Morello Cherry Pie

This recipe for a juicy, easy-to-throw-together cherry pie concludes my countdown of thirty recipes for July Fourth! I couldn’t resist the jar of dark Morello cherries at Trader Joe’s and they were delicious baked into a pie.  Add some vanilla ice-cream and some blueberries and you’ve got the perfect American, red, white and blue Fourth of July dessert.  I used pre-made pie crusts and cut the top into a lattice design based on the instructions here.

  You can find all of my cookout inspired July Fourth recipes here.

What to buy:

  • 2 pie crusts
  • 2 cups drained cherries, juice reserved (I used Morello from Trader Joes)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca
  • pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup juice (reserved from cherries)

What to do:

  • preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • mix together cherries, sugar, cornstarch, salt and juice
  • pour into the pie shell and over with top crust
  • bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until crust is golden and filling is bubbling and serve warm




Smores Brownie Pie

Smores Brownie Pie, recipe number twenty-three in my countdown of thirty cookout recipes, screams summer and the Fourth of July.  It’s made up of a graham cracker crust, a brownie layer topped with Hershey’s chocolate bars and finally a marshmallow layer.

What to buy:

for the crust:

  • 12 graham crackers or approximately 1 and 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup sugar

for the brownie layer:

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 Hershey’s chocolate bars
  • 20-25 marshmallows

What to do:

to make the crust:

  • using a food processor or blender, pulverize graham crackers into fine crumbs
  • pour crumbs into a medium bowl and mix with melted butter and sugar
  • press into an ungreased 9 inch pie dish

to make the brownie layer:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • mix oil and sugar until well blended
  • add eggs and vanilla; stir until blended
  • mix all dry ingredients in a separate bowl
  • stir dry ingredients into the oil mixture
  • pour into graham cracker crust
  • top with hershey bar pieces
  • bake for 20 minutes or until the middle is beginning to set
  • remove from the oven and top with marshmallows
  • return to the oven and continue to bake for an additional 3 minutes to melt the marshmallows
  • remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before slicing.
  • serve at room temperature or reheated slightly if you like for 20-30 seconds in the microwave





Frozen Biscoff Pie with a Graham Cracker-Biscoff Crust


hello friend

Biscoff is a nut-free spread made from Lotus Speculoos (Biscoff) cookies (yes, the kind you get on Delta flights) that has the consistency of creamy peanut butter and the sweetness you’d expect from something made from cookies.  It’s delicious and perfect for recipes like this one where it features in every layer.  I adapted my recipe from Dorothy’s at Crazy for Crust, omitting the white chocolate and using whipped cream instead of Cool-Whip in my filling and topping.  Real whipped cream worked great and didn’t add that much time to the recipe.

Biscoff in every frozen bite=perfection.

This recipe is number thirteen in my countdown of thirty recipes to feed your family and friends this July 4th.  You can find all of the recipes here.

What to buy:

for the crust:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons Biscoff
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs

for the filling:

  • 1/2 cup Biscoff
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups whipped cream

for the topping:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups whipped cream

for the swirl:

  • 1 tablespoon Biscoff

What to do:

to make crust:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • melt butter and Biscoff in a microwave safe bowl for about 30 seconds, stir until smooth
  • stir in graham cracker crumbs and press mixture into a pie plate (crust will be thick)
  • bake for 8-10 minutes until the crust begins to set

to make filling/topping:

  • place 1/2 cup Biscoff in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 20 seconds
  • stir in sweetened condensed milk and 2 cups whipped cream
  • pour mixture into prepared crust
  • top with 1 and 1/2 cups whipped cream
  • melt 1-2 tablespoons Biscoff in microwave and with a spoon or sealable sandwich bag with one corner snipped, pipe as desired onto the top of the pie
  • freeze pie for at least 4 hours or overnight before slicing





Apple Crumble Pie

“I’m more American than apple pie. I’m like apple pie, with a hot dog in it.” Stephen Colbert

I liked the black and blue pie crisp I posted last week so much I decided to make another pie this week that is very similar with a crust on the bottom and a crumble on top.  I’ve had a serious sweet tooth lately (can you tell: Irresistible Baked Smores Bars) and as a result, was a little apprehensive going into my glucola gestational diabetes test on Monday.  I’m happy to report that my levels were all normal so bring on the pie in the third trimester!!

