Perfect Pecan Pie

This summer, Tracy’s oldest son turned 18.  Instead of cake, he asked for a dessert smorgasbord (a kid after my own heart) so he could have a dessert sampler-platter of sorts.  Here is the birthday boy with his buffet:

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The four of us girls and our Mom each made a different dessert, based on his request.  Side note:  there is no discussion needed when desserts are requested around us!!   Anywho, Mom and I were talking about pecan pie recipes, we made them slightly different, so we combined the two versions and this recipe was born.  It is seriously, without a doubt, the best pecan pie known to a pecan pie lover.  So, if you have a hankering, or if you need a knock-your-socks-off pecan pie, this will be your go-to from now on!  ~Kathy

Perfect Pecan Pie from Four Sisters Dish

1 (9”) deep dish unbaked pie crust

4 eggs, plus one egg yolk

1 c. dark brown sugar

¾ c. light corn syrup

3 T. pancake syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

½ tsp salt

4 T. butter, melted

1 ½ c. pecans, chopped

½ c. pecans halves

Preheat oven to 400˚.  In a small bowl, beat eggs and egg yolk until combined but not foamy.  Add brown sugar, mix well.  In large mixing bowl, combine corn syrup, pancake syrup, vanilla, salt and melted butter.  Pour in egg mixture and combine well.  Evenly distribute chopped pecans into bottom of pie shell.  Arrange pecan halves over the top of the chopped pecans.  Slowly pour corn syrup mixture over pecans, not disturbing the pecans as much as possible.  Bake for 10 minutes at 400˚ F.  Lower the oven temperature to 325˚ and bake an additional 40 – 45 minutes until center is completely cooked through.  Allow to cool completely before serving.

Perfect Pecan Pie

Perfect Pecan Pie

    Ingredients
  • ~ 1 (9”) deep dish unbaked pie crust
  • ~ 4 eggs, plus one egg yolk
  • ~ 1 c. dark brown sugar
  • ~ ¾ c. light corn syrup
  • ~ 3 T. pancake syrup
  • ~ 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ~ ½ tsp salt
  • ~ 4 T. butter, melted
  • ~ 1 ½ c. pecans, chopped
  • ~ ½ c. pecans halves
  1. Preheat oven to 400˚.
  2. In a small bowl, beat eggs and egg yolk until combined but not foamy.
  3. Add brown sugar, mix well.
  4. In large mixing bowl, combine corn syrup, pancake syrup, vanilla, salt and melted butter.
  5. Pour in egg mixture and combine well.
  6. Evenly distribute chopped pecans into bottom of pie shell.
  7. Arrange pecan halves over the top of the chopped pecans.
  8. Slowly pour corn syrup mixture over pecans, not disturbing the pecans as much as possible.
  9. Bake for 10 minutes at 400˚ F.
  10. Lower the oven temperature to 325˚ and bake an additional 40 – 45 minutes until center is completely cooked through.
  11. Allow to cool completely before serving.
https://foursistersdish.com/2018/11/15/perfect-pecan-pie/

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Frozen Margarita Pie

School has started again here, but the 90+ degree temperatures have us hanging on to every bit of that summer feeling while we still can. I find myself longing for two things from summer my family loves – frozen treats and beach vacations.  If you can’t have both, make a dessert that reminds you of the beach!

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This Frozen Margarita Pie reminds me of something I’d eat at an ocean-side restaurant with sand on my feet – I could live in a place like that!  The pretzel crust on this pie really makes the difference by supplying that ‘salt on the rim’ flavor of your favorite sweet margarita.  Make.  Enjoy.  Close your eyes and dream of the ocean.  ~Tracy

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Frozen Margarita Pie
    Ingredients
    Crust:
  • ~5 T. melted butter
  • ~¼ c. sugar
  • ~2 c. pretzel sticks, crushed
  • ~4 squares or two sheets of graham crackers, crushed
    Filling:
  • ~1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • ~1/3 c. fresh squeezed lime juice
  • ~¼ c. limeade concentrate (such as Minute Maid)
  • ~2 T. tequila
  • ~1 ½ T. triple sec
  • ~1 c. heavy whipping cream, whipped
    Topping:
  • ~1 T. lime zest
  • ~whipped cream for garnish
    For the crust:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix melted butter, sugar, crushed pretzels and crushed graham crackers together. I use a big Ziploc baggie for this and simply knead the ingredients until well combined.
  3. Press the mixture in the bottom and up the sizes of a 9” glass pie plate, forming an even layer.
  4. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes; set aside the crust and allow it to completely cool.
    For the filling:
  1. Squeeze the juice from limes (usually 3 to 5 limes) until you have 1/3 c. fresh lime juice.
  2. In a large bowl, combine lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, limeade concentrate, tequila and triple sec.
  3. Gently fold in the whipped cream until all ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Pour all ingredients into cooled crust and smooth.
  5. Sprinkle the top with 1 T. lime zest.
  6. Freeze at least 4 hours but overnight is preferable.
  7. To help release the frozen crust from the dish, you can place the dish in a very shallow dish of warm (not hot) water.
  8. Top with a dollop of whipped cream before serving if desired.
https://foursistersdish.com/2018/08/27/frozen-margarita-pie/

