A Practical Guide To Healthy Living
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Category — Pies

UPDATED! FLF Cheesecake Variations – Low Carb, Sugar-Free, High Protein!

cheesecake whole

I’m not going to lie. I can get crazy around sweets. Sugar does bad things to my joints, though – once I started down the anti-inflammatory diet road, I noticed that when I went on a sugar bender (which USED to be a fairly regular occurrence), I’d get all swollen and achy again. So I revised my position on stevia and started to use it to get my “fix” once in a while. And I’m proud to say that I’m not nearly as beholden to the sweet stuff as I used to be – cutting down on carbohydrates generally and upping my protein has evened me out enough that I don’t have those highs and lows that left me trolling the cupboards for ages-old Halloween leftovers. [Read more →]

February 5, 2014   14 Comments

It’s Berry Time!

Berry season is in full swing . . . what better to do than make a berry crisp? You could bring it to that 4th of July thing you’re going to! [Read more →]

June 28, 2012   1 Comment

Chocolate Pecan Pie

pecan pie

We’re rounding out the Thanksgiving dessert preparations today with pecan pie.  Chocolate pecan pie, to be exact.  This easy recipe isn’t for the faint of heart – it is RICH RICH RICH.  Serve it with a little sweetened whipped cream and watch your guests hold their bellies with delight. 

Chocolate Pecan Pie

1 single pie crust
4 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 ½ c. light corn syrup
½ c. sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
½ t. salt
1 c. pecans


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and put your oven rack in the lowest position.  Put the chocolate chips in microwave-safe bowl (preferably glass) and microwave in 15-20 second intervals to melt (be careful not to scorch those chips!!).  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together (don’t whisk) eggs, corn syrup, sugar, vanilla and salt.  Stirring constantly, gradually add melted chocolate.  Pour filling into prepared crust; place pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet.  Arrange pecans in one even layer over the filling.

Bake just until set (filling will jiggle slightly when pie plate is tapped), 50-60 minutes, rotating halfway through cooking time.  Let cook completely on a wire rack, at least 4 hours (or up to overnight) before serving. 


OK, if you’re making all this pie, depending on how many guests you’re feeding, you’re gonna have leftovers.  Which is never a bad thing, when it comes to pie – I mean, what better Friday-after-Thanksgiving-breakfast is there than a slice of pie and a cup of coffee or tea??  What’s the best way to store those goodies?  Fruit pies (double or single-crust) are best stored at room temperature.  Putting them in the fridge will only make the crust gummy.  Wrap them well in foil and they should keep for 2 days.  Custard and cream-filled pies (like pumpkin and pecan) should be wrapped in plastic wrap and put in the fridge.  They’ll last for a day or two. 

Stay tuned – learn all about Chia in Monday’s post!  Have a great weekend.

Chocolate Pecan Pie on Foodista

November 6, 2009   2 Comments

Point of Clarification: “Blind Baking”

green question mark full sized

A mid-day post, how novel?!  I wanted to get this up, stat, because I just got an email from a flummoxed reader who asked me to explain the term “blind baking” – the pumpkin pie recipe calls for you to blind bake the crust. 

“Blind baking” is just a fancy term for baking the crust before you put the filling inside.  You should use dried beans or pie weights (the pie weights I’ve seen are either ceramic balls or else little metal balls all linked together on a chain) to keep the bottom of the crust from puffing up too much as it bakes.  It’s likely something you’ve already done, if you ever bake pie or quiche.  For the uninitiated, after you get your crust situated in the pie plate, put a bunch of dried beans/pie weights in to cover the bottom part of the crust, bake for the time indicated, remove the beans/weights, and fill the pie. 

Many recipes/cookbooks call for you to line the crust with aluminum foil before putting the pie weights in – this can help keep the crust from getting too brown.  I don’t do this, and I haven’t had an issue with too much browning – in fact, I find the foil to be cumbersome and that it usually wrecks the crust a little bit going in.  So if you wanna be a purist, you can do this, but I take the short-cut way and don’t.

Please, if you ever have questions about terms or recipes, just email me or post them in the comments, OK?

Carry on!

November 5, 2009   No Comments

Pumpkin Pie

 pumpkin pie slice

OK, back to pie today!  The two other pies I make at Thanksgiving are pumpkin and pecan.  Today we’ll deal with pumpkin.  The pumpkin pie recipe is adapted from the America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook (a GREAT all-‘round cookbook if you’re looking for one – nice pictures, well laid-out, tasty, easy recipes).  So, like all ATK recipes, it’s got some funky steps – but let me tell you, I was not a big fan of pumpkin pie ‘til I had this one.  And my mother-in-law went crazy over it – I can’t remember if she says it’s the “best” she’s ever had, but this pie generates that level of enthusiasm.  So it’s worth the effort.   

For this pie, you’ll need one single pie crust – check out my post from the other day for the double crust recipe . . . just use one ball o’ dough and you’ll be all set!

Spiced Pumpkin Pie

1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin puree
1 c. packed dark brown sugar
2 t. ginger
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
¼ t. cloves
½ t. salt
2/3 c. heavy cream
2/3 c. whole milk (do not skimp and use skim!)
4 large eggs


 Blind-bake the pie crust at 375 degrees, for about 20-30 minutes (crust will look dry and slightly golden).  Remove the crust from the oven.  If it’s not already there, set your oven rack to the lower-middle position and increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees.  Note: the crust must be hot when the filling is added, so time this accordingly! 

While the crust bakes, process the pumpkin, brown sugar, spices and salt in a food processor until combined, about 1 minute.  Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until thick and shiny, about 5 minutes.  Whisk in the cream and milk, return to a simmer briefly, and then remove from the heat.

Put the eggs in the food processor (don’t bother cleaning the bowl beforehand) and process them until beaten and uniform in color.  Keep the machine running and slowly add about half the hot pumpkin mixture through the feed tube.  Stop the machine, add the remaining pumpkin, and continue to process the mixture until uniform, about 30 seconds longer.

Dip you finger in to taste – it is SO tasty!  OK, enough.

Pour the warm filling into the hot, blind-baked crust.  If you have extra filling, ladle it into the pie after it’s baked for about 5 minutes (your filling will settle a little bit in that time).  Bake until the filling is puffy and lightly cracked around the edges, and the center of the pie wiggles like Jell-O, about 25 minutes.  Transfer the pie to a wire rack and cool until warm or room temp. before serving.

You can make this pie ahead of time!  Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for up to 2 days . . . .

 Pumpkin Pie on Foodista

November 5, 2009   1 Comment

Thanksgiving Countdown

turkey cartoon

Can you believe it’s November already?  That Halloween is behind us and that we’re staring down the barrel of THE HOLIDAYS?  The older I get, the more quickly time passes . . . not a great combo, if you think about it.  But that’s for another post. 

The next major food-oriented holiday is Thanksgiving – are you hosting?  I *love* hosting Thanksgiving dinner, and have been doing it for our family for the past few years, but this year I asked for a pass since I’ve had all these foot issues . . . so my dear sister-in-law agreed to take on the job. 

Over the next several days, I’ll share some of my favorite Turkey-day recipes with you – the ones I make, year after year.  Even if you’re not hosting, chances are you’ve offered to “bring something” to contribute to the meal – come here for ideas, and let me know if you need a specific recipe.   [Read more →]

November 3, 2009   5 Comments