Pie, Turnovers and Variations

Gramma's Recipe pages--

Gramma's Craft and Holiday site

Pie Making Hints and Ideas

Baking Ring
Decorative Vents
Freezing Pastry
Pie Crust
Pie Tops
Spiral Lattice
Standard Pie Plates

Recipes

Crusts and Toppings

Basic Pie Crust
Cookie Pie Crust
Crumb Crusts (hints and recipes)
Crumb (Streusel) Pie Topping
Crusty Treat
Pie Crust Mix
Pie Meringue
Meringue Shells
Meringue Shells Made with Meringue Powder
Whipped Cream with Gelatin

Pies and Turnovers

Apple Pie
Apple Turnovers
Apple Turnovers--Quick and Easy
Banana Cream Pie
Blueberry Pizza Pie
Cherry Cheese Pie
Cherry Pie, using canned cherries
Cream Pies, Vanilla and Variations
Deep Dish Pumpkin Crumble Pie
Fudge Sundae Pie
Layered Praline Pie
Mock Apple Pie
Pineapple Pie
Pink Lemonade Pie
Strawberry Bavarian Cream, Variations & Pie
Spicy Apple Twists
Striped Delight

Pie Making Hints and Ideas

A pie shell being pre-baked, or an assembled pie, should be placed on a baking sheet. It is easier to handle a baking sheet than a pie pan, and if the pie should overflow, it is easier to clean the baking sheet than the oven bottom. This also helps to brown the bottom crust.

For thickening: when the recipe calls for tapioca to thicken the filling, if you don't like the texture of tapioca, you can measure it, then grind it in a food processor.

Disposable aluminum pans are handy for freezing or for giving away. Unfortunately, their thin construction makes them poor heat conductors. To compensate, place a filled disposable pan inside a glass pan or on a preheated cookie sheet to encourage browning of the bottom crust.

Oven-proof glass pie plates make the best containers for baking pies. It is an excellent heat conductor. It browns bottom crusts extremely well, and its transparency allows you to view the progress of the browning to determine when the pie is done. The first(glass) Pyrex pans were pie plates, and the name Pyrex itself is a commercial pun, combining the sound of pyr (from the Greek for fire) with that of pie, and adding the Latin rex, meaning "king" for good measure. -The Cooks Catalog, 1975

To stop a shell from shrinking when blind baking (baking an unfilled crust), cook it with another pie pan (a disposable aluminum one is ideal) inside for 8 minutes at 450°. Remove the top pan and continue baking for another 7 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Another way is to make and use a baking ring.

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Baking Ring

A baking ring is a neat and easy way to keep a pie shell's shape during blind baking (baking an unfilled crust). Make the ring from a disposable pie pan. Use the same size pie pan as the one you are baking in (8-inch for 8-inch, etc.)
Follow the diagram for cutting. Use kitchen shears or scissors. Be careful not to slice yourself on any sharp edges or get aluminum slivers in the food.


  1. Cut off the outer lip.
  2. Snip through the side.
  3. Cut out the bottom leaving a 1-inch ring.
  4. Slice at 1-inch intervals through the bottom to the side. (This allows the ends to overlap, which is necessary because with a pie shell in the pie pan, the interior diameter is smaller.) Trim away any slivers of the foil. Hold ends together with a metal paper clip.
To use the ring: Cut a circle of heavy aluminum foil just slightly bigger than the area removed from the aluminum pie plate. Place the foil on the pie shell, then the ring on top of the foil, overlapping the ends of the ring. Press it down firmly and make sure it is flush against the sides. Secure it with a metal paper clip. Bake at 450° 7 minutes, remove ring and continue baking for another 4-5 minutes until the crust is golden.

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Freezing Pastry

Baked pie shells: Quick freeze without wrapping. When frozen, wrap with sheet of freezer paper and seal or place in freezer bags. To use, unwrap and heat in moderate oven (375°) about 10 minutes. If more convenient, let thaw, unwrapped at room temperature.

