Easy as Pie
Something about the cool weather makes me want to bake. I like to bake pies.
A long time ago, I made pies professionally. Now, I do it for fun. I don’t like to eat them very much, so I’m always looking for people who like to eat better than bake. For people I really like, I will invent custom pies.
This part of my life usually works out pretty well.
In honor of a friend who helped me with a big project today (I love my new wall!) I am sharing two pies I invented for her.
Birthday Joy Pie
This first one is low carb and sugar-free. You can use a sugar-free pudding mix if you don’t like to make your own custard filling. This microwave custard is pretty easy, though. Try it, and you will not want to go back to the box.
- 2/3 cup almond meal
- 2/3 cup coconut (half coconut flour, half unsweetened coconut)
- 1/3 cup stevia or splenda for baking
- 1/4 cup butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix vanilla and butter (or oil) together in a large bowl. Add other ingredients and mix until moist, but crumbly. Press into a pie plate and bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool before adding filling. I struggled with the sweetener for this pie. If you don’t like the flavor of stevia, try baking splenda.
- 4 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons stevia
- 3 3/4 cups milk
- 3 oz unsweetened chocolate (use awesome chocolate)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large microwaveable bowl, whisk cornstarch, salt and stevia to combine thoroughly. Add milk to dry ingredients and whisk until no lumps or dry spots are left. Add chocolate pieces to milk mixture. These do not have to be mixed in yet. Place in microwave and heat for 1 minute, whisk to mix. Place in microwave and heat for an additional minute, whisk again to mix. Heat mixture in microwave for 2 minutes, whisk, and heat for 2 minutes again until thickened. Add vanilla and stir to prevent lumps. Allow to cool at room temperature for 5 minutes before adding to crust. Chill before serving at least an hour. Serve with whipped cream or sliced almonds.
L’s Lemon-berry Pie
This one is also sugar-free and low-fat, but still tart, fresh and delicious. You can make it conventionally by using sugar or honey instead of stevia.
One pie crust, baked blind and cooled. Go ahead and use your favorite recipe or grocery store version. A graham cracker crust would be great for a non sugar-free, non low-fat version. Or, make the crust with crushed shortbread cookies or gingersnaps. You’ll love it.
I only have a hand mixer, so don’t think you need any fancy equipment to make this pie.
- 8 oz. low-fat (or fat-free) cream cheese, room temperature
- 8 oz. fat free greek yogurt
- zest from one lemon
- juice from one lemon
- ¼ c. stevia (or sweetener of choice)
- 1 ½ lb. small strawberries, washed, drained, hulled and cut in half
- 4 T. unsweetened (fruit only) strawberry preserves
Beat cream cheese with mixer until light and fluffy. Add stevia, lemon zest and lemon juice, and mix on low power until incorporated. Beat in yogurt. Spoon into cooled crust and spread to cover the bottom of the crust. Starting from the outside, place strawberry halves around the pie on top of the filling. When this ring is complete, start another row inside of the first ring, staggering the berries to completely cover the filling. Overlap rows until you reach the middle of the pie. Place one whole strawberry in the center. With a pastry brush, coat the strawberries with melted preserves to make them shiny. Keep refrigerated.
If you try one of these, let me know how it works in the comments–especially if you make some changes!