Whole Wheat Pie Dough

Whole Wheat Pie DoughI have a lot of feelings about pie crust. Namely, that it should be easy, homemade, have defined flaky layers, and be insanely delicious. No hard, crunchy, cardboard-flavored crusts for me, thanks.

Whole Wheat Pie DoughWhole Wheat Pie DoughNow, I have a pie crust that is all these things and more. Yes, my Cream Cheese Pie Dough is perfection, as far as I’m concerned. And what’s not to love? The dough is simple to make and never, ever tears during rolling. It goes well with sweet and savory applications. It has so many layers that I have had friends comment that it’s akin to having a pie wrapped in croissant dough. And it really is delicious.

I could go on and on about that crust all day. Really, I could. But as much as I love it, sometimes I just need a change.

Whole Wheat Pie DoughWhole Wheat Pie DoughEnter this Whole Wheat Pie Dough. It has all the ease, flakiness, and versatility of my beloved Cream Cheese Pie Dough, but with a rich whole wheat flavor. It might sound a little odd, the idea of a pie made with a whole grain crust, but trust me when I say that it’s shockingly good. The combination of sweet, jammy fruit and nubbly wheat crust–let’s just say it’s the dessert you never knew you wanted.

If you don’t believe me, just wait–I have a Strawberry Rhubarb Galette coming your way tomorrow 😊🍓Whole Wheat Pie Dough

Whole Wheat Pie Dough
makes two 9-inch pie crusts

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or white whole wheat flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into cubes
2/3-3/4 cup buttermilk, very cold

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add cold butter, and use a handheld pastry blender to cut it into the dry ingredients until the smallest pieces are the size of large peas. Pour in 1/2 cup cold buttermilk and stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until clumps form. Add more buttermilk by the tablespoon, as necessary. Put your hands* in the bowl to knead the mixture until it comes together. Form the dough into two discs, and wrap them individually in plastic wrap. Chill for one hour, or up to two days.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Take one disc of dough out of the refrigerator, unwrap it, and place it on the surface. Press the dough with the rolling pin. Roll it in one direction 3-4 times, and then turn it 90 degrees. Roll in one direction 3-4 times. Repeat rolling and turning until dough is at least 12 inches in diameter, dusting with more flour as necessary to prevent sticking.

Fold dough in quarters, and place in a pie plate with the scraggly edges hanging over the outside of the pan. Unfold the dough to fill the pan. Trim the excess to 1/2 inch. Fill crust with filling and chill for at least 15 minutes. From here, there are two options.

For a single crust pie, crimp the edges, and brush them with additional buttermilk. and bake at 375F for 45 minutes to one hour, covering the crust with foil halfway through. Let cool at least three hours.

For a double crust pie, roll out the top crust the same way that you did the bottom crust. Cut into strips for a lattice,* or leave whole to cover the whole pie. Trim the excess to 1/2 inch. Crimp the edges, then chill for 15 minutes. Brush the crust with additional buttermilk. Cut vents if the top crust is whole. Bake at 375F for 45 minutes to one hour. Let cool for at least three hours.

Notes:

If your hands are warm, run them under cold water for thirty seconds (and then dry them) before kneading.

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.

Chocolate Hazelnut Pie

Chocolate Hazelnut PieI’ve only been blogging for a year, but in that limited time I think I’ve given you pie options that will please just about everyone at your holiday table. From a decidedly not-dense Pumpkin Pie to the elegant Black Bottom Pear & Almond Pie to a pecan pie completely devoid of corn syrup, I’ve got you covered. Of course, there’s always that one person who doesn’t care for pie, but they can have Pumpkin Icebox Cake. And for that lunatic who doesn’t like sweets…well, give them thirds on stuffing.

Chocolate Hazelnut PieSo, what else could I think to bake into a pie this close to Thanksgiving? Well, an entire jar of Nutella. And tons of toasted hazelnuts and chocolate chips. Chocolate Hazelnut Pie, y’all. I’d say I’m sorry for throwing a wrench into your dessert menu plans, but I’m not 😊

Chocolate Hazelnut PieThis pie, you guys. It’s a thing to behold. It starts the way most do, by rolling out pie dough and fitting it into a pie plate. Pretty standard stuff, but that’s about as classic as this pie gets. Once that pie crust is crimped and beautiful, fill it with the entire contents of a jar of Nutella. Yes, the whole jar (except that spoonful you’re saving for your mid-baking snack). Spread it around with the back of a spoon until it’s in a mostly-even layer. It may not want to stick to the crust at first due to any residual flour, but keep moving the spoon until it does.

