Tag Archives: First Prize Pies

Perfect Manhattan Pie #SundaySupper

Perfect Manhattan Pie

Welcome to this week’s edition of Sunday Supper, where our theme is quite near and dear to my heart: Pies, Sweet and Savory!!! My regulars know how much I love baking pies, so this week is so much fun for me.

Of course, the question of which pie to make loomed before me, and I decided I wanted something a little off the beaten path. I ran across this intriguing recipe, and dessert was served, as they say!

Perfect Manhattan Pie

Matt received the coolest little book for Christmas, The Ultimate Bar Book. It was there that I learned the difference between traditional Manhattans (a cocktail I’ve been consuming for quite some time now) and perfect Manhattans. A perfect Manhattan is simply equal parts dry and sweet vermouth, as opposed to all sweet vermouth, and it’s garnished with a lemon strip instead of a maraschino cherry.

It seems that the world of Manhattan drinkers is a bit polarized – people seem to very strongly prefer either traditional or perfect, but personally I’ve found that both are quite pleasing to me. I love having discovered the perfect version, but it definitely didn’t sway me completely away from the traditional.

Perfect Manhattan Pie

This pie celebrates the perfect Manhattan though, and that’s just fine by me. It’s creamy, and silky, and boozy, and tastes exactly as advertised. We absolutely loved it! Highly recommend this to all you Manhattan lovers out there! Enjoy! And be sure you check out all the glorious pies brought to you by my Sunday Supper crew!

Perfect Manhattan Pie

Source: First Prize Pies by Allison Kave

Pie crust for 1 regular 9” pie
1 tbs unflavored gelatin
2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
3 large eggs, separated
¼ tsp salt
5 tbs rye whiskey or other bourbon
1 ½ tbs sweet vermouth
1 ½ tbs dry vermouth
5 dashes Angostura bitters
1 cup heavy cream
Candied lemon peel, for garnish (I made Martha Stewart’s version, or you could buy them)

Preheat your oven to 425 F. Roll out the pie dough to a circle about 11 inches or so, then transfer it to a greased regular 9” pie plate. Fold the underhang under and crimp the edges decoratively. Make sure your crust is cold, then prick the bottom all over with the tines of a fork. Line the dough with parchment paper and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through. Let sit 1 minute, then carefully remove the weights and parchment paper. Turn the oven temperature down to 350 F. Brush the edge of the crust with milk or egg wash. Return the unfilled pie to the oven and bake another 10 to 20 minutes, until the crust is fully baked and golden. Cool completely.
Make the filling: pour ½ cup cold water in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan and evenly dust it with the gelatin. Allow mixture to bloom, about 5 minutes.
Whisk in 1/3 cup sugar, the egg yolks and salt. Set over low heat until the gelatin dissolves and the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat.
Stir in the whiskey, both vermouths, and bitters into the mixture and refrigerate it, uncovered, until it begins to firm up and mound slightly when pushed with a spoon, about 30 minutes.
In a stand mixer or mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, then add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold the meringue into the custard mixture.
In a clean bowl with clean beaters, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold it into the filling. Spread the filling in the crust and smooth the top. Garnish with the candied lemon rind. Refrigerate the pie for 4 hours or up to overnight to let it set up completely. Slice and serve. Keep it stored in the refrigerator.

Sweet As Pie

Mealtime Pie

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PB&J Pie

PB&J Pie

Sometimes outstanding things come out of your kitchen as a result of poor planning and pure practicality. Such was this amazing pie. It was just after Christmas, our company was gone and the tree was taken down. I took stock of the pantry and fridge, and realized that, as usual, I’d bought too much for hosting.

PB&J Pie

I had tons of excess saltine crackers from a dip we’d enjoyed; plus, I had bought peanut butter anticipating someone possibly wanting a sandwich, only to realize that we already had peanut butter. I also had 6 ounces of cream cheese left over from making this pimento cheese spread, and had no clue what on earth to do with that. Then, on Christmas morning, I received some homemade blueberry jam from my mother-in-law, which I was excited to taste.

PB&J Pie

Thus, this pie came to be, a result of combining all those excess ingredients, plus letting me use that jam. There’s a good amount of saltines in the crust, peanut butter plus exactly 6 ounces of cream cheese in the filling (exciting!!), and jelly or jam on top. Beautiful! And delicious! Enjoy.