Summer Ice Box Pie

Many years (and pounds) ago, when I first started Weight Watchers, I was given a recipe similar to this by a friend who had been a Weight Watcher for years. I was desperate for something that made me feel like I was having dessert! That was over a decade ago and my family and I are still enjoying this cool, summery treat. You can make this pie using any flavor combination of yogurt and Jello that you want. For the one pictured here, I used strawberry Jello with lemon yogurt. ~Tracy

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Summer Ice Box Pie
    Ingredients
  • ~1 (.3oz) package sugar free jello in your favorite flavor – I used strawberry
  • ~2 (8 oz.) containers low fat yogurt – I used lemon (mine were 4 points each)
  • ~1 c. boiling water
  • ~1 (8 oz.) container fat free Cool Whip
  • ~1 reduced fat graham cracker crust
  • ~fresh fruit for topping, optional
  1. Stir Jello into boiling water and mix until well dissolved.
  2. Add both containers of yogurt and mix well.
  3. Fold in Cool Whip.
  4. Pour mixture into graham cracker crust.
  5. Chill until ingredients are set.
  6. Top with fresh fruit and serve.

Weight Watchers Info: Divided into 8 servings, this dessert is 7 points per slice.

https://foursistersdish.com/2018/06/05/summer-ice-box-pie/

Butterscotch Pie

If your idea of butterscotch involves any type of bright yellow candy that is wrapped in cellophane, you are in for shock….REAL butterscotch tastes good!  Amazingly good!  This butterscotch pie is so good that we refuse to make it for group parties and potlucks.  Why? Because we want as much of it for ourselves as possible.  Not good for the waistline, but so good for the soul.

Occasionally as kids, we girls could sweet talk Mom into making a double batch of the pudding so we could have some to eat and still have plenty for the pie. In retrospect, she probably didn’t like to wait for the pie either – but she had us convinced that she was “giving in” and making extra pudding.  We can imagine her trying hard to keep a straight face as she’d say, “Well [sigh], I guess I could…”  Well played, Mom. Well played.  ~Robin and  Tracy

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Ingredients for pie filling: 

4 T. butter

1 c. brown sugar, packed

1/3 c. flour

2 c. whole milk

3 egg yolks (slightly beaten) – save whites for meringue

1 tsp. vanilla

 

Ingredients for meringue:

4 egg whites (worth it to use one more egg so you don’t risk being short on meringue)

1 tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. cream of tartar

½ c. sugar

 

Other ingredients:

The usual baking supplies for your favorite pie crust (or just follow package directions if using store-bought crust; be sure to set it out to thaw, if frozen)

 

Instructions:

Bake your pie shell; set aside to cool.  If it was on a different temp, change oven to 350 degrees and leave on.

For pie filling, begin by melting, then browning butter in a large sauce pan on medium-high heat, stirring constantly.  Do not leave on too low a temp or it will take for-e-ver.  You don’t have time to wait that long for this pie.  As butter gets ready to brown, it will begin to froth quite a bit (see photos below).  Trust the process and keep stirring constantly.  It will turn a nice deep brown before your eyes almost instantly.  Immediately when it turns brown, remove it from the heat.

Whisk in flour and brown sugar; blend in well.  Return to medium heat and then add milk and lightly beaten egg yolks and continue to stir constantly to keep from sticking.  Cook over direct heat until mixture thickens to pudding consistency.  Remove from heat; then add vanilla and stir it in.  Pour into baked pie crust.  Don’t overfill, as you will need to have exposed crust to seal the meringue.

For meringue, beat egg whites, vanilla, and cream of tartar for about one minute on medium speed – until soft peaks form.  Increase mixer to high speed, gradually adding sugar now (about 1 T. at a time). Beat on high about 4 or 5 minutes — until forms stiff, glossy peaks and sugar is dissolved. Immediately spread over pie, carefully sealing to the edge of pie crust to prevent shrinking.

Cook 12-15 min. at 350 degrees, or until meringue is golden brown. If edges of crust or top of meringue begin to brown too much, you may need to move pie to a lower oven rack.

Cool completely to room temperature before slicing.

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Blue Ribbon Apple Pie

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I first made this pie as a teenager.  My dad liked my version (which has some extra spices) so much that he asked for this pie for his birthday every year after.  Now my husband also wants this pie every year for HIS birthday too.  It’s that good.  I guess I should call it “birthday pie” since it seems to be a yearly request from the people I bake for.  This pie, however, has a new memory attached to it.  I recently helped my daughter make this pie for a 4H baking competition and she won the grand prize!  She cut the 4H emblem in the top crust and, foolishly, I neglected to take a picture of her pie.  It was so pretty!  Sorry, you’ll have to settle for pictures of my pie instead. Here she is with her ribbons though (the blue ribbon is for the pie and the white ribbon is for rolls that she entered as well).

