Easter Pie: Mom’s Way

In my refrigerator each Easter you will find two Easter Pies: Barb’s Easter Pie and Fran’s Easter Pie.  Barb’s is a sweet dessert filled with ricotta cheese, eggs, rice and pine nuts.  Fran’s Easter Pie is a tempting appetizer, a pizza rustica filled with sausage, pepperoni, a few herbs and whatever else I have in the refrigerator (this year it’s sun dried tomatoes and parsley.  More on that soon).

Barb’s Easter Pie

Easter morning after church my husband and I broke into Barb’s Easter Pie. It’s sweet but not overly rich, the perfect spring dessert. The eggs fluffen up and lighten the cheese (this is not nearly as dense as a New York style cheesecake) and orange zest makes it all taste a little brighter – a true signal of longer days and warmer mornings in the Midwest.

My recipe is the same as Giada’s, but I use refrigerated pie crusts instead of pastry. My crust doesn’t brown, either, so watch the oven.  I bet this would be really nice with a glass of Prosecco….

TWD: Thanksgiving Twofer Pie

I have never liked pecan pie, and as best I can tell, that is a blessing.  My family never fights about “pumpkin vs. pecan” at the holidays and pumpkin has less fat than pecans dredged in corn syrup.

So, it is with nothing but good will that I curse Vibi of La Casserole Carree for picking the TWD Thanksgiving Twofer Pie this week, because I LOVED it. I can’t wait for my lunch hour to go devour the piece I have stashed in the office refrigerator. (Visit her blog – it’s in French! – if only to admire her beautiful photography and play with the Google Translator in the upper right hand corner. Awesome. Also, Vibi posted the recipe there in both languages.)

Twofer with Knife

I think I cheated a little by using a frozen crust, but the outcome was the same: creamy pumpkiny goodness at the bottom,  crispy pecan nuttyness at the top. And it wasn’t as sickeningly sweet as I was expecting. I think the rum (!) in the pumpkin batter canceled out the corn syrup in the pecan syrup and made a lovely treat. My family’s traditional pumpkin pie came from the back of the can of Libby’s pumpkin puree, so the rum that Dorie recommended was an unexpected flavor in this holiday experiment. I liked it, but I doubt the younger cousins at my Thanksgiving table would have.

In the past I’ve relied on the Barefoot Contessa’s pumpkin banana mousse tart to get me through the holiday; Grandpa loves it, but it’s quite labor intensive for such a busy mid-week holiday.  More recently, as the extended family has had to deal with diabetes and significant food allergies, I switched to the Weight Watchers pumpkin flan to satisfy us after the meal (We also have birthday cake on Thanksgiving, so the lighter dessert was kind of nice). I’m thinkin’ that the Twofer will be own little slice of heaven, not to leave my personal refrigerator.  Does that defy the spirit of Thanksgiving? Probably.  But do I care?

My only problem with the Twofer Pie was the crust, and i think it’smy own fault.  When I sliced into this morning I had jelly-like layer of gook on the bottom of my store-bought crust. It’s tasty when I slather it on the crust, but I’m wondering what it might be and how it got there. My best guess is that I tried to slice the pie before I had really cooled too much, but gave up when I realized how mushy it still was. I wonder if some of the pecan syrup slipped down to the bottom and coled in the fridge, hmm?