Tag Archives: pie

This Black Sesame Coconut Cream Pie Will Be Your New Favourite Make-Ahead Dessert

Cool off this summer with a large slice of black sesame coconut cream pie. It has an intense nutty flavour thanks to the black sesame, and is layered with a dreamy coconut filling before being topped off with lots and lots of whipped cream. Long story short: this pie will be your new favourite make-ahead dessert!

Black Sesame Coconut Cream Pie

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Rest Time: 4 hours
Bake Time: 25 to 28 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours, 10 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8 slices

Ingredients:

Pie Dough
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
4-5 Tbsp ice cold water

Black Sesame Paste
½ cup black sesame seeds
3 Tbsp honey

Coconut Cream
1/3 cup cornstarch
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 cup canned coconut milk
1 ¼ cup half-and-half
4 large egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
¾ cup sweetened shredded coconut

Topping
1 ½ cups heavy cream
4 Tbsp icing sugar

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and rub between your fingers to break into small pea-sized pieces.

2. Create a well in the centre and add 4 Tbsp of ice cold water. With your hands, toss the flour until the dough starts to come together. If there are dry bits, add an additional tsp at a time. Form into a disc, wrap in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour.

Related: Which Pie Are You, According to Your Zodiac Sign?

3. Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into circle about 1 ½ -inch larger than your pie dish. Tuck the edges under itself and crimp the edges to create a scalloped edge.

4. Dock the crust all over with a fork to create vents, cover with a sheet of parchment and add your pie weights (you can use beans or rice). Bake for 25-28, removing the pie weights after 15 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.

5. Grind the black sesame seeds in a spice grinder or food processor until finely ground. Mix in the honey.

6. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the cornstarch, sugar and salt to break up any clumps. Add the coconut milk, half-and-half, eggs and whisk to combine. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture bubbles and thickens, about 5 minutes.

7. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and butter. Strain through a fine sieve and fold in the shredded coconut.

Related: Molly Yeh’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake is Your New Favourite Birthday Treat

8. Divide the coconut cream in half. To one-half add 3 Tbsp of black sesame paste and mix until well incorporated. Wrap with plastic directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in fridge for at least 2 hours.

9. Layer both halves of the coconut cream into the bottom of the cooled pie crust. Add the black sesame cream on top, cover with plastic and chill for another hour.

10. When ready to serve, whip the heavy cream and icing sugar together until firm peaks. Spoon or pipe on top of the pie, sprinkle with toasted coconut and enjoy!

Love Sabrina’s baking? Check out her easy recipe for soft rolls, along with her gooey overnight cinnamon buns and fudgy gluten-free sweet potato brownies.

Savour All the Bright Flavours of Spring With These Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Bars

Celebrate the fresh flavours of spring with this simple, very adaptable recipe. Add your favourite chopped nuts for some crunch and swap in different fresh fruit depending on what is available. And with a dough that doubles as a crust and crumble topping, these pie bars come together in no time. No matter how you slice it, these sweet and slightly tart fruit bars are the perfect everyday treat.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 30 to 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 to 55 minutes
Servings: 9 bars

Ingredients:

Filling
1 ¼ cup rhubarb, diced small
1 ¼ cup strawberries, diced small
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
½ tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Dough
12 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
¼ cup chopped nuts (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line an 8×8-inch square pan with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, toss together the rhubarb, strawberries, lemon juice and 1 Tbsp of brown sugar. Set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer, cream together the dough’s first three ingredients: butter, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour and salt. Mix on low speed until combined.

4. Place about 2/3 of the dough in the pan. Press the dough into the pan using your fingertips or the flat bottom of a measuring cup. Set aside.

Related: 45 Fresh and Beautiful Rhubarb Recipes

5. Drain off most of the juice from the fruit mixture. Add in the other Tbsp of brown sugar, as well as the cornstarch, cinnamon and salt. Toss to combine. Pour the fruit mixture on top of the crust and spread evenly.

6. Mix the reserved dough with the nuts (if using) and sprinkle over the top of the fruit. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until slightly browned on top and the juices around the edges of pan bubble.

7. Cool the bars completely before slicing.

Craving more sweet treats? Check out The Pioneer Woman’s most popular cake and pie recipes and these perfect lemon meringue cupcakes.

maple-butter-tart-pie

Maple Butter Tart Pie is a Canadian Classic with a Tasty Twist

Canadians are kind of obsessed with butter tarts and there’s a good reason. The light and flaky pastry holds a gooey, sweet, and slightly runny filling that is sometimes studded with pecans or raisins.  The buttery treats are so beloved that they’ve garnered an annual festival in their honour, where fans can get their butter tart fill.

Needless to say, this dessert has a big place in the hearts of Canadians. But we’ve taken it to new heights with a family-sized maple butter tart pie that is so good, everyone will find room for dessert.

This larger tart celebrates our love of the Ontario favourite with inspiration from Quebec’s maple-filled  dessert “tarte au sucre.” Our version starts with a light cream cheese pie crust, baked with an addictive filled that’s a combination of brown sugar and maple syrup – no corn syrup here! As the pie cooks the sugar caramelizes to create a light crunchy top with a custard-like interior. Bake it up for your next get together and see for yourself!

butter-tart-pie-with-crust

Maple Butter Tart Pie Recipe

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Freeze Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Makes: 1 (9-inch pie)

Ingredients:
Cream Cheese Pie Crust
2½ cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
½ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
¼ cup cold cream cheese
½ cup cold water

Maple Butter Tart Filling
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup maple syrup
3 egg yolks
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp kosher salt
1 1/3 cups whipping cream
¼ cup unsalted butter
Confectioners’ sugar

sliced-butter-tart-pie

Directions:
Dough
1. In the work bowl of a food processor, place flour, sugar, and salt, and pulse to combine. Add butter and cream cheese, and pulse until mixture is crumbly. Add ice water, 2 Tbsp at a time, just until the dough comes together. You may not need to use all of the water. Shape 2/3 of dough into a disk, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining dough. Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours, or overnight.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll large disk of dough to ¼-inch thickness. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate, pressing into bottom and up sides. Trim excess dough, and fold edges under. Roll remaining disk of dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out leaves with a leaf-shaped cookie cutter. Brush each leaf with water and press onto edges of crust. Freeze for the crust for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
4. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of pie crust, letting ends extend over edges. Fill with pie weights. Bake until edges are set, about 10 minutes. Remove pie weights and bake for an additional 2 minutes, or just until bottom crust is set. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (180°C).

pie-crust-leaf-detail

Filling
1. In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, flour, maple syrup, egg yolks, egg, vanilla and salt until smooth.
6. In a small saucepan, combine whipping cream and butter over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and slowly pour into egg mixture, whisking constantly. Strain through a sieve, discarding any pieces. Pour filling into prepared pie crust.
7. Bake in bottom third of oven, until golden brown and the filling is set (center should still tremble), about 1 hour 10 minutes. Loosely cover with aluminium foil halfway through baking to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool completely before serving. Garnish with confectioners’ sugar if desired.

