Pumpkin Pie Squares: Better than Pumpkin Pie

I’m not lying when I say these pumpkin pie squares are better than pumpkin pie. This recipe is easier, has more emphasis on the pumpkin flavors and filling, and the crust is as simple as oats and brown sugar–no pie crust! Merri Ann and I hardly ever make pumpkin pie anymore when we can just make these. Why We Love These Pumpkin Pie Squares You don’t have to tinker with a pie crust You can make it in three sizes with the big one, big enough for a crowd It’s exciting, different than a pumpkin pie It’s easy The Story …

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Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Streusel

This sweet potato pie is a happy alternative to pumpkin pie and still tastes just as good, if not better. When tasting it, before hearing the ingredients, some even called it a pumpkin pie on steroids. It uses sweet potatoes, cinnamon, ginger, and butter rum flavor instead of the typical pumpkin pie filling and a pecan streusel and is just fantastic. What You’ll Need for the Sweet Potato Pie: Three medium-large yams or sweet potatoes Fresh ginger Pecan pieces butter rum flavor Just-add-water pie crust mix A deep-dish, nine-inch pie pan A pie crust shield A pastry blender or knife …

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Easy Fried Apple Pies

Fried apple pies are flakey and crisp, like fair food, but so good. Little fried apple pies make for a rustic, quick, and easy treat; and you can use premade apple pastry filling to make it even easier. Just roll and cut out the crust, stick it into the dough press, load in the filling, crimp the edges, and fry. What You’ll Need for Fried Apple Pies Use a premade pie crust or the recipe below. Use a dough press to cut and crimp your crust. Use an apple pastry filling. Or make your filling with fresh apples. See How …

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Rustic Apple Tartlets

These impressive apple pastries truly are easier than pie.  Use a premade pie crust and you’ll have your tartlets in the oven in less than ten minutes after peeling the apples. Just roll and cut out the pie crust pile apple slices in the center and fold over the edges. A quick brush of egg creates a burnished golden top. At our class, we served these warm with a drizzle of cinnamon or vanilla cream syrup and a scoop of ice cream. Our attendees loved these pastries. FREE Baking Guide! “How to Bake Like a Pro with Pastry Fillings” Learn …

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How to Make Your Own Quiche

When we started this project, we wanted to develop a standard quiche recipe that you could use and vary over and over by adding different meats, vegetables, or spices. We have done that. Here’s the recipe we came up with along with which spices and seasonings to add to your quiche, the right internal temperature, and the right egg to dairy ratio. The Basic Rules of the Quiche The recipe that follows conforms to the basic rules for quiche: Use 1/2 cup dairy for each large egg. Use 1/4 cup grated cheese for each egg. (You may use less cheese …

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How to Make Your Pie Crust Pretty in 3 Easy Steps

Get a FREE Pie Crust Sheild! Add it to cart and use code “ZPIE” at checkout. The pie crust shouldn’t be the most intimidating part of the pie, and it doesn’t need to be when you use these three easy steps and our pie crust mix. The perfect pie has a pretty, flaky, melt-in-your-mouth kind of crust. You can make your pie crusts look and taste just like a pie from a professional bakery, and we’ll tell you how to do it in just three easy steps. The “Key Ingredient” to a Perfect Pie Crust Pie crusts made from scratch …

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The Secrets to a Great Quiche

Plus get a FREE Pie Crust Shield, a $7.99 value (Updated From May 10, 2014) Get a FREE Pie Crust Shield! Add it to cart and use code “ZPIE” at checkout. Here’s your one-dish make-ahead meal that is perfect for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Even if you’ve never made a quiche before, following these easy steps and secrets will make you feel like a pro, and you’ll make the perfect quiche every time. Why a Pie Crust Shield is Essential to the Perfect Quiche 5 Keys to the Perfect Quiche The Four Secrets to a Perfect Quiche Nine Perfect Quiche …

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Don’t Make the Same Mistakes in the Kitchen We’ve Made

We bake for a living . . . and make mistakes!  But we do learn from our mistakes.  Here’s an opportunity for you to learn from seven of our mistakes, from mistrusting our oven temperature to using the wrong pan. Mistake #1: Trusting the Oven Temperature The digital indicator on the front of the oven reads 350 degrees so it must be 350 degrees. False. That’s a timer you’re looking at, not a thermostat.  After the reading says 350 degrees, let it sit for another ten minutes.  Even then, you don’t know what the temperature really is.  An oven cycles …

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Raspberry Cream Turnover Pastries

You can make raspberry and cream turnover pastries with either fresh or frozen raspberries or with raspberry pastry filling.  This recipe uses Bavarian cream pastry filling and makes very scrumptious pies. With only two ingredients in the filling, this is super easy and quick. FREE Baking Guide Raspberry Cream Turnover Pastries 1 pie crust dough for six turnovers 1 tablespoon cold water 1 cup raspberry pastry filling 1 cup Bavarian cream at room temperature Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll out the pie crust until it is just less than 1/4-inch thick. Use a dough press to cut out …

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Three Things You Can Do to Make Sure Your Pies are Perfect Every Time

An easy way to make a decorative pie crust I’ve always liked to bake. When we lived in Minnesota, I remember baking breads and pies mostly. Fresh baked breads in the winter are cozy.  Pies got us dinner appointments.  “Can you bring a couple of those pies that you bake?” I had a cookbook, nothing but fancy pie recipes. I’d get a little creative, like adding cranberries or walnuts to an apple pie recipe. (But I never reduced the sugar. That’s what allows a pie to be left out at room temperature without spoiling.) I love to bake pies. But …

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The Double-Crusted Lemon Pie

Lemon pie may be my favorite pie but I’m not crazy about the meringue. It’s kind of a take-it-or-leave-it affair. What I really don’t like is how it looks on the third day. It pulls back from the crust and weeps—not very attractive. I’ve never figured out to solve that problem. I know, if you smear the meringue tight against the crust, the meringue is supposed to cling to it. It does help, and a tablespoon of starch retards the weeping (the separation of water from the egg whites). But I have a better answer: Forget the meringue and add …

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Two Easy Ways to Make Strawberry Pies!