Once all that glorious chocolate-hazelnut spread is in the pie crust, put it in the freezer while you make the filling. Toast some hazelnuts in the oven and then envelop them in a clean kitchen towel. Lay the towel on the counter and rub to release the skins from the hazelnuts. This step doesn’t have to be done perfectly, so don’t stress yourself out. If some hazelnuts still have a bit of skin (or a lot of it), they just do. More of the skins will come off when you chop the nuts, but again, don’t make yourself crazy. They’re going in a pie with a bunch of chocolate and Nutella. Nobody’s going to notice an errant fleck of hazelnut skin.

Chocolate Hazelnut PieRemove the Nutella-filled pie crust from the freezer and scatter the chopped hazelnuts over the top. Throw in a cup of semisweet chocolate chips, too. And then drown everything in a gooey mixture of dark corn syrup,* sugar, eggs, melted butter, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, and salt. Brush the exposed crust with milk and bake the pie for 50-55 minutes, until golden. And then wait for a seemingly never-ending few hours until you can have a slice.

*Note: Dark Corn Syrup is not the same as High Fructose Corn Syrup. If you still don’t care to use it, I’ve written a substitution in the notes below.

Chocolate Hazelnut PieChocolate Hazelnut PieA few words of warning about this Chocolate Hazelnut Pie. 1) It’s a bit gooey and won’t slice completely cleanly, but it isn’t a challenge by any means. 2) This pie is pretty sweet and is best served in small slices. A touch of unsweetened or barely sweetened whipped cream couldn’t hurt. 3) Ignore my suggestions about tiny slices because this nutty, chocolaty pie is a Nutella lover’s dream. Thanksgiving is one day per year. Eat your Nutella-filled pie with gusto and be thankful that it exists. I know I am.

Now, someone come take the last 3/4 of this pie away from me before I eat the whole thing.Chocolate Hazelnut Pie

Chocolate Hazelnut Pie
makes 1 deep-dish (or standard*) 9-inch pie

1 1/2 cups whole raw hazelnuts
1/2 recipe Cream Cheese Pie Dough or other good crust
1 13 ounce jar Nutella (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 cup dark corn syrup*
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
milk, for brushing
whipped cream, for serving

Place oven racks at the top and bottom positions. Preheat the oven to 350F. Lay hazelnuts in an even layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Toast for 5 minutes. Check to see if they are fragrant and the skins are starting to split. If they aren’t, toast an additional 1-2 minutes. Allow the warm hazelnuts to rest for 2-3 minutes before pouring them onto the middle of a kitchen towel on a flat surface. Fold the kitchen towel over the hazelnuts and then use your hands to rub the towel until the skins release from the hazelnuts. Discard the skins. Roughly chop the hazelnuts. Set aside.

On a floured surface, roll pie dough to a 12-inch diameter. Transfer dough to a deep dish (or standard) pie plate. Trim the excess to 1/2-inch and crimp the edges. Freeze crust for 5 minutes. Use the back of a spoon to spread the Nutella in an even layer over the bottom of the pie crust before freezing for at least 15 more minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together dark corn syrup and granulated sugar. Add eggs one at a time, whisking completely after each addition. Stir in apple cider vinegar, vanilla, and salt. While whisking constantly, drizzle in melted butter.

Remove pie crust from the freezer and lay it on a baking sheet. Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts and semisweet chocolate chips over the layer of Nutella. Pour liquid mixture over the top.* Brush any exposed crust with milk. Bake pie on the bottom rack of the oven for 25 minutes. Move pie to the top rack and very loosely tent with foil. Bake an additional 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for 5-10 more minutes, until golden. The filling should jiggle a little when it comes out of the oven, but will solidify within ten minutes.

Let pie cool completely on a rack. Serve in small slices with whipped cream, if desired.

Pie will keep covered at room temperature for up to three days, or in the refrigerator for up to five.

Notes:

1. A deep-dish pie plate is recommended for this pie, but a standard will work. If you use a standard pie plate, you may have some leftover filling.
2. If you do not wish to use dark corn syrup, you may make a substitute with molasses and Lyle’s Golden Syrup (or mild honey). Pour 1/4 cup molasses in the bottom of a liquid measuring cup. Add 3/4 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup. Stir. Continue with recipe as written.
3. If you are using a standard pie plate, you may have some leftover liquid mixture.

