Pies

Berry Almond Streusel Pie

Mixed Berry Pie

Friday, you sweet son of a gun, am I glad to see you or what?!

Have you all had some bright spots this week? I really hope so. Over here, the days feel long when they’re spent attached to a 5 week old while running after an almost two year old but thank goodness and hallelujah that summer + maternity leave = weekends at the lake. My parents have a little spot on the water at Lake Martin, so during the summer, they spend a couple months in these parts and I have a location for weekend retreats. And, to be clear, by “retreats” I mean no makeup, extra hands to help with chi’rens, and all the grilled chili dogs and burgers my post-natal body can handle. PRAISE!

Mixed Berry Pie

I’m excited to be able to share with you all twice this week. Ever since we talked about pie crust earlier this week, I’ve been trying to determine which recipe I was going to post today. I have a few pies up my sleeve but, you know, I can’t show you all my cards at once so let’s settle for one recipe at time, okay? In preparation for today, I did a little more research (read: made and consumed way too many pies) to make sure I gave you the most appropriate of appropriate pie recipes today. After much deliberation and several scoops of ice cream to make my pie tests “a la mode”, I’ve decided on a summer staple: mixed berry pie. Well, berry almond streusel pie, to be precise. 

Mixed Berry Pie

Mixed Berry Pie

Me and the berries get along real well in the summer on account of all the farm stands and pick-your-own berry fields that have popped up here in central Alabama. Also, is there anyone who doesn’t like at least one variety of berry? I don’t think so.

I decided on a mix of blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries for this pie, but the beauty of this recipe is that you can go any direction. Use whatever you have on hand, whatever is growing in your backyard, or whatever is BOGO at the supermarket. Once you have made the ultra-critical decision of picking your flavors, and given that you read my last post and know how to make stellar pie crust, the hardest part of making this pie is waiting for it to cool to room temperature and set up completely. No judgement here if you dive in spoon first the second it’s cool enough to shovel in to your mouth. Been there, done that. 

The crumb topping on this berry almond streusel pie comes together easily and is a terrific alternative to making a double-crusted pie. I’ve included a photo of a double crusted pie I fixed earlier this year when I was testing dough braiding. Let’s just say that whole braiding thing is easier said than done. With two babies on the hip this summer, I’m going to stick with streusel toppings for now. 

Mixed Berry Pie

Mixed Berry Pie

This recipe for berry almond streusel pie will fill a standard 9″ pie plate. If you’d prefer to use a deep-dish pan, increase the filling by 1/3 and cook a bit longer. I’ve even halved this recipe and prepared pies in mini 6″ dishes that turn out great and make for a terrific pie for two! My favorite though is the standard 9″ pie because it’s great for sharing manageable-sized slices with friends. 

Let’s embrace the weekend and the onset of summer by making this berry almond streusel pie and let me know how you love it! Cheers to the weekend and to summer baking!

Mixed Berry Pie

Mixed Berry Pie

For my favorite double pie crust recipe, click here!

 

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Berry Almond Streusel Pie

Berry Almond Streusel Pie

This berry almond streusel pie is stuffed with juicy, mixed berries and topped with a buttery, almond specked crumb topping.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 90
  • Total Time: 2 hours
Scale

Ingredients

For the streusel

  • 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cold and diced
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

For the pie

  • 1/2 recipe of double pie crust (see link above)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 pounds of mixed berries, stemmed and cut into similar sized pieces
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

To prepare the streusel

  1. Combine the flour, oats, sugar, and salt in a medium sized bowl and stir to combine. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter until it comes together in pea-sized clumps. Toss in the sliced almonds. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To prepare the pie

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss the berries, lemon juice, and extracts together in a large bowl. In a separate, smaller bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the berries bowl and toss to combine. Allow to sit for 20 minutes while you prepare your pie plate.
  3. Roll your pie dough to 1/8-1/4″ thick and place in a 9″ standard pie plate. Trim excess dough from the edges and crimp your crust as desired.
  4. Spoon the berries into the prepared pie plate and drain off any excess juices. Top the pie evenly with the crumble topping.
  5. Whisk together the egg and water to create an egg wash. Brush evenly over all of the pie crust edges.
  6. Place pie in the preheated oven and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Decrease oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an addition 1 or 1-1/2 hours, or until the filling bubbles thickly around the outside of the pie.
  7. Once done, cool on a cooling rack until room temperature, at least 6 hours or overnight.

