Maple Pumpkin Pie

Wouldn’t life be so much easier if our pets helped out? You know, with laundry or dishes or sweeping…nothing major but totally helpful. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately while packing up all my stuff. I’m moving this Saturday, and while I sweat and put stuff into boxes, my cat just sits there – unamused, and not helpful at all.

It’s plain and simply ungrateful, really. I feed her, change the waste that she deposits in a box each and every day, brush her, play with her and cuddle her…and she just sits there! The nerve….

Actually, while I was baking this pie, the last pie that will be made in my cute little apartment’s oven, the kitty strutted right up, and tried to dip her paw into the pumpkin filling bowl! Good heavens!

Anyway, I usually only make pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, but I am seriously craving pie this week. Like an insane amount. Also, I’ve been seeing tons of awesome pumpkin recipes floating around on blogs, so I figured I might as well hop on the pumpkin train! And I’m soooo glad I did!

To make the crust, mix the flour, salt, and sugar together in a medium bowl.
With a pastry fork, mix the butter and shortening into the flour mixture (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds with some very small pieces of butter remaining, but there should be no uncoated flour).

Empty mixture into medium bowl. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together.

Flatten dough into 4-inch disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes. In this time you could go do your hair or practice a fishtail braid…whatever.

Preheat the oven to 375. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie dough large enough to fit a 8″ or 9″ pie pan. Place it in your pie pan and put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile in a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt.

Add the eggs and beat with a fork until mixed thoroughly.

Slowly add the half and half and maple extract, stir until combined.

It should look like this..

Remove pie crust from the freezer and fill the crust with the pumpkin filling.

Cover the edges of of the pie crust with foil or a pie crust sheild….uhhh…I guess I didn’t take a picture of that!

Bake for 35 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 35 minutes or until the center is set or when a tooth pick or a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy! I did.

Maple Pumpkin Pie
Lightly adapted from The Hungry Housewife
Recipe makes 1 pie

Ingredients:
Pie Crust
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (6 1/4 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (3/4 stick), cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening , cut into 2 pieces
2 tablespoons vodka , cold
2 tablespoons cold water

Pie Filling
1 15 oz. can pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup half and half or whole milk
1 tablespoon maple extract

Directions:
Crust
Mix the flour, salt, and sugar together in a medium bowl.
With a pastry fork,two forks or your fingers, mix the butter and shortening into the flour mixture (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds with some very small pieces of butter remaining, but there should be no uncoated flour).
Empty mixture into medium bowl.
Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together.
Flatten dough into 4-inch disk.
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

Pie:
Preheat the oven to 375.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pie dough large enough to fit a 8″ or 9″ pie pan.
Place it in your pie pan and put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile in a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt.
Add the eggs and beat with a fork until mixed thoroughly.
Slowly add the half and half and maple extract, stir until combined.
Remove pie crust from the freezer and fill the crust with the pumpkin filling.
Cover the edges of of the pie crust with foil or a pie crust sheild.
Bake for 35 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 35 minutes or until the center is set or when a tooth pick or a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack.

Other awesome pumpkin recipes:
Pumpkin Spice Latte
Pumpkin Cinnamon Streusel Muffins
Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal by Mississippi Kitchen

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Rustic Cherry Tart

Since fall has decided to poke it’s head into my life, many of my favorite fruits have been disappearing from the grocery store. This past visit to the store, I noticed that many of the cherries were still big and plump, and I wanted to do one last big HECKYEAHILOVECHERRIES bake off.

I decided to make something easy. Something I could throw together in no time and have ready for dessert that same night. Something I didn’t have to worry too much about too much – a tart!

This tart is sweet and delicious, with a thin and flaky crust. I think it was supposed to serve 6 people, but the boy and I devoured this baby in 2 sittings. Hope you like it!

To make this roll your dough out onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, into a 14 inch circle. Transfer the parchment and dough onto a baking sheet. Mix together filling ingredients until evenly coated.