Unbaked pie shells: Quick freeze without wrapping. When frozen, stack in pie pan to protect from breaking. Place waxed paper between them for easier separation. Package or place in freezer bags, and return to freezer. To use, unwrap and bake in very hot oven (450°) for 5 minutes. Then prick with fork and continue baking until browned, about 15 minutes.

Note The recommended storage time for unbaked pie shells is 2 months; for baked pie shells, 6 months.

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Crumb Crusts

Simplest of all crusts to make, crumb crusts are fun to make and eat. Crumb crusts can be firmed by either chilling or baking. A baked crust is crispier. However, chilled crusts are quicker to make and easier to remove from their molds.

To ease the problem of removing a crumb crust from the pan, dust the greased pan with flour. For a chocolate crumb crust, use a light coating of strained cocoa powder. Nonstick coating is recommended for crusts that are not baked. Whatever crumb crust you choose to make, take the time to do a thorough job in preparing your pan. When you serve your pie, you'll be happy you did.

Baked crumb crusts
Kind Butter or Margarine Crumbs Sugar
Graham Crackers (about   16) 1/4 cup 1-1/3 cups 1/4 cup
Vanilla Wafers (about 24   2") 1/4 cup 1-1/3 cups None
Chocolate Wafers (about 18   2-3/4") 3 tablespoons 1-1/3 cups None
Gingersnaps (about 20   2") 6 tablespoons 1-1/3 cups None

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Pie Crust

Use an all-purpose flour, it has a lower gluten content. A lower gluten content produces a more tender, flaky crust. So don't use bread flour.

Shortening in the dough produces tenderness and richness. It is a tenderizer because it interferes with gluten development in the making of pastry. The fat "shortens" or cuts the flour proteins and prevents them from becoming elastic. Mixing and handling too much causes the gluten to develop.

The liquid in dough, which is most commonly water, forms steam in the oven. Steam forces the layers of fat-coated flour to expand and separate. As the dough bakes, the moisture evaporates; the dough dries and leaves a multitude of layered flakes that form a casing called "crust."

Normally, use a hot oven to bake pies, 425°. This forces the moisture to evaporate quickly, therefore making a flaky crust. A lower oven makes the crust tougher.

Making the dough:

Everything, including the mixing bowl, should be cool.

Whisk together the dry ingredients in the bowl.

Cut the fat into small pieces and cut it into the flour using a pastry blender or 2 knives to "cut" them together until the flour resembles course cornmeal. Do not mash the shortening, you want to cut it in small pieces and coat them with flour, not mix the flour into the shortening. Cut until there is no loose flour left in the bowl.

Begin to sprinkle ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, over the flour-fat mixture. Toss, don't stir the dough when adding the water, just until it becomes moist. Remember that even the humidity in the air and high altitude changes the amount of water needed.

Gather the dough up into a ball, handling it as little as possible.

Roll out to about inch thick. Rolling from center to edges only.

Always drape the walls of the pan generously with the dough and don't pull up on the crust to flute the edges, this will stretch the dough and cause it to shrink when being baked.

There are many different ways to flute the edges - these are my three favorites:


Back to Basic Pie Crust recipe

Pie Tops: For a golden color to a solid top crust- after you have fluted the top crust, brush on a light coating of milk, then sprinkle with sugar before baking. For a shiny top, brush the top crust with an egg wash made by combining 1 beaten egg yolk with 1 teaspoon cream, milk, or melted butter.

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Decorative Vents: Use small cookie cutters or cut out shapes freehand with a sharp knife.

 
For a Crusty treat, roll left-over dough out on flat cookie sheet to about 1/8" thick, spread with butter, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Bake 5-7 minutes at 450°.

