Friday, January 27, 2017

Any Time Is Pie Time

Everyone thinks pies should be baked and eaten in the fall. After all it's a perfect time to use up the apple and pumpkin harvests. They go well with the heavy feasts. Then they disappear after Christmas. That should not be.Pie should be made all year round.

For those who don't want a labor intensive kind, think a premade crust and instant pudding. Both Keebler and Nabisco sell a graham cracker and Oreo crumb premade ones. You can even buy a box of crumbs. enables home chefs to make their own crusts. Then fill with any pudding. One of the best is the Jello brands. Chocolate cream pie can be jazzed up with a few drops of mint extract for a cool chocolate mint flavor. Top  a chocolate cream pie with mini marshmallows and put under the broiler for a s'more's pie. A vanilla cream pie is another sweet treat that 's easy to make for a dinner party or a Sunday dinner.  Experiment with different   pudding flavors such as butterscotch and pistachio.  These can even be made into tartlets too. If there's more time , then make a homemade graham cracker crust.You can use any flavor, from plain to cinnamon to chocolate. It takes about twenty-four squares ,a quarter cup of granulated sugar and one-third melted butter or margarine. You can crush extra crackers more crumbs to sprinkle on top of the pie.

Homemade custards are the next step. Lemon meringue and Key Lime pies are sunny treats for a gloomy winter's day. If the lemon meringue is too daunting, then just try a  lemon pie. It's basically a custard, thanks to the addition of four egg yolks. Flour and cornstarch act as thickening agentson. There is a  good dose of lemon zest and lemon juice in it. It's not topped with meringue but whipped cream.The classic lemon meringue is not as lemony, only employing just two. It's the topping that makes it so special. It's a classic meringue with just egg whites and sugar and baked for only ten minutes. Key Lime is sort of similar. and easier to execute. It's not as citrusy, with only having a little more than half a cup of lime juice. There's no zest added and condensed milk is the binder here. The topping is simply whipped cream while the crust is graham crackers. A really elegant pie is one  with a mousse filling It's not as complex as it sounds.It's simply a mix of any pudding with Cool Whip or if you want a more homemade one ,use cream and gelatin along with chocolate chips or cocoa powder.

Pies shouldn't just be a fall treat. Think a mousse one for an elegant dinner party or a Key Lime for a SuperBowl party. Make a chocolate creme decorated with whipped cream and strawberries for Valntine's Day. They can be enjoyed now in the heart of winter.

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