Category Archives: Pie

Lemon Ice Box Pie


This year I was in charge of the pies and rolls for Easter. My mom hosted Easter dinner and allowed me to help with these few items to help her in the kitchen.  I love baking so I was anxious  to try a few new recipes.  

I love using my grandma’s pie dish so I was pleased to make the pies. It makes me feel like she was with us this year sharing the meal and memories.



16 Lemon Flavored Oreos

3 TB unsalted butter, melted


1 (8 ounce) packet of 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature

1 can (14 oz) of sweetened skim condensed milk

1/4 cup of egg white substitute

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, plus 3 TB boiled (this will take about 3 lemons)

1 tsp lemon zest

2 tsp gelatin


1. Place the Oreos in the food processor and pulse. Slowly add the butter and incorporate.

2. Place the mixture into a standard pie dish and press into dish. Place the dish into the refrigerator and allow to chill for at least 30 minutes.

3. In the meantime prepare the filling. In stand mixer beat with paddle attachment the cream cheese, egg substitute and sweetened condensed milk.

4. Mix 3 TB of the hot lemon juice and dissolve the gelatin in the hot juice. Mix the gelatin until it dissolved. Set aside.

5. Add in the lemon juice and zest to the cream cheese mixture, then fold in the gelatin mixture.

6. Pour the filling into the pie dish, cover with saran wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator overnight.

Keep chilled prior to serving




Pasta Pie


Yesterday despite the snow we ventured downtown to our favorite place to shop for kitchen essentials and pantry staples. I also love to shop the Strip District for inspiration on what to make the following week. Lucky it was Saturday and one of our favorite bakeries & cafe’s was open. I was checking out the showcase and the owner had made an Italian Meat Pie. This inspired me to look for a meat pie recipe. I did not find exactly what I was looking for; however, stumbled across a recipe by One Little Project at a Time, Three Cheese Italian Rigatoni Pie that intrigued me. This will not stop me from researching to find a pastry meat pie recipe, so be on the lookout for more details in the upcoming week.

I slightly modified the original recipe with the link from of above to incorporate some lighter ingredients and add additional seasoning. This pie turns out picture perfect and ridiculously delicious (Husband approved)! 

  • 1 pound Rigatoni
  • 3 cups; plus 1/3 cup of homemade pasta sauce or your favorite store bought sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil,
  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef (93/7)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 1/4 cup Romano Locatelli (grated)
  • 1/4 cup Asiago cheese (grated)
  • One 16 oz container of fat free cottage cheese (fat free ricotta cheese) or my family always likes a combo of both
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-1/2 cups of 2% mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp of Pasta Sprinkle or Italian seasoning
  1. Cook the Rigatoni in a large pot of boiling water. Cook the pasta according to the package but decrease the time by Cook it about 1 minute. Drain the pasta and rinse under cold water.
  2. Toss pasta with 1 Tablespoon of oil to prevent it from sticking. Then add the parmesan cheese, asiago cheese, and romano and mix until the cheese is evenly distributed. Set aside.
  3. Spray a large skillet preferably nonstick with cooking spray, sprinkle meat with salt and pepper, brown the ground beef on medium heat. Remove any excess liquid once cooked and no signs of pink meat.
  4. Add 3 cups of pasta sauce to the meat and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for at least 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and let it cool for 10 minutes.
  7. Mix together the container of cottage cheese and the egg & pasta sprinkle.
  8. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. Cooking spray a 9 inch springform pan and place the remaining 1/3 cup of pasta sauce on the bottom of the springform pan. Spread the sauce evenly.
  10. Take the cooked rigatoni and stand each piece up on its end in the pan. Continue until the whole pan is tightly packed. You will feel like you don’t have enough noodles but you will.
  11. Pour the cottage cheese mixture over the rigatoni and spread evenly over all the noodles. Shake the pan and gently pound the pan on the counter to get some of the cottage cheese to venture down in the noodle vessels.
  12. Pour the meat mixture over top and spread evenly over the noodles. Use your a straw to poke the meat and cheese mixture down into the noodles. You can also gently pound the pan on the counter and shake this helps as well.
  13. Bake, uncovered, the beautiful pie for 15 minutes at 400F.
  14. Remove from the oven and top with the mozzarella cheese.
  15. Bake for another 15 minutes at 400F.
  16. Let stand on wire rack for 10 minutes then run a plastic knife (this will prevent scratching of your pan) around the edge of the pan to help remove the springform pan.