Pour onto the centre of the tart and spread out to within 2 inches of the edge.

Fold up the edges to keep the filling snuggly inside. Brush the pastry with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 375ºF for 1 hour, or until filling is bubbly and crust is golden brown. Allow to cool completely before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

Rustic Cherry Tart
Serves 6-8
Recipe taken from Kitchen Simplicity

Ingredients:
1 recipe for homemade pie dough or refrigerated pie dough (I use The Pioneer Woman’s recipe)

Cherry Filling:
1 pound (3 cups) sweet cherries, halved and pitted
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

To Finish:
egg wash (1 egg white + 1 teaspoon water, whisked together)
1/2 tablespoon sugar

Directions:
Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, into a 14 inch circle. Transfer the parchment and dough onto a baking sheet.

Mix together filling ingredients until evenly coated. Pour onto the centre of the tart and spread out to within 2 inches of the edge. Fold up the edges to keep the filling snuggly inside.

Brush the pastry with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 375ºF for 1 hour, or until filling is bubbly and crust is golden brown. Allow to cool completely before slicing and serving.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Streusel Topping

This summer has truly been a fairy tale. Three of my best friends in the world got engaged, I started a great new (summer) job, and my boy and I have been getting out and hiking at least twice a month.

On Sunday my boy and I went on our best hike yet. As we were sitting down to a romantic packed lunch of pizza buns and cheese curds (serious), he…wait for it…asked me to marry him! CRAAAAAAZY!!

This was a total, complete, unbelievably awesome surprise. After my good friends got engaged, I got all sentimental and girly and excited and now I can be all crazy whacko excited for myself! I’m seriously floating.

I couldn’t be happier, and with that, thought I’d share with you another rhubarb pie. A favorite. A beauty of a recipe. This will be the third on my blog! The streusel topping is unreal. It makes this dish a pie and crumble all in one. I wish I had a piece right now…it isn’t impossible to make that happen.

So, here we go! Chop up your rhubarb.

And slice your strawberries.

Then combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Mix well.

The mixture should be thick and syrupy after being stirred well.

Roll out pie crust according to recipe and place in a 9-inch pie plate.

Pour the strawberry/rhubarb mixture into the crust to fill evenly.

In a small bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar. Cut the butter into pieces and using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into the flour/sugar mixture until it has the consistency of coarse crumbs.

Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the top of the pie.

Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 50-55 minutes, covering the pie crust edges with foil halfway through in order to prevent over-browning.

Let the pie cool completely before cutting into pieces. Serve with a dollop of freshly whipped cream, if desired. Enjoy!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Streusel Topping
Recipe taken from Tasty Kitchen

Ingredients:
Filling:
2-¾ cups Sliced Fresh Rhubarb, About 5-6 Medium Stalks
2 cups Sliced Strawberries
⅔ cups Sugar
3 Tablespoons Cornstarch

Streusel topping:
1 cup Flour
½ cups Brown Sugar
½ cups Butter (1 Stick), Cold And Cut Into Small Pieces
1 Unbaked Single Pie Crust (store Bought Or Your Favorite Recipe)

Directions:
In a medium-large bowl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar and cornstarch. Mix well. The mixture should be thick and syrupy after being stirred well.

Roll out pie crust according to recipe or package instructions and place in a 9- or 9.5-inch pie plate. Pour the strawberry/rhubarb mixture into the crust, using a large spoon to fill evenly.

For the topping: In a small bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar. Cut the butter into pieces and using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into the flour/sugar mixture until it has the consistency of coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the top of the pie.

Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 50-55 minutes, covering the pie crust edges with foil halfway through in order to prevent over-browning.

Let the pie cool completely before cutting into pieces. Serve with a dollop of freshly whipped cream, if desired.

Blueberry Hand Pies

These do not look perfect. They’re cracked, and bubbling blueberry juices can be seen oozing from the top. But, I dare you to tell me these aren’t delicious! Because they are so, so, wonderfully tasty. And to me, that’s beauty.

