Tag Archives: pi day

Black Bottom Key Lime Pie

Black Bottom Key Lime PieIn my short but very intense baking career, I’ve come to think that whoever coined “Easy as pie,” was making a very cruel joke.Black Bottom Key Lime Pie

Pie takes time and energy and the patience to scrape up the layer of flour that’s adhered itself to your best rolling surface, and unless you make it all the time (those late-November pies are always the easiest ones, aren’t they?), it can seem like a culinary Mount Everest. It’s not—anyone can make a pie—but I understand why it can be perceived as intimidating. Pie is simple, straightforward stuff, but it definitely isn’t easy.Black Bottom Key Lime Pie

Except for this Black Bottom Key Lime Pie, that is. It’s very easy and guaranteed to impress. I mean, look at those delicious layers!

Black Bottom Key Lime PieBlack Bottom Key Lime PieIf you want to make one of these magnificent pies for yourself, start by blitzing Oreos and butter together until they are sandy. Press the mixture into a pie plate to make a crust. Bake that for 8 minutes, just to set.Black Bottom Key Lime PieBlack Bottom Key Lime Pie

Warm some chopped dark chocolate and heavy cream together and stir to make a ganache. Carefully spread it onto the crust, and then give it a brief chill to set the layer. This magical puddle of ganache is the titular “Black Bottom.”

Black Bottom Key Lime PieBlack Bottom Key Lime PieWhisk together the key lime filling. This iconic pie filling is one of the easiest to make. Just whisk together a can of sweetened condensed milk, some egg yolks, some lime zest and key lime juice. I like to add 1/4 cup of sour cream, just to keep everything extra dreamy. If you’re a key lime pie purist, you can leave it out.Black Bottom Key Lime Pie

Pour the filling over the ganache layer and bake the pie for 20 minutes. It should be ever-so-slightly jiggly when it’s done. It’ll firm up as it cools.Black Bottom Key Lime Pie

Chill the pie well (nobody likes warm Key Lime Pie!) and then top it with some whipped cream. You can pipe this layer if you are so inclined. I am not, mostly because I would like to eat pie sooner rather than later.Black Bottom Key Lime Pie

Oh, y’all. This is the way to get your key lime fix. The tartness of the filling pairs beautifully and deliciously with the dark chocolate and the whipped cream, and the crunchy Oreo crust…well, it’ll keep you coming back for more.Black Bottom Key Lime Pie

Make this pie this weekend, or next Wednesday, 3/14. It’s Pi(e) Day, after all ❤Black Bottom Key Lime Pie

Black Bottom Key Lime Pie
makes one 9-inch pie

Crust:
25 whole Oreos
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Ganache:
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream

Key Lime Pie Filling:
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup full-fat sour cream
4 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 tablespoon lime zest (or key lime zest)
1/2 cup key lime juice

Whipped Cream Topping:
1 cup heavy cream, cold
2-3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
chocolate shavings (optional)
lime zest (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate.

Place Oreos in the bowl of a food processor and blitz until they are crumbs. Add melted butter and pulse until the mixture can be pinched together. Press it into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate (I find that a 1/4 cup measuring cup works wonders for this). Bake the crust for 8 minutes and then let it cool for 20 (or until you can handle the pie plate).

Make the ganache. Combine chopped chocolate and heavy cream in a small microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 15 second increments, stirring in between, until a smooth even ganache forms (about 45 seconds total). Pour it into the crust and use the back of a spoon to carefully spread it into an even layer on the bottom. Freeze crust and ganache while you prepare the key lime pie filling.

In a medium-large mixing bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk and sour cream. Whisk in eggs, followed by lime zest and key lime juice. Remove pie plate from freezer and pour filling mixture over the ganache. Pop any air bubbles with a toothpick or the tines of a fork. Bake pie 20 minutes, or until just barely jiggly. It will set as it cools.

Let pie cool on a rack before chilling in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Make whipped cream topping. In a medium-large mixing bowl, combine heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla. Use an electric mixer to whip cream until stiff peaks form. Top pie with whipped cream. Scatter with chocolate shavings and lime zest, if desired.

