French Coconut Pie

French Coconut Pie | Pinky's Pantry
Unlike its name, French Coconut Pie did not originate in France but was actually invented in America. Wherever it originated from, it’s one of the easiest pies you’ll ever make and tastes amazing to boot! You can make your own pie crust if you want to. I have a great recipe for homemade pie crust here. Or you could just purchase a ready-made pie shell from the grocery and save yourself some work. Either way, this pie turns out delicious! It’s literally a pie to die for.

FRENCH COCONUT PIE

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 deep-dish 9-inch pie shell, purchased or homemade
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Bake pie crust for 18-25 minutes until lightly golden on the edges.
  3. Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl until well combined.
  4. Pour filling into pre-baked pie crust. Crust doesn’t have to be cool for this step.
  5. Bake 45-55 minutes or until lightly browned and custard is set.
  6. Transfer pie to a wire rack to cool completely, at least 1 hour, before serving.
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Spinach Feta Quiche

Spinach Feta Quiche | Pinky's Pantry
I’ve had this recipe for years but hadn’t made it in a long time. One day, my daughter, Tissi, decided she wanted to make herself some quiche. She’s a veggie eater and she loves quiche so I dug up my recipe for her. The problem was when I wrote it out for her, I said it only needed one pie crust. Needless to say, she ended up with a ton of extra filling. It wasn’t until a couple of attempts later that I realized my recipe was actually for TWO pies! Poor Tis. She couldn’t figure out why the recipe wasn’t working for her. LOL! If you want to make just one pie, cut the recipe in half. Otherwise, make sure you have two pie crusts ready.

SPINACH FETA QUICHE

  • 2 ready-made frozen pie crust shells (or make your own)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups half-and-half or whipping cream or milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper, or to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 pkg. (10 ozs.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 6 ozs. (1 cup) crumbled feta cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Line pie crusts with foil, fill with rice, beans, or pie weights, and bake for 10 mins.
  3. Remove foil and pie weights, return crusts to oven, and bake an additional 4-5 minutes or until crusts are set and dry.
  4. Remove crusts from oven and set aside until ready to use.
  5. Lower oven temperature to 350°F.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, salt, and pepper, using a wire whisk.
  7. Sprinkle in flour, whisking vigorously back and forth to break up any lumps. If you have a few tiny lumps left, don’t worry about it. They’ll disappear into the quiche.
  8. Stir in spinach and feta cheese.
  9. Divide mixture evenly between the two crusts.
  10. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. If necessary, cover edge of crusts with foil to prevent over-browning.
  11. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Mini Seafood Potpies

Seafood Potpies | Pinky's Pantry
I had to take some appetizers to a party so decided to make mini seafood potpies. I love potpies but we usually make them with chicken. I thought seafood would make a nice change. You could do this with shrimp only or crab only. Or you can add lobster or scallops for more varied seafood. Just make sure your combination of seafood totals half a pound. If you like, you can double the filling recipe to make one deep dish potpie.

MINI SEAFOOD POTPIES

  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ small yellow onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup sliced mushrooms, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup milk or cream
  • ¼ cup clam juice
  • ¼ cup sherry
  • ¼ lb. cooked crabmeat (can substitute imitation crabmeat), roughly chopped
  • ¼ lb. cooked salad shrimp, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 box (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water, to brush pastry
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Melt the butter over medium heat.
  3. Add the onions and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  6. Add the milk, clam juice, and sherry.
  7. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  8. Stir in the crabmeat, shrimp, and parsley.
  9. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  10. Meanwhile, unfold pastry sheets on lightly floured work surface.
  11. Cut out 12 circles a bit larger than the size of the muffin cups you will be using (you may need to roll the pastry out a bit to be able to cut 12 circles).
  12. Cut out 12 mini fish shapes from puff pastry scraps to top each pie.
  13. Press the pastry circles into the wells of your muffin pans.
  14. Make an egg wash by beating the egg with 1 tablespoon water.
  15. Brush the pastry crusts with egg wash and bake for 6-8 minutes.
  16. Remove from oven.
  17. Fill par-baked crusts with seafood filling.
  18. Top each with one of the mini puff pastry fish you cut from the scraps.
  19. Brush top crust with extra egg wash.
  20. Return to oven and bake about 15 minutes or until top pastry is puffed and golden.
  21. Serve hot.

