Category Archives: pie

Individual Pumpkin Pies with Gingersnap Crusts

Since I recently acquired individual size tart pans, individual sized pumpkin pies seemed perfect for this time of year. I didn’t go with the typical pumpkin pie recipe that usually calls for sweetened condensed milk. Instead I added cream cheese, which made the pie so deliciously creamy, almost like a cheesecake, but not. You’ll have to try it and see for yourself, but you’ll never go back to an ordinary recipe.

In order to avoid cracks, you want to bake the pie(s) low and slow, preferably in a water bath to prevent the edges from baking too quickly. I do my pies at 325 degrees for about 50 minutes. The middle should still be wiggly when you remove the pie from the oven.

For the crust, I ground up gingersnap cookies, but you can use traditional pie crust or graham crackers as well. If you go with gingersnaps or graham crackers, a good rule of thumb is to mix about 1 tbs melted butter with 1 cup ground crackers. You want the crackers to be moist, but not soaked in butter. Pre-bake the crust at 350 degrees for about 7 minutes. Make sure the crust is hot when you put the filling in. You do not need to pre-bake the crust in a water bath.

Pumpkin Pie (Oven: 325 degrees)

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg plus 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg


Preheat the oven for the pie filling to 325 degrees F. The crust should already be baked.

For the filling, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese. Add the pumpkin and beat until combined. Add the sugar and salt, and beat until combined. Add the eggs mixed with the yolks, half-and-half, and melted butter, and beat until combined. Finally, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg and beat until incorporated.

Pour the filling into the warm prepared pie crust and bake for 50 minutes, or until the center is set. Place the pie on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate. Pumpkin Pie is always best after it sits in the refrigerator for awhile before serving.

This makes a lot of filling. Enough for 1 pie or lots of individual pies. Leftover filling will hold in the refrigerator for about 3 days. You can also freeze the filling.

As a perfect addition, grab some heavy whipping cream and whip it up for the top of the pie. It takes 3 mins and tastes delicious!


Wet Bottom Shoo Fly Pie

Who ever knows why I decided to make this pie last night. I have never had it nor did I have a craving for a molasses based dessert. I guess I just liked the name. Shoo Fly pie is of Pennsylvania Amish and Dutch origin. It is very very very sweet with the two main ingredients being molasses and (dark) brown sugar (While either light or dark brown sugar can be used, dark has more molasses in it). Since the settlers came to America by boat, they brought lots of non-perishable ingredients. These ingredients became the ingredients found in Shoo Fly pie. Nobody knows the exact origin of the name of this pie, but it is thought that the name comes from the fact that, if eaten outside, you will probably have to shoo away the flies. The term “wet bottom” comes from the fact that the filling soaks into the crust while baking, leaving it nice and gooey.

I would recommend eating the pie with ice cream. We had it with coffee ice cream.
And here’s the recipe, which is derived from
1 9″ unbaked pie crust- After struggling for what feels like forever making the perfect pie crust, I finally found a wonderful recipe. It’s from Martha Stewart and can be found here:
1 cup all-purpose flour
Two-thirds cup light brown sugar, packed
1 rounded tablespoon cold butter
One-fourth teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup light molasses
Three-fourths cup cold water
One-fourth cup hot water
1 teaspoon baking soda

1- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll out the pie pastry and line a 9-inch pie pan; set aside.2- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, butter, and salt. Remove one-half cup of the mixture and set aside. 
3- Leave the rest in the mixing bowl. 
4- In a small bowl, beat the egg lightly. 
5- Put the molasses and cold water together and blend, but do not beat; you don’t want bubbles in the batter. Set aside.
6- In a small bowl, mix the hot water with the baking soda and blend into the molasses mixture. 
7- Add the molasses mixture to the flour mixture and mix well. 
8- Pour into the pie shell and top with the reserved crumbs. Bake for 35 minutes. The pie will appear quivery but will firm up as it cools. Transfer to a rack to cool completely before cutting.

Pecan Pie

I made two pies recently. I made pumpkin pie using the same recipe that I had already posted and I also made pecan pie, which was a first for me. I found a recipe on that looked good. I have no experience with this type of pie, but this looked like a typical recipe. Anyway, it came out well, except the crust stuck a lot to the pie plate for some reason. I may spray the plate with non-stick spray next time to see if that works. I also think I baked it a little too long. The recipe says to bake until the edges are set, but the middle is still fluffy and I think I just left it in the oven too long, but it still tasted good.

The recipe says to toast the pecans and that’s highly recommended because it added a nice toasty flavor to the pie. Only toast the pecans once you chop them coarsely because the more surface area to toast, the better they taste. To toast pecans, set the oven to 400 degrees and place the pecans on a baking sheet. I’d say keep them in the oven for about 5 minutes, turning them once. You want to see that they have browned, but are not too brown.