PB&J Pie

Source: First Prize Pies by Allison Kave


30-35 Saltine crackers
6-8 tbs unsalted butter, melted

¾ cup heavy cream
6 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
Pinch of salt, if your peanut butter is unsalted
½ cup confectioners’ sugar

1 cup jam or jelly, any flavor you like (I had blueberry)
½ cup salted roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped

To make the CRUST: Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grind the crackers in a food processor until finely ground. Pour in the melted butter and mix to combine. The texture should resemble wet sand.
Firmly press the cracker mixture into the bottom of a greased 9” pie plate. Chill the crust in the freezer or fridge for 10 minutes. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then let cool completely.
Make the FILLING: whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
Using a hand mixer with clean beaters or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix together the cream cheese, peanut butter, and sugar, starting on low speed and increasing the speed until the ingredients are fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the whipped cream to the mixture and mix again until just combined.
Put the cooled pie crust on a baking sheet. Spread the peanut butter filling into the crust. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to allow it to set up.
Make the TOPPING: heat the jam in a small saucepan over high heat until it just starts to boil. Let it cool slightly, then pour it over the peanut butter filling. Return it to the fridge to set up and chill. Before serving, garnish the top evenly with the peanuts. Serve cold for best results.

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie

One of my favorite pies on this planet is Key Lime Pie, but over the weekend, I was harshly reminded of why I rarely ever make one. I once again completely see why so many published recipes for this pie advocate for using regular limes with a vehement lack of apology. Key limes are a real pain in the butt.

Key Lime Pie

This recipe needs ¾ cup of key lime juice, and at first I decided I would be Rambo or something and just juice all those limes with a handheld reamer. One of those teeny limes slipped out of my fingers as I was squeezing it, flew across the kitchen and knocked over the measuring up of almost ¼ cup of already-juiced lime juice. I was not impressed.

Key limes

So I busted out the stand mixer juicer attachment, and things went much more smoothly from that point. I eventually got my juice and baked the pie. One bite in, and I was reminded of why I went to all this hassle. So. Incredibly. Worth it.

Key Lime Pie

Sweet and tart, with a perfect custard texture and the slight crunch of the graham cracker crust, this pie is just perfect in my book. This particular recipe is a classic version, but expertly done. It turned out, well, perfect. Enjoy!

Key Lime Pie

Source: slightly adapted from First Prize Pies by Allison Kave

1 ½ – 2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
6-8 tbs unsalted butter, melted
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
¾ cup Key lime juice
4 large egg yolks
Zest of 3 Key limes
¼ tsp salt
Whipped cream, for topping (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Grease a 9” pie plate, then pat the graham cracker crumb mixture into the pie plate and up the sides. Chill the crust for 15 minutes. Bake for 10 minutes, then allow to cool completely.
In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, lime juice, yolks, lime zest, and salt until fully blended.
Place the pie crust on a baking sheet. Pour the filling into the crust and bake 30-40 minutes, until the filling has just set and the custard is smooth and not browned. Remove the pie to a wire rack to cool at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before refrigerating. Serve sliced topped with whipped cream, if desired.

Apple Cider Cream Pie

Apple Cider Cream Pie 6178

Alright, y’all – Thanksgiving is one week from today!! Are you ready? I am, but that is because I’m being super, super lazy and hedonistic about Turkey Day this year. Not only am I not hosting, I’m not even bringing anything besides wine. Admittedly, that’s not like me, but it’s all because Matt and I are on vacation as we speak, spending a week in Buenos Aires, Argentina and won’t get back until the day before T’Giving, and then we will show up to dinner jet-lagged. Matt’s family is so lucky to have us as guests. [HA!]

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Apple Cider Cream Pie 6158

But for everyone else being much more productive and responsible Thanksgiving citizens, I’ve got another pie idea for your dessert table. This is for all of you who are sick of the usual pecanpumpkin-sweet potato-apple suspects and want to shake things up a little, while still remaining true to the season and its flavors.

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Apple cider!!! It’s not just for cakes and doughnuts anymore. Once you taste your first bite, you too will conclude that it’s quite at home in a pie. That said, make sure you get a high quality cider to use here. You’re reducing it down and concentrating the flavor, not boozing it up and drinking it, so quality really matters and people will notice if you cheat. The apple cider really shines through.

