Easy as pie pie

Sunday, December 7, 2008

How to...

Make any cream or meringue pie in three easy steps

What you’ll need:

Pie shell
Whipped topping or
4 egg whites & ½ c sugar

1. Buy the frozen already made pie shells. And the cheap ones are just as good as the name brand. I’ve done a lot of experimenting with pie shells and I’ve discovered that the cheaper ones are flakier after they’re baked. Then tend to have more shortening in them which makes a better crust to me. Bake according to package directions making sure to poke holes in it with a fork first to prevent bubbles.

2. Use instant pudding in all cases except lemon. The instant lemon just doesn’t taste the same as the cooked. Maybe it’s just me but I think there is a definite difference. And use ½ cup less milk than the recipe for pie (usually found on the side of the box) tells you to use. It just makes a thicker pie and I like that. I don’t want pudding mixed with some crust. I want pie!

3. Frozen whipped topping is good just make sure you thaw it out completely before you top your pie with it. And remember the rule about food sitting at room temperature for more than two hours. Thaw your topping in the refrigerator to prevent any food borne illness issues from occurring. If you want to top your pie with meringue there is usually a good recipe on the box of most puddings that are intended for meringue pie (lemon, coconut, chocolate) but here’s my meringue recipe:

What you’ll need:

4 egg whites
About ½ c sugar

Let the egg whites sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Beat them on the highest speed your mixer has. Continue beating them until they have tripled in volume. They will triple if you let them warm and beat them long enough I promise. It usually takes about 10 minutes of beating them for them to get to triple the original volume. While still beating them slowly add the sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. This means when you lift the (turned off) beaters out of the meringue the meringue that came from the bowl stays standing up. Place large ‘mounds’ of meringue around the top of your pie and then spread it out filling in any holes and sealing it on the edges. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 5 minutes. Watch closely! Once it starts to brown it’ll brown fast! Let cool for about 10 minutes before you put your pie in the fridge.

pie shell - $2.00
pudding - $0.49/ box
whipped topping - $0.99
Total - $3.48

0 of my favorite chefs had this to say....:

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If we are what we eat, then I'm fast, cheap and easy! C'mon into the kitchen with me... Let's do some Happy Cooking!

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