Entertaining

HERE ARE FUN THINGS TO DO (AND RECIPES) FOR NATIONAL PIE DAY ON JAN. 23

Just when you thought there were no more reasons to eat pie, they make a national holiday out of it! National Pie Day is Jan. 23, and this unofficial holiday was mainly created for pie lovers to have an excuse to eat, bake and enjoy them.

If you want to become a professional pie maker, the American Pie Council offers a conference on April 30.

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DEALS

Not a pie baker? You can still celebrate on the 23rd.  Here is a list of places that will be giving away whole pies, slices of pies and offering discounts on their pies.

FUN THINGS TO DO WITH PIE
FAMILY FACE-OFF

Unless you were stuck under a rock this holiday season, you probably heard about the new game “Pie Face!” Players mount the spring arm with a pie that is topped with whipped topping and then crank the arm. Every time it cranks and it doesn’t release you get a point. Really all players are doing is waiting for the crank to release and spat the pie all over someone.  It is very funny.

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If you like games and you also like eating pie than an old-fashioned pie eating contest is right up your alley.  Gather a group of competitors and line up cream based pies.  Tie their arms behind their back and see who can eat the most pies in three minutes.

Remember, pie’s the limit!

RECIPES (NOM NOM)

The APC says there are more than 231 different varieties of apple pie recipes. Here are its top picks.

THE PERFECT APPLE PIE

Half Eaten Apple Pie Slice with Crumb Topping
Half Eaten Apple Pie Slice with Crumb Topping

Crust

2/3 cup plus 2 Tablespoons shortening
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4-5 Tablespoons cold ice water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut shortening into flour and salt until particles are the size of small peas. Sprinkle in ice water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork until all flour is moistened and a ball of dough can be formed. Add more water if necessary. Refrigerate dough until ready to roll.

Filling

8 cups thinly sliced apples (peeled, quartered, cored and slices crosswise)
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon apple pie spice
1 tablespoon flour

Mix all ingredients with the apple slices. Roll out refrigerated pie crust dough, place in pie pan. Add apple mixture. Top with remaining crust. Cut a few small slashes in top crust for a steam vent. With pastry brush, brush on egg wash (beat one egg with 1 Tablespoon of milk).

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 and continue baking for another 20 minutes.

APPLE OBSESSION PIE

Half Eaten Apple Pie Slice with Crumb Topping
Half Eaten Apple Pie Slice with Crumb Topping

Crust

1 cup cold shortening
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 Tablespoon white distilled vinegar
1/4 cup ice water

Mix together shortening, salt, flour until it resembles coarse crumbs. In another bowl, mix together egg water and vinegar. Whisk and then add all at once to shortening/flour mixture. Toss with a fork until mixture forms a ball. Knead and pat into a disk. Refrigerate until ready to use. Roll out pastry and put into a pie dish and crimp.

Filling 1

2 Jonathan gold apples, peeled, cored, sliced
2 Gala apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and sliced
2 Pink Lady apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/4 teaspoon ginger
2 Tablespoons apple jelly
2 Tablespoons clearjel

Mix sugar and clearjel together to make a mixture. Toss into apples, add sugar mixture, apple pie spice, ground ginger and apple jelly. Toss again to coat evenly. Fill chilled pie crust, pressing down slightly to even the filling. Add crumb topping (recipe below) and add pastry cutouts. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then lower temperature to 360 degrees and bake for 45 before slicing.

Filling 2
Crumb topping

1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans

Mix all ingredients except pecans. Add pecans, and then sprinkle on top of pie. Bake as instructed.

Not all pies are sweet though.  When the pilgrims arrived to the new world in the late 1800 they brought with them savory pies.  Filled with lamb, pork and beef.   Here are some savory pie recipes.

BEEF AND GUINNESS PIE

beef-and-guinness-pie-2-580x894  Photo credit : thekitchenmccabe.com

Ingredients

3 T. Olive Oil
1½ lb. Beef Stew meat, cut into ½” cubes
1 T. Coarse Salt
½ t. Pepper
¼ C. Flour
1 large Onion, diced
8 oz. small Mushrooms, quartered
½ T. fresh Rosemary, chopped
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1½ T. Tomato Paste
6 oz. Guinness
2 C. Beef Broth
2 small Russet Potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼” cubes
1 recipe Pie Crust
1 egg
2 T. Milk

Instructions

Heat the olive oil on high in a stock pot or preferably a cast iron pot. In a bowl, toss the beef with the flour, salt, and pepper until thoroughly coated. Add the beef to the hot oil and brown on all sides. Do this in two additions, so as to not overcrowd the pan. When the beef is browned, remove from the pan.

Add the onion and mushrooms to the pan (adding a little more oil, if necessary) and sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. When the mushrooms and onions begin to brown, add the rosemary and continue to sauté for a few more minutes or until a deep brown color is achieved.

Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds more.

Add the tomato paste and mix it into the vegetables, cooking for another 30 seconds.

Place the beef back in the pot and mix into the vegetables.

Add the Guinness to the pot and stirring and scraping the sides as it reduces to loosen browned bits and deglaze the pot.

Add the beef broth, and bring the liquid to a simmer.

Place a lid on the pot and reduce the heat to medium/low.

Continue to lightly simmer for 1½ hours, stirring occasionally.

After 1 hour of simmering, add the potatoes to the filling. Re-cover the pan and continue cooking.

When the meat is tender, remove the lid and allow to simmer for another 20 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly.

Roll out ⅔ of the pie crust dough to cover a 9″ pie dish. Pat the dough down into the dish and fill with the hot beef filling.

Roll out the remaining dough into a circle large enough to cover the top of the pie. Place on top of the filling and seal the edges of dough around the dish.

Beat together the egg and milk and brush over the top of the pie.

Bake in a oven preheated to 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling.

Serve immediately.

LAMB, MINT AND ROSEMARY PIE

lamb_mint_rosemary_pies Photo credit : donnahay.com

Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 brown onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
400g lamb mince
1 cup (250ml) tomato purée
2 tablespoons store-bought mint jelly
¼ cup chopped rosemary leaves
sea salt and cracked black pepper
5 sheets store-bought shortcrust pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
12 sprigs rosemary, for decorating

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the onion, garlic and carrot and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the mince and cook, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon, for 5 minutes or until browned. Add the tomato purée, mint jelly, chopped rosemary, salt and pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes. Cool completely. Cut 12 x 11cm-rounds from the pastry and use them to line 12 x ½-cup-capacity (125ml) lightly greased muffin tins. Divide the lamb between the cases. Cut 12 x 8cm rounds from the remaining pastry. Brush the edges of the pies with water, top with the rounds and press to seal the edges. Brush the pies with egg and top each with a rosemary sprig. Bake for 20–25 minutes or until golden. Serve with tomato sauce.

This article was written by Katie Simpson, contributor for The Daily Clutch.

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