The strawberry season is upon us.  Mid-April berries, at least in our area—are not as good as May berries but if you shop carefully, you can get good berries at a reasonable price. I love strawberry desserts with fresh succulent berries.  Strawberries are not my first choice for baking, they are too wet and fragile, but they are wonderful fresh on the table or as a part of a dessert. Method 1 I love strawberry pies.  There is a diner not far from here where the proprietor piles chunks of fresh berries into a pie shell and loads it with …

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How to Use This Handy Tool and an Ordinary Straw to Make a Strawberry Pie in 15 Minutes

  Includes Suggestions for Whipped Cream Toppings Even if you’ve never made a pie before, you can make a strawberry pie in 15 minutes. There are four easy steps. Step #1: Mix the Dough. Prep time: 2 minutes Use a just-add-water pie crust mix.  Mix in a stand-type mixer just until the dough ball comes together. Step #2: Form and Bake the Crust. Prep time: 4 minutes Roll the dough on a lightly floured counter to a scant 1/4-inch thickness.  (You can measure the thickness by sticking a toothpick into the dough.) Lay the pie pan on the dough and cut …

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How to Make a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Dutch Crunch Topping

When I was a kid went to a local pie shop occasionally.  I was always torn between lemon meringue and strawberry rhubarb.  I think the strawberry rhubarb usually won out. This pie is as good as I remember those pies from long ago—maybe better because I like streusel toppings. How to thicken your pie filling: There are three ways to thicken the slurry for a pie: With cornstarch as added as thickener to cook with the fruit as it bakes. With cornstarch cooked as a slurry on the stovetop and added to the filling. With tapioca. For the first to …

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Sour Cream Apple Pie

Sour cream and apples make a delightful combination.  We often add walnuts, dried cranberries, or raisins to our sour cream apple pies.  We think you will enjoy this pie. There are lots of sour cream apple pie recipes.  Few have as much sour cream s this one does and if they do, the pies tend to be runny.  This is thickened with Clearjel. 4 1/2 to 5 cups 1/4–inch thick sliced apples (4 or 5 medium whole apples) 6 tablespoons Original Clearjel 1 cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 8 ounces (about one cup) sour cream 2 tablespoons lemon juice …

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The World’s Quickest Apple Pie

This may not be the quickest pie because it has to bake but the prep time is very minimal and it’s easy. What you’ll need: A pie crust mix to make a single nine-inch crust A premade apple or other filling One batch streusel topping Step 1:  Make the streusel topping according to recipe directions.  You can make extra and freeze what you don’t need now. Step 2:  Add water to the pie crust mix, mix together, and roll out.  Transfer the pie crust from the counter to the pan, lay out, and line the pan.  Trim and finish the …

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Harvest Peach Pie

This makes a great peach pie. The spices and the vanilla will remind you of peach cobbler. The slurry, with the spices, is a rich translucent caramel color which contrasts nicely with the golden peach slices. Occasionally, we teach pie-making classes. Attendees always are surprised when we slip the whole pies from pans to platters to cut and serve them. (That way, you don’t mar your nonstick surfaces cutting the pies.)  You can do that with a nice pie pan with a good nonstick surface. 3 cups fresh peaches, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick               …

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A Lesson in Lemon Pies

Most lemon pies are similar in construction though the fillings may change some.  If you understand the methods for this pie, you should be equipped for most recipes. What you’ll need: A nine-inch standard pie pan or deep dish pie pan Pie chain weights or ceramic pie beads Parchment paper A citrus juicer An insta-read thermometer A Lovely Lemon Pie Recipe This lemon pie is made with lemon curd.   It doesn’t set up as firm as some lemon pies for there is no starch in the filling but it is firm enough andthis is a very good pie. one baked …

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Maple Apple Pie

We served four different kinds of apple pies at a class in our store.  Some of the attendees thought this was the best.  It is very good.  Maple and apple make a fine combination.  We served this warm with ice cream and with whipped cream. This pie is made with maple syrup with Clearjel to thicken it.  This filling is cooked on the stovetop.  With this ratio of ingredients, your filling will be firm enough for clean cuts with a nice presentation. We used maple syrup from the store; maple flavored not the real thing.  You could use this same …

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Fully-Loaded Apple Pie

The first of the fall storms rolled in the other night.  At sunset, the sky was thick with dark, billowy clouds.  The wind was strong from the northwest pressing and bending the aspen trees in the corner of the yard, their leaves chattering in rapid staccato. The temperature had dropped twenty degrees that night, twenty degrees colder than previous nights.  A steady, drumming rain was still pushed by a persistent wind.  It felt like the season to bake, a time to take the damp chill off the kitchen with a hot oven and a time to permeate the house with …

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