Lemon Meringue Pie

A few of my girlfriends were talking about
this recipe last month and finally I could not take it anymore and a few weeks
ago I finally made it. Growing up in the South this is a common dessert that we
serve although oddly enough this was the first time I had ever made it. I love
the sweet yet tart filling with piled high meringue. Nothing tastes better on a
hot Summer day especially with an ice cold glass of lemonade.
Pie Crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/4″
cubes and chilled
4 tablespoons cold water
1. Combine the flour and salt in a
medium-sized bowl. Add the butter, and then cut in using two forks, a pastry
blender, or your hands. Continue working in the butter until the mixture
resembles coarse meal. Add just enough water to bring the dough together and knead
a few times to ensure that the flour is evenly moistened. Press into a 1″
thick disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to
two days.
2. When ready to roll, dust your counter with
flour. Remove the dough from the fridge and let rest on the counter for 5
minutes to allow warming slightly and becoming more workable. Roll the dough
into a circle large enough to fit a 9″ pie dish and transfer to the pan by
rolling the dough around your pin and draping it over the top. Roll up the edge
of the dough and use your fingers or a fork to create a decorative edge. Prick
with a fork and place in the freezer.
3. Heat oven to 425F. When it comes to
temperature, line the prepared pie crust with parchment, aluminum foil or
coffee filters and fill it with dry rice or beans. Bake 20 minutes, then remove
the foil/parchment/filters along with the beans/rice and bake 5-10 minutes
longer until nicely brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack while you
prepare the filling.
Lemon Filling and Meringue:
 4 egg yolks, room temp
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups water
2 lemons, juiced and zested
2 tablespoons butter, room temp
Baked pie crust
4 egg whites, room temp
6 tablespoons white sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350F (175C).
2. Place the egg yolks in a large heatproof
bowl. Beat them briefly, and then set aside.
3. Combine the cup of sugar, flour,
cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Stir in the water, lemon juice and
lemon zest, and then turn the burner on to medium-high. Cook, stirring
frequently, until the mixture comes to a boil. Stir in the butter. Remove the pan
from heat and pour about 1/2 c of the hot sugar mixture into the beaten egg
yolks, whisking immediately after the addition. Pour the egg yolks into the
sugar mixture and return the pan to the heat. Continue cooking, stirring
constantly, until very thick. Remove from heat and Pour filling into the
prepared pie crust.
4. In a large and very clean glass or metal
bowl, whip the egg whites until foamy. With the mixer running, gradually add
the remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar and continue beating until you have stiff
peaks. Spread the meringue over the hot filling, sealing the edges at the
5. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until
meringue is golden brown. Place briefly under the broiler or use a kitchen
torch if more browning is desired.
Yields: 8 servings 
adapted from allrecipes

Apple Streusel Pie

I thought I would try something different with this apple pie and give a traditional recipe a graham crust with streusel topping. The graham crust compliments apple pie amazingly well and will defiantly be something that I use from now on. The streusel topping melts into the apple pie as it bakes giving so much more flavor.

1 (6 oz or 170 grams) Graham crust

4 large apples (2 granny smith and 2 romas)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

streusel toppings:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Peel and thinly slice apples. In a large bowl add apple slices, sugar, flour, allspice and nutmeg. Combine well. Carefully add filling into crust.

3. In a food processor add butter, brown sugar, cinnamon flour. Pulse until well blended. Add topping all over the top of the apples. Place pie on a cookie sheet and bake for 55 minutes.

Yields: 1 pie

Oh my, its a Southern Chocolate Pie

Growing up in Tennessee I was lucky enough to get to try all kinds of dishes from all the women in town. I have all of their recipes to this day saved up just waiting on me to make them. This recipe comes from Ms. May. Ms. May is no longer with us she passed away several years ago and was in her nineties, she was my pre-school teacher. She used to always bring this chocolate pie to any function. I made two of these pies one for us and one for my in-laws. Of course, I worked harder on the one for my in laws trying to make it as eye pleasing as possible and I wanted to take pictures of that one for you all. However, guess what? I completely forgot to take pictures and gave it to my husband to take to them before I realized what I had done, ahh I wanted to cry after spending the entire day in the kitchen baking and even making the crust from scratch. Sorry but my not so pretty picture will have to do ‘sigh’.

Of course you all do not have to make your own pie crust but here in Saudi I have never saw any frozen ones like we have back in the states. In addition, it is easy to make your own crust, just time consuming. If you have some extra time one day just make some and freeze them for later.

Pate Brisee:

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4-1/2 cup ice water
1 egg yolk, beaten

1. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, salt and sugar. With a hand mixer, mix well. Add the pieces of butter and process approximately 10 seconds or until it resembles “coarse meal.”

2. Add ice water drop-by-drop while mixing with hand mixer, just until dough holds together without being wet or sticky.

3. Divide dough in half, with a rolling pin roll each piece into a thin circle. Chill in refrigerator at least an hour. After chilling gently, add dough into pie pan. Prick all over with fork. Brush egg yolk all over crust. Place pie weights ( I pour uncooked rice over mine) into pie and bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes, until golden.

Yields: 2 pie crust

Chocolate Pie:
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks, beaten (save egg whites)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 strawberries, sliced (optional)
Dream Whip

1. In a medium bowl mix cocoa, cornstarch, sugar and salt. Add egg yolks and milk, mixing well. In a large saucepan on medium heat, add mixture, stirring continuously until thick with pudding like consistency. Remove from heat add butter and vanilla, mix well.

2. Allow mixture to cook then pour into baked pie shell. Apply Dream Whip or meringue to the top of the pie, arrange sliced strawberries if using, refrigerate.

Yields: 1 nine inch pie

Meringue Topping:
3 egg whites
1/3 cup sugar

1. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer beat egg whites until soft peaks form, add sugar, beat.

Fried Apple Pies

Nothing reminds me of Fall more then a nice fried apple pie. Growing up in Tennessee I was lucky enough to live near The Apple Barn, a place that had every apple recipe you could imagine. One of the last memories I have of my Grand-Father was going to The Apple Barn and having a fried apple pie with some warm apple cider and maybe that’s why their both so special to me.

4 tart (such as Granny Smith, Fuji, Gala or Macintosh) apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 (15 ounce) package refrigerated pie crust
1-1/2 cup vegetable oil, more as needed
powdered sugar

1. Cook the apples with the water in a covered 4-quart saucepan over medium-low heat for about 1 hour, or until all liquid has been absorbed. Stir occasionally. Add the sugar, butter, lemon juice and cinnamon, mixing well; set aside to cool. Unfold the pie crust and break into 8 equal pieces like pie slices. Place 1 heaping tablespoon of fruit on each round of dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border all around. Dip your finger in water and moisten the edges of the crust, then place a second round on top of the filling and press the edges of the crust, then place a second round on top of the filling and press the edges to seal. Dip the tines of a dinner fork in flour and crimp the edges to ensure a proper seal.

2. Pour oil into a cast-iron skillet to a depth of a little less than 1/2 inch. (This would be 1 1/2 cups oil in a 10-inch skillet.) Heat over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, place 3 to 4 pies in the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle the pies with powdered sugar while they’re hot.

Yield: 8 pies

Recipe Adapted from Paula Deen