Spiral Lattice: A fast and easy way to have basically the look of a lattice work top, do a spiral instead. Roll out pie dough to a circle 3" less in diameter than pie shell (6" for a 9" pie, etc.)Trim the dough into a perfect circle, using a plate as a guide. Starting from the outside, cut the dough into a spiral, making one long strip about 3/4" wide. Gently place the dough on top of the pie, then separate the strip so some of the filling shows through each ring. Brush the rim and spiral with milk and sprinkle sugar on before baking as usual.

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Standard Pie Plates

Here is a list of the most popular size pans and capacities. If the measurement of your pan is not exactly the same as the one listed, a small difference in size should not alter the recipe.

9-inch oven-proof glass: 4-1/2 cups

9-1/2 inch fluted deep-dish oven-proof glass: 7 cups

11-inch oven proof glass: 6-1/2 cups

9-inch disposable aluminum: 4 cups

9-inch metal: 4-1/2 cups

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Recipes

Crusts and Toppings

Basic Pie Crust

See how to mix and handle pie crust above.

1-Crust Pie       2-Crust Pie
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
2-3 tablespoons ice water.
      2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup ice water
Mix flour and salt, cut in shortening. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix gently until dough forms ball. Roll out using as little flour as possible. Pie dough will keep up to 3 days in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer. To thaw, remove from freezer to the refrigerator. Thaw overnight or at least 12 hours. To blind bake a crust, prick dough in pan with a fork to keep it from rising while baking (or use a Baking Ring). Bake at 450° for about 10 minutes.

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Pie Crust Mix
Here's a recipe for do-ahead pie mix that can be refrigerated up to six weeks. When ready to bake, all you add is ice water, then whip up a home-made crust in no time flat.

6 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups shortening

PASTRY MIX: In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Add shortening, tossing until all pieces are coated with flour. With pastry blender cut in shortening until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Transfer to a covered container. Use immediately or refrigerate up to 6 weeks. Makes 8 cups of mix.

To use mix:
1-Crust Pie       2-Crust Pie
1-3/4 cups pastry mix
3-4 tablespoons ice water.
      2-3/4 cups pastry mix
4-5 tablespoons ice water
In a large bowl, measure out pastry mix. Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, drizzling over flour mixture, then mixing with a fork just until dough begins to hold together. Bake as directed in regular recipes.

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Cookie Pie Crust
This crust is made form a dough very similar to cookie dough. If makes a nice, firm base for a pie -- also, no one expects it to be "flaky", and it doesn't need to be rolled.

1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour

Beat the sugar and butter together until well creamed. Add first the vanilla, then the flour. Place in a pie pan and press into the sides and bottom, using your fingers. You can add you own touches--a little grated orange peel, a touch of nutmeg--whatever sounds good and would complement the pie's filling.

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Meringue Shells

3 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar

In a small mixer bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add sugar and continue beating to stiff peaks. Form on cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper or foil, by first filling a pastry bag fitted with a #6 star tip (or medium star/piping tip). Pipe a coiled flat disk onto the sheet (figure 1). Lift the bag to pipe rings of meringue around the disk (figure 2). Bake at 250° for 40-50 minutes (if they are bigger, it will need to be about 60-70 minutes), until dry but not brown. Allow to cool on paper, but off the cookie sheet.


Fill with cream fillings or fruit. For a fancy dessert, brush baked meringue shells with melted chocolate, let set, fill with cream filling.

For Meringue Shells Made with Meringue Powder

1 tablespoon meringue powder
1/4 cup cold water
7 tablespoons sugar

Place meringue powder, water and half of the sugar in a small mixer bowl. Whip at high speed for 5 minutes. Gradually add remaining sugar and continue beating 5 minutes more. Bake same as Meringue shells above.

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Crumb (Streusel) Pie Topping
A true crumb or streusel topping takes the place of a top crust for the pie, covering it and keeping in the moisture.

3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter or margarine

Combine the flour with the cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or your fingertips until the topping resembles coarse bread crumbs. Sprinkle the mixture over the top of a pie before baking.
For an Oatmeal Topping: Decrease flour to 1/2 cup and add 1/2 cup oatmeal.

