Cherry Streusel Pie

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Have I ever told you that I’m not a pie fan? It’s always been my last choice when it comes to dessert. Coincidentally, I also happen to be married to a man who requests pie on the regular and in truth, I usually try to steer him in a different direction. Until lately, that is.

Having a new baby means I’m often sitting up in the middle of the night and internet-ing and I kept coming across incredible looking pies with summer fruits. I was missing being in the kitchen and felt like challenging myself so I decided to make Tom’s day and bake him one. The first pie I made entirely from scratch was this blueberry crumble one and it came out so well that I was inspired.

I quickly learned that making pie isn’t nearly the production I’d imagined it to be, and it even happens to be a fabulous dessert to make with a new baby. I can make all of the components at different times and set it aside if I need to; a cake would never tolerate such treatment.

For Tom’s birthday this year, he requested pie instead of cake. His ultimate favourite is cherry and I got right to work. I mixed a few different recipes to come up with this one. The crust is flaky, the filling is bright and juicy and the streusel adds the perfect salty-sweet crunch on top. Something about making a pie is just so darn satisfying to me now and this one will be made over and over around these parts.

Cherry Streusel Pie
Serves 8

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup shortening, softened
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup ice water

Cherry Filling:

  • 600 gram bag frozen dark sweet cherries, thawed
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. corn starch
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt

Streusel:

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

Instructions:

Make the crust:

Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Add the butter and shortening. Using a pastry cutter or the paddle attachment on your stand mixer, cut the butter and shortening into the mixture until it is pea-sized bits with a few larger bits of fat.

Measure 1/2 cup of water in a cup. Add ice. Stir it around. From that, measure 1/2 cup of water– since the ice has melted a bit. Drizzle the cold water in, 1 tbsp. at a time, and stir after every tbsp. added. Do not add any more water than you need to. Stop adding water when the dough begins to form large clumps.

Transfer the pie dough to a floured work surface. The dough should come together easily and should not feel overly sticky. Using floured hands, fold the dough into itself until the flour is fully incorporated into the fats. Form it into a ball. Divide dough in half. Flatten each half into 1-inch thick discs using your hands. Wrap each tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (and up to 5 days).

Make the cherry filling:

Reserve 1/2 cup cherry juice in a bowl and mix in the lemon juice and corn starch. Set aside. Pour the bag of cherries and remaining juice in a pot with the sugar, salt and vanilla. Cook on medium heat for a few minutes while mashing the cherries until you have some larger and smaller pieces. Once the cherries are bubbling, stir in the cornstarch and juice mix and cook for another minute until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and cool before placing in pie crust.

Make the streusel:

Mix together all dry ingredients and then stir in the melted butter until thick and crumbly.

Assemble and bake:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat and set aside.

Roll out your pie dough on a floured surface to a 12 inch circle. Place the rolled out crust in a 9 inch pie plate, smooth it out to fit and trim and shape the edges as desired.

Fill the crust with the cooled cherry filling and top that with the streusel. Place the pie on the prepared baking sheet. Bake the pie for 20 minutes and then remove it from the oven, cover it with foil and turn the oven down to 375 degrees. Continue to bake the pie for another 30-35 minutes, and remove from oven once crust and streusel are lightly golden.

Let the pie cool completely before cutting into slices and serving.

Note:

The crust recipe makes two crusts, but it freezes great for up to three months so you can keep the other on hand for the next time you need it, or just make a double-crust cherry pie.

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Crust from here.

Filling adapted from here.

 

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Banoffee Slab Pie

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I cooked something! Well, kind of.

A few weeks ago my sister Caitlin and I shared a slice of pie very similar to this when out for dinner together. We both loved it, she challenged me to make my own version, and I did. Long story short.

