Sunday, April 18, 2010

Year of the Pie - Pie #40 Vanilla Cream Pie

This pie has been my 'back up' pie since early on in the pie 'year'. With basic ingredients that one would normally find in their kitchen, I kept it for a time when I needed an easy pie with out going to too much extra trouble. Since the strawberry pie I have been in a pie 'slump', not knowing which pie to make and I have been a little under the weather for a couple days, AND the weather turned a bit chilly, so I pulled this friend out of the recipe collection and put it together.
I said that to say this, when you are feeling a little puny and don't know WHAT to make, make this. It is easy easy and will warm your soul.

You will need:
1 9-inch baked pie crust
2/3 C. sugar
1/4 C. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
2½ C. whole milk
5 egg yolks [save three of the whites for the meringue]
2-3 T. of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 T. vanilla

In a medium saucepan mix the sugar, cornstarch & salt together and add the milk. Whisk it all together and slowly add the egg yolks, whisking to completely blend the eggs until no yellow streaks remain.
Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a bare simmer over medium heat. Cook for about 30 seconds ( I sometimes let it cook a little longer than that-just don't let it burn).
Remove from the heat and add the cut up butter and the vanilla. Stir til blended.
Pour into the baked pie shell.

If you taste the filling right now you will think you died and went to heaven.

Taste it real quick and then make the meringue.
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
6 T. white sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Whisk on high speed the egg whites until white and fluffy, add the cream of tartar, then sugar one T. at a time and then the vanilla.
Spread it on the warm filling and bake at 400° for about 5 minutes or so. Watch it carefully.
Then take it out and let it cool at room temperature.

Every now and then my meringue works and piles up nice and high on the pie.
Each time I make a pie I write the recipe and the pros and cons to it in the Pie Journal that I am making for Margaret. As I was leafing through it just now, looking for how long I should let the pie chill, I saw three different meringue recipes and I have written down three different temperatures to bake them at. I got a kick out of it. Just goes to show that there are no rules when making pies.....more like guidelines. lol

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