Chocolate Pudding Pie and Baileys Whipped Cream

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I have to admit it’s not my favorite “holiday”, but it has the redeeming quality of being near my birthday. I turned 25 on Saturday (yes, I’m an Ides of March baby) and celebrated by running my first half marathon of the year. One down, five to go. I got a new PR of 2:17:03, which makes me feel very confident I’ll meet my yearly goal of 2:10, and hopeful that maybe I’ll even meet my stretch goal of 2:00 (or close to it). My best friend also completed her first 10k which is super exciting! Judging by her smile, I’d say I didn’t completely scare her away from running. (Phew.) (Parentheses!)

Running!

I usually celebrate my birthday with a chocolate pie, but after the race and then attending a party with one of M’s Antarctica coworkers I didn’t feel up to making one. Instead, I made one yesterday and added a teensy bit of Irish flair for today’s post.

Chocolate Pudding Pie with Baileys Whipped Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

Chocolate pie is a long-standing favorite of mine and probably my most requested birthday dessert, although cherry pie would be a close second. Even from scratch, chocolate pie is an easy dessert to make, and a hard one to screw up, which makes it great for beginners. I can even personally attest that whipped cream is stiff enough for regular birthday candles, although I skipped those this year.

Chocolate Pudding Pie with Baileys Whipped Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

Flaky pie crust, creamy pudding, and fluffy whipped cream are a combination that can’t go wrong, unless you are one of those weird people that doesn’t like sweets. (Seriously, I do not understand this. No judgments, just confusion.) But if you are one of those people, you probably aren’t reading this post anyway.

This pie is fairly rich, but the whipped topping helps keep it from feeling overly dense. Even so, you may want to start with a smaller piece than I have in my pictures, and make a note to go back for seconds. It should keep for a few days in the fridge, but it would be best to have a few friends over to share it. I’m sure they won’t mind helping you out.

Chocolate Pudding Pie with Baileys Whipped Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

If you’re new to homemade pies, pudding, or whipped cream, have no fear! This is a great starter pie and will be sure to give you some confidence in the kitchen. If you’re still apprehensive, feel free to substitute a pre-made pie crust (but please, use the roll out dough) or a cookie crust. Or skip the crust entirely and pour the pudding into individual serving glasses. (Although this rather deviates from the “pie” idea.) You could also use cool whip for the topping: just thaw it in the fridge and add some Baileys. I’ve included recipes for homemade versions of all three steps if you really want to wow your audience (and your taste buds.)

Pre-baked Single Pie Crust

Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens
Makes one 9″ pie crust

Ingredients

1/3 cup shortening

1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt

4-5 Tbsp ice water

Directions

  1. Measure shortening into a small bowl and place in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Pour water and a few ice cubes into a cup and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the flour and salt together until well combined.
  5. After shortening is cold, combine with the flour and salt and mix with a pastry blender (or a fork) until blended into pea-sized pieces.
  6. Add ice water one tablespoon at a time, mixing gently after each addition. Repeat until all pastry is moistened and it all sticks together.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, gently flatten pastry into a disc, and then roll out large enough to fit your pie plate.
  8. Transfer dough to pie plate and crimp the edges.
  9. Prick liberally with a fork over the entire bottom and sides of the crust in order to prevent shrinkage.1
  10. Bake crust for 10-12 minutes, then set aside while you make the filling.

Chocolate Pudding Pie with Baileys Whipped Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

Chocolate Pudding Pie

Adapted from Ezra Pound Cake
Makes one 9″ pie

Ingredients

1 pre-baked pie crust

2 cups milk
1/2 cup half and half
5 ounces chopped semi-sweet chocolate

4 large egg yolks2
3/4 cup sugar

3 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp dark cocoa powder (optional)3 

Directions

  1. Place milk, half and half, and chopped chocolate into a medium sauce pan. Over medium heat, warm the mixture until chocolate is melted, stirring occasionally.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together egg yolks and sugar until well mixed.
  3. Add corn starch, vanilla, salt, and cocoa (if desired) and stir until completely combined.
  4. When the chocolate is melted, slowly pour the hot liquid into the egg mixture, whisking constantly until smooth.
  5. Return entire mixture to the saucepan, and heat on medium until it thickens and bubbles slowly. (5-10 minutes)
  6. Remove from the heat and stir gently until pudding is smooth, then pour directly into prepared pie crust.
  7. Cover immediately with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the filling to prevent a skin from forming.
  8. Refrigerate at least two hours, or until ready to serve. Then top with whipped cream.