Can’t get enough butter tarts? These Butter Tart Recipes will satisfy your sweet tooth.

strawberry shortcake pies

No-Bake Vegan Strawberry Shortcake Pies

Nothing says summer like strawberry shortcake! Sweet cashew-coconut crust is packed with a creamy strawberry filling in these raw vegan strawberry shortcake pies. They’re delicious, healthy and completely satisfying — perfect for an outdoor party or an intimate get-together with friends. Tip: you can choose to forgo the crust and serve the filling in custard cups or martini glasses for a quick, yet beautiful result.

strawberry shortcake pies

No-Bake Vegan Strawberry Shortcake Pies

Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 4 (4 mini tarts or 1 medium pie)

Ingredients:

Crust
1 cup cashews
1 cup dried coconut
2/3 cup dates

Filling
2 cups cashews
2 cups strawberries (to blend)
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 cups strawberries (reserve)

Directions:

1. To make the crust, place coconut and cashews in food processor. Process until flour-like.

2. Add the dates to the food processor mixture. Process again for 3 minutes. Stop processing once it sticks together when pinched.

3. Press crust mixture firmly into tart pan(s). (Press crust down very firmly so it will stay together. If it won’t stick together, you haven’t processed long enough.) Set aside.

4. Place filling ingredients (except cashews and the final 4 cups of strawberries) in a blender. Blend until smooth.

Related: Our Best No-Bake Dessert Recipes That Won’t Let You Down

5. Add cashews and blend again until smooth. Pour filling mixture into large bowl.

6. Finely chop the remaining strawberries. Add to filling mixture and stir gently with a spoon.

7. Spoon mixture into tarts and enjoy immediately.

Notes:
– If preparing in advance, store the pie crust and filling separately, then spoon filling into pie crusts just before eating.
– To make a smaller batch, feel free to halve the recipe. It won’t be enough to make an entire pie crust (using a standard 8″ pie dish), but if you have 2 mini pie pans they will work perfectly.

Published July 23, 2015, Updated August 1, 2018

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

The Ultimate Strawberry Rhubarb Pie for Canada Day

Every year July 1st, I catch some of the festivities of the Canada Day celebration in my city. They have a large open fire salmon barbecue at the centre of the festival grounds surrounded by many vendors selling lemonade, fresh kettle corn and cotton candy. My favourite part of the festivities is the pie-by-the-slice fundraiser inside the local community centre.

There’s always quite a large selection; pies made with plump local blueberries or Okanagan peaches are always popular choices. But my go-to has always been the strawberry-rhubarb. There’s just something so irresistible about the combination of the sweet and tangy pink filling and the (optional but mandatory) à la mode, that keeps me going back year-after-year. So here’s an ode to my favourite July 1st treat, with an added Canada Day-inspired touch.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Canada Day Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Chill Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Makes: One double crust 9-inch pie

Ingredients:
Crust:
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 cup cold butter, unsalted, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup cold water
4 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 cup ice

Egg Wash:
1 egg
Coarse sugar

Filling:
5 cups chopped rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 cups strawberries, halved
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup cornstarch

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Directions:

Crust:
1. In a large bowl, stir together flour, salt and sugar. Set aside.
2. Add the butter pieces and coat with the flour mixture using a bench scraper or spatula. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture, working quickly until mostly pea-size pieces of butter remain (a few larger pieces are okay!).
3. Combine the water, cider vinegar and ice in a small bowl.
4. Add 2 Tbsp of the liquid mixture over the flour mixture. Mix and cut it in with bench scraper or spatula until fully incorporated. Continue adding the liquid, 1-2 Tbsp at a time. Mix until the dough comes together in a ball.
5. Shape the dough into 2 flat discs, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Filling:
1. Prepare the rhubarb and strawberries. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, combine sugars, cinnamon and cornstarch.
3. Toss together the fruit and dry mixture. Add lemon juice and combine.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Assembly and Baking:
1. Once the dough has chilled, roll out the dough in between two sheets of parchment and fit it on the pie plate.
2. Line pie pan with rolled out bottom crust.
3. Roll out top crust. Using a maple leaf-shaped cutter, punch out maple leaves into the rolled out top crust. Save all the maple leaf cut outs to use for decorating the edge of the pie.

4. Pour filling into the bottom crust, leaving behind any excess liquid from filling.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

5. Gently place on top crust. Take the reserved maple leaf cut outs to create a border around the pie.

6. Coat top crust with a simple egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Place pie on a baking sheet before putting it in the oven, just in case any juices bubble over.
7. Bake at 425°F for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to brown. Lower the oven temperature to 375°F and continue to bake until the pastry is a deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling throughout, 35 to 40 minutes longer.
8. If the top crust is starting to get a little dark too quickly, place a pie shield on the pie.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

9. Once ready, let pie set for at least 1 hour before cutting into it. Serve as is or with a big scoop of ice cream.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Looking for more inspiration? Try our 60 Great Canadian Recipes.

Watch this video to get Anna Olson’s top tips on baking fruit pies.

Behold The Chocolate Pumpkin Piecaken!

Tender, luscious layer cake with silky buttercream, or spiced pumpkin pie with a flaky crust? Both are equally delicious in my book. Luckily, you don’t have to choose just one. That’s right — this cake actually has an entire pumpkin pie baked right inside! Consider it the “Turducken” of desserts. Yet another thing to be thankful for this holiday season.

Chocolate Pumpkin Piecaken

When you just can’t choose between serving a pie or cake, satisfy your cravings for both with a piecaken! Whip up your favorite cake batter and throw in a pre-baked pie, and you’ll feel like a confectionery wizard in no time. In this recipe, we’ve taken a traditional pumpkin pie and baked it within a classic chocolate cake. The cake is then iced with lightly spiced buttercream, drizzled with chocolate glaze, and decorated with dollops of frosting and chopped nuts for extra flair. The buttercream is meringue-based, meaning it’s silky smooth and not overly sweet like other frostings can be — perfect for pairing with pie! We love the striking contrast in this combo between the pumpkin, chocolate and vanilla layers, but feel free to swap in any of your favourite cake recipes and pies.

Chocolate Pumpkin Piecaken

Chocolate Cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 60 to 70 minutes
Total Time: 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours, including cooling
Serves: 10 to 12

Ingredients:

1 pre-made pumpkin pie (7 to 8 inches in diametre)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup hot coffee

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9-inch spring form cake pan. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together all of the dry ingredients, including the sugar.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until combined. While stirring, slowly stream in the hot coffee and mix until smooth.
4. Pour about 1/3 of the cake batter into the prepared pan. Place the baked pie on top.
5. Gently spread the remaining cake batter on top and around the pie.
6. Place the cake in the pre-heated oven and bake until done, 60 to 70 minutes. Cool the cake on a wire rack for about 45 minutes before releasing it from the spring form pan. Continue to completely cool before cutting or frosting, 2 to 3 hours total. After the first 45 minutes, you may speed things up by placing the cake in the refrigerator loosely covered in plastic wrap.

Piecaken slice

Vanilla Buttercream
Total time: 25 to 30 minutes

Ingredients:
3 large egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions:
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the egg whites and sugar. Whisk briefly by hand until combined.
2. Fill a saucepan with a few inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Place the mixer bowl on top of the saucepan to create a double-boiler. Stirring intermittently, heat the egg mixture until it reaches 150°F to 160°F on a candy thermometer.
3. Once hot, carefully return the mixer bowl to the stand mixer. Fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg white mixture on high until stiff peaks, about 8 minutes. When done, the outside of the mixer bowl should return to room temperature.
4. Stop the mixer and swap the paddle for the whisk. With the mixer on low, add in the vanilla, cinnamon, and butter, a couple tablespoons at a time. Once all of the butter has been added, turn the mixer up to medium-high and mix until smooth.
5. If the mixture looks curdled, just keep mixing until it is smooth (this could take up to about 5 minutes). If it appears soupy, place the mixer bowl in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes, then mix until smooth.