Ice Box Key Lime Pie


This is a tribute to the 2015 Topsail vacation. We were on vacation last week and everyone wanted Key Lime Pie! We didn’t want to spent $18.00 for a pie so we made key lime martinis instead. 

This weekend was Labor Day weekend and we decided to make the pie from scratch. The bonus is everyone that wanted the pie on vacation was at the party (well almost everyone but my sister)! Sorry Jen we didn’t even save you a slice. 

This recipe is a spin off of Ina Garten’s recipe. I changed a few things around including the crust and I tried the milk with fat free since that was the only kind I had at home. 
When we were on vacation we couldn’t find key limes anywhere! The bottled juice you can find in the stores is subpar. When I planned the menu I was nervous we wouldn’t be able to find key limes but low and behold the strip district had them! Yazzie!


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a food processor to pulse waffers into crumbs. 

Ingredients for the Crust:

1 2/3 cup of crushed reduced fat vanilla wafers

1/4 cup granulated sugar

6 TB unsalted butter melted 

Filling ingredients:

7 large egg yolks (room temperature) look for pasteurized eggs

1/4 cup sugar

1 can (14 oz) fat free sweetened condensed milk

2 TB key lime zest

3/4 cup freshly squeezed key lime juice

Crust Directions: 

1. Place in a bowl wafers crumbs, butter, and sugar combine until butter is incorporated throughout. Press mixture into a 9 inch pie dish. Make sure that the crust is an even consistency throughout the entire dish.

2. Bake for 10 minutes and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. 

Directions for the filling:

1. Beat the egg yolks and sugar on high speed in a electric mixer was fitted attachment for five minutes. I use speed eight and it only took about 4 1/2 minutes. The appearance will be thick and creamy. 

2. Juice speed to medium and Inc. add to the sweetened condensed milk, lime zest, & lime juice.

3. Pour into the cooled prepared pie crust. 

4. Freeze overnight. 

5. Remove from freezer right before slicing into. 

6. Enjoy with a dollop of homemade whipped cream. My go to is on TOH website. The only change I make is I use a whole tsp of pure vanilla extract. 

Ham, Swiss Cheese, Bell Pepper Quiche


I had some extra pie dough leftover from my rhubarb pie that I made yesterday for the family reunion and instead of tossing it I made this quiche for breakfast! I try to be resourceful whenever possbile. We had leftover bell peppers from the black-eyed pea salad so I threw those in the dish. My husband loves the combo of swiss cheese and ham so I tossed that in the mix as well. This is a good dish to clean out the refrigerator! 

This recipe yields 8 servings:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


1 1/2 cup fat free half and half

1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 

1 -2 oz of Swiss cheese (I cubed it but should have shredded it)

3/4 cup chopped Pell peppers (I had red, orange and green)

3/4 cup chopped yellow onion

1 TB fresh chives

1/2 to 3/4 tsp  freshly ground pepper

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/2 cup diced ham

4 eggs and 1 egg white

1 tsp sriracha sauce

1 premade pie crust dough (homemade or store bought) homemade is just as easy as unwrapping the store bought)


1. Whisk together eggs, sriracha sauce, salt, pepper in medium bowl. Set aside.

2. Roll out you dough to fit a 9 inch pie dish. Place in pie pan.  Add bell pepper, ham and onion on top the pastry. Mix to spread everything evenly. 

3. Top with both cheeses and fresh chives. Pour liquid egg mix over top veggies and the proteins.

4. Bake on 350 degrees for 1 hour or until knief comes out clean.  



Rhubarb Pie


We have oodles of rhubarb and I have been very antsy to try a whole pie made of rhubarb.   This was a home run. I made it for my husband’s Grammy. She just moved into a new house and I wanted to make it as a house warming gift. Plus I found out it was also her birthday! She told me once when she was a child her mother would make her rhurbarb pie and it was her favorite. She always makes everyone pie but she never makes her favorite so this one is for you Grammy Ulam! 


5 cups of chopped frozen rhubarb thawed

1 1/2 cups of sugar

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg

3 TB flour

1 tsp quick tapioca 

1 egg (lightly beaten)

1-2 TB skim milk 

1 TB unsalted butter

Pie crust for a double crust 9 inch pie (either use your favorite or try this one)

I used joy of baking crust and it was a good recipe for this pie. I like that it weighed everything out. 


1. If you are using frozen rhubarb thaw it in a colander and allow for excess water to drain. Once excess water has been removed place rhubarb in sugar, cinnamon, tapioca, flour mixture and mix to incorporate.