Cranberry Crumb Pie

Cranberry Crumb PieWhat a week. I had planned to post this recipe on Wednesday, but when I got home from catering an election party on Tuesday night, I knew I wasn’t going to get any work done until I knew who would become President-Elect. Since then, our country’s citizens have been more deeply divided than ever before (and we were already pretty divided). It’s tough to be an American this week. Regardless, we need to come together for change and for the future. I suggest we start with pie.

Cranberry Crumb PieCranberry Crumb PieWhen I first came to New York nine years ago, I had a friend who loved pie. I mean LOVED it. At the time, I had never eaten a slice of pie that I considered revolutionary, so I asked him: why is pie so great? What he said has stuck with me since. Every time I make pie, I think of his words. He said that pie is a communal food; it brings people together. Pie is designed to be shared. While one certainly can eat a whole pie by their lonesome, it’s much more enjoyable to share it. I think the same goes for our nation.

In a couple of weeks, Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving with their families and friends. Of course, just because you share DNA or a last name with someone doesn’t mean you have the same beliefs. There are some of us who dread these family holidays for fear of awkward political talk over turkey. I love my family, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have some of these fears, too. And while there’s little anyone can do to change someone else’s beliefs over the course of one holiday, there is one thing we can all enjoy together: Cranberry Crumb Pie.

Cranberry Crumb PieThis pie has it all. Orange-scented cranberries layered with sweet, buttery cinnamon crumbs in my favorite Cream Cheese Pie Crust. If you love cranberries and the crumb on top of coffee cakes, this is the pie for you! Some don’t particularly care for the tartness of fresh cranberries, but here they are sweetened with sugar and spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg before being tossed with the zest and juice of an orange. They are still tart, to be sure, but the combination of sugar, spices, and citrus mellows them enough to be enjoyed on their own.

Cranberry Crumb PieThe crumb is an old stand-by for American bakers. Cold butter is cut into a combination of flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla until evenly combined. Some prefer to make large amounts of crumb with their mixer, but I encourage you to do this with your hands. Sure, it takes a few more minutes, but it will keep the crumbs from all being the same size, giving your pie a little textural diversity. The cranberries and crumb are layered before being baked–there will be two layers of each. As the pie bakes, the cranberries burst and bubble around the crumb, spreading the buttery cinnamon flavor a bit, but also allowing those crumbs the get crisp-crunchy and super delicious. Soft, juicy cranberries and sweet, crispy crumbs? Yes, please!

Now, go forth and start to heal your community. Make a pie and have friends over (make one of them bring the vanilla ice cream). Be good to each other.

Cranberry Crumb PieCranberry Crumb PieLooking for more pie? You’ve come to the right blog! Check out this Black Bottom Pear & Almond Pie, this light & fluffy Pumpkin Pie, this Cranberry Apple Pie, this Salted Butterscotch Pie, and this Maple Pecan Pie. One more pie recipe is coming your way next week!

Cranberry Crumb Pie
makes one 9-inch pie

Crumb:
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes

Pie:
1/2 recipe Cream Cheese Pie Dough or other good crust
4 cups (about 15-16 ounces) fresh whole cranberries, rinsed and picked over
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
juice and zest of one medium orange
milk or cream, for brushing
vanilla ice cream, for serving

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, light brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pour in vanilla. Add butter. Use your hands (or a pastry blender) to work butter into dry ingredients until a clumpy but homogenous mixture forms. Set aside.

Roll out the pie crust to 12-inch diameter. Fit it in a pie pan, trim the excess to 1/2-inch, and crimp as desired. Chill 15-20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Place racks in the top and bottom positions.

Place cranberries in a large mixing bowl. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold in sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cornstarch, salt, and orange juice and zest.

Place chilled pie crust on a baking sheet. Pour half the cranberries into the pie crust and top with half the crumb, breaking it up with your fingers as you go. Top with the remaining cranberries. Brush exposed pie crust with milk. Place pie (on baking sheet) on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake 25 minutes.

Remove pie from oven and top with remaining crumb. Bake on the top rack for 25 minutes, tenting with foil (or using a pie protector) if anything gets too dark.

Let pie cool on a rack at least 4 hours, until room temperature. Slice and serve with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Pie will keep covered at room temperature for up to three days, or in the refrigerator for up to five.

Salted Butterscotch Pie

Salted Butterscotch PieDid y’all watch the World Series? I did–I always do. I don’t care who’s playing (unless it’s the Texas Rangers), I just love baseball. Over the last month, I have watched nearly every single game that was broadcast. I’ve politely turned down invitations, ducked out early, and informed friends that I’d be back up for socializing just as soon as the World Champions were crowned. That’s not to say that I have been a hermit. My friend, Jody, and I have a running text chat for the duration of every postseason (check out his web comic here). And my pal, VJ, was brave enough to watch the last game of the NLDS with me. While I experienced the full range of human emotion over the first few innings, she said “Betsy,* watching you watch baseball is way more interesting than actual baseball.” Perhaps it’s a good thing that the postseason is over now 😬

*Yes, she calls me Betsy. Read the story on that here.

