Just Pie Erin Jeanne McDowell & Mark Weinberg
Copyright ÂŠ 2018 by
Erin Jeanne McDowell and Mark Weinberg All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by reviewers, who may quote brief passages in a review. Design by Jessica Reed thecakehistorian.com @cake_historian
Visit: erinjeannemcdowell.com @emcdowell markweinbergphoto.com @markweinbergnyc
As lovers of just about anything tucked inside a flaky crust, we are excited to share this book of pies. Inside, you’ll find our favorite dough recipe (including three flavor variations!)—plus all the tips you’ll need to perfect it, and step-by-step photography to help you along the way. You’ll also find eight brand-new pie recipes fit for baking year-round, with fruit fillings and creamy custards, swoopy toppings, and golden crusts that are as crispy on the bottom as they are on top. This is Just Pies—dig in. —Erin and Mark
TABLE OF CONTENTS
All Buttah Crust
Black Bottom Pecan Pie
Blackberry Poached Pear Galette
Blueberry Corn Pie
Brown Sugar Butternut Pie
Butterscotch Apple Pie
Cranberry Pie with Honey Meringue
Ginger Cherry Pie
Orange Cream Pie
All-Buttah Pie Crust This is pie crust at its simplest, with just four ingredients: flour, salt, butter, and water. The result is tender, crisp, and delightfully flakyâ€”everything a good crust should be. A few simple twists make for fun flavor variations that are as beautiful as they are delicious. Makes enough for 1 single- or double-crust pie
SINGLE CRUST: 1 ¼ cups (151 grams) all-purpose flour ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt ½ cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes ¼ cup (60 grams) ice water, plus more as needed DOUBLE CRUST: 2 ½ cups (301 grams) all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt 1 cup (226 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes ½ cup (120 grams) ice water, plus more as needed 1. To mix the dough by hand, whisk together the flour and salt in a medium bowl (see sidebar on page 8 for food processor instructions). Add the butter cubes, tossing them through the flour until each piece is well coated. Cut the butter into the flour by pressing the pieces between your fingers and thumbs, flattening the cubes into big shards. 2. Continue to toss them with the flour as you work, recoating the shingled pieces. For a flaky crust (fruit pies), mix until the butter is about the size of walnut halves. For a mealier crust (custard pies and for use with decorative techniques), mix until the butter is about the size of peas. 3. Make a well in the center of the bowl, and add the water. (Have more at the ready—you’ll need it!) Start by tossing the flour gently (rather than stirring) to help uniformly moisten it; doing this helps incorporate the water without overworking the flour. Continue to add more water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time until the dough comes together. When it starts to come together, you can mix more thoroughly, by gently kneading or folding the dough to make it more homogenous. The dough shouldn’t 7
be wet or sticky, and it shouldnâ€™t be dry and crumbly. It should hold together easily without feeling wet to the touch. 4. Form the dough into a disk (or two disks for a double crust), and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days before using. Note: If youâ€™d like to make a lattice, especially intricate and/or wide lattice work, I recommend making a single crust and a double crust to ensure you have enough to work with.
PIE DOUGH WITH THE FOOD PROCESSOR
If your hands run hot and you have consistent trouble with pie dough, you may want to opt for making it in the food processor instead. Pulse the flour and salt briefly to combine, then add the cubes of butter. Pulse until the butter is roughly the desired size as directed in step 2, above. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and proceed with adding the water by hand. (Adding the water in the food processor tends to lead to over-processing and/or over-hydrating which can make a problematic or overly tough dough.)
Key: Single Crust (sc); Double Crust (dc) VARIATIONS: Gingerbread Crust: Add 1 teaspoon (sc) or 2 teaspoons (dc) ground cinnamon, ¾ teaspoon (sc) or 1 ½ teaspoons (dc) ground ginger, ⅓ teaspoon (sc) or ¾ teaspoon (dc) ground allspice, ¼ teaspoon (sc) or ½ teaspoon (dc) ground cloves to the flour. Mix to combine before proceeding with the recipe. Vanilla Bean-Nutmeg Crust: Halve a vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the flour (use ½ the bean for a single crust, and the whole bean for double crust). Mix the two together with your hands to break up the vanilla bean seeds and disperse them throughout the flour. Add ½ teaspoon (sc) or ¾ teaspoon (dc) freshly grated nutmeg and mix to combine before proceeding with the recipe. Cornmeal Crust: Reduce the flour to 1 cup (121 g) (sc) or 2 ¼ cup (271 g) (dc). Add 1/3 cup (47 g) (sc) or 1/2 cup (70 g) (dc) fine yellow cornmeal to the flour, and mix to combine before proceeding with the recipe.
