Sunday, March 23, 2014

Pie Time!

I've just finished reading a culinary cozy mystery novel, Pies and Prejudice by Ellery Adams. For those of you who are not familiar with the mystery genre, a cozy is a type of mystery where the murder is not a focus of the book, solving the mystery of whodunit is the focus. And the solution is found through understanding people, sifting through gossip, and paying attention to subtle signs rather than forensics or following police procedure. This book was a fun read about a woman who returns to her hometown to open a pie shop and discovers that she has some extra talents: when she has very strong emotions and is making a pie, her emotions get transferred into the pie and are exhibited by those who eat it. Finishing this book made me want to offer a couple of my favorite pie recipes: Cherry Cream Cheese Pie and Spring Rhubarb Pie.

Cherry Cream Cheese Pie
This is my husband's favorite pie. His Mom taught me this recipe over 40 years ago; she probably got it 
from a woman's magazine or possibly from the label of one of the few ingredients. It's so easy to make, 
is foolproof, and most everyone loves it.

8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
9 inch prepared graham cracker pie crust
21 ounce can cherry pie filling

  1. Combine cream cheese, milk, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl and beat with electric mixer for several minutes, until it's light and fluffy
  2. Spoon this mixture into a prepared graham cracker pie shell and smooth the top
  3. Lightly spoon the cherry pie filling on top, totally covering the cheese mixture
  4. Chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours
Spring Rhubarb Pie
 I'm thinking of this particular pie because the rhubarb in my yard is just about ready to pick. It's one 
of the very earliest things to grow and it comes up every year, without fail.

4 cups of rhubarb, sliced in 1/4 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon butter
2 9 inch pie crusts (use your favorite recipe)
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine rhubarb, sugar, and flour; mix thoroughly to coat rhubarb
  2. In a pie dish, place the bottom crust and smooth to fit
  3. Spoon the rhubarb mixture into the pie dish
  4. Dot the top of the rhubarb mixture with the tablespoon of butter
  5. Place the top crust on the rhubarb mixture and pinch the edges to seal
  6. Cut 3 or 4 1 inch slits in the top of the crust
  7. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn down the oven to 350 and bake another 45 minutes
  8. Remove pie from oven and brush on the tablespoon of butter and sprinkle on the 2 tablespoons of sugar; cool at least 30 minutes before serving

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