Serve immediately. Leftover pie will keep covered in the refrigerator for a few days.

Black Bottom Key Lime Pie

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Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut Cream PieHappy Pi(e) Day! Oh yes, it’s that one glorious day where we celebrate math (Pi = 3.14) and everyone’s favorite dessert.

When I started thinking about what pie I would celebrate with, it was 65 degrees and sunny outside. Coconut Cream Pie sounded ideal for those conditions. Today, it’s snowing. Coconut Cream Pie still sounds ideal.

Coconut Cream PieThere are many coconut cream pie recipes on the internet, and while I’m sure they are delicious, I am not necessarily interested in making a pie out of boxed pudding mix and cream cheese. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for anything that gets you in the kitchen to make a pie, but when I want Coconut Cream Pie, I skip the pudding mix and reach straight for my second-edition copy of Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book. The book may be held together with tape and prayer, but it is a treasure. Not only does it give the reader a look into how Americans used to eat (so. much. gelatin.), it also contains tons of fantastic old-fashioned desserts that are rarely made from scratch these days.

Coconut Cream PieThis Coconut Cream Pie tastes every bit as good as the pies my grandma used to make. It starts by blitzing a graham cracker crust together in a food processor. Press that into a pie plate and bake it for ten minutes, just to set. Then turn off your oven–that’s all the baking this pie requires.

The filling comes together on the stovetop. Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt, and milk over medium-high until the mixture thickens and boils for one minute. Slowly whisk 1/3 of the mixture into a few egg yolks (so you don’t have scrambled eggs in your pie–gross). Add the mixture back to the pot and let boil for two more minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in vanilla and coconut extracts, followed by two tablespoons of butter. Fold in some sweetened shredded coconut and scrape the filling into the crust. Cover it with plastic wrap and chill for a few hours. This will be agony.Coconut Cream Pie

Once the filling is set, top it with some whipped cream and toasted coconut. Slice up your pie and prepare to fall in love with it. The crumbly, crunchy graham cracker crust. The creamy, coconut-studded filling. The light, sweet layer of whipped cream. What’s not to love?!

Coconut Cream PieLooking for more old-fashioned pies? Check out this Chocolate Cream Pie and this Lemon Meringue Pie!

Coconut Cream Pie
adapted from Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book
makes one 9-inch standard pie

Crust:
9 sheets graham crackers
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling:
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
3 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon coconut extract (optional, but recommended)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Topping:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2-3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
toasted coconut, for topping (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Make the crust. Place graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and process until no large pieces remain. Add light brown sugar, melted butter, and salt. Process until the mixture resembles wet sand, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch standard pie plate and use clean hands to press the mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake crust for 10 minutes. Cool it on a rack while you prepare the filling.

In a medium-large saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Place the pan over medium-high heat. Whisking constantly, pour the milk into the dry ingredients. Continue to whisk until the mixture boils for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low.

Whisk egg yolks with a fork. Remove 1/3 of the warm pudding mixture from the pot. Whisking constantly, slowly pour milk mixture into the egg yolks until completely combined. Add egg yolk mixture to the pot and turn heat back up to medium-high. Continue to whisk until mixture boils for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in vanilla and coconut extracts and butter. Fold in coconut. Pour filling into prepared crust. Cover the pie with plastic wrap and chill for at least four hours or overnight.

Make the whipped cream. In a medium-large mixing bowl, combine heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla. Use an electric mixer to whip cream until stiff peaks form. Top pie with whipped cream. Top with toasted coconut, if desired.

Pie will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Coconut Cream Pie

Blood Orange Chess Pie

 This upcoming Monday, March 14th, is Pi Day, y’all! It’s the day when we celebrate math (Pi = 3.14) by eating pie! And while I don’t so much care about math, I really like pie.

But I make hideous pies. Oh, do I ever.

Maybe one day I will be a grandma, and then I’ll make pretty pies. But today, I am thirty and make stupendously ugly ones.

You should know that I made a second one at 2am in an attempt to have something more beautiful to post, but instead, I somehow made it even more hideous! 