Keys for Perfectly Mixed Pie Dough The number-one rule for making pie is not to rush it, and this comes into play right away with mixing the dough. Keeping things chilled is crucial when making pie dough—if at any point the butter feels too soft or appears to be melting, stop and chill the dough. It helps to start with cold ingredients—well-chilled butter and ice water. You can even chill your bowl of flour before starting to be sure everything is properly chilled and doesn’t warm up too much during mixing. Start by whisking your flour and salt to combine in a large bowl. Add the cold cubed butter and toss in the flour until each cube is separated from the others and fully coated in flour. Working with your hands allows you to have the best feel for the dough; they’re the ideal tool for the job. Work the butter into the flour by shingling it between your fingers and thumbs: Press each cube flat, then return it to the bowl. Occasionally, as you work, toss the shingled butter with the flour to recoat it before continuing. Continue to work the butter into the flour until it’s the correct size—this will vary depending on what result you’re aiming for. For a flaky crust, you’ll continue to work the butter until the pieces are mostly the size of walnut halves and smaller. For a mealier crust, you’ll continue to mix the butter in until the pieces are mostly the size of peas and smaller (see sidebar on page 14 for more details on how to decide which crust is best for your pie). When your butter is properly mixed in, make a well in the center of the bowl and add the water. Add the initial amount directed by the recipe, and incorporate it by tossing the flour with your hands—scoop towards the bottom of the bowl with open hands, then toss the flour from the bottom upwards a few times. Tossing in this way helps to distribute
moisture throughout the flour without activating gluten (too much gluten formation can make the dough tough and prone to shrinking during baking). Once the first amount of water is incorporated, continue to add cold water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time until the dough is evenly hydrated. Sometimes the bulk of the dough will come together, but there will still be dry bits at the bottom of the bowl. When this happens, remove the dough that has come together and set it aside. Add a very small amount of water to the dry bits at the bottom of the bowl, and gently mix with your hands until it begins to come together. Then add the dough you’d set aside back and mix to combine them together. As you get the dough to the correct texture, you can start to gently knead or fold it a bit. You don’t want to mix too much, but it can help get the dough uniformly combined. Proper hydration is key. The dough should look uniform and evenly combined, but should not be sticky to the touch or visibly wet. Under-hydrated dough will appear dry and cracked on the surface, and can be difficult to roll out without cracking and falling apart. Over-hydrated dough will be lighter in color and sticky to the touch—it will be hard to roll out without tons of flour or it will stick, and can be difficult to handle and crimp. Once the dough is at the right texture, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use (at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days). For longer storage, see recipe for freezing instructions.
FLAKY VS. MEALY The difference between flaky and mealy dough is based on how much the butter is incorporated into the dough. When the pie dough hits the heat of the oven, the water in the chilled butter quickly evaporates, creating steam. This steam pushes the dough upwards, creating flakiness. Despite their names, both flaky and mealy doughs have flakiness, and they are both tender, buttery doughs. The names describe how intensely flaky they are, and therefore what kinds of pie they are best suited for. Flaky crusts are noticeably flaky—you’ll spot visible layers in the dough after baking. Flaky crusts are ideal for fruit pies, galettes, and hand pies. Mealy crusts are still light and have a flaky texture, but it’s less noticeable. Since the butter is worked into the dough more, there’s less of a layer effect and more of a tighter structure, though it is still tender. A mealy crust is ideal for custard pies, cream pies, and for decorative pie work like lattices, weaves, and cutouts, because it’s sturdier in the oven.