Baileys Whipped Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

Baileys Whipped Cream

Borrowed from The Cupcake Project
Makes about 6 cups

Ingredients

2 cups heavy whipping cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp Baileys Irish cream liqueur4 

Directions

  1. Using an electric mixer (whisk attachment for a stand mixer) beat the cream until very soft peaks form.
  2. Gently stir in the sugar and Baileys until just incorporated.
  3. Continue beating the cream until soft-medium peaks form.
  4. Spoon onto chilled pie, then use a spatula or spoon to create swirls.5
  5. Top with chocolate jimmies, mini chocolate chips, or chocolate curls, if desired.
  6. Return to fridge, or serve immediately.

Chocolate Pudding Pie with Baileys Whipped Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

Notes

1 I really don’t think you can over-prick a pie crust.
2 Don’t throw out the egg white, make meringues!
3 I like richer chocolate flavor, but if you’re not into dark chocolate just leave this out. It’ll still be delicious.
4 If you just want regular whipped cream, use 3-4 tsp vanilla instead.
5 You will probably have about a cup or more left over. Store in a sealed container in the fridge and it’ll keep for several days. It’s great to use on hot chocolate or ice cream or to eat with a spoon.

Fresh Peach Pie

Despite the huge amount of effort involved, peach pie is one of my favorites. It’s a summery flavor that’s delicious all year round, and is a great way to use those large trays of peaches I can’t seem to help buying from Costco. The hint of cinnamon present is always a welcome flavor in my book, and a dash of nutmeg adds a little something. As one of the sweeter pies, it’s definitely a dessert pie to me, but I’d never turn it down for breakfast.

Peach Pie

Fresh peaches are admittedly a pain to work with, but it’s oh so worth it in the end. If you’re on top of things, peel and slice enough peaches for several pies and freeze them in pie quantities for later use. Just make sure you let them thaw before you use them, and maybe add a little extra flour.

Peach Pie

Never peeled peaches before? You’re in luck – there’s an easy way! Set a large pot of water to boil (not a rolling boil, more like a strong simmer) on the stove, and place a bowl of ice water nearby. I like to put a colander in the sink as well but that’s up to you. For each peach, submerge in the boiling water for about 30 seconds, then immediately dunk in the ice water for another 20 seconds. With a paring knife, cut the peach (around the pit!) into 8-10 sections. The skin should just slide off the fruit during this process, but if it’s still sticking you can redo the boiling/ice water baths. Keep in mind, however, this will only work if your peaches are ripe enough. Throw the slices in the colander, the skins in the disposal, and the pit in the trash, and you’re good to go! Repeat for all your vast trays of peaches as you revel in how easy it is while wasting no delicious peach. You can definitely take the skin off before slicing the peach, but skinned peaches are ridiculous slippery, so I prefer the extra grip while I hold it.

As summer winds down, this is a wonderful pie for a “last hurrah”; saying farewell to summer with fresh peaches, and welcoming fall with that hint of cinnamon.

Peach Pie

Fresh Peach Pie

Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens
Makes one 9″ pie

Ingredients

Pastry for a double-crust pie

6-8 large peaches, peeled and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp lemon juice

1/2 – 3/4 cup sugar (I usually use the lesser amount)
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
a sprinkle of nutmeg (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Layer the bottom crust in the pie plate, and trim the edges to 1″ larger than the rim.
  3. Gently toss the peaches with the lemon juice, and set aside.
  4. Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl until well combined, and gently fold in the peaches.
  5. Layer the peach mixture in the pie plate, and cover with the second crust, either with a lattice top or cutting vents for steam to escape. Seal the edges and crimp as desired.
  6. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling, about 50 minutes.
  7. Let cool completely before enjoying with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or both.

Rhubarb Pie

Happy Labor Day! Today’s post is short and sweet so you can get right to the part where you decide to make it, pronto. =)

While I was home in Alaska, my mom made a delicious rhubarb pie. Back in Montana a couple of weeks later, a discussion with a coworker about the best flavors of pie (he was all wrong) prompted me to make another.

