Tuesday, August 5, 2014

More About Pies

Ruthy's post for Peaches and Cream Pie on Saturday still has me drooling. (You can find that recipe here) So, since I've been dwelling on pie (thanks a lot Ruthy!), I decided to revisit one of my very first posts here at the Yankee-Belle.

How many of y'all love pie? Now, how many love pie, but rarely, if ever, make one because you think it's too hard? Well, today I'm going to share Grandmama's secret to easy cream pies. She developed this recipe when she was eighteen years old, then adapted it to the microwave, making it easier than ever. No more standing at the stove, stirring constantly.

Here's what you'll need for a basic cream pie:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 level Tbsp. flour
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 beaten egg yolks (save the whites for your meringue)
  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 - 9 in. baked pie crust

In a microwave-safe bowl, mix together sugar, flour, and salt. Add just a little milk to the flour sugar mixture to make a thick paste. (I don't know why that step is here,but I go with it anyway. Maybe it's to make sure there are no lumps.)

Add egg yolks, rest of milk, and butter and mix well. Cook in microwave on HIGH at 2 minute intervals, whisking between each interval. The first two times you whisk the mixture will still be watery and you'll think, "this isn't working." But trust me on this. Three times is usually enough. If not, go to one minute intervals.

While the filling is cooking, you'll want to make your meringue. Beat egg whites, along with 1/8 tsp. cream of tarter until foamy. Beat in 6 Tbsp. sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until stiff and glossy. Beat in 1/2 tsp. vanilla.

Once your filling is ready, add vanilla and stir well. Since I was making a coconut cream pie, I also added 1 cup of angle flake coconut.

Pour mixture into pie crust. 

Top with meringue, making sure to seal your edges. Since my brain doesn't process like Ruthy's does, meaning I don't have a bag of toasted coconut in the freezer, I sprinkle more plain coconut on my meringue.

 Brown 15 minutes in a 300 degree oven. 

See, easy as pie!

An added bonus to this basic recipe is that there are so many variations. I gave you the info for a coconut cream pie, but here are some others you're sure to like.

Chocolate Cream: Add 1 pkg. Nestle's Pre-Melted Chocolate (or 2 Tbsp. cocoa) to filling before cooking. Top with meringue. Brown 15 min. in 300 degree oven.

Pineapple Cream:  After cooking, add one small can crushed pineapple, drained. Again. top with meringue.

Banana Cream:  Slice 1 or 2 bananas into crust before pouring in the filling. Top with meringue.

Most of my kids don't care for the coconut cream pie (more for me and Dad), but they'll fight you tooth and nail for the chocolate cream version.

This is at gratuitous photo of my grandson, Elijah. He's too young for pie, but he sure does make us smile.

Ah, yes...that baby is three years old now. My how time flies.

Can you believe it's August? School has started for some and will be soon be starting for others. Before you know it, we'll be putting up fall decorations. And, dare I say it...?

Time definitely marches on, so we may as well enjoy it.
Bring on the pie!


  1. hush on the Christmas stuff out in the stores. We need to get through Thanksgiving and Halloween first...love how retailers just take a giant leap to Christmas in August!

    And hush about school starting soon...sigh...I'm not ready. I know I should feel refreshed and raring to go but I have an entire library to unpack when I get back to work. But at least I'll have a new carpet out of the deal. Woohoo!

    I'm not much of a cream pie person. it's the Irish influence I guess. We're pretty plain pie people. So unimaginative. Mind you, I like to eat cream pies so I guess I should try making one sometime. :-) Especially since you make it look so easy.

    1. Kav, let's keep in mind that your thanksgiving is a month earlier than ours. Honestly, I don't mind stuff coming out early. Gives me time to spread things out. Buy a few of those things I know I'm going to need now, then some later. Especially those things I know will be gone later.

      Yes, educators have a different view of school starting than parents do, that's for sure. Cool on the new carpet, though. Fresh, pristine...