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Pie Meringue

8-inch Pie       9-inch Pie
2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
      3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Combine egg whites with cream of tartar, beat till foamy. Add sugar slowly, and whip to soft peaks. Over-beating causes the meringue to fall after baking. Carefully stir in vanilla. Top 8" pie being careful to completely go to edge of crust, it helps to hold the meringue in place and also does not allow any air to get under the meringue to cause "weeping". Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes, until golden. Cool on a wire rack AWAY FROM DRAFTS for 2 to 3 hours before serving.

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Whipped Cream with Gelatin
This allows the whipped cream to set longer without "watering".

1/2 pint whipping
2-4 tablespoons confectioners sugar (to your taste)
1/2 teaspoon powdered, unflavored gelatin
2 teaspoons cold water.

In a small cup, dissolve gelatin with water. Heat in microwave about 10 seconds to heat and dissolve gelatin completely. Cool until just barely warm-gelatin must remain liquid. Beat the cream with a whip until it begins to stiffen. Continue beating and add slowly the dissolved gelatin. Add sugar. Chill until using (up to 1 to 2 days.)

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Pies and Turnovers

Apple Pie

1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
7 cups sliced, pared apples
1-1/2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons tapioca

Mix sugar and cinnamon, mix lightly with apples. Place in pastry-lined pan. Dot with butter and cover with top crust. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes.

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Mock Apple Pie

Pie Crust for a 2-crust pie
36 round buttery crackers (about 1-3/4 cups broken), coarsely broken
1-3/4 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
grated rind of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Heat oven to 425°. Roll half the pastry to line a 9" pie plate. Place crackers in crust. In saucepan over high heat, bring water, sugar and cream of tartar to boiling. Lower heat; simmer 15 minutes. Add juice and rind. Cool. Pour syrup over crackers. Dot with butter; sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll out remaining pastry; place over pie. Trim, seal and flute edges. Cut vent holes in top crust. Bake for 30 minutes, until crust is crisp and golden. Cool pie completely, and serve.

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Cream Pies, Vanilla and Variations
Cornstarch and flour are the traditional thickeners for cream pie fillings. Flour makes an opaque, relatively sturdy filling; cornstarch-thickened fillings are softer, with a shinier, more translucent look. This is a cornstarch-flour combination, which makes a filling with the best qualities of both starches. The cornstarch-flour pairing also helps keep the filling smooth as it cooks.

9-inch pie shell, baked and cooled
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk
3 tablespoons butter or margarine 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla

In a bowl, beat egg yolks; set aside. In a heavy 3-quart pan, stir together flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt with a wire whisk. Gradually whisk in milk, blending until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and comes to a full boil. Boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir about 1/2 cup of the hot filling into egg yolks; then pour yolk mixture into pan. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat; add butter and vanilla. Stir until butter is melted, then pour filling into pastry shell.

If you plan to serve pie with whipped cream, cover hot filling with plastic wrap after pouring it into pastry shell. Place on a rack and let cool to room temperature; serve, or refrigerate for up to 24 hours. To serve, remove plastic wrap and cover pie with whipped cream.

To serve with a meringue topping: Preheat oven to 375°. In large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the 4 egg whites and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar until frothy. Add 8 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition; continue to beat until sugar is dissolved and meringue holds glossy, stiff peaks. Thoroughly blend in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Spoon meringue onto warm pie filling; then spread in an even layer with the back of a spoon, making sure meringue touches all edges of pastry. (This anchors meringue to crust and prevents it from shrinking during baking.) Make swirls in meringue. Bake until meringue is lightly browned (7-9 minutes).
Place pie on a rack and let cool to room temperature--away from drafts. Serve within 3 hours (topping begins to break down if pie is held longer).

VARIATIONS:

Chocolate Cream Pie: Follow directions for Vanilla Cream Pie, but reduce cornstarch in filling to 1 tablespoon and increase sugar to 1 cup. Break up (or chop) 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate and add to pan after stirring in milk. Reduce butter to 2 tablespoons.

