Chocolate Swirl Banana Cream Pie

     If you’ve been following Chew Wanna Eat? for any length of time and actually read my ramblings, you know that some of my best creations just pop into my head.  I’ll get a craving for something (today it was Banana Cream Pie), and then I’ll think to myself, Oooooh, what if I made a Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust instead of a Regular Pie Crust?  Ooooooh, what if I add some sort of Chocolate to the Filling?  And there you have it.

     This Pie is SOOOOO good.  I always make my Cream-Style Pies with Homemade Filling.  It’s simple, takes less than ten minutes, and once you try it, you’ll never use Pudding again.  This is the first time I made this Pie.  The Crust and Filling are tried and true, but I’ve never added a Chocolate Crust to a Banana Cream Pie before, nor have I ever added a Chocolate Swirl.  Not gonna be the last time I make it; I’ll tell you what! 

Chocolate Graham Cracker Pie Crust Ingredients

1 sleeve (approx. 9 whole) Chocolate Graham Crackers

¼ cup Sugar

¼ cup Butter, melted

PREPARATION: 

     Place whole Graham Crackers in a ½ gallon plastic bag.  Close the bag with its zipper or use a twist tie.  You can either roll the crackers into crumbs with a rolling pin, or do what I do.  Take a nice heavy meat mallet and pretend you’re playing whack-a-mole.  That’s right.  Whack those suckers into crumbs.  It only takes about 30 seconds.  Flip the bag over here and there to make sure there are no large pieces left.  Open the bag and pour the crumbs into a small bowl.

     Add your Sugar and stir with a whisk.  Slowly drizzle in the melted Butter. 

     Using your fingers, the bottom of a glass, the bottom of a smooth measuring cup or something similar, press the mixture into a 9” pie plate.

     Bake at 375° F for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside until cooled.

PIE FILLING INGREDIENTS:  Yields one 9” Pie

1 cup Sugar

½ cup + 1 TBSP AP Flour

A couple dashes Salt

3 TBSP Butter

3 cups Milk

4 egg yolks (Use whites for Meringue, Omelets, or cook for the dogs)

1 ½ tsp Vanilla Extract

3 medium Bananas

¾ cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

PREPARATION:

     Place the yolks in a small bowl and lightly whisk or beat with a fork.   Set aside.

     In a medium saucepan over medium heat add Sugar, Flour, and Salt.  Whisk to incorporate.  Add Butter and Milk.  Continue cooking and whisking constantly until mixture begins to boil.  Turn heat down a little and continue cooking and whisking for 2 more minutes.  DO NOT WALK AWAY!  You’ll end up with a scorched bottom if you do. 

     Remove from heat.  Bring the Yolk bowl close to your saucepan and begin adding a TBSP or so of the hot mixture into the Yolks, stirring after each addition.  Continue doing this until you have added about 1 cup of the mixture.  (You have just tempered your eggs!  Simple, right?)

     Return the saucepan to the stove and pour the Yolk mixture into the filling mixture.  Continue whisking.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat, add the Vanilla and whisk in.

     Let your Filling cool for 15-20 minutes.  I like to Whisk it here and there to help it cool faster.  Now, the next fun part is to drop your Chocolate Chips into the cooling Filling.  I don’t throw them all in at once, I add a small handful at a time, and then stir a bit to create the swirl.  Keep adding and stirring lightly until you have a nice swirl.

     Place sliced Banana on top of the crust until it’s covered pretty well.  I usually use about 1 ½ of the Bananas in this step.  Pour about half of the Filling on top.  Do another layer of sliced Bananas, add the remainder of the Filling.  If you want to do the Meringue, make it now.  Personally, I like Whipped Cream on Banana Cream Pie, so I never make Meringue, but if you love it, make it.  I know where you’ll find 4 Egg Whites!  Lol

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

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Raspberry Apple Pie with Crisp Topping

     Today was one of those days.  A day where I wanted something sweet, but wasn’t sure what I wanted.  I wanted cookies, but didn’t feel like making them.  I kind of wanted Apple Crisp, I kind of wanted to figure out a way to make Raspberry Crisp.  I checked the freezer and only had a partial bag of Raspberries.  Time for my trouble-making, kitchen-destroying thinking cap.  Take a look at that dessert!  Is it not beautiful?  Wait until you make one.  Oh my!  It’s knock your socks off good!

INGREDIENTS:

One 9” Pie Shell, Unbaked

4 large Cooking Apples (Honey Crisp, Braeburn, Granny Smith, etc.)

