A Day in the Life of Pie

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Pie is a must this holiday season. I double dare you to be stressed out with a piece of delectable pie in front of you waiting to be devoured. I am certain Pi would have enjoyed a slice of pie while ship wrecked in the Pacific ocean for 227 days with a Bengal tiger as his only companion. Today nouvelle cuisine has taken pie to a new level of fusions and complex ingredients, but it is my belief that the humble pies are still our favorites. Everything is better in a crust. There is nothing better than the smell of a baking pie on a chilly winter day; it warms your heart and soul. Pies are made to share. They connect people and add joy to any occasion. That’s why the world needs more pie, and is why I am sharing three new pie recipes with you today. All the recipes are made for a 9-inch pie, but can easily be adapted to prepare mini pies as depicted in the blog. These recipes could be used to create a day of meals. The quiche would be perfect for your family and guests as breakfast on Christmas Eve. Serve the savory meat pie as a sumptuous evening meal with a crisp salad, and end the day with a slice of delicious cherry pie. If that is too much pie for one day please feel free to enjoy them dispersed through out the holiday season.

Cherry Pie

One recipe for a double piecrust

2 -14 oz. cans of Co-op pitted Bing Cherries in heavy syrup

drained with ⅓ cup of the syrup reserved and set aside

¾ cup white sugar

3 tbsp. quick cooking tapioca

⅛ tsp. salt

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

¼ tsp. almond extract

½ tsp. vanilla extract

2 tbsp. butter

Prepare the pie pastry in advance and divide into two equal sized disks.

Preheat oven to 425°F

Roll out 1 pastry disk on a well-floured surface to a 12-inch round. Transfer to a 9-inch pie dish (or 4 mini pie dishes) with at least a half-inch overhang of pastry.

Place the drained cherries in a large bowl. Add the sugar, tapioca, salt, lemon juice, almond extract, vanilla extract and the reserved ⅓ cup of syrup. Gently stir to combine all ingredients and sit aside for 10 minutes. Pour into prepared pie shell and dot with the butter.

Roll out the second disk of pastry on a well-floured surface to a 12-inch round. Place the rolled out pastry over top of the cherry filled pie dish and crimp the over hanging pastry edges together to seal. Cut small decorative vents into the top of the pastry to allow steam to escape while baking.

Place the pie on a parchment covered baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and bake until crust is golden brown and cherry juices are bubbling. Usually 30 minutes, if the edges are browning too much while baking, cover with a foil ring.

Place the baked pie on a wire rack to cool for several hours. Serve at room temperature.

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Savory Meat Pie

1 recipe for rich plain pastry for 9 inch pie or prepared frozen

shell for 9 inch pie, thawed

2 tbsp. butter

1 small onion minced

2 medium carrots finely chopped

2 stalks celery finely chopped

2 cloves garlic crushed

1½ pounds Co-op perfect ground beef extra lean

1½ pounds Co-op perfect ground pork

2 tbsp. fresh thyme chopped

2 tbsp. fresh sage chopped

4 tbsp. fresh parsley chopped

½ tsp. marjoram

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

3 tbsp. flour

1 cup Co-op Gold d’or beef stock

¼ cup 2 % milk

Preheat oven to 425°F

Fit the bottom layer of pie pastry into a 9-inch pie dish.

In a medium sized heavy saucepan melt butter over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic and celery and sauté for 3 minutes until tender.

Stir in both of the ground meats and cook until no longer pink.

Add the thyme, sage, parsley, Marjoram, salt and pepper to the meat mixture stir well to incorporate and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in the flour, then add the beef stock and milk to the meat mixture and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer about 10 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. The mixture should be moist but not too wet.

Let the meat mixture cool to room temperature.

Place the meat mixture in the pastry lined pie dish, and top with the other layer of pastry then seal pastry edges. Make decorative vent slits in the top of the pastry to allow steam to escape while baking.

Bake for 15 minutes in preheated oven, then reduce oven temperature to 350°F and continue baking for 30 minutes.

Cool slightly before serving.

Smoked Salmon Cheese Quiche with Dill

1- 9-inch refrigerated pie crust, thawed

6 oz. wild sockeye Co-op Gold smoked salmon shredded

4 oz. cream cheese

2 cloves garlic crushed

3 tbsp. grated white onion

1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

3 large size Co-op Gold d’or eggs

1½ cups half and half cream

3 tbsp. fresh dill finely chopped

Zest of ½ lemon

Preheat oven 350°F.

Press the thawed piecrust into a 9-inch pie dish. Place the shredded smoked salmon evenly in the bottom of the piecrust; dot evenly with the cream cheese and shredded Swiss cheese. Whisk together the eggs, half and half cream, fresh dill and lemon zest then pour over the cheese and salmon layer.

Bake for 35 minutes or until set. Let cool for 15 minutes and serve.

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