Apple Cider Cream pie 6212

And it’s a delicious pie. Its flavor is somewhat lighter than that of pumpkin or sweet potato pies, but when it comes to warmth and earthiness, this pie can play with the big boys. The warm spices are perfectly balanced with the almost tanginess of the cider and the tart apple flavor. Your guests will go crazy for it. Enjoy!

Apple Cider Cream Pie 6219

{One Year Ago: Cranberry Chiffon Pie, Truffle Butter Roast Turkey}
{Two Years Ago: Stuffing Bruschetta}

Source: slightly adapted from First Prize Pies by Allison Kave

Pie dough for 1 (9-inch) pie
1 ½ cups cloudy, organic apple cider
4 large eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup sour cream
¼ tsp salt
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbs confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra for sprinkling

Preheat your oven to 425 F. Grease a 9” pie plate. On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out your pie dough to about 11-12 inches in diameter. Transfer the dough to your prepared pie plate. Tuck the overhang under and crimp decoratively. Let it chill in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. Line the bottom and sides with a piece of parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Blind bake the crust for 20 minutes, until partially baked, then remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
While the pie crust is cooling, prepare the apple cider. Pour the apple cider into a small saucepan and boil over high heat until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. You need ¾ cup reduced cider. Let it cool completely.
When the crust and cider reduction have cooled, it’s time to actually bake your pie. Preheat your oven to 350 F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, sour cream and salt until fully incorporated. Slowly drizzle in the reduced cider and whisk to fully incorporate.
Place the pie crust on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour the filling into the crust and bake about 50 minutes (you may need less time, so start checking earlier), until the filling has just set. The edges should be set firmly and the center should be jiggly but not liquidy. Remove the pie to a wire rack and cool completely.
Once the pie has cooled and is ready to serve, make the topping. In a large bowl, using your stand mixer, hand mixer or a whisk by hand, whip the cream with the sugar and cinnamon until stiff peaks form. Pile the cream on top of the cooled pie and sprinkle with a dash more ground cinnamon. Slice into wedges and serve.

Sorghum Marshmallow Topped Sweet Potato Pie

Sorghum Marshmallow Topped Sweet Potato Pie 6251

Where I hail from, Thanksgiving tables see more of sweet potato pie than pumpkin pies, and the fact that I preferred pumpkin pie left me in something of a minority within my extended family. Preferred is actually a bit of an understatement; insisted might be more accurate? Since sweet potatoes are classified as vegetables – ugh, the horror – I typically refused to even try a bite of sweet potato pie. Never mind, of course, that pumpkin is also – horror of horrors – a vegetable.

Sorghum Marshmallow topped sweet potato pie 6220

Somewhere in my mid-twenties I realized my stupidity, not to mention complete hypocrisy, and baked myself a sweet potato pie to try. I think it was July. No matter! The important thing is,  I took one bite and realized further how utterly moronic I’d been for so long, as sweet potato and pumpkin pies are extremely similar. They are about identical in texture and creaminess, with sweet potato pie being a slightly darker color, slightly less sweet, and having a little more intensity of flavor than pumpkin pie.

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I completely understand the appeal! Fortunately I now count myself among sweet potato pie’s legions of fans, and I knew I wanted to finally share one on my blog this Thanksgiving season. So then the question became, do I make the classic with just whipped cream, or something beyond that?

Sorghum Marshmallow Topped Sweet Potato Pie 6249

Then I got to thinking about that traditional side dish/dessert/I-don’t-know-what-the-heck-it-is,-even marshmallow-topped sweet potato dish; the one I’ve never liked or even understood, and frankly still don’t. But it got the idea of marshmallows on top stuck in my head, and I thought, yeah I could make marshmallows from scratch myself, and then I thought more about sweet potato pie being from the South and I remembered seeing a Lee Brothers recipe for sorghum marshmallows and at that point it was all over. I’m making sorghum marshmallows and topping a sweet potato pie with them!!! And of course blasting them with a blowtorch to toast them!

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Sorghum Marshmallow Topped Sweet Potato Pie 6269

And here it is. It’s truly one of the best pies I’ve ever tasted. There is such a vast difference between homemade and store-bought marshmallows they hardly resemble each other, and yes, of course homemade is far superior. They lack chemical stabilizers, so when you hit them with the high heat from the broiler or blowtorch, they run all over the pie’s surface. Embrace it. It’s a lovely thing. As is this whole pie! Enjoy!!

