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Unusual pies?

I was never much of a pie baker or eater, mainly because I find traditional pies - apple, blueberry, pecan, etc. - boring.

Any creative bakers out there with unusual pie recipes? Single-crust, double-crust, tart, deep-dish, fruit, nut, cream - it's all good.

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    1. That sounds fabulous! Would you be willing to share the recipe?

      1. my ex-girlfreind's mom made an amazing single crust pear pie with ground almonds in the crust(all butter). It was really exceptional, but sadly I don't have a recipe.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ghbrooklyn

          try using a recipe for apple pie, just sub sliced pears. It works well; the pears supply a subtle perfume and texture difference that is enchanting. Any variety works well-I've sued Bartletts, but Buerre d'Anjou are more aromatic and should be in season soon. Comice would work but are extra juicy so use a bit more thickening agent in the sugar-flour-cinnamon dredge mix. Add ground toasted nuts of choice to the crust--try hazelnut--and a T or two of either walnut oil or toasted walnut grape seed oil (Cuisine Perel brand)for another subtle flavor enhancer.

          1. re: toodie jane

            thank you - will definately try the addition of walnut oil.

        2. I have posted a sour cream apple pie with strusel topping in the past. If you cannot find it I can re-post. It is best served chilled.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Candy

            Candy, much appreciated if you can post it. TIA.

          2. My Uncle makes cream & sugar pie and it's pretty tasty. Single crust.

            Incidentally, one way to liven up a pecan pie is to sub maple syrup for the corn syrup.

            Also, have you ever tried green tomato pie? Green as in, let's use up those tomatoes that set but didn't have a chance to ripen. I think JoC has a recipe. I haven't made it, believe it's a double crusted dessert pie.

            Also, have seen a sweet/savory tart that's made with Swiss Chard, pine nuts, lemon peel, raisins, and some other stuff. Double crust. Not bad.

            12 Replies
            1. re: Louise

              I've seen and made a savoury green tomato pie - more of a tart, really - but not a sweet one. Interesting...

              1. re: piccola

                Green tomato-raspberry cobbler with brown sugar biscuit topping is awesome. And what about a bean pie?

                1. re: Procrastibaker

                  Love bean pie. I actually don't consider that unusual, since it's fairly easy to find around here.

                  But the tomato-raspberry combo - that's another story...

                  1. re: piccola

                    Is bean pie Southern? I lived in TN for 5 years and never came across it, but then had it when I lived in Wisconsin. I think the man who made it was from the South, but I can't remember...

                    1. re: Procrastibaker

                      I live in the SF Bay Area. "Your Local Black Muslim Bakery" is famous for bean pie. They taste very much like pumpkin pie.

                      Personally, I want the raspberry-green tomato recipe.
                      Procrastibaker, hope you'll ante up.

                      1. re: Louise

                        I'll post the recipe when I get home this evening. That's funny about the bean pie-- I grew up in Baltimore but never had bean pie. The ones I've had are kind of brownish and taste more like a sweet-potato pie-- not as spiced as a pumpkin pie.

                        1. re: Procrastibaker

                          Interesting, I didn't realize there was a distinction between pumpkin and sweet potato pie. Clearly they would respond well to similar treatments, but it sounds like there is a difference in seasoning. Incidentally, I wonder how mashed chestnut would work, being a mild, sweet, starchy base?

                          FWIW, my (Ohio) family's traditional pumpkin pie includes vanilla. I don't remember how much, but it's more than you would think, perhaps 2 T for two pies. It is not immediately identifiable as such, but rounds the flavor out nicely. I've also had pumpkin pie with brandy added to the filling, which contributed the same effect.

                          1. re: Louise

                            The sweet potato pie I make is only really seasoned with caramel, if I recall correctly. But I'm sure there are spicier variations. Vanilla in pumpkin pie sounds nummy. I will have to try it.

                        2. re: Louise

                          Here it is!
                          Green Tomato and Raspberry Cobbler

                          Pre-heat oven to 350

                          3 c. raspberries (I think any tart berry could sub.)
                          tossed with
                          1 T. flour

                          6 c. chopped green tomatoes
                          boiled for 4 minutes with
                          1 c. sugar
                          1/4 c. water

                          For topping:
                          in lg. bowl mix:
                          1 c. flour
                          1/3 c. sugar
                          1/2 t. bkg powder
                          1/2 t. bkg soda
                          cut in:
                          1/4 c. chilled butter
                          blend until it resembles a coarse meal then add
                          1/2 c. buttermilk (or 1/2 c. milk with a dash of white vinegar)

                          To assemble:
                          -gently combine tomatoes and raspberries and place in a baking dish (8x8 square or a pie plate)
                          -drop topping on by spoonfulls and gently spread with back of spoon to cover as much of the filling as possible

                          bake 50 min.

