Pear Pie

Pear Pie | Pinky's PantryIn the movie “City of Angels,” when Seth (Nicholas Cage) asks Maggie (Meg Ryan) to describe to him what a pear tastes like, she says, “Sweet, juicy, soft on your tongue, grainy like sugary sand that dissolves in your mouth.” It’s the perfect description for this unpretentious little fruit.

We don’t have pears in the Philippines so I’d never tasted them before coming to America. My mother-in-law (who was Dutch) loved them, though, so I always made sure to buy some whenever she came to visit. I learned to love them because of her. This recipe is actually one of the very first pies I learned to make when I arrived in the United States as a teenager. It’s an easy recipe and has long been one of our family’s treasured favorites.

PEAR PIE

  • 1 unbaked, 9-inch, deep dish pie crust (store-bought frozen, or make your own)
  • 2 pears (Anjou, Bartlett, or Bosc pears are good for baking)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ⅓ cup flour
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  2. Line pie crust with parchment paper or foil and fill bottom with pie weights or dried beans.
  3. Bake pie crust for 8 minutes, then remove parchment paper and pie weights, and continue to bake another 3-5 minutes until light brown.
  4. Remove crust from oven and set aside.
  5. Lower oven temperature to 350ºF.
  6. Peel, core, and slice each pear into 8 wedges for a total of 16 wedges.
  7. Arrange pear slices in pie crust like spokes of a wheel with narrow ends toward center and overlapping. You can slice portions of the narrow ends off to make them thinner and easier to overlap and fit in the crust. I usually take one of the pear slices, cut the thicker end off and lay it over the center to cover the overlapping ends. Also, you may not need all the pear slices depending on how big your pears are.
    Pear Pie | Pinky's Pantry
  8. In a medium bowl, beat eggs and sugar together.
  9. Add flour, melted butter, and vanilla and beat until well combined.
  10. Pour custard over pear slices.
  11. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until custard jiggles slightly in the center when shaken.
  12. Cool completely before slicing and serving.
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Mini Chocolate Chess Pies

Mini Chocolate Chess Pies | Pinky's PantryChess Pies are traditionally flavored with vanilla, though there are a lot of recipes for lemon-flavored ones. I decided to post the chocolate version of the Mini Chess Pies recipe for those who would like to try it. Strangely enough, my family doesn’t like them as much as they like the traditional vanilla ones, but who’s to say you wouldn’t like the chocolate ones better? The best way to find out is to give them a try yourself. Don’t forget to let me know what you think!

MINI CHOCOLATE CHESS PIES

  • 2 boxes refrigerated rolled pie crust
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 (1-oz.) squares unsweetened baking chocolate, 

    chopped

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Lightly grease the cups of two 24-cup miniature muffin pans. If using non-stick pans, no need to grease.
  3. Unroll refrigerated pie dough onto a lightly floured surface and cut out 48 circles with a biscuit cutter in size needed to cover bottom and sides of each muffin cup. You will have some left-over pie dough which you can press into a ball, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for future use.
  4. Place 1 dough circle into each cup of muffin pans and press into bottom and sides using fingers or a tart tamper.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla.
  6. In a small bowl, heat chocolate in microwave for 1 to 1½ minutes, stirring at 30-second intervals, until completely melted and smooth.
  7. Whisk melted chocolate into egg mixture.
  8. Pour into pie crusts in muffin pans.
  9. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until filling is just set. Don’t overbake or pies will be dry.
  10. Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then transfer each mini pie to wire rack and allow to cool completely before serving.

NOTE:   If you would prefer to make your own pie crust from scratch instead of using ready-made refrigerated pie dough, here is a good recipe.

PIE CRUST FOR MINI CHESS PIES

  • 1 pkg. (8-oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  1. Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. You could also do this in a food processor.
  2. Gradually add flour to butter mixture, beating at low speed until well combined.
  3. Divide mixture into 48 balls and place one ball into each cup of muffin pans.
  4. Press each ball into bottom and up sides of muffin cup using fingers or a tart tamper.
  5. Cover and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes before using.

Mini Chess Pies

Mini Chess Pies | Pinky's PantryI throw a Mother’s Day Tea Party every year. It started out as just a little tea party for my Mom and my sisters, but since then it has evolved to include other relatives, friends, neighbors, their husbands and children. It’s a lot of work, but is also a lot of fun and has quickly become a family tradition.

This year, Mother’s Day is on Sunday, May 12, so I decided to make some Mini Chess Pies to serve as part of my menu. They’re always a hit when I make them. Even better, they’re super easy to prepare and they’re delicious. In fact, the hardest part about these pies is stopping yourself from eating the whole bunch once you pull them out of the oven!

MINI CHESS PIES

  • 2 boxes refrigerated rolled pie crust
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Lightly grease the cups of two 24-cup miniature muffin pans. If using non-stick pans, no need to grease.
  3. Unroll refrigerated pie dough onto a lightly floured surface and cut out 48 circles with a biscuit cutter in size needed to cover bottom and sides of each muffin cup. You will have some left-over pie dough which you can press into a ball, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for future use.
  4. Place 1 dough circle into each cup of muffin pans and press into bottom and sides using fingers or a tart tamper.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla.
  6. Pour into pie crusts in muffin pans.
  7. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until filling is set.
  8. Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then transfer each mini pie to wire rack and allow to cool completely before serving.

NOTE:   If you would prefer to make your own pie crust from scratch instead of using ready-made refrigerated pie dough, here is a good recipe.

PIE CRUST FOR MINI CHESS PIES

  • 1 pkg. (8-oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  1. Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. You could also do this in a food processor.
  2. Gradually add flour to butter mixture, beating at low speed until well combined.
  3. Divide mixture into 48 balls and place one ball into each cup of muffin pans.
  4. Press each ball into bottom and up sides of muffin cup using fingers or a tart tamper.
  5. Cover and chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes before using.