Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Raspberry Pie and Pumpkin Pie with Cutie Pies!

Where have I been the last 4 days? Teaching like crazy. I had a solid schedule of cooking classes starting with two freezer meal classes Monday and Tuesday. Today was my fun day. Mind you, I always have extreme...nauseating fun. Too much for being sober. It's a natural high...but today took the cake. I should say it took the pie. A few weeks ago we had 3 days of cookie cutter and cooking class giveaways. Yes. Three classes.

The class today was one of those giveaways with Verena and her six children. Yes. Six. Plus her husband Rob. She home schools those angels. We connected on that level. Wow what an amazing mom! I have to say, I was not only very impressed with the children in general (well behaved, courteous, intelligent), but also impressed with their knowledge of cooking. It seems they watch Alton Brown together as a family. Yes! We connected. It was fabulous. I think I said "fabulous" 52 times while I was there. That's always a good sign.
Verena's eldest daughter Em wanted to learn how to make raspberry pie. Have you ever made a raspberry pie in all your life? No? Well...

Raspberry pie:
2 9 inch pie dough pieces (we cheated and used Pillsbury...shhh).
5 cups frozen raspberries
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour or 2T cornstarch
1/4 cup lemon juice
dash of pie spice ( we used my Wise Woman of The East Spice Blend )

Combine all the filling ingredients in a bowl and pour into a pie dough lined pie pan.
Isn't it just fruit-a-licious?
Shameless plug for Pillsbury...(or you can make your own Pie crust.)
I knew I liked Dear Daughter Em. I almost took her home with me when she said she had a blog and she wanted to take pictures of our pie. Sigh... all really cool girls have a foodie blog. Present company included of course.
You can catch her in 10 years on my blog as my official Baker's Apprentice. By then I will have a bakery and great need of expert pie crimps.
Prepare yourselves for the coolest mounded crust ever.
That bad boy was really pooofy. Like my hair in the 80's. I think I used raspberry shampoo back then...but we didn't put any in the pie.
Once top crust was on...we commenced with what I called "the hard part" First pie with this 11 year old prodigy looked like this. What?! I know right? She's perfect at it. I almost started misting up. It was beautiful.
I don't just paint bread, I also paint pies. This time little sister Becca did it. Excellent technique. Hey, by the way, these kids knew the word "technique" and used it in perfect context. Thank you Alton Brown. After I praised them quite vocally...I was reminded again how joyful I felt in the presence of eager learners. No matter what the age, I loved seeing that look of excitement when someone is learning something new and readily accepting it. What a warm fuzzy heart. I almost flicked my shoes off in a fit of joy.
Did anyone else grow up with a mom or grandma who would sprinkle cinnamon sugar on the stubby pieces of crust that didn't end up with the pie? Verena is indeed a kindred spirit. We couldn't resist having the kids make some of these "cinnamon stubs".
While the raspberry pie baked 375 55 minutes if frozen raspberries are used. We covered the edges with foil to keep them from burning.
Next we made the fresh pumpkin pie filling.

Chef Tess' pumpkin pie
filling you will need:
2 cups pumpkin puree (we used fresh, but canned works)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup evaporated milk OR 2 cups buttermilk ( I usually use buttermilk)
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 nutmeg
1/4 tsp clove
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Whisk them all together like crazy in a mixing bowl.
We made a second pie shell. This time without a top crust.
Now, keep in mind...I didn't crimp this pie! I have to brag on this little gal. Age 11. Look at this crimp job? It's perfect!
Yeah, I're speechless right now. So was I...well, almost.
We filled it with the pumpkin custard and then made Em do some crazy stunt work.
See if you can get it to the oven without spilling. Is that mean? What a good sport. She's holding the pan. Notice sister Anne in the background...she reads cookbooks just for fun. I was in heaven! Oh...and she had an Easy Bake Oven. I got in trouble once for using my E.B.O. when I was her age. I was in the closet...that's all I'm going to say about that.
Extreme pumpkin pie traveling feat of strength and dexterity for girls. Also a test of balance and poise at Miss Manner's school for the socially adapted. Seems our charming friend Em did wonderfully well. She's welcome at my next tea party any long as she brings pie.

Fresh pumpkin pies are always a lot lighter in color...and I think quite superior in flavor. It bakes 300 degrees 55 minutes, or until firm.

Our raspberry pie ended up a reasonable height, despite it's original volume. It still looked amazing. Well done!

Becca asked if we could eat it right away...but alas, dad said it had to wait. I don't doubt it's gone now.
I know the kids housed the pumpkin pie. All the "oh my goodness this is sooooo goooood" rang in my ears. I'm still smiling thinking about it. Looking at it doesn't hurt either. Eat up Dolphin girl.
Thanks again Verena for letting me invade. Your children are beautiful sweet spirits and it was an honor to meet them and share some time with you. God bless.

There you go. Make pie with cool kids. I might have to invade again.


Goob said...

wow! That pie crimping is downright professional looking! And I'm so using buttermilk in my next pumpkin pie. That just sounds too good.

Heffalump said...

Hmmm. We used to ask my Mom for the pie crust pieces then we rolled them out, sprinkled them with cinnamon and sugar and then rolled them up into spirals, sliced them, baked them and ate them. It was a favorite part of pie making.

Robert said...

I also have to add that fresh pumpkin pie filling is SOOOOOO much better tasting than what you get out of a can. I should know. I don't really like pumpkin pie, but the one the kids made with Chef Tess and our kids yesterday was absolutely delightful. Thanks for the great time yesterday and the great food.

Chef Tess said...

Thank you Rob! Your family is amazing!!

Unknown said...

Thanks!! It was a lot of fun. :D And no, the raspberry pie isn't gone. . .yet, but there is only. . oh, wait. . .Mom's eating the last piece of Anne's pumpkin pie. . .Nathan's pie isn't cut yet. Oh, Anne made some fudge later that day. . .Mom and Dad was surprised the she wanted to bake more. . .yep, I think she will be a excellent cook some day. ;)