Notes

  • Keep your pie crust and streusel cold until it is placed in the oven. Cold crust and streusel is easier to work with and will perform best in the oven.
  • Keep in mind that this recipe works best in a standard 9″ pie plate and is not intended for a deep-dish pie plate. Increase filling ingredients by 1/3 in order to fill a deep-dish plate.
  • Use another 1/2 recipe of pie dough to top the pie if you prefer a double crust pie. Be sure to brush all of the crust with the egg wash. This will help the crust to brown beautifully.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 9
  • Calories: 387
  • Sugar: 32
  • Sodium: 266
  • Fat: 17
  • Saturated Fat: 6
  • Unsaturated Fat: 9
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 56
  • Protein: 6
  • Cholesterol: 41

Pie Crust

Pie Crust Recipe BY The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a recipe for the best flaky butter and shortening pie crust recipe. Golden brown and slightly salty. This pie crust is made in a food processor but can also be made with a pastry cutter or the back of forks or knife. This pie dough can be used to make lattice pie, hand pies, pop tarts, or tart shells. This is a diverse pie crust recipe that can be frozen or stored in the fridge. better than store-bought pie dough. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

Let’s get one thing clear. I don’t do pie. Or pie crust.

Before I moved to Florida, dessert in our house meant one thing: Kone King. Our suburban neighborhood in Upstate New York didn’t have much to boast in the way of food but they definitely knew good soft serve ice cream. I can remember begging my parents to take me to Kone King after supper on warm summer evenings (read: any night of the year that they were open) where we would make bets on what the flavor of the day would be. Orange and vanilla swirl with sprinkles for me and black raspberry swirl for my parents. Twenty years later, I still think of Kone King just before I take my first bite of a new frozen treat. Will it measure up? Will this be the bite I’ve been waiting for? Usually, no, although there have been a few worthy contenders over the years.

That was a long way of saying that frozen dairy is my thing. It’s my jam. It’s the butter to my bread and the frosting to my cake. I know ice cream and am crazy about it in a weird way that would probably make most people feel a little uncomfortable. My husband even orders extra yogurt when we go out and I dig in to his once I’ve polished off mine. I’m not embarrassed about it; that’s just part of our routine and 75% of the reason why I’ve decided to spend my life with him.

When I married Brett, I didn’t understand why he didn’t like ice cream as much as I did. That first time, in fact, that he let me finish his yogurt, I remember thinking that it was a really sweet gesture. But alas, Brett was not being generous. He was simply sparing his stomach from the internal apocalypse that was imminent upon finishing his cup of frozen bliss. God bless the people who have dairy intolerance. Let’s have a moment of silence for them.

So what was I supposed to serve my dairy-hating man friend? I posed this question to him one day. His response?

Pie.

Pie? Your favorite is pie?

Ok. I can work with pie. But… But, how? I had never made pie crust from scratch in my life. Isn’t that why they make that delicious processed pastry in a box at the grocery store? Or that perfectly patted out graham cracker crumble in a tin? My future husband, the man I so desired to please and serve well, liked a dessert that I really had no idea how to go about making.

Pie Crust Ingredients

So I set out to learn. I started small with crumb based crusts and along the way I ground and patted my way to sweet Oreo glory and buttery Biscoff bliss. My Mimi gave me a lesson on pies at Thanksgiving and after six sticks of Crisco were sacrificed on behalf of my apple and pumpkin pies, I scarfed down more than my share of pie with little hesitation (or dignity).

There were a few not-so-glamourous moments too including an apple crumb pie with a doughy center (???) and a banana cream pie that never really set up (but thank goodness, we’ve since resolved that). Even after the lesson from my grandmother, there were still times I found myself covered in flour and wanting to dump my pie in the trash.
That is, until it happened. The day that me, my deep dish pie pan, and a few stalks of rhubarb walked the hall of victors to the glorious podium of success. A pie crust equal parts buttery and flaky, lightly golden, and perfectly baked around a tart and juicy filling of berries and rhubarb. Perfectly set slices of pie were shared with friends and it was agreed that this was a recipe for the books.

So this recipe for pie crust is for my husband. Yes, it’s just the crust, but it’s the product of hours in the kitchen and it’s a gesture that says, “Honey, I respect that you don’t know crap about ice cream and that you prefer pie. So here, this is yours.”

