Welcome to Pies and Plots. I’m Laura Dembowski. This is a blog where you'll find deliciously sweet recipes, the latest on my explorations in writing and my quest to be published, and restaurant and bakery reviews. .
Disclaimer: I was compensated by Pazazz Apples for this post, but all opinions are mine, as always.
When you go to the grocery store, there is a seemingly never ending variety of apples. It’s hard to know which to choose for which purpose. Today, I am here to introduce you to a new variety of apple called Pazazz.
It is descended from the Honeycrisp, but it has its own unique flavor and some serious crunch, and it is grown sustainably by US farmers. It has taken ten years of careful cross pollination to create this apple.
It is still rolling out in markets across the US, but in my area is happens to be available at both Kroger and Meijer. I’m glad the stores are close because I want to keep Pazazz apples stocked in my kitchen since they have the perfect blend of sweet and tart and are the perfect way to celebrate simple pleasures of everyday life. Eating an apple is a great way to take a few quiet moments of me time in even the busiest of days.
But by now we all know I can’t leave well enough alone even with apples that are just right for eating as is. I needed to make pie with these apples. I just had to. And you should be glad I did, because this pie is pretty epic.
The really cool thing about this pie is that the sweetness of the apple, plus some sugar in the filling, pairs so well with the almost savory, cheese cracker like crust. I have never had a pie like this, but now I don’t think I can go back. The not too sweet, sweet and salty combination is everything I want in a dessert.
Let’s talk about the crust. It rolls out and browns up like a dream, no egg wash necessary. Even when I cut slices, this crust did not crumble. It is sturdy enough to create a whole Instagram worthy slice but then flake and crumble under the gentle pressure of a fork.
It pairs wonderfully with the filling packed with apples with a hint of maple syrup, some cinnamon, and even a little black pepper to keep the savory vibes going throughout.
This pie would be so magical on your holiday table or even into the New Year. Pick up plenty of Pazazz apples to bake some pie and eat as is!
¼ cup bourbon (optional – may substitute orange juice)
8 cups Pazazz apples, sliced ¼ to 1/2 inch thick
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup tapioca starch
½ cup grated white cheddar cheese
Make the crust. In a large bowl, stir together flour and sugar. Add shortening, butter, and cheese. Work in using hands, a pastry cutter, or a fork until pea sized pieces remain. Slowly add the butter and knead until the crust comes together when squeezed. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to 24 hours.
When ready to bake the pie, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. remove the crust from the refrigerator and divide into two roughly equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface roll half the crust until it is big enough to cover your pie pan and about ¼ inch thick. Fit into the pie pan and roll the other half. Fold neatly, place in the pie pan, and refrigerate while you make the filling.
Make the filling. In a very large bowl, stir together maple syrup, bourbon, apples, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, lemon juice, pepper, tapioca, and cheese until well combined.
Remove the crust from the refrigerator and set the top crust aside. Fill the bottom crust with the apples, making sure they are all horizontal. Spoon most of the remaining juice onto the apples and place top crust carefully on top. Crimp the edges as desired and place on a rimmed foil lined baking sheet as the pie will bubble up.
Bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F. bake an additional 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool pie completely in pan. Serve with ice cream if desired. pie may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in a 350 degrees F oven for about 30 minutes.
Pecan pie is a classic around the holidays and is actually the very first recipe I posted on this blog, but after all these years and recipes, it was time to get a little more creative. And when Mauna Loa approached me about their macadamia nut contest, I had my inspiration.
If you are looking for a twist on a holiday classic, a different recipe to make your guests go hmmmm, a show stopping pie that will look great on the table and taste even better, then this Macadamia and Coconut Pie is for you.
It all begins with my favorite pie crust that never fails me. I only used half of a recipe in this pie, which I have provided measurements for below. If you want to make a double crust, go for it and make another pie or roll it out, sprinkle it with sugar, and make pie crust cookies. Major yum.
The filling is super nutty and complex without ever being too sweet. The caramel notes from the toasted nuts and brown sugar play so well with the honey and just a hint of tequila since we are letting this pie whisk us away to the tropics.
Best of all, this pie needs to be made at least a day ahead of time, so it’s one less thing on your plate the day of your party or event.
Wish me luck in the contest and promise me you will try this pie. I know you will love it!
1 ½ cups Mauna Loa chopped dry roasted macadamia nuts
1 cup flaked unsweetened coconut, toasted
Make the crust. In a medium bowl, stir together flour and sugar. Cut in the shortening and butter using your fingers or a fork. Slowly add water and mix until the dough comes together when squeezed. Form into a ball and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least two hours.
