Tag Archives: pie

Banana Cream Pie

Banana Cream Pie Print

I have to admit that I rarely eat bananas straight from the peel; by themselves they just aren’t my fruit of choice, but put them in a bread or a cake or a cream pie and suddenly I’m all about the banana. This Banana Cream Pie is a perfect blend of creamy vanilla custard, banana, flaky crust, and of course, whipped cream to top it all off. This is such a classic pie and everyone has their favorite, go-to recipe, but I thought I’d bring you this maple-syrup sweetened version of Mel’s Kitchen Cafe’s Old Fashioned Banana Cream Pie. It’s best eaten the day it’s made or the bananas will brown and not look so appetising, but as good as this yummy pie is that shouldn’t be a problem.


Pie Crust:
  • Marie Callender’s or any 9-inch pie crust you prefer
  • Banana Cream Filling:
  • 1/3 cup real maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 2/3 cups milk (2% or whole)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 medium bananas
  • Whipped Cream Topping:
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


    Preheat oven to 400ºF

    For the crust:
  1. Remove from the fridge and let sit for half an hour to soften.
  2. Carefully transfer crust from the pie tin it came into a 9-inch glass pie. (See Note) If it cracks, lightly moisten your fingers and press it back together.
  3. Prick all over the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork, then place in the fridge for an hour to chill.
  4. Line the chilled pie shell with a layer of aluminum foil, covering the edges so they don’t burn, and fill with pie weights, dried beans, or rice. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove the weights and foil and continue to bake the crust until golden brown, about 5-10 minutes more. Set aside to cool completely.
  5. For the filling:
  6. Whisk the cornstarch and salt together in a medium saucepan, pour in maple syrup and stir to blend. Whisk in the half-and-half or heavy cream, followed by the egg yolks and the milk until the mixture is smooth.
  7. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens. The resulting texture and thickness should be that of an almost set pudding. Remove pan from heat and let the mixture cool until warm.
  8. Pour one-third to one half of the warm filling into the pre-baked pie shell.
  9. Peel the bananas and slice on top of the filling, then cover with remaining filling. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap over filling surface. Refrigerate pie until it is completely chilled, at least 3 hours.
  10. For the topping:
  11. Whip the cream, syrup and vanilla together until soft peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the top of the pie (if you are going to pipe the whipped cream, you’ll need to whip the cream to stiff peaks) Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Serves: 6-8
Barely adapted from: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe


Note: You can certainly leave the crust in the original tin pan, if you prefer; it just makes a “prettier” presentation in a glass pie pan.

Blackberry Almond Tart Print

After the rich, sometimes decadent, possibly indulgent (I seem to use that word a lot here…), desserts and sweet treats of the holidays, I thought maybe something fruitful and more healthful-leaning might be in order. Enter Blackberry Almond Tart! Now, this purple jewel of a tart isn’t entirely without sin – all of those blackberries sit inside a nut shortbread crust. In the crust’s defense, however, the butter was reduced by half, without losing any tenderness or flavor. Honest. Fresh blackberries are available in the stores at this time of the year, but I mostly used frozen berries to keep costs down; if you don’t mind the expense, fresh is always best. The next time you’re looking for an easy fruit tart, I hope you’ll try this Blackberry Almond Tart.

Blackberry almond tart

Blackberry almond tart


  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup blanched almonds, finely ground
  • 2 tablespoon maple sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut in small cubes
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup maple sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 cups frozen blackberries, thawed
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 3 tablespoons slivered almonds, lightly toasted


Preheat oven to 375ºF

  1. Place oven rack in lowest position. Have an 8-inch tart pan with removable bottom or a 8-inch springform pan ready. I used a 14×5-inch rectangular tart pan. You can find them here.
  2. To make crust in food processor: Process 2/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup ground blanched almonds, 2 tablespoons maple sugar and the butter, pulsing until pea-sized crumbs form. With motor running, add lemon juice and almond extract. Process until dough leaves sides of bowl. (If you don’t have a food processor, by hand: Mix 2/3 cup flour, ground blanched almonds and 2 tablespoons maple sugar in a medium-size bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle with lemon juice and almond extract until combined.) Pour dough into the tart or springform pan.
  3. Lightly flour fingers and press dough about 1/4 inch thick over bottom and up the sides of the tart pan about 1/2 inch high in spring-form pan.
  4. Mix remaining 2 tablespoons flour, 1/2 cup maple sugar and the cinnamon in a large bowl. Add 4 cups blueberries and stir to mix and coat. Spread evenly in crust.
  5. Place tart on a rimmed cookie sheet lined with foil and bake 40 to 50 minutes until crust is well browned and the filling bubbles.
  6. Remove from oven, place on wire rack. Sprinkle with the 1 cup fresh blackberries and toasted, slivered almonds. Cool completely. Remove pan sides and place tart on serving plate.
Serves 6-8

Key Lime Pie Print

I have never made a Key Lime pie. Crazy, right?!! I’ve wanted to make one for a while now but the idea of changing the granulated sugar that’s normally used in the recipe to maple syrup or honey was more of a challenge than I was up for. Then in a surge of energy and because I’ve been on a serious citrus kick lately, I decided to take the challenge on. And now with the task complete, I’m so glad I took the time and effort to make it happen. The custard turned out creamy, with an almost curd-like texture and with the not-to-sweet, bright lime flavor you’d expect. Keeping the pie free of refined sugar, the graham cracker crust was made using honey and molasses sweetened graham crackers; you can usually find them in your local health food grocery store. If you’re a long-time fan of Key Lime pie or have just been wanting to give it a try, I hope you’ll try this naturally sweetened version!