It’s not unusual for a recipe to turn out different than I planned. Whenever I make a recipe that looks pretty, but taste’s “meh”, I don’t post it. But I don’t have the same mentality when it comes to delicious recipes that don’t look the way I had hoped.

Usually I would eat a pie like this with a fork, but after letting these tasty babies cool, I figured, HEY! They’re messy anyway, I’m eating these with my hands. And I had the best stained fingers to make my gluttony known to everyone afterwards. Baking is the best!

To make these, get your pie dough ready and chill it for at least 1 hour before making the hand pies. Then, in a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and lemon zest. Set aside.

In another bowl, coat the blueberries with lemon juice. Sprinkle on the sugar mixture and stir until blueberries are evenly coated.

Roll out chilled pie dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out circles approximately 5-6 inches in diameter (I used the rim of a 5 1/2 inch diameter round bowl to cut out circles).

Fill center of dough circle with blueberry filling. I was able to fit 2 tablespoons of filling in each hand pie.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk with two tablespoons water. Brush egg wash on edge of dough circles, fold in half, and seal the edges with a fork. Chill hand pies for at least 1/2 hour before baking.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove pies from refrigerator and brush with remaining egg wash. Sprinkle on turbanado sugar and cut a small slit in the top of each pie to let out steam (or oozing blueberries)! Bake for about 20 minutes, or until pies are golden brown and flaky. Cool to room temperature before serving.

Enjoy!

Blueberry Hand Pies
Recipe taken from Pastry Affair
Yields approximately 8 hand pies

Ingredients:
1 recipe for 9-inch pie crust (I use The Pioneer Woman’s recipe)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 cups (1 pint) fresh blueberries
Pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
Sanding or crystal sugar, for garnish

Directions:
Chill the pie dough for at least 1 hour before making hand pies.

In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and lemon zest. Set aside.

In another bowl, coat the blueberries with lemon juice. Sprinkle on the sugar mixture and stir until blueberries are evenly coated.

Roll out chilled pie dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out circles approximately 5-6 inches in diameter (I used the rim of a 5 1/2 inch diameter round bowl to cut out circles). Fill center of dough circle with blueberry filling. The amount you can fit inside will depend on the size of your blueberries (I was able to fit 2 tablespoons of filling in each hand pie).

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk with two tablespoons water. Brush egg wash on edge of dough circles, fold in half, and seal the edges with a fork.

Chill hand pies for at least 1/2 hour before baking.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Remove pies from refrigerator and brush with remaining egg wash. Sprinkle on sanding sugar and cut a small slit in the top of each pie to let out steam. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until pies are golden brown and flaky. Cool to room temperature before serving.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

With all of this awesome rhubarb-ness going on at the farmers market I have already made TWO strawberry rhubarb pies this month. The one you see here, and another one with a crumble topping that I will post about later. My tummy is happy.

Fresh pie just screams summer to me. I love it, and find myself looking for excuses to make it.

Friend: “Oh hey Katrina, wanna go out for coffee tomorrow.”

Me: “Sure, that will probably require me to bake a pie.”

Strawberry rhubarb pie is my boyfriend’s absolute favorite pie. He’ll beg for it. He will go out of his way to find rhubarb, bring it home, place it in the frige, and mention nonchalantly “there’s rhubarb in the fridge if you’d like to bake something with it”.

Lucky for him I DO!

Although I loooove this pie, I personally prefer plain ol’ rhubarb pie, but if you’re like my man this pie is for you!!

To begin, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. On a well-floured counter, roll half of pie dough into a 12-inch circle and carefully transfer to a 9-inch pie plate.

Stir together rhubarb and strawberries….

…and juice that pretty lemon.

Stir together rhubarb, strawberries, sugars, lemon, salt and tapioca in a large bowl.

Mound filling inside bottom pie crust and dot with bits of unsalted butter.

