Pie Trials

I just have to share this experience. I signed up for a Pie-Off at work. It’s taking place on Monday. All week I’ve been obsessing over what pies I am going to enter. The rules are quite simple. We can only enter 2 pies and they have to be in a pie pan. Other than that, it’s whatever we want.

The judging categories are: Best Overall, Most Colorful, Most Creative, Best Traditional, Best Combo (ie with ice cream). Keep in mind I’m not really a pie girl. I made these lemon meringue cup-pies, but other than that, I stick with other baked goods. But I do love a challenge, so here I am…

Tonight I wanted to make some trial pies. But Hubby and I don’t need two pies in the house. And I don’t want to send a pie to work with a piece or two cut out of it. I have actually never eaten a pear (shocking, I know!) but this pear-cranberry pie from Katie looked so festive and I thought I might have a shot at Most Colorful with it. The other pie I wanted to try is from Dorie Greenspans “Baking From My Home to Yours” as made famous by the TWD group. (BTW, I grabbed the cookbook at TJMaxx for $24 and man it’s HEAVY! I didn’t realize it was so big!). So the other pie is called Depths-of-Fall Butternut Squash Pie. It has butternut squash, pears, dried cranberries and walnuts in it. And the squash isn’t pureed like a pumpkin pie, it’s left in chunks. This intrigued me.

So back to tonight. I wanted to make 2 pies without having 2 pies at the end of the night. Then I got this crazy idea to make them both in the same pan. Yep, you read right. In the same pan. The squash pie needed a double crust and the pear pie is open on the top. So I used two crusts and just folded one in half for the squash pie and then cut the other crust in half for the pear pie. The pictures show it better…

This is the filling for the Dorie Pie. Let me tell you – I wanted to eat this with a spoon. But I decided I should bake the pie as planned. 

This is the pear filling. Quite simple and tasty. I couldn’t get it all to fit in the 1/2 pie pan so I ate the rest. Mmmm. I had no idea I liked pears so much. 

Here’s the Dorie pie in it’s crust. As you can see, it’s one pie crust (yes, I used store bought for tonight – I’ll be making homemade for Monday). I just folded the top over the filling and crimped with a fork.

Here’s the pie after I crimped the edge of the Dorie pie. I left enough pie for the pear pie to have crust on all sides so the juices wouldn’t get mixed into the Dorie pie.

Here’s the other half of the pear pie crust. I used some mini leaf cookie cutters to cut out the decorations just like Katie.

This is the pie as it looked before it went in the oven. As you can see, the pear half of the pie is quite full. One difficult thing about this project is the cooking time/temp. One said 400 and one said 375. I heated my oven to about 385 and threw it in. The pear pie required being loosely covered with foil. 

The two-pies-in-one-pie-pan masterpiece is in the oven right now. I’ll post the results from this little experiment tomorrow.
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6 Responses to “Dairy Free Vanilla Bean Ice Cream”

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    Eva @ Eva Bakes — May 13, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Very cool (pun intended)! I’ll have to bookmark this recipe in case I have some friends who can’t consume dairy.

    • beantownbaker — May 13th, 2013 @ 9:56 am

      Coconut milk is definitely my friend when it comes to dairy free ice cream!

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    Shannon — May 13, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    ooh, i have never made a plain vanilla, but i do love a good quality vanilla bean 🙂 especially with coconut milk!!

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    Sues — May 13, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    I love vanilla ice cream that’s so vanilla-y that it has the little flecks in it 🙂 Heavenly!

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    Jen — May 15, 2013 at 1:33 am

    How convienent that I just paid $6 for a tiny container of dairy free ice cream and wanted to find a cheaper homemade version. Thanks for sharing this gem.

    • beantownbaker — June 10th, 2013 @ 12:54 pm

      Dairy free ice cream is definitely expensive and making it at home yields such great results! I don’t think I’ll ever go back to store bought ice cream again.

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