It’s a good thing Katie’s lemon meringue was gone, or I wouldn’t have been able to choose! Yum!  Also, catch the whole menu and adventure of Our Early Thanksgiving Dinner, complete with pictures, at KyneWynn’s Chronicles.

Brittanie’s Coconut Cream Pie*

1 – 9” pie crust – baked

(This pie crust recipe from The Pioneer Woman sounds like it would work well if you want to make the crust rather than using a store-bought crust.)

Filling

½ c. sugar

¼ c. cornstarch

2 cups half-n-half (whipped cream/milk)

4 egg yolks

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons coconut cream

1 c. flaked coconut

1 tsp.vanilla

In a large, heavy saucepan, mix ½ cup sugar and the cornstarch. In a small bowl, beat half-and-half and egg yolks with whisk. Gradually add egg mixture to sugar mixture; heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute; remove from heat. Stir in butter, coconut cream, 1 cup coconut and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap, placing plastic wrap directly on custard; let stand 30 minutes. Spoon custard into cooled baked shell. Cover; refrigerate 30 minutes or until set. 

Topping

1 ½ tsp. Vanilla

2 c. whipping cream

¼ c. sugar

¼  – ½ c. Toasted coconut

In a medium bowl, beat whipping cream with electric mixer on high speed until foamy; gradually add 1/3 cup sugar and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, beating until soft peaks form. Spread whipped cream over pie. Sprinkle with toasted coconut. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Dip knife in warm water between cutting slices of pie.

*Adapted from this Pillsbury recipe

 

Thanksgiving Thoughts + It’s All About the Pie

Thoughts about Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving pecan pie cutestuff cooks

Of all the holidays each year, Thanksgiving is my favorite. There is just something about gathering with my family and friends to take time to give thanks and enjoy a good meal that brings me true joy. The fact that Thanksgiving has not become commercialized is perhaps the biggest draw for me. There is no shopping frenzy involved, no need for ornate decorations, and it doesn’t take months to prepare. It is about family, food, and friendship. It’s about taking time to share a meal, to visit, to be grateful, and to enjoy being together — and that’s what I love.

We get together, we visit while the food is being prepared, we catch up on what’s happening in each others’ lives, and then we eat — invariably too much; then we play games, nap, and such until it is time for pie. After the pie, it’s more games, singing (there’s always singing involved when my kids get together) and listening to the grandkids tear through the house in hot pursuit of each other.  Football doesn’t figure into Thanksgiving, at our house, unless my oldest grandson or my Oklahoma son-in-law happens to be there; although I have to admit that in years gone by, Kelly did rather enjoy watching football on Thanksgiving.  Evening means leftover turkey stuffed into a roll or a plate of stuffing doused in gravy, appearing at the game table, and yet more pie. Did I mention, pie is a thing at my house for Thanksgiving? We can’t even eat it all! 

It’s All about the Pie

So today, I’m sharing some pie recipes, because if nothing else, Thanksgiving pie closely follows the potatoes and gravy in popularity at Thanksgiving at my house. Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Pie are my personal favorites, and I’ve been on a quest to find some new recipes to try, so I’m sharing those here. If you like fruit pies, custard pies, and deliciously decadent pies, check out my Pi Day Part II post.

I haven’t tried all of these recipes myself, yet (and probably won’t ever get to all of them), so if you try one, let me know what you think in the comments.

Pumpkin and Pecan Inspired Pie Creations

Of course, I’m partial to Nanette’s Turtle Pumpkin Pie, but these are some other pumpkin pie recipes I’ve found to give a try. 

Pumpkin Pie Bombs from Oh My Goodness Chocolate Desserts

Plop some pumpkin pie filling mixture onto the center of a square of crescent roll dough, roll them up, brush each with melted butter, and roll them in cinnamon sugar to assemble these delightful treats. Once they’re baked and cooled, you won’t be able to wait to pop one or two (or more!) in your mouth.