Roll second half of pie dough into an 11-inch circle. Transfer it to center over the pie filling. Trim top and bottom pie dough so that their overhang beyond the pie plate lip is only 1/2-inch. Tuck rim of dough underneath itself and crimp it decoratively.

Brush egg yolk mixture over dough and cut slits into your pie.

Transfer pie to a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until the pie is golden and the juices bubble visibly.

Transfer pie to wire rack to cool. When fully cooled (several hours later) the juices will gel.

Enjoy!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Recipe taken from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 1 9-inch round pie

Ingredients:
1 recipe for double-crust pie dough (I always use the Pioneer Woman’s recipe)
3 1/2 cups (about 1 1/2 pounds, untrimmed) rhubarb, in 1/2-inch thick slices
3 1/2 cups (about 1 pound) strawberries, hulled and sliced if big, halved if tiny
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a well-floured counter, roll half of pie dough into a 12-inch circle and carefully transfer to a 9-inch pie plate.

Stir together rhubarb, strawberries, sugars, lemon, salt and tapioca in a large bowl. Mound filling inside bottom pie crust and dot with bits of unsalted butter. Roll second half of pie dough into an 11-inch circle and cut decorative slits in it. Transfer it to center over the pie filling. Trim top and bottom pie dough so that their overhang beyond the pie plate lip is only 1/2-inch. Tuck rim of dough underneath itself and crimp it decoratively.

Transfer pie to a baking sheet and brush egg yolk mixture over dough. Bake for 20 minutes then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until the pie is golden and the juices bubble visibly.

Transfer pie to wire rack to cool. When fully cooled (several hours later) the juices will gel.

Note: Pie should keep for up to three days at room temperature.

Nanny’s Butterscotch Pie

Oh my, Beautiful Butterscotch Pie.

My Nanny (another word for Grandmother in my family) makes the best butterscotch pie going. Since I was little I remember finishing my dinner quickly, and sitting patiently at the table until it was pie time. Butterscotch pie only comes out at special occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas, and when it does I go wild for it. WILD I tell you. I could eat a whole pie and be completely content.

Since Thanksgiving (Canadian of course) is coming up, I thought I’d share my favorite dessert with you. A dessert that really means something to me. It reminds me of family, and how happy a simple meal could make us when I was a child. It reminds of a time when I wasn’t constantly worrying about scholarships and deadlines. This dessert is special to me, my favorite, and I hope you like it :)

First, prepare your crust in a 9-inch pie pan. My favorite pie crust recipe is by the Pioneer Woman, and I use it for ALL of my pies and most of my tarts. This filling recipe makes enough for one pie, so double the recipe if you need to make two.

To prepare the filling, separate your eggs, lightly beat yolks and set aside the whites (you’ll use these for the meringue later). In a double boiler, whisk together all of the filling ingredients until smooth. Cook over medium heat until thickened. Remove from heat and pour into your pre-baked pie shell.

Once you’ve poured your amazing concoction into your pie shell, you can start your meringue.

Immediately spread the meringue over the hot filling, anchoring it to the edge of the crust at all points. Place meringue VERY close to the crust, working inward.

Bake for 20 minutes (or until meringue has a nice brown top) at 350 degrees F. Let it cool on a wire rack and serve!

Nanny’s Butterscotch Pie
Makes filling for one 9-inch pie

Ingredients:
Perfect Pie Crust
1. Get the recipe and directions here.

Filling:
1 cup brown sugar
4 HEAPING tbsp all purpose flour
2 egg yolks
2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp butter

Meringue:
2 large egg whites (1/2 cup), at room temperature
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp vinegar

Directions:
1. Prepare your crust in a 9-inch pie pan, and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.To prepare the filling, separate your eggs, lightly beat yolks and set aside the whites (you’ll use these for the meringue later). In a double boiler, whisk together all of the filling ingredients until smooth. Cook over medium heat until thickened. Remove from heat and pour into your pre-baked pie shell.