Key Lime Pie


    For the crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I used Mi-Del brand)
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar*
  • 7 tablespoons butter, melted
  • For the custard:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup maple syrup*
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup key lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated lime zest
  • For the meringue:
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 4 tablespoons powdered maple sugar*
    • Directions

      Preheat oven to 375°F

        For the crust:
      1. In a medium bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, maple sugar and melted butter, mixing with a fork to combine.
      2. Pour crumb mixture into an 8″ spring-form pan, patting firmly into the pan with your fingers.
      3. Bake at 375°F for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely.
      4. For the custard:
      5. Separate the eggs. Beat the egg yolks in a large bowl. Set the whites aside (they should be room temperature before whipping).
      6. Combine the flour, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan. Gradually stir in the water, whisking briskly to ensure you don’t have any lumps, then stir in maple syrup. Cook over medium heat until thickened. Cool for 10 minutes.
      7. Gradually stir the cooled, cooked syrup mixture into the beaten egg yolks, beating constantly. Return the mixture to low heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 4-5 minutes. Stir in the butter, lime juice and lime zest. When done, the consistency should be similar to pudding or a fruit curd.
      8. For the meringue:
      9. Beat egg whites until light and frothy. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Beat in the maple sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until the meringue is stiff and glossy.
      10. Pour the lime filling into the prepared crumb crust. Then pile the meringue on top, spreading it to the edges. Use the back of a spoon to swirl peaks into the merigue. On the middle rack of the oven, bake pie at 325°F for 10 – 12 minutes or until meringue top is golden brown.
        1. *NOTE: If you don’t have a problem with consuming cane sugar, just substitute equal amounts of granulated white sugar for the maple syrup and maple sugars (In the “For the custard” section of Ingredients, add an additional 1 cup of water to compensate for the liquid that’s in the maple syrup).

Apple Pie Print

When the cooler fall temperatures arrive, my instinct is to fill the house with warmth from my oven and the irresistible scents of pumpkin, cinnamon and apples, especially apples. Is there anything that says “Fall” more than the smell of baking apples? This recipe for Apple pie is about as all-American as they come, the only deviation from the norm is that this version is sweetened with maple sugar and the crust has a wee bit of whole wheat flour to give it a healthful crunch. Happy Autumn everyone!

Apple Pie

Apple Pie


  • 5 large Jonagold, McIntosh, or any tart-sweet apple, peeled, cored, and sliced ½” thick
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons maple sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons butter, diced
  • 1 recipe double whole wheat pie crust (see below)
  • Preheat Oven to 450 degrees.


    1. Put foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet in the oven for 5 minutes just before you are ready to pop your pie into the oven.
    2. Place sliced apples into a large, glass mixing bowl, sprinkle with lemon juice. Microwave on high for 5 minutes to soften the apples. Cool until just warm.
    3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, maple sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pour this mixture over the apple slices and stir gently with a rubber spatula until the apples are thoroughly coated. Set aside.
    4. Roll out the double pie crust on a floured surface then place the bottom crust in the pie pan.
    5. Pour the apples onto the unbaked bottom crust. Sprinkle the diced butter over the apples.
    6. Lay the top crust over the apples, then seal and crimp the edges of the crust. Cut 5-6 vent holes in the top of the pie crust.
    7. Carefully place the pie on the hot baking sheet in the oven. Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes (the top should be light golden brown). Turn the temperature down to 375 degrees. Bake another 30-35 minutes, until the top crust is a medium golden brown and the apple juices are bubbling in the center of the pie. This classic is delicious warm or cold.
Double whole wheat pie crust:
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
  • 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cold egg, well beaten
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon maple sugar
  • 8-10 tablespoons ice water (a little over 1/2 cup)

  1. Cut the butter and shortening into a ½” dice, then place them in the freezer while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Place the all purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, salt, and maple sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade; pulse a few times to combine. Scatter the butter and shortening pieces over the top. Pulse 8 to 12 times. Some of the butter pieces will be small and others will be larger.
  3. With the machine running, add 5 tablespoons ice water to feed tube. Add the remaining water one tablespoon at a time, just until the dough is moist enough to hold together with a small portion is pinched between your fingers. Pulse the machine until the dough forms a rough ball.
  4. Place the dough on a floured board and pat into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  5. When chilled, divide the dough in two. Use both immediately or wrap and refrigerate for up to two days or freeze for up to two months.
Whole wheat pie crust adapted from: Well Plated



