Recipes for standout pies

  • Caramel Brown Butter Walnut Pie Christian Gooden

  • Ginger Snap Pumpkin Pie with Candied Pecans Christian Gooden

  • No-Sugar Bourbon Apple Tart Christian Gooden

Published: 11/5/2018 4:38:46 PM


Similar to pecan pie, only made with walnuts, this pie also has a secret ingredient: toasted oatmeal.

2 cups all-purpose flour

1½ teaspoons salt, divided

½ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided, plus more for top crust

¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into large cubes and chilled until ice cold

¼ cup plus 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water

¾ cup quick or old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)

1½ cups coarsely chopped walnuts

3 eggs, lightly beaten

½cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ cup heavy cream, plus more for wash

¾ cup dark corn syrup

¾cup (1½ sticks) melted butter, browned until golden and nutty smelling

1 tablespoon vanilla

Note: You can use a store-bought pie crust for this recipe. Skip the first 2 steps.

1. Put flour, 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar in food processor; pulse a couple of times to blend. Add the chilled butter and pulse 3 or 4 times, leaving some small chunks. Add ¼ cup of the ice water and pulse to blend. Add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough looks like crumbs the size of tiny pearls and sticks together when pressed with fingers.

2. Pour dough onto a large piece of waxed paper and mold into a ball. Split dough in half, roll each into a ball and flatten each into a disk. Wrap each in waxed paper and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4. Spread oats in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Cook until they look tan and smell nutty, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Spread walnuts in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until they are crisp, have darkened a bit and smell toasty, about 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

5. Roll out top crust and cut 5 strips with a fluted pastry wheel or knife. Use the rest to form a variety of fall leaves of your choice. Refrigerate until ready to use.

6. Roll out bottom crust and fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Crimp edges as desired. Use parchment paper or spray a sheet of foil with cooking spray and place sprayed side down on top of crust. Fill with dried beans or pie weights and blind bake the bottom crust 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights, repairing any tears with a small piece of leftover dough and bake another 10 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and set aside.

7. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together the eggs, the remaining ½ cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt, heavy cream, corn syrup, toasted oats, toasted walnuts, browned butter and vanilla. Pour into the prebaked pie shell.

8. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake pie for 30 minutes. Leave oven on. Lay the lattice across the top corner of the pie surface, working quickly because pie is hot. Lightly brush leaves with cream and sprinkle with granulated sugar, then place leaves decoratively on top, around and overlapping some of lattice. Return to oven and bake 20 to 30 more minutes until knife inserted into outer edge comes out clean and decorative top crust is golden brown.

9. Serve room temperature with softly whipped cream or vanilla or cinnamon ice cream.

Recipe by Ellen Trovillion, from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Candied pecans add lots of oomph to the presentation of this pumpkin pie made with a gingersnap crust.

12 ounces ginger snap cookies

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided

1 teaspoon ground ginger, divided

1 stick butter, melted

1 can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)

¾ cup granulated sugar

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon plus a pinch of salt

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

12 ounces evaporated milk

½ cup pecan halves

1 drop of vanilla extract

2 teaspoons water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Place gingersnaps in a food processor and pulse until you have a coarse crumb. Place in a large bowl and add 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon and ½ teaspoon of the ground ginger; toss with a fork until combined. Stir in half of the melted butter until combined. Slowly add the rest of the butter while stirring until fully incorporated.

3. Spoon ginger snap mixture into an ungreased pie pan, using your fingers to firmly pack into the bottom of the pan and up the sides. Use a glass or a heavy measuring cup to help flatten and firmly pack the bottom of the pie. Bake for 8 minutes; remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Leave the oven on.

4. In a mixer, combine pumpkin puree and granulated sugar. Mix in the remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon, the remaining { teaspoon of the ginger, nutmeg and { teaspoon of the salt. Add the eggs and the yolk one at a time, mixing after each addition until fully incorporated. Slowly stir in the evaporated milk. Pour this mixture into the cooled gingersnap shell.

5. Bake for 30 minutes, lower the temperature to 325 degrees and bake an additional 20 to 30 minutes. Pie will have a slight jiggle to it when fully cooked. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely, about 3 hours.

6. Place a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, add the pecans and cook, stirring constantly, until aromatic, about 5 to 8 minutes.

7. Mix the remaining pinch of salt, vanilla, water and remaining 2 teaspoons brown sugar together in a bowl and then add to the skillet with the pecans. Raise the heat to medium high and keep stirring as you wait for the mixture to boil. Once the sugar mixture has boiled and thickened, remove the skillet and dump the nuts out onto waxed paper to cool. Separate the nuts while still hot or they will harden into a clump.

8. Decorate the pie with the candied pecans and serve with ice cream or whipped cream. Recipe by Carin Thumm, from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

No-Sugar Bourbon APPLE TART

This apple tart is made with bourbon and just a hint of horseradish in a homemade applesauce.

7 Golden Delicious apples, divided

Juice of 1 lemon

Dash of salt

Pinch of cinnamon

1 teaspoon prepared horseradish

4 Gala apples

1 tart shell

2 ounces bourbon

3 tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons honey, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Peel, core and slice 4 of the Golden Delicious apples. Add the lemon, salt, cinnamon and horseradish, and cook at a very low temperature until it forms applesauce, about 20 minutes. Do not rush this step.

3. Bake tart shell in oven until a light golden brown. Keep the oven on.

4. Core the remaining 3 Golden Delicious apples and the Gala apples and slice them thin. A bit of lemon juice with keep them from browning. Put the apples in the microwave for 2 ½ to 3 minutes to soften them slightly.

5. When the applesauce is ready, drain any excess juice through a sieve or strainer and place the sauce in the bottom of the tart shell. Arrange the sliced apples, alternatively red and green, around the edge of the tart shell, standing the apple slices at an angle in the apple sauce.

6. In a small pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the bourbon and cook until reduced by half. Pour gracefully over the top of the completed tart. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool and serve. If desired, drizzle honey over the top.

Recipe by Jeffrey Deutsch, from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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