If you think pies are served only for dessert, with thick and syrupy sweetened-fruit fillings, think again. The co-hosts on The Kitchen introduced savory versions on this morning’s episode, just in time for Pi Day (March 14, aka 3.14). While Katie Lee’s next-level take on a chicken pot pie brings new possibilities for dinnertime decadence, Sunny Anderson’s breakfast-inspired pie reinvents the shepherd’s pie wheel. Read on below to get their recipes and see how they do it.
In New York, where I live, peaches mean summer. While rock-hard peaches can often be found in the produce section of my supermarket, a perfect summer specimen usually comes from the farmers market. Those sweltering summer Saturdays at the market are the best. I always try to eat one ripe piece of fruit while I amble home, bags of groceries swinging from my arms, and inevitably soak myself in peach juice. I wait for that experience all year round. And when it finally comes, it’s over before I know it.
A peach that has been picked too early may never fully ripen. But a juicy tree-ripened fruit is too delicate for shipping. That means that those greenish peaches that you see in the supermarket, plucked far before they were ready in some place far away, won’t ever become that delicious. What’s a peach lover to do?
Turkey and mashed potatoes may be staples you don’t dare mess with, but this year, have some fun in the dessert round. Friends and family will survive without the usual slice of pumpkin, apple or pecan pie, so make something fun and unexpected (which we often think means adding chocolate). Below is our roundup of unconventional pies that deserve the spotlight at your feast.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Pie (pictured above)
As difficult as it may be to believe, not everyone is a pie person. But we’d have a hard time finding anyone who could pass up a freshly baked cookie, especially if it was oatmeal raisin. With a chewy cookie filling baked into a traditional pie crust, this recipe will win everyone over. If you usually prefer an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie to the raisin kind, go ahead and swap in chocolate chips. No one will judge.
Turkey may be the Thanksgiving centerpiece, but pie is the grand finale. Torn between baking pumpkin, apple or something different? We turned to the experts — pastry chefs across the country — to see what they are whipping up for their own holiday table. From revamped classics to varieties more outside the pie box, here’s how they’re ending the biggest meal of the year.
After a richly decadent Thanksgiving feast of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and likely several kinds of casseroles, the only way to end the meal is with something sweet … and also richly decadent. If cakes are the go-to at birthday parties, then pies were made for turkey day. Whether your family craves the tradition of a spiced apple pie or prefers the creaminess of the peanut butter variety, there’s indeed a filling for every personality this season. Check out Food Network’s top pie picks below, each a tried-and-true favorite from our chefs.
Let’s nickname this one “indecision pie”: It’s a three-way mash-up of apple, pumpkin and pecan pies for those times when you really want a slice of all three at the buffet table. With a base of buttery pecans, an edge of sweetened apples and a center of spiced pumpkin puree, this pie boasts comforting fall flavors in each bite.
Up until some years ago, I was a cultivated-blueberry kind of gal. I’m from Connecticut, and those fat, sweet blueberries were ubiquitous. The cultivated blueberries were the ones we picked in the patches on sticky summer days. And they were always the ones we used to dot our pancakes and load our muffins. Until recently I never gave my blueberry choice any thought. Those babies were refreshing and tasty, and I loved them.
Then I met a man from Maine. And I met his mother. I can remember one evening some years ago when said mother, Deborah, served us a rustic blueberry galette for dessert. She told us how she had gone for a hike and come across a patch of ripe wild Maine blueberries. She picked what she could, took them back home and baked them into a simple pastry crust. I was amazed. First of all, the color of those syrupy cooked blueberries was unlike anything I had seen — so deep and purple. The thick, glorious juice had bubbled up and over the edge of the crust and had caramelized seductively underneath. Second, the flavor of those wild blueberries was unique. They tasted of blueberry times 10. They were floral and savory, with the perfect jammy balance of tart and sweet. That galette was simple perfection and changed the way I looked at blueberries forever.
Learn how to make the Apple-Pumpkin-Pecan Pie here with step-by-step instructions.
My first encounter with Boston cream pie was in doughnut form when I was in middle school. My best friend Melissa’s family had a standing Saturday doughnut-breakfast policy. It was one of my favorite parts about sleeping over her place on Friday night. Her parents would go out early Saturday morning and bring the treats back for us. While they drank coffee, we ate doughnuts in our pajamas. I always chose Boston cream and I always wished I could eat more than one.
There is something so magical about the Boston cream combination: cool, creamy custard nestled in fluffy cake and topped with bittersweet chocolate. It’s the perfect dessert for the indecisive. Chocolate, vanilla, cake and custard all wrapped up in one. It’s a genius invention.
There’s nothing quite like a sweet, juicy fruit pie in the summertime when an abundance of berries, stone fruits (see: Peach Streusel Slab Pie, above) and melons are at their peak. And slab pies are great for feeding a crowd — or at least a crowd of eight. If you’re entertaining a larger group, dessert can quickly become an afterthought, what with all the appetizers, side dishes, drinks and grilled mains to coordinate.
There’s no wrong way to make peanut butter pie, just different ways.
Make a chocolate cookie crust with crushed chocolate sandwich cookies (like Oreos) and melted butter. You can use a food processor to crush the cookies, but if you don’t have one, or have one but don’t feel like lugging it out of the pantry, put the cookies in a resealable plastic bag, let the air out before sealing, and crush the cookies using a rolling pin or a large can.