pie

Bready or Not: No-Bake Maple Pecan Pie

Posted by on Nov 8, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, maple, no-bake dessert, pie | 2 comments

I am never baking a pecan pie again. This will be my go-to recipe forever more: No-Bake Maple Pecan Pie.

Bready or Not: No-Bake Maple Pecan Pie

Depending on how fast your stovetop heats up, you may have your pie assembled in 15 to 20 minutes without ever having to heat up the oven.

Bready or Not: No-Bake Maple Pecan Pie

No worries about making a crust or pre-baking a crust or any of that. Every time I’ve made this, I’ve used a graham cracker crust from Wal-mart. You could make a from-scratch graham crust if you want, but I’m all about making this pie as quickly and conveniently as possible.

The way the filling solidifies once chilled is kind of amazing. It’s easy to cut but stays intact, with the exception of some graham cracker crumbles. My husband was able to cut slices and wrap them in plastic wrap to take with his lunch to work, then eat the pieces right out of hand. No need for a fork.

Bready or Not: No-Bake Maple Pecan Pie

This is the perfect holiday pie, to my way of thinking. It dirties almost no dishes. It doesn’t use the oven. It keeps perfectly well, tucked in the fridge.

Oh yeah, and it’s DELICIOUS. Sweet, slightly-crunchy, and decadent, just as a pecan pie should be.

Bready or Not: No-Bake Maple Pecan Pie

Modified from Southern Plate.

Bready or Not: No-Bake Maple Pecan Pie

Bready or Not: No-Bake Maple Pecan Pie

This recipe makes a no-hassle pecan pie with only 15 to 20 minutes of stovetop time, plus a few hours for the pie to chill. Use a store-bought graham cracker crust, and it’s all the more convenient. This is the perfect holiday pie–it’s fast to make, and absolutely delicious. Modified from Southern Plate.

  • 3/4 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 Tablespoons milk, cream, or half & half
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups whole pecans
  • 9-inch graham cracker crust, homemade or store-bought

Place the brown sugar, butter, maple syrup, and honey in a medium-sized pot. Set the heat to medium high and stir constantly as it comes to a boil.

Once it's boiling, add the pecans and milk/cream. Reduce to a low boil and keep it there for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract.

Pour everything into the graham cracker crust. Let cool on counter to set. Cover and place in fridge to completely chill for several hours before cutting.

Keep pie stored in fridge. Pie keeps well for at least a week.

OM NOM NOM!

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Bonus Bready or Not: Dried Apple Pie Feature at Unbound Worlds

Posted by on Jun 30, 2017 in apples, Blog, Bready or Not, call of fire, pie | Comments Off on Bonus Bready or Not: Dried Apple Pie Feature at Unbound Worlds

Just in time for this week’s holidays (Independence Day! And heck, Canada Day, too!) I’m sharing a special recipe over at Unbound Worlds. I combined a bunch of 19th-century recipes to create my own recipe for Dried Apple Pie. A century ago, that was the handiest way to make apple pie all year-round no matter where you lived. This is how my character Ingrid Carmichael learned to make apple pie from her mother.

It’s actually a pretty simple recipe, too–all you have to do is re-hydrate the apples in some apple cider or juice! You’re spared the pain of peeling the apples, too. Check out the recipe and post at Unbound Worlds.

Dried Apple Pie26-cato_sm

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Pi Day! Celebrate with Bready or Not

Posted by on Mar 14, 2017 in Blog, Bready or Not, pie | Comments Off on Pi Day! Celebrate with Bready or Not

It’s March 14th and that means it’s PI DAY (3.14). Therefore, it’s only right to celebrate by making and eating some pie, right? I have a whole subcategory of pie recipes in Bready or Not, but let’s highlight some favorites.

Bready or Not: Maple Pecan Pie BarsMaple Pecan Pie Bars

 

Bready or Not: Maple Apple PieMaple Apple Pie

 

Snickerdoodle PieSnickerdoodle Pie

 

Peppermint Brownie PiePeppermint Brownie Pie

 

Cookies and Cream Chocolate PieNo-Bake Cookies and Cream Chocolate Pie

 

Triple Layer Lemon Pudding PieNo-Bake Triple Layer Lemon Pudding Pie

 

Om nom nom! #SFWAPro

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Bready or Not: Maple Pecan Pie Bars

Posted by on Dec 21, 2016 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, maple, pie | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Maple Pecan Pie Bars

These Maple Pecan Pie Bars offer all the goodness of pecan pie in a form that is 1) more readily portable, 2) keeps well for up to a week, 3) freezable.

