Pot Luck Pies for Summer: Part 2, Baked Pies

 

An empty pie crust with a foil liner to keep the crust in shape while it is partly baked is on the left. A chocolate bar is behind it next to a peanut butter jar with a red lid and front right a peanut butter mixture in a bowl
An empty pie crust with a foil liner to keep the crust in shape while it is partly baked is on the left. A chocolate bar is behind it next to a peanut butter jar with a red lid and front right a peanut butter mixture in a bowl

 

Vision Loss and Personal Recovery will take a break after this post for August 19 and August 26, and be back on September 2 with Braille Learning Changes the Brain, the next post in the labeling series.

When you use the oven without much sight you need long oven mitts, which cover your arm to near the elbow. They protects you from the hot oven walls and rack. The basic long oven mitt  is not too expensive and is flame retardant. But it doesn’t let you feel well through its thick layers. More expensive is a pair of Ov Gloves  with long cuffs. These are finger gloves and some people find them better for gripping cookie pans etc. Neither of these come in small sizes, and the Ov Gloves are particularly large.

Remove one of the oven racks before you begin, so you do not get confused between 2 hot racks in a hot oven.

 

Peach Pie

A classic summer pie. The white eastern peaches usually have pits or stones that fall out as you slice; the yellow peaches are sometimes called cling peaches because the stone clings to the flesh of the peach, and you have to wiggle the knife to separate the 2 halves of the peach.

 

Equipment:

gallon plastic bag

9 inch pie pan,oven proof glass or metal

big old cookie pan to place under your pie in the oven

1 cup measure, 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon measures (check last week’s post for details of cup and spoon measures.)

rubber spatula

 

Ingredients:

1 pack of 2 refrigerated pie crusts

5 large ripe peaches (5 cups after slicing)

¼ cup instant tapioca granules (baking aisle)

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla or cinnamon

2 tablespoons lemon juice

 

Directions:

1. Wash the peaches. There is no need to peel them. Cut each one in half from the stem to the base. Lay the cut side down and slice downward to make half inch thick slices from each half peach. (Half an inch is about the width of the side of your finger.) Remove the pits and discard. Cut the slices across to make smaller pieces if you like.

2. Measure 5 full cups of sliced peaches into the plastic bag and add the sugar, instant tapioca, lemon juice and vanilla or cinnamon and close the top of the bag. Shake them together and leave them in the bag for 15 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

4. Unroll 1 pie crust across the top of the pie pan and center it with equal amounts of crust overhanging each side. Make sure you have removed any paper rolled up with the crust. Keep the other pie crust rolled up and refrigerated.

5. Using the side of your curled index finger, push the crust gently into the pan where the base meets the side of the pan. Do this all around the pan, so you have a pan lined with pastry crust.

6. Now flatten the walls of the crust across the rim of the pan, being careful not to stretch the crust. Prick the base with a fork in 5 or 6 places.

7. Place the neck of the bag of peaches inside the pastry crust and pour the contents into the bottom. Spread them evenly with the spatula so that the sides are full and the center a little heaped.

8. Wet your finger in the peach juice and run it around the flat rim of pastry, so the pastry is damp.

9. Unroll the second crust across the top of the pie, centering it as before. Press the second crust down on the damp rim of pastry, making sure it is stuck.

10. Press a dinner knife vertically against the outside edge of the pie pan and saw gently around the side of the pan to cut off extra crust.

11. You can make a fancy edge or top to the pie, paint the top with sugary milk to make the pie shiny, but the only important thing is to make 2 or 3 small slits with a knife in the center of the top crust to let steam escape.

12. Place the pie on an old cookie pan so you have something easy to grasp with the oven mitts, and also to contain any overflowing juice.

13. Put on your oven mitts and pull out the rack about 6 inches. Lift the cookie pan with the pie on it and place it in the middle of the rack. Push the rack in gently.

14. Bake for about 50minutes, or until the pie smells absolutely delicious. Cool before slicing.

Serve by itself or with whipped cream or ice cream.

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie

With this one you may have to reserve slices in advance if it is freshly baked !

Equipment:

microwave safe cereal bowl

aluminum foil

medium mixing bowl

rubber spatula

small bowl for cracking eggs

 

Ingredients:

1 frozen 9 inch pie crust in an aluminum pan

Filling

1/3 cup butter (2/3 stick)

1/3 cup chunky peanut butter

2/3 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup all purpose flour

 

Icing

2/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, or ¾ of asmall bar

1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 or 2 tablespoons water

 

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Defrost the frozen pie crust. (Make sure you are only using 1; there are sometimes 2 in the pack)

2. Tear off a sheet of foil 2 inches or so bigger than the pie all around. Roll up the edges of the foil to make a circle with little walls of rolled up foil around the edge. (Check the photo and the caption above.) Make the circle just big enough to fit inside the pie crust. Press the foil walls up against the walls of the crust.

3. Place the pie crust with its foil liner onto an old cookie pan and bake it for 8 minutes, then lift out the pie on the cookie pan, and gently flatten any air bubbles you feel pushing up the foil with your oven mitt..

4. Remove the foil with your fingertips, it is not very hot. Return the pie crust to the oven. Bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Reset the oven to 380 degrees.

5. Place the butter in the mixing bowl and soften in the microwave for 10 seconds or less. Add the peanut butter and sugar to the butter in the mixing bowl and beat well with a wooden spoon until it is creamy.

6. Break the eggs one at a time into a small bowl and check each one for shell with your fingertips. Pour the first one into the mix before you crack the second one. Add the eggs to the peanut mix and beat well, about 50 strokes.

7. Stir the flour in lightly until it is just mixed.

8. When the crust is ready and cool, pour the peanut mixture into the pie crust scraping the bowl to get all of it.

9. Bake at 380 degrees for 35 minutes or until the center of the pie is just firm to touch.

10. Allow the pie to cool. Put the chocolate chips, 1 tablespoon water and confectioner’s sugar in a bowl and microwave them for about 45 seconds to a minute until the chocolate is just melted. Stir the icing gently adding a few drops more water if needed, until it is smooth and thick but pourable. Pour it over the top of the cool pie and allow it to set.

Serve by itself at a stand up party (the slices are not messy) or with whipped cream or ice cream.

 

Do you have some tried and true pie recipes? Please share them with the rest of us!

 

 

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