Milk Chocolate Cream Pie: Follow directions for Vanilla Cream Pie, but stir in 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (chopped) with the milk.

Banana Cream Pie: Prepare filling as directed for Vanilla Cream Pie. Slice 2 bananas; spread half the slices in bottom of pastry shell, then pour in half the filling. Repeat with remaining bananas and filling.

Coconut Cream Pie: Follow directions for Vanilla Cream Pie, but stir 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut into thickened filling. Let pie cool, then top with whipped cream and sprinkle with 1/2 cup toasted flaked coconut.

Sour Cream and Raisin Cream Pie: Follow directions for Vanilla Cream Pie, except increase flour to cup and cornstarch to 3 tablespoons. Fold in 1 cup raisins and 1/2 cup dairy sour cream with the margarine or butter and vanilla.

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Pineapple Pie

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1 (16-ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice, not drained
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter or margarine

Preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch with sugar, mix well, set aside. In saucepan, combine pineapple and egg. Stir in sugar mixture, then add butter. Heat to boiling, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Pour into uncooked 8 or 9" pie crust. Cover with top crust. Bake for 40-45 minutes.

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Deep Dish Pumpkin Crumble Pie

1-1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup brown sugar - packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup cold margarine or butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup pecans - chopped
1 (16-ounce) can pumpkin (not pie filling)
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs - beaten
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°. In medium bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the cold butter pieces until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in the pecans. Set aside 1 cup of the crumb mixture. Firmly press the remaining crumb mixture over the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 2-quart rectangular baking dish (7" x 10-1/2"); set aside. In a large bowl, stir together the pumpkin, condensed milk, beaten eggs, cinnamon, allspice and salt until well mixed. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture. Bake about 50 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the filling is set; cool.

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Pink Lemonade Pie

9" pie shell, baked and cooled
1 (6-ounce) can frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
4 drops red food coloring, optional
1 (4-ounce) container whipped topping
1/2 cup coconut, tinted pink (place coconut in a sealable plastic bag or jar with a lid. Add a couple of drops of liquid red food coloring, seal, and shake until mixed and tinted the shade you want.

In large mixer bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy; gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk then lemonade concentrate, (and food coloring if desired). Fold in whipped topping. Pour into prepared pastry shell. Chill 4 hours or until set. Garnish with coconut. Refrigerate leftovers.

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Fudge Sundae Pie

1/4 cup light corn syrup
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2-1/2 cups crispy rice cereal
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup fudge ice cream syrup
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 quart vanilla ice cream

In a small saucepan, combine the 1/4 cup light corn syrup, butter and brown sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until the butter melts. Combine the rice cereal and the syrup mixture, stirring until the cereal is well coated. Using the back of a spoon, evenly press the cereal mixture over the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate to form the pie crust; freeze about 10 minutes or until set. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter, fudge sauce and the 3 tablespoons light corn syrup. Spread half of the peanut butter mixture over the bottom of the cereal crust. Stir the vanilla ice cream to soften it slightly. (The best way to soften the ice cream is to place it in a chilled bowl and stir it with a wooden spoon until softened.) Spoon the ice cream over the peanut butter layer, spreading it evenly. Drizzle the remaining peanut butter mixture over the ice cream; if the peanut butter mixture becomes too stiff to drizzle, stir in a few drops of milk. Freeze the pie until firm. For easier serving, set the frozen pie on a warm towel to help thaw and loosen the bottom crust. Sprinkle the top of the pie with chopped peanuts, cashews or pecans before serving. Or, garnish each serving with a swirl of whipped cream and a maraschino cherry, if desired.

