Easy to Make Meringue Topping for Pies

I have made more cream pies in the last 6 or 7 months than I have made or eaten in the last 10 years. No doubt that my Pie Baking ventures have taken me to parts unknown and both far and wide. And one of the specifics that I have had to learn during this time is how to make a Meringue Topping.

What was surprising was how easy and quick it was to make a Meringue Topping. With ‘EASY’ and ‘QUICK’ being the operative words here! Because we all know how much OTHER preparation goes into putting together a pie dish, especially a cream pie, so anywhere in the process where you can limit the time it take to make something is great!

Where did I do to pick this most important of skills up? Better Homes and Gardens!

Better Homes and Gardens has a wonderfully SIMPLE, step-by-step, instructional list of what to do to whip up a quick, light meringue topping that melts in your mouth and adds a wonder flavor and texture to your fruit or pie dish.

Not to take any credit away from Better Homes and Gardens – if you would like to bookmark this quick and easy Meringue Topping recipe for your next pie dish, see – How to Make Meringue Topping for Pies on Better Homes and Gardens.

Last Note…

If you get a chance to make this recipe, come on back to The Pie Addict and in the comments below, let me know how it turned out, what you found easy or more difficult. We would love to share that with other readers! Happy Baking!

It’s Been A Blueberry Cream Pie, Labor Day Type of Weekend

The wife was out of here late Thursday afternoon on a plane bound for warmer climates for wedding and I had Friday off (from my day job), in a desperate attempt to ‘prolong’ my three-day Labor Day weekend. And what a weekend I had planned – daughter’s soccer game Saturday morning (What I looked forward to THE MOST actually), gym time to keep the gut in check, and pie making galore! The menu? A long-overdue, Banana Cream Pie for my great friends, The Snyders and a Blueberry Cream Pie for me and the daughter.

southwest airlines
A wedding in sunny, warm San Diego? Who could resist? Off the wife went, courtesy of Southwest Airlines, to southern California, to enjoy a wedding and all the festivities and livations that went with it. Love it, happy for you, have fun, alvitazen, gazuntite…farewell! I had two solid, full days of silly craziness planned and I wasted no time getting started!

One Banana Cream Pie For You…

Banana Cream Pie
I had promised a banana cream pie for our good family friends, The Snyders back on July 4th and had yet to deliver, so this had been ‘elevated’ to priority one status for things to get done this Labor Day weekend. I wasn’t a banana cream pie fan and had frankly never tried one, which is probably why I had procrastinated so long in making it. No biggie, it was gettin’ done this weekend!

Banana Cream Pie
Not surprisingly, there were literally a million ways to make a Banana Cream Pie, and although there were many similarities, there were also subtle differences between the available recipes. One of which being that although the dish is referred to as a – Banana Cream Pie, the only thing ‘BANANA’ in it, are the slices of bananas you put in it. The cream filling is essentially a vanilla filling with a whipped topping? BOOOOORRRRRING!

I found a recipe I liked, relatively quick and simple, and made a few substitutions to suit my own ‘VISION’ of what I felt a true Banana Cream Pie should be (even though I had NEVER tried one…).

The Banana Cream Pie recipe I used was this delightfully simple one posted by Sommer at a spicey Perspective. I copied the recipe for the most except when it came to the filling, where I substituted ‘vanilla pudding’ for a banana cream pie pudding mix. The result? A VERY tasty, creamy banana-flavored filling that only added to the fresh banana slices buried within. It was both explosive and light.

Baby Girl Goes Big on The Pitch…

For those that do not know, my daughter is my life. Yes, yes, I have two older, college sons that I am very, VERY proud of, but as most dad’s can understand, a daughter always holds a special place in a father’s life.

Daddys Girl

My little girl (well…my FIFTH grade, little girl…) had an early morning soccer match with her club team, and played exceptionally well. Not surprising, but being that the game was bright and early on a breezy, cool Saturday morning, I thought her performance was better than PAR for the day. Mind you, she is a night owl and getting her to bed on time can be challenging , so she’s not always the most ‘receptive’ little girl in the early morning. After she finished her game, she was then asked to help out another team in her club who was short players, which she did and performed like a champ.

Needless to say, she was excited, happy with her performance and energized, which energized me! Great Saturday so far, and it was only 11am. Time for pie number two!

