Chilled pies are wonderful summertime surprises for any gathering. These two cover both sides of the dessert decision - from healthy to downright decadent.
First, the healthy sundae pie. It's the quick and easy recipe of the two. A pat-in-the-pan oats crust is baked to be like crunchy granola; then frozen vanilla yogurt or ice milk is spaded in to fill the pie shell to the brim.To decorate each serving, top with assorted fresh-cut fruit, such as sliced peaches tossed with honey and lemon juice, bananas, strawberries or blueberries. Drizzle on a low-calorie commercial fudge topping or any sugar- reduced fruit syrup.
For decadent, hang-the-calories occasions, whisk out this version of Key lime pie. It's won rave reviews for a fellow reporter who made the pie twice: once because she had to take a dessert to a gathering, twice because she loved the pie so much she made it just for the family. Unfortunately, I didn't make note of the particular cookbook in which I found the recipe at the time of the pie request, so the recipe creator can't be properly credited here.
Instead of using bottled Key lime juice, use freshly squeezed juice from Persian limes for this particular pie. You'll need lots of freshly grated lime zest anyway, so you get double use from the limes.
The sour-cream topping is reminiscent of a cheesecake topping, but the texture of the creamy pie filling is a bit softer than cheesecake and less rich in fat. Not too much less, though.
Waistline-watchers should eat only a tiny piece of this calorie colossus - and make sure they serve it at sizable gatherings so there are no leftovers to linger in the refrigerator as temptation.
NOT-SO-SINFUL SUNDAE PIE
1 cup oats (quick or old-fashioned), uncooked
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup (51/3 tablespoons) butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 quart frozen vanilla yogurt or ice milk
2