“Easy Peasy” Chocolate Cream Pie with Perfect Pie Crust for Your Sweetie!

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The secret to this recipe is the Martha Stewart Perfect Pie Crust.

You may not have a pre made crust on hand but you most certainly have flour, butter and water!

The recipe is so easy and so delicious you’ll have a fresh homemade pie in no time.

This recipe makes two crusts. Freeze one for a quickie treat later!

Makes 1 double-crust for a 9-inch pie

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons margarine or chilled vegetable shortening
1/4 cup ice water


1.Hand Method: In a large bowl, sift the flour and salt. Cut the chilled butter and margarine into 1-tablespoon bits and add to the flour. With a pastry cutter, work flour and shortening together until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the ice water little by little pressing the pastry together into a ball. Wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.

2.It is very important to work the pastry as little as possible. Don’t overhandle. A secret to light, flaky pastry is to keep the mixture cool, add as little water as possible, and mix only as much as necessary.

3.Food Processor Method: Put flour and salt in bowl of machine. Cut butter and margarine into flour. Process a few seconds until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drop by drop add the water, processing very briefly. The whole process would take 20 to 30 seconds. Wrap and chill the pastry for at least 1 hour.

4.If pastry has been chilled for a long time, let it sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before rolling.

5.Lightly flour a pastry board, marble counter, or kitchen counter. Divide the pastry in half. Pat each piece of pastry into a flat round. Lightly flour the rolling pin. Roll pastry in one direction only, turning pastry continually to prevent it from sticking to the surface.

6.Using pie plate as a guide, measure rolled-out pastry — it should be slightly larger than the pie plate and 1-8-inch thick. Fold rolled pastry circle in half so you can lift it more easily. Unfold, gently fitting the pastry into the pie plate, allowing pastry to hang evenly over the edge. Do not trim the pastry yet.

7.Fill the pie with filling. Then roll out the second crust in the same manner as for the bottom. Fold circle in half and with a sharp, pointed knife cut little vents in a decorative pattern. Place folded pastry on one half the pie. Unfold, pressing top and bottom pastry together. Trim edges with scissors, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold bottom pastry overhang over top and press firmly to seal. Crimp rim, using fingers or the tines of a fork.

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Roll out the crust.

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Make it look pretty.

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As for the filling I just used what I had on hand and got fancy!

I created layers by mixing some whipped cream with some pudding but you could just as easily do a layer of pudding; I used instant chocolate, and whipped cream; I made my own!

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Whipped cream.

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First layer of chocolate pudding.

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Mix some whipped cream with chocolate pudding for a special layer of creamy yumminess!

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I dusted with cocoa for effect!

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Fun for two!

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Ricotta Cheese Cake with Lemon Zest and Honey! Light and Delicious!

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My grandmother used to make a Farmer’s cheese or cottage cheesecake when I was growing up.

It was her “not fancy”, always good with a cup of coffee, cake.

I have yet to try these versions but decided to start first with ricotta cheese since that was what I had in my fridge!

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This cake was wonderful and whipping the egg whites makes it especially light and delicious.

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Lemon zest or even lavender is a lovely flavor note.

I plan to experiment with herbs and other flavors such as almond, orange or even rose.

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I used a 9 inch spring form pan for this recipe.

I also used Nilla Wafers with pecans and butter for the crust.

I ballparked the amount for the 9 inch pan.

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6 Large eggs
2/3 cups sugar
2 tspn vanilla
2 15 oz containers whole milk ricotta cheese
2 tspn grated lemon zest


Preheat oven to 325 fahrenheit

seperate eggs

place yolks in mixer

and sugar and vanilla to yolks in mixer

Add ricotta cheese and zest and mix for 30 seconds

Beat egg whites until stiff

fold into the ricotta cheese mixture

pour mixture into greased pan

Bake until golden, approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Let cool at least 6 hours before serving

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I serve this was honey!

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Lemon Meringue Love

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My eldest daughter loves lemon meringue pie. She has always loved this pie, even as an infant should would shovel the filling into her mouth and grab hunks of crust in her cherubic hands and gnaw on them with pure delight. I would make it just to watch her eat it!

For every holiday or special event we make this pie for her. She is fantastic at helping in the kitchen and is perfecting her pie crust making skills.

I made this big pie doubling the original recipe which seems just a bit too skimpy given how delicious this pie truly is. I make each batch separately and blend them together to fill the pie. I have never had very good luck making the filling at double the volume. It never seems to mix very smoothly or to thicken very evenly.

I only ever use the Perfect Pie Crust from Martha Stewart as follows:

Perfect Pie Crust:
Adapted from Martha Stewart
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
15 tablespoons unsalted butter (or 12 tablespoons plus 3 tablespoons margarine or chilled vegetable shortening)
¼ cup ice water

Put the flour and salt into the bowl of the machine. Cut the butter (shortening) into the flour. Process a few seconds until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Drop by drop add water, process a bit more. The whole procedure should take 20-30 seconds. Wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.

Lightly flour a work surface. Divide the pastry in half. Pat each half into a flat round. Lightly flour a rolling pin. Roll pastry in one direction only, to 1/8 inch thick, turning the
pastry to prevent it from sticking to the surface. Using your pie plate, measure the rolled out pastry-it should be slightly larger than the plate. Fold it in half so that you can lift it easily. Unfold, gently fitting the pastry into the pie plate, allowing it to hang evenly over the edges. Don’t trim off the excess just yet.

This is where I make the edge. I fold over the excess and create a nice thick crust and form the best decorative finish that I can manage. (Again, I am not a baker) Then gently poke holes with a fork to prevent bubbling.

I bake this at 425 degrees fahrenheit for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Turn oven down to 350 degrees.

Now you are ready to add the filling.

HINT: Make the filling while the pie shell is cooking.

Lemon Pie Filling Recipe:
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2-3 tsp fresh lemon peel or zest, grated
4 large egg yolks, beaten
3 Tbsp butter

Blend sugar, cornstarch and salt together in saucepan.
Add water, lemon juice, lemon zest and beaten egg yolks and bring to a boil on low-medium heat, stirring and whisking often. Do not allow it to stick to the bottom of the pan or burn.
Continue to simmer until filling is thick, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and without stirring, let butter melt on top of filling.
After the butter melts, stir in.
Pour into the cooked pie shell.

Meringue Recipe:
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg whites

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
With a high-speed mixer, whip egg whites on high until foamy.
While beating, add sugar 1 Tbsp at a time until meringue forms soft peaks.
HINT Egg whites at room temp seem to work best

Lemon Meringue Pie Assembly:
Be sure to pour meringue on the hot lemon filling.
Spread a layer of meringue over the filling and right to the ends of the shell sealing in the filling.
Pile on the remaining meringue and swirl into decorative peaks with a spoon or spatula.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes (more or less, all ovens are different) or until meringue peaks start to brown.
Cool completely before refrigerating. Chill well before serving.


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