Rhubarb Pie

Unlike most rhubarb pies, this one contains no competing nor complimentary flavors. Purely rhubarb (and sugar, of course) it’s quite tart, very filling, and incredibly delicious. On its own for breakfast, or with ice cream for dessert, this pie is great both warm or cold and doesn’t taste nearly as sugary as the standard fruit pies. Furthermore, as the filling isn’t at all runny, it produces beautiful slices for plating.

Rhubarb Pie

Since there’s no peeling involved, if you’re using a bag of chopped rhubarb out of the freezer (as I did) this is possibly the easiest summer pie you can make. And even if you’re using this year’s rhubarb harvest, chopping rhubarb never seems to be as much work as peeling and slicing apples or peaches. Especially if you “cheat” and use a pre-made crust, as that’s probably the most time-consuming part of the process. (I won’t judge you…much.) Its simplicity makes it my new go-to summer pie, although I’m sure I’ll make it all year around.

It keeps well on the counter for several days and is sure to please any palate that likes rhubarb. If you’re looking for a particularly easy summer pie, this one is a fabulous option.

Rhubarb PieRhubarb Pie

Adapted from Carol
Makes one 9″ pie

Ingredients

Pastry for a 9″, double-crust pie

3/4 cup flour
1.5 cups sugar

5 cups chopped rhubarb (1/2″ pieces)1

Cinnamon & sugar, to taste (optional)

Directions

  1. Move your oven rack to its lowest position and preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Layer the bottom crust in a pie plate and trim the edges to 1″ larger than the plate.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and sugar. Layer 1/4 of the flour mixture on top of the pie crust.
  4. Heap the rhubarb into the pie plate and cover with the remaining flour/sugar mixture.
  5. Cover with the top crust, sealing the edges and crimping, if desired. Cut vents in crust to allow steam to escape and sprinkle generously with the cinnamon and sugar.
  6. Bake (on the lowest rack) for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue to bake for 45 minutes.
  7. Serve warm or cold, with whipped cream and/or à la mode, for breakfast or dessert. =)

Rhubarb Pie

Notes

Frozen rhubarb works beautifully in this pie, just let it thaw (at least mostly) and drain before you place it in the crust.

Lemon Meringue Pie

LemonsThis week we return to the lovely summery flavor of lemon, since I successfully created a lemon meringue pie this time. As both a citrus flavor and a chilled dessert, it makes for a great summertime treat, although it’s equally delicious any other time of year.

Lemon meringue pie was the favorite of my maternal grandmother, and I made it for her birthday a couple of the years I was there to celebrate with her. Her birthday conveniently falls on Pi Day, the day before my own birthday, which make a lovely two days of meringue pie (lemon for her, chocolate for me.) Although she passed away last year, I still intend to celebrate Pi Day with lemon meringue for many years to come.

Lemon Meringue PiePerhaps the most easily screwed-up pie I’ve ever made, lemon meringue can be a daunting task for even an experienced pie baker. The easiest way to screw it up is to not cook the filling long enough, causing it not to set correctly in the fridge. It’s extremely important to heat the filling to a full rolling boil and then cook and stir for another minute or so; if in doubt go an extra thirty seconds just to be safe.

The instruction list is fairly long, but I have laid it out in the order I find to be most successful for me. I recommend reading through the entire list before starting to make sure you have everything easily accessible. The success of this pie relies somewhat on timing, and taking too long (or not long enough) between certain steps can result in a liquid filling or the meringue completely separating from the crust.

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

Adapted from argostarch.com
Makes 1 deep dish pie

Ingredients

Pastry for single-crust pie

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup heaping corn starch
2 cups water
5 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons butter