1 ¼ cups Fresh Raspberries, or Frozen and Thawed

2-3 TBSP Cinnamon/Sugar mixture

1 TBSP Sugar

1-2 TBSP AP Flour

TOPPING:

¼ cup Wheat Flour

¼ cup AP Flour

½ cup Brown Sugar

¾ tsp Cinnamon

¼ cup Butter, chilled

PREPARATION:

     Thaw Raspberries if frozen and set aside.  Drain.  Stir in 1 TBSP of Sugar and taste an apple.  If too tart, add a little more Sugar.

     Peel and quarter Apples.  Feel free to use a mixture of Apple varieties.  Slice about 1/8” thick.  Place in large bowl.  With a large spoon, mix in enough of the Cinnamon/Sugar mixture to suit your taste.  I always taste the apples after adding Cinnamon/Sugar.  Depending on tartness of Apples, you may need to adjust. 

     Add the drained Raspberries and stir to incorporate with the Apples.  If you end up with a puddle of liquid at the bottom you will end up with a very juicy pie and possibly a soggy crust.  You may want to add 1 TBSP AP Flour, stir again and watch for a puddle to form at the bottom.  If still too much, add a bit more Flour.  Pour into Pie Shell.

     In the same bowl, make the Topping.  Mix the Flours, Brown Sugar, and Cinnamon.  Stir with a fork.  Cut the chilled Butter into chunks and mix with a Pastry Blender until crumbly.  Don’t over-mix.  You want some pea-sized pieces, not a smooth mixture.  (See photo).  Sprinkle mixture on top of Apple/Raspberry mixture.

     Bake at 375° F for 50-55 minutes.  You want the Apples to be tender.  You can poke with a fork to test.  The Topping should be browned.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Chocolate Chess Pie, a Southern Favorite

Chocolate Chess Pie, a Southern Favorite

     If you’ve never had Chess Pie, you are truly missing out!  Compare the taste to a Brownie Sundae.  Or Creamy Chocolate Custard.  OK, I’ll admit it – It’s like licking the brownie batter.

     I designed my recipe to be nice and tall.  If rich, chocolate decadence is what you’re looking for, get the ingredients out.  This is it!  The end result is a taller pie than most and it has a very, very thin shell on the top. I was told by a Southern lady that you only find the thin crust on a real Southern Chocolate Chess Pie.  It’s one of the quickest pies you can make.  Super simple, too.

    You can use a Regular Unbaked Pie Shell, Graham Cracker Crust, Shortbread Crust, Animal Cracker Crust or whatever strikes your fancy.  Don’t forget to dollop with Whipped Cream or even Ice Cream on the side. 

Ingredients – Yields 1 Pie

2 ¼ cups Sugar

1/3 cup + 1 tsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

2 Dashes Salt

Optional: ½ tsp Espresso Powder -OR- Cinnamon

6 TBSP Butter melted and slightly cooled

¾ cup Evaporated Milk

1 ½ tsp Vanilla Extract

3 Eggs 

1 (9-inch) Unbaked Pie Shell

Directions

Preheat oven to 350º F.

     In mixer bowl on lowest speed, (You can use a Whisk if you’re afraid of ingredients flying). beat Sugar, Cocoa, Salt and (Espresso Powder or Cinnamon if using) together.  Add Butter and Evaporated Milk and beat on high speed. Add Vanilla and Eggs. Beat another 3 or 4 minutes on high speed.

    Pour mixture into 9 inch unbaked pie shell and bake for 40 – 45 minutes. The center of the pie will be a bit soft, and that’s ok because it will continue to set while cooling.  If it seems very jiggly, let it bake for another 2 minutes and check again.  Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing.  Let sit at room temp for at least 2 hours.  Refrigerate any leftovers.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

See the thin shell on the top layer? That’s what you want!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (2)

Strawberry Rhubarb is Bob’s absolute favorite pie.  He likes it so much that he even bought a rhubarb plant which we tried to grow in a large barrel container.  I don’t know if deer eat rhubarb, but they eat everything else.  Luckily, it died after the second year.  (No, I didn’t do it). Since I am not a huge fan of making pie crusts, and refuse to use store-bought, I don’t make them often.  I add enough filling so that I end up with a nice thick pie (not a fan of shorties).  Here’s my recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

1 ¼ cups White Sugar

3 ½ cups Rhubarb, washed and cut into ½” pieces

2 ½ cups Strawberries, washed and quartered or sliced*

3 ½ TBSP Quick-Cook Tapioca

¼ tsp Nutmeg

2 TBSP Butter

Pastry for Double-Crust Pie **

 

PREPARATION:

In a large bowl, mix Rhubarb, Strawberries, and Sugar.  I stir it with a large serving spoon.  I normally add a few quick dashes of Salt to bring out the natural sweetness of the filling, but it isn’t 100% necessary.