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Layered Praline Pie

9 inch lightly baked pie shell ---Make pie shell and decrease recommended baking time by 5 minutes. I baked at 450° for 7 minutes with Baking Ring, then an additional 2 minutes without ring.
1/3 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 package (6-serving size) vanilla pudding mix
2-1/2 cups milk
1-3/4 cups whipped topping

Combine butter, brown sugar and nuts in medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until butter and sugar are melted. Spread in bottom of cooled pie shell. Bake in preheated 450° oven for about 3-5 minutes or until bubbly. Cool on wire rack. Combine pudding mix and milk in another medium saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a full boil. Pie filling thickens as it cools. Cool 5 minutes, stirring 3 or 4 times to prevent skin from forming. Measure out 1 cup and cover with plastic wrap put directly on pie filling to prevent skin from forming. Chill thoroughly. Pour remaining pie filling into pie shell; chill. Blend 1-1/3 cups of the whipped topping into the reserved 1 cup of chilled pie filling. Spoon into pie shell over bottom layer; chill at least 3 hours. Garnish with remaining whipped topping.

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Cherry Cheese Pie

1-1/2 cups crushed graham crackers (about 20 squares)
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling

Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter for crust. Pat into 9" square pan. Set aside in refrigerator. In large mixer bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in condensed milk until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla. Pour into crust. Chill 2-3 hours or until set. Top with cherry pie filling. Refrigerate leftovers. You could substitute pie filling flavor of your choice instead of cherry.

April Calendar
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Striped Delight

1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted butter

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 (8 ounce) package Cool whip, divided
1 package (6-serving size) instant chocolate pudding mix
2-1/2 cups cold milk

Combine graham cracker crumbs (need about 8 whole crackers), 1/4 cup sugar, and butter. (Or use crumb crust below). Press firmly into bottom of either a 13 x 9-inch pan. Beat cream cheese with sugar and 2 tablespoon milk until smooth. Fold in half of the Cool Whip. Spread over crust. Prepare pudding with the 2-1/2 cups milk, using wire whip, beating for 1-2 minutes. Pour over cream cheese layer. Chill several hours or overnight. Shortly before serving, spread with remaining whipped topping and garnish with grated chocolate or chopped nuts.
Crumb Crust: 1 cup flour, 1 cup finely chopped pecans, 1/2 cup butter, melted. Combine and press into pie plate, Bake at 350° for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool before filling.

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Blueberry Pizza Pie

1 package white cake mix
1-1/4 cups quick cooking oats, divided
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened, divided
1 egg
1/2 cup nuts - chopped
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 (21 ounce) can blueberry pie filling, or your choice of filling

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl combine cake mix, 1 cup oats, and 6 tablespoons of butter until crumbly. Reserve 1 cup crumbs for topping. To remaining crumbs, add egg and mix well. Press into greased 12-inch pizza pan. Bake for 12 minutes. While crust is baking, add remaining 1/4 cup oats, 2 tablespoons butter, nuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon to the reserved crumbs and mix well. Remove crust from oven and spread pie filling over the top. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Return to oven and bake 15-20 minutes or until crumbs are golden brown. Cut into wedges to serve.

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Apple Turnovers--Quick and Easy

1 can crescent rolls
1 can apple pie filling
1 cup powdered sugar
1/8 cup milk

Separate crescent rolls into triangles, flatten. Put 1 heaping tablespoon of apple pie filling in center and fold over and seal edges with a fork. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 375° for 12-14 minutes until golden brown. Mix powdered sugar with milk to make thin frosting. Drizzle over hot turnovers.

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Apple Turnovers
We think of turnovers as the most portable of pies, perfect for picnics or any other time you want a sweet which can be eaten out of hand. When you fill turnovers, don't be too generous - an overstuffed turnover will come unsealed as it bakes, and the filling will leak out.

