Tag Archives: Paula Deen

Miss Petunia’s Grits Pie

I discovered Paula Deen’s recipe for Grits Pie four years ago while searching for a birthday cake alternative for my grits-lovin’ lover.  Never did I imagine such a thing existed, let alone tasted so magically delicious. It was the only pie I had ever baked before starting MyPiary.

I have baked this pie with my dear friend Daniel many times, and it always receives rave reviews. People who dislike grits still love this pie. I’m thinking it has something to do with all the buttah.

While the original recipe calls for buttermilk, I have a hard time justifying buying an entire quart of buttermilk (the only size I can find in my Publix, where shopping is a pleasure), when I can easily make my own sour dairy product. I also like to add more vanilla, and sometimes a little bourbon, to kick it up a notch. I only use the slow-cooking, old-fashioned grits and a homemade pastry, because I’m worth it. Oh, my pie-eaters are totally worth it, too.

Miss Petunia’s Grits Pie

¾ cup water
dash salt
¼ cup old fashioned grits
½ cup butter
¾ cup sugar
2 tbs flour
3 eggs, slightly beaten
¼ cup half & half
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla
1 tbs bourbon, optional
1 9-inch prepared, unbaked pie pastry

Preheat oven to 325°. Add lemon juice to half & half to make “buttermilk” and set aside. Bring water and salt to a boil in a small pan. Add grits and cook for 5-7 minutes over low heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Add vanilla and stir. Let cool slightly. Beat eggs in medium bowl. Add sugar and stir until combined. Stir in flour and half & half. Slowly stir in cooled grits. Pour into prepared, unbaked pie shell. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until set. Cool on wire rack. Serve warm or cold. The pie is tasty as is, or it can be topped with a warm berry compote for extra deliciousness.

Let’s look at photo documentation now.

The ingredient lineup

Making the grits

A whole stick of buttah? You betcha!

Mix the butter and grits well, then add vanilla and bourbon

Mix all ingredients well before pouring into pie shell

Homemade pie pastry is so much better

My crust looks a little wonky, but it's still delicous

Yes, you can have a slice of grits pie for breakfast

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Buttercup’s Bourbon Pecan Pie

Hello, pie lovers! I hope that by now you have mastered your pie pastry skills and are prepared to impress your Thanksgiving guests with your mad pie skillz. If not, well, you best get crackin’.

I am nuts about pecans, as proven by my Magical Mystery Pecan Pie and Praline Pecan Pumpkin Pie, so it was only natural that I would whip up another nutty pie before the big feast. (Spoiler alert: Sweet Potato Souffle Pie is next on my list.)

Being a fan of bourbon, I was immediately attracted to this Bourbon Pecan Pie recipe by the butter-lovin’ Paula Deen. Of course I had to jazz it up a bit and make it my own. More nuts! More spice! More baking time because it was not even close to being set in the time Paula recommended! I find that a lot with pie recipes, which is very annoying. Aren’t you glad you have me to save you from pie-tastrophes?

Buttercup’s Bourbon Pecan Pie

1 cup sugar
3 tbs butter, melted
½ cup dark corn syrup
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups pecan halves
½ tsp fresh grated nutmeg
¼ tsp fresh cracked black pepper (about 4-5 turns of the grinder)
dash salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbs good bourbon (I used Blanton’s, Knob Creek or Basil Hayden’s are also good)
1 9-inch pie pastry, unbaked

Preheat oven to 375°
Stir together sugar, salt, and melted butter in a large bowl. Add the corn syrup and eggs, mix well. Stir in bourbon, vanilla, nutmeg, and pepper. Add pecans and stir until combined. Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell and place on cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes on the lowest rack. Move pie to middle rack and lower temperature to 350°. Bake for an additional 45 minutes or until pie is set. Cool on a wire rack.

Look at the pretty pictures for inspiration.

Assemble your ingredients before you start measuring and mixing

I present my perfect pie pastry. Superior to Pillsbury and no lard!

Mix the sugar, salt, and melted butter until it looks like this

Mmm... Bourbon. Use only good quality bourbon if you want a good quality pie

Freshly grated nutmeg is so much better than the stuff in jars

Stir in the pecans after combining the rest of the ingredients

Carefully pour filling into your prepared pie shell

Who's ready to get baked?

Fresh from the oven and baked with lovin'

Happiness is the perfect slice and pie bokeh

Bring on the Pecans

We are moments away from the autumnal equinox and although it is still hot and humid in Florida, the craving for all things pumpkin spice and pecan is strong. I am not quite ready to jump into my plethora of pumpkin recipes (give me a few weeks), but I have already gone nutty for pecan pie.

Well, not just any pecan pie. I have more than a handful of recipes I plan on trying over the next few months, but I could not wait to try my own version of Paula Deen’s Mystery Pecan Pie. What’s the big mystery, you ask? Cream cheese! I do love me some cream cheese. Cream cheese makes everything better.

But I have to point out the lack of butter in this recipe. Wha-hat? No, BUTTAH? I know, right? A Paula Deen recipe without butter. She must be losing it. I almost lost it, but then I remembered that there was a whole stick of butter in my pie pastry (yes, in just the bottom crust), so I felt a whole lot butter, er, I mean better. Phew! But just the idea that there is a Paula Deen recipe that doesn’t call for even a bit of butter is baffling, don’t you think?