Piecaken Chocolate Glaze

Chocolate Glaze
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
Pinch salt

Directions:
1. Place the chocolate, cream, and corn syrup in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until the mixture begins to steam and the chocolate starts to melt. Remove from the heat. Add the salt and stir until smooth.
2. Let the glaze cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes, before dripping over the cake.

Chocolate Pumpkin Piecaken

Assembly:
1. Once the cake has completely cooled, trim the top as needed. Frost the cake with the vanilla buttercream.
2. Chill in the refrigerator until set, about 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Once the buttercream has chilled, carefully drip the chocolate glaze around the top edges. Pour the remaining glaze into the centre of the cake and smooth out with an offset spatula. Decorate the top by piping any remaining buttercream and sprinkle with chopped nuts, if desired.

Looking for more delicious treats? Try our 15 Warm and Cozy Fall Desserts.

Braided Pie

3 Pretty Ways to Top Your Pie

As we move away from fruit-filled summer pies and head into fall, it’s time to conquer a classic pie crust and add some decorative designs to our baking bag of tricks. From skinny, wide and braided lattice tops to fluted edges and free-from cut outs, the combinations are just as endless and creative as the fillings inside.

In general, the cooler you keep the dough and the less it’s handled, the better it’ll be to work with. However, this is easier said than done. When rolling out dough or making decorative pieces, limit the amount of kneading as well as the use of additional flour. If the dough becomes too tacky or warm, just pop it back in the refrigerator for a bit. When gathering scraps to re-roll, try to layer them on top of each other to keep the baked crust flaky. Got leftovers? Wrap them well in plastic, and store in the freezer for up to a few months.

Whether you weave an intricate, plaid design or go with a more traditional, rustic top crust, one thing is for sure: you’re going to have one delicious pie.

Braided Pie

Braided Pie
This contemporary design gives great coverage to the top of a pie, but with some extra whimsy. Braid lengths of pie dough together and fit them over the top of the filling. Try varying the widths of the braids and the space in between for different looks!

You’ll Need:
Double-crusted pie dough
Filling of choice
Egg-wash (optional)
Turbinado sugar (optional)

Directions:
1. Prepare bottom crust and fill the pie. Chill for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, roll out top crust to about 1/4-inch into a large rectangular shape.
3. Using a ruler and pastry wheel or sharp paring knife, cut dough into long, 3/4-inch strips. You’ll need about 15 to 21 strips, depending on desired thickness and spacing in between.

Braided Pie
4. Gather strips into sets of 3. Pinch tops of each set together.
5. Keeping strips flat, begin a classic 3-strand braid. Trying not to stretch dough, braid the length of each set of strands. The longest braid should be slightly longer than the diameter of pie pan.
6. Lay braids over pie filling, parallel to each other.

Braided Pie
7. Trim braids so they overhang the edge of the pie by 1/2 to 3/4-inch on each side.
8. Fold excess dough from bottom crust up and over edges of the braids and press together.

Braided Pie
9. To create a fluted edge, pinch the dough between the thumb of your dominant hand the thumb and index finger of the opposite hand. Continue around the entire edge of the pie.
10. Refrigerate pie for 15 to 30 minutes as the oven pre-heats.
Brush with an egg-wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar (if desired), and bake according to your recipe or until golden brown.

Lattice-Pie

Classic Lattice Pie
Think fresh apple pie chilling on a windowsill. This basic design weaves strips of pie dough together to create a classic top crust. The over-under technique is not difficult to master, and once you’ve got it down, the designs are endless! Try weaving skinny pieces or wide pieces, or a combination to create a fun plaid. You could even sneak in a few braided pieces, too.

You’ll Need:
Double-crusted pie dough
Filling of choice
Egg-wash (optional)
Turbinado sugar (optional)

Directions:
1. Prepare bottom crust and fill the pie. Chill for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, roll out top crust to about 1/4 to 1/8 inch into a large, oval shape.
3. Using a ruler and pastry wheel or sharp paring knife, cut dough into 1 to 2-inch wide strips. The centre strips should be slightly longer than the diameter of the pie pan. You’ll need about 6 to 10 strips to create the lattice top, depending on desired width and spacing in between.

Lattice Pie
4. Lay 1/2 of strips over top of filling, all in the same direction.
5. Gently pull back and fold over every-other strip about halfway.
6. Lay 1 strip perpendicular to first set, next to folded edges, then replace folded strips over top of the newest strip to start the weave.
7. From the first set, gently pull back strips that did not get folded during the last round.

Lattice Pie
8. Repeat step 6 with another strip.
9. Continue this over-under motion with the remaining strips until the weave covers the entire top of the pie.
10. Trim strips so they overhang the edge of pie pan by about 1 inch.
11. Gently tuck both the overhanging pieces from top lattice and bottom crust under and press together all the way around the pie.

Lattice Pie
12. Crimp pieces together and press into the edge of the pie pan firmly with tines of a fork. Make sure each piece is secure. Refrigerate pie for 15 to 30 minutes as the oven pre-heats.
13. Brush with an egg-wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar (if desired) and bake according to your recipe or until golden brown.

 

fishtail lattice pie

Fishtail Cut-Out Pie
Once you’ve got your lattice and braids down, try combining both techniques together in this show-stopping pie. A tight lattice covers the centre while a double, five-strand fishtail braid creates the border. A few free-form leaves add extra flair and even hide the seams of the braids.

You’ll Need:
2 to 3 single crust pie dough
Flling of choice
Egg-wash (optional)
Turbinado sugar (optional)

Directions:
1. Prepare the bottom crust and fill the pie. Chill for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, roll out half of the remaining dough about 1/4 to 1/8-inch thick.
3. Using a ruler and a pastry wheel or sharp paring knife, cut very thin strips, about 1/2 inch wide and 7 to 8 inches long. You’ll need about 16 to 20 strips.
4. Following the directions of classic lattice design, weave together thin strips on top of the filled pie, leaving a 1 to 2 inch boarder around the edges. Fold over or trim any overhanging pieces of bottom crust. Place back in refrigerator.

fishtail pie braid
5. Roll out the remaining dough to about 1/4-inch thick. Using a ruler and pastry wheel or sharp paring knife, cut dough into long, thin strips.
6. Gather the strips into sets of 5. Pinch tops of each set together.
7. Keeping strips flat, begin a 5-strand, fishtail braid. Fan out all 5 strips. Taking the furthest strip from the right, cross it over the 2 strands closest to it and place it in the centre of the other 4.
8. Next, take the furthest strip from the left and cross it over 2 strands closest to it and place in the new centre.
9. Continue to braid the length of the braid, bringing the outmost strip over and into the centre.
10. Use braid to create a double-boarder around the pie, from the edge of the pan to the lattice centre.

fishtail pie crust
11. You’ll need several braids per ring. Braid ends of braids together or trim and press to seal. Use bit of egg wash to secure in place, if necessary.
12. With any remaining dough, roll out to about 1/4 to 1/8-inch thick.
13. Use a sharp paring knife to cut a free-form leaves.
14. Use back of a paring knife to score leaf patterns on each leaf.
15. Arrange leaves on top of the pie, or where the braids meet to cover the seams.

fishtail pie leaves
16. Refrigerate pie for 15 to 30 minutes as oven pre-heats.
17. Brush with egg-wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar (if desired) and bake according to your recipe or until golden brown.

fishtail pie finish

Looking for more pie-spiration? Check out these 10 Tips from Bakers for Perfect Pastry Art.