5 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp corn starch

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place pastry in pie dish being careful not to stretch the dough. Trim and crimp edges.
  3. Prick pastry GENEROUSLY with a fork, all over the bottom and sides of the pan.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown, and then cool on a wire rack.
  5. Reduce oven heat to 375 degrees, and move oven rack to bottom third.
  6. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
  7. Gradually add the sugar and corn starch, mixing between each addition to medium peaks. Leave in mixer bowl and start the pie filling.
  8. In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, water and egg yolks.
  9. Heat over medium heat, whisking nearly constantly until mixture thickens and reaches a boil.
  10. Continue cooking, vigorously whisking until mixture is very thick and smooth, approximately 1 minute.
  11. Remove from heat and stir in butter, zest and lemon juice until smooth.
  12. Pour hot filling into pie crust, being careful to leave room for the meringue (it weighs more than you might think!)
  13. Return to your egg whites and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. (Tips stay straight.)
  14. Gently place the meringue over the hot filling, carefully sealing the edges completely. Swirl the meringue into peaks using a spatula or the back of a spoon.
  15. Bake for 10 minutes or until peaks of meringue are lightly browned.
  16. Cool at room temperature for about thirty minutes, and then place in the fridge for at least 3 hours before serving.

Lemon Meringue PieNotes

  • I don’t like long strings of zest in things, so I generally chop it pretty fine before adding it to anything.
  • Pricking the crust before baking helps keep it from shrinking, so don’t be afraid to stab excessively.
  • Egg whites whip best at room temperature, and make VERY certain there is no water in the bowl or on the whisk/beaters before starting.
  • It is very important to cook the filling well. If you don’t, it will look thick when you pour it in the crust, but end up as liquid after it chills. Make sure to keep stirring and heating for another 60 seconds after it boils.
  • The sooner you can get the meringue onto the hot filling, the less likely separation will occur later. (Mine always separates which drives me insane.)
  • Unfortunately, this pie will not keep long so invite some people over to help you finish it the day of baking. (It will keep one day in the fridge alright but after that the meringue doesn’t keep its light and fluffy consistency.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

Growing up in Southeast Alaska doesn’t give a lot of edible gardening opportunities. One thing that grows surprisingly well, however, is rhubarb. Most people have trouble containing it and are constantly trying to pawn off stalks or plants on whoever will take them. Luckily, rhubarb is one of my favorite flavors. I am partial to the more tartly flavored jams and pies and rhubarb pairs well with a number of berries and other fruits. My favorite duos, however, are strawberry and raspberry.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

I basically live off our raspberry-rhubarb jam, and could eat strawberry-rhubarb pie for weeks without getting bored. With several bags of rhubarb in the freezer (courtesy of M’s parents in Oregon), and the need to use up my Costco supply of strawberries, a pie seemed in order. The tartness of rhubarb and the sweetness of strawberries, paired with just a hint of cinnamon, is fabulous on its own or with a side of vanilla ice cream. It keeps well in the fridge for nearly a week (it never lasts longer than that) and warms nicely in the microwave.

This pie would be a wonderful addition to a summer party or just your average evening, if you don’t want to share. (I wouldn’t blame you.)

Below find the recipe for a deep dish pie, along with my notes at the bottom. If you are using a regular-sized pie plate instead of deep dish, you may want to reduce to 4 cups rhubarb and 2-3 cups strawberries, to avoid having extra filling.

Deep Dish Strawberry-Rhubarb PieStrawberry Rhubarb Pie - Slice

Adapted from The Fiddlehead Cookbook

Ingredients

Pie crust for double-crust pie

4 1/2 cups rhubarb in 1/2″ slices
3-4 cups fresh strawberries, quartered

1/2 cup flour
1 1/3 cup sugar (or to taste)
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions

  1. Place rhubarb and strawberries in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Gently fold sugar mixture into the fruit until well mixed, and let sit for fifteen minutes.
  5. Pour filling into unbaked pie shell, mounding towards the center.
  6. Put on top crust and bake at 400 for 10 minutes.
  7. Reduce heat to 375 and bake for an additional 40-60 minutes, until juices are bubbling and rhubarb is tender.
  8. Let cool on the counter until pie plate can be safely picked up with bare hands, and then place in the fridge to store. Keeps well for a week in the fridge.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie - EdgeNotes

  • If using frozen rhubarb, allow to thaw and drain while you make the pie crust and prepare everything else.
  • I used the full amount of sugar, but use more or less according to your preference.
  • I like to place a cookie sheet on the shelf below the pie in order to catch overflow when baking.
  • A deep dish pie plate will likely need the longer range of baking time, whereas a regular pie plate should be done closer to the short end.
  • If it looks runny when you pull it out of the oven, that’s okay. It will solidify some when it cools, especially in the fridge.