Try this recipe next time you’re looking to make a pie. Trust me one this one. And stay tuned for another recipe later on this week. (HINT: it’s a pie!)

Pie Crust Dough

 

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Pie Crust

Pie Crust Recipe BY The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a recipe for the best flaky butter and shortening pie crust recipe. Golden brown and slightly salty. This pie crust is made in a food processor but can also be made with a pastry cutter or the back of forks or knife. This pie dough can be used to make lattice pie, hand pies, pop tarts, or tart shells. This is a diverse pie crust recipe that can be frozen or stored in the fridge. better than store-bought pie dough. Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

A pie crust equal parts buttery and flaky, lightly golden, and perfectly baked- this is the only recipe for a double pie crust that you’ll ever need.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Total Time: 15
Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 ½ cups (420 gm) all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons (12 gm) sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon (4 gm) salt
  • 2/3 cup (135 gm) chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup (11/2 sticks, 170 gm) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 10 tablespoons (approximately) ice water

Instructions

  1. Give the dry ingredients a whiz in the food processor to combine.
  2. Pulse in the shortening and butter, just until barely evenly dispersed.
  3. Begin adding ice water, 2 tablespoons at a time until moist clumps begin to form.
  4. Remove dough from food processor and separate in two round disks. Wrap in Saran wrap and chill for at least two hours prior to use.
  5. When ready to use, roll out to 1/4″ thickness and line the bottom of a 9″ pie pan. This is enough dough to fill a deep dish pan as well. Prior to baking, brush with an egg wash, if desired. This is done by whisking 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water and lightly brushing crust prior to use.

Notes

  • This recipe makes a double crust. If you want extra dough for decorating the top, I recommend doubling the recipe and saving leftover crust for a future pie! The dough freezes nicely when wrapped well.
  • Chilling the dough is essential. If your dough gets too warm while you are rolling it out or decorating the top, you may not get as flakey of a crust as you might desire. So work swiftly!
  • Patch up holes or tears in the crust with leftover dough. Even small holes on the bottom of the pie plate can make a burned and sticky mess of your pie and you’re not going to want to waste a drop of this deliciousness!
  • You can easily substitute the shortening for butter and visa versa, however I cannot vouch for any other substitutions. Unless you’re super anti-shortening or anti-butter, I strongly recommend this combination for a buttery, flaky crust.

Recipe Adapted From: Bon Appetit

Lemon Almond Tart

lemon almond tart recipe by the wood and spoon blog by kate wood. This is a simple almond meal flour crust, crunchy and golden, filled with a creamy custard like lemon filling. This is a take on the classic french tarte au citron. Make ahead and store in the fridge. Find the recipe for this summer fruit favorite on thewoodandspoon.com

“If at first you don’t succeed: try, try again.” I’m not sure where that quote originated, but whoever it came from clearly has never tried to create the perfect lemon tart. I can almost see those people pointing and probably laughing at me as I taste tested another round of lemon tarts with utter disappointment. Well, this time, I get the last laugh, because I am happy to report that after many tries, I nailed it. Today, I get to share with you the recipe for the best, most perfect lemon almond tart – a light and nutty almond crust  filled with a creamy, tart lemon filling. (Drool)

lemon almond tart

This all started with a giant bag of lemons and an afternoon peruse through Thomas Keller’s “Bouchon” cookbook. I ran across his recipe for lemon tart (or as Keller and the French call it, “Tart au Citron”), and I thought it may be worth a stab. I had all of the needed ingredients, with exception of those needed for the pine nut crust, but thanks to a lone wolf bag of almond meal left in the netherparts of my pantry, I decided to proceed.

Attempt number one was eggy- and so, so tart. Everything Thomas Keller does is is perfect, so I confess that my lack of skills and palate were likely to blame. Unfortunately, as my husband pushed the tart around on his plate, I knew it wasn’t a winner. 

Attempt number two yielded a perfect almond crust but with a filling that was still kind of eggy. I researched and discovered a few things about cooking with lemon and eggs (see notes!), so  attempt number three left me with a perfectly tart/sweet lemon filling. Unfortunately, I torched the shell this time around and failed to cook the filling for quite long enough so it still wasn’t right. #humblingkitchenmoments

lemon almond tart

Attempt number four, as baby bear would say, was juuusssst right. Lemony, sweet, and with an incredibly creamy mouth feel, this was a tart sexy enough to call it by its French name. This was a tarte au citron.