Cherry Galettes That Are Easier (And Prettier) Than Pie

Galettes are great. They’re not fussy. They don’t care if they’re imperfect on the outside because they know it’s what’s on the inside that counts.  And they don’t require the usual over-the-top latticework and crust crimping that makes you regret baking. Galettes are open-faced pies that ooze fruit juices and rustic charm – and they’re the easiest desserts to bake with fresh summer fruit.

Galettes are a perfectly portable dessert for summer picnics, afternoon teatime, birthdays… any occasion, really. And, they’re even more perfect when served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. These freeform cherry galettes are a bite into summer’s best-kept baking secret.

Cherry Galette

Individual Cherry Galettes

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Makes: 5, 4-inch galettes

Ingredients:
Pastry:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, more for rolling
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup cold water
4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup ice

Filling:
3 cups cherries, pitted and halved
1/4 cup granulated sugar (see note below)
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Pinch, salt
1/4 cup apricot jelly

Egg Wash and Sanding Sugar: 
1 large egg
1 to 2 Tbsp coarse sanding sugar, as needed

Directions:
Pastry:
1. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar and salt. Add butter and coat with the flour mixture using a bench scraper or spatula.
2. With a pastry blender or two forks, cut butter into flour mixture, working quickly until mostly pea-size pieces of butter remain (a few larger pieces are okay).
3. Combine water, vinegar and ice in a small bowl. Add 2 Tbsp of the water mixture over the flour mixture, mixing or cutting with a bench scraper or spatula until fully incorporated. Continue to mix in water mixture, 1 to 2 Tbsp at a time, until dough just comes together in a ball, without being soggy (you will likely not use all of the water).
4. Shape dough into 5 flat discs, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until chilled.
5. Lightly dust a clean surface with additional flour and roll chilled dough into a circle of approximately 5- to 6-inches in diameter.

CherryGalette-8

Filling and Assembly:
1. In a large bowl, toss gently to combine cherries, sugar, flour, lemon juice and salt. Let cherry mixture stand for 15 minutes.

CherryGalette-12

2. Spread a spoonful of apricot jelly (about 2 tsp per galette) on each rolled-out pastry disc. Using a slotted spoon, divide the fruit evenly between the discs, leaving liquid behind and allowing a 1-inch border around the edges. Discard liquid or save for another use (e.g. boil to cook out flour and thicken for use as an ice cream topping or cocktail syrup).
3. Fold the edges of the pastry over the filling to create a rustic pleated pattern.

CherryGalette-14

Egg Wash, Sanding Sugar and Baking:
1. Beat egg until uniform in colour. Gently brush egg wash over the folds to seal and sprinkle with coarse sanding sugar. Chill formed tarts until dough is firm, about 1 hour.

CherryGalette-20

2. While tarts are chilling, preheat oven to 400ºF. Remove galettes from refrigerator and immediately transfer to the oven. Bake until fruit juices bubble over and pastry is a deep golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.

CherryGalette-25

Serving:
1. Serve galettes warm with ice cream, if desired.

Note: When adding sugar to the galette filling, add it in increments and taste as you go. Riper, in-season fruits may require less sugar in the filling, while under ripe fruits may require 1 to 2 Tbsp more sugar.

CherryGalette-39

Craving more ice cream-topped pies? Here are 45 seasonal favourites to make the most of summer’s sweet bounty.

Portuguese Custard Tart

How to Make a Party-Sized Portuguese Custard Tart

Similar to its standard mini version, this extra large Portuguese custard tart is a fun twist on the classic pastry. The flaky, crisp crust filled with rich, velvety custard slices up beautifully to feed a small crowd. Even in the larger size, this tart keeps the signature browned top and crunchy edges by being baked in an extra hot oven (and by blind baking the puff pastry shell before adding the filling). A hint of cinnamon in the heavenly pastry cream is all you really need, but feel free to serve with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar, a side of ice cream or a warm cup of coffee.

Portuguese Custard Tart

Bake time: 37 to 40 minutes
Total time: 2 hours
Serves: 6 to 8

Ingredients:
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups whole milk (divided)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
Pinch salt
6 egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 sheet frozen puff pasty, thawed

Portuguese Custard Tart

Directions:
1. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer the syrup for about a minute or so, then remove from the heat to let cool.
2. Add 1 cup of the milk to a large saucepan. Heat over medium until the milk begins to steam and small bubbles begin to form around the edges.
3. Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup of milk, flour, cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl until a smooth paste forms. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and set aside.
4. Once the milk is warm, gently stream about half of the warm milk into the flour mixture, while stirring. Stir in the remaining milk and sugar syrup. Whisk to eliminate any lumps. Add in the egg yolks and whisk to combine.
5. Pour all of the ingredients back into the large saucepan and place over medium-low heat. While stirring, heat the mixtures until it thickens and large bubbles begin to pop at the surface. Always keep stirring slowly, and be sure not to let the mixture curdle.
6. Strain the custard into a heat-safe bowl. Stir in the vanilla and cover by pressing a piece of plastic wrap directly to the top surface of the custard. Refrigerate until thickened and ready to use, or overnight.

Portuguese Custard Tart

7. Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Gently unfold the thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Trim the puff pastry into a square that’s about 3 inches larger than your round tart pan (an 11-inch square for an 8-inch round tart pan). Gently lift and fit the puff pastry into the tart pan. Press the dough into the pan. Trim the excess dough by rolling over the top edge of the tart pan with a rolling pin, paring knife, or kitchen shears.
8. Dock the dough to the bottom of the pan by pricking it with a fork. Be sure to prick any surface you wish to keep from “puffing” up including to crease between the bottom and sides of the pan. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Portuguese Custard Tart
9. Brush on side of a piece of foil with butter and line the chilled dough with it, butter-side down. Fill the pan with pie weights and bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, carefully remove the foil/weights and return to the oven for 2 minutes.
10. After the 2 minutes, gently press down the centre of the tart shell with a clean kitchen towel if it has puffed up at all. Allow to completely cool.
11. Increase the oven to 450°F.
12. Once the tart shell has cooled (keep it in the pan), fill it with the custard. Place the filled tart on a rimmed baking sheet and into the pre-heated oven for 25 to 28 minutes. When done, the centre should be partially browned and the crust should be cooked. If at any time the crust begins to brown too quickly, cover the edges with foil (most likely halfway through the bake).
13. Allow to cool before slicing. Best served the day that the tart is made.

Portuguese Custard Tart

Tourtiere anna olson

The Meaty History of Québécois Tourtière

No visit to Québec would be complete without indulging in a savoury slice of tourtière, the famed double-crusted meat pie with a flaky, buttery crust. But did you know this delicious dish has deep roots in an old Christmas tradition dating back centuries?

