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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pie a la mode or not?

That is the question. I guess it depends on the type of pie. I think the only pie I like a la mode would be apple pie. It's always vanilla ice cream on fruit pies. My dad prefers chocolate ice cream with his apple pie. I'm such a "vanillaholic"! Vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream with vanilla is the perfect topper. I'm a dessert lover since childhood. I inherited the sweet tooth from my dad. My mom rarely ate sweets except on occasion. I have such a sweet tooth. I enjoy making pies as they are a lot more forgiving with errors than cakes. That's an entirely different story. I will share some of my cake catastrophes with you at another time.

I've had a few disasters at making pie. My family loves lemon!! We always have lemon in the house. I made a lemon meringue pie and doubled the lemon since we were lemon lovers. Guess what? The pie was so tart that all of our lips puckered, eyes grew wide, followed by "this is the best lemon pie I've ever eaten!!" Tons of laughter followed that episode.

My friend's husband enjoys baking pies. He's know for "Bob's Pies"! Anytime I am invited to an event where he will attend, I know that there will be pie....lots of pies; blueberry, raspberry, apple, and pecan all in one evening. How can I ever eat a slice of all of them? Where there is pie, there is a way! Bob is such a nice guy and he knows I enjoy his pies. There usually is some pie leftover, but not much, and I can usually have at least one piece to take home for breakfast the next day, that is unless it turns into a midnight snack first!

Back to the pies. My sister in law, Debbie made a delicious pecan pie just like her grandmother.... strictly southern style with a sweetness that just melted in your mouth. It was just a terrific variation on the pecan pie taste test of my life. I will admit, I have been known to purchase a slice or two of the frozen variety when I just had to have "one slice"! Living alone most of the time, I could easily eat an entire pie in a few days! My former mother in law, Myrtle, made the most unusual pecan pie! It doesn't use as much syrup as many and has almost a pudding base constancy. There are as many variations on pecan pie as there are southerners!! She used box pudding mix incorporated into the corn syrup. They even grew the pecan trees on their property. You can't get a better tasting pie than with home grown pecans! The trees were huge! I remember sitting and chatting with her and my sisters in law while cracking the pecans. What fun times. My brother in law, Bill and I were the ones that would get all "weak-kneed" when we found out she was making that pie! I used to joke and say the pie served two: Bill and I. I was never one to say: "just a small sliver" to her offering of pie! I would always take the slice that was "too big" for someone else.

Always hoping for leftover pie, I would take my slice home carefully wrapped in aluminum foil. "This is going to make a great breakfast" I would think on the way home. The next day, after the children and husband had left for school and work, I would place the pie in the oven to warm, coffee or hot tea at the ready, and the aroma of pecan, vanilla, and butterscotch filling the house. The pie will be savored soon. That is one of my all time favorite desserts for breakfast. Any kind of pie really.... or German chocolate cake, coconut cake, apple pie, etc.... I do eat typical breakfast foods too!!

Myrtle's Pecan Pie
8 inch pie shell-unbaked
1 cup light corn syrup
1 small Jell-O brand butterscotch or caramel pudding (I don't know if they make caramel any more)
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 to 1 1/2 cups pecan
1 large egg

Mix all of the above ingredients and pour into pie shell. Bake at 376 for 35 to 40 minutes.

my variation: 1/2 box vanilla pudding and 1/2 box butterscotch pudding
1 tsp vanilla extract

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Ingredients I must have in my kitchen (It's a long list, but I try and have these items on hand)

  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Cheese
  • Cumin
  • Curry
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Bread
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Greek Oregano
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Lemon ( At least 3 or 4 ALWAYS)
  • Peppers (Wax, Jalapeno, banana)
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Regular Olive Oil
  • Rice
  • Salad Ingredients
  • Sea Salt
  • Spanish Olives
  • White Balsamic Vinegar