Blueberry Cream Pie Ventures…

Blueberry Cream Pie
Nothing is worse than making a pie and then sending your ‘baby’ away without ever know just how special she was? That was the feeling I felt when I made the Banana Cream Pie and then ferried her away to the Snyders for systematic devouring! And, without ever having tasted the finished dish myself. Ugh! I mean, I know I can’t eat EVERYTHING I make but I should be at least able to SAMPLE the finished product eh?

Anyways, the Banana Cream Pie was gone but the CRAVING still lingered. I had to do something!

Cream Pie
I wanted a cream pie, had already done a strawberry cream pie, so on the advice from my daughter, ‘WE’ ultimately decided on a Blueberry Cream Pie.

Cream Pie
I had made a warm and delicious blueberry pie several times over, but now, I was going to turn that idea upside down, with blueberries both ‘chilled’ and rested on a soft bed of sweet, white cream.

Again, with recipes afoot, I settled on the Blueberry Sour Cream recipe by Jamie at Jamie Cooks It Up.

Blueberry Pie
I think the thing that I have come to love about cream pies since starting on this pie making venture, is the surprising number of ways you can put the cream filling together. I have had the opportunity to make many cream pies over the course of the year and nearly all of them have been made with slight differences between. In fact the Blueberry Cream Pie, cream filling involved the mixing of cream cheese, sour cream and cool whip? Strange bedfellows indeed, but a mix that created both a delightfully ‘fluffy’ and sour-sweet compliment to the blueberry filling that rested on top.

Blueberry Cream Pie

My daughter and I couldn’t wait to dig in (what’s new right?), and when that opportunity came, we delicately shoveled out a hefty slice (one slice, mind you…), and together, DECIMATED IT, like it was the last pie on earth. Daughter – thumbs up! Looked like yet another winner to add to the staple of past winning pie dishes.

blueberry sour cream pie

It was my first time, having a ‘chilled’ blueberry topping, but it was refreshing. The blueberries, sweetened from the sugar/corn starch process, exploding in your mouth with a powerful jolt, only to be ‘muffled’ and ‘extinguished’ with a creamy, smooth smothering of sour, whip and cream cheese. Only its ‘richness’ would prevent us from scarfing down another slice, for now…

Blueberry Cream pie

A wonderful dish and one that I can’t wait to make again. If you have other similar dishes that you have made, please share in the comments below. Or, if you have had the opportunity to throw together Jamie’s recipe, I would love to hear how it turned out as well? Thank you, and we’ll see you in the Baker’s Aisle!

The Perfect Raspberry Cream Pie

The ‘Fellowship’ (Me, The Wife and Baby Girl) didn’t have much planned for the weekend, other than taking a Saturday morning bike ride, so the next couple days were open and free for the taking! I had a bag of fresh blackberries in the freezer, courtesy of a family friend, that was just daring me to thaw them out, but I had other grand schemes! I had just baked a blackberry pie for the kids last weekend, so I was done with blackberries (for now anyways…) and decided to tackle a Raspberry Cream Pie Recipe I had been eyeing for some time.

Raspberry Cream Pie

The Raspberry Cream Pie wasn’t too tough, with a buttery graham cracker crust, cream cheese/cool whip infused cream and raspberry filling, it definitely was very do-able for this PIE ADDICT!

Raspberry Pie

I hadn’t put together a graham cracker crust in a while, always changing it out of recipes for a shortbread or cream cheese crust, but since I hadn’t thrown one together lately I figured I might as well stay in practice.

Making the raspberry filling was actually pretty cool though, as the mixture of corn starch, corn syrup and sugar, bubbling in a saucepan ‘broke’ down the whole raspberries into something consistent to a ‘jelly-like’ filling. It was great to watch it happen.

cream pie

I’ve made a number of cream pies over the Summer and each one different in the ingredients I used, which is really quite neat. Before I got into making pies and was just devouring them from Marie Callender’s or wherever, I never gave much thought into HOW exactly cream fillings were made.

This particular filling had me mixing cream cheese, cool whip and powdered sugar, and when it was done, it was a creamy smooth and sugary sweet delight!