                          Let me know how you like it!

                        3. re: Procrastibaker

                          Pretty ubiquitous in the Baltimore area, from what I've seen, but I've never seen it anywhere else.

                  2. re: Louise

                    I've done green tomato pies frequenetly at the end of tomato season. You can use any apple pie recipe, just subbing the sliced green tomatoes. I throw in a good handful of raisins, even though I don't ususally like them. They offset the tomatoes suprisingly well.

                    1. re: rockycat

                      How do you change the sugar content?

                  3. Jamie Oliver has a great ricotta mascarpone pie with a lattice crust It's flavored with orange peel and is fantastic. I've made it at least 5 times and it's always a big hit I already posted the recipe, but if you can't find it, I'll do it again.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: oakjoan

                      Would you mind posting it again? I did a search for it on the board and with google and couldn't find it. Thanks, it sounds delish!

                    2. I've been wanting to try this recipe for grape pie:

                      5 1/2 cups Concord grapes, washed
                      about 1 cup sugar, depending on the sweetness of the grapes
                      1 tablespoon tapioca
                      Pastry for a 9-inch pie

                      has anyone here thad grape pie?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: jjb75

                        my parents have a big wild concord vine, and this year I planned to make a concord pie but it produced little to no fruit. I have always wanted to try it as I love concords to no end. I remember there was an article in Saveur a couple of years ago about the tradition of slip-skin grape pie in upstate New York that included a very old family recipe.

                        1. Not unusual, but tasty: a good ol' French silk pie, made extra special by the best-quality chocolate you can find.

                          1. About 10 or 12 years ago I was a judge for the Food Arts part of the Ventura County Fair (in CA). For agreeing to be a judge for the canned and pickled items I got to also judge the pie competition. It's also one of the most memorable pies I've ever tasted.

                            The best pie that I tasted that day, and which I submitted for the Grand prize, was one made from ruby red grapefruits with a cream topping. Garishly bright pink, tangy, zesty and utterly delicious, that's always been one recipe I wished I could find. I asked for it after the competition, but the baker was not forthcoming <sigh>

                            16 Replies
                            1. re: DiningDiva

                              DiningDiva, could you describe this a bit, so maybe one of us could fake it? I love grapefruit desserts,this one sounds outstanding.

                              1. re: DiningDiva

                                I would love to try this too...was it made like a Key lime pie with juice or was there pieces of grapefruit in it?

                                Sounds so good.

                                1. re: tobycat

                                  It was definitely not like either a key lime pie or a lemon meringue pie. As I recall it was lighter in body and texture than either of those two. It was sort of this fushia pink color, well balnaced between sweet/tart, and had chunks/sections of grapefruit in the filing, all in a short pastry crust. It was topped with whipped cream, or possibly Italian meringue. After this many years I'm starting to have difficulty remembering which was on top.

                                  Ultimately, this is probably a hybrid variation of a lemon meringue pie,but it was the balance of flavors and textures in the pie that really impressed my tastebuds. I couldn't stop eating the sample.

                                  1. re: DiningDiva

                                    Was the filling cooked, like a custard or lemon curd, or was it gelatin or pectin based? If it was lighter in body and texture, I wonder if the filling was whipped before being added to a prebaked shell.

                                    1. re: Louise

                                      Was it like this?

                                      GRAPEFRUIT PIE

                                      2 env. unflavored gelatin
                                      1/2 c. sugar
                                      2 c. grapefruit juice
                                      1/3 c. orange juice
                                      1 tsp. grated orange peel
                                      1 c. Cool Whip
                                      1 (8 inch) prepared pie shell

                                      In a small saucepan mix together gelatin and sugar. Slowly add 1 cup grapefruit juice, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Place saucepan over medium high heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add remaining grapefruit juice, orange juice and orange peel. Chill until mixture mounds when dropped from a spoon. Fold non-dairy topping into the gelatin mixture and spoon into prepared pie shell. Chill.