And I skipped the bourbon.

Oh, for the crust, I used the same recipe I posted with the pumpkin pie, so you can find that there. But you’ll want to pre-bake it. So once you make the crust, stick something heavy on the bottom so it doesn’t crack /or bubble, cover the crust in foil, bake at 400 degrees for 20 mins., remove the foil, reduce heat to 350 and bake 10 mins. or until golden.
Here’s the recipe:
(recipe courtesy of
Happy Baking! Sorry no picture; it was eaten before I thought of taking one:(

Oven: 350 degrees
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 cups chopped toasted pecans
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten

In medium saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and stirring constantly, continue to boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the nuts, bourbon, and the vanilla. Set the mixture aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. (If the crust has cooled, return it to the oven for 5 minutes to warm through.) Whisk the beaten eggs into the filling until smooth. Put the pie shell on a sheet pan and pour the filling into the hot crust.
Bake on the lower oven rack until the edges are set but the center is still slightly loose, about 40 to 45 minutes. (If the edges get very dark, cover them with aluminum foil half way during baking.) Cool on a rack. Serve slightly warm or room temperature.

Pumpkin Pie with a Graham Cracker Crust

Pumpkin pie is such a traditional fall treat. It makes the apartment smell so wonderful. For my pumpkin pies, I like to use a graham cracker crust. Also, instead of the traditional evaporated milk, I like to use sweetened condensed milk and then omit any other sugar from the recipe. I think the sweetened condensed milk makes the pie fluffier. Even though I’m not adding any sugar to the pie itself, I like to add some brown sugar to the top of the pie, kind of like a streusal topping. A nice addition to the streusal topping could be walnuts. You’ll see in the picture to the left that I did not spread the topping all over the pie, but that is definitely something you could do. Also, one last thing, I never measure any of the spices I add; I think that’s a bit boring. I also usually only use cinnamon and nutmeg in my pies; I just don’t like the taste of ginger. And if you have fine sea salt, use that.

Graham Cracker Crust:

1.5 cups finely ground graham crackers
6 tbs butter- melted
1/3 cup sugar

Use a rolling pin to mash the graham crackers. Put them in a bowl and add the sugar. Finally add the butter to this mixture and blend with spoon until all the dry ingredients are coated with butter.
Press into a 9″ pie plate.

Bake this at 375 degrees for 7 minutes. 

Pie Filling:

(Recipe courtesy of username jkaplan86, but with my substitutions)

15 oz pumpkin (not pie filling)
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t salt

Preheat oven to 425.
Mix all ingredients together. Place in the already baked crust.
Cover the crust with a thin strip of foil so it does not burn.
Bake at this temperature for 15 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 35-40 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
After about 30 minutes in the oven, remove the foil and add the streusal topping. Before doing this, however, stick a knife in the middle, it should look fairly clean. You don’t want to take the foil off and put the topping on too early.

Enjoy with whipped cream /or vanilla ice cream!

Apple Crumble Pie

Yesterday we did the quintessential fall activity…apple picking and pumpkin picking. I even got a mum. So of course I had to make an apple pie. I don’t like apple pies with a top and bottom crust so instead I make apple crumble pies with a bottom crust and a streusal topping.

I’m not a master homemade crust maker at all, but I refuse to buy pre-made crusts. My crusts never come out looking pretty, but they always taste alright, so I suggest you try making your own crust because it really isn’t that hard.

After much experimentation, this is my recipe for a single crust pie:
1 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup shortening
pinch salt
enough water to form a ball

Combine the flour, salt, and shortening with a pastry blender or your hands:)
Put in a little water at a time while working to form the dough into a ball. Use as little water as possible to form the ball.

After forming the ball, it’s a good idea to refrigerate it for a little bit because that makes it easier to roll out, but that’s totally up to you.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and transfer to a 9″ pie dish leaving a 1″ overhang. Make a pretty edge with the overhang if you want.

Here’s the pie recipe:

5 cups apples – peeled, cored and thinly sliced- add some lemon juice to prevent browning. Put in a bowl
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup white sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons butter

Here’s an alternate topping recipe:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C.) 
  • Mix 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over apples. 
  • Put this mixture in the pie dish
  • Make the topping recipe of your choice. For both recipes, you will combine the dry ingredients and cut in the butter to make a crumbly topping. 
  • Spoon topping over apples. Be sure to cover all the apples.
  • Cut a thin strip of foil. Cover the edges of the pie crust with the foil and bake like this for the first 30-35 mins. Take the foil off and bake for the remaining time (about 5-10 mins). The top should be browned and the apples soft to the touch.

Here’s how it should look when it goes in the oven:

You should let the pie cool all the way before serving so the juices soak up. You don’t want to freak out when you think you’ve made a pie that’s too liquidy! Don’t forget the ice cream!