I often receive complements from friends and family about how lovely all my food looks from the 2×4” screen of an iPhone, but what most people don’t know is that behind every photo is usually a failed attempt, a frosting that’s too stiff, a curdled filling, a sink full of dishes, or a scorched mess on the bottom of my oven. Those things aren’t as fun to write about or as pretty to photograph, but they’re apart of the process. If this is ringing any bells right now, take heart, because redemption is almost always just around the corner. This week, we’re calling redemption lemon almond tart.

Lemon Almond Tart

Read through the recipe, and the notes in particular, prior to getting started. There’s no need for y’all to make the mistakes I’ve already trudged through. I like my lemon tart the exact way I take my ice cream sundaes- with a giant dollop of whipped cream. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to be sure to whip some of that up as well.

 

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Lemon Almond Tart

lemon almond tart recipe by the wood and spoon blog by kate wood. This is a simple almond meal flour crust, crunchy and golden, filled with a creamy custard like lemon filling. This is a take on the classic french tarte au citron. Make ahead and store in the fridge. Find the recipe for this summer fruit favorite on thewoodandspoon.com

A light and nutty almond crust filled with a creamy, tart lemon filling. I prefer this tart served with a generous dollop of sweetened whipped cream and lemon almond crumbs.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Scale

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 4 ounces (About 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon) of almond meal
  • 7.5 ounces (About 1-1/2 cups) flour
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) of sugar
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

For the filling

  • 1 teaspoon butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 2 whole eggs, cold
  • 2 egg yolks, cold
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (juice of about 21/2 lemons)
  • 2 teaspoons of packed lemon zest
  • 10 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the lemon crumbs (if desired)

  • About 1 cup of reserved, uncooked almond crust crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter

Instructions

To prepare the crust

  1. In a bowl, combine almond meal, flour, and sugar. Using a pastry cutter or the back of a large fork, cut in the stick of butter until dough is uniformly pea-sized crumbles.
  2. Lightly whisk the egg and extracts together in a separate bowl, and, using the pastry cutter again, combine the wet and dry ingredients. Only manipulate the dough as much as you have to to make it uniform. Overworking your dough will cause it to toughen when baked.
  3. Place dough in the refrigerator for about ten minutes while you prepare your tart pan. Dough can also be left covered in the fridge at this point for up to one day.

When ready to prepare the tart

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using your hands, butter a 9″ tart pan with a removable bottom with 1 teaspoon of softened butter. Lightly dust the bottom and sides of pan with flour.
  2. Using your fingers, press the almond meal crust into the bottom and sides of the tart pan. You will likely use all but 3/4-1 cup of the dough. Trim any excess off the top.
  3. Bake crust for 20-25 minutes, rotating halfway through, until edges are almost turning golden and the center crust is set. Allow to cool while you prepare your filling. Alternatively, the crust can be made one day in advance and set aside covered.
  4. Bring a small-medium saucepan filled with an inch of water to a simmer over medium-low heat.
  5. In a bowl just barely larger than the saucepan, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar.
  6. Once water is boiling, place the bowl of eggs on top of the saucepan and whisk until mixture becomes paler and slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
  7. Add the lemon juice and zest, continuing to whisk all the while. Occasionally turn your bowl to ensure you don’t cook the eggs. Continue whisking consistently until mixture is thickened, about the consistency of a very loose pudding. Your whisk should be leaving a momentary trail behind it as it moves through the bowl and the mixture should generously coat the back of a spoon. The entire cooking process will have taken about 10-12 minutes.
  8. Turn the heat off, but with the pan still on the burner, add the cold butter, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, whisking until piece is combined before adding another piece. Stir in the vanilla.
  9. Pour your filling into the tart crust. Place a piece of saran wrap directly on top of the filling and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Tart is complete at this point, but lemon crumbs can be added as a garnish if desired.

To prepare lemon crumbs

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a bowl, combine about 3/4 cup of reserved, uncooked almond tart crumbs with lemon zest and sugar. Drizzle in the melted butter and stir until small clumps form.
  3. Spread out on a sheet pan and break up larger clumps to smaller, pea-sized pieces. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until golden, shaking pan intermittently. Allow to cool. Sprinkle on top of tart or on top of each piece along with a generous dollop of sweetened whipped cream.