In a small bowl, mix Tapioca and Nutmeg.  Add to Fruit mixture.

Place one of the Pie Crusts in the bottom of a 9” pie place and pour Fruit mixture into the shell.  Make sure to use a spatula to scrape all the Tapioca and Nutmeg into the pie.  I never smooth it out.  I like how it looks old fashioned when it’s bumpy.  Cut the Butter into small pieces and dot over the top of the Fruit.

As for the Top Crust, you can cut a design with a sharp knife, put slits in it, or make a lattice top.  After you place the top crust or lattice top on, make sure to pinch or press it onto the bottom crust to seal them together.  Either use Aluminum Foil or a Pie Crust Ring for the first 30 minutes so the edge of the crust doesn’t get too dark.  Remove foil for the remaining 30 minutes.  Bake at 375° F for 30 minutes with foil around the outside edge, and then another 35 minutes with foil removed.

*If the berries are very large, you’ll need to cut them smaller than quartered.

**NOTE:  I use King Arthur Flour’s Pie Crust Recipe.  I think it’s easy to work with, and you end up with dough is NOT thin enough to see through after it’s rolled, and it’s very flaky.

 

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

 

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (2)

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (5)

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Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (3)

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (2)

 

Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie

     Known more in the South, Sweet Potato Pie has been around for hundreds of years, and for good reason.  It’s good!   If you plan ahead, cook 3 extra Sweet Potatoes the night before when you’re having them for dinner.  Save them in the refrigerator and that will be one less step to this incredible pie.  Sweet Potatoes are high in nutrition, and very delicious, we have them often.  I sub out half the White Sugar for Dark Brown Sugar because it gives you a more flavorful Pie.  You can use all White Sugar if you prefer.

INGREDIENTS:

1 – 9” Unbaked Pie Crust (I love King Arthur Flour’s Crust)

2 cups Sweet Potatoes, Cooked

2 TBSP Salted Butter, room temp

2 Eggs

Scant ½ cup White Sugar

½ cup Dark Brown Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 TBSP AP Flour

½ cup Buttermilk or Heavy Cream

¼ tsp Baking Soda

½ tsp Ginger*

1 ½ tsp Cinnamon

¼ tsp Allspice

1/8 tsp Nutmeg

 

PREPARATION:

Quickly mash the cooked Sweet Potatoes with a fork and measure out 2 cups.  Add to mixer bowl and beat them until they are smooth and lump free.  (You will end up with a smoother pie.)  Then add Butter, Eggs, Sugars.  Beat well.

Add Vanilla, Flour, Buttermilk, Baking Soda, Ginger, Cinnamon, Allspice, and Nutmeg.  Beat well and pour into unbaked Shell.

Bake at 350° F for 65-70 minutes or until center is set.  I jiggle the pie, and if it looks set, it’s done.  You can also stick a butter knife in the center.  If it comes out clean, the pie is set.  Serve Warm or Chilled.  Serve with Whipped Cream.

* I don’t like the Seasonings to over-power the flavor of the Sweet Potatoes.  You can add more than I call for if you’d like.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

Sweet Potato Pie (2)

Sweet Potato Pie (3)

Sweet Potato Pie

Pumpkin Pie Squares with a Crunchy Topping

 

I am not a fan of making pie crust.  It always comes out great, I just don’t like rolling and trying to place it properly in the pie plate. It irritates me, and I try to avoid getting irritated when I’m cooking.  So . . . if I can make some changes, and still have a crust, I’m all for it.  Bob doesn’t care for pumpkin pie.  There’s always too much ginger and other spices for his palate.  This dessert has a crust, but not a pastry crust.  Easy!  I lightened up on the spices and Bob was happy!  The crunchy pecan topping is SO GOOD!  It’s a keeper.  (Feel free to add extra spices if you prefer.  Either way, you’ll love it).  And there’s a bonus.  It serves a lot more people than a pie.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup AP flour

½ cup Old Fashioned Oats

½ cup brown sugar, packed

½ cup butter (chilled, but not cold)

One 15 oz can pumpkin puree (without spices)