Salted Butterscotch PieI’ve been a little slow to blog these past few weeks, but can you blame me? The Chicago Cubs were playing. And they WON after 108 years! I couldn’t miss that.

Now that all the baseball is suddenly over, I’ve got a bit of a postseason hangover: I kind of don’t know what to do with myself if I’m not watching a high-stakes game! Rest assured, it’ll pass. I’ve got plenty to do to distract myself–Thanksgiving is coming up in a few weeks! Here on E2 Bakes, that means it’s pie season. I’ll be sharing three new pie recipes leading up to Turkey Day.

First up? This Salted Butterscotch Pie. You read that right. Salted. Butterscotch. Pie. YUM!

Salted Butterscotch PieThis pie, y’all. It’s going to be a new favorite. Not only is it bursting with the buttery brown sugar flavor of butterscotch–it’s quick and easy to assemble and slices like a dream! The crust is my go-to Cream Cheese Pie Dough. It’s my favorite pie dough ever: there’s no guess work with the liquid, it never tears, and it is seriously flaky and delicious. Try it sometime!

Anyway, roll out your crust, fit it in a pie plate, and crimp it. Then throw it in the freezer. Freezing the shaped dough will help keep your pie crust from shrinking while baking. Since this pie’s filling is just liquid (and liquid moves when heated), there’s not a whole lot keeping it in place. Don’t skip this step!

Salted Butterscotch PieThe butterscotch filling is super easy to make. It’s mostly just whisking. Start with two cups of dark brown sugar and a bunch of eggs. There are four eggs and two egg yolks in this pie. That may seem like a lot, but they are a powerhouse in this filling. The eggs, along with the brown sugar, provide the smooth texture as well as richness and structure!

Once the dark brown sugar and eggs are combined, mix in milk, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, and melted butter. Lastly comes a little flour to thicken the filling, some cinnamon and nutmeg for depth, and salt. The filling will be soupy going into the oven, but once it bakes, it will become dense and custardy.

Salted Butterscotch PieWhen the pie comes out of the oven, sprinkle it with finishing salt. I am partial to Trader Joe’s Cypriot Pyramid Salt because of the big crunchy flakes, but use whatever salt you like. Gray salt and Fleur de Sel are good choices, but if you have some specialty salt in the back of your spice cabinet, feel free to use that. As the pie cools, the salt will adhere itself to the top, adding a little salty punch to every sweet butterscotch bite.

And speaking of cooling, this Salted Butterscotch Pie doesn’t require a long rest between baking and eating. The pie pictured was sliced just one hour after baking! It’s super structurally sound at any temperature and can be served warm, room temperature, or cold. It’s the dream. And if you have vanilla ice cream to go with it, all the better.

Salted Butterscotch PieSalted Butterscotch PieLooking for more Thanksgiving pie inspiration? Check out this Black Bottom Pear & Almond Pie and this light and fluffy Pumpkin Pie!

Salted Butterscotch Pie
makes one 9-inch standard pie

1/2 recipe Cream Cheese Pie Dough or other good crust
2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs + 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2-1 teaspoon finishing salt, for topping
vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)

Roll out pie crust to a 12-inch diameter and fit it in a 9-inch standard pie plate. Trim the excess to 1/2-inch and crimp as desired. Freeze prepared crust for 15 minutes while you make the filling.

Position oven racks to the top and bottom positions. Preheat oven to 350F. Place dark brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in eggs and yolks one at a time until completely combined. Stir in milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla. While whisking constantly, drizzle in the melted butter until combined. Stir in flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Let filling sit five minutes for any large bubbles to dissipate. Remove crust from the freezer and place it on a baking sheet. Pour filling into prepared crust (you may have a few tablespoons leftover).

Bake pie for 25 minutes on the bottom rack of the oven. Move pie to the top rack of the oven and tent loosely with foil. Bake 25-35 minutes, until filling is puffy. When the filling is done, it should jiggle just slightly when the pan is jostled and a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean. Once the filling deflates, sprinkle the pie with finishing salt. Let pie cool on a rack until it reaches room temperature. Serve in small slices with ice cream, if desired.

Pie will keep covered at room temperature for up to three days, or in the refrigerator for up to five.