Apple pie is appropriate anytime, especially on the Fourth of July with vanilla ice-cream so this is fittingly number seven of my thirty recipes for the Fourth of July.    I recommend using Granny Smith apples as their tartness tempers the sweetness of the sugary crumble topping and they hold up well during baking.  If you want to make your pie truly decadent here is Nigella’s recipe for salted caramel sauce that would pair perfectly with vanilla ice cream.

And finally, one more pie quote because I can’t resist: “Pie is the food of the heroic. No pie eating nation can ever be vanquished.” NY Times

DSC_0920What to buy:

  • one pie crust

for the filling:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 pounds sliced and peeled Granny Smith apples
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

for the topping:

  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

What to do:

  • preheat oven to 375

to prepare filling:

  • melt butter in a skillet over medium high heat
  • add brown sugar, apples and cinnamon to butter and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally (breathe in that amazing smell)
  • remove from heat; stir in 3 tablespoons flour and lemon juice and spoon into crust

to prepare topping:

  • combine flour, brown sugar and vanilla, cut in 2 tablespoons butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal
  • sprinkle over apples in crust and bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until apples are tender






Black and Blue Pie Crisp

June is almost here and it is certainly feeling like summer in NC.  Memorial Day always kicks off the summer for me and I’m happily in the summer mindset now as far as cooking goes.

Last November, after the excitement of our wedding and honeymoon in October, I needed a cooking project to motivate me in the kitchen and to hopefully inspire some readers’ Thanksgiving menus so I decided to cook my way through the mostly Thanksgiving themed November issue of Food Network magazine.   I named this endeavor Thirty for Thanksgiving and made some great recipes that you can find here.  I’ve decided to undertake a similar project this June in the lead-up to July Fourth.  I’m ever-so-originally calling this Thirty for July Fourth and I’ll be drawing on recipes from the May and June issues of Food Network magazine as well as my original recipes.  I hope to find some great food for my Fourth of July feast and to share some recipes you might want to make for your family.

Today I’m kicking things off on a sweet note with a double berry crisp-pie hybrid.  In my opinion it’s hard to beat a homemade pie but one of my sisters is firmly pro-crisp, as she thinks they’re less hassle to make and most importantly, taste better than pie.  So, I’ve married the two and this dessert is two in one, a pie on the bottom and a crisp on top to please everyone.  I simplified things with a store-bought pie crust but by all means make your own if you like!

What to buy:

  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pie crust
  • optional toppings:  vanilla ice-cream or whipped cream, strawberries

for the top crust

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into small pieces

What to do:

  • preheat oven to 350
  • toss berries with sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon
  • add berries to pie crust
  • mix top crust ingredients with an electric mixer or pastry cutter until small balls form and add to the top of berries
  • place pie on a cookie sheet (in case it bubbles over) and bake for 1 hour or until pie is bubbling and topping is golden brown
  • serve warm topped with vanilla ice-cream or whipped cream and strawberries for a red, white and blue dessert (it is also great at room temperature and can be kept in the fridge for days)








Apple and Blueberry Hand Pies

I often use frozen berries in smoothies and in baking so I jumped at the chance when Wyman’s of Maine asked me to try their frozen blueberries in a Sally Cooks recipe.

I was having a few friends for dinner so I decided to make individual apple and blueberry pies for dessert.  I experimented with a few different ways of making the pies.  My first attempt sprung from a Pinterest image but didn’t work out very well.  I cored two apples, drizzled the inside with lemon juice to prevent browning and sprinkled a filling of brown sugar, spices and oats inside.


Then I mummified the apples with pre-made pastry dough, using half a pie crust on each apple.  DSC_0231

I baked them until the dough was golden brown and while they smelled wonderful, I wasn’t thrilled with the results. The apples didn’t bake all the way through so they had a uneven texture and mushiness.  The pastry flaked off the apples when I cut them which would make serving difficult and a whole apple plus half a piecrust worth of dough made for a too large serving size.


