Pie Recipes
November 5, 2006 2:45 PM   Subscribe

The most delicious pie recipe in the world. Naturally, there's

I'm looking to bake a pie. The goal is simple: deliciousness. What is the most delicious pie, and its recipe? I'm looking for something that is made of ingredients that are in season and accessible. (It is fall in the pacific northwest.)
posted by TwelveTwo to Food & Drink (44 answers total) 48 users marked this as a favorite
To answer the first part of your question: blueberry.
posted by StickyCarpet at 3:00 PM on November 5, 2006

Pumpkin! And I make the one on the back of the One-Pie canned pumpkin. It's better than ones I've made with fresh pumpkin. No-one has to know the recipe comes from a can -- I'm frequently asked to bring this pie to family gatherings. (I hope they're not just humoring me!)
posted by theredpen at 3:10 PM on November 5, 2006

A friend once made this Peach-Raspberry pie, and it was ridiculously delicious. I don't really know if those fruits are in season, but if not it is worth waiting for!
posted by gatorae at 3:10 PM on November 5, 2006

Sweet potato pie - all the deliciousness of pumpkin pie except better!
posted by Orrorin at 3:13 PM on November 5, 2006

Chocolate! Bourbon! Pecan!
Fucking fruit pies are for old ladies.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:14 PM on November 5, 2006 [2 favorites]

Coconut Meringue Pie. Made right, it's heavenly. Or if you want fruit pie, it's Apple season in most of the US - you can't go wrong with a good apple pie. Make a two-crust pie crust recipe, put one crust in a 9-inch deep pie plate. Peel and slice into a bowl enough apples to fill the pie pan - about 6. Use Jonathans if you've got 'em handy, otherwise Granny Smiths or Red Romes will do nicely. (Avoid the 'delicious' type apples, they'll get mushy.) Mix the apples with about 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar, a couple teaspoons of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, a half stick of melted butter, a half-pint of heavy (whipping) cream and a shot of good whiskey or bourbon. Toss until the apples are well coated with the other ingredients, pour into the pie pan, cover with the other half of the crust, poke some vent holes in the top crust, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375 degrees until crust is golden brown and delicious, about an hour to an hour and 15 minutes. Find some cinnamon ice cream, and enjoy while the pie is still warm.
posted by jferg at 3:18 PM on November 5, 2006 [2 favorites]

Sour Cream Apple with Streusal Topping

or hair pie, mmm, mmm!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:24 PM on November 5, 2006

Strawberry Rhubarb! The perfect balance of sweet and sour! (Sorry don't have the recipe)
posted by meta87 at 3:30 PM on November 5, 2006

Pecan pie by a standard recipe--but then include a shot of bourbon in the batter before baking. Fantastic.
posted by gimonca at 3:52 PM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]

I've got two favorites, and I make one of each every year around this time.

One is a sautéed apple pie, where the apples are cooked in a pan with butter, sugar, and brown sugar before being spooned in the the crust. This caramelizes the sugar and also cooks much of the moisture out of the apples before baking, meaning the bottom crust doesn't get soggy, and the apples don't lose volume inside the pie -- no gap between top crust and filling. I'm pretty sure I got this one from a New York Times article a few years back.

The other is a pumpkin pie with a cranberry relish on the bottom, made with fresh cranberries, orange zest, vanilla, and Grand Marnier. The pumpkin part is pretty traditional -- I make it with fresh pumpkin if I have some extra time to kill, canned otherwise -- but the cranberry relish adds a nice tartness. This one's by Wolfgang Puck.

Recipes are available to anyone who wants them; my email address is in my profile.
posted by Acetylene at 4:18 PM on November 5, 2006 [3 favorites]

That second paragraph should have said "butter, sugar, and cinnamon."
posted by Acetylene at 4:20 PM on November 5, 2006

One is a sautéed apple pie, where the apples are cooked in a pan with butter, sugar, and brown sugar before being spooned in the the crust.

second that ... that's a classic midwestern method for apple pie and my personal favorite
posted by pyramid termite at 4:48 PM on November 5, 2006

cranberry orange pie

1 package cranberries
1 C sugar
1 1/2 TBSP White Flour
1/4 tsp salt
3 TBSP orange juice
2 TBSP grated orange zest
2 TBSP unsalted butter
1 egg, beaten
1 egg beaten with 2 TBSP heavy whipping cream
granulated sugar

