Fillings for Your Pie Hole

It’s Great American Pie Month! Wait, what? I know, that’s not the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of February. This observance is not wildly promoted, but it should be. It’s hard to find something cozier than a slice of warm pie on a cold winter night. Well, winter isn’t something that’s wildly promoted around here lately, either.

If you’d like to know more about Great American Pie Month, check out the American Pie Council at www.piecouncil.org. I hope you will take advantage of the season and try at least one new pie recipe.

You can get these recipes and more in the “Stirring It Up” column of this month’s City Social. Check it out online by clicking here or pick up an issue around town.

Cranberry Pecan Pie
Basic Pie Crust or refrigerate crust
3 large eggs
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups chopped fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans 

Make pie crust as directed above for a 10-inch pie plate. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk together eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth and well-blended. Then, gently stir in cranberries and pecans. Spoon filling into the baked pie crust and bake until filling is set and golden, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack.

Purple Plum Pie
1 14-ounce can purple plums (or 2 lbs. fresh plums)
2 (9-inch) pie crusts, unbaked
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon quick-cooking tapioca or 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Drain plums, reserving a 2 tablespoons of syrup. Remove seeds from purple plums and cut into quarters crosswise. Combine plums and 2 tablespoons syrup with the dry ingredients and coat gently. Add lemon juice. Spoon filling into the bottom pie crust. Top with second crust and cut at least four vent holes. Brush the top crust with the beaten egg. Bake in the lower section of the oven for 1 hour. Let the pie rest on a rack to give the filling time to set. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

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