So, the following recipe is my second attempt which allows you to use frozen blueberries and to make serving size smaller. Again I used pre-made pie crusts but feel free to roll out your own pasty dough.  You’ll see from my pictures that I tried a few different ways of folding my hand pies but I think a triangle shape worked best.DSC_0222

I served the bubbling fruity hand pies with vanilla ice-cream and an oat crumble topping. DSC_0249

DSC_0259They were a big hit and the blueberries couldn’t have tasted sweeter or fresher.   Wyman’s guards against mushy berries by freezing the fruit within 24 hours of harvesting to prevent the slow growth of ice crystals inside, which expand and destroy the cell structure.


Thanks to Wyman’s for the delicious berries!

What to buy:

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 apple, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 pie crusts, chilled (not frozen, if they’re too cold or too warm they’ll be hard to work with)

What to do:

  • preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • in a blender or food processor blend butter, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and salt
  • cut pie crusts into 2 or 3 triangles (depending on how many you’re serving/how big you want the pies to be)
  • spoon apples and/or blueberries onto triangles, sprinkle with oat mixture and fold closed, dough should stick to itself
  • place remaining oat mixture on a lined baking sheet (or you can use the aluminum pie tin as I did) and toast in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes
  • at the same time as oats are toasting, place pies on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake until crust turns golden brown, about 25 minutes
  • serve while still warm with ice cream and sprinkled with toasted oat topping






Chicken Pot Pie with a Biscuit Crust {Happy National Pi Day!}

Happy National Pi Day! To celebrate, Inkling asked me to join in the fun by sharing an original pie recipe along with their two delicious pie related recipes from the Modernist Cuisine at Home cookbook: Flaky Pie Crust and Sous Vide Vanilla-Cinnamon Pastry Cream.

I love sweet pies, especially cherry and apple pie but I decided to go with a savory pie that’s always a favorite: chicken pot pie!

On Wednesday night I had guests over for dinner and served this pie loaded with chicken and vegetables alongside a spinach salad.   I think it’s perfect for a casual dinner party because you can make everything ahead of time and let it cook while you spend time with your guests.  Pot pie is the definition of comfort food and topping with biscuits makes a good thing even better.

I took a shortcut and used canned biscuit dough that you can find in the refrigerator section of your grocery store but you could always roll out your own biscuit dough.  I forgot to take a picture of the finished product during my dinner party but as soon as I make this again I’ll update with a picture!  For now, just imagine flakey golden biscuits on top of a bubbling pie filling!

Happy Friday and Happy Pi Day!

What to buy (serves 5-6)

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1⁄4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1⁄4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup half and half
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3-4 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite-size pieces (I used 4 chicken breasts)
  • 1 can refrigerated flaky-style biscuit dough

What to do:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • melt butter in a skillet and add onion, celery, and carrots, cooking until the celery and carrots are tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • stir in peas, parsley, thyme and flour, stirring for about five minutes as the flour coats the vegetables
  • whisk in chicken broth and half and half, cooking until sauce thickens and bubbles
  • season to taste with salt and pepper
  • transfer the vegetables and sauce into a 2 quart baking pan, add chicken and stir to combine
  • arrange biscuits on top of the pie filling
  • bake until the biscuits are golden brown and the pie filling is bubbling, for about 15 to 20 minutes
  • let rest a few minutes before serving







Frozen Peanut Butter Chocolate Snickers Pie

DSC_0335At the beginning of this month I resolved to cook thirty recipes inspired by the November issue of Food Network Magazine. I hoped to find some great recipes for my family’s Thanksgiving and to share some you might want to make for your family.  I’m excited to share this recipe, number thirty, and the last recipe in my Thirty for Thanksgiving project!!

I wanted to finish with a knock your socks off dessert and this pie delivers! It’s salty and sweet with chocolate and peanut butter, a little bit like a cheesecake with a delicious hint of Snickers bar.

I made a few substitutions to the Food Network recipe including using crunchy peanut butter instead of the creamy, milk in place of heavy cream and chocolate wafers and snickers bars in the crust.  I topped my pie with pumpkin whipped cream, chopped snickers and peanuts and decided to freeze the pie before serving. We loved the creamy, frozen consistency.

I also have to note that Pumpkin Whipped Cream is my new favorite holiday recipe.  It’s perfect for topping your holiday desserts or add a couple spoonfuls to your morning coffee and you’ve got a delicious pumpkin latte without having to make a Starbucks run.

I’ll share a wrap-up with all thirty Thanksgiving recipes tomorrow – thanks, as always, for reading and sharing your comments! Happy cooking!

