In the Junkyard Tales story "The Pie Festival", there’s a... well... big ole Pie Festival! So we decided to do a heap of Pie Baking too.
On this festive summer day, each of the Junkyard animals makes their own particular pie, and at the end of the day, the pies are judged. (And the identity of the judge is a secret!)
The trick — or so Ben Thompson thinks — is to create a pie that will be unique, and tasty, and wins the attention of the judge.
Honestly, I’m a little like Ben. (“But I don’t know how to make a crust or how to bake or anything,” he said looking a little desperate.) But I figured, who cares? Let’s just get to baking! And see if we can’t make a pie that’s unique, tasty, and wins the love of the whole family.
And so I started with what sounded good to me. Black raspberries. Chocolate. Peanut butter. (And store-bought crusts. I love store-bought crusts.)
First pie: Ricotta and Black Raspberry.
I’ve been seeing ricotta pop up in recipes for pies and tarts all over, and I wanted to try it. And we have black raspberry bushes growing all over our yard — and a heap of ripe berries every day now.
Based on this recipe, this pie is elegant, and easy.
Here’s how I did it. I pre-baked my two gluten-free pie crusts, and then did the following:
Ricotta and Black Raspberry Pie
2 store bought crusts
16 oz ricotta cheese
3 tbls sugar
a pinch of salt
Mix the above ingredients, and pour into the pre-prepared crusts.
Sprinkle a whole heap of fresh black raspberries over the top. (Raspberries or blackberries will work great too!)
Bake at 375 F for 40 minutes. (Let them cool before serving.)
Lovely, delicious. This pie made everyone coo. And it couldn’t be easier.
But I then there was the need for chocolate! (And peanut butter!)
So I dug into online recipes and mixed and matched until I had created my second pie. This one made everyone holler for more. And I’m serious about the hollering. (It’s really sweet. And really chocolatey.)
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cream Pie (Vegan!)
I wanted it to be vegan, but I didn’t want to use soy or avocados (like in my favorite pudding recipe). I wanted creamy, so I found two recipes that use coconut cream!
There are two layers: the bottom is chocolate and the top is peanut butter cream. The bottom must be baked, and the top needs to be cold. So there are a few steps to get there.
(But it’s crazy good.)
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cream Pie
2 store-bought, gluten-free, pre-baked pie crusts
For the chocolate layer:
2 cups chocolate chips
1 can coconut milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the creamy Peanut Butter layer.
¾ cup chilled coconut cream (This is what is at the top of a can of coconut milk. The lovely thick stuff.)
⅓ cup peanut butter (smooth, salted)
3 Tbsp honey
¼ tsp sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
First prepare the chocolate layer. Place the chocolate chips and coconut milk — all but 2 tablespoons — into a pan. Turn the heat to medium-low and heat slowly until the chocolate is entirely melted. Remember to stir!
In a small bowl combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of coconut milk, cornstarch and vanilla. Stir thoroughly to remove any lumps. Pour this into the melted chocolate chip mixture and stir well so the two are completely mixed.
Now, pour the chocolate pudding mixture into the pie crust. You’ll want the pie crust to be ¾ full or so. But not all the way! (Leave room for the peanut butter layer.) Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, until the pie is set.
Allow this to cool. And then pop it in the fridge (or freezer) to make it nice and chilly.
Chill the coconut milk so that it’s nice and firm. Scoop off ¾ cup from the top of the can, and place in a mixing bowl along with the rest of the ingredients. Beat with a mixer on low speed until fluffy.
If it’s too thick, you can add some of the coconut liquid to thin. But you want it to be buttery and creamy thick.
Now, take the pie with the chocolate layer out of the fridge, and pour this over the top, creating a second layer.
Swirl a little chocolate sauce (store-bought) over the top to make a swirl. And then chill thoroughly in the fridge — say for 2 hours — before serving.
This pie is sooooo good.
You can see how hot it was last night — as the peanut butter layer was melting! But no matter, we all LOVED it.
So if you’re baking pies this week – say to use your summer fruits, or to celebrate these hot evenings, or if you’re inspired by the Junkyard Tales story and want to try a little baking experiment, do tell us what you’re making!
We’d love to hear!
(Mud pies and grass tarts are welcome too!)
Nothing like a counter full of pies!
If you liked these recipes, here are others you might enjoy:
Not yet a subscriber? Try a free trial HERE.
About the Author
Lisabeth Sewell has worn many hats at Sparkle over the years, from Sparkle Kitchen Blogger to Editorial Director to Doer of All Odd Jobs. Her primary role is as CEO.