Pie

Pie Palooza

I know the classic fillings are pumpkin and pecan this time of year, but my heart will always belong to this banana cream pie with peanut butter and chocolate ganache. # 198: Pie Palooza

Happy Thanksgiving week! Did someone say PIE? Oh that’s right, I did!

Pie crust used to be intimidating, but I’ve found a solid recipe and it’s made all the difference. I can do any design and re-roll it multiple times and it’s still tender and flaky. *Lockhart voice* It’s just like magic!

My first instinct is to do crust braids because they’re so fun to do. (Yep, I was that kid who carried around embroidery floss at school and made friendship bracelets during class.) But since I featured them so prominently in my apple pie last year, I went the stained glass route instead.

You know those old-fashioned windows with all the tiny diamond shapes that glitter when you walk by? That was the goal (albeit, less glittery and more golden brown.) Someday in my dream house, I’ll have one of those windows in my room. That makes me a Disney princess, right?

I hesitated a tiny bit before choosing the banana cream pie for the second crust, since I’ve done a banana cream tart on this blog before. Fortunately, you can NEVER have enough banana cream and chocolate ganache. I have declared it impossible. You’re welcome.

Have no fear, I also made a pumpkin pie. Just now that the sun sets before 5PM (WHY) the pictures didn’t do it justice. It truly was a 3-kind-of-pie day!

Aren’t these lil pie dishes just the cutest? I stumbled upon them at Safeway while searching high and low for vegetable broth and plopped them in my cart without a backward glance. They ended up being out of veggie broth but the pie dishes helped with the disappointment.

This go-to crust recipe I alluded to before is the King Arthur Flour Rustic Milk Pie Dough (linked at the bottom as per usual!) The name is a bit of a mouthful, but it’s the only pie crust I’ve ever made with milk instead of water so it makes sense that they call it out. The fat in the milk adds to the rich flavor – you can eat it straight out of the oven without any fillings! Make sure to leave enough for your pie though.

Butter time! This has gotta be the most soothing part of the whole process. You can technically cut the butter in with a pastry cutter, but it won’t be as flaky once baked. You really want those smooth flat pieces of butter that you can only get by rubbing it into the flour by hand.

The milk is mixed with apple cider vinegar to turn it into buttermilk before adding it into the dry ingredients. I accidentally spilled a few drops of the vinegar on the counter when I was measuring it out and it made the whole kitchen smell like vinegar instantly. Ugh. It’s magical gluten-inhibiting properties make it worth it though – you can re-roll the dough multiple times without it getting tough and chewy.

It’s a slightly stickier dough than most pie doughs, but that moisture only helps when you’re trying to make intricate designs later on.

Nap time in stylish beeswax jammies.

After it’s chilled and been rolled out, you get to trim the edges off. So satisfying.

I always do the double-whammy of pricking the dough with a fork and blind baking it with baking weights to make sure it doesn’t puff up out of shape. Pie crust has a mind of its own and needs a lot of convincing to stay put.

Frozen cherries made this filling a happy pink color and the allspice gave it some warmth.

Voila!

A stencil would have helped a lot, but luckily I had a lot of extra dough to mess up on.

Feelin’ artsy, how bout you?

As you can see, there was a failed attempt at overlapping circles of crust along the edge of the pie shell, but I ended up taking them off since a third of them fell off on their own. If you have a pie dish with a wider rim, it’ll work better for you!

I called an audible and added peanut butter as the base layer. Because why the heck not?

Yes, please. Dark chocolate melted with heavy cream makes the ganache of your dreams.

The star of the show!

The luscious pudding element is a vanilla pastry cream (see my Craquelin Cream Puff post for details on the pastry cream process!) It’s my go to for any sort of cream filling, since it goes along with so many other flavors and yet is so yummy that it can stand on it’s own. This time I used my second batch of homemade vanilla to flavor it and it was out of this world!!

Ten outta ten would recommend making your own vanilla. All you need is a bottle that seals, unflavored vodka, vanilla beans and some patience. Just don’t do what I did the first time around and forget to slice open the beans before putting them in the vodka. All the flavor is inside!

Not a soggy bottom in sight! Happy Thanksgiving from my lil pod to yours.

Happy munching!

Crust recipe from: https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/recipes/rustic-milk-pie-dough-recipe

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