I Can Make Pie

A blog for the love of pie making and pie eating

Pi Day! Pi Day!

Now that March is officially upon us, the countdown begins until our favorite food holiday. OK, maybe that would be Thanksgiving, but Pi Day is a pretty close second. March 14 celebrates the math constant π(3.14159

Carry your pie safely and smartly! Boxes made in Chicago and just the right size!

Carry your pie safely and smartly! Boxes made in Chicago and just the right size!

If you live in Chicago…

and I do.

In fact I was born there; my mother and her mother as well. The 2 of them grew up in a little neighborhood in the heart of Chicago known as Wicker Park. In recent years this has become quite the artistic hotspot with something for every taste and every budget.

I stumbled on this post recently and will share the link here now. A very nice little business of pie boxes in Chicago. I particularly like these very clever packages. Pine boxes to safely take your pie on a picnic or ship to a lucky someone.

I couldn’t tell if they also make the pies to sell, but you can check out their links for yourself and please report back here what you find out!

Get one on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/piebox

or visit them directly at http://pieboxchicago.tumblr.com/

Life has been too busy!

No excuses! I had my fill of Holiday sweets like cookies and candy (peanut brittle can hang around!) and it’s time to get back to the conversation of PIE!

2012 APC Crisco® National Pie Championships® & The Great American Pie Festival

The American Pie Council® (APC) is the only organization dedicated to preserving America’s pie heritage and promoting America’s love affair with pies. Designed to raise awareness, enjoyment and consumption of pies, the APC offers Amateur, Professional and Commercial Memberships that enable lovers of pie to sink their teeth into sweet annual events like the National Pie Championships®, the Great American Pie Festival® and more; ongoing contests that reap recipes of the month, awards and increased sales; and provide filling reading material like Pie Times! Every tidbit about APC offers morsels of information that’s good to the last crumb. Join today, it’s a piece of pie!

http://www.piecouncil.org/_docs/2012ScheduleDetails.pdf

http://www.piecouncil.org/Events/GreatAmericanPieFestival/

Who doesn’t love pie?

Who doesn’t love pie?

Frango mints, anyone?

I am sharing this from a post I ran across:


Frango Mint Ice Cream Pie at Marshall Field & Co.



The Walnut Room restaurant, Marshall Fields 7th Floor—the first tea room in a department store—just for lady shoppers, so they could stay and shop all day without having to rush home for lunch. I went with my Grandma every year the day after Thanksgiving but never got to lunch in the Walnut Room. When I was in college I dragged my Dad there for lunch. It was the first time we ever actually ate there. I had my first taste of that famous Chicken Pot Pie and my first slice of Frango Mint Ice Cream Pie.




The Walnut Room opened in 1907… I have no idea how far back the Frango Mint Pie goes, but the Frederick and Nelson Company in Seattle trademarked the name “Frango Mint” in 1918. That company was bought out by Marshall Field who started making their own, slightly different version in their flagship store in 1929 on the 13th floor (and did so until 1999 when they moved off-site).  Get the ball rolling by ordering the famous green box of their chocolates that are now organic!  The pictures I’ve seen of the pie today are missing the toffee topping… big mistake.  The topping is magnificent.  If you can’t get the mints, you could use milk chocolate with mint added… but the original is the best way to go and not terribly expensive. Instead of making the ice cream filling from scratch I believe that you could make the filling with a really good chocolate ice cream and just add the chopped up Frango mints.


Frango Mint Pie


Topping:
½ c butter
½ c sugar
2 T water
1/8 t salt
¼ cup sliced almonds
Heat the butter, sugar, salt and water to 300º.  Add the almonds and stir.  Pour out on a cookie sheet and cool.  Break up and pulse in a food processor till it looks like course crumbs.

Crust:
1 ½ cups graham crackers crumbs (about 18 crackers)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup sugar

Filling:
1/3 cup of sugar (the original called for ½ a cup… your choice)
1½ teaspoons of cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1 cup milk
Frango® Mint Chocolates (about 3 ounces) finely chopped
1 egg, room temperature
1 cup heavy whipping cream
½ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch pie pan. Combine the cracker crumbs, butter and sugar in a food processor and process until well blended. Transfer to the prepared pie pan and press the mixture evenly and firmly to the bottom and side of the pan. Bake for about 8 minutes, until the crust is beginning to brown. Transfer to a wire rack and allow it to cool completely in the pan.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add ¼ cup of the milk and whisk until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add the chocolates and the remaining milk and place over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes, until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg until lightly beaten. Gradually add about ¼ cup of the hot chocolate mixture to the egg, whisking constantly until blended. Whisk the chocolate and egg mixture into the saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute, until slightly thickened. Do not let the mixture come near a boil or the eggs will scramble. Transfer the custard to a bowl and allow it to cool completely, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cream and vanilla. Refrigerate for about 2 hours, until well chilled.


Freeze the custard in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instruction, until frozen but soft and spreadable. Transfer the ice cream to the crust and smooth the top with a spatula. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight, until firm.


Sprinkle the top of the pie with the praline, pressing it in gently to adhere.

Pumpkin Pie

Since its debut in the mid-1600s, pumpkin has become the second most popular pie filling in America (after apple), owing to its place on the Thanksgiving table. Illinois is the largest pumpkin producer—and processor.

Fresh pumpkin or squash puree is always delicious but not nearly as handy as canned pumpkin.
INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups canned or fresh pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon crystallized ginger
  • 1 1/4 cups half-and-half
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup (packed) light-brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper (9-inch), chilled
  • Sweetened whipped cream (optional)
DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

2. Process the pumpkin puree in a blender with the ginger and half-and-half until the ginger is smooth, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; whisk in the next eight ingredients until well blended. Reserve.

3. Place 2 sheets of heavy-duty foil, one on top of the other, directly on the surface of the pie crust. Bake the crust in the lower 2/3 of the oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove the foil; bake 5 minutes more. Remove shell from oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.

4. Pour the filling into the pie shell and bake until a knife inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean, about 45 to 60 minutes. Cool on a rack. Serve dolloped with sweetened whipped cream, if desired.

KITCHEN COUNTER:

Serves 8. Per serving (without whipped cream): 400 calories, 39g carbohydrates, 8g protein, 25g fat, 185mg cholesterol. 

(Source: dashrecipes.com)

Foodies unite-the blogosphere wants to help you!

Super-Natural Every Day book cover

I love that the internet has given us all places to gather and share information with each other. I want to share this blog with everyone: 

http://www.101cookbooks.com/

This is Heidi Swanson’s blog where she writes about recipes that intersect her life and travels. She shares lots of interesting recipes that focus on natural, whole foods. Nice photos too! Visit it when you have a chance.