                                      1. re: kate used to be 50

                                        Nope, sorry, not even remotely close. No orange juice and DEFINITELY no Cool Whip.

                                        1. re: DiningDiva

                                          Here are 3 more that I found googling. No Cool Whip.

                                          Texas Citrus Recipes
                                          Berry Best Texas Citrus Pie
                                          2 medium Texas Red Grapefruit
                                          1(16oz.)package frozen blackberries, thawed
                                          3⁄4 cup sugar
                                          4 teaspoons cornstarch
                                          1(3oz.) package raspberry gelatin
                                          1 (9 inch) baked pie shell
                                          sweetened whipped cream
                                          Cut grapefruit crosswise into halves. Carefully cut around sections and scoop sections out; set aside. Coarsely crush the berries. In a medium saucepan, combine the blackberries, sugar and cornstarch. Cook mixture over medium-high heat stirring constantly. Bring mixture to a boil; cook 1 more minute. Remove from heat. Stir in gelatin and blend well; chill 30 minutes. Drain extra juice from grapefruit sections, reserving for another use. Fold grapefruit into berry mixture and spoon into baked pie shell. Return to refrigerator and chill at least 3 hours. At serving time, top each pie slice with a dollop of whipped cream and garish with a thin slice of grapefruit. Serves 6 to 8.

                                          4 medium to large pink or red grapefruit (The caller said that the Texas grapefruit is sweeter than the Florida)
                                          1 c. sugar
                                          1 3/4 c. water or strained grapefruit juice
                                          2 T. cornstarch
                                          1/8 t. salt
                                          1 pck. (3 oz.) strawberry gelatin
                                          1 (8 or 9 inch) baked pie crust
                                          1 c. whipping cream, whipped

                                          Peel grapefruit, separate sections and remove membrane. Place sections in a strainer, over a bowl, overnight. Cook sugar and the next 3 ingredients til thick and clear. Add gelatin and stir til dissolved. Brush a little gelatin mixture over pie crust. Chill gelatin mixture and pie crust til gelatin starts to thicken. Add grapefruit sections. Pour remaining gelatin mixture into pie crust and chill til set. Top with whipped cream.
                                          April 2000
                                          Easy Ruby-Sweet Grapefruit Pie by Julie Klement
                                          Seen in show #963, February 11, 2006

                                          3 to 4 Texas Ruby Sweet grapefruit
                                          1 cup prepared strawberry glaze*
                                          9"baked pie shell
                                          Whipped cream (optional)

                                          Peel and section grapefruit (see steps for sectioning). Drain well on paper towels. Cut sections in half. Gently fold sections into strawberry glaze*. Pour into pie shell and refrigerate until firm. Top with whipped cream if desired.

                                          How to Section Grapefruit

                                          Easy to master, sections make a beautiful pie; a quick but elegant citrus salad with poppy seed dressing; or a quick breakfast layered with yogurt and granola.

                                          With a sharp, thin-bladed knife, cut off both ends of the grapefruit.
                                          Place fruit on a flat end and cut away peel from top to bottom along the curvature or the fruit. Remove all white pulp.
                                          Cut down along fruit section to the center, then turn knife to loosen section and lift out. Repeat for other sections.
                                          *Strawberry Glaze - Prepared strawberry glaze or packet mix may be found in the produce or canned food section of your supermarket, or try this recipe:

                                          1 cup sugar
                                          1 1/2 cups water
                                          3 tablespoons cornstarch
                                          3 oz. box strawberry gelatin

                                          Blend sugar, cornstarch, and gelatin until no lumps appear. Stir into 1 1/2 cups boiling water. Boil until mixture coats a spoon, approx. 3-4 minutes. Cool before combining with grapefruit sections.

                                          1. re: kate used to be 50

                                            Wow, you guys, I appreciate all you're efforts in trying to help me find this elusive Grapefruit Pie. None of the 3 above are close either. There were no berries, no strawbery glaze, no strawberry or raspberry gelatin.

                                            Since grapefruit season is upon us, perhaps I should just go into the kitchen this weekend and experiment.

                                            1. re: DiningDiva

                                              Rose Levy Barenbaum has a grapefruit pie recipe that sounds similar-- it's in the Pie and Pastry Bible. Might be worth checking it out.