Rolling Out the Dough Be sure the dough is well-chilled before you roll it (it will be much easier to work with). Lightly flour a surface and a rolling pin. Roll out the dough, re-flouring as needed, until it’s about ¼ inch thick (or a touch thicker for decorative work like cutouts, lattice, braids, etc.) and at least 1 inch wider than the pie plate all around. Roll from the center upward, then return to the center and roll downward—this helps the edges be uniform to the center. Rotate the dough occasionally as you work—this helps prevent the dough from the sticking to the surface or the butter from warming up too much. When the dough is the proper thickness, you can transfer it to the pie plate. Alternatively, if it’s gotten warm and needs some chill time, transfer it to a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for up to 30 minutes. 14
Lining the Pie Plate The rolling pin makes easy work of transferring the dough to the pie plate. Starting at one end of the rolled out dough, wrap it around the rolling pin. Gently transfer the pin to the edge of the pie plate and unfurl the dough onto the plate. Use your hands to gently lift the crust at the edges and press it into the base of the pie plate. Once it’s touching the pie plate evenly on the base and sides, trim the excess dough so that there’s ½ inch excess around the outside edge of the pie plate. The dough can be left like this for double-crust pies, and chilled while you ready the filling and top crust. For single-crust pies, tuck the dough under at the edge so it meets flush with the outer edge of the pie plate. This thicker edge is easier to crimp. Finish the edges as desired (see Crimping the Pie, page 16), then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before proceeding with the recipe. CHILLING THE DOUGH Keeping everything cold is essential to the success of a good pie dough—and for several reasons! Cold fat is easiest to shingle properly into the dough, which creates a tender, flaky crust instead of a tough, crumblier one. Chilling the dough after mixing makes the dough firmer, which is ideal for rolling; warm or melty butter will cause the dough to stick to the surface, rolling pin, and/or hands and can make it much more difficult to work with. A solid time in the refrigerator also allows the dough to relax, which means it will be less likely to shrink (both while rolling and when it bakes). Decorative pieces like top crusts, strips for weaving lattices or braids, and cutouts should be prepared from dough that’s been chilled on a parchment-lined baking sheet after it’s been rolled out. When in doubt, pop the dough in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes before proceeding. Skip the freezer, which can create
issues during baking for some varieties of butter, causing it to melt out of the crust in the early stages of baking and potentially leading to a tough end result. You can opt to chill at any/every stage: mid-mix, after rolling out, before crimping, after filling, really any time—it will only make the process easier and your final pie better!
Double-Crust Pies Double-crust pies require a few more steps after the pie plate has been lined with the base crust. Be sure your filling is prepared (and cooled, if necessary) before you roll out the top crust. Roll out the top crust as you did the bottom crust (or a bit thicker, if you’re using decorative techniques like lattice or cutouts). Place the pie filling into the pie, smoothing it into an even layer or arranging firmer fruit fillings so they are slightly mounded in the center for a classic pie look. A full top crust can be rolled onto the rolling pin and unfurled over the filling. Lattice or other partial crusts can be applied over the filling, chilling as needed if the dough warms up while you work. Once you’ve placed the top crust, press the top crust and bottom crust firmly together all the way around the edges—you can use a bit of cold water to help them attach to one another if needed. Trim away any excess dough so that there is only ½ inch of excess all the way around the outer edge of the pie. Tuck the pie under itself at the edges so that the edges meet flush with the outer edge of the pie plate. Chill the pie if needed, then crimp as desired. Crimping the Pie Pies can be crimped all sorts of different ways. Techniques can be simple (like pressing the tines of a fork into the crust at the edge) or more advanced (like using your fingers to make a classic pie crimp). 16