Raspberry Cream Pie

Raspberry Pie

With the raspberry filling now cool, I spread this atop the cream now resting nicely within the graham cracker crust I baked earlier. Into the fridge it went, for several hours and then…BOOOM!!!

The cream and raspberry filling together was great. Either one by themselves would of tasted good but having the sweetness of the raspberries mingled with the cream was both explosive and smooth.

Raspberry Cream Pie

cream pie

Thanks to Holly Lofthouse and her wonderful Raspberry Cream Pie Recipe. Check out more fine recipes on her website – Life in the Lofthouse

Lemon Sour Cream Pie With Cream Cheese Crust & Whipped Topping

Just when we thought we were out of the proverbial ‘frying pan’ in Boise, temperatures soared into the low 100s over this past weekend, all but assuring that I wouldn’t be stepping outside until well after dusk. My two sons were out an about, probably at work, my daughter was in her room, probably whipping together the latest in high-rise architecture in Minecraft, and the wife was at the gym (her 2nd home). I was alone and free to let my pie baking passions run rampant so I decided to amp it up a notch with a Lemon Sour Cream Pie. Perfect for a hot (more like sweltering) Sunday afternoon in the City of Trees.

Lemon Squeezer
Amco Enameled Aluminum Lemon Squeezer

I should take that back actually. The WIFE is the one who ‘planted’ the notion in my feeble, pie-addicted mind, that SHE would even be willing to try out one of my pies if I made a Lemon Sour Cream Pie. I had been trying and trying over the last year, nearly, to get her to try one of my pies, but burning calories and building muscle always persevered….until NOW!

So, with a little more incentive and ‘pep to my step’ with this project, a Lemon Sour Cream Pie became my priority for the day.

Cream Cheese Pie Crust
Cream Cheese Pie Crust

Oh, and I didn’t stop there! I had been wanting to try out a cream cheese pie crust recipe , so I thought I’d build that into the project as well. It was a lot simpler to make than I thought and very very quick compared to a standard flaky butter pie crust, which has to rest in the refrigerator for a period of time. With the cream cheese crust, you essentially make it, press it into the pie dish, bak it for 10-11 minutes and you’re done! Time to move along!

cream cheese pie crust
Cream Cheese Pie Crust

The Lemon Sour Cream filling was where the fun really got started, as I had never made a filling quite like it before. Sure I had become pretty good at creamy fruit pies, but this was a bit different, and more of a ‘process’ to get right.

The Lemon Sour Cream Pie recipe I used was from Lauren over at Tastes Better From Scratch.

With a cream pie like this, the beauty was all in the ‘process’, mixing sugar and cornstarch, milk and freshly squeezed lemon juice into a hot, bubbling goop! Then adding in egg, lemon zest and butter to complete the transformation. Watching the ingredients come together visually and chemically was fun to take in. And, after spooning up a small smidgen of the filling and tasting it, after I adding in the sour cream and letting it cool, I knew I was putting together something wholly different but uniquely special!

Lemon Sour Cream Pie
Lemon Sour Cream Pie

The whipped topping was thrown together almost second nature after having been down this path on many past fruit cream pies.

The cream cheese pie crust was cooled and ready….

The Lemon sour cream filling, was ready….

The whipped cream topping was ready…

…a few hours in the fridge, would finish it off, chilling and setting the pie for later consumption.

Lemon Sour Cream Pie
Lemon Sour Cream Pie

I cut a single slice. The knife almost literally ‘fell’, lightly through the fluff of the whipped cream topping and creamy lemon sour cream filling, until it gently, and without little effort pushed through the now slightly-hardened cream cheese crust below.

I took a good-sized mouthful and let the lemon just zing around the insides of my mouth. It was wonderful, and RICH. My daughter, having been drawn to the kitchen earlier, was up next, and she made short order of the rest of the slice. Obviously..she enjoyed it.

The Wife was next, having just returned from a workout that would of made Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson envious. Hers would be the test of ALL TESTs, as this would be the first time she had EVER tasted any of my lovely pies. She loved it and though she proclaimed that she would have to ‘step up’ her workout regime (whatever the Hell that means), she vowed to have another slice, maybe even two in the coming days. Mission successful!