“It’s the type of food you will find only in the winter season, and nowadays, close to Christmas,” says Ricardo Larrivée, chef and host of the Food Network Canada’s Ricardo and Friends. “You will do it maybe once a year, a bit like going to the sugar shack. It’s a tradition.”

Tourtiere

Tourtière can be traced back to the 1600s, when Québécois settlers attended midnight mass on Christmas Eve and celebrated afterwards with réveillon, a late-night festive feast fit for a king. A tradition borrowed from Europe, the table would be overflowing with seafood, meat dishes, wine and luxurious sweets, consumed late into the evening. Tourtière was always on the table, and in 17-century Québec, the pie was traditionally served in a cast-iron cauldron and stuffed with cubed meats, often wild game (rabbit, pheasant, or moose).

Four centuries later, the pie remains a staple dish both at réveillon and in Québécois households. Although recipes vary, the basic ingredients are the same: a buttery pastry shell is filled with spiced meats and vegetables, and then baked until the crust is golden and flaky.

“It’s part of our heritage and it’s nice to keep it alive,” says Ricardo.

Some food historians believe tourtière may be related to a 5th-century pie called “La Patina,” made in a bronze pot with layers of pastry and a hole in the crust’s centre. However, in Québec, the earliest recipes for tourtière appeared in La cuisinière canadienne (1840), likely the first French-language cookbook published in Canada. And there are all kinds of theories about the history behind the name, “tourtière.”

“A ‘tourte’ was the name of a bird like a pigeon, and they were making pie with these types of birds,” says Ricardo. “So they called it ‘tourtière.’ Another other explanation is that it got the name from the dish — a tourtière is also the [pie pan] in which this meat pie was cooked and baked.”

Tourtiere

But what makes an “authentic” Québécois tourtière? It’s a hotly debated topic within the culinary community, with no clear-cut answers or consensus.

Along Canada’s coasts, it’s not uncommon to find meat pie made with salmon or trout. In Montreal, it’s all about ground pork, beef, or veal baked into a delicate shell, while others in Saguenay-Lac St. Jean lean towards making giant pies stuffed with game meats — enough to feed a family of twenty.

“In Gaspésie, we are making layers of dough, under which we will have either game or meat, and even sometimes potatoes,” says Ricardo. “The top is crusty and golden brown, where the inside pieces of dough will be soft as if you were having a dumpling.”

Virtually every Québécois family has a recipe. But regardless of these regional renditions, four spices are almost always included — cinnamon, clove, allspice and nutmeg — which distinguish this meat pie from the others.

The “pie love” knows no boundaries in Canada, with the recipe being constantly replicated and adapted. Some renegade chefs are getting creative in the kitchen, making funky renditions such as Bite-Sized Tourtières, Tourtière Phyllo Triangles and Tourtière Spring Rolls, perfect for parties and pairing with condiments like Dijon mustard, chili sauce, chutney, red pepper jelly or pomegranate jelly. Oh mon dieu!

But despite these playful renditions, Ricardo says that tourtière is a relatively rare dish to find on the menus in Québec and across Canada.

“The reason why this particular dish won’t be in the hot spot is pretty simple: it takes a lot of time and it’s pretty expensive,” says Ricardo. “There are six to eight pounds of meat in that. It’s something unique — it was a country staple food. Rarely will a restaurant do it.”

Tourtiere bites

Since it’s slim restaurant pickings, why not try mastering the classic Québécois tourtière at home? Start with this classic tourtière by Anna Olson, packed full of savoury meats and spices, or for a Montreal-style recipe, try “Chuck’s Tourtière,” a crust teeming with ground pork and veal seasoned in onions, cloves, and spices.

Martin Picard has long been a tourtière champion, making a mean version at Montreal’s Au Pied de Cochon. Give his Tourtière De Ville recipe a go, stuffing the pastry with ground pork and meaty chunks of braised pork shoulder flavoured with spices, wine, and garlic.

As for Ricardo, he often makes his pie with hand-chopped pork, instead of minced meat spiced with nutmeg and clove. But no matter which recipe you choose, Ricardo says to expect one thing every time.

“Be prepared not to sleep for a whole night,” he says. “Because you have to wake up – four, five, six times – to add some broth into the hole on top of your dough. It’s good when it’s moist! It will take at least 8 hours to bake slowly. It’s a heavy dish, probably 20 lbs!”

Looking for more Québécois treats? Try these 15 Delicious French Canadian Recipes.

spring galette

Say ‘Goodbye’ to Winter with These 5 Springtime Galettes

After a long winter of root veggies, we can’t help but get excited over the beautiful bounty of spring produce nature brings. Asparagus, rhubarb and fresh peas are among the first delights of the season, and that’s a delicious reason to celebrate!

You don’t need to make an elaborate meal to harness the goodness of these spring flavours. A simple galette is an easy and excellent way to make the most of spring. These five, no-fuss recipes will have you and your guests overjoyed to officially say ‘goodbye’ to winter.

Spring pea and leek galette

For The Pastry:

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into chunks
1 Tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp or more cold water

Directions:
1. In a food processor, mix flours, salt and sugar. Add in butter and pulse until butter is evenly dispersed into pea-size pieces. Add vinegar and pulse. Run the food processor as you add water 1 tsp at a time through the spout on the top. Dough will come together into a smooth ball.
2. Roll out on a floured surface until dough is between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick. Refer to recipes below for shape.

Leek, Pea and Egg Galette:
Chop 3 leeks into 1/2-inch rounds. Heat 2 Tbsp butter in a large pan. Cook leeks in pan with 1/2 tsp of salt until fragrant but not soft, about 2 minutes. Let cool. Roll out dough into a 12 inch circle. Toss leeks with 1/2 cup freshly shucked peas. Place mixture in the centre of dough leaving a 3-inch border from the edge. Create a 3 inch divot in the center of the mixture. Crack an egg inside the divot. Fold the edges over mixture and brush pastry with heavy cream. Sprinkle fresh thyme and ground pepper over pastry, egg and leeks. Bake on a lined sheet tray in a 400°F oven until pastry is golden brown, about 35 minutes.

spring--asparagus-tart

Asparagus and Lemony Ricotta Galette
Trim 1lb of asparagus and blanch. Roll dough into a 12×8-inch oval. Mix 1 cup of extra smooth ricotta with 1 tsp of lemon zest. Spread mixture into centre of dough leaving a 3-inch border around the edge. Toss blanched asparagus with 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange asparagus spears side by side over ricotta. Fold over edges of dough and brush with heavy cream. Sprinkle 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese over pastry and asparagus. Season with salt and pepper. Bake on a lined sheet tray in a 400°F oven until asparagus is bright green and pastry is golden, about 35 minutes.