When ready to make the pie, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove the pie crust from the refrigerator and roll out on a floured surface so that it is large enough to fit in your pie pan and come all the way up the sides. Crimp it however you like and return it to the refrigerator while you make the filling.
In a large bowl, stir together the sugars, honey, coconut butter, eggs, tequila, and vanilla until well combined. Add in the macadamia nuts and coconut and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared pie shell and bake for 15 minutes. Without opening the oven, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for an addition approximately 50 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the center of the pie jiggles slightly. If the crust gets too brown at any time, tent it with foil.
Cool the pie at room temperature for about 2 hours, and then refrigerate until cold, preferably overnight. Pie may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
I only had one sleepover in my life. I felt so cool and adult getting to do it in fifth or sixth grade. I invited one friend over, my best friend, or so I thought. I would learn a couple years later when she didn’t invite me to her birthday party that she was never really my friend. She was the pretty, hip, cool girl, and I was in my awkward phase.
If you’re wondering if she’s going through her awkward phase now and peaked in grade school, she’s not and she didn’t. She seems very successful and to have it all together, but that’s just from Googling her and looking her up on Facebook. #sorrynotsorry. We all do it, just admit it. And I’m sure that’s only a snapshot of her life, but still, she seems good.
Anyway, back to the sleepover itself. It was fun and all, but not everything I hoped. I don’t remember what we did right after school. But when it came time for sleeping, I wanted to make a bed on the floor of the family room and talk and watch TV and snack all night and she wanted to go to actual bed.
Fine, I thought, we can talk there. But shortly after we were in bed, I was in the middle of talking to her and she fell asleep. The next day we drew pictures and played computer game and she went home. It was fine. Really, it was a symbol of the bigger picture of my childhood. Or maybe my life.
If I were to have a sleepover now, which for the record, I’m not, because my friends are too busy with their lives to text me back let alone spend the night at my house, but if I were, I would totally want to have this Peach Slab Pie. I want to sleep on the floor and watch movies all night and eat too much pie.
So I told you peaches are my ride or die and I’m not giving up on them yet. They are the star of this massive, picture perfect pie that serves a crowd. I hadn’t made a slab pie before, and I promise this won’t be my last.
With my favorite flaky pie crust on the bottom, juicy, cinnamon-y peaches in the middle, and an irresistible crumb topping with just a hint of black pepper on top, maybe I should just make friends with this pie and we can have a sleepover all to ourselves.
Make the crust. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and salt. Add the shortening and butter and work in using a pastry cutter or your hands until the mixture resembles coarse meal. This may also be done in a food processor. Add the water beginning with 4 tablespoons, until the dough comes together when pressed.
Form the dough into a flat disc and wrap tightly with plastic. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
When you are ready to make the pie, roll the dough out on a floured surface into a large rectangle large enough to fit a 9 by 13-inch pan and go up the sides. It’s okay if it is not perfect, feel free to patch once the dough is in the pan. Once you roll the dough out, place it in an oiled 9 by 13-inch pan and form it to fit the pan. Refrigerate while you make the filling and topping.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Make the topping. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, pepper, butter, and oil, until large clumps form. Set aside.
Make the filling. In a large bowl, stir together peaches, cinnamon, cornstarch, sugar, lemon, bourbon, and vanilla bean seeds until well combined and no clumps of cornstarch remain.
Remove the crust from the refrigerator and pour the filling in. Cover evenly with topping. Place pan on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Without opening the oven, lower the temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 55 – 65 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
Allow pie to cool at least 4 hours and up to overnight before serving. Pie may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen in pieces, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in a 350 degree F oven for about 20 minutes.
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.
Mom and I were debating the foods, desserts really, that are the true joys in life. We ended up agreeing that there’s nothing like an awesome pie with flaky, crispy, golden brown crust and overflowing, gooey fruit filling and a layer cake with tender, moist cake and fluffy frosting that melts in your mouth. I think the cake needs sprinkles too, but that’s where our agreement would end.
Sure cookies are great, blondies, and brownies too. I love a nice scoop of ice cream and even a popsicle. Tarts and waffles and pancakes and cinnamon rolls have their high points as well. But really, it’s all about perfect cake and perfect pie.
The two are American classics. The foods we dream about, and hope to see in bakeries and on restaurant menus. They make our mouths water and no matter how full we are, we always have a little extra room for a piece a pie or cake.