Preheat over to 450F. Mix all but the last two ingredients together. Pour into pie crust and cover the filling with pastry cut into strips forming a lattice. Brush on egg/cream mixture and sprinkle sugar over top of that. Bake for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 350F and bake until the filling bubbles (about 30 to 40 minutes)

I really like cranberries so I usually add at least 1/2 a package more and increase the flour/butter/egg/orange juice to compensate. Also I typically use a pie crust called, pate brisee because its pretty much fool proof to make (pastry making isn't one of my strong points).
posted by squeak at 4:57 PM on November 5, 2006

My mother's homemade Coconut Cream Pie. I'm sitting here salivating and grinning like an idiot just thinking about it. Its time consuming to make but simple. It's basicly a simple custard made from scratch with whole milk that has coconut stirred into it. Then a merengue is made. But those two things into a home made pie crust, top with more coconut and bake in the oven. Mmmmmmm.
posted by mmascolino at 5:12 PM on November 5, 2006

That would be a pork pie, according to these people.
posted by Wet Spot at 5:23 PM on November 5, 2006

Pumpkin chiffon pie. Yummmmm...
posted by MadamM at 6:26 PM on November 5, 2006


Seriously. As someone who was born and raised in the PNW, you CANNOT top a freshly-baked Marionberry pie.

Other good ones? Apple. Pumpkin. Peach.

Mm, pie.
posted by nonmerci at 6:34 PM on November 5, 2006

My mother makes a knockout apple crumb pie. The key is the crumb topping (instead of, say, a basketweave). I'll ask her for the recipe tomorrow and then post it here.
posted by anjamu at 6:41 PM on November 5, 2006

Buttermilk pie's pretty good.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 6:44 PM on November 5, 2006

PS: I strongly suggest that, if you desire apple pie, to NOT use Granny Smith apples. They are the least flavorful and quite honestly I find their taste boring. I suggest using your favorite eating apple, but go for quality here.

Blackberry can just as easily be substituted for marionberry. My favorite way to make/eat either is a lattice-top recipe--the left-over bits of crust can be baked in the oven with cinnamon and sugar and are DELICIOUS on their own. Apple pie is good with a lattice crust as well.

Clafouti is also really delicious and sort of a hybrid between a pie and a custard. It's an extremely easy and rustic dessert and you can use a lot of different kinds of fruits in it.

Galettes are also delicious. I guess it is more like a tart but it is rustic as well and kind of pie-ish, and you can substitute whatever fruit you wish. Here is an easy apple galette recipe. Speaking of tarts, if you haven't tried the famous and traditional tarte tatin and you have enough kitchen prowess to try out new things, it is a delicious classic.

Happy baking!
posted by nonmerci at 6:45 PM on November 5, 2006

My favorite is pumpkin, but my mother makes a mean concord grape pie. I can't give away her recipe, but if you can get your hands on some concord grapes, here's a recipe I haven't tried.
posted by booth at 6:47 PM on November 5, 2006

Blueberry apple pie is the most delicious pie. Blueberries are not quite in season, but you can find frozen local blueberries that wind up tasting better than the fresh stuff you buy in July.
posted by milkrate at 8:14 PM on November 5, 2006

A perfectly-made, flaky, homemade crust will move your pie from the merely yummy to the transcendantly delectable. Buy the fancy Plugra butter; use the freshest pastry flour you can find; keep the butter cold when you combine it with the flour and don't over mix; use ice water to bind them.

I've had good luck with the recipe in "The Best Recipe" cook book, both with the food processor (they recommend) and without. There are different crusts recommended for, say, pumpkin vs. apple pie.

Seriously. Dedicate yourself to crust; you won't regret it.

And don't discard the extra bits that you cut off around the round pie plate; put them on a separate cookie sheet, brush them with the egg mixture (which of course you will use, unless you are vegan, because it lets you do this:) and then sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar on top. Bake just until the pieces turn golden, and my karma will benefit from the deep delight my simple suggestion will give you.
posted by amtho at 8:44 PM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]

And apples are in season. "The Best Recipe" has a wonderful apple pie recipe, which I modify thusly: I suggest using Pink Lady apples, organic if you can get them (rather than their combination of red delicious and granny smith), and adding a little extra spice if you are so inclined. Freshly grated nutmeg. The lemon juice they recommend is genius, you'll see.

I also add a little spice to my crust flour.
posted by amtho at 8:48 PM on November 5, 2006

Key lime pie vies, in my mind, for the title of most delicious, along with lemon meringue and pumpkin pies. Those are also very similar to cheesecake, which is a pie, even though they call it a cake. These are all variants on your standard custard pie, just made with different seasonal ingredients and/or cheese. I'd recommend these (or a good pecan pie) over fruit pies any day.