Bready or Not: Maple Pecan Pie Bars

Oh, and did I mention these are DELICIOUS? They seriously are. My dad is a native Alabaman and he knows pecan pie and pecan in all forms. He LOVED these bars.

Bready or Not: Maple Pecan Pie Bars

The base is shortbread, and atop that is a just-right thickness of pecans in syrup. This avoids the usual butt-ton of corn syrup that other recipes use and relies on a combo of maple syrup and brown sugar. Which is… maybe healthier? Kinda?

Bready or Not: Maple Pecan Pie Bars

What matters to me, though, is that it tastes good. The maple syrup adds the right sweetness here to complement the nuts.

You don’t have to use pecans here, either. You could certainly try walnuts, cashews, or a combination. Do go for “softer” nuts, though, to make it easier to cut the bars.

Bready or Not: Maple Pecan Pie Bars

I froze a bunch of pecan bars between layers of waxed paper in a freezer container. They thawed again with no difference in taste. They also keep well for at least a week, making these a good candidate for shipping.

As my dad can attest, these bars are perfect for breakfast, snack, or dessert. While you could eat them along with vanilla ice cream, they are good eaten out of hand. Heck, you can even zap them in the microwave if you want them warmed.

Bready or Not: Maple Pecan Pie Bars

However or whenever you eat them, these Maple Pecan Bars will be delicious.

Modified from Bake or Break.

Bready or Not: Maple Pecan Pie Bars

Bready or Not: Maple Pecan Pie Bars

These Maple Pecan Pie Bars offer the deliciousness of pecan pie in a portable, delicious hand-sized bar. These bars keep for up to a week and also can be frozen for later enjoyment.

  • Crust
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
  • Filling
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 a stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled for a few minutes
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans (or mixed soft nuts like walnuts or cashews)

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Line a 13x9-inch pan with parchment paper and lightly apply butter or nonstick spray along the bottom and sides.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, brown sugar, and salt. Add the cold butter and use a pastry blender or a fork to mash it down into small crumbles. The overall mix will feel sandy, but it'll hold together after baking.

Pour the crust mixture into the prepared pan. Use some wax paper and a heavy glass to compress the crumbs.

Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Set aside as you make the filling.

Lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the maple syrup, melted-and-cooled butter, brown sugar, white sugar, and salt, stirring until combined. Stir in the pecans to coat.

Pour filling over the partially baked crust. Bake for another 30 to 35 minutes, or until filling is set.

Cool bars to room temperature and then use the overhanging parchment to lift the contents out to cut into bars. Store in a sealed container for up to a week, or freeze bars for later enjoyment.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Maple Pecan Pie Bars

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Bready or Not: Maple Pear Galette

Posted by on Sep 21, 2016 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, maple, pie | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Maple Pear Galette

It’s my husband’s birthday, so I’m sharing a dessert that he looooves.

Bready or Not: Maple Pear Galette

This recipe laces maple sugar into every layer: the galette dough, the thick maple paste for the pears, and as a golden accent and perfect crunch for the top of the galette.

Maple Pear Galette9_sm

This is remarkably easy to make, too. Peeling and coring the pears is the biggest hassle. I made the dough a day ahead of time, which made the assembly part go pretty fast.

Bready or Not: Maple Pear Galette

I modified this recipe from one found in this incredible cookbook called Maple by Katie Webster. Seriously, if you love maple used in dishes for any meal of the day, get this cookbook!

This galette is one of the three recipes I melded together to create my Maple Apple Pie (aka Voltron Pie). Specifically, I tweaked the maple-lemon paste for the filling and ported it over. I’m pretty certain that such a potent maple mix can improve anything. Maybe it can inspire world peace. I dunno.

Bready or Not: Maple Pear Galette

In the case of this galette, though, I say give a piece a chance.