I don’t actually make cake or pie that often. In fact I haven’t made a layer cake since December. I need to change that! But I have made two pies so far this summer. One had crumbs topping and berries and there’s a piece sitting in the freezer that I now desperately want.
And then there’s this. Summer Fruit Pie. I wanted to make a pie that just has all the fruit I love during these warm months. I used a mixture of sweet, sour, and rainier cherries, blackberries, and yellow and white peaches and nectarines. Use whatever you love in whatever combination you like.
The end result is that crispy, flaky, golden brown crust that is to die for and a juicy, tender filling where there is so much fruit that it falls out when you pull a slice out of the pan. This celebrates summer’s bounty as well as the perfect pie.
By the way, this is the perfect pie because it tastes good and was homemade and is perfectly imperfect. When Mom and I were assembling this pie, the crust was cracking and we had to press it back together, but it tasted amazing in the end. So when you are making this pie or another pie or any meal, dessert or otherwise, have fun and in the end it will be just great.
Make the pie crust. In a large bowl stir together flour, granulated sugar, and salt. Add the butter and shortening and mix until the dough resembles coarse meal. I like doing this with my hands or two forks, but a food processor will work too! Add 3 tablespoons of water and mix. Add additional water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together when pressed.
Form the dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
After the dough has chilled, flour a large surface and divide the dough in half. Roll one half of the dough into a large round that will fit into your pie pan. Once it is rolled, place it in the pie pan. Roll the other half and reserve it for the top. Refrigerate while you make the filling.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Make the filling. In a large bowl, stir together the fruit, sugar, bourbon, cornstarch, and cinnamon. Use any combination of fruit you like. I used 1 cup sour cherries, 1 cup rainier cherries, 1 cup Bing cherries, 1 cup blackberries, and 4 cups of white and yellow peaches and nectarines.
Remove the crust from the refrigerator and add the filling. Be sure to leave the vast majority of the liquid in the filling behind or the pie will never set.
Top with the other half of crust and crimp the edges however you like. Cut slits in the top and brush with the 2 tablespoons of milk. Sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons of coarse sugar. Place the pan on a foil lined baking sheet because it will bake over.
Bake for 15 minutes. Without opening the oven, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake for an additional 1 hour. Check the pie halfway through to see if it needs to be turned or covered with foil. The pie is done when the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
Allow pie to cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours before slicing. Pie may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen in quarters, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in a 350 degree F oven for about 30 minutes.
Additional time is necessary for the dough to chill and the pie to cool.
Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SweeterTogether #CollectiveBias
You guys, summer is one week away. It’s almost official. And then we need to wring every last drop of goodness from the next three months before summer slips from our fingers. While I’ll have awesome recipe and summer fashion over the next three months, I’m getting things started now with two quintessential ingredients in the all-American summer: pie and ice cream.
I mean did summer even happen if it doesn’t involve pie and ice cream???
Let’s talk about the ice cream first, because to me ice cream should be eaten on as many summer days as possible. And when we’re talking about EDY’S® SLOW CHURNED® Caramel Delight Light Ice Cream and EDY’S® SLOW CHURNED® Vanilla Light Ice Cream there’s every reason to indulge.
EDY’S SLOW CHURNED Simple Recipes like Caramel Delight and Vanilla are made with simple real ingredients. Plus, they are made with milk and cream that doesn’t contain rSBT and they don’t have any GMO ingredients. These are two things that are really important to me. Plus they have no artificial colors or flavors. I love that because artificial flavors, especially vanilla, taste super funky.
I picked up my ice cream at Walmart down the ice cream aisle and this month they are having demos so you can check out the ice cream in store. Be sure to stop in!
So go ahead, enjoy that ice cream!
And this pie too. Because this pie, it’s summery and delicious and oh yeah, gluten free. This is my first gluten free pie, and it turned out ah-mazing. Let’s start with that crust that is as flaky and buttery as ever. Even if you don’t like crust, I promise you will love it.
Then there’s the strawberry blueberry filling, celebrating the best, fresh summer fruit. I really let the fruit shine through with just a hint of lemon and vanilla – no artificial flavors here either.
I have to admit, the topping might be my favorite part. It’s crispy and crunchy and buttery and sweet. Coconut is the star here with big pieces of flaked coconut and some coconut oil.
Summer is just about ready for us and I think we should welcome it with pie and EDY’S SLOW CHURNED!