French Silk Chocolate Pie Print

I’ve found a new form of chocolate to love and it’s name is French Silk Chocolate Pie! How wrong is it that I’ve never had this deliciousness before now! I cut this recipe from the back of a Pillsbury pie dough box many years ago,“discovering” it recently while rummaging through my recipe box. The filling is sort of a cross between pudding and mousse and, of course, because it’s chocolate it’s irresistible (for me, anyway…). This recipe is a wonderful warm-weather dessert option, especially if you substitute the baked crust for a store-bought graham cracker or chocolate cookie crust. This may have been my first French Silk Chocolate pie, but somethin’ tells me it won’t be my last.
French Silk Pie Prep Grid

French Silk Chocolate Pie

[fruitful_ibox_row] [fruitful_ibox icon=”fa-coffee” styleicon=”background-color:#7bd4c2; color:#fff; border-radius: 50%;” styletext = “font-size:14px” title=”Ingredients”]

  • 1 frozen pie crust, thawed
  • 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 4 eggs, cold*
  • 1-2 cups sweetened whipped cream
  • chocolate curls or shavings
  • [fruitful_ibox_row] [fruitful_ibox icon=”fa-spoon” styleicon=”background-color:#7bd4c2; color:#fff; border-radius: 50%;” styletext = “font-size:14px” title=”Directions”]

      Preheat oven to 400°

    1. Remove pie dough from freezer and set out on counter until soft and flexible. Prick the bottom and sides of pie dough thoroughly with a fork, about 60-70 times. Flute or decorate edge as desired.
    2. Bake pie shell for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.
    3. Place chocolate into a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 25 seconds on high power, then for another 20 seconds – stir until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Set aside. Be sure to cool the chocolate completely.
    4. In a medium bowl, beat butter on high until fluffy. Add sugar, a little at a time, beating until light and fluffy.
    5. Add eggs to butter-sugar mixture one at a time, beating each egg added for 3 minutes, for a total of 12 minutes of beating time, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as you go. Add cooled chocolate and vanilla, blending well.
    6. Pour into cooled, baked pie shell. Place in frig for a minimum of 2 hours.
    7. Finish with whipped cream and chocolate curls.
    8. [/fruitful_ibox][/fruitful_ibox_row]

      Yields: 8 servings

      Adapted from: Pillsbury’s Recipes

      *Note: Small children, the elderly, someone who’s pregnant, or someone with a compromised immune system shouldn’t consume raw eggs. Substitute pasteurized eggs or a liquid egg product.

Pear Tart

Pear Apricot Tart Print

I needed just a little something for dessert one night and really hadn’t planned ahead, so I cast about the kitchen for some ingredients that might serve and came up with this oh-so-simple and pretty Pear Apricot tart. It’s pretty hard to resist – I kept going back for just one more little slice. Elegant enough for a dinner party, lightly sweet with that just-right combination of mild pear and slightly tart apricot jam. Another easy to make, delicious end to a meal – or any time you’re craving fruit-filled pastry deliciousness.

Pear Tart-31

[fruitful_ibox_row] [fruitful_ibox icon=”fa-coffee” styleicon=”background-color:#7bd4c2; color:#fff; border-radius: 50%;” styletext = “font-size:14px” title=”Ingredients”]

  • 1 Marie Callender frozen pie crust, thawed until soft and flexible
  • 1 ½  large, just-ripe pears
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch (less than ⅛ tsp.) cardamom, optional
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ Cup apricot jam

[fruitful_ibox icon=”fa-spoon” styleicon=”background-color:#7bd4c2; color:#fff; border-radius: 50%;” styletext = “font-size:14px” title=”Directions” last=”true”]

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  1. Have a rectangular (4×14”) tart pan with removable bottom ready.
  2. Cut pie crust in half, fitting each piece into the tart pan, covering the bottom of the pan and up the sides until it’s level with the edge of the pan, filling the pan completely with the dough.
  3. Peel and core pears.  Slice into ¼” wedges, lengthwise. Put slices in a large bowl, sprinkle with the lemon juice.
  4. Combine the sugar, cinnamon and cardamom, if using, and pour over the pears in the bowl, folding in the sugar mixture gently so you don’t break the slices.
  5. Arrange pear slices on the prepared crust, slightly overlapping each slice as you go.
  6. Place tart pan on a piece of foil (2” larger all the way around than the tart pan) with the edges turned up.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes until filling is richly browned.
  8. Heat apricot jam in a microwave-safe bowl, on full power in the microwave, for 15 second intervals until warm, stirring after each interval.
  9. Spoon jam onto warm pie, spreading gently to cover fruit.

Serve warm or at room temperature.  Again, a dollop of  whipped cream is perfect on this tart.

Serves 6.