12 oz can evaporated milk

2 egg whites

¾ cup white sugar

½ tsp salt

¾ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp ground cloves

½ cup pecans (or walnuts), chopped

½ cup brown sugar, packed

2 TBSP chilled butter

 

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray or grease one 9×13 inch pan.
  2. Mix together the flour, oatmeal, brown sugar and butter or margarine. Press into pan; bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. In a large deep metal bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
  4. Blend together the pumpkin, evaporated milk, egg whites, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and clove. Pour custard into baked crust; bake for 30 minutes or until firm.
  5. Mix together the chopped nuts, brown sugar and butter. Sprinkle topping on custard and bake additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Cut into squares and top with whipped cream if desired.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

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Pumpkin Pie Squares

Peach Crisp Pie

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Sum sum summertime, sum sum summertime . . . and the peaches are ripe for the pickin’!
OK, I picked nuffin. I sent Bob to the store. Now that I’m done telling fibs, let me tell you how I created this knock your socks off Fresh Peach Pie with my Apple Crisp topping. Firstly, I didn’t want a top crust, nor did I want a crumble topping, or even a streusel topping. But . . . I wanted something with texture and a bit of cinnamon flavor. So, it stands to reason that I would use my Apple Crisp topping. I also didn’t want to be mixing my beautiful peaches with flour as a thickener, I didn’t want to chance a gummy or pasty filling. So I used the Grandma standard ingredient – Tapioca. I baked mine in a Quiche/Tart pan, but a deep dish pan will work just as well.

 

INGREDIENTS:
1 unbaked deep dish pie crust
FILLING INGREDIENTS:
8 cups fresh ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
¾ cup sugar (half brown and half white)
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
4 TBSP quick-cooking (Minute) Tapioca

 

TOPPING INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup wheat flour
¼ cup white flour
¼ cup cold butter, chopped
2 Dashes of salt

PREPARATION:
Line a deep dish pie plate with crust and refrigerate.
In a large bowl, mix peaches and sugars. Taste it. If the peaches are good and ripe, all is well. If the peaches are a little under-ripe, add a bit more sugar. Add cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and Tapioca. Stir to blend. Pour into the pie crust.
TOPPING: In the same bowl, use a pastry blender or two butter knives to chop topping ingredients until butter is in small pieces and mixture is crumbled (Pea-sized). Sprinkle over peaches. Put a baking sheet or foil under pie before baking, just in case.
Bake at 400° F for 20 minutes. Turn oven down to 350° F and bake for approximately 35 additional minutes or until topping is browned and filling is bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2017

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STRAWBERRY RHUBARB PIE

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  It’s strawberry and rhubarb season.  Need I say more?  Strawberries and rhubarb in a homemade lattice-topped pie crust is sure to wow your guests. It’s quite easy, too.  Really!

INGREDIENTS:

Double pie crust (unbaked)

1 ¼ – 1 1/3 cups sugar

3 TBSP quick-cook Tapioca

¼ tsp nutmeg

3 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2 pieces (don’t peel)

2 ½ cups fresh strawberries, cut in half or quarters

PREPARATION:

Place all ingredients (except pie crust, of course) into a large bowl and mix with a serving spoon until well combined.  Place pie crust into a pie plate and pour in the fruit mixture.  Go ahead and give the lattice top a try.  It’s very easy.  I usually cut 1″ strips.

Bake at 375° F for about 50 minutes.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2017

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CHEESY ASPARAGUS PIE, EASY

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Perfect for a meal, appetizer, or even served in small squares for party fare!  The recipe is contributed by my friend Sheila Schiffman, who brought this to a party and amazed everyone with the delicious flavor combinations. 

INGREDIENTS: 

1 can Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

1 bunch fresh asparagus, washed and ends trimmed

1/2 container Mascarpone cheese

1/3 cup sour cream

¼ cup sweet onion, sliced thin or chopped

1/3 cup celery, chopped

Sea salt to taste

Fresh dill or ¼ tsp dried dill

2/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese

 

PREPARATION:

Spread crescent rolls on a cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 375° F oven until lightly browned, approximately 6 – 8 minutes.

In a small saucepan, caramelize onion in a drizzle of olive oil.  Add the celery and cook for about 1 minute.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  In a small bowl, heat the Mascarpone cheese for about 10 seconds in the microwave.  Add sour cream, and dill weed.

Spread mixture on top of partially baked dough.  Place asparagus on top of cheese mixture, alternating an end with a bud, as pictured.  Place shredded Swiss on top and bake at 375° F for about eight minutes, or until asparagus is tender.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016