But the good thing about ugly pie is that it’s still pie. It doesn’t really matter how it looks, as long as it tastes good. And while this pie is not going to win any beauty contests, it is still really fun to make, and totally delicious. 

 This Blood Orange Chess Pie is a new favorite. Now, you know what blood oranges are, but why is it called chess pie? Well, the short answer is that nobody really knows. Chess Pie is from the southern U.S. by way of England, so there are a lot of theories. Some say it’s because it can be kept at room temperature in a pie chest (“chess”) due to the high sugar content. Others say it’s a southern take on the word “just,” i.e. “It’s jes’ pie.” The most widely believed is that since this pie is like a cheesecake without the cream cheese, the word “cheese” somehow became “chess.” All I know is that it has nothing to do with the board game.

But really, who cares where the name came from? It’s pie and it’s delicious. 

This chess pie is made with blood orange juice and zest, so the soft, custardy filling is perfumed with all sorts of orange goodness. I so hoped the interior would be some shade of pink or red, but the pigment of blood oranges dissipates with heat. But it doesn’t matter when it’s so simple and so good. If you really want a red or pink color though, I suppose you could add a few drops of food coloring, but I don’t think it needs it.

Blood Orange Chess Pie is a snap to put together. Make the crust (I like this one), fit it in the pan, and crimp the edges. Put that in the fridge to chill while you make the filling. Use your fingers to rub blood orange zest into some granulated sugar. This releases the oils in the blood orange peel and starts to melt the sugar. Whisk in four eggs and two egg yolks until everything is really thick and frothy. Make sure your eggs are room temperature–this will help them to fully incorporate into the filling. Slowly whisk in some melted butter. Don’t go too quickly or use piping hot butter, or you’ll get scrambled eggs. Next comes some whole milk and fresh-squeezed blood orange juice. Lastly, whisk in a couple of tablespoons of cornmeal and some salt. The cornmeal acts as our thickener, and the salt helps to offset all that sugar. 

Pour the filling (which will be thin) into the pie crust and bake for 45-55 minutes at 350F, until the filling is firm. If the filling wobbles at all when the pan is jostled, keep baking or you’ll have soup. Everything will get puffy in the oven, but it’ll settle down while it cools.

This pie is best served in small slices with coffee or tea to offset the sweetness. I like it room temperature, but love it straight from the fridge. The top gets crackly, and the interior stays soft and smooth. And it’s full of orange flavor, but not overwhelming at all. Oh, and there’s buttery, flaky pie crust. Yum.

Are you going to make pie this Pi Day? 

 Blood Orange Chess Pie
filling heavily adapted from Southern Style Lemon Chess Pie Filling
makes 1 standard 9″ pie

1/2 recipe Cream Cheese Pie Dough or other good crust
3 tablespoons freshly-grated blood orange zest*
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs + 2 large egg yolks, room temperature*
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed blood orange juice
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt

Roll out the pie dough, and fit it in a standard 9-inch pie plate. Cut it to 1/2-inch of overhang, then fold the excess under and crimp. Place the prepared crust in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the blood orange zest and granulated sugar. Using your fingertips, rub the zest into the sugar until well-combined. Add eggs one by one, whisking after each addition. After all the eggs have been added, whisk the mixture vigorously for two minutes, until frothy and lighter in color. Slowly whisk in melted butter, followed by whole milk and blood orange juice. Mix in cornmeal and salt. Let filling sit for five minutes so large air bubbles can be released.

Pour filling into prepared crust. Bake 45-55 minutes, or until filling is firm when the pan is jostled.

Let pie cool completely on a rack. Blood Orange Chess Pie may be served at room temperature or cold. Pie will keep covered at room temperature for up to three days, or in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Notes:

1. I buy two pound bags of blood oranges at Trader Joe’s. If you do not have or want to use blood oranges, you may use any oranges you like.
2. Eggs may be brought to room temperature quickly by setting whole eggs in a bowl of warm tap water for 5-10 minutes.
3. This recipe requires whole milk. Do not substitute 1%, 2%, fat free, or skim milk.