This is a perfect dessert for a variety of reasons. First of all, it has fruit. This helps you trick yourself into feeling healthier than you are. Number two: It’s light, which means if you already ate supper, you can still cram in a few bites of pie and not feel totally gluttonous. Thirdly, it’s easy! I’m scared of real pie crust so an Oreo one is right up my alley. I even venture to guess that you could skip baking the crust, although it may not slice as easily. No oven=perfect summer dessert. Fourth: it has two kinds of chocolate. And caramel. And whipped cream.

Enough said.

 Don’t you just want to face plant into that slice?!

Banoffee Slab Pie

Serves 9

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups Oreo cookie crumbs
  • ÂĽ cup salted butter
  • ½ can Dulce de leche condensed milk
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 ½  cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla bean paste or extract
  • ½ milk chocolate bar

 Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a square baking dish. Melt the butter and stir in the Oreo crumbs to make a paste. Press into the prepared baking dish and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the crust is starting to set. Let cool.

Once the crust is totally cool, drizzle the Dulce de leche over the crust. Slice the bananas into coins and spread them evenly over the Dulce de leche. Pour the whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla into a bowl and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the sliced bananas. Grate the chocolate bar over top the whipped cream. Chill the pie until ready to serve. Drizzle pie slices with extra Dulce de leche before serving if desired .

Notes:

Chill the bowl and beaters before making your whipped cream. It whips faster and stays stiff longer.

 This pie can be made the day before serving. Once you cut into it the caramel oozes out though, so best to serve it all in one sitting or it can be a bit messy (but still good!).

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Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Pie Bars

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Are you a Dairy Queen “Blizzard of the Month” Club Member? If you lack willpower, I would not recommend you join. All it means is that just when you get back into your healthy eating groove, DQ sends you a lovely email tempting you with specials and ice cream photos and the newest Blizzard Flavor of the Month. In January, that Blizzard flavor was Peanut Butter Cup Pie. Yep. I don’t know if you guys tried it or remember it, but that “Limited Time Only” Blizzard flavor had me stupidly hooked. I am a total peanut butter chocolate addict and this sucker took not only my favorite candy but mixed it with graham crumbs and topped it with whipped cream. I wanted that blizzard every single day from January 1-31 and definitely had it a time or two (or twelve). On January 31st, we went to order it for the last time. I wanted to say goodbye properly, you know? When we got to the window and placed our order, they told us they were out of Peanut Butter Cup Pie flavor. They were OUT of Peanut Butter Cup Pie Flavor. Crushed and disbelieving, my Main Taste Tester ordered me some other lame flavor while I shouted from the passenger seat, “But it’s just peanut butter cups! And graham crumbs! And whipped cream! They have those things all the time! They’re lying! They can still make it!” And that was when it hit me: I can make this for myself at home…whenever I want.  I had been fantasizing about it for a while, but I wanted to wait until we had company so I wouldn’t eat the entire dish myself. This past weekend, we had it for dessert after Beef & Bean Enchiladas. This is sinfully, unspeakably good. We stuffed ourselves with it and couldn’t stop marveling about how good it was. Literally, a Blizzard in bar form. But easier. And better. Because my freezer is closer than DQ. And it opens whenever I want.

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Pie Bars

Makes one 9×13 pan

Ingredients:

 Crust:

  • 2 cups graham crumbs
  • ½ cup melted unsalted butter
  • Pinch salt

 Ice Cream Layer:

  • 2 liters vanilla ice cream, softened
  • 24 coarsely chopped peanut butter cups
  • ½ cup graham crumbs
  • ÂĽ cup peanut butter

Garnish:

  • Whipped Cream
  • Caramel Sauce

Instructions: 

Crust:

Stir crust ingredients together and press into bottom of a 9×13 dish. Freeze for 30 minutes or until firm.

 Ice Cream:

In a large bowl (I used my stand mixer and it worked great), stir together the ice cream layer ingredients until combined well. Spread evenly over crust and freeze at least two hours or until firm.

To Serve:

Let soften for 15 minutes or so before cutting. Garnish with whipped cream and caramel sauce if desired.

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