Caramel Pecan Delight Pie

Caramel Pecan Delight Pie

July 12: National Pecan Pie Day 

Our neighbors across the street, Glenn and Ana Maria B., happen to be an intercultural couple like us. He is a Native American and she is Mexican-Japanese. We try to go on double dates to pow-wows, cultural festivals or restaurants around South Texas whenever we can.

Ana Maria gave a recipe for Caramel Pecan Delight Pie to Islander, knowing that she likes to make desserts. This recipe yields two pies—so we can keep one and share the other with our friendly neighbors. Islander used low-fat or fat-free ingredients for a guilt-free indulgence!

For a twist on the traditional pecan pie, make Caramel Pecan Delight Pie. This dessert is doubly delightful and delicious on National Pecan Pie Day.

Recipe

Ingredients 

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, unsalted
  • 2 cups pecans, chopped
  • 2 cups coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • 1 block (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened (we used fat-free)
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk (we used fat-free)
  • 1 container (16 ounces) Cool Whip, thawed
  • 2 graham cracker pie crusts (we used reduced fat)
  • 1 jar caramel ice cream topping or dulce de leche sauce

Directions

In a skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Chop the pecans and add them to the skillet, along with the coconut, and brown them in the butter. Set aside to cool completely.

Caramel Pecan Delight Pie

In a large bowl, cream the cheese with the condensed milk. Fold in the Cool Whip until well blended. Divide between the two pie crusts and spread the tops until smooth.

Caramel Pecan Delight Pie

Top both pies with the cooled pecan-coconut mixture. Drizzle the tops with caramel sauce. Cover and freeze until firm (about 3-4 hours). Slice the frozen pies and plate them. Top with extra Cool Whip, if desired, and serve immediately.

Caramel Pecan Delight Pie

Notes

  • While this pie seems really sweet, the pecans balance out the caramel.
  • Try the traditional pecan pie recipe from our previous post.
  • Search our blog for more pie and pecan recipes.

Chocolate Bavarian Cream Pie

Chocolate Bavarian Cream Pie

November 27: National Bavarian Cream Pie Day

During our Thanksgiving dinners, we always present our guests with a pair of pie options: classic (pumpkin, apple, pecan and/or sweet potato) and creative (haupia, crack, buko, etc). To the latter list, we add Chocolate Bavarian Cream Pie. Chocoholics appreciate this alternate flavor to the more popular pies.

Because there is so much to cook for Thanksgiving, we prepare our pies ahead of time. If we are behind schedule, we admit to taking shortcuts, such as using ready-made pie crusts and Cool Whip (Islander uses this sometimes because it is dairy-free).

Chocolate Bavarian Cream Pie is similar to other pudding-filled pies so this may be comforting to those who are accustomed to traditional treats. Make this delicious dessert ahead of Thanksgiving and especially for National Bavarian Cream Pie Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Jell-O via Dying For Chocolate)

Ingredients

  • 1 small box (4 ounces) chocolate pudding mix
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin (we used Knox brand)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups milk (we used lactose-free)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
  • 2 cups non-dairy whipped topping mix (Cool Whip or prepared Dream Whip)
  • 1 9-inch ready-made pie crust (we used Nabisco Oreo brand)

Directions

In a saucepan, combine the chocolate pudding mix, sugar, gelatin and a pinch of salt.

Chocolate Bavarian Cream Pie

In a small bowl, beat the egg with the milk. Pour into the saucepan with the other ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the mixture comes to a full boil. Stir in the vanilla. Remove from the saucepan and transfer to a large glass bowl, straining any egg debri or lumps if necessary. Cover the surface with waxed paper or plastic wrap so a film does not develop over the top of the pudding. Refrigerate until cold.

Chocolate Bavarian Cream Pie

Meanwhile, make the non-dairy whipped topping (or use Cool Whip). Beat the pudding mixture until it is creamy. Fold in the non-dairy whipped topping and blend well.

Chocolate Bavarian Cream Pie

Spread mixture into the pie crust. Refrigerate until firm (or freeze for an ice cream-like treat). Decorated with chocolate leaves or top with extra non-dairy whipped cream (optional).

Chocolate Bavarian Cream Pie

Notes

  • The ready-made pie crust could be chocolate flavor or graham cracker (Keebler brand).
  • Sprinkle mini chocolate chips or chocolate shavings on top of the Chocolate Bavarian Cream Pie for a pretty presentation. We added chocolate fall leaves on ours as an autumnal accent by using Wilton’s dessert accent candy mold.
  • Search our blog for other pie recipes.

Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie 

July 12: National Pecan Pie Day

Pecan pie is often associated with fall and winter holidays, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, instead of the middle of the summer. But this classic comfort food can be enjoyed year-round. The dessert is a staple in the southern U.S.A. and was thought to have originated by the French who settled in New Orleans, Louisiana, after the Native Americans introduced them to pecans. Variations include chocolate or whiskey in the pie recipe, but we make ours the traditional and easy way. Prepare pecan pie and observe the special food holiday of National Pecan Pie Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Pecan Pie Recipes)

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ – 1 ½ cups (6 ounces) pecans, chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar, granulated white
  • 1 cup light or dark corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 9-inch pie crust/shell, frozen and unbaked

Directions

In a mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Mix in the sugar. Pour in the corn syrup.

Pecan Pie

In a microwavable measuring cup, place the butter and cover with plastic wrap/film. Microwave until melted. Set aside to cool slightly. Mix the melted butter with the previous ingredients. Stir in the vanilla. Mix in the pecans.

Pecan Pie

Pour the filling into the pie crust. Place on a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for an hour. Foil or pie crust shields may be used to prevent overbrowning of the edges. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool completely. The soft-set warm filling will firm up when cool. Slice into wedges and serve.

Pecan Pie

Notes

  • Make mini versions of pecan pies by preparing pecan tassies. The tiny tarts are cute to eat and a sweet treat!
  • Search our blog for other recipes containing pecans as an ingredient.

Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie

February: Sweet Potato Month

As Valentine’s Day draws near, February focuses on sweethearts—and sweet potatoes! Islander follows the old adage that a way to her man’s heart is through his stomach and makes a southern-style staple as a dessert for Highlander. So she bakes a sweet potato pie for her sweetie pie! Instead of peeling, boiling and mashing sweet potatoes, this recipe is made even easier and quicker by using a canned casserole. Sweet potato pie is considered food for the soul—classic and comforting, it is a heartwarming treat to make and eat during Sweet Potato Month.

Recipe

(Adapted from Glory Foods)

Ingredients

  • 1 can (15 ounces) mashed sweet potatoes (we used Glory Foods brand sweet potato casserole)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk (not quite a full 14-ounce can)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 9-inch deep dish pie crust/shell, raw and frozen

Directions

In a microwavable measuring cup, melt the butter and set aside to cool slightly. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the sweetened condensed milk. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Sweet Potato Pie

Add the melted butter. Stir in the cornstarch. Then mix in the mashed sweet potatoes until the batter is smooth. Pour into the pie crust.

Sweet Potato Pie

Place on a cookie sheet and bake in the center of a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, place foil or pie crust shields around the rim of the pie, return to the oven and bake at a reduced heat of 300 degrees F for another 40 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of the pie (it should come out clean; if not, bake for another 5-10 minutes). Remove from the oven and cool the pie completely. Slice into 6-8 wedges and serve with a dollop of whipped cream (optional).

Sweet Potato Pie

Notes

  • Draw a heart on the sweet potato pie using the nozzle of canned whipped cream for a festive and fun Valentine’s food.
  • Search our blog for other recipes containing sweet potatoes as an ingredient.
  • Search our blog for more pie recipes.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

January 24: National Peanut Butter Day

Islander and her brother often travel together to attend work-related conferences because they are in the same field. On one of their trips, the weary travelers walked to a restaurant near their hotel and quickly devoured their dinner. But they also wanted to eat something sweet afterwards. They split a chocolate peanut butter pie—oh my! It was a deliciously decadent and terrific treat after a long day of traveling.

Upon her return home, Islander searched online for a simple recipe for chocolate peanut butter pie. She found a basic recipe that allowed her to add creative combinations of toppings of her choice (see the Notes below for other decorating ideas), although it is perfect as a plain pie, too.

On National Peanut Butter Day, give chocolate peanut butter pie a try!

Recipe

(Adapted from The Pioneer Woman)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 (8 ounces) bar cream cheese, softened
  • 1 ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 container (8 ounces) non-dairy whipped topping (Cool Whip)
  • chocolate pie crust (we used Keebler brand Ready-Crust)

Directions

Cream together the peanut butter and cream cheese. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix until well blended. Stir in the non-dairy whipped topping until light and fluffy.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Pour into the chocolate pie crust. Use a spatula to smooth out the top. Refrigerate for an hour or until firm. Decorate as desired.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Notes

  • Make this chocolate peanut butter pie pretty by sprinkling chocolate curls/chips and peanut butter baking morsels, drizzling melted chocolate or peanut butter or adding crushed peanuts or chopped chocolate peanut butter candies (such as Reese’s brand) on top.
  • Search our blog for more recipes containing peanut butter.