Notes

  • Crust dough will be crumbly, but be sure to cover the sides and bottom of your pan thoroughly and evenly. It may crack in the oven, but that’s ok.
  • When zesting your lemons, avoid the pith (the white part below the yellow exterior of the lemon). Zesting the whites can cause your tart to taste bitter.
  • Cooking time of the filling may differ depending on the type of saucepan you’re using and how large your bowl is on top of the pan. If your bowl is too large, it will take longer to cook the eggs.
  • Cooking your filling in some materials can cause your tart to taste metallic or eggy. After trial and error myself, I recommend using a glass bowl and a silicone whisk.
  • If you prefer a much more tart filling, add another packed teaspoon of zest to the filling.
  • If you like to serve your tart with whipped cream (don’t we all?), whip 1 cup of cold, heavy whipping cream until frothy, then slowly add 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar. When nearly to stiff peaks, add 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Yum!

Recipe Adapted From: Thomas Keller

Banana Cream Pie with Oatmeal Cookie Crust

banana cream pie with oatmeal cookie crust recipe by the wood and spoon blog by kate wood. A simple press in crust made up of store bought crunchy crisp oatmeal cookies (i use gmomma's) is filled with a vanilla and banana flavored pastry cream and slices of real bananas. The whole thing is topped with whipped cream and extra banana for garnish. This recipe is a great summer or spring time cream pie recipe and can easily feed a crowd at your next gathering or party. Find the recipe at thewoodandspoon.com

A few weekends back, I traveled to Orlando for a belated 10 year high school reunion. Being the product of the late 80’s/ early 90’s that I am, the words “high school reunion” bring me mental pictures of Lisa Kudrow and Mira Sorvino dancing to Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” in their Easter egg-toned lamé  outfits just before they fly off via helicopter into the sunset. I’m completely unashamed to report that “High School Musical” also comes to mind, and I seriously (and not so secretly) wish that Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens would reunite down the road for their own musically-inspired version of a reunion. At what age is it inappropriate for me to admit things like that?

From what I’ve gathered from movies, television, and limited personal experience (all legit sources, right?), reuniting with friends from your past can be terrifying for a lot of people, and understandably so, given that the teenage years are often flooded with a crap-shoot of drama, hormones, bullies, and insecurities. So naturally, leading up to this weekend, I thought a lot about the past, listened to a bunch of old burned CD’s, and even looked through a few photo albums from my pre-college years, trying to prepare myself for whatever the night may entail. Even on my way to the reunion, I half expected fear to rear its ugly head along with a million and one of my petty insecurities.

banana cream pie with oatmeal cookie crust 

I’m happy to report that the evening was splendid. I’ll attribute a majority of the painlessness to the fact that I had a truly enjoyable and relatively easy high school experience, marked by loads of fun memories and only a smattering of truly heartbreaking and cringe-worthy ones. Only a handful of people showed up to the dinner gathering, but that kept an element of intimacy, relaxedness, and fun that a larger party of people perhaps would have squashed. It definitely helped that I had my high school and current best friend, Jesse, there as the ultimate wingman/sidekick, but the rest of that lack of anxiety, I have decided, can be attributed to newer attempts I’ve made to genuinely be OK with the person I am right now. This has been one of my goals for 2016: Being OK with me.

I want to be truly content with my life. I want to be proud of who I am. I want to be confident in what I can offer.

I want to walk through life free from shame of who I’ve been or fear that I don’t measure up.

I want to be excited about my life and feel free to relish in the million things I have to be joyful about.

I want to see my present life as something worth sharing with people I haven’t seen in 10+ years, and I want to do so without any hint of sadness at “what could have been.”

I want to know and believe that who I am and what I have is enough, this year and for another ten years.

That’s the person I want to be. 

Admittedly, I have a long way to go. But that’s why it’s a goal and not something I’ve already checked off my list. It’s something worth striving after. 

banana cream pie with oatmeal cookie crust

Another something worth striving after? Perfect banana cream pie.

Have you ever made a cream pie from scratch, only to have it fail to set up and turn into a sloppy tin of pudding? Well, I have. That’s just about every cream pie I’ve ever made. That is, until recently. I ran across this recipe in Cook’s Illustrated and decided to try a variation of it. This recipe uses less liquid than others I’d tried in the past, so I was pretty optimistic that this could be the makings of a winner. It did not disappoint. And because I was feeling extra jazzy, I added an additional layer of bananas AND a cookie crumble crust. Mercy. 