LEMON SOUR CREAM PIE RECIPE RUNDOWN
TASTE: The lemon was wonderful, just as you’d taste in a lemon meringue pie. You could barely taste the distinct flavoring of the sour cream as a short after taste, with the lemon lingering on with each delightful chew.

TEXTURE: The creamy filling was smooth and fluffy soft. Not hard or thick as you might think. ‘Biting’ down into this is a bit of a misnomer, as you could literally ‘gum’ this pie to death! The cream cheese crust, was crumbly, but not like a graham cracker crust, which tends to crumble all over. It was a softer crust than a shortbread cookie crust but held together much better than a graham cracker crust.

PROS:The fresh lemon gave it a bitter first taste that was evened out with the sour cream and whipped topping. The cream cheese crust kept it all together and shaped nicely when you cut out a slice. The pie is fairly simple to make and relatively quick as well.

CONS:The pie is RICH in taste which will limit the size of the slice you take, which may be a good thing since this will probably add some minutes to your gym time as you try to burn it off.

I’d like to give a special thanks to Lauren at Tastes Better From Scratch for a wonderful recipe

A Southern Mixed Berry Cream Pie

If you haven’t already, you must try making a cream pie. ANY cream pie will do. But first a word of caution, you WILL become addicted to them, more-so than any other dish, and this I promise you! But before I dive into the making and more importantly, the TASTING of my mixed raspberry, blueberry and strawberry cream pie, I must first briefly tell you how I came about tackling this recipe.

THE BOOK

Out of the blue my mother informed me one afternoon that she had ordered me something off Amazon.com. If I have one HUGE supporter (besides my Wife) that takes a profound interest in my pie making project and addictions its my mother, who currently resides in Texas.

Southern Pie Book

She didn’t divulge exactly WHAT was coming, but when it finally arrived, I was both surprised and not. Shredding through the stiff Amazonian, cardboard packaging I excitedly ripped out, The Southern Pie Book (Southern Living) by Fan Moon. The South as you may or may not know has always been recognized for their flavorful baking and cooking and pies were no exception. Like any aspiring cook, I welcomed my new book with open arms and at first opportunity, thumbed through every page and devoured every line of text.

THE DAUGHTER

My daughter had grown accustomed to the stacks of books and magazines piled in uneven heaps in the backseat of my Jeep. It was a bad habit I had nurtured and grown over the years, always wanting easy and quick access to reading material whenever I was stuck in traffic or waiting for something. I never have a book, reading or cookbook out of my reach day or night. I’m weird like that I suppose.

One day she noticed the The Southern Pie Book resting atop one of the piles and during one of our bi-weekly commutes to her soccer practice across town, she managed to thumb through the book in its entirety and ‘bookmark’ recipes that looked good, with a stack of post-it notes she found under my seat.

Twenty minutes later she had depleted the entire book of post-it notes and my The Southern Pie Book was completely ‘bedazzled’ with yellow, blue and pink post-its. More importantly she had specifically chosen a special recipe from the book in-which she DECLARED would be ‘OUR’ next pie project. A mixed raspberry, blueberry and strawberry cream pie.

MIXED BERRY CREAM PIE

Several weeks later we finally found some free time to start tackling the recipe.

If you can believe it, we had a surprisingly difficult time finding one of the key ingredients on the list, mascarpone cheese. Yea…I KNOW! Several of the local Albertson grocery stores near me didn’t carry it, and at one point hope began to diminish that we would be able to make this recipe, until I came across it at a Whole Foods store on the far side of town. Recipe SAVED! Back on schedule!

Preheating the oven to 350 degrees, I started in on the shortbread cookie crust, using Lorna Doone shortbread cookies, blended up into crumbs using a small food processor (I have GOT to get me a bigger processor…UGH!). I then measured out the crumb’d mix until I was sure I had 1 2/3 cups, then I gradually added sugar, mixed again, and finally the butter until everything was blended into a crumb-like dough substance. I poured and firmly pressed this blended mix into my pie dish and threw into the over for 10 minutes or so. Pie crust done. Now onto the fruit!

crust01

Within short order, I had sliced and quartered the (pre-measured amount of) strawberries, raspberries and blueberries then taken a portion of these, placed in a bowl and mashed them to essentially a chunky pulp (almost with a ‘salsa’ like look and consistency). Additional ingredients were added to the mixture, including the orange liqueur. I then covered and set this aside for 30 minutes, at the conclusion of which I then drained and preserved the juice in a separate container. The remainder of the fruit, not mashed into pulp, was also placed in a container and into the fridge.