French Silk Pie

French Silk Pie

January 23: National Pie Day

Scared of salmonella but still want a slice of French silk pie? The classic confection contains raw eggs but we wanted to try a recipe that uses cooked eggs—just to be safe, especially when serving guests whose digestive systems are sensitive (like Islander’s).

French Silk Pie is like a chocolate pudding cream pie but richer and velvety smooth. We chocoholics now prefer it over the latter but the raw eggs made this a rare indulgence.

Cook’s Country adapted Pillsbury’s award-winning original French silk pie recipe by cooking the eggs over a double boiler and increasing the amount of chocolate (we especially liked that part!) for a fuller flavor and deep, dark color. Now we can enjoy this delicious dessert without worrying too much about salmonella poisoning.

For peace of mind, have a piece of French Silk Pie (with cooked eggs in the filling) for National Pie Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Cook’s Country)

Ingredients

  • 1 baked pie crust (we used Pillsbury brand deep dish frozen crust)
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided use
  • 3 whole eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 stick (½ cup) butter, softened and cut into chunks
  • 8 (1 ounce each) squares unsweetened chocolate (we used Bakers brand), melted
  • chocolate shavings or curls (optional)

Directions

Brown the pie crust in the oven and let cool. In a large bowl, beat the cream until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate the cream while preparing the other ingredients. In a glass mixing bowl, combine the eggs, sugar and water.

French Silk Pie

Place over a pot of simmering hot water to act as a double boiler. Avoid scrambling the eggs by immediately beating the egg mixture on high speed until smooth, pale and frothy (about 7-10 minutes or until a thermometer reaches 160 degrees F). Remove the bowl from the double boiler and continue beating on high speed for another 10 minutes or until cool. Beat in the vanilla and softened chunks of butter. Mix in the melted chocolate until smooth.

French Silk Pie

Gently fold in half of the whipped cream until well blended with the chocolate. Pour into the prepared crust. Smooth the top with a spatula. Refrigerate at least three hours or overnight to set until firm. With the remaining whipped cream, fill a pastry bag and pipe decorative swirls over the pie. Sprinkle the top with chocolate shavings or curls (optional). Refrigerate until ready to serve.

French Silk Pie

Notes

  • Substitute one cup of the whipped cream for Cool Whip non-dairy whipped topping. Cool Whip is smoother and light but firm for piping the decorations on pies.
  • Substitute unsweetened baking squares for semi-sweet for a sweeter French Silk Pie.
  • Substitute the store-bought pastry pie shell for a homemade recipe.
  • Search our blog for other pie recipes.

Jell-O Dream Pie

Jell-O Dream Pie

January 23: National Pie Day

We have prepared pies many times before. Some involve several steps while some, like this Jell-O Dream Pie, are super simple, especially for last-minute occasions. The basic recipe below is brand-specific, but it is a dream dessert for those who like to be creative with a combination of crusts, flavors and toppings. For an easy-as-pie recipe, make Jell-O Dream Pie for National Pie Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Kraft Foods)

Ingredients

  • 2 envelopes Dream Whip whipped topping mix
  • 2 ¾ cups cold milk, divided use
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 packages Jell-O instant pudding mix (any flavor)
  • 1 9-inch pie crust (graham cracker, chocolate or shortbread)

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, beat the Dream Whip packages with one cup of milk and vanilla until thick and peaks form. Pour in the rest of the milk.

Jell-O Dream Pie

Add the packages of Jell-O instant pudding. Beat on low speed then increase to high speed and beat until light and fluffy, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl. Pour into the pie crust and smooth the top. Refrigerate for at least an hour or until firm. Decorate as desired (we piped extra whipped topping using Wilton’s drop flower tip 2D and garnished with vanilla beans to indicate the French vanilla pudding flavor). Slice into wedges and serve chilled.

Jell-O Dream Pie

Notes

  • We used French vanilla pudding flavor with a graham cracker crust for this particular blog post. But feel free to experiment with a combination of the crust and favorite pudding flavors, like a chocolate crust with chocolate filling.
  • For a simple serving, add a dollop of whipped cream on top of a slice of pie.
  • For a fancy garnish, decorate the top of the pie with chopped nuts, chocolate drizzles/curls/chips, cherries, sliced bananas, toasted coconut flakes, mint leaves, citrus peels, etc.
  • Dream Whip is the dry mix equivalent of Cool Whip non-dairy whipped topping. A cup of real whipped cream may be substituted for Dream Whip and Cool Whip for a fuller flavor. Prepare one packet of Dream Whip (optional) or use Cool Whip (like we did) to pipe the decorative drops on top of the Jell-O Dream Pie.
  • Search our blog for other pie recipes.