6″ Cherry Cream Pie

My very first 6″ mini pie and flop all in one… I’m posting it anyway because it tastes okay and creating new recipes is experimental. Learn as ya go, eh?

So, what’s wrong with it?

  1. Crust is too thick. Next time I make Basic 6″ Pie Crust, I will roll thinner.
  2. Vanilla Cream (recipe below) is too thin. I wanted it firm, to not sag out.

Oh yeah… it sagged out. Maybe I should have stuck to my original plan (cherry meringue) but I I accidentally dumped sugar into the egg white all at once, before I even beat it, so I took the yolk and change direction. I’m happy with the cherry topping. This size is supposed to serve two, but I think it big enough to serve four. Or, if all you want is a little sweet treat, cut it into 6 wedges like the slice in the photo.

Vanilla Cream Recipe

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1 T cornstarch (not enough, add 1 tsp???)
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 tsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla

Beat egg yolk with a fork, add sugar and stir well. Dissolve cornstarch in milk, then stir into egg mixture. Heat in a double-boiler, stirring constantly, until it becomes thick and smooth. Add butter and vanilla. Stir until smooth again. Remove from heat and let rest to slightly cool, then pour into a pre-baked 6″ crust. Cool to room temperature. Top as desired. Chill overnight.

NOTE:  I don’t own a double-boiler pan, so I used a speckled (graniteware) metal pie plate that nests just right on top of one of my pans yet it’s still easy to lift off. And, it works great! Just get the water to a rolling boil before setting whatever fits on top on your pan.

Since this recipe makes so little, it cooks up really quick and it makes just enough for a 6″ pie, leaving plenty of room for a top layer.

I will make it again… play around until I get the cornstarch measurement just right, maybe add a dash of nutmeg (so tempted last night, but didn’t think an eggnog flavor would go well with cherries) and come up with other flavors, too. I’m thinking it will be a good basic recipe to vary for other cream pies… banana cream, coconut cream, etc.

Maybe I should have used flour instead of cornstarch?

TOPPING:  1/2 to 2/3 cup of whatever you want… cherry or blueberry pie filling, another type of pudding, maybe just sliced strawberries.

I had homemade cherry pie filling in the freezer, so I thawed out a bag (one cup) and cooked it down while stirring constantly with a wire whisk until the cherries broke to bits and it was thick enough to show the bottom of the pan along the path of a spoon.

If you try this recipe, I hope yours comes out better than mine.

Thanks for reading!

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6″ Pie Crust Recipe

This is my first experimentation creating a pastry recipe to make ONE single crust in a vintage Pyrex 6″ pie plate. The baked results looked a little too thick, especially with folding the edge in before fluting, so I will roll it a tad thinner next time. Who knows? This recipe might actually make enough for a double crust.

Basic 6″ Pie Crust Recipe

  • 3/4 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 T. shortening
  • 2 T ice cold water

SHORT INSTRUCTIONS (for those who already know how): make pie crust.

HOW I DO IT:  Toss flour and salt with fork. Add shortening one tablespoon at a time, working into the flour with the fork until it looks like crumbs. Slowly sprinkle on the water while sliding fork around until it comes together. You might need to add just a little more water. (It depends on the weather, how dry the flour is, if you plan to roll it on flour, and other variables.) I used 2 T., shaped the dough into a flattened ball, and rolled it out between two sheets of parchment paper without any additional flour. Peel off paper one side at a time. Fit dough into dish, trim and flute edges. Makes one 6″ recipe ready unbaked pie shell.

NOTE:  I baked my empty shell (with fork pricks as shown below so it won’t bubble up) in a toaster oven set on “toast” so the heat was distributed from the top and the bottom, at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Your time may vary. I took mine out when it was just done, barely light brown top and bottom, as I’m thinking of making a meringue pie that will require additional baking. As for the hearts cut from the scraps, I baked those with cinnamon sugar on top.

Odds are, I will play with this recipe, maybe start with 2/3 c. flour, until I get the right ratios to avoid leftover dough.

Thanks for reading and happy baking!

 

 

Small PB&J Cheesecake

Invented a new recipe today to make a no-bake cheesecake in a mini springform pan. It’s plenty big enough for two people, even three or four if you cut smaller slices. Most recipes make way too much. Who needs a dessert to serve 8 or 12 or 16 people?

Here’s how I made it:

Crust:
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon melted butter
Mix together and press into bottom of 5 inch springform pan. Chill.

PB layer:
1/8 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 oz cream cheese
2 teaspoons confectioner’s sugar
1 cup cool whip lite
Smash cream cheese, sugar, and peanut butter together with fork until nice and creamy, then slowly beat in the whipped topping. Spread on top of crust. Chill while making the next layer.

J layer:
2 T. preserves
1 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup cool whip lite
I used my sister’s homemade peach preserves (thank you Jai!) and beat it into the cream cheese with an electric mixer which broke the peaches up into tiny bits and made it all creamy. Add whipped topping. Spread on top of peanut butter layer and chill overnight.

I did not chill overnight before cutting a slice (topped with a peach slice pulled from preserves) so I hope it gets a bit firmer overnight. If not, then oh well… maybe use less whipped topping next time? Or maybe it would be good frozen? Actually, if the peanut butter layer was thicker, could just skip the jelly layer and serve it with a dab of perserves on top. That is part of the fun with experimental cooking in less quantity. You can play in the kitchen trying new things. This might be good with pineapple preserves or maybe blackberry. If you don’t like cool whip, maybe try it with whipping cream?

As for calories? Oh, don’t know and don’t care. I’m not dieting. One forth was very satisfying, no urge to binge out on it, so that’s cool, too. I might end up throwing half of it in the freezer. What’s nice about using that mini pan is that an inverted bowl makes a good cake keeper.

Thanks for reading!