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Pies and Pie Season

Time to create a catalog of pies made this summer.

I generally follow the fresh fruits for guidance, and make pies with whatever is in season.

In 2013, my pie list thus far includes:

  • key lime pie
  • stawberry rhubarb pie

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Vinegar Pie?

I was listening to NPR on the subject of pies, and the commentator mentioned making a Vinegar pie. Yech!!!


Vinegar pies are actually

Vinegar pies are actually pretty tasty. They remind me of the Southern Chess pies. One of my grandmothers used to make them -I think she used home made apple cider vinegar and a little lemon juice; they had lots of spices -nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, sometimes raisins. Nothing fancy but really good. They don't taste of vinegar - more like a slightly tangy custard pie.



Spent the morning bottling Vermont Quince's very tasty quince-infused vinegar and now I see this post about vinegar pie. I guess I'll interpret that as a sign I am supposed to give it a whirl this weekend. ;-)

Some background on vinegar pie:


Blackberry- Apple Pie

I'm trying something new for Thanksgiving - an apple blackberry combo pie. I'm thinking of doing it in layers (apples on bottom, berries at the top) rather than mic it all together.

I also just read a suggestion to sprinkle confectioner's sugar on a hot pie fresh from the oven. It melts into the crust a bit, but also leaves a dusting (they say) for a double dose of sugar on top.


Fruit layers

That sounds good, something I never thought of doing. The confectioner's sugar will melt, and should leave a dusty bit of cornstarch on top if the fat doesn't claim it. That one I've done before.


Thinking out of the (pizza pie) box

We recently enjoyed a pizza pie at an outdoor dinner party, at Lisa Kuneman's pad, that had a crust made of cauliflower, ground almonds,etc. A very fall season kind of pie.


It's that time!

I just made my first apple pies of the season- I'm always so happy when those first crisp, tart apples are ready for picking. This time I made my pies with a cheddar crust. I'm a huge fan of sharp cheddar with apple pie or crisp and this crust adds wonderful flavor to the pies.


apple-peach cheater pie

I made a no-hassle pie. Didn't peel the fruit, just sliced. Didn't season with anything, but I used 2 envelopes of apple-cinnamon instant oatmeal on top and dotted with butter. Heaven!


Yes, it is apple pie time!

Do you sprinkle the cheddar on, or mix it right into the dough? I could see rolling some into the edge crust the way they make cheesy-crust pizza to make a flavor-filled edge crust.

I, too, have started in on apple pies. (A slice for breakfast or as a snack is so good this time of year.)

For my fillings, I usually just add some brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla (of course!) and a bit of clear gel for thickening.

For the apples, I like using a combination of varieties in each pie, to give the inside some variety.


what is clear gel?

what is clear gel?


It's a commercial thickening

It's a commercial thickening agent you can buy- I've bought it from the King Arthur's Baking catalog. It does the same thing as cornstarch but doesn't discolor the juices in a fruit pie or the gravy in say, a beef or lamb pot pie.Some people think it doesn't leave the same after taste that cornstarch does but I've used both and don't see that much of a difference. I do use the clear gel if I'm making a berry pie because it's a little lighter texture.



It's great for the berry pies and really helps gel the juices. I just used a tiny bit with the apples to keep it from being soggy.


Chris, I do both -

I do both - incorporate about 1/2 cup finely shredded sharp cheddar into the crust and then roll about 1/4 cup onto the crust. I use nutmeg, cinnamon, a tiny amount of allspice and brown & white sugar.After that's mixed into the apples I toss them with about 1 tablespoon cornstarch for thickening.
Today I used some local Macs, Macouns and a few Jonagolds. I think I love it more for breakfast than as dessert.
MY dad and his brothers- who were all born between 1908 and 1912 - used to eat their apple pie with a big glob of mayonnaise on top! He said that his mother used to make mayonnaise from scratch and they would have that with their pie instead of cream. It always sounded really disgusting to me - still does.


