Get your piecrust tips
DEAR MELBA: Tell Lisa Hall, the reader who was having trouble with her piecrusts, that she described as "floating," especially when making pecan pies, that I had the same problem for years. I finally came up with a solution that works for me. I make my homemade piecrust and put it in the pie pan. I then line the crust lightly with foil and place pinto beans in the foil to weigh it down. Then I put the crust in the oven at 350 degrees and bake for about 5 minutes. I take the crust out and remove the beans and foil and put the filling in and bake the pie as usual. It works.
CAROLE SMITH, Edmond
DEAR MELBA: I, too, had trouble with my pecan piecrusts bubbling up through the filling until a former co-worker shared her recipe. I always read Pecan Pie recipes and have seen only one other that calls for cooking the filling before baking the pie. Since using this recipe, I have not had a failure.
1 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pecans
1 unbaked (9-inch) piecrust
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small saucepan, combine corn syrup, sugar and butter. Bring to boil. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add salt and vanilla.
• In medium bowl, beat eggs. Stir constantly while gradually adding the hot mixture. Stir in pecans and pour into piecrust. Bake approximately 40 minutes.
MARGARET STOTTMAN, Edmond
DEAR READERS: And here are directions for baking pies from prize winner Karen Quartuccio, of Norman whose pie, Dream Cream Pie, in the Pillsbury Pie Baking Championship at the State Fair of Oklahoma, not only won the blue ribbon, but $200 plus an engraved silver pie server.
DREAM CREAM PIE
1 Pillsbury Pet-Ritz deep dish frozen piecrust
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup ice cold water (no ice)
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding or pie filling
1 cup flaked coconut
3/4 cup crushed pineapple, well drained
1 1/2 cups prepared whipping topping
2 bananas, thinly sliced
Juice of 2 lemons
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup prepared whipped topping, approximately
2 tablespoons coconut, toasted
• Bake the piecrust by package directions being sure to pierce bottom of crust with fork so air and steam will release and crust will not rise in center while baking. Should take 10 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool while making pie filling.
• In large bowl of electric mixer, combine condensed milk and water beating only to mix. Add pudding mix, beating until well mixed. Add 1 cup coconut and pineapple, beating until reasonably smooth.
• Fold in 1 1/2 cups whipped topping, making sure everything is well blended. Filling should be light yellow, not marbled.
• In small bowl, dip sliced bananas in lemon juice. This is to keep them from becoming discolored.
• Arrange bananas in bottom of piecrust. Sprinkle with 1 cup chopped pecans. Add pudding mixture. Top with approximately 1/2 cup whipped topping and refrigerate 4 hours before serving. This allows the filling to become firm.
• Toast 2 tablespoons coconut and sprinkle over topping with more chopped pecans.
• To toast coconut, heat oven to 325 degrees. Spread coconut thinly on a baking sheet and bake about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
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