Sorghum Marshmallow Topped Sweet potato pie 6278

{Two Years Ago: Green Bean Casserole}

Source: marshmallows and pie adapted from First Prize Pies by Allison Kave


1 tbs unflavored gelatin
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup sorghum syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Pie dough for 1 (9-inch) pie
1 lb. sweet potatoes
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 large egg
2 tbs all-purpose flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp salt
2 tbs bourbon
½ cup whole milk
½ cup heavy cream

First, make the MARSHMALLOWS:
In the bowl of your stand mixer, add 2/3 cup lukewarm water, then sprinkle the gelatin over the water. Fit the stand mixer with the whisk attachment.
In a large, clean, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, sorghum syrup and another 2/3 cup water. Cook the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring only at the beginning to dissolve the sugar, and boil it until a candy thermometer registers 250-260 F.
When the sugar is close to reaching this stage, turn on the stand mixer to low and let it incorporate the softened gelatin and water. Once the sugar mixture has reached the appropriate temperature, make sure the mixer is on low speed, then carefully pour the hot syrup in a steady stream into the gelatin while mixing. Try to avoid the sides of the bowl and aim for the space between the beater and the side. When all of the syrup has been poured in, gradually increase the speed to high (but gradually, to avoid being splashed) and continue to beat until the mixture is very thick and has tripled in volume, about 5 to 10 minutes. Visual cues work well here – it will look like marshmallow fluff when it’s ready.
Grease an 8×8” glass baking dish and pour in the marshmallow mixture. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap doesn’t touch the surface of the marshmallows. Let it set up, either at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Mine took around 8 hours to completely set up; if you can’t or don’t want to wait that long, you can spoon the marshmallow fluff into a pastry bag and pipe it onto the pie, then hit it with the blowtorch as directed.
Make the PIE: Preheat your oven to 425 F. Grease a 9” pie plate. On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to a circle 11-12 inches in diameter. Transfer the dough to the prepared pie plate. Tuck the overhang under and crimp the edges decoratively. Chill in the refrigerator while the oven fully preheats.
Place the pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Blind bake until partially baked, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Keep the oven at 425 F. With the skin on, prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork. Put them on a lightly greased oven-safe baking dish and roast about 45 minutes, until a paring knife can be inserted into the thickest part with no resistance. Allow the potatoes to cool, then split them in half and scoop the flesh out into the bowl of your food processor. Discard the skins.
To the food processor, add the brown sugar and maple syrup. Puree until smooth. Add the egg and puree again. With the processor running, add the flour, cinnamon, ginger and salt, followed by the bourbon, milk, and finally the cream. Process the cream until just combined as you do not want to whip it.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Pour the filling into the cooled crust. Bake in the center of the oven for 40-50 minutes, until the edges are set and the center is still a little wobbly, like Jello.
Allow the pie to come to room temperature before adding the marshmallows.
Run a sharp paring knife around the edges of the marshmallows and tip them out onto a clean work surface. Cut them into squares, about the size of store-bought large marshmallows. Use a large, sharp knife for this.
Grease your hands lightly with cooking spray, then transfer the squares to the top of the pie. Wash your hands thoroughly, then use a blowtorch to char and brown the tops of the marshmallows. They will start to melt and run onto the pie. This is not a bad thing. For best results, let the pie firm up in the refrigerator at least a couple hours and up to overnight. Oh, and you will have leftover marshmallows. This is not a bad thing.

Watermelon Cream Pie

Watermelon Cream Pie 086

Yes, you read the title of this recipe correctly, which means that yes, you can put watermelon in a pie! It was a new concept for me too. I was thrilled when it worked so beautifully, and just had to text my sister to let her know of my ultimate pie feat, but expectedly I received a text back from her something along the lines of, “Um, seriously? How does that even work?”

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Well, I’ll tell ya’! It’s actually something of a chiffon pie. The original recipe isn’t technically chiffon, but mine wasn’t setting up, and I couldn’t bear to throw in the towel, so I added gelatin and then it set, and it was still uber delicious, so we’re going with it.

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But yes, you puree the watermelon, strain out the seeds, boil it down with sugar and lime juice, add bloomed gelatin, then pour it into a blind-baked pie crust and sit it in the fridge for a few hours. Top with lightly sweetened whipped cream, then slice and serve the bad boy up to your dumb-founded family and/or guests.