Fig and orange galette

Fig and Orange Marmalade Galette
Roll dough into a 12-inch circle. Quarter 3 cups of black mission figs. Microwave 1/4 cup of orange marmalade for 20 seconds. Gently toss figs in marmalade to coat and place in the centre of the circle, 3 inches from the edge. Fold over edges of dough onto figs. Brush dough with heavy cream and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp of turbinado sugar. Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake in a 400°F until pastry is golden, about 35 minutes.

strawberry rhubarb galette

Strawberry Rhubarb Almond Galette
Roll out dough into a 12-inch circle. Mix 1 cup of quartered strawberries with 2 cups of sliced rhubarb, 3 Tbsp granulated sugar, 1/4 cup almond flour, 1 Tbsp of corn starch, and 1/2 tsp salt. Place mixture in the centre of dough leaving a 3-inch border around the edge. Fold over edges and brush with heavy cream. Sprinkle 3 Tbsp sliced hazelnuts over pastry and filling. Bake in a 400°F oven on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment until pastry is golden, about 35 minutes.

pear-galette

Pear, Lavender and Black Pepper Galette
Slice 3 small ripe pears in half. Remove core with a spoon then place pears cut side down on surface. Slice the pear halves vertically being careful to leave the top 1 inch uncut. Roll out pastry into a 12-inch circle. Place pear halves cut side down in the centre of the dough.
Press on pear halves gently until they fan out. Brush 1 Tbsp of melted butter over pears then drizzle 2 Tbsp of honey. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of lavender and season with black pepper. Fold over edges of dough and brush with heavy cream. Bake in a 400°F oven until pastry is golden, about 35 minutes.

Looking for more spring dishes? Try our 40 Fantastic Spring Cake Recipes.

Pie Thumbprint Cookies

Easy-as-Pie Thumbprint Cookies

The holidays are full of indulgence, celebration and endless choices. Eggnog or hot chocolate? Shortbread or gingerbread? Pumpkin or pecan? For those of us who just can’t decide, or just need to try them all, these delightful little cookies are for you. A simple thumbprint cookie is all you need to make these tasty treats that pack all the flavours of your favourite holiday pies.

This way, you can sample all the best seasonal tastes in just a few bites, leaving you lots of room for more delicious sweets. This easy recipe will help you make a batch of decadent lemon, pecan and cranberry pie cookies, but feel free to get creative with more pie-fect fillings like banana cream or apple!

Pie Cookies

Pie Thumbprint Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves: About 35 cookies

Ingredients:
Thumbprint cookies:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

Pie Cookies

Directions:
1. In bowl of stand mixer, beat butter, icing sugar, brown sugar and almond extract until mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With mixer on medium-low, beat in flour and salt until just combined.
2. Scoop out 1 Tbsp at a time and roll into balls. Arrange about 1-inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Using the tip of your thumb, create deep well into centre of each ball of dough, pinching any cracks that form around the well. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
3. Bake in 350ºF oven until light golden on the bottom and no longer shiny, about 12 minutes. If necessary re-shape well with the back of a wooden spoon. Remove to cooling rack; let cool completely.

Lemon Cream Filling

Ingredients:
1/4 cup lemon curd
1/4 cup whipping cream (35%), whipped

Directions:
1. Spoon lemon curd into the centre of the thumbprint cookies.
2. Using piping bag fitted with small star-tipped shape, pipe a small amount of whipped cream on top of lemon curd.

Pecan Pie Filling

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup pecan halves, chopped
2 Tbsp liquid honey

Directions:
1.In small nonstick skillet over medium heat, combine brown sugar and butter, stirring until butter has melted. Stir in pecans, stirring until coated. Stir in honey. Cook, stirring, until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.
2. Spoon pecan filling into the centre of the thumbprint cookies.

Thumbprint-Cookies-pies

Cranberry Pie Filling

Ingredients:
1 cup frozen cranberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 rosemary sprig, and extra to garnish

Directions:
1. In small saucepan, bring cranberries, sugar, water and rosemary sprig to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have popped and mixture is chunky, about 10 minutes. Discard rosemary sprig. Let cool.
2. Spoon cranberry filling into the centre of the thumbprint cookies. Garnish with rosemary.

Pop Tart Slab Pie

How to Make a Giant Raspberry Slab Pie

This sweet and sprinkle-topped pie reminds us of everyone’s favorite breakfast pastry. Essentially a dressed-up slab pie, this giant “Pop-Tart” is filled with a sweet raspberry filling and topped with classic pink icing. Not only does it serve a crowd, it also  brings back memories of the flaky crust and confetti sprinkles of the store-bought toaster variety. Instead of the hand-held version, go for this super-sized DIY dessert you can share with all your friends.

Pop Tart Slab Pie

Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 45 to 55 minutes
Total time: 80 to 90 minutes, plus cooling

Ingredients:
Pie dough for 3 single crusts, homemade or store-bought
8 cups of fresh or frozen raspberries
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp cream
Sugar for sprinkling

2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
2 to 4 Tbsp milk
Food colouring
Sprinkles

Pop Tart Slab Pie

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Lightly dust a clean surface with flour. Roll out 1/2 of the pie dough to about 1/4-inch thick and in the shape of a large rectangle. The dough should be about 2 inches larger than your pan on each side. We used a 9 by 13-inch jelly roll pan.
3. Gently roll the dough back over the rolling pin, lift and place inside the pan. Fit the dough into the rectangular pan, leaving a bit of overhang around the edges. Place in the refrigerator to chill.

Pop Tart Slab Pie

4. Meanwhile, gently fold the raspberries with the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Remove the pan from the fridge, and fill the bottom pie crust with the raspberries. Leave any juices behind. Return to the refrigerator to chill.
5. Again, lightly dust a clean surface with flour. Roll out the remaining pie dough to about 1/4-inch thick and in the shape of a large rectangle. The dough should be about 1 inch larger than you pan on each side.
6. Gently roll the dough back over the rolling pin, lift and place on top of the raspberries.

Pop-Tart-Slab-Pie
7. Tuck any excess dough from the edges under on all sides and press to seal. Using a fork, crimp the two pieces of dough together all around the edges to seal the crust in place. Trim the edges as needed.
8. Use a paring knife to cut small vents in the top of the crust. Mix cream with a dash of water and brush over the crust with a pastry brush. Lightly sprinkle with sugar.
9. Place the pie on a baking sheet and into the oven. Bake for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until the top crust is golden and juices slightly bubble out of the vents. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Pop Tart Slab Pie
10. When the pie has completely cooled, make the icing. Gently stir enough milk into the sugar until a thick yet spread consistency. Add food coloring until desired color is achieved. Spread the icing on top of the cooled pie with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Immediately top with sprinkles before the icing sets.
11. Enjoy!

Pop Tart Slab Pie

Maple Pie Parfait

How to Make Canadian Maple Pie Parfaits

Picture all the yummy goodness that goes into a traditional Canadian maple pie — maple syrup, buttery crust, pecans — all layered into an elegant parfait. In classic fashion, this scrumptious dessert is best topped with decadent crème fraiche or whipped cream.