3 cups strawberries, stemmed, hulled, and cut into bite sized pieces
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup cornstarch
½ cup gluten free baking flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ cup flaked unsweetened coconut
¼ cup old fashioned rolled oats
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
Make the crust. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and salt. Add shortening and butter and mix in using fingers or a pastry cutter until mixture looks like coarse meal. Add water one tablespoon at a time until the mixture stays together when firmly pressed. This may also be done in a food processor.
Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
After dough has chilled, roll a little more than half of it so that it is about ¼ inch thick and will fit into your pie plate. Place in your pie plate and back in the refrigerator to chill while you make the filling and topping. Refrigerate or freeze the remaining dough to make another pie or some homemade toaster pastries – yum!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Make the filling. In a large bowl, combine blueberries, strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and cornstarch. Stir until combined.
Make the topping. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cinnamon, coconut, and oats. Add the melted butter and oil and stir until well combined and clumpy.
Remove the pie pan with crust from the refrigerator. Mound the filling in the crust, leaving behind most of the liquid, otherwise the pie will be soupy. Top with the crumb topping. Place pie on a foil lined baking sheet because it will bubble over.
Bake for 15 minutes. Without opening the oven, reduce the temperature to 375 degrees F. Bake for an additional 45 minutes to 1 hour until the crust and topping are golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Allow pie to cool at least 1 hour before serving. Pie may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen in quarters, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in a 350 degree F oven for about 30 minutes.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FoundMyDelight #CollectiveBias
I love both traditional desserts and trendy ones. Give me a slice of vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream and I’m a happy camper. The same goes for a blondie loaded with cookie butter. They each have unique things that make them special.
What I love perhaps more than either is a dessert that combines tradition and trend. Like this Coffee Sugar Cream Pie. Hoosier Cream Pie is a very traditional Midwest dessert that puts a creamy vanilla custard in a traditional pie crust. I changed things up by using a graham cracker crust and International Delight Iced Coffee.
Let’s start with the International Delight Iced Coffee. I’ve had a thing for Iced Coffee since I was about ten. No matter the time of year, I’d head to my favorite coffee shop and pick up and iced this or that to enjoy. It’s a habit I’ve gotten away from recently because I rarely go to coffee shops. My addiction had been reignited with one taste of this store bought treat.
It is ready and waiting in the refrigerator whenever my craving strikes, and it is better than those coffee shop drinks. That’s right. I said it. BETTER. Smooth and creamy, the flavor is intoxicating and not too coffee-y, if you know what I mean.
Plus, it is now available in its new location in the refrigerated tea/juice section at Walmart, so it’s easy to pick up on my weekly trip there. You should put it on your list too.
But like the rest of my favorite products, I wanted to bake with it. I am so glad I did. The creaminess of the International Delight is accentuated by more cream and some vanilla bean paste. Some sugar makes it a dessert and flour helps to set the pie. The graham cracker crust works so well too because it’s like dunking a graham cracker into coffee. Don’t pretend like you’ve never done that before.
Though a whole pie would definitely work, I made mini pies because I love single serving treats and they would be so cute to have at a party.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #EffortlessPies #CollectiveBias
Getting up in the morning can be a drag. Add trying to eat a satisfying, healthy breakfast and mornings seem rather impossible. Luckily, my Pumpkin Spice Breakfast Pies are here to save the morning!
When I was in school, I could not eat breakfast before I went. It took too much time, and I wasn’t hungry to sit down to a plate of bacon and eggs. As time went on, I started to eat a little something sweet, but it wasn’t very healthy.
I so wish I had this pie to eat then. I would have devoured it and not broken a sweat since these are effortless and take little time to put together with flavors that are especially appropriate as we head into fall and the holidays. They are fun, healthy, have little clean up, and perfect for kids to make themselves.
You really can’t make these ahead of time, but that’s okay because they only take a few minutes to make and will take some stress out of the morning. Plus, these effortless pies are super customizable.
After I picked up all the supplies at Walmart, I started with Keebler® Ready Crust® Mini Graham Cracker Pie Crusts. They are a great thing to have in the pantry to use for all kinds of different breakfasts, snacks, and desserts. Then I stirred some cinnamon, ginger, and chopped pecans into Dannon® Greek Yogurt Oikos® Pumpkin Pie.
Finally, because I love to have fun with food, I topped it with some crumbled cinnamon granola bar and healthy dose of Reddi-wip® original. I have loved Reddi-wip® original since I was a kid. I’d make a snack of it and graham crackers – kind of like this pie!
Whether you use my recipe as an excuse to eat pie for breakfast, lunch, snack, or dessert, just be sure to try it. I know you will enjoy it.