Michele Stuart's Perfect Pies

Think pies are one of the hardest desserts to make? Follow Michele Stuart's recipes to make sure your pies turn out perfect every time!

Pecan Pie

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 55 min

Yield: 6- 8 servings

INGREDIENTS

Crust

1 recipe Traditional Pastry Piecrust dough for a 9-inch single-crust

1/4 cup heavy cream (to glaze the crimped pie edges)

Filling

1 1/4 cups dark corn syrup

3 extra large eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons salted butter, melted

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 cups pecan halves

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350°F.

To prepare pie shell, on lightly floured work surface, roll out half a ball of dough with a rolling pin until if forms a 10-inch circle. Fold the circle in half, place it in a 9-inch pie plate so that the edges of the circle drop over the rim, and unfold the dough to completely cover the pie plate. Using your thumb and index finger, crimp the edges of the pie shell. Brush edges with heavy cream and set aside.

To prepare filing, using an electric mixer on medium speed, mix together corn syrup, eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla until a light brown color is achieved, about three minutes. Stir in pecans with a spoon or spatula making sure they are incorporated throughout. Place filing in pie shell, distribute evenly.

To bake, place pie plate on baking sheet and bake for 55-60 minutes, or until pie is firm in the middle.

Transfer pie to wire cooling rack and allow to cool and set for 1 hour before serving.

Apple Cranberry Crumb Pie

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 55 mins

Yield: 10 slices

INGREDIENTS

Crust

1 Traditional Pastry PieCrust Dough for 9inch double crust Pie

1/2 Cup Heavy Cream (to glaze the top crust and crimped pie edges)

Filing

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Dash of ground nutmeg

8 medium apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

2/3 cup dried cranberries

Cinnamon Sugar Crumb Topping

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/4 cubes

PREPARATION

Heat oven to 425ºF.

Prepare pie shell. Roll out half a ball of dough with rolling pin until it forms a 10 inch circle. Wrap the remaining dough in plastic wrap and reserve for future use, up to five days. Fold your circle of dough in half, place it in a 9 inch pie plate so that the edges of the circle drop over the rim, and unfold the dough to completely cover the pie plate. Using your thrum and index finger, crimp the edges of the pie shell. Brush the edges of the pie shell with a heavy cream. Set the pie shell to the side while you make the filing.

Prepare filing, in small bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Place apples in large bowl and sprinkle them with the sugar mixture, making sure the apples are thoroughly coated. Add dried cranberries, mixing well to fully incorporate into apple mixture. Place apple mixture in pie shell.

In separate bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Using a pastry blender, incorporate the butter by "cutting it in" to the flour until it forms small pea size pieces then sprinkle topping over the apple filling, which is already in the pie crust.

Place pie plate on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 F and continue baking for 40 minutes or until the apples are tender.

Place pie plate to a wire cooling rack and allow the pie to cool and set for 1 ½ hours before serving.

Country Apple Pie

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 55 mins

Yield: 6 to 8 slices

INGREDIENTS

Crust

1 Traditional Pastry Pie Crust Dough for 9inch double crust Pie

1/2 cup Heavy Cream (to glaze the top crust and crimped pie edges)

Filing

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Dash of ground nutmeg

8 medium apples,peeled,cored and cut into ½-inch chunks

1 tablespoon salted butter

PREPARATION

Heat oven to 425ºF.

Prepare recipe for double crust pie. Roll out half the dough for bottom crust. Set aside other half to use for the top crust. Place in 9-inch pie plate. Press to fit without stretching dough. Trim even with pie plate. Do not bake.

Prepare filing, in small bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Peel, core and slice apples. Place apples in large bowl and sprinkle them with the sugar mixture, making sure the apples are thoroughly coated. Place apple mixture in pie shell and dot the filling with butter.

To prepare the top crust, roll out the second half of dough with a rolling pin until it forms a 10-inch circle. Fold the dough circle in half and place if over filling, with the straight line of the half circle running down the middle of the pie. Unfold circle so that the entire pie is covered. Using your thumb and index finger, crimp the edges of the pie together to seal in the filling, and then use a fork to puncture the top of the pie 5 or 6 times. Brush the top of the pie and crimped edges with heavy cream

Place pie plate on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375ºF and continue baking for 40 minutes or until the apples are tender.

Transfer pie on wire rack and allow the pie to cool and set for 1 ½ hours before serving.

Check out Michele's 'Perfect Pies' for more delicious recipes