Maple Pie Parfaits

Canadian Maple Pie Parfaits
Total Time: 180 minutes
Makes: 4 parfaits

Ingredients:

Maple Custard:
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups whole milk, 3.8%
1/2 tsp maple extract

Buttery Pecan Pie Crust:
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp whole roasted or toasted pecans
2 generous pinches salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
1/2 tsp lemon juice, optional

Topping:
1 cup crème fraiche or whipped cream
1 cup chopped toasted pecans
8 tsp maple syrup

Maple Pie Parfait Custard

Directions:

1. Prepare Maple Custard by placing yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth and evenly mixed. Set bottom of bowl on a kitchen towel to help secure to counter. Pour milk into a medium saucepan. Set over medium. Heat, stirring occasionally until steaming, about 5 minutes. Scrape bottom to avoid scalding. When milk is steaming, remove from heat. Slowly whisk half of milk into egg mixture, being careful not to scramble.
2. Slowly whisk egg-milk mixture back into remaining milk in saucepan. Set over medium. Heat, whisking frequently, being careful not to scramble until thickened and the first bubble pops, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat immediately.
3. Immediately pour through a fine-mesh sieve back into bowl. Using bottom of a ladle, swirl and push through sieve. Scrape any custard from bottom of sieve. Whisk maple extract into custard until evenly mixed. Press a piece of plastic wrap over surface of custard. Cool completely. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. If making ahead, custard will keep well, covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Maple Pie Parfait Crust
4. Meanwhile, prepare Buttery Pecan Pie Crust. Mix flour, sugar and pecans in a food processor until pecans are ground. Add butter and pulse until pea-sized crumbs form. Mix until dough comes together. Add lemon juice, if needed. Scrape over a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap and shape dough into a disc. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
5. Roll chilled dough out on a generously floured surface until 1/4–inch thick. Using a cookie cutter or a knife, cut out 4 leaf-shaped pieces, each about 2 inches wide. Carefully transfer to one side of a parchment-lined baking sheet. Next, transfer remaining dough to other side of baking sheet. Don’t worry about it’s rough shape or if it tears a little. The remaining baked piece will be mostly crumbled later anyway. Roughly cut this dough into 2-inch pieces. Chill in the fridge until firm.
6. Preheat oven to 325°F (160C).
7. Bake prepared dough in centre of preheated oven until lightly golden, 15 minutes. Remove to a rack. Let cool completely.
8. When ready to serve parfaits, layer ingredients in 4 parfait cups, each with a 1 cup capacity. Begin with 1/4 cup chilled Maple Custard topped with 2 Tbsp crème fraiche in each glass. Crumble 1 rough square cookie overtop. Sprinkle each with chopped pecans. Drizzle each with 1 tsp maple syrup. Repeat layering with remaining ingredients. Garnish each with leaf-shaped piece of crust.

Looking for more delicious Canadian treats ? Try our 10 Great Canadian Desserts.

How to Make Paul McGreevy’s Saskatoon Pie Fries

“When you make a lot of pies, you end up with a lot of dough trimmings,” says Paul McGreevy, executive chef at Calgary brunch hotspot The Beltliner. “As a chef, you want to think of ways to utilize the leftovers of any ingredient or product, so we tested out this idea I had for pie ‘fries’. We ran it for a feature for a few weeks and people really loved it, so now they’re on the menu.”

888_pie-fries

Here’s how to make The Beltliner’s signature treat at home:

Do the dough right.
The most important tip is to avoid over-mixing your dough, says McGreevy. The second most important thing is to work with cold butter or lard to make sure you get a perfectly flaky pastry.

Fill ’em up.
“I have tried a lot of fillings and have yet to find one that hasn’t worked,” says Chef McGreevy. “Use a filling you love.”

Chill out! Your filling, that is.
It’s always better to work with chilled filling while making these pie fries or any pie in general. Warm filling and cold pastry don’t go together!

Play with presentation.
“I like to play off of French fries for presentation,” says McGreevy, “so paper bags, small baskets work well.”

Serve with dip.
Vanilla crème Anglaise and caramel are great choices.

Saskatoon Pie Fries
Makes: 12 pieces

Ingredients:

For the Filling:
4 cups Saskatoon berries (fresh or frozen)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup granulated sugar
1/8 cup cornstarch
1 Tbsp unsalted butter

For the Pie Dough:
315 g all purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
250 g unsalted butter
125 ml ice water

Directions:

For the Filling:
1. Combine all ingredients except butter in a heavy bottom sauce pot and place over medium heat.
2. Once the juices have started to come out of the berries, turn the heat up to high and continue to cook until the liquid has reduced and the mixture is thick.
3. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before use.

For the Pie Dough:
1. Dice butter into 1/4-inch cubes and place in fridge.
2. Mix all dry ingredients together in a stainless steel mixing bowl.
3. Add diced butter to flour and using a paddle attachment, mix at low speed until the butter is pea meal size.
4. Add ice water and mix until just incorporated.
5. Wrap the dough and place in fridge for at least 1 hour.

To Assemble:
1. Place filling in a food processor and pulse until the berries have broken up. Place mix into a piping bag.
2. Cut the ball of dough in half.
3. Roll the dough until 1/4-cm thick and into a rectangular shape (15 inch x 9 inch). Repeat with second piece.
4. Starting 1/2 an inch from the edge of the pastry, pipe the filling approximately 1 cm thick. Leave a 1-inch space then pipe a second line of filling. Repeat twice more.
5. Carefully lay the second sheet over top and gently rest on top. Using a chef’s knife, cut in between each row of the filling.
6. Cut strips into 3-inch long pieces and place on baking tray lined with parchment paper.
7. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes.

The Berry Crumble Recipe That Makes Her Think of Mom

By April Robson, as told to Kate Paddison

April Robson is a Tofino, B.C.-based yoga instructor, mom to daughter Waverly and self-proclaimed “jammer,” teaching how to preserve local fruits and vegetables and how to make yogurt at local reskilling festivals. Her recipe for berry crumble with homemade yogurt is very dear to her heart: Robson’s mother died when she was 11 years old, but fond memories of her mom’s berry crumble help Robson feel close to her again.

april-and-baby-berry-crisp_Blogembed

My mom used this recipe for berry crumble and homemade yogurt quite often in her kitchen. It’s a recipe so familiar to me I don’t really even think about it when I’m making it myself; it kind of comes through naturally. I love this recipe because it can be made in all seasons, all across the country. There is no special berry; you can use the wild berries from your yard or you can use frozen berries. You can make this for everyday or a special occasion, plus it travels well for a potluck. It’s an easy go-to recipe—warm and homey.

My mom was diagnosed with leukemia when she was 42 years old. It came on very suddenly, and within a year of her being diagnosed, she passed.

I can remember her essence. I remember her in the kitchen, teaching me to cook, preparing certain dishes, such as this one. And now, I feel really attached to the things I had in my childhood, specifically cooking, because it’s a way for me to connect with her.

I grew up not far from Tofino on a float house, which is a home on a dock. We were right on the ocean and my parents owned an oyster farm. We ate a lot of seafood—clams, fish, crab—and a lot of fresh greens because my mom had a garden on the dock. We were essentially a mini floating homestead that relied on solar power and lived completely off the grid.

We did a lot of our own things, such as harvesting wild food, plus what my mother had grown on the dock. We also had chickens. There was no running water, so we had to haul up our own or use rainwater. My family’s favourite restaurant in my town at the time was one we went to only a couple of times a year because we had so much already available to us.

As a kid, I fought to get out of that life. I wanted to get away and have a normal yard and running water and a bathtub. Now, I’ve spent my whole adult life trying to get back to those roots, which is why I really enjoy baking and foraging. In the summer, we have four kinds of berries in the front yard, and it’s extremely easy to go around and pick them.

My mom and dad taught me how to provide for my family, how to make healthy homemade meals from the earth. The way our planet is going, it’s really important for our children to be connected to our food, the land and the environment. It’s all supported by each other, and if we don’t take care of our food system now, we won’t have it for very long. It’s important to me that my kids have the same feeling about a healthy relationship with their food and their environment.