2. Allow the rhubarb to set for 15 minutes in sugar spice bath.  Add in egg and mix to incorporate. In meantime preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

3. Place prepared pie crust in pie dish. Pour rhubarb mixture in prepared pie dish. 

4. Cut pieces of butter and spread evenly on top of rhubarb. Cover pie with second pie dough. 

6. Trim and seal dough as you wish. Make sure to cut slits in dough to allow steam to release. Lightly brush pie with milk. 

7. Bake pie at 400 degrees for 15 minutes and then decease the tempature to 350 degrees and bake for 45 to 50 additional minutes. Or until crust is golden brown and filling starts to bubble.

8. Remove from oven and allow to cool on wire rack.

Pulled Pork Shepard’s Pie

My husband’s favorite meat to smoke in his grill dome is a pork shoulder. This is a take on a summertime favorite picnic potluck spread. Since it’s the middle of March I thought I’d bring summertime to us. Although spring will be here before you know it…

Yields 8 servings


  • Pie dough (or use your favorite recipe or store bought)

My favorite dough recipe

1/3 plus 1 TB shortening

1 cup Ap flour 

1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 to 3 TB ice cold water

  • 1 (16 oz can of your favorite baked beans (we used bushes homestyle))
  • 1 cup of corn (frozen or fresh) make sure to thaw if frozen and drain excess liquid
  • 3 cups of leftover garlic mashed potatoes 
  • 2 cups of fully cooker pork tenderloin (shredded)
  • 1 TB BBQ Sauce


1. If you are making the dough from scratch with recipe as above. Place flour and salt in medium bowl. Whisk ingredents together to incorporate. 

2. Add shorten and mix with hands until particles resemble pea size granules.

3. Now add water a TB at a time and form a dough ball and place in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

4. After 30 minutes have elapsed take dough out.

5.Roll out  to fit standard pie dish.

6. Mix pulled pork with one TB of bqq sauce.

7. Place pork on bottom of the pie dough. Spread evenly to cover the base of the dish.

8. Now top pork with baked beans and spread evenly.

9. Now layer with corn.

10. Trim the dough on the crust to fit pan.

11. Place mashed potatoes in piping bag with large star attachment and pipe away a beautiful design. 

12. Place in oven for 1 hour on 350 degrees. You might have to cover crust mid way to prevent burning.



Blackberry pie !


My husband’s favorite pie is black raspberry. If you like black raspberries you know it is nearly impossible to find these gems unless you yourself grow them and protect from the birds with netting. We went to the strip district last weekend and picked up 4 cups of blackberries next best thing. They were such a good deal! Only a dollar per 8 ounces. I promised him I would bake him a pie with the vibrant berries.

Ingredients for dough for crust:

2/3 cup crisco
2 cup ap flour
1 tsp kosher salt
4 to 6 TB ice cold water
Skim Milk to brush the top of the top

Ingredients for filling (Grammy Ulam’s recipe)
4 cups of Blackberries (or black raspberries)
3/4 cup but up 1 cup of sugar if very tart
3-4 TB corn starch


To start the dough for the crust. Mix flour and salt.


Cut shortening into flour with your hands (the key here is to get the flour mixture to look like pea size particles resembling wet sand.


Sprinkle the water slowly and not all at one time. Contine mixing with bare hands

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Mix until all moisture has been incorporated into the dough and pastry cleans side of bowl.

Divide the dough into two balls, place in plastic wrap and refrigerator for 30 minutes.


While the dough colds off start the fruit filling.

Place first three ingredients for the filling in a sauce pan on medium low heat.

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Pumpkin Pie


One of my husband’s favorite pies is pumpkin! Thanksgiving wouldn’t be complete without a piece of pumpkin pie.

2 cups of pumpkin purée
1/2 cup fat free half and half
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 oz of 1/3 fat reduced cream cheese
1 tsp of high quality pumpkin pie spice
1 cup granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 tsp Mexican Pure Vanilla extract

1 cup AP Flour
1/3 cup plus 1 TB of shortening
1-3 TB ice cold water
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Crust Directions:
Mix flour and salt together. Add shortening and using hands cut shortening into flour mixture or use a pastry cutter but I prefer hands. Cut until dough has pea sized particles.

Start to add water in small amounts. Knead with hands until dough is no longer sticky or dry. Adding more shortening and water as needed. Start with first amount as listed above and increase to max amount as necessary.

Cover in plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Roll out chilled dough in a circle shape on to a lightly floured surface.

Roll dough onto rolling pin and center over a 9 inch pie dish and crimp edges.

Blind bake with pie dough weights in foil for 20 minutes.