The cream was old hat, having whipped up a number of strawberry cream pie dishes for various functions over the last month or so. I whipped up the heavy cream for a bit, then added in powered sugar, mascarpone cheese and vanilla as directed, until it thickened and held peaks. The spooned half the cream into my now cooled crust, spread a layer of the pulp’d fruit, then spooned in the rest of the cream. Into the fridge the pie went, until the next day, although you really only have to leave it in for 3-4 hours or so. I opted to leave it in overnight as experience has taught me the longer the better, but that’s just me!

THE NEXT DAY…

I awoke the next morning, ‘slithered’ from under the blankets, down off the bed and across the cold hardwood floor, toward the bathroom where a long hot shower awaited me before work. The night’s sleep was good, but when I woke I had an unmistakable craving for my mixed berry cream pie! Apparently I had fantasized about it all night, as did apparently my daughter, who informed me later that morning. So we agreed, that after work and school we would each take our first taste!

The day couldn’t end fast enough, and when we both got home, we pulled out the mixed berry cream pie, right now just a featureless, cream filled pie dish. I took the remaining berry mixture, dumped them on top. The I took the juice from the mashed up berries and poured it evenly across the berry-loaded creamy top of the pie. Done!

Slowly, yet with methodically and with purpose, I cut each of us a good sized slice of the pie….

OMG!

Mixed Berry Cream Pie
The cream was fantastic, blowing my wildest expectations and even besting the taste my previous attempt at a cream pie (which was DAMN good!) when I did my Strawberry Cream Pie. But the cream, as good as it was, didn’t hold a candle to the shortbread cookie crust, which my daughter and I agreed would be our GO-TO pie crust when making any cream pies.

The ‘juice’ which I had drizzled on top of the pie was a bit ‘strong’ with the Grand Marnier Orange Liqueur despite only having to add 2 Tbsp of it, so next time around I may drop that to 1 Tbsp? It was good, just a little strong, and maybe that was just me? Though I would find that surprising since I like the occasional cocktail like anyone else!

berry02

But if I were to compare this to my previously made Strawberry Cream Pie, I would have to give the nod to this Mixed Berry Cream Pie. The cream was just as good in both pies, despite slightly different tastes, but I think the use of the shortbread cookie crust wins it hands-down over the graham cracker crust used in the Strawberry Cream Pie. But YOU be the judge!

MAKES 8 SERVINGS | HANDS-ON TIME 15 MIN. | TOTAL TIME 4 HR., 30 MIN

INGREDIENTS:
FOR THE SHORTBREAD COOKIE CRUST:

  • 1 (7.25-oz.) package of shortbread cookies
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

FOR THE CREAM AND FRUIT FILLING/TOPPING:

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, quartered and divided
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, divided
  • 1 (6-oz.) package of fresh raspberries, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. orange liqueur
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 (8-oz.) containers mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:
FOR THE SHORTBREAD COOKIE CRUST:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg. Process cookies in a food processor 30 seconds to measure 1 2/3 cups fine crumbs. Add sugar; pulse 3 times. With processor running, pour butter through food chute; process until blended.
  2. Press crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie plate.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven to a wire rack, and cool completely (about 30 minutes)

FOR THE MIXED BERRY PIE:

  1. Prepare the Shortbread Cookie Piecrust as directed above, baking in a 9-inch pie plate.
  2. Combine 1 cup strawberries, 3/4 cup blueberries, and half of raspberries in a bowl, mashing with a potato masher until chunky. Stir in granulated sugar, liqueur, and zest into mashed berries. Cover and let stand 30 minutes; drain well, reserving liquid. Cover and chill remaining berries (the ones NOT mashed)
  3. Meanwhile, beat cream, powdered sugar, mascarpone cheese and vanilla together at high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
  4. Spoon half of cream mixture into prepared crust. Top with drained mashed berry mixture and remaining half of cream mixture. Cover and chill 3 hours or until firm.
  5. Uncover, top with chilled berries, and drizzle with reserved liquid just before serving.

Recipe from The Southern Pie Book by Fan Moon