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If you make a pie for Thanksgiving, I urge you to make this one.  It’s a grand prize blue ribbon favorite in my family!  ~Erin

 

Ingredients:

2 deep dish pie crusts (confession:  I often use frozen but Mom’s recipe is below if you prefer from-scratch)

8 Granny Smith apples

1 c. white sugar

¼ c. light brown sugar, lightly packed

2 T. flour

1/8 tsp. salt

¾ tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

2 T. butter

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Instructions:

In a large bowl, stir the white sugar, brown sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg until well combined; set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

If you made the crust, roll out one disc to ¼ inch thick and press gently in the pie pan, leaving some overhang.

Peel and thinly slice your apples.  Throw them right in with the sugar mixture and toss to coat.

Pour the apple/sugar mixture into your prepared bottom crust.  Don’t leave any sugar behind!

Dot the top of the apples with some bits of butter.

Roll out the top crust (cut a design or slits to vent), then place it on top of the apples and crimp the edges together with the bottom crust.

Place the pie on a sheet pan (in case it bubbles over!) and bake in the center rack until golden brown (about 45 minutes).

 

Mom’s Deep Dish Double Pie Crust:

4 cups flour

2 tsp. salt

2 sticks butter (1 cup)

1/3 cup vegetable shortening

Approximately 12 T. ice cold water

Stir the salt into the flour.  Cut butter and shortening into flour mixture using a pastry cutter or forks, until it resembles a coarse meal.  Add water and knead until the dough comes together and is no longer crumbly, but not to the point of being sticky though.  Divide into 2 discs, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Cream Cheese Quiche with Sausage, Cheese, & Spinach

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This quiche is one of Erin’s kids’ favorite meals.  It’s often requested for breakfast, brunch, and even supper.  Who doesn’t love breakfast food for supper?!  It’s so quick and easy to throw together and tastes like something you’d get at a fancy brunch.  There are two sets of ingredients noted below (standard & Weight Watchers friendly).  Enjoy!

 

Standard Ingredients (see below for Weight Watchers ingredient list):

7 eggs, room temperature

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

1 c. finely shredded cheddar or Colby-jack cheese

1 deep dish frozen pie crust

8 oz. breakfast sausage

2 c. baby spinach, loosely packed

2 T. half & half or milk

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. black pepper

 

Weight Watchers Ingredients:

7 eggs, room temperature

8 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese, room temperature

1 c. Kraft 2% Mexican shredded cheese blend

1 deep dish frozen pie crust (such as Pillsbury All Vegetable)

8 oz. turkey breakfast sausage, browned (Jennie-O used here)

2 c. baby spinach, loosely packaged

2 T. fat-free half & half

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. black pepper

 

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Make sure your eggs and cream cheese are room temperature.  If not, you can microwave the cream cheese until it’s softened but not warm.  You can place your eggs in lukewarm water to bring them to room temperature faster.

Chop the spinach, removing any tough stems as needed.

In a blender, combine room temp. cream cheese, eggs, half & half, and salt & pepper until smooth.

Layer half the browned sausage, half the chopped spinach, and half the cheese in the bottom of the frozen pie crust.

Pour half the egg mixture over top.

Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Place quiche on foil-lined cookie sheet (in case it overflows!) and bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until center is set.

*If it starts to brown too much, place a piece of foil loosely over the top.

*Don’t have sausage?  No problem.  You can substitute crisp bacon or ham for the sausage.  (Be sure to adjust WW SmartPoints accordingly, if applicable.)

 

Weight Watchers info:  This makes 8 servings

Old SmartPoints:  10 SmartPoints

Freestyle SmartPoints:  9 SmartPoints

 

No Bake Lemon Cream Pie

This lemon pie is perfect for spring, or it will brighten up any day of the year. We had to share this one right away, with Easter just around the corner.  It’s so perfectly light and tart that you could eat the whole pie, but your family will appreciate it if you share!

lemonpieslicetwist4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1  14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1 Tablespoon lemon zest

½ c. fresh squeezed lemons (from about 4 or 5 large lemons)

Pinch salt

1 cup Cool Whip, thawed

1 9” graham cracker crust

Begin by zesting lemons.   Squeeze lemons into small bowl or measuring cup to reach ½ cup.

In a large bowl, with mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth.   With the mixer on low, add in sweetened condensed milk and mix until cream cheese is completely incorporated, scraping bowl as necessary.   Add lemon juice, zest and salt.   Mix until combined.  With a spatula, fold in cool whip.   Spoon into crust, smoothing the top.   Cover and chill until firm, about 3 hours or overnight.