In the meantime beat the cream cheese with paddle attachment.


Add pumpkin.


Beat together. Add sugar, salt, add eggs mix until incorporated.


Add heavy cream, half and half and melted butter and mix.


Add pumpkin pie spice and vanilla and mix to blend spices throughout.

Pour filling into the prepared pie crust.

Place pie in oven and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the center is firm.


Remove from oven and let rest on wire rack.


If you have left over dough; roll out and use cookie cutter molds to make leaves for fall. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes. Once cooled place on top of fully cooked pie.


Mile High Spiced Apple Pie


Nothing says traditional Thanksgiving like a homemade apple pie. I was lucky to have apples leftover from grandfather’s orchard. Everyone always has their own family recipe and opinion on what apples to use. Honestly use what is on sale or what you have and I can guarantee it will turn out amazing !

This recipe yields 6 to 8 slices

Filling Ingredients:
3 pounds of apples (peeled, cored, and sliced thin) ( I used a variety (Granny Smith, Red Delicious, and Johnny Gold)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1/4 cup flour
1 TB Lemon juice
1 tsp of high quality Vietnamese cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground mace
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice

Pie dough:

2 cup AP (aka all purpose) Flour
2/3 cup plus 2 TB shortening
1 tsp kosher salt
3-6 TB ice water

1 tsp skim milk
1 tsp vanilla sugar

Crust Directions:
Mix flour and salt together. Add shortening and using hands cut shortening into flour mixture or use a pastry cutter but I prefer hands. Cut until dough has pea sized particles.

Start to add water in small amounts. Knead with hands until dough is no longer sticky or dry. Adding more shortening and water as needed. Start with first amount as listed above and increase to max amount as necessary.

Divide dough into 2 balls, one slightly larger then the other. Cover in plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

In meantime peel, core and slice apples.


Add lemon juice, flour and spices toss until well incorporated.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees and move oven rack to lowest 3rd of the oven.

By now your dough should be chilled. Use the larger dough ball for the bottom crust. Roll out in a circle shape on to lightly floured surface.


Roll dough onto rolling pin and center over a 9 inch pie dish and trim the overhang to 1/2 inch. Brush small amount of water on edges to seal top dough.

Add apple mixture to pie dough and create a mound in the center.


Roll out second dough ball and roll onto pin place over apples.


Trim over hang to 1 inch.


Fold the top crust edge under to bottom crust edge and press to seal.


Cut four slits in the top to allow the steam to escape.


With leftover dough trimmings, roll out dough and cut out leaf dough shapes and place over the pie if desired. The milk will help the cutouts stick to top crust.

Take milk and brush dough and sprinkle with vanilla sugar.


Place in oven on cookie sheet for 10 minutes. Decrease temperature to 375 degrees. And bake for an additional hour. Or until bubbles start to come out.

You may need to cover dough edges with a pie crust saver to prevent burning (check half way through).


Place on wire rack to cool completely before severing! WARNING your house will smell absolutely divine!

Key Lime Pie oh my!

Key Lime Pie Oh my!


My mom’s birthday was this weekend! One of her favorite desserts is Key Lime Pie! This recipe was thrown together rather quickly for her special occasion. It’s very simple and a crowd pleaser. The recipe below was adapted from a Taste of Home recipe in this past May’s issue. Here is the link . I made a few changes since my mom doesn’t like macadamia nuts and I didn’t have short bread cookies. I also reduced the calories by substituting a few of the full fat products to either fat free or reduced fat products.

•1 can of non fat sweetened and condensed milk
•1/2 cup fresh Lime Juice (key lime if possible)
•8 once block of reduced fat free cream cheese (softened)

•1 1/2 cup of crushed whole grain graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup melted in salted butter
1/4 cup sugar

Directions for crust:
Preheat oven to 350.

Place graham crackers in food processor. Pulse until fine add sugar, add melted butter.


Press graham mixture in 9″ pie dish. Bake for 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.


Direction for lime filling

Beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy.


Add the lime juice and milk. Mix until incorporated.


Using a spatula spread evenly the lime cream cheese mixture into the cooled pie crust.

Add the lime juice and milk. Mix until incorporated.


Let sit in refrigerator for at least 4 hours to set. The add whipped cream to top and serve.

Fresh whip cream topping
1 cup of whipping cream
1 heaping Tb of confectioner sugar
1 tsp of Pure Vanilla


Beat cream in cold metal bowl until soft peaks form, add sugar and vanilla. Beat until stiff peaks form. Spread evenly over cool pie.