What to buy:

to make crust:

  • 20-25 chocolate wafers, crushed til they’re fine crumbs
  • 1/4 cup honey roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup snickers bars (10 fun size bars), chopped into small pieces
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

to make filling:

  • 2/3 cup cold milk (I used 2%)
  • 2/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar

What to do:

to make the crust:

  • preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • pour the melted butter over cookie crumbs, stirring to combine
  • press into a pie pan and bake until set, 5 to 7 minutes
  • remove from the oven and allow to cool completely
  • add chopped snickers to the crust

to make the filling:

  • beat the peanut butter, milk and cream cheese until smooth
  • add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth
  • pour the filling into the crust
  • chill for at least an hour before serving or freeze overnight, serve with pumpkin whipped cream, peanuts and chopped snickers or with chocolate shavings and cocoa powder on top






Triple Fruit {Strawberry, Cranberry and Pear} Crisp

This recipe is sweet sixteen in my Thirty for Thanksgiving project where I’m cooking thirty recipes inspired by the November issue of Food Network Magazine and hopefully sharing some that you’ll want to serve for Thanksgiving.  You can find the original Food Network Cranberry Pear Crisp recipe here.

I love fruit crisps because they’re easy to make with fresh or frozen fruit and there is something so comforting about warm oats, fruit, pecans and cinamon topped with vanilla ice-cream.  My sister is the queen of the blueberry crisp in the summer.  You can find her peach blueberry crisp recipe here.

Instead of the pound of cranberries called for in the original, I used 2 cups of strawberries.  I scaled the recipe proportions to make a smaller crisp,; instead of three pears I used one and 1/2 cup of cranberries instead of one cup and so on.  I didn’t peel the pear as specified because the peel doesn’t bother me.  I also used orange juice in place of water.

What to buy (serves 4-5):

  • 2 cups strawberries, frozen is fine
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pear cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted

What to do:

  • preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • combine strawberries, dried cranberries, sugar, 1 tablespoon orange juice and the vanilla and toss to coat
  • add the pears, cinnamon, allspice and 1 tablespoon flour, toss to coat and transfer to small baking dish
  • mix the remaining 1/2 cup flour, pecans, oats, and the salt in a medium bowl, then stir in the melted butter
  • sprinkle topping (which will have small clumps) over the fruit
  • bake until the fruit is bubbling,  about 40 minutes
  • serve warm with vanilla ice-cream or at room temperature






Coconut Pumpkin Pie with a Gingersnap Crust

If you’re new to Sally Cooks (welcome!) and a little background on this month’s posts: I’m putting my November issue of Food Network Magazine to good use, cooking my way through the issue and sharing my results,  hopefully some recipes that would be perfect to serve at your Thanksgiving table in a few weeks.   Coconut Pumpkin Pie is the fifteenth recipe so far and like the first recipe I shared, Pumpkin Chiffon Pie with a Double-Chocolate Crust, this dessert is a twist on traditional pumpkin pie. You can find the original recipe from the Food Network here.

Their recipe called for a traditional pastry crust but I decided to make a gingersnap cookie crust instead.  You could buy a pre-made  pastry or graham cracker crust to skip some steps.  I also substituted a tablespoon of bourbon for the coconut rum in the original recipe.

In a contest between Pumpkin Chiffon Pie and Coconut Pumpkin Pie, I think I’d make the chiffon because I loved the light texture and chocolate crust but this is a great option for your dessert table especially if you love the flavor of coconut! What is your favorite Thanksgiving dessert?

What to buy:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 20-25 small gingersnap cookies about 5 ounces) (I used ginger cookies from Trader Joe’s)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 15 ounce can pure pumpkin
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

What to do:

  • preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • butter a 9 inch pie plate
  • to make the crust pulse gingersnaps, sugar and melted butter until combined in a food processor or blender
  • press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the side of the prepared plate
  • bake until set, 15 to 20 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool
  • to make the filling whisk pumpkin, coconut milk, sugar, eggs, bourbon, vanilla, cinnamon and allspice in a large bowl until combined
  • pour into the prepared crust, sprinkle coconut around the edges and bake 1 hour  to 1 hour and 15 minutes until the center is almost set but still jiggles slightly
  • transfer to a rack to cool completely
  • serve with whipped cream or vanilla icecream sprinkled with cinnamon