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watermelon Cream pie 087

It would be incredibly perfect for this holiday weekend; I don’t know about you, but July 4th screams watermelon to me. I do think this pie would be very welcome at your shindig. It will travel well, though if you are transporting it, I’d recommend making the whipped cream ahead of time and transferring it to a kitchen storage container and then assembling the pie right before serving it. I hope y’all enjoy this one!

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{One Year Ago: Chocolate and Salty Peanut Butter Chunk Ice Cream}

Source: adapted, a little bit, from First Prize Pies by Allison Kave

1 9” pie crust, blind-baked and cooled
6 cups cubed seedless watermelon (about 60% of a baby watermelon)
¼ cup cornstarch
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 packet unflavored gelatin
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbs powdered sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Puree the watermelon chunks in a blender until smooth. Strain the puree through a fine-mesh sieve into a large measuring cup. Use a rubber spatula to push on the solids to extract as much juice as possible. You should have 4 cups. Discard the solids.
Ladle out ¼ cup of the puree into a small bowl. Whisk in the cornstarch and set aside.
Pour the remaining watermelon puree into a medium saucepan. Add the sugar, lime juice and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil. When it is boiling, whisk the cornstarch mixture once more to make sure it’s smooth, then pour that into the boiling pot. Lower the heat and simmer for about  7-10 minutes, until it is reduced somewhat and can coat the back of a spoon. While the puree is simmering, add the gelatin to 3 tbs cold water. Let sit 5 minutes.
When the watermelon puree mixture has done its time in the simmering pot, add the gelatin and whisk to combine. Once smooth, pour the filling into the waiting pie crust. Place the pie onto a plate or baking sheet. Carefully transfer it to the refrigerator and let it set up, uncovered, for about 4-5 hours.
Make the topping. In a stand mixer, or in a bowl with a hand mixer, whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the top of the pie, but not until right before serving. Slice and serve. Keep leftovers refrigerated, covered in plastic wrap.

Nutella Pie

nutella pie

Who doesn’t love Nutella? Though I’ve heard rumors of a class of persons who dislike this beautiful stuff, I’m certainly not aware of anyone that I know personally who is of that species falls into that camp.

Nutella pie

Matt introduced me to Nutella when we began dating; when we met I actually hadn’t heard of it (gasp!), and I think he might have actually rethought things between us had I disliked it. No worries though, I’m now a fiend!

Nutella pie

In other related news, I picked up a brand new, just off the presses cookbook last week – First Prize Pies by Allison Kave. I couldn’t help it, y’all. It’s a wonderful book, and when I flipped through and saw her recipe for Nutella Pie, I knew that what to make first had already been decided.

Nutella Pie

Nutella Pie

So I made it; we ate it; we loved it! I think you should know, this pie is quite rich. You only need a small slice to satisfy your dessert craving. Also, the recipe says to let it set up for 1 hour, and that’s fine, but if you want it set up completely, best to leave it overnight. And, that’s it! Enjoy this one, all you Nutella loving compatriots!

Nutella pie

Nutella Pie

{One year ago: Cranberry Orange Waffles}

Source: slightly adapted from First Prize Pies by Allison Kave

1 ½ cups (175 grams) finely ground chocolate cookie crumbs, from chocolate wafer cookies
6 tbs unsalted butter, melted

2 cups Nutella
1 ½ cups mascarpone cheese, or cream cheese, or a combination of both, at room temperature
¼ tsp kosher salt
½ cup chopped toasted hazelnuts

First make the crust. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Add the melted butter to the cookie crumbs and stir to mix thoroughly. The mixture should feel like wet sand.
Grease a 9” regular (not deep-dish) pie plate and dump the cookie crumbs onto the plate. Using your hands, press the crumbs into an even layer on the bottom and up the sides of the plate. Chill for 15 minutes. Then bake the crust for 10 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove and allow to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the pie filling. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer (or in the bowl of a stand mixer using a whisk attachment), beat together the Nutella, mascarpone, and salt until light and fluffy. Spread the filling into the cooled pie shell, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
When ready to serve, sprinkle the hazelnuts across the pie. Slice into wedges and serve. Keep any leftovers in the refrigerator.