Whatever technique you choose, use well-chilled dough and feel free to flour your tools (including your fingers!) to help prevent them from sticking to the dough. To make a classic finger crimp, use your dominant hand to make a ‘v’ shape using your thumb and first finger. Use the first finger of your non-dominant hand to press the dough firmly down toward the pie plate. Use the ‘v’-shaped fingers to shape the outer edge of the dough by pressing inward towards the finger on your opposite hand. Repeat this process a few times, then rotate the pie and continue all the way around. If making indents into the dough using a fork or spoon, press firmly down into the dough, but gently enough that you don’t press through the dough and create a tear. Finishing and Baking the Pie Applying a light coat of egg wash (1 egg mixed well with 1 tablespoon water) to any visible crust will help it brown evenly during baking and give the finished pie a little sheen. You can skip egg washing the outer edge on double crust pies, as it helps ensure the top crust and edges brown at a uniform rate. A sprinkling of coarse sugar on a double-crust or lattice-topped pie can add a lovely caramel flavor and also help achieve and even golden brown in the oven. Place pies on a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil before baking to help catch any drips from the pie as it bakes. Double-crust pies should have some sort of vent cut into the top crust; be sure to cut it after you’ve applied any finishes like egg wash or sugar. Single-crust pies can often benefit from par-baking (partially baking the crust) or blind-baking (fully baking the crust) before filling to help achieve a properly baked and browned bottom crust (doublecrust pies usually have no trouble browning sufficiently with their long bake time). 17
Par-Baking the Dough “Par-baking” refers to partially baking the pie crust before filling is added. This is especially useful for single-crust pies with especially wet fillings, like custards or cold-set cream pies. To par-bake, you’ll start with a fully prepared and crimped crust that’s been well chilled (for at least 30 minutes after crimping). Dock the crust all over the base and sides with a fork. Cut a square of parchment paper that’s slightly larger than the pie plate and press it into the base of the chilled crust. Fill the cavity with pie weights (such as dried beans) all the way to the top edge of the crust, making sure the weights are flush against the dough’s sides and filling it all the way to the inner edge to the crust.. Place the pie pan on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in a 425°F oven on the bottom rack (preferably on a preheated baking stone) until the outer edge begins to brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the parchment and pie weights and bake for 2 to 3 minutes more, or until the bottom crust appears set. If the crust puffs up at any point, prick the air bubble with a fork to deflate it. Let cool completely before filling. Blind Baking the Dough “Blind-baking” refers to fully baking the pie crust before filling is added—this is done for any pie where the filling doesn’t require baking, such as cold-set fillings for cream pies. Blind baking is just like parbaking, only baked further. Bake in a 425°F oven on the bottom rack (preferably on a baking stone) until the outer edge is well browned, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove the parchment and pie weights and bake for 8 to 10 minutes more, or until the bottom crust appears well browned. Let cool completely before filling.
Black-Bottom Pecan Pie Think of the caramel-y flavors of traditional pecan pie paired with a melty layer of deep, dark chocolate. Even the crust of this pie is full of warm fall flavors. It’s best to err on the side of under-baking this pie—it keeps the center delightfully gooey. (P.S. Leftovers of this pie make the very best pie milkshakes.) Makes one 9-inch pie 1 recipe single-crust Vanilla Bean-Nutmeg All-Buttah Pie Dough, prepared and chilled (page 9) CHOCOLATE GANACHE:
1 cup (113 grams) finely chopped dark chocolate (I use 72%) ⅓ cup (76 grams) heavy cream 2 ½ cups (319 grams) pecan halves CUSTARD:
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, melted ½ cup (107 grams) dark brown sugar ¼ cup (96 grams) maple syrup 2 large (113 grams) eggs 1 large (21 grams) egg yolk 2 tablespoons (43 grams) heavy cream 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract ¼ teaspoon almond extract ½ teaspoon fine sea salt ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 21
1. Prepare the pie crust as directed on page 6 and par-bake as directed on page 18. Cool completely. Lower the oven temperature to 375Â°F with the rack in the lower third of the oven. 2. Make the ganache: Place the chocolate in a medium, heat-safe bowl. In a small pot, bring the cream to a boil over medium heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let sit for 15 seconds undisturbed, then stir to combine. The ganache should be thick and smooth. 3. Pour the ganache into the base of the cooled pie crust, and spread into an even layer. Scatter the pecans in an even layer on top of the chocolate. Set aside. 4. Make the custard: In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, eggs, egg yolk, cream, extracts, salt, and cinnamon to combine. 5. Pour the custard over the pecans. Transfer the pie to the oven and bake until the crust is golden brown and the custard appears set at the edges but still slightly jiggly in the center, 35 to 40 minutes. 6. Cool completely before slicing and serving.
Make Ahead: This pie can be made up to 1 day ahead. Store leftovers at room temperature, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.
