Perfect Pie Crust
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, cold
12 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup ice water
1 ½ cups cake flour
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, salt and sugar. Add the shortening and break it up with your hands as you start to coat it all up with the flour. Add the cold butter cubes and work it into the flour with your hands or a pastry cutter. Work it quickly, so the butter doesn't get too soft, until the mixture is crumbly, like very coarse cornmeal. Add the ice water, a little at a time, until the mixture comes together forming a dough. Bring the dough together into a ball.
When it comes together stop working it otherwise the dough will get over-worked and tough. Divide the dough in half and flatten it slightly to form a disk shape. Wrap each disk in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. On a floured surface roll each disk out into a 10 to 11-inch circle to make a 9-inch pie.
Simply Splenda Cookbook’s Basic Pie Crust
Author’s note: This pie crust is almost foolproof. It has a really good flavor, is crisp yet tender, and pairs beautifully with many crusted dishes. This recipe makes two 9-inch crusts.
1 tsp Splenda Granular
1/8 tsp salt
6 Tsp. very cold trans-fat free shortening
1 tsp vinegar
4 Tbs. ice water
1) Combine the flour, Splenda, and salt in a food processor. At the shortening and pulse 2 or 3 time or until the mixture is full of lumps the size of small peas.
2) Pour in the vinegar and 3 tablespoons of the ice water. Pulse a few times until the dough begins to hold together. Use the remaining tablespoon of water if it is too dry. Gather into 2 equal balls, wrap separately, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
3) This dough can, of course, be made by hand. Combine the flour, SPENDA, and salt. Add the shortening and mix with a pastry cutter of 2 knives until the size of small peas. Add the vinegar and 3 tablespoons of the ice water and mix with fork just until it starts to hold together. (Use the remaining table spoon of water if it too dry.) Gather into 2 balls, wrap, and refrigerate as above.
Tip: I store my shortening in the freezer to keep it cold enough to work with. It stays soft enough to spoon out, but hard enough to make the pastry flaky.
Crumb Pie Crusts
Ginger Snap: Great for Pumpkin Pie
18 Ginger Snap Cookie Crumbs
6 Tsp Melted Butter.
2 Table Spoons Sugar
Combine and mix till crumbly. Place in pie pan and press with fingers till pan is coated. Place in refrigerator till set (about 10 minutes) Fill with favorite fillings.
18 chocolate sandwich cookies crumbed (I use the food processor)
6 Tsp Melted butter
Combine and mix till crumbly. Place in pie pan and press with fingers till pan is coated. Place in refrigerator till set (about 10 minutes) Fill with favorite fillings
Option: Add ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract for a minty crust.
24 Graham crackers crushed
6 Tablespoons melted butter
Mix well, place in pie pan and press firmly in the bottom of pan and sides.
Bake in 420’ oven for 10 minutes. Cool and fill with favorite filling.
Options for crust: you can add ½ teaspoon of your favorite spice to crumbs for a different flavor. I use cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice.
Low-Carb Almond Crust: (bottom crust pie)
Use any standard pie crust recipe. Substitute almond meal for 2/3s of the flour. Use less water in making the dough. Roll out part way, place in pan, and press out the remainder of the way.
Low-Carb Pecan Crust (great for pumpkin pie, custard/pudding fillings, or fruit tarts)
1 cup pecan pieces (frozen – this helps the butter remain pliable so the crust
can be molded)
2 Tbs. melted butter
2 Tbs. sugar equivalent from artificial sweetener of your choice
1) Take pecans out of the freezer and measure them into a food processor (you can use a blender, but be careful not to blend them down too small). Pulse the processor until the largest pieces are as big as lentils or split peas.
2) Add the butter and sweetener (liquid Splenda works well). Blend until it’s mixed evenly and then quickly –
3) Dump it into a pie pan, and push with your fingers to cover the bottom and sides. It should be the right consistency to mold the crust to the pie pan evenly.
Use your favorite piecrust. (Good with Perfect Pie Crust above.)
2/3 cup + 2 T sugar ¼ cup flour
¼ T grated lemon peel 2 lbs fresh peaches
2 T lemon juice 1 T butter
1 T milk 1 T vanilla
Combine 2/3 cup sugar, flour & lemon peel in large bowl. Add pared peaches, lemon juice and vanilla. Toss well. Spoon into pan lined with piecrust. Dot with butter. Top with top crust. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake at 425º for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 350º and bake for 30-45 minutes
Simply Splenda Cookbook’s Bumbleberry Pie
Author’s note: This is a pie made with a mix of berries and you get to choose the mix! The recipe says 2 cups of this and 2 cups of that, but that’s just to get you started. Use hat’s in season or on hand. Pie is really difficult for someone determined to follow a healthy diet, and the crust is the villain! I have developed a wonderful crust of which you just use a little. Instead of a whole top or bottom, I put a small heart-shaped piece of crust on each piece. The tiny bit of sugar adds sparkle and crunch.