See more: Watch Lynn, April and baby Waverly make this berry crumble at home.

Wild Berry Crumble with Homemade Yogurt, courtesy of April Robson

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Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Yields: about 6 servings

Ingredients
Wild Berry Crumble
1 cup (250 mL) flour
1 cup (250 mL) packed dark brown or Demerara sugar
½ cup (125 mL) salted butter (if you prefer unsalted butter, add 1 tsp/5 mL salt to flour mixture), cubed
1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon or other desired spices (optional)
4 cups (1 L) berries and/or sliced fruit (any assortment of berries or seasonal fruit, such as apples, pears or stone fruits, will work great)
juice of ? lemon

Homemade Greek-Style Yogurt
4 cups (1 L) 10% or 18% cream or table cream
1 pkg yogurt culture or 3 oz (85 g) plain Greek yogurt (if using store-bought yogurt as a starter, scrape off surface layer and use yogurt underneath; it will likely have a higher concentration of healthy bacteria)

Directions
Wild Berry Crumble
1. In bowl, mix together flour and brown sugar. Stir in cinnamon, if using.
2. Using pastry blender or 2 knives, roughly cut in butter into flour mixture. Using hands, further incorporate butter until mixture is well moistened.
3. Add lemon juice to berry mixture, tossing to coat. (If using especially juicy or frozen fruit, toss with 1 tbsp/15 mL flour to prevent runniness.)
4. Add berry mixture to baking dish; spread flour mixture evenly over top. Bake in 375°F (190°C) oven for 45 to 60 minutes or until topping is evenly browned and filling is bubbling up around sides.

Homemade Greek-Style Yogurt
1. Boil water in large nonreactive pot for 10 minutes to sterilize; discard water. Set pot aside to cool for 5 minutes.
2. Pour cream into pot over medium-low heat; cook until just before boiling point. (Heat should be low enough that cream doesn’t scald while being hot enough to raise temperature.) Do not stir cream. Remove from heat.
3. Allow cream to cool until you can comfortably hold pot without burning hands, when temperature reaches about 110°F to 115°F (43°C to 46°C). (This can take a few hours, but if you add yogurt culture to cream while it’s still too hot, it will curdle and yogurt won’t set.)
4. Using ladle, scoop a bit of cream into small bowl; add yogurt culture and mix until well combined. If skin has formed on top of cream, remove with fork and discard. (Remember to sterilize all utensils in boiling water before using.)
5. Add yogurt culture mixture to pan; stir well but gently as to not create foam.
6. Pour inoculated cream into 2 sterilized 2-cup (500 mL) canning jars; place in warm environment, such as yogurt maker or bread proofer for 8 for 10 hours or until yogurt is firm. Keep at about 110°F (43°C)—or as close to it as possible—the entire time.
7. Set on counter until room temperature.
8. Refrigerate until chilled. Serve with Wild Berry Crumble.

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Summer Starts with Saskatoon Berries

By Candace Ippolito, as told to Nancy Fornasiero

Growing up at her grandmother’s knee, learning to farm, forage and cook with the freshest ingredients, it’s no surprise that Candace Ippolito became the owner and CEO of the SaskMade Marketplace, a thriving business that showcases the best of what Saskatchewan’s farmers, food producers and artisans have to offer. Here, she recalls one of her favourite food memories: her grandmother’s saskatoon berry crisp.

Every delicious bite of my grandmother’s saskatoon berry crisp is a sticky, sweet flavour bomb, but there’s a lot more to it than that for me. My personal history is basically baked into that dessert.

Grandma’s crisp takes me back to the farm, where I grew up surrounded by my tight-knit family. Grandma and Grandpa lived right next door, and my aunt, uncle and cousins lived not too far away. As a kid, breakfast and lunch always took place at Grandma’s. Mom left early for work in town, so in the morning, my brother and I would have a quick bite with Grandma before boarding the school bus. At lunch, there was always a big made-from-scratch feast for everyone, including the men who worked with Dad and Grandpa on our cattle farm. Since Grandma was Irish, potatoes were always part of the meal. Every fall, we would dig the potatoes up and haul them down to her cold cellar in the basement, and every spring, we would haul about half of them back up again—never a shortage of potatoes. And since she had a huge garden, there were always veggies, too, either freshly picked or from her cellar stash of preserves and frozen vegetables.

The main attraction was usually a braised beef dish, but you never knew which parts you were going to get. Grandma was the original nose-to-tail chef! We never wasted a thing that was grown, butchered or foraged around our homestead.

Of course, Grandma’s spreads were never complete without her baked goods. She made wonderful cream puffs, rolls and fluffy biscuits. Best of all were her homemade pies, cinnamon buns, crisps and other sweet treats. Her saskatoon berry crisp, always served with fresh whipped cream, was my favourite. There’s something about the texture. The base was ripe saskatoon berries melted down, soft and sweet; then the crumb topping was really brown and rich and had kind of a caramelized taste to it. With every mouthful, you’d get a sweet, syrupy start, then finish with a delicate buttery crunch. I don’t know how else to put it except to say that, to me, that crisp tastes like love.

You know what else? To me, this recipe tastes like the month of July. July is the only time of year for harvesting saskatoons. Our whole family would go up to a friend’s property, each of us with an empty ice cream pail in hand, and we weren’t allowed to quit until everyone’s pail was full. The older kids were always happy to help out the younger ones—otherwise, the day would never end! That once-a-year outing set us up with enough berries to last a long time. We sometimes worried about finding bears up there in the hills, and I sure didn’t like wearing Grandpa’s ugly old work shirts that protected us from the prickly bushes and mosquitoes as big as hawks—but all the same, I have really happy memories of those berry-picking days.

For a lot of my friends, memories of their grandmothers are about going for ice cream or shopping at a mall. We’re a fourth-generation farming family, so that’s not my experience. For me, it’s about sitting on a veranda, peeling carrots or shelling peas. It’s about pulling potatoes in the garden, gathering eggs from the chicken coop or picking saskatoons. “Busy hands” is what we used to call our time with my grandparents. There was always some work project going on with us, and that’s OK. She instilled in us that a family that works together, stays together!

Grandma Betsy’s Saskatoon Berry Crisp, courtesy of Candace Ippolito

Prep time: 15 miuntes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients
4 cups (1 L) freshly picked saskatoon berries (if using frozen
berries, they must be completely
thawed and excess moisture removed)
¾ cup (175 mL) flour
½ cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
½ cup (125 mL) packed brown sugar
¾ tsp (4 mL) cinnamon
¼ tsp (1 mL) nutmeg
pinch salt
½ cup (125 mL) cold butter

Directions
1. Add berries to buttered 10- x 6-inch (3 L) baking dish.
2. In bowl, mix together flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Using pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture is in coarse crumbs.
3. Sprinkle flour mixture evenly over berries. Bake in 350° F (180°C) oven for 40 minutes, or until  topping is golden brown. Serve warm with whipped cream or  ice cream.

One of the best producers of saskatoon berries is Prairie Berries, the largest saskatoon berry grower in the world, owned by Sandra and Ken Purdy. You’ll be able to find Prairie Berries on our website.

Click here to print, save or share this Saskatoon Berry Crisp recipe.

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