 

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars from A Treats Affair

Get the best of the cheesecake and pumpkin pie worlds by combining elements of both! This recipe gives you the rundown on how to do so expertly. Made with a graham cracker crust and layering cheesecake with pumpkin, this recipe does require some time and effort. But it will be well worth it!

 

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites from Delish

These bites look incredible. You’ll need gingersnaps, graham crackers, cream cheese, white chocolate, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and coconut oil to throw them together.

 

Pumpkin Cream Pie from AllRecipes.com

This recipe is perfect for the holidays. Topped with whipped cream and crushed pecans, this is a sweet treat you don’t want to miss out on. And if you have guests over, neither will they!

 

Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler

Pumpkin, pecans, and cobbler are each by themselves a stellar fall classic. Combine them all together in this well-thought-out recipe for the “ultimate fall dessert.” Top the cake with ice cream and dig in to discover the hot caramel sauce on the bottom — and the pecans on your way there!

 

Caramel Apple Pecan Streusel Pie from Baked By an Introvert

Combine the sweet tastes and crunchy textures of fall classics like apple and pecan in this intricate dessert. There are four steps to making this pie: pulling off the buttery, flaky crust; covering the apples in cinnamon; creating the pecan streusel topping; and topping it all with a sweet, gooey caramel sauce that will bring it together nicely.

 

Pecan Pie from The Pioneer Woman Cooks blog gives you step-by-step directions complete with pictures for this tasty treat. The commentary is delightful, too.

 

Pecan Streusel Pumpkin Pie from Chelsea’s Messy Apron

This pecan streusel pumpkin pie is to die for. You’ll love how the flaky crust, spiced pumpkin filling, pecan streusel, and maple whipped cream combine for a treat that will have your mouth watering.

 

 

Cora’s Chicken Salad

Chicken Salad recipe - feeding a crowd for Chrome Street

When it comes to a quick way to feed a crowd, this is one of my go-to recipes. I clearly remember the first time I ate it, in 2001 at my daughter’s bridal shower. The shower was hosted by Cora, who lived around the corner from us and was our unofficially adopted grandmother.  She stood about five-foot nothing, with stooped shoulders, neatly coifed white hair framing her kind face. She always had a treat and a kind word for my children. Her house was decorated circa 1970-something with shag carpet, ornate curtains with large tie-backs, and furniture topped with doilies and decorative pieces. However, the couches and chairs were comfortable and the welcome was always warm, and I loved to visit, as it made me miss my own grandmothers less. Her chicken salad recipe (pictured in her beautiful handwriting) has made its appearance at family gatherings through the years (as evidenced by the condition of the recipe card), for a wedding reception, for book group, for summer picnics, and most recently as part of the spread for a house concert I hosted, featuring Chrome Street, a musical duo/trio/quartet grounded by my son, Jason, and daughter-in-law, Nicole, who describe their enterprise like this,  “Chrome Street displays mad skills playing originals and covers. Their unique instrument combination of oboe, violin, guitar, and cello makes for a beautiful and awesome listening experience.” Agreed, particularly when you’re enjoying chicken salad at the same time. Who knew that such a simple dish could be a big part of bringing friends and family together; yet it does, admirably. Cora, in the way of life, had to move from her home due to incidents with aging, and passed away several years ago; yet, I never make or eat this chicken salad without remembering her fondly.

Chrome Steet invite no address

Chicken Salad

1 box of Rice-a-Roni with almonds – or add 1/2 c. slivered almonds (prepare according to box directions and chill)

1 – 2 cups diced celery

1/4 cup chopped green onion

4 chicken breasts cooked and diced

1 c. diced green pepper (optional)

1 c. water chestnuts (optional)

1 c. mayo or Miracle Whip

Mix all ingredients together and chill overnight in the refrigerator. Serve the chicken salad on croissants, rolls, crackers, or chips.  For a big group (30 plus) double the recipe.