Blackberry-Poached Pear Galette Poaching the pears briefly in a juicy blackberry-based mixture gives them a two-tone look and a subtle sour flavor. Paired with a thin layer of almond cream and the flakiest pie crust, it’s a match made in galette heaven. Using a double-crust recipe allows for an extra-large galette with lots of that flaky crust around the outer edge—everyone’s favorite part! Makes one 9-inch pie POACHED PEARS:
12 ounces (340 grams blackberries), thawed if frozen ⅓ cup (66 grams) granulated sugar 1 cup (227 grams) water 2 cups (453 grams) dry white wine 1 cinnamon stick ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 5 large (875 grams) firm-ripe pears, such as D’Anjou, peeled GALETTE:
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter ⅓ cup (40 grams) granulated sugar Zest of 1 orange 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract 1 large (57 grams) egg 1 large (21 grams) egg yolk ½ cup (50 grams) almond flour ¼ cup (30 grams) all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon fine sea salt 25
1 recipe double-crust Vanilla Bean-Nutmeg Pie Dough, prepared and chilled (page 9) Egg wash, as needed for finishing Turbinado sugar, as needed for finishing 1. Make the pears: In a medium pot, mix the blackberries and sugar to combine. Use a potato masher to coarsely mash the berries. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook until the berries soften, 8 to 10 minutes. Strain the mixture, reserving the juice and discarding the solids. 2. Return the juice to the pot, stirring in the white wine, cinnamon stick, and nutmeg. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then add the pears. Cook the pears, turning occasionally to cook evenly and distribute the color, until the pears begin to soften, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the pears from the liquid and cool for 15 to 20 minutes. 3. Cut the pears into quarters and remove the core. Reserve slices in a single layer, refrigerated and covered with plastic wrap, until ready to use. 4. Make the galette: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and orange zest on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. 5. Add the egg and the the egg yolk one at a time, mixing thoroughly to combine between additions. Add the almond flour, all-purpose flour, and salt and mix until just incorporated. Set aside. 6. Preheat the oven to 425Â°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 26
7. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a circle ¼ inch thick. Starting at one end of the round, gently roll up the dough around the rolling pin. Transfer it to the prepared baking sheet, unfurling it onto the parchment paper. 8. Spread the almond cream into a thin, even layer in the center of the round, leaving about 2 inches uncovered all the way around the dough’s edge. Arrange the pear quarters in concentric circles on top of the almond cream: Start from the outside and work your way inward, leaving a small amount of space between each piece of pear. Fold up the excess dough all around the edges, encasing the filling. 9. Brush the exposed crust evenly with egg wash and sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the pears are very tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving serving. Make Ahead: The poached pears can be made up to 1 day ahead. The galette is best the day it’s baked.
Blueberry Corn Pie A flaky cornmeal crust is filled with a creamy corn custard, and topped with colorful blueberry whipped cream. The combination may sound odd, but this sweet pie is a total showstopper. Makes one 9-inch pie CORN CUSTARD PIE:
1 single-crust recipe Cornmeal All-Buttah Pie Crust (page 9) 2 cups (260 grams) corn kernels (thawed if frozen), divided ¾ cup (170 grams) whole milk ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped (or 1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract) ½ cup (115 grams) heavy cream ¾ cup (149 grams) granulated sugar ½ cup (60 grams) all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon fine sea salt Pinch ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg 3 large (64 grams) egg yolks CREAMY BLUEBERRY TOPPING:
1 cup (170 grams blueberries), thawed if frozen—frozen wild blueberries work especially well ⅓ cup (66 grams) granulated sugar ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract) 1 ⅓ cups (307 grams) heavy cream ¼ cup (28 grams) powdered sugar
1. Prepare the pie crust as directed on page 6 and blind bake as directed on page 18. Cool completely. 2. Place 1 Âź cups (163 grams) of the corn, the milk, and the vanilla seeds in a medium pot. Use an immersion blender to blend the mixture until relatively smooth (this can also be done in a regular blender or food processor). Once blended, whisk in the heavy cream. 3. In a small bowl, whisk the sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg to combine. Whisk the sugar mixture into the milk mixture. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, whisking constantly. 4. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl. When the milk mixture is simmering, pour about a quarter of the hot milk into the egg yolks while whisking constantly to temper the yolks. Pour this mixture back into the pot while whisking constantly. 5. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is noticeably thick, 1 to 2 minutes. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, and should hold a clean line if you swipe your finger through it. 6. Take the pudding off the heat, and fold in the remaining Âž cup (97 grams) corn kernels. Pour the mixture into the cooled, blind-baked pie crust and spread into an even layer. Cover the pudding directly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until fully cooled and set, at least 2 hours. 7. While the pie cools, make the blueberry topping. In a medium pot, toss the blueberries, sugar, and vanilla bean to combine, mashing the blueberries lightly with a fork.
8. Cook the blueberries over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the berries soften and begin to break down, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean, and purée the mixture using an immersion blender (a regular blender or food processor works too). Set aside to cool complete. 9. Once the blueberry mixture is cool, finish the topping. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the cream and powdered sugar until it holds soft peaks. Gently fold in the cooled blueberry mixture by hand. 10. Top the pie with the blueberry cream. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Make Ahead: The pie can be made up to 1 day ahead through step 6—it’s best to add the whipped cream topping shortly before serving. The pie will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 days.