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.

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.

Tomato Pie

Someone at work gave me a bag full of gorgeous heirloom tomatoes from her garden. They were ripe, firm, and delicious. Is it any wonder that the French have referred to tomatoes as “pommes d’amour or love apples?

Actually, up until about the end of the 18th century, people believed tomatoes were poisonous. It wasn’t until 1808 that a Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson of Salem, New Jersey proved everyone wrong. The story goes that he stood on the steps of the Salem courthouse and ate a whole basket of tomatoes in front of a crowd of people who were convinced he was trying to commit suicide in public. When he didn’t die or even get sick, people changed their minds about the lowly tomato. So let’s hear it for Colonel Johnson! Without him, we may never have had delicious dishes like this Tomato Pie.

This dish is a yummy, Southern favorite. If you want, you could cut down the fat by using reduced-fat mayonnaise and reduced-fat cheese, or you could try lessening the topping to 1/2 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese. It’s less rich, but still delicious. Ask my daughter, Yissi. She loves Tomato Pie!

TOMATO PIE

  • 1 single pie crust (can use ready-made refrigerated crust)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, optional
  • 4 medium tomatoes, thickly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced (or 1/4 small yellow onion, diced)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper
  1. Place tomatoes in a colander, toss with about 1/2 tsp. salt and allow to drain for 20 minutes or so.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. Pre-bake pie crust until light brown, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Remove crust from oven and lower oven temperature to 350°F.
  5. If desired, sprinkle bottom of crust with parmesan cheese.
  6. Lightly pat the tomato slices dry with a paper towel and layer them over the parmesan cheese in the crust.
  7. Top with basil and green onion.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. In a bowl, stir together the mayonnaise and mozzarella.
  10. Dollop mayonnaise mixture on top of tomatoes and smooth to edges of crust.
  11. Bake 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown.
  12. Cut into wedges and serve warm.

NOTE:  If you want your pie to be juicy, omit Step 1 and just use your tomatoes as is.

Basic Pie Crust

Basic Pie Crust | Pinky's Pantry
A lot of people are afraid to make pie crust from scratch for various reasons, but with a little bit of practice, making a great pie dough is easy to master. Just remember, you want your ingredients to stay cold as long as possible. Also, the less you handle the dough, the more tender the crust. Over-mix it and your crust could turn out greasy and tough. A food processor is the easiest way to go so if you have one, use it, but by no means is it an absolute necessity. You could just as easily make your crust by hand using 2 knives or a pastry blender to mix the butter and shortening into the flour.

FOR SINGLE CRUST

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/4 sticks very cold (frozen is okay) butter, cut into pieces
  • 2-1/2 tbsp. very cold (frozen is better) shortening, cut into 2 pieces
  • about 1/4 cup ice water
  1. Put flour, sugar and salt in food processor fitted with metal blade.
  2. Pulse just to combine.
  3. Drop in butter and shortening and pulse until just cut into flour. Don’t overmix! You want some pea-sized and some barley-sized pieces.
  4. Add 3 tbsp. of water, one tablespoon at a time and pulsing once after each addition. Then use a few long pulses to blend water and flour well. If dough is still dry after a dozen or so pulses, add as much water as necessary to get dough to stick together when pinched.
  5. Scrape dough out onto work surface.
  6. Gather into a ball, flatten to a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap.
  7. Chill dough for an hour before rolling out.

FOR DOUBLE CRUST

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2-1/2 sticks very cold (frozen is okay) butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/3 cup very cold (frozen is better) shortening, cut into 4 pieces
  • about 1/2 cup ice water
  1. Follow directions above up to Step 5.
  2. Gather dough into a ball and cut in half.
  3. Flatten each half into 2 disks and wrap each in plastic wrap.
  4. Chill for an hour before rolling out.

NOTE:  Dough can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months.