3 Recipes to Celebrate Great American Pie Month

February, a time for sinful indulgences, also happens to be Great American Pie Month. We’re celebrating by whipping up three different pie recipes – quintessentially American skillet apple pie, mouthwatering cherry, and decadent Black Forest – so cut yourself a slice (or two!) and enjoy.


SKILLET APPLE PIE

Blogger Amanda Powell (A Cookie Named Desire) puts a twist on America’s favorite pie in this simple skillet recipe.

Photo courtesy of A Cookie Named Desire

INGREDIENTS

Crust

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut in cubes
  • 4 tablespoons shortening
  • 4–8 tablespoons ice water

Filling

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6–7 Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup cornstarch
  • Egg wash*
INSTRUCTIONS

Make the pie crust by mixing together the flour, salt, and sugar. Cut in the butter and shortening until the mixture resembles large bread crumbs. Slowly add in the water, one tablespoon at a time, gently mixing it in and adding more water as necessary for the dough to just come together. Turn the dough onto plastic wrap and shape into a disc. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Start the filling by adding the butter, both sugars, spices, salt, water, and vanilla together in a small saucepan. Heat on medium-high heat. Stir until the butter is melted and heat until bubbling. Boil for about 3 minutes undisturbed, then remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

Toss the apples into a bowl and add the lemon juice over the apples. Coat in the cornstarch. Set aside.

Turn a little over half the pie dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out until it is about ¼-inch thick. Place the dough into a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Tuck the edges of the dough under the crust, leaving a centimeter or so overhang. Freeze for 30 minutes.

Mix the apples with the caramel mixture and pour into the pie crust. Freeze. While the filling is freezing, roll out the remaining pie crust to top. Choose any method you wish. Freeze again for at least 30 minutes. Leave the pie freezing as you preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Take out the pie and brush the crust with egg wash. Bake for about 15 minutes, then cover the edges with aluminum foil. Bake again for 55–65 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and steaming.

*Amanda uses an egg white and water egg wash for a lighter crust. If you prefer a darker crust, she recommends using a whole egg plus water.


CHERRY PIE

February 20 honors the second most popular pie in the country with National Cherry Pie Day. This juicy recipe appears courtesy of local baker Suzanne Llorca.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ tsp. salt
  • 6 tbsp. chilled butter
  • ¾ cup shortening
  • ½ cup ice water
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 tbsp. milk

Filling

  • 4 cups halved, pitted cherries
  • ½ cup fresh raspberries or halved strawberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ¼ tsp. almond extract
INSTRUCTIONS

In a large bowl, stir filling ingredients together and set aside to give filling a chance to rest.

Mix flour and salt together in a bowl. Using hands, mix in butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle in ice water and mix until dough begins to form large clumps. Form dough into a ball, flatten into a disk, wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

After chilled, roll dough out on a floured surface and place into pie pan. Spoon filling onto crust and dot with pieces of butter. Then form a lattice crust on top using remaining dough. Lightly brush the top with egg and milk mixture and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake an additional 30-35 minutes. Allow pie to cool for 3 hours at room temperature before serving to allow filling time to thicken.


 BLACK FOREST PIE

The beloved chocolate-and-cherry cake flavor transforms into a rich, beautiful pie in this recipe courtesy of blogger Amanda Powell (A Cookie Named Desire).

INGREDIENTS

Photo courtesy of A Cookie Named Desire

Chocolate Crust

  • 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut in cubes and frozen
  • 1 egg yolk, chilled
  • ¼ cup ice cold water (+/- 1 tablespoon as needed)

Chocolate Ganache (optional)

  • 4 oz. dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Cherry Filling

  • 2 lbs pitted cherries
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup kirsch
  • ⅓ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons cornstarch

Topping

  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kirsch
  • Shaved chocolate
  • Fresh cherries
INSTRUCTIONS

In a food processor, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. Pulse until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Run the food processor and add the yolk, then slowly add the water. Stop at ¼ cup and test the mixture. It should look like wet sand, but come together when pressed. Add another tablespoon as needed. Turn the pie crust dough onto plastic wrap and form into a disc. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Melt the chocolate for the ganache, if using. Stir in the heavy cream until it is well combined. Set aside until needed.

Take out the dough and roll out into a circle ¼-inch thick. Place in a pie pan and fold in the edges under the dough so it is flush with the lip of the pan. Decorate as desired. Cover and freeze for 30 minutes to an hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

While the crust is freezing, mix together all the ingredients for the filling into a pan and heat on medium high. Cook until the cherries soften and juices have thickened considerably. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Remove the pie crust and cover with parchment paper, then fill with pie weights or dried beans or rice. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove and discard the parchment and weights. Bake for another 5-8 minutes. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Brush the bottom of the pie with the ganache. Pour the cherries into the pie crust. Chill in the refrigerator.

Beat the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and kirsch until it forms stiff peaks. Top the pie with the whipped cream, then top with the shaved chocolate and fresh cherries.