Brown Sugar Butternut Pie For a different take on traditional pumpkin pie, try this recipe. It subs out the canned puree and swaps in sliced fresh squash. Roasting the squash first reduces moisture, concentrates flavor, and begins to candy it. It also softens the flesh so it can be arranged in a beautiful rose shape inside the par-baked crust. By the time it bakes again, the squash is soft in the center with deliciously caramelized edges. Makes one 9-inch pie 1 recipe single-crust All-Buttah Pie Dough, prepared and chilled (page 7) 1 medium butternut squash (1.13 kg / 2.5 lbs), peeled, seeded, and sliced into ¼-inch-thick slices 4 tablespoons (57 g) unsalted butter, melted 1 cup (213 g) packed dark brown sugar, divided 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt 2 tablespoons (29 g) heavy cream 1. Prepare the pie crust as directed on page 6 and par-bake as directed on page 18. Cool completely. Lower the oven temperature to 400°F with the rack in the lower third of the oven. 2. On a baking sheet, toss the squash with the melted butter, then arrange in an single even layer (if needed, they can be slightly overlapping one another).
3. In a medium bowl, stir the brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt to combine. Sprinkle half of the sugar mixture over the squash pieces, taking care to apply it relatively evenly across the squash. 4. Roast the squash until the sugar has melted and the squash is firmtender, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool completely. 5. Starting on the outer edge of the pie crust, arrange the squash slices in a tight spiralâ€”each piece should overlap the piece next to it by about halfway. Continue to build the spiral inward. Place the final pieces in a circle to create the center of the rosette look. 6. Sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture evenly over the squash and drizzle evenly with the cream. Bake until the squash is tender, the sugar is fully melted, and the edges of the squash are dark in color and caramelized, 20 to 25 minutes. 7. Cool at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving (it is particularly delicious served warm, drizzled with cold heavy cream). Make Ahead: This pie is best the day it is made. Store leftovers tightly covered in plastic wrap at room temperature.
Creamy Butterscotch Apple Pie This is like no apple pie you’ve had before—because it’s like two pies in one. A sweet, spiced apple pie filling is baked to bubbly perfection, then finished with a layer of creamy, cold-set butterscotch pudding. Makes one 9-inch pie PIE:
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter 3 medium (375 grams) apples, such as Honeycrisp, peeled and diced 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ½ cup (107 grams) dark brown sugar 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg ½ teaspoon fine sea salt 3 tablespoons (37 grams) granulated sugar 2 tablespoons (15 grams) all-purpose flour 1 recipe single-crust All-Buttah Pie Dough BUTTERSCOTCH CREAM:
1 ½ cups (340 grams) whole milk ½ cup (115 grams) grams heavy cream ½ cup (106 grams) dark brown sugar ½ teaspoon fine sea salt ¼ cup (28 grams) cornstarch 2 large (113 grams) egg yolks
1 cup (230 grams) heavy cream â…“ cup (38 grams) powdered sugar 1 Â˝ teaspoons vanilla extract Flaky salt, as needed for finishing 1. In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the apples, tossing to coat in the butter. Add the vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and stir to combine. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the apples start to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. 2. In a small bowl, whisk the sugar and flour to combine. Add to the pot and stir well to combine. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. 3. Let the filling cool completely (you can speed this process up by spreading into an even layer on a baking sheet). 4. Prepare the pie crust as directed on page 6 and par-bake as directed on page 18. Cool completely. 5. Pour the cooled filling into the par-baked crust and spread into an even layer. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. 6. When the pie is cool, make the pudding: In a medium pot, heat the cream over medium heat. In a medium bowl, whisk the brown sugar, salt, and cornstarch together to combine. Add the mixture to the pot and whisk well to combine.
7. Continue to heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the yolks to a medium heat-safe bowl, and slowly add about a third of the hot milk mixture in a steady stream, whisking to combine. 8. Return the mixture to the pot and swap your whisk for a silicone spatula. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Look for a few large bubbles from the center of the pot, rather than lots of small bubbles around the outer edge. 9. Strain the pudding through a fine-mesh sieve into the pie, on top of the apple filling, and spread into an even layer. Cover directly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, at least 1 hour. 10. In a medium bowl, whisk the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until they reach medium peaks. Transfer to the surface of the pie and spread into an even layer. Keep chilled until ready to serve and garnish with flaky salt just before serving. Make Ahead: The apple filling can be made up to 1 day ahead. The pie can be made through step 9 up to 1 day ahead. Store leftovers refrigerated, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.