Pie Crust for 2 crust pie
1/3 cup walnut pieces
3 cups tart apples, finely chopped
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
4 teaspoons lemon juice, divided
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 425°. Finely chop half the walnuts; set aside. Coarsely chop remaining walnuts; place in a bowl and stir in apples, granulated sugar, spices and 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice. Stir well. Cut pastry into 8 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball; on a floured board, roll out each ball to a 7-inch circle. For each turnover, moisten edges of one circle with water. Place about cup of the apple filling on half of circle, spreading it to 1/2 inch of edges; fold other half over to enclose. Place turnovers 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake until golden brown (20 to 25 minutes). Stir together powdered sugar and remaining 3 teaspoons lemon juice. Place hot baked turnovers on a rack; brush with lemon glaze, then immediately sprinkle with finely chopped walnuts.

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Spicy Apple Twists

1-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup ice water
2 apples, peeled, cored
2 tablespoons soft butter

Mix first 4 ingredients as for pie crust, roll out to a 12" square. Spread with soft butter, fold both sides to center. Roll out again to a 16"x10" rectangle. Cut into 16 1"x1" strips. Cut apples into 8 slices, wrap pastry strip around each apple wedge. Arrange in 13" x 9" pan, brush with cup melted butter, then sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Pour 3/4 cup water into pan. Bake at 450° for 20-30 minutes.

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Strawberry Bavarian Cream Pie & Variations
Serves 8

1 package (10 ounces) frozen sliced strawberries, thawed
1 cup boiling water
1 package (3 ounce) strawberry-flavored gelatin
1 cup chilled whipped cream or 2 cups whipped topping (Cool Whip)

Drain strawberries, reserving syrup. Pour boiling water over gelatin in bowl, stirring until gelatin is dissolved. Add enough cold water to reserved syrup to measure 1 cup; stir into dissolved gelatin. Chill until almost set.
In chilled bowl, beat cream until stiff. (If using whipped topping, this isn't necessary) Beat gelatin until foamy. Fold gelatin and strawberries into whipped cream.
Pour into 1-quart bowl or individual glasses. Chill until firm. If desired, serve with whipped cream.

Variations:

November Calendar
Cherry Pie, using canned cherries

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 (16 ounce) can cherries (canned in water), drained (reserve juice)
Dough for 2-crust pie

In saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon. Add enough water to the reserved juice from can of cherries to make one cup. Add liquid to sugar mixture in pan. Cook, stirring, until it boils and is thickened. Add a few drops of red food coloring. Place crust in pie pan, put in cherries, then pour in the sauce. Cover with top crust. Sprinkle with milk then with sugar. Bake at 425 degrees for 35-45 minutes.

February Calendar

Banana Cream Pie
Cornstarch and flour are the traditional thickeners for cream pie fillings. Flour makes an opaque, relatively sturdy filling; cornstarch-thickened fillings are softer, with a shinier, more translucent look. This is a cornstarch-flour combination, which makes a filling with the best qualities of both starches. The cornstarch-flour pairing also helps keep the filling smooth as it cooks.

9-inch pie shell, baked and cooled
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites (for meringue)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 bananas

In a bowl, beat egg yolks; set aside. In a heavy 3-quart pan, stir together flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt with a wire whisk. Gradually whisk in milk, blending until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and comes to a full boil. Boil, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
Stir about 1/2 cup of the hot filling into egg yolks; then pour yolk mixture into pan. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat; add butter and vanilla. Stir until butter is melted. Slice the bananas; spread half the slices in bottom of pastry shell, then pour in half the filling. Repeat with remaining bananas and filling. Top with meringue or whipped cream.
To serve with a meringue topping: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the 4 egg whites and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar until frothy. Add 8 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition; continue to beat until sugar is dissolved and meringue holds glossy, stiff peaks. Thoroughly blend in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.
Spoon meringue onto warm pie filling; then spread in an even layer with the back of a spoon, making sure meringue touches all edges of pastry. (This anchors meringue to crust and prevents it from shrinking during baking.) Make swirls in meringue. Bake until meringue is lightly browned (5-7 minutes).
Place pie on a rack and let cool to room temperature--away from drafts. Serve within 3 hours (topping begins to break down if pie is held longer).

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