I’m planning to attempt converting this to a coconut cream and chocolate cream pie recipe in the near future, so cross your fingers, legs, and whatever else in hopes that they are as successful as this bad boy was. And if your sweet tooth is calling your name this week, you should make this pie. You should also probably rent “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion” and cry laugh while you eat it with someone awesome… bonus points if you’ve been friends since high school. 

banana cream pie with oatmeal cookie crust

 

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Banana Cream Pie with Oatmeal Cookie Crust

banana cream pie with oatmeal cookie crust recipe by the wood and spoon blog by kate wood. A simple press in crust made up of store bought crunchy crisp oatmeal cookies (i use gmomma's) is filled with a vanilla and banana flavored pastry cream and slices of real bananas. The whole thing is topped with whipped cream and extra banana for garnish. This recipe is a great summer or spring time cream pie recipe and can easily feed a crowd at your next gathering or party. Find the recipe at thewoodandspoon.com

A traditional banana cream pie made special with an oatmeal cookie crust.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 10 1x
Scale

Ingredients

For the cookie crust

  • 6 ounces of crunchy oatmeal cookie crumbs (I used GMommas Buddascotch Oatmeal, but another crunchy oatmeal cookie could be substituted)
  • 1/41/2 teaspoon salt (depending on salt preference)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

For the filling

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (2% or whole)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large bananas

For the topping

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

To prepare the cookie crust

  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a food processor or by hand, finely chop cookies/crumbs into a coarse consistency, adding the remaining crust ingredients towards the end. Mix to combine. The mixture should resemble wet, coarse sand.
  3. Press the crust in to a standard 9″ pie plate. (There will not be enough crumbs to coat a deep dish plate)
  4. Bake until the crust begins to firm up, about 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool.

To prepare the filling

  1. Whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a medium saucepan.
  2. Whisk in the egg yolks, followed by the heavy cream and milk, until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Over medium-low heat, bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking constantly. The mixture will slowly thicken to a loose pudding consistency. Be sure to whisk constantly while mixture thickens, otherwise you will have clumpy pudding as opposed to a uniformly smooth pudding.
  4. Remove the pan from heat and stir the pudding through a fine mesh strainer to remove any clumps.
  5. Return the mixture back to the pan, but off the heat, and gently stir in the butter and vanilla.
  6. Allow mixture to cool slightly, stirring once or twice a minute, for about five minutes.

To assemble the pie

  1. Thinly slice (about 1/8th”) a layer of bananas over the bottom of the pie crust. I used about 3/4 of a banana for this.
  2. Spoon half of the pudding mixture on top of the banana layer.
  3. Repeat the layering of banana slices once more, topping with the remaining pudding.
  4. Smooth the top and place a piece of Saran wrap directly on top of the pudding. Allow to cool in the refrigerator at least for 4-5 hours, but preferably overnight.
  5. When ready to serve, whip the remaining heavy cream with a hand or stand mixer, starting on low speed and increasing to high.
  6. Add sugar along the way and turn the mixer off when stiff peaks have formed.
  7. On low, stir in the vanilla until combined.
  8. Keep pie refrigerated until ready to serve and garnish with extra banana if desired!

Notes

  • Cooking your filling enough is really important. You’re looking for a consistency similar to a loose pudding. It will thicken slightly as it cools, but you don’t want to quit the cooking process while the filling is still soupy.
  • Try to avoid over-stirring the filling after it has been cooked. This can cause it to loosen up.
  • Before decorating, I sliced the remaining banana slices and put them in a bath of one cup of water and the juice of half of a lemon. This will slow the browning process and allow you to decorate with bananas a little ahead of time. Note that bananas will still brown slightly given enough time.

Recipe Adapted From: Cook’s Illustrated

Cranberry Pear Mini Pop-Tarts

cranberry pear mini pop tarts recipe by the wood and spoon blog by kate wood. this recipe makes mini hand pie type pop-tarts filled with bits of pears (or apples!) and cranberries. They are baked in the oven until golden and flaky and the whole thing gets topped with a powdered sugar glaze. This is a great way to use leftover pie crusts or to make individual pie crusts. Find the recipe at thewoodandspoon.com

If you follow me on Instagram or have known me for longer than ten minutes, you have probably gathered that I have a bit of a sweet tooth. God bless decent genetics and enough spare time to exercise occasionally because otherwise, I’d be in deep. 

