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Fun Halloween Pie

In Desserts, Creams & Sauces, Holidays, Pies & Sweet Tarts On October 12, 2023 0 Comments


Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 15 minutes at 425°F and 45 minutes at 350°F
Makes: One 9-inch pie

Every year, pumpkin pies can become redundant, routine and plain boring, right? This year, for Halloween, I decided to change the “look” of my pumpkin pie by adding some decoration to it. I hope you make this Halloween pie – it’s so easy and fun!

Ready-made, frozen pastry for one 9-inch pie (thaw per manufacturer’s directions & set in a 9-inch pie plate)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
One can (16 ounces) pureed pumpkin
One can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
Halloween pumpkin face sticker decorations
ready-made whipped cream

1. Set oven rack in middle of oven; heat the oven to 425°F.

2. Using 2-inch wide aluminum foil strips, cover edges of pastry in pie pan.

3. With a fork, poke a few holes in bottom of pastry; set aside.

4. In a blender, combine the eggs, sugar, spices, salt, pureed pumpkin and evaporated milk.

5. Blend until ingredients are combined and look uniform; set aside.

6. Pour the blended, liquid ingredients in pie pan.

7. Gently transfer the filled pie pan to a rack set in middle of oven.

8. Bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, lower oven temperature to 350°F.

9. Bake for an additional 30 minutes. During last 5 minutes of baking, carefully remove and discard the aluminum foil strips.

10. After 30 minutes of baking, using oven mitts, carefully transfer the pie to a cooling rack or wooden board. Let pie cool completely.

11. When pie is cool, refrigerate it for 3 hours or overnight.

12. At serving time, decorate the pie by transforming it into a pumpkin face!

13. Set it on table for all to admire. When ready to serve, remove stickers, slice the pie and serve on individual plates.

14. Garnish each slice with whipped cream. Enjoy!
Text & Photograph ©2023 Nancy DeLucia Real

Fast and Fresh Plum Tart

In Pies & Sweet Tarts On August 20, 2012 0 Comments

What fruit are you enjoying these days? Mmm, that’s what I thought – plums. If you’re buying them from your local farmers’ market, then you’re getting fresh, ripe plums. And, they’re sweet!

For an easy dessert this summer, make or buy pie pastry, slice up those plums, sprinkle them lightly with sugar et voilà. It’s fast, fresh and everyone will go, “Wowwww, how beautiful!”
Nancy’s Easy Pie Pastry* (recipe previously posted on this website)

Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 30 to 40 minutes
Makes: One 9-inch tart

ready-made pie pastry
3 to 4 fresh, ripe plums, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
2 tablespoons granulated sugar, for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

2. Follow the rolling-out instructions for one sheet of pie pastry and transfer it to a large cookie sheet.

3. Lay out the plum slices in concentric circles and sprinkle sugar over them.

4. Turn the pastry edges inward, over the plums.

5. Cover the pastry edges with one-inch thick aluminum foil sheets.

6. Place tart on a rack positioned in center of oven and bake 30 to 40 minutes or until plums are tender and slightly bubble.

7. Remove foil strips for last 5 minutes of baking. Cool on cookie sheet set on counter.

8. Serve warm or cold, topped with vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Text and Photograph ©2012 Nancy DeLucia Real.

*Note: Fast and Fresh Plum Tart requires one rolled-out pie pastry.

Alternatively, use  Nancy’s Healthy Pie Pastry (found in our Recipes, under Pastry for Sweet & Savory Pies) which yields two pastry sheets. You can make half the pastry recipe – it will yield one pastry sheet.

A Quebecois Christmas – Tourtière

In Holidays, Pizzas, Savory Tarts & Quiches On December 16, 2010 0 Comments

The French Canadian province of Quebec is home to a meat pie whose origins can be traced to the “tourtes” or savory pies of the Middle Ages in France. Encased in pastry, these pies were created to make use of roasted meats that were left over from a “festin” or banquet.

Present-day tourtières or pies are made with fresh meat and are absolutely exquisite. Using a combination of ground pork, beef or veal and potato and are served as part of the Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, or New Year’s Eve dinner.

While baking, the pie spices will warm up your home with holiday aromas. Whenever I prepare tourtières, I am magically transported to my past Christmases where I suddenly see the snowy streets of Montreal lined with quaint homes or shops – all sparkling with yuletide lights and décor. And then, I imagine coming home to my family to enjoy “le reveillon de Noël”  to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. This is our modern-day, traditional Christmas banquet.

Merry Christmas and Bon Appétit!

2 medium potatoes (will yield 1 cup mashed potato)
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ pound ground pork or veal
½ pound extra lean ground beef
½ cup finely chopped brown or white onion
Dash ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon each ground allspice and ground cinnamon
Dash each cloves and black pepper
Ready-made frozen pastry for one two-crust, 9-inch pie

1. Peel the potatoes and then cut them into one-inch cubes.

2. Immediately place potatoes in a 2-quart saucepot, covered with cold water.

3. Bring to a boil and stir in ½ teaspoon of the salt.

4. Cook on medium-high heat for 5 to 6 minutes, or until potatoes are fork-tender.

5. Drain potatoes completely and mash finely, removing all lumps.

6. Transfer the mashed potato to a glass or porcelain bowl; cover and set aside to cool.

7. Meanwhile, in a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the oil on high setting.

8. Add meats, onion, remaining salt, spices and pepper.

9. Cook on medium-high heat, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, 4 to 5 minutes or until onion is translucent and meat is cooked through.

10. Drain the cooked meat to a colander set over a glass or porcelain bowl to drain; set aside.

Assemble the Pie:

1. Preheat oven to 425˚F and line a 9-inch glass or porcelain pie plate with one pâte brisée or readymade pastry sheet.

2. Using a fork, make intermittent holes in pastry-lined plate and set aside.

3. Transfer the drained meat in a 4-quart mixing bowl and stir in the mashed potato until mixture is uniform.

4. Carefully spread the meat filling evenly onto pastry-lined plate.

5. Place second pastry sheet over meat filling; trim edges and seal.

6. Using a fork, make intermittent holes over pastry top and cover edges of pastry with aluminum foil strips (this prevents burning).

7. Place pie on a rack positioned in center of oven and bake for 30 minutes.

8. Remove foil strips during last 5 minutes of baking.

Serve warm, garnished with ketchup (on the side or drizzled over each individual slice).

Wine pairing suggestion: Bordeaux (red).

Text and Photographs ©2010 Nancy DeLucia Real