3. To prepare meringue:
a) In a clean, grease free glass or metal bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy.
b) Add cream of tartar and beat until soft but definite peaks form.
c) Very gradually beat in sugar. Beat on high speed until the peaks are stiff and glossy, but not dry.
d) Add vanilla and vinegar.
e) Immediately spread the meringue over a hot pie filling, anchoring it to the edge of the crust at all points. Place meringue VERY close to the crust, working inward.

4. Bake for 20 minutes (or until meringue has a nice brown top), and cool on a wire rack.
5. Serve and enjoy!

*The pie can be stored for up to three days in the refridgerator.

Banoffee Pie, Oh my.

I’ve been traveling around Europe for two months, and therefore haven’t been keeping my blog up to date. My bad, I know. During my travels I DID continue to bake and cook (Racelette and peanut butter clusters) since I had a kitchen facility, and had so much fun making big meals and sharing them with everyone.

While on my trip I met tons of people from all over the world. We hung out, shared stories, and most importantly shared food. On my trip a British friend made a really yummy English dinner consisting of Yorkshire pudding, and Banoffee Pie. After the pie my taste buds went wild! I’ve gone my whole life without this amazing combination. Banana meets toffee and they make a miracle.

I visited England on my travels and noticed that Banoffee is a very popular flavour there. I found it in tons of sweets ranging from fudge to ice cream to pastries. The Brit’s sure know how to make sweets.

To make the pie, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter and press mixture into 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees F for 5 to 8 minutes.

Lower the oven to 300 degrees F for the toffee filling. Put the cans of condensed milk in a pot of boiling water (don’t open the tin first!) and allow to boil for 2 hours . When cool enough to handle, open the tin carefully. Once both the crust and toffee filling are cooled, spread half of the filling evenly inside crust. Slice the bananas and layer on top of filling. Pour remaining half of filling over bananas, spreading evenly.

Whip the cream with the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and spread on top of toffee filling and bananas.

Then? EAT! I like my pie served chilled, so sometimes I put the pie in the fridge BEFORE putting the whipped cream on it. You can do it both ways though. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
10 tablespoons butter, softened
2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
3 large bananas
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter and press mixture into 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes.
3. Lower the oven to 300 degrees F for the toffee filling.
4. Put the cans of condensed milk in a pot of boiling water (don’t open the tin first!) and allow to boil for 2 hours . You should put a lid on the pot to prevent all the water boiling off. When done, remove the tin and leave to cool a little (you could pour cold water on it to cool the outside). When cool enough to handle, open the tin carefully – the condensed milk will have caramelised and may well shoot out the opening.
5. Once both the crust and toffee filling are cooled, spread half of the filling evenly inside crust. Slice the bananas and layer on top of filling. Pour remaining half of filling over bananas, spreading evenly.
6. Whip the cream with the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and spread on top of toffee filling and bananas.
*If you want to make your pie pretty, shave some semi-sweet chocolate on top of the whip cream. It will look perfect!

Perfect Lemon Meringue Pie

I’ve been thinking about making this pie for way too long, and I’m so glad I finally had a reason to make it. In my family, pie is our number one go-to dessert. Of course we love cakes, candies, cookies, and bars, but I can say with certainty that the lot of us will choose a slice of pie with ice cream over anything else.

My Poppa’s birthday was this past weekend, and he requested a homemade lemon meringue pie. My secret to a perfect pie? Make it with love. Measure the ingredients like you are creating a masterpiece. Follow the instructions step by step, and bake slowly. Love what you bake, and love who you bake it for. It makes the eating process a sacred event.

While whipping together the filling for this pie, the smell of fresh lemons whisked through our kitchen for hours. The lemon particles lingered in the air and mixed with the cool breeze coming through the screen door. Even the light, lemony scent on my fingertips lasted until bed time.

Of course, eating the pie was the best part of the whole process. The filling was perfect, baked in a delicious homemade pie crust. I used Pioneer Woman’s recipe because it is the absolute best recipe out there! Seriously.

The filling for this recipe was taken from the Joy of Cooking Cookbook, and makes enough filling for one 9-inch pie.