Unfortunately, I don't have good recipes for any of them.
posted by limeonaire at 8:49 PM on November 5, 2006

I invented this one, so I don't have an exact recipe:

Take a cup and a half or two of brown sugar Heat in cast iron skillet with butter until you make a syrup. Add a some wine and a good amount of cinnamon.

To this add a bunch of sliced bananas, enough to fill a pie crust, and a handful of chopped pecans.

Pour filling into pie crust and top with more pecans, sprinkle with more brown sugar so that it will melt and make a glaze over the nuts in the oven.

Bake in a 350 degree oven until it looks done.

Optional: Drizzle with melted chocolate when cool.

I've also done this with pears.
posted by sourwookie at 9:04 PM on November 5, 2006

I have yet to name it, so I'm open to suggestion. However, Sourwookie Pie doesn't sound appealing.
posted by sourwookie at 9:09 PM on November 5, 2006

I am actually preparing pumpkins to make from-scratch pumpkin pie right now! If you feel like a little fall fieldtrip, I went to the pumpkin patches on Sauvie Island (twenty minutes from downtown Portland) last weekend and bought a bunch of little pumpkins for pies. I have never actually made a pumpkin pie entirely from scratch, but a fieldtrip to Sauvie Island to get my own pumpkins sounded enchantingly like a Pacific NW fall tradition I ought to start.

Here's the inspiration I found for preparing the pumpkin.

Also: the little pumpkins you use for pies are packed with pumpkin seeds! So you can roast those, too. Oh man, everyone is going to be so impressed by you and your culinary talents!
posted by limicoline at 9:16 PM on November 5, 2006

This doesn't really apply right now, since they went out of season about 2 months ago, but next August you need to get your butt out there and pick some of those amazing-tasting, invasive-non-native-species, Himalayan blackberries that grow EVERYWHERE west of the Cascades. At least in Seattle, no one cares if you pick them--just make sure you pick a place that doesn't get sprayed. Pick as many gallons as you can possibly freeze, because after tasting the goodness of free berries, you will never be able to bring yourself to pay $4 a pint for them again. And they make amazing pies. (Self-linking only to illustrate the lucious goodness of a blackberry pie.)

But barring a berry pie, my favorites are coconut cream and pecan, neither of which require fresh fruit. And of course, the most important part of the pie is always the crust.
posted by folara at 9:25 PM on November 5, 2006

I relayed this question to my sweetheart, who is sitting at the other end of the couch, and she instantly replied, "Tom Douglas' coconut cream pie."
posted by ottereroticist at 9:50 PM on November 5, 2006

Cherry pie made from a can is abysmal at best. If you have not had a cherry pie, made from scratch with fresh sour cherries, you have not lived. Cherries are spectacularly out of season now, of course, but you're in one of the prime cherry-growing regions in North America, so when June & July rolls around again head over to the local farmers' markets and see if they can hook you up with some fresh sour cherries.
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:54 PM on November 5, 2006

That would be a pork pie, according to these people.

And for my money Wet Spot, I think they may well be right.

Interesting how pie has come to imply something necessarily sweet to most people when there are so many other possibilities for pie fillings. Stargazey pie anyone?
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 10:06 PM on November 5, 2006

I prefer a pie crust made with butter instead of lard or shortening.
Tarte Tatin is a classic recipe, as well as an interesting story.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:19 PM on November 5, 2006

this was actually a question I had been thinking about... oddly enough with the same stipulation about the pacific northwest...

as it turns out you're somewhere local to me...

anyway, I have decided for the moment to tackle a less pie-like dessert and less locally themed... i'm going to opt for a sweet potato bread pudding with caramel pecan sauce...

i'm hoping it turns out well...

still haven't found the right recipe for a pie yet...
posted by MonkNoiz at 11:21 PM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]

Blackberry pie. Years ago, there was a drive-in (!) pie place in Victoria, BC, where I learned their trick: Put a layer of apple slices on the bottom of the pie and then add berries that have been tossed in sugar and either cinnamon or lemon rind (or both). The pectin in the apples thickens the filling without having to add flour. It's an good trick.