Hand Pies

I used up some of the plums and a few peaches making hand pies. It's about the same as making a real pie, but instead of putting it all in a pie plate, the dough gets cut into rectangles and the filling inserted between two layers. A hole gets cut to let the filling heat up without it puffing up, and the whole thing gets coated with some egg wash and sugar.


a first for me- zucchini pie

Zoom the zucchini down in a blender, add eggs and milk, sugar and cinnamon. Pour into a regular pate brisee and bake. Am going to work on an almond milk version next time, cuz dairy's going bye-bye in my diet. :(


Not quite a pie

I made some tarts with Paul Gardner's plums this weekend that came out pretty well.

I tried a new type of crust that has equal parts of cream cheese, butter, and flour, with a pinch of salt and sugar thrown in. The cheese and butter get creamed, then the flour is added and mixed in until it forms a ball. Refrigerate and roll out like regular pie crust. 1/8 inch thick.

I cut the dough into 3 inch circles and put them into 2 inch muffin pans.

For the plums, I cut them up and put them in a pan with some sugar. I let it go for a while until everything was close to a jam consistency, then refrigerated it.

Each tart got a teaspoon full of the plums sauce, and everything was baked for about 12 minutes at 400.

The recipe for the crust encouraged experimentation to add all sorts of sweet and savory things as fillings.


Chris, The cream cheese

The cream cheese pastry that you used is also one that I use in bite size pecan tassies;sweet potato ginger tarts and I sometimes add a half cup of finely grated parmesan and then fill the tarts with either eggplant caponata or an olive tapenade. It's a very versatile pastry- we made huge amounts of it when I ran my catering business for both sweet and savory tarts.


Never heard of it before.

It was my first try. I liked it. Very easy to work with, too.

I'll try some other fillings.


Plum Give Away

Still hundreds of plums (purple & yellow) left on the trees if anybody wants.


Paul, Where do you live? Are

Where do you live? Are the plums accessible from the ground or do you need a ladder to reach them?



There's a ladder under the tree, but it may be easiest if I pick you some and put them out front. We're on Chestnut St., off Estey - the dead end section.


Paul, I would love some plums

I would love some plums if you're sure you have some to spare. My son and I could stop by this weekend to get some if that's okay. I'll be using them to make plum chutney so would be happy to share some of that with you!
Do you want to email me with your address? lkristinealden@gmail.com
My son could also use the ladder to pick some, too if that's easier for you.
Thanks so much!



I was thinking of making a blueberry rhubarb pie if i have a moment to do it!


Rhubarb Pies

Blueberry rhubarb sounds like a nice variation on the old strawberry rhubarb standby!

My favorite is a rhubarb custard pie; my mother's specialty when I was a kid.


Just made a peach blueberry

Just made a peach blueberry pie with a little crystallized ginger in the crust. Waiting for the raspberries to arrive!

Oh! I know it's not technically a pie but I did make a clafouti with both red and beautiful Rainier yellow cherries and a little barely whipped cream.



Ginger in the crust, what a concept. I'm trying to imagine the taste - along with the peaches and blueberries. wow


It adds a wonderful little

It adds a wonderful little punch of flavor. I love ginger with any stone fruits. In this crust I just used about a teaspoon of finely grated (I use a very sharp microplane zester) crystallized ginger and work it gently into the crust. I have also in the past brushed the top crust with milk and sprinkled a Tablespoon of brown sugar and the zested ginger on top. It really wakes up the flavors of the fruit - give it a try!



1 Lemon sour cream pie.


ooh...that sounds

ooh...that sounds interesting. What kind of crust did you make?


Lemon Sour Cream Pie

First make your crust to chill while you make the filling.
24 graham crackers (usually 4 to a block)
6 Tblsp salted butter
Toss them into a blender or processor and crush til fine and well blended. Press into a pie dish evenly. Chill.

Whisk together
1 c. whole milk
3 egg yolks
and let stand to warm slightly.

In a large (non-reactive) saucepan mix together well
1/2 c. white sugar
3 Tblsp. corn starch
then stir in til evenly dissolved and smooth
1/2 c. lemon juice (3 lemons should do it)

Add your yolks and milk to the saucepan, and stirring constantly, heat on medium until thick. As soon as it reaches proper thickness, remove from the heat and completely stir in
1/4 c. room temperature salted butter in bits
Let stand to cool.

When cool, whisk in
1 1/4 c. sour cream
Pour into crust. Level off the top. Cover. Chill until serving.






It's simple and good.



Add two blueberry pies infused with vanilla to the list.


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