Cranberry Pie with Honey Meringue This festive pie is sweet and sour like classic lemon meringue pie, but lightly spiced and with a gorgeous cranberry hue. Even the meringue comes with a twist: It’s sweetened with honey and toasts up especially beautifully. Makes one 9-inch pie PIE:
1 recipe single-crust Gingerbread All-Buttah Pie Dough (page 9) 4 cups (425 grams) cranberries, thawed if frozen ½ cup (119 grams) orange juice 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground ginger ½ teaspoon ground cloves Pinch fine sea salt 1 ¼ cups (247 grams) granulated sugar, divided 3 large (170 grams) eggs 4 large (85 grams) egg yolks 8 tablespoons (113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes, divided HONEY MERINGUE:
½ cup (170 grams) honey, preferably wildflower honey ⅓ cup (66 grams) granulated sugar 4 large (142 grams) egg whites Pinch ground cinnamon Generous pinch fine sea salt 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract 41
1. Prepare the pie crust as directed on page 6 and blind-bake as directed on page 18. Cool completely. 2. In a medium pot, combine the cranberries, orange juice, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, and ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries soften and burst, 15 to 18 minutes. Puree using an immersion blender, blender, or food processor. Return the mixture to the pot. 3. Whisk in the remaining 1 cup (198 grams) sugar, eggs, egg yolks, and 6 tablespoons (85 grams) butter. Continue to cook, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spatula and holds a line when you drag your finger through it, 6 to 7 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons (28 grams) butter and remove from the heat.. 4. Strain the curd through a fine-mesh sieve into the cooled pie crust, and spread into an even layer. Cover the curd directly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until fully chilled and set, at least 2 hours and up to overnight. 5. Just before you’re ready to serve, make the meringue. Bring a medium pot filled with about 2 inches of water to a simmer over medium low heat. Place a medium bowl on top of the pot. Add the honey, sugar, egg whites, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla and whisk to combine. 6. Continue to heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture reaches 160°F on a thermometer. You can use an electric hand mixer to whisk it while it’s heating, or you can whisk by hand until it reaches 160°F and then transfer the meringue to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with 42
the whisk attachment. Whip the meringue to medium peaks at medium speed. 7. Remove the plastic wrap from the surface of the chilled pie, and pile the meringue on top of it. Spread the meringue to the edges, but keep it piled a bit higher in the middle. Swoop it with a small offset spatula or with the back of a spoon. If desired, toast the meringue with a kitchen torch.
Make Ahead: The pie can be made up to 1 day ahead through step 4â€” itâ€™s best to add the meringue within 4 hours of serving the pie.
Ginger Cherry Pie This is classic cherry pie—plus lots of spicy ginger. Fresh, ground, and crystallized ginger find their way into this pie. There’s even gingerbread pie crust woven into the lattice. Sour cherries are best for this pie (and it’s okay to use frozen or canned), but sweet cherries will work in a pinch. Makes one 9-inch pie 1 ¾ pounds (794 grams) sour cherries, pitted, thawed if frozen ¼ cup (53 grams) light brown sugar ½ cup (99 grams) granulated sugar 3 tablespoons cornstarch 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger ½ teaspoon fine sea salt One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced 2 teaspoons vanilla extract ½ cup (92 grams) minced crystallized ginger 1 recipe double-crust All-Buttah Pie Dough, prepared and chilled (page 6) 1 recipe single-crust Gingerbread All-Buttah Pie Dough, prepared and chilled (page 9) Egg wash, as needed for finishing Turbinado sugar, as needed for finishing
1. Make the filling: In a medium pot, mix the cherries and brown sugar to combine. Set over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the cherries start to soften and release their liquid, 6 to 7 minutes. 2. In a small bowl, whisk the granulated sugar, cornstarch, ground ginger, and salt to combine. Stir into the pot of cherries, followed by the fresh ginger. 3. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the cherries are soft and the liquid has thickened, 7 to 8 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and crystallized ginger. Cool completely. 4. Prepare the bottom crust using half of the All-Buttah Pie Dough as directed on page 6, leaving 1 inch of excess dough around the rim of the pie plate. Fill the pie with the cooled cherry filling, and spread into an even layer. Chill while you prepare the top crust. 5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the remaining All-Buttah Dough to ¼ inch thick. Trim the edges to create clean lines, then cut 10 strips about ½ inch wide. Reserve on a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill until ready to use. 6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the Gingerbread All-Buttah Dough to ¼ inch thick. Trim the edges to create clean lines, then cut 20 strips about ½ inch wide. 7. To form the top crust, line up two strips of gingerbread dough with one strip of plain dough in between. Pinch the top and bottom of the strands to adhere, creating a 1 ½-inch-wide strip of dough. Repeat this pattern to create another set of strips. 46