                                              1. re: Procrastibaker

                                                Procrastibaker, I have looked and looked in the Rose L B Pie and Pastry Bible for a grapefruit pie--can you tell me where you find it in that book?
                                                Also,I am wondering if this elusive pie is like the Shaker lemon pie--ultra thin slices of grapefruit transformed by sugar?

                                                1. re: blue room

                                                  You are right! What in the world am I thinking of? I was sure one of her variations involved a grapefruit curd. Sorry to build up your hopes. I will try to figure out if I got this idea from another cookbook...

                                                2. re: Procrastibaker

                                                  Procrastibaker, thanks for the lead, I'll check it out.

                                        2. re: Louise

                                          I'm guessing the filling was cooked, more like curd than custard. Don't know if it was gelatin or pectin based, that's a good question. Don't think the filling was whipped, and yes, it appeared to have been turned into a prebaked shell.

                                          1. re: piccola

                                            Piccola you may be the winner. This sounds close to what I remember and similar to what I was going to try as an experiment this weekend. Thanks for your leg work

                                          2. re: DiningDiva

                                            It may have been a Grapefruit Chiffon Pie

                                      2. I make a couple of different pies - one with a chocolate pudding filling, and also a raspberry tart. For the tart, the crust is the pat-in-the-pan crust from Joy of Cooking (1997 vers.), the filling is one-half recipe of the vanilla pudding recipe in JoC, and the top is raspberries.

                                        For the chocolate pudding pie, use either a butter crust or a Crisco crust, and do a nice chocolate pudding from a good standard cookbook. Lay a piece of plastic wrap over the filling so it doesn't get a skin, or add meringue on top, OR a layer of marshmallows and brown in a hot oven.

                                        1. My copy of Damon Lee Fowler's New Southern Baking book arrived today. I had it out of the library and put it on my "I want" list and forgot to but it. Anyway there is a recipe for a coconut chess pie with dark chocolate bourbon sauce. I'm going to have to try that one!

                                          1. I was a waitress in a rural Nebraska town when I was a teen. I remember one popular pie was sour cream & raisin. I never tried it, though.

                                            1. My mother in law makes (well, to be honest, her cook makes) an incredible prune pie - if any one is interested, I'll dig up the recipe - it is delicious.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: MMRuth

                                                please. Then I can pretend it's healthy, too. :-)

                                                1. re: piccola

                                                  OK - I'll dig through my files and post!

                                              2. In Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook, there's a recipe for Coconut Cream Pie, but what I found to be unusual (maybe it's not) is that there is a layer of bittersweet chocolate on top of the crust underneath the filling... I've really been wanting to try the recipe, but no one in my family would eat coconut cream pie except my mom and she'd kill me if I made her a whole pie!

                                                1. Portuguese Almond Tart. The recipe came from the cook, Angela, at the Quinta da Bacalhoa in Azeitao, Portugal. My apologies for metric measurements; I bake by weight, so I never bothered to convert the recipe.

                                                  This lovely, simple tart has a rich, buttery base, somewhere between shortbread and a very dense pound cake. The topping is caramelized, crunchy and nutty. It's an excellent dessert for those who like their sweets rich but not cloying. And it pairs beautifully with dessert wines, especially something like a Muscat de Beaumes de Venise.

                                                  Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Grease a 12-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Grease the hollows of the fluted edge especially well, as the topping part of the tart will stick.

                                                  For the “Cake” (base):
                                                  125 g unsalted butter, softened
                                                  200 g sugar
                                                  2 eggs
                                                  splash vanilla extract
                                                  pinch salt
                                                  200 g flour (AP)

                                                  Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Blend in salt and flour. Spread evenly over bottom of tart pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool out of the oven for about 15 minutes.

                                                  For the “Topping”:
                                                  125 g unsalted butter, softened
                                                  60 g heavy cream
                                                  150 g sugar
                                                  200 g sliced almonds

                                                  Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in cream. Blend in almonds. Spread over top of cooled baked cake. Bake for 20 minutes or until topping is bubbling and browned. Cool completely before serving, but serve at room temperature.

                                                  1. Buttermilk pie is wonderful. Vinegar pie is interesting--never tried it. Cranberries must be in a pie somewhere. Real minced meat pie with boozy sauce is goood.
                                                    The most intriguing, I've gotta try this someday, is the Shaker Lemon Pie--made with UNpeeled paper thin slices of lemon.
                                                    And here's an odd one--Pistachio & Grape Caramel Tart.