Ingredients:
Perfect Pie Crust
1. Get the recipe and directions here.

Filling
Lemon filling ingredients:
1 ¼ cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
1 ½ cups water
½ cup strained fresh lemon juice (from 2 to 3 lemons)
2 to 3 tbsp grated lemon zest
4 large egg yolks
2 to 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Directions:
1. Prepare your crust in a 9-inch pie pan.
2. Get all of your ingredients ready to go – squeeze your lemons and grate the zest so that your filling can come together nicely.

3. Whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt thoroughly in a medium saucepan. Then whisk in water, fresh lemon juice, and lemon zest until blended well.
4. Whisk in egg yolks until no yellow streaks remain. Add unsalted butter.

5. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, then cook for one minute. The filling should be very thick.

6. Pour the filling into the pie crust.

7. Immediately prepare meringue topping (recipe and preparation follows), and place it onto the warm filling.

Meringue:
Ingredients:
4 large egg whites (1/2 cup), at room temperature
¼ tsp cream of tartar
½ cup superfine sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp vinegar

Directions:
1. In a clean, grease free glass or metal bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy.
2. Add cream of tartar and beat until soft but definite peaks form.
3. Very gradually beat in sugar. Beat on high speed until the peaks are stiff and glossy, but not dry.
4. Add vanilla and vinegar.
5. Immediately spread the meringue over a hot pie filling, anchoring it to the edge of the crust at all points. Place meringue VERY close to the crust, working inward.
6. Bake for 20 minutes (or until meringue has a nice brown top). The pie can be stored for up to three days in the refridgerator.

7. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Note: when applying a meringue to a pie, it is important to spread a band of topping around the edge of the crust or dish before you fill the centre. If you cover the centre first, you are likely to displace some of the filling and cause it to spill over.

Pure Canadian Butter Tarts

It’s my uncles birthday this week, and unlike most years, I get to celebrate it with him! So to get ready for the occasion I asked my aunt what kind of cake he’d like the best. Personally I like birthday PIE! Butterscotch pie to be exact…but it’s not my birthday.

Anyways, my aunt said that if my uncle could have anything it would be a batch of gooey butter tarts. And being the true Canadian that I am, I think that this is a GREAT favorite! Over the years I’ve collected quite a few recipes for this amazing dessert, and the question is always “maple syrup or corn syrup?”. Yes, I am Canadian. Yes, I love my country. Yes, I love maple syrup on everything (cookies, pancakes, ice cream..even snow). Buuuuuut, butter tarts are simply better with corn syrup. It’s a fact, and I have my cousin to thank for that trick. No one has a better recipe than hers – not any store OR anyone.

This recipe has been in the family for years, and thank goodness it’s not a secret. Why would we keep this delectable treat to ourselves? I surely wont. I want to share it with everyone so that they can make it for me one day. Also, butter tarts are on my all-time favorite foods list! So I simply must let the world know how to make them.

The one thing that can be tweeked in this recipe is the pie-crust. I posted my personal favorite (making a fresh crust) that is made especially for these butter tarts, but you can always use a regular pie crust recipe, or a thawed frozen crust as well. Whatever your lovely heart desires.

Ready to get started? This recipe makes 12 lovely butter tarts.

Ingredients:
Tart Crust:
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
6oz cold cream cheese
1 cup cold unsalted butter
2 tbsp ice water

Filling:
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup corn syrup
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
*1/4 cup raisons or pecans if desired

Directions:
Crust:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 12-cup muffin pan.
2. Place the flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Grate in the butter and cut the cream cheese into chunks before adding to the mixture.

3. Then mix together until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in enough water to form a firm dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 3mm thick. Use a circular fluted cookie cutter to cut out 12 dough rounds. Press the dough rounds into the prepared cups.

Filling:
5. With a mixer on high speed, beat the egg until frothy. Beat in the rest of the filling ingredients
6. Spoon the filling into the cups until almost full. Bake until piecrust in browned