Anyway, I’ve adapted her recipe to take it to my level of awesome. Trust me. My pastry was already prepared, so this was super easy to assemble. I made it the day before the FSU-Oklahoma Tailgate party and it was a winner, unlike the FSU Seminoles. Oh, well. At least my USF Bulls beat the crap out of the other Tallahassee school, FAMU. Woohoo!

I’d make this pie again, for sure. I may try to leave out the dreaded light corn syrup next time. We’ll see. It’s all about experimentation on My Piary.

Magical Mystery Pecan Pie

1 9″ deep dish pie pastry, unbaked
1 8 oz. package cream cheese, room temperature
1 egg
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. nutmeg
1¼ cups chopped pecans

Topping
3 eggs, beaten
½ cup light corn syrup
½ cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Use a hand-mixer to blend together cream cheese, 1 egg, powdered sugar, vanilla, salt, and nutmeg until smooth. Spread into bottom of unbaked pie pastry and top with chopped pecans.

Mix all topping ingredients together and pour on top of pecans. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes, or until crust is golden and top of pie is puffy.

Cool on wire rack. Can be served at room temperature or refrigerated overnight.

Look at pretty pictures now? Yes, please!

Always assemble your ingredients before cracking the first egg; you don't want to forget anything

I prefer chopping nuts by hand, but you can use a mini food processor or nut-chopper, if you wish

Ah, the magical mystery part of the pie tour. Mmm.... Cream cheese!

All of my pies are baked with love. It's the love that makes it awesome!

Look at the pretty pecans! Yeah, don't bother doing this, mkay? Why? Well....

That's why. Yeah, I forgot about pouring on the topping and making a pecan mess

It comes out of the oven looking awfully pretty, though, and darn tasty!

Chocolate Meringue: Three Pies a Charm

Pardon my absence, again. I heard the call of the cool Carolina mountain air and had to run. Glorious, it was. Low temps, lack of humidity and mosquitoes, a gorgeous mountain man to pitch a tent and light my fire. Twas all good.

Hello, pie lovers. I’m here to tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly of cream pies, or How I Lost My Shit While Trying to Reach Pie-vana.

Remember when I told you how pie should not make you cry? Yeah, well, I am speaking from experience. Pie made me cry, ruined my evening, and made my love look at me funny. It’s pie. Don’t cry. Please learn from my pie mistakes.

The first pie on my One Pie a Week journey (yes, the basis of My Piary), was Chocolate Meringue. Easy, I thought. I even cheated and used a frozen pie crust because I wanted to perfect a filling and meringue before moving on to perfecting the pastry. Oh, I am so glad I did. The first pie was such a huge FAIL. In the trash it went, as tears dripped off my cheeks and curses blew from my lungs. Stupid pie. Stupid, stupid pie.

It was and it wasn’t my fault. I accept responsibility for not reading more about cream pies before attempting this, but I also blame a crappy recipe for not explaining more about the cream pie process. If only I’d read my mother’s cookbook first.

How to cook cream pie fillings

Both cooking time and temperature are important when preparing cream pie fillings. Under- and overcooking can cause runny fillings. Set a timer for exact minutes specifies in recipe. Cook fillings over moderately high heat. Too high a heat cooks mixture too quickly; too low a heat results in excessively long cooking.

Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book

If only I had read that first. If only. Le sigh.

Here is the Rich Chocolate Meringue Pie recipe I used with my own twists, like using dark cocoa powder instead of the regular and cutting back on the sugar. Thanks to Paula Deen for the excellent Mile-High Meringue recipe, but not for the vague cooking instructions of the pie filling. I will fill you in on the details of what to look for in your cream filling for doneness, so don’t you worry. I guess Ms. Deen was too busy licking the butter off her fingers to make sure her minions wrote a proper recipe.

During my first attempt, the mixture was too runny. I needed to bump up the heat and look for bubbles and a certain thickness that Paula failed to tell me about. It was my first pie. I messed it up. I was very upset. I cried. Pie should not make you cry.

Rich Chocolate Meringue Pie

1⁄2 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 1⁄2 cups whole milk
5 egg yolks, slightly beaten; reserve whites for Mile-High Meringue
2 tbs butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 (9-inch) pre-baked pie crust; homemade or store-bought

Oven 325°

In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine cocoa, flour, and sugar. Gradually stir in milk and egg yolks. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a wire whisk until mixture is bubbling. Cook and stir for 2-3 minutes, until big bubbles rise to the surface and the whisk leaves trails along the bottom of the pan. The cream filling should look like pudding. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Pour mixture into baked pie crust. Prepare Mile-High Meringue. Using a spatula or the back of a wooden spoon, spread meringue over hot filling, sealing to edge of pie crust. Bake for 20-23 minutes, until meringue has golden peaks. Cool completely on a wire rack. The filling will run if you cut into the pie while it is still warm, although it will taste delicious. Store in refrigerator for up to three days. It is even better the next day.

Make pretty peaks for sticking it in the oven