      Okay, so I will consider myself hushed. And I'll even forgive you for not being into cream pies. Even though it's totally wrong. ;) But this version really is easy. Not to mention uber tasty.

  2. Mindy, I think this is a sign. I was up last night reading Jan's book and she kept mentioning pie. Over and over. I love coconut cream. ManO is a big French Silk pie person. That's really chocolate cream.

    My sister starts her 31st year of teaching soon. Grandboy already started kindergarten. I've only seen fall stuff here...but there is always tomorrow!
    And what a cutie.

    1. Okay, so here's what you do, Julie. Make one batch of the basic cream, then half it and make a small coconut pie for you and a small chocolate pie for ManO. Everybody's happy and there will still be enough to share. Life is too short not to eat pie.

      Hobby Lobby is the only place I've seen Christmas stuff, but then the crafters always start early. Well, and the Christmas junkies, like me. :)

      Yes, over the years I've learned to tell the changing season by what's out at Walmart. The one thing that always gets me, though, is that they start putting swimsuits out right after Christmas. Really? I mean winter is just settling in by then. Enough to make me want to buy something warm. And all I can find are bikinis? (shaking head) That's just wrong.

    2. BTW, we don't starts school here until the 25th. But marching band camp has already begun, and that's kinda the same thing. Get up early to see them off and then pick 'em up at 4.

    3. Julie, if you think reading "A Mother for His Children" makes you hungry for pie, try writing about it! I made a lot of pie while I was writing that book. But, you know, my family never complained :)

  3. Oh, that pie is going to haunt me allll day!!!

  4. I'm going to say this once, and all of you had better agree: There's no such thing as too much pie!

    Now you have me thinking about pie! I love all kinds - fruit, cream, pot pie, quiche.... Mmmmm.....

    And Walmart has back to school stuff out, and I've seen the Christmas stuff at Hobby Lobby, but around here EVERYTHING is overshadowed by the Rally this week. Be sure to stop by next Monday to see what I mean!

    1. Ah, yes... Rally time in South Dakota. Nowhere else can one see so much leather in one place.

      I still blame Rurhy. She started all our cravings with her peaches and cream pie Saturday. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

      And Jan, doesn't it drive you crazy when our characters cook? They make some of the best stuff. Stuff that is not THM approved.

  5. I **love** Pie! And, I have been craving it alot recently. =) Your grandson is so cute!
    Your photos are great!!

    1. Melissa, thanks for stopping by for our love fest with pie. We're all fighting the cravings now. :)

  6. I'm glad you revisited, because I still haven't made this. It looks amazing!

    Love the laughing grand baby photo. Hard to believe how time flies!

    1. He still has a great smile, Missy, though he's much more shy. But every bit as cute. :)

  7. I'm hungry!
    I also don't like seeing seasonal stuff out so early but I do have to admit it's awfully hard to do a quilt or afghan if the craft supplies didn't come out until 2 weeks before! (ok yes some of us DO wait til then to start but still we can see and get ideas....)
    I want piet!!!

    1. Yeah, it'd be hard to do a quilt in two weeks. Of course, I've never made a quilt, but I imagine them taking much longer. A real labor of love. :)

  8. I am trying this today!!!! I've never thought of doing the microwave thing, but I could go for a lemon cream pie today and I think it's calling my name, Mindy!!! I'm so glad you pulled this out and dusted it off, because I'd forgotten about it! My brain is a sieve, so having you remind me??? A blessing! This is an awesome idea, I know I'm a day late, but I'm sharing this on facebook right now because others will love, love, love this!

    1. Ruthy, you remember this comment when you share your peach pie again next summer and I act like it's the first time I've ever seen the recipe! You can't make fun of me again. LOL

    2. Missy, you are too funny.

      Ruthy, Sarah is one of the best cooks I have ever known. But she's also smart, which is why she figured out how to do this in the microwave while still achieving the same results. And everybody loves her pies. She and her sisters had a bakery for a while and the pies were always the first to go, with orders for more piling up.