Cherry Pie

CherryPie_28505I just wanted to share this pretty cherry pie picture we had on set the other day.  The amazing stylist Karla Spies was preparing it in the studio and I had the pleasure of getting to watch her and see all the trade secrets.  First of all its really a mash potato pie with a layer of cherries on top, so I guess a savory sweet pie.  And the other tip I learned was she made her lattice pie crust on a sheet of wax paper and then put it in the freezer so she could lay the whole top on perfectly. Then let it thaw out and crimp the edges.

It was a thing of beauty, of course those stylist always make it look so easy. Perhaps this will inspire you for those thanksgiving pies that are right around the corner.

thanks Robin


Rhubarb Ginger Maple Pie



The rhubarb patch in the garden is ready for harvest and one of my favorite things to make is pie.  This recipe is sweet and tart, what I like is there is only natural sugar in the pie. It’s made with maple syrup, lemon and ginger.  Very simple ingredients and easy to make. Unknown-1Unknownrhubarcrust_MG_3490


  • rhubarb
  • ginger
  • lemon
  • cinnamon
  • maple syrup
  • butter
  • cornstarch
  • pie dough



Maple Pecan Pie


recipe from Wild Country Maple Syrup

Recently I had the opportunity to do some photography with Wild Country Maple Syrup  working on their new web site which required all kinds of photography. Shooting on site at their maple tree farm and maple syrup facilities in Lutsen MN was a lot of fun.  The beautiful rustic log cabin buildings set in the north woods off of lake superior is inspirational.  The maple syrup is the finest quality.




Fluffernutter Peanut Butter Pie

ReesesPBCupPie_88I decided to share this recipe, since it was such a big hit.  We shot a peanut butter pie in the studio, the stylist made two different recipes and this was the winner. I brought some home and it did not last long. If you are a peanut butter and chocolate fan this is a sweet treat, emphasis on the sweet and rich. We garnished the pie with reeses peanut butter cups and made a graham cracker crust instead of the pie dough. Both sounded like improvements.  This recipe is from the pillsbury web site fluffernutter pie.  I may just have to make this some day for someone special.pie recipe

styled by Barb Standal

Grasshopper Pie for Easter

GrasshoperPiedaff peeps2A Grasshopper Pie a slice of spring for Easter.  This pie is a classic you don’t see around as much as we did when we were kids. So why not be retro and whip up a minty fluffy pie for the holidays?  As a kid it was a big treat to order a Grasshopper at the restaurant, still one of my favorites.  (can u still order those for kids theses days?) Especially when you are at a swanky supper club in the middle of rural mid-west america. And any excuse to buy a bottle of creme de menthe. This pie is one big flash back…good times

For the crust

  • 1 1/2 cups fine chocolate wafer crumbs (about 30 wafers)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 1 1/3 cups well-chilled heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup green crème de menthe
  • 1/4 cup white crème de cacao
  • 4 large egg yolks

Make the crust:
In a bowl stir together the wafer crumbs, the sugar, and the butter until the mixture is combined well, pat the mixture onto the bottom and up the side of a buttered 9-inch pie plate, and bake the crust in the middle of a preheated 450°F. oven for 5 minutes. Let the crust cool.

Make the filling:
In a metal bowl mix in the gelatin with a 1/3 cup of the cream and let it soften for 5 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, the crème de menthe, the crème de cacao, and the egg yolks, set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, and cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until it registers 160°F. on a candy thermometer. Transfer the bowl to a larger bowl of ice and cold water and stir the mixture until it is cooled and thickened. In another bowl beat the remaining 1 cup cream until it holds stiff peaks and fold it into the crème de menthe mixture thoroughly.

Pour the filling into the crust and chill the pie for 4 hours, or until is set. Dollop with whipped cream and sprinkle the pie with the chocolate cookie crumbs.

recipe from epicurious

food stylist: Barb Standal and Karla Spies

Lemon Meringue Pie

LemonMerenguePiev2LemonMerenguePieWe were shooting a lemon meringue pie this week at the photo studio and I wanted to share with you this beautiful pie that the food stylist Barb Standal created.  I wish I could say I could bake such a well crafted crust and wield a lovely swirl top, but I can only admire the skills of Barb.  I did get to be a part of the Meringue testing that took place a few days before the photo shoot, they tested four different meringue recipes to test how they performed when baked. So of course we had to do a taste test along the way. One was too sweet, one was too saggy, one was too eggy and one was just right. I will share with you the recipe of the winner..Cuz Betty know’s best.  The winner was no other than the classic Betty Crocker.  Hopefully this might inspire you to bake this beautiful pie a nice treat.

Cool update Star Tribune story on Lemon Meringue:

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  • 1: Heat oven to 450°F. Make pie crust as directed on box for One-Crust Baked Shell using 9-inch glass pie pan. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  • 2: Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, mix 1 1/4 cups sugar, the cornstarch and salt. Gradually stir in cold water until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  • 3: In small bowl, beat egg yolks with fork. Stir about 1/4 cup of hot mixture into egg yolks. Gradually stir yolk mixture into hot mixture. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • 4: Remove from heat. Stir in butter, lemon peel and lemon juice. Cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Pour into cooled baked shell.
  • 5: Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. In small deep bowl with electric mixer, beat egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla on medium speed about 1 minute or until soft peaks form. On high speed, gradually beat in sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until stiff glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Spoon meringue onto hot filling; spread to edge of crust to seal well and prevent shrinkage.
  • 6: Bake at 350°F 12 to 15 minutes or until meringue is light golden brown. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Refrigerate until filling is set, about 3 hours. Store in refrigerator.
  • FYI:  Eggs separate most easily when they are cold, but the whites will whip best at room temperature. To take off the chill, set the bowl of whites into a larger pan filled with warm water.


