Tribute to Fat Tuesday....

In celebration of Fat Tuesday, I made 2 pies today. My husband is a pie man - he LOVES his pies, as well as my dad. I'm not a big pie fan (or sweets in general) but I saw a picture of a poppy seed pie crust and knew I had to make a pie with that. I used my stand by pie crust recipe from my mother and threw in about a half cup of poppy seeds.

The pie crust recipe makes 2 crusts, either 2 single pies or one with a top & bottom crust.

My first pie will be a Sour Cream Lemon Pie, a good choice I thought for the poppy seed crust since lemon & poppy seed are often together. The recipe is found HERE. As I've previously mentioned, I'm not a lemon fan but my hubby likes lemon. But I will admit, I did have a bite and it was pretty good! It ends up being a pretty yellow pie!

Doesn't the pie crust look pretty neat?
Of course we topped it with fresh whipped cream :)

 The second pie I made was a fresh Strawberry Pie. My local grocery store had fresh berries from Florida on sale for $1.99/lb so I picked up 2 pounds. My strawberry pie recipe that I use I can't really credit just one person... I used a basic recipe that I found that does NOT use jello (I hate boxed jello or cake mix recipes) and also read reviews on several different recipes and kind of use a little bit of something from everyone LOL.

This is my "go to" recipe:

1- 9" pie crust, baked (recipe to follow)
2 pounds fresh strawberries, washed & cut
3/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup Ginger Ale

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1.5 tbsp powdered sugar

small amount of chocolate chips

Most recipes say to arrange half the berries in the shell and mash the remaining berries combined with sugar in a pan. I don't like big pieces of strawberries, so I mash them all. It's all preference I guess. At this point I melt the chocolate chips in the microwave and paint the bottom of the shell with melted chocolate. This helps to keep the crust from getting soggy from the berries as well as add a little surprise :). Set the crust in the frig to harden up the chocolate. In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese & powdered sugar until mixed well. Spread on top of the hardened chocolate.

I did slice a few strawberries to lay on top of the cream cheese.

 Place pan of mashed berries and sugar over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.

In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and soda. Gradually stir the soda mixture into the boiling strawberry mix, reduce heat and simmer until thickened, stirring constantly. Set aside from heat to cool just a few minutes. Pour into pie shell and refrigerate until firm, usually a few hours. Serve with fresh whipped cream.

Here is my mother's easy and light & flaky pie crust:

2 cups flour, sifted
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil
5 tbsp cold water

Preheat oven to 425. Put flour in a bowl and sift with a fork. Add salt. Measure the 1/2 cup oil in a 1 cup measuring cup and add the water to the oil. Pour into the flour mix and mix well with a fork. Roll into a ball and cut in half. Roll out between a layer of parchment paper (bottom) and waxed paper (top). Lay in pie plate and flute the edges. Prick crust bottoms with a fork. Bake unfilled at for 10-12 minutes. If filling, bake according to recipe instructions.

Don't forget to wash your fruit! :) I'm off to deliver a piece of each pie to my parents!