 

Bready or Not: Maple Pear Galette

Bready or Not: Maple Pear Galette

This pear galette is maple-infused majesty, a pie without a pie pan! Modified from the fantastic cookbook MAPLE by Katie Webster.

  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons maple sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 to 6 Tablespoons ice water
  • 1 vanilla bean OR 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and cut into wedges
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

In a medium bowl, whisk together the 1 1/4 cups flour, 1 tablespoon maple sugar, and salt. Add butter and work into dough so that the butter is down to pea-sized chunks. Add just enough water to incorporate as dough, smearing butter chunks in the process. Shape dough into a disk and shroud in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 30 minutes, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Place parchment paper on a large rimmed baking sheet.

In a large bowl, gently stir together the vanilla (bean or extract), lemon juice, 2 tablespoons flour, and 1/2 cup maple sugar; it will form a thick paste. Gently stir in the pears to coat. Expect the mixture to become more liquid as it sits with the pears in it.

Use flour to lightly dust a large work surface. Roll out the dough to at least a foot diameter circle. Transfer it to the prepared parchment paper on baking sheet; the dough might hang over the edges for now, but that's okay.

Arrange the pears in a circular pattern in the center; leave a 2.5 to 3-inch border. Scrape the rest of the maple paste over the pears. Fold the dough inward, with the center still exposed. Brush the egg over the top and sprinkle on the maple sugar.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the crust is golden and the filling bubbles. Let cool before cutting.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Maple Pear Galette

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Bready or Not: Maple Apple Pie

Posted by on Aug 17, 2016 in apples, Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, maple, pie | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Maple Apple Pie

This pie is my own original creation. I hacked together three existing recipes and amped up the maple to make something totally new. When I told my husband about how I melded everything, he said, “Oh, so it’s a Voltron pie.” That’s now our nickname for this Maple Apple Pie.

Bready or Not: Maple Apple Pie

Maple sugar is the key ingredient in every step, but it’s just enough to embody the flavor without it going overkill. I highly recommend buying a big ol’ container of maple sugar–trust me, if you want to follow along with my recipes, you’ll go through it eventually. This is the brand I use:

The most amazing thing about this? The filling sauce. I borrowed and modified it from a pear galette recipe (which I’ll feature this fall) from the cookbook Maple. It’s really more like a paste in texture, grainy and strong with a lovely combo of maple and lemon. You’ll want to lick the bowl.

Bready or Not: Maple Apple Pie

This pie smells glorious. It’s like autumn, Thanksgiving, Christmas. And the taste… well. My husband adores my Caramel Apple Pie and considers it his all-time favorite.

Bready or Not: Maple Apple Pie

Or it was, until he had Voltron Pie.

Bready or Not: Maple Apple Pie

That’s right. This maple-filled pie is the new champion in the Cato household.

Bready or Not: Maple Apple Pie

 

Bready or Not: Maple Apple Pie

Bready or Not: Maple Apple Pie

A Bready or Not original. This Maple Apple Pie is infused with maple sugar through every layer. If you love apple pie and love maple, this pie is your destiny.

  • Crust:
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon maple sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons (1/2 cube) unsalted butter, cold
  • 2 Tablespoons avocado oil or canola oil
  • 3 to 5 Tablespoons ice water
  • Filling:
  • 4 to 5 Granny Smith apples
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or one vanilla pod, scraped
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup maple sugar
  • Crumb topping:
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cold

Combine crust ingredients. Work in butter until it is just pea-sized, and use only as much water as needed to make the dough cohesive. Wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or a few days.

Roll out dough to equal thickness and place in pie dish. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze while preparing the filling, or freeze for several days.

Preheat oven at 375-degrees. Peel and core apples and slice to 1/8s or smaller. Toss them in a light dusting of flour to prevent sticking. Place apples in pie crust on a cookie sheet.

In a small bowl, whisk together the vanilla extract, lemon juice, flour, and maple sugar; it'll form a thick maple paste. Set aside.

In another small bowl, combine the topping ingredients. Use a fork and knife to reduce the butter to pea-sized chunks.

Return to the maple sauce. Give it a good stir, and drizzle thick syrup all over apples. Cover evenly with crumb topping.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the apples are tender when stabbed with a fork.

OM NOM NOM!

 

Bready or Not: Maple Apple Pie

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