Or skip the berries entirely and just make apple pie with lots of cinnamon.
posted by lois1950 at 11:38 PM on November 5, 2006

Apple pie, but layering the thin sliced apples with raisins, cinnamon, orange zest and brown sugar and then pouring one lemon's worth of juice over the top. The rasins soak up the juice then act as tart contrast to the sweetened apples.
posted by biffa at 2:48 AM on November 6, 2006

Guys, guys...everyone knows that the worlds best pie is produced by these exceptional people. My favorite is the 'Chicken of Aragon' pie made from chicken, smokey bacon, roast garlic, vermouth & fresh tarragon. Double plus good!

That said, if its sugar that floats your boat then banoffee pie is what it's all about!
posted by whoojemaflip at 2:52 AM on November 6, 2006

I cannot fathom that noone has mentioned the upstart to the king of all pies title:
peanut butter pie.
Holy shit. For my pie dollor, this one takes the cake (???)
easy as hell to make:
1 Brick Philly Cream cheese softened
1 tub coolwhip
1 cup (give or take to your preference, I like mine really peanutbuttery so I use a heaping cup)
1/2 cup confectioners sugar

Prepare a crust of your choice. I like a flakey crust, my wife prefers oreo crust. Blend everything together well, spoon into crust and smooth. Chill and serve with (my wifes favorite) a dollop of whip cream, and a drizzle of chocolate sauce, or without (mine, I like the simplicity of a creamy slice of peanut butter)
posted by JonnyRotten at 3:33 AM on November 6, 2006

Strawberry rhubarb or pecan. Make sure your pecan pie recipe includes lots of butter and vanilla. There are some that are just sugar, eggs, corn syrup, pecans. Butter and vanilla give it that extra bit of awesome.
posted by electroboy at 6:23 AM on November 6, 2006

This cherry pie is what I used to have every birthday instead of cake. I just baked one last week and it's as good as ever. Pretty easy, too!

1. Place sheets of tin foil on bottom of oven. Cherry pie bubbles a LOT, so this will substantially aid your cleanup.
2. Pre-heat oven to 425F.

-3 cans sour cherries in water. (NOT NOT NOT "cherry pie filling")
-1 cup sugar
-3 tablespoons "minute" tapioca

1. Pour water from one of the cans of sour cherries into a glass. drink.
2. Pour remaining cherries and included water into a bowl. Add sugar and tapioca. Set aside.

- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup shortening
- pinch of salt
- ice water (as necessary)

1. Cut flour and shortening together until there are little "pebbles." Use either two knives or a dough blender. I find the dough blender makes short work of this (1-2 minutes), whereas the knives-method is substantially more involved. You want to make sure that the fat and the flour don't get too mixed, or the crust will lose some of its flakiness.
2. Add icewater by the tablespoon until you can form two balls. They should JUST be formable, more moist than wet.
3. Refrigerate crusts for at least 45 minutes.

Completed Pie:
- 1 egg, beaten
- Turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw is a common brand)

1. Remove crusts from refrigerator and roll into circles. I find that the crust is MUCH easier to roll with a pastry cloth.
2. Place first crust into pan. Let crust hang over pan.
3. Pour cherries into pan.
4. Place second crust on top.
5. Fold both crusts over, forming a seal. I don't trim at all, and this results in a thicker crust, but you can trim around to taste.
6. Brush crust all over with beaten egg. Liberally sprinkle turbinado sugar on top. Cut vents into crust.
7. Bake for 10 minutes at 425F. Finish for 30 minutes at 350F.

That's it.
posted by kdar at 6:58 AM on November 6, 2006 [2 favorites]

The pecan pie recipe on the back of the Karo Corn Syrup bottle is nice.

However, change the recipe up a bit: I use dark corn syrup, and dark brown sugar instead of granulated, and remove a tablespoon of syrup from the recipe and replace with molasses.

If you can work in some rum or brandy into it too, all the better.
posted by Monkey0nCrack at 2:50 PM on November 7, 2006

Response by poster: All of these sound delicious, but I have yet to figure out which one is the best answer!
posted by TwelveTwo at 7:32 PM on November 9, 2006

Monkey0nCrack: "The pecan pie recipe on the back of the Karo Corn Syrup bottle is nice.

However, change the recipe up a bit: I use dark corn syrup, and dark brown sugar instead of granulated, and remove a tablespoon of syrup from the recipe and replace with molasses.

I thought I was the only one who did that!
posted by Mr. Gunn at 3:21 PM on November 11, 2006

Very late (found through MeTa) but you might be interested in this book - American Pie: Slices of Life (and Pie) from America's Back Roads. Travel and recipes. I didn't enjoy it that much myself, but I think it's because I'm not from the USA and don't know about the cult of pie.
posted by paduasoy at 12:32 PM on January 31, 2007

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