Egg Potato Pie for Brunch

Hosting a brunch I always look for a one dish recipe. I like the egg bakes with the potatoes, cheese and eggs all baked together in one dish. So when I saw this recipe I had to try it, if not just for the pretty puff pastry and egg on top of the dish. You just layer up all the ingredients and crack the whole eggs on top and pop in the oven. The first time I made it the potatoes were slightly under cooked, so the second attempt I pre-cooked them for about seven minutes in the microwave. I’ve had one comment that it would be good served with some hollandaise sauce on it, sounds tasty to me, just add a few hundred calories. Never made a hollandaise sauce, perhaps next time. It’s a very pretty egg potato pie, serve with a fruit salad and a glass of mimosa. cheers


recipe from sweet paul magazine

Pecan Pie

Thanksgiving was last weekend, which means lots of baking and over eating. Everyone brings their homemade recipes to share. I have been known as the desert girl for many years. This year my mother in-law made this awesome Pecan Pie.  I got to watch and snap a few pictures.  The part I enjoyed the most about this pie was all the chopped up pecans in the pie filling. She demonstrated the crimping of the crust and the careful placement of the pecans on top. It was as tasty as it was pretty. I was doing pretty good, didn’t go for seconds. But when it came to desert that was all I had left in me. It was delicious.

A friend just sent me this link…. now I want some more pecan pie- love it


Pecan Pie Recipe


  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1/2 recipe pie dough
  • 2 1/2 cups pecan halves
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Whipped cream, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a lightly floured board, roll out the pastry to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Place the pastry in a 9-inch pie plate that has been set on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and press it into the bottom edges and along the sides. Trim the pastry using scissors or a sharp paring knife. Crimp or decorate the edges of the pastry, if desired. Transfer to freezer until firm, about 15 minutes.
  2. Coarsely chop 1 1/4 cups pecans; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine eggs granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Whisk to combine. Add dark and light corn syrups, butter, bourbon, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until well combined. Add chopped pecans, and stir to combine. Pour into prepared crust.
  3. Arrange remaining 1 1/4 cups pecan halves decoratively over top of pie. Bake on a Silpat-lined baking sheet until crust is golden, filling is firm, and a cake tester inserted in center of pie comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Cool completely before slicing. Serve with whipped cream.

Pie Dough


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons ice water


  1. Pulse flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor until combined. Add butter, and process until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. With the machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream until mixture just begins to hold together.
  2. Shape dough into 2 disks. Wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate 1 hour to 2 days

Apple Ginger Pie with Cider-Bourban Sauce

When I think of pie, I think my aunt’s thanksgiving pies.  Lined up on grandma’s counter tempting me all evening till dessert.  There was always several to choose from, the classic pumpkin, apple and perhaps a banana cream pie. My aunt makes the best pie crusts they are flakey salty and sweet.  I try to duplicate her recipe but it never seems to come out as good. And I have not mastered the rolling out the dough nice and even.  I did just read a recent tip of rolling out the crust between two pieces of plastic wrap, I will have to try this next time.  I found this classic apple recipe, I have to be honest it had me at Cider-Bourban Sauce. A nice warm slice of apple pie with some sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. mmmm What else says Fall.

  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/3 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening
  • 7 tablespoons sour cream


  • 3 pounds Pippin apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • Milk
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla ice cream

Cider-Bourbon Sauce

  • 5 cups apple cider
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon

For Crust :
Mix flour, sugar, salt and apple pie spice in processor. Add butter and shortening and cut in until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add sour cream and blend in using on/off turns just until dough forms. Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface. Divide in half. Form each half into a ball; flatten into disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.

For Filling:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss first 6 ingredients together in bowl.

Roll out 1 dough disk between sheets of plastic wrap to 13-inch round. Peel off top sheet; invert dough into 9 1/2-inch deep-dish glass pie dish. Peel off plastic. Roll out remaining dough disk between sheets of plastic wrap to 13-inch round. Peel off top sheet of plastic. Mound filling in pie dish. Invert dough over filling. Peel off plastic. Pinch edges of dough to seal. Trim excess crust. Crimp edges decoratively. Cut 5 slashes in top of dough to allow steam to escape. Brush top with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until golden brown, covering with foil if browning too quickly, about 1 hour.

Let pie stand until just slightly warm, about 1 hour. Serve pie with ice cream and Cider-Bourbon Sauce.

For the cider-bourbon sauce:
Boil apple cider in heavy medium saucepan until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 45 minutes. Add butter and sugar and whisk until butter melts. Boil 3 minutes, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat. Whisk in bourbon. Cool sauce completely before serving.

The left over pie crust makes a yummy crust crisp. Melt some butter, smooth over rolled out crust sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and bake till flakey.  Enjoy

Apple slice styled by food stylist Barb Standal.