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: BangorDin

                                                      bangordin, will you share the shaker lemon pie recipe? sounds *wonderful*.

                                                      1. re: BangorDin

                                                        Oh yes, Shaker Lemon pie made with Meyer lemons. I tried this for the first time last year and it was a showstopper.

                                                        1. re: cheryl_h

                                                          Have you made the shaker-lemon pie?? I have been wanting to try this recipe ever since I heard of it!

                                                          1. re: lotus_blossom

                                                            Yes I did. I think I used the recipe from Bernard Clayton's Complete Book of Pastry. I was amazed at how the overnight maceration in sugar transformed the lemon rind. And Meyers are so wonderfully fragrant, it really is a knockout. It's especially good during the holidays when all the desserts are so cream-laden and rich.

                                                            1. re: lotus_blossom

                                                              Oh, man, Shaker Lemon pie is good. It is also called Ohio lemon pie. And with Meyer lemons? Sublime.

                                                        2. We make a pie called soda cracker pie, some call it angel? It has soda crackers crushed up mixed with nuts and egg whites, sugar and vanilla. Bake then top with fresh whip cream and it must sit in the fridge over night to be good!

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: Kari

                                                            Is this the mock-apple pie? I've heard about that, though I never understood why one would sub crackers for apples (esp. since apples are a pretty sturdy and abundant crop)

                                                            1. re: piccola

                                                              I've never heard of it being a mock apple pie. We've been making this for over 30 years. There is two layers, the crakers, walnuts and egg whites, sugar and vanilla all mixed together. That is baked, then after it cools you top it with whip cream.

                                                          2. no mention yet of shoofly pie? molasses. or mincemeat. wow tomato/raspberry, i was told my raspberry/nectarine was odd.

                                                            1. piccola, thanks for finding the grapefruit pie recipe. I sort of started this pie search after Dining Diva mentioned it, and have been following the progress. I'm gonna try it too. I noticed that one person *reviewed* the recipe, and had one complaint--the lack of grapefruit flavor--so of course the quality of the fruit will be important, I think moreso than in a lemon meringue.

                                                              1. Regarding grapefruit pie--in addition to the one piccola found, there is a recipe called "Grapefruit Curd Meringue Pie" I saw at a New Zealand website--
                                                                cuisine.co.nz --maybe this will be a good "fit" too.

                                                                1. I saw Martha Stewart on Today this morning. She made a fantabulous-looking pumpkin soufflé pie with a fillo crust.

                                                                  I love the idea of a fillo crust (it's flaky, pretty, and far less work than regular crust), but I wonder - would it work with non-soufflé fillings? Or would that make it soggy?

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: piccola

                                                                    Is the phyllo saturated in butter, as it often is? That would keep it from getting soggy maybe?

                                                                  2. This recipe was in her Living Magazine: I wondered the same thing as well- can I make an apple pit with it?

                                                                    1. In the "Pie and Pastry Bible", by Rose Levy Beranbaum, she includes an apple pie made with a phyllo crust. I think you can pretty much enclose or top *anything* with phyllo--there are spinach/cheese pastries as well as fruit desserts galore if you google. Read up on how to handle it and it's a fancy, ready-made dough at your service.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: BangorDin

                                                                        Yeah, one of my favorite restaurants used to have an apple pie in phyllo on the menu and it was fabulous! So sad when they took it away and I tell the waiter/ waitress every time... they don't care! :-(

                                                                      2. The two best pies that I had this year were a pinto bean pie and a sweet pickle pie at the Sunglow Family Restaurant 91 East Main St. in Bicknell, Utah.


                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: jlawrence01

                                                                          Second the suggestion re Buttermilk Pie - fabulous, and great with a graham cracker crust for hopeless bakers like me !

                                                                          French Silk Pie is a terrific treat - I add 2 oz of espresso to the chocolate mixture to give it a strong coffee sub-note, and cut the otherwise-cloying richness of the undiluted chocolate taste.

                                                                          Have a great recipe for a lemon tart.

                                                                        2. A roasted tomato tarte tatin, I'm trying this next tomato season:

                                                                          1. A few weeks ago, I made a Moosewood Desserts cookbook pie -- peach in a gingerbread crust. The peaches also have ginger added to them. It was amazing.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: Neuromancer

                                                                              Oooh, I've made that pie too and it is great...