8. Gently weave two sets of strands together by laying one set over the other, keeping all the strands flat while you work. If the dough becomes warm or hard to work with at any point, move to the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes before resuming. Gently transfer the twist to the surface of the chilled pie. Repeat this process until you’ve created five wide twists across the pie. 9. Firmly press the twisted dough to the excess dough at the edge of the pie plate to adhere the doughs together. Fold the excess dough up over the twists and press firmly to seal the edge over them. If the dough isn’t easily sticking, dip your finger into water and use it to smooth any rough edges. Crimp the edges as desired. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. 10. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place the pie on top of the prepared baking sheet. Brush the pie evenly with egg wash and sprinkle generously with turbinado sugar. 11. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling up between the twists slightly, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool at least 45 minutes before slicing and serving. Make Ahead: The filling can be made up to 3 days ahead. The pie is best the day it’s baked.
Orange Cream Pie Like ice cream-truck Dreamsicles and Stewart’s Orange ’n Cream soda, this pie is equally full of orange flavor and craveable creaminess. With a simple shell made from sweet cereal, this is a perfect pie for the crust-weary pie maker. Makes one 9 inch pie ORANGE CURD:
½ cup (131 grams) thawed orange juice concentrate ⅓ cup (66 grams) granulated sugar 4 large (85 grams) egg yolks 4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter CRUMB CRUST:
4 cups (150 grams) iced corn flake cereal 8 tablespoons (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted pinch fine sea salt FILLING + TOPPING:
1 ¼ cup (284 grams) whole milk ½ teaspoon fine sea salt ⅓ cup (66 grams) granulated sugar 3 tablespoons (21 grams) cornstarch 2 large (43 grams) egg yolks 3 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided 1 cup (227 grams) heavy cream ⅓ cup (38 grams) powdered sugar Orange zest, for finishing 51
1. Make the orange curd: In a medium pot, whisk the orange juice concentrate, sugar, and egg yolks to combine. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula until the mixture thickens enough to coat the spatula, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in 4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter until melted and fully combined. 2. Strain the mixture into wide, shallow dish (like a casserole dish)â€”this will help it cool quickly. Cover directly with plastic wrap and chill until fully set, at least 45 minute. 3. When the curd is cool, make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350Â°F. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the cereal until it forms fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and salt and pulse to combine. The mixture should hold together when pressed. 4. Press the crust evenly into the base and sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake until the crust is golden and appears set, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely. 5. When the curd is cool, make the filling. In a medium pot, bring the milk and salt to a simmer over medium heat. In a medium (heat-safe) bowl, whisk the sugar and cornstarch together to combine. Add the egg yolks to the sugar mixture and mix to combine. 6. Pour about a quarter of the warm milk into the egg yolk mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly to combine. Add the egg mixture to the pot. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir constantly with a silicone spatula until the mixture comes to boil. (Look for a few large bubbles in the center of the pot.) Stir in 2 teaspoons of vanilla and mix until fully combined.
7. Stir in the chilled orange curd, and strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into the cooled pie crust. Smooth into an even layer, top directly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until well-chilled, at least 1 hour. 8. When the pie is chilled, prepare the topping: In a medium bowl, whisk the cream, powdered sugar, and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla to medium peaks. Spread the whipped cream evenly over the center of the pie, leaving about Â˝ inch of custard uncovered around the edge. Garnish with orange zest. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
Make Ahead: The pie can be made up to 1 day ahead through step 7â€”itâ€™s best to add the whipped cream topping shortly before serving. Storage: The pie will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 days
Just Pie Recipes by Erin Jeanne McDowell erinjeannemcdowell.com @emcdowell
Photography by Mark Weinberg markweinbergphoto.com @markweinbergnyc