This blog title has a double meaning. I just watched the entire series of Pushing Daisies. It's a charming, visually heightened show about a pie baker who can wake the dead with his touch. I highly highly recommend watching it. It has jumped onto my favorite tv shows list. The cast is hilarious and heartfelt, led by the adorably awkward Lee Pace, the adventurous Anna Friel, the bubbly, itty-bitty Kristin Chenoweth and the sassy Chi McBride. It's available on Netflix as mail-in DVDs and on Amazon Prime Instant Video.
Chuck (Friel) pouring her dead bees on Ned (Pace) to reawaken them. Yes, I took a snapshot because he's shirtless. Ya got a problem?
This post is also an excuse to share two more pie recipes. I made these for Thanksgiving this year. They were a smash hit.
First I made Pumpkin Cheesecake with Marshmallow Sour Cream Topping and Gingersnap Crust. I don't really like pumpkin or cheesecake, but I ended up totally loving it. I had never made a cheesecake before and it was a fun texture to work with. I would definitely make it again, if the need arose. It needs to chill overnight, so make it the day before and add the topping the next day.
- 2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
- 1 cup pecans
- 1/4 cup packed golden brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
- 4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
- 5 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups mini marshmallows
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sour cream
9-inch springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides, food processor, electric mixer.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease pan. Grind cookie crumbs, pecans, brown sugar, and ginger in processor until nuts are finely ground. Add butter; using on/off turns, process to blend. Transfer mixture to pan. Press into bottom and 2 inches up sides of pan. Bake crust until set and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Cool completely.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in pumpkin. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating on low speed to incorporate each addition. Add flour, spices, and salt. Beat in vanilla. Transfer filling to cooled crust. Bake until filling is just set in center and edges begin to crack (filling will move slightly when pan is gently shaken), about 1 hour 20 minutes. Cool 1 hour. Run knife around sides of pan to release crust. Chill cheesecake uncovered in pan overnight.
Stir marshmallows and milk in medium saucepan over low heat until marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt. Cool marshmallow mixture to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
Add sour cream to marshmallow mixture; fold gently just to blend. Pour topping over cheesecake and spread evenly, leaving 1/2 inch uncovered around edges. Chill to set topping, at least 1 hour.
I also made a classic Cinnamon Crumb Apple Pie. I've tried a few different apple pie recipes and this one was very successful. Really yummy served a la mode.
- 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled butter, cut into cubes
- 1/4 cup frozen solid vegetable shortening, cut into cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Ice water
- 3 1/4 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
9-inch-diameter pie dish
Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix flour, salt, and sugar in large bowl. Add butter and shortening; rub in with fingertips until coarse meal forms. Mix 3 tablespoons ice water and vinegar in small bowl to blend. Drizzle over flour mixture; stir with fork until moist clumps form, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate 30 minutes.
Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer to pie dish. Trim edges and crimp decoratively. Refrigerate while preparing filling and topping.
Mix all ingredients in large bowl to coat apples.
Blend first 5 ingredients in processor. Add chilled butter cubes; using on/off turns, cut in until mixture resembles wet sand.
Toss filling to redistribute juices; transfer to crust, mounding in center. Pack topping over and around apples. Bake pie on baking sheet until topping is golden, about 40 minutes (cover top with foil if browning too quickly). Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake until apples in center are tender when pierced and filling is bubbling thickly at edges, about 45 minutes longer. Cool until warm, about 1 hour.
These were super fun and tasty. Let me know how it goes, if anyone decides to make them.