Ingredients:2 cups blackberries
2 cups raspberries
2 cups blueberries
2 cups strawberries, sliced
¼ cup flour
2 tablespoon lemon juice
¾ cup Splenda Granular
½ Splenda Cookbook’s Basic Pie Crust
(see earlier page)
1 egg white mixed with 1 teaspoon water (egg wash)
¼ teaspoon sugar
pie crust pastry for a single-crust pie
1) Heat the oven to 350ºF. Combine the berries, flour, lemon juice, and Splenda in a bowl. Place in a high-sided 9-inch pie dish.
2) Roll out half of the pie crust dough (not too thin). Cut out 8 2-inch hears and lay evenly around the pie. (For very crisp crusts, bake the hearts separately on a small baking sheet for about 15 minutes or until golden.) Brush each heart with the egg wash and sprinkle with a little sugar. Discard the remaining scraps of dough. (This recipe uses just under half of one of the crusts.)
3) Bake 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the hearts are golden and the berries are bubbly. Serve hot or cold.
Lemon Meringue Pie
1 1/3 cups sugar (for filling)
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups water
4 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
½ cup lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ cup sugar (for meringue)
1) Prepare pie crust. Roll out to a 10-inch round on a lightly floured pastry board; fit into an 8-inch pie plate. Trim overhang to ½ inch; turn under, flush with rim; scallop the edge with an inverted teaspoon, pressing down hard for each cut to form a design. Prick the pie crust with a fork to prevent air bubbles when it cooks.
2) Bake in hot oven (450º) 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool.
3) Combine 1 1/3 cups sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium-size saucepan; gradually stir in water.
4) Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and is thickened. Boil 1 minute and remove from heat.
5) Beat egg yolks slightly in a small bowl; slowly blend in about 1/2 cup of the hot cornstarch mixture; slowly stir back into the remaining mixture in the saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, over heat for 2 minutes; remove from heat. (Do not overcook.) Stir in butter or margarine, lemon peel and lemon juice; pour into cooled pastry shell.
6) Beat egg whites with cream of tartar in a medium bowl until foamy-white and double in volume. Sprinkle in the remaining ½ cup of sugar, 1 spoon at a time., beating all the time until the sugar dissolves completely and the meringue stands in firm peaks.
7) Spoon the meringue onto the hot pie filling and swirl the meringue so that there are peaks. Bake in a hot oven (425º) for 3 to 5 minutes, or just until the peaks turn golden. Cool on a wire rack.
OLD FASHIONED BANANA CREAM PIE
1 pie crust (9 inch), baked
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 2/3 cups water
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 medium bananas
whipped cream (recipe below)
In heavy saucepan, dissolve cornstarch in water; stir in sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.
Remove from heat; add butter and vanilla (Banana Liqueur can be substituted for Vanilla). Cool slightly. Slice 2 bananas; dip in lemon juice and drain. Arrange on bottom of prepared crust. Pour filling over bananas; cover. Chill 4 hours or until set.
Spread top with whipped cream. Slice remaining banana; dip in lemon juice, drain and garnish top of pie. Refrigerate leftovers. Serving Size: 6
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugarDirections:
In a large bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. Beat in vanilla and sugar until peaks form. Make sure not to over-beat, or cream will become lumpy and butter-like.
Traditional Pumpkin Pie
1 ½ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
¾ tsp cloves
4 large eggs
1 large can solid pumpkin
2 cans evaporated milk
Mix sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in a small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into two unbaked pie shells.
Bake in preheated oven at 425º for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350º and bake 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours.
Pastry for one 9-inch single pie crust
4-5 slices bacon
¾ cup shredded cheese (Swiss or other light cheese)
1/3 cup minced onion
2 cups whipping cream or light cream
¾ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon red pepper
Heat oven to 425º. Prepare pastry. Sprinkle bacon, cheese and onion in pastry-lined pan. Beat eggs lightly; beat in remaining ingredients. Pour cream mixture into pie pan. Bake 15 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 300º and bake 30 minutes longer or until a knife inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.
Note: I often substitute canned milk for the cream with regular milk making up the full 2 cups. I also add in steamed broccoli or spinach chopped, sautéed mushrooms, diced ham, or whatever else seems good.
New York Cheese Cake (easy)
1 3/4 cups fine graham-cracker crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2cup butter, melted.
Combine ingredients and press on bottom and up 2/3of sides of 9-inch spring-form pan.
3 well-beaten eggs
two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
3 cups dairy sour cream
Beat eggs , cream cheese, sugar, salt, vanilla, and almond extract until smooth. Blend in sour cream. Pour into crust. Bake at 375º about 35 minutes or just till set. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours; this prevents cracking. Chill in refrigerator until serving. (Filling will be soft.) Top with fruit or fruit sauce if you wish. Serves 12 to 16. You can use pre-made crusts if you are in hurry.