Surprisingly though, I’m a bit of a health-nut//control freak when it comes to my daughter, Aimee. It’s really important to me that she eats appropriately (even if mom cheats a little every now and then daily), so she’s typically pretty limited on what she’s allowed to have. 

Truth be told, this is in part due to me not wanting to deal with a picky eater, and even more embarrassingly, because I don’t always want to share my treats. The day she learned to say the word “cookie”, I pretty much melted and knew my days of solo cookie consuming were over. She’s a girl after my own heart.

pastry dough for cranberry pear mini pop tarts

Needless to say, Aimee has not tried a lot of the foods I really loved when I was a kid. Because my diet as a kid was often a mash-up of processed food faves, I was usually the girl you wanted to make a trade with at the lunch table… and for the record, no, the leftovers from your mom’s mystery meat with cream of whatever soup sauce was NOT a plausible trade for my pizza Lunchable. Good try, though. 

One of my faves growing up was Pop-Tarts. If we’re being honest, I still probably love them, it’s just been a minute since I’ve ventured to that region of the grocery store. After becoming confident with my favorite pie crust recipe, I decided it was time to take a stab at the illusive Pop-Tart.

Ya’ll.

Homemade Pop-Tarts, or this recipe at least, is essentially a mini, personal-sized pie with DOUBLE CRUST. [Drops Mic]

cranberry pear mini pop tarts

Hot out of the oven, these teeny pie bites have a buttery, flaky crust, and tart fruit filling that is as diverse as it is easy to make. If you want to make strawberry filling… well, make strawberry filling! If you’re feeling blueberry and lemon… bake away! Quite often I will use stocked up preserves from the summer and spread those on to the pastry- super simple. No one will ever guess it’s just jam.

We usually have a good variety of pears at our grocery store in the winter months, so I opted to try out a pear and cranberry variety. My house smelled like a winter wonderland while these were in the oven, and I really think this flavor combination makes for a grown-up, sophisticated way of saying, “um, yes, I still love Pop-Tarts.”

Both the pastry and the filling can be made in advance and they require very little active kitchen time. In a pinch, you could always try refrigerated pie crust from the grocery store, but you have my word that the homemade route is the best way to go.

Give these tarts a try and let me know what you think! If you discover a new flavor that is next level, please fill me in.

Happy baking! Oh, and for the record… I won’t be sharing these with Aimee.

cranberry pear mini pop tarts

 

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Cranberry Pear Mini Pop- Tarts

An updated take on the classic pastry, these cranberry-pear mini pop-tarts include a flaky crust and tart cranberry pear filling that is delicious treat to serve to kids and adults alike!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
Scale

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup finely diced pear (I used Bartlett but any firm pear for baking will do)
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the pastry

  • 2 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 5 Tbsp. ice water

Instructions

To prepare the filling

  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan.
  2. Combine all other ingredients and add to the pan with the butter. Stir frequently over medium heat until cranberries have burst and filling is thick and somewhat uniform, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

To prepare the pastry

  1. Combine flour, salt and sugar in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Cut in butter and shortening with a pastry cutter or fork until it is the consistency of a course meal with small, pea-sized chunks of butter throughout. Add water one tablespoon at a time, tossing gently until pastry comes together in moist clumps. Divide dough in half and pat into two round, flat disks. Wrap with Saran wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

To assemble

  1. Roll out one disk of pastry on to a floured surface to 1/4″ thickness. Using a 3″ biscuit cutter, gently cut rounds of dough. Each Pop-Tart will require two rounds (one for top and one for bottom).
  2. Place one tablespoon of cooled filling on top of half of the rounds.
  3. Top the filled rounds with a second circle of of crust and use a fork to crimp the edges. Vent the top of each rectangle by poking the top of the pastry with a fork 2-3 times. Freeze the pop tarts on the baking sheet for at least 2 hours or up to a week.
  4. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the tarts, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool and top with sifted powdered sugar or a glaze of choice.

Notes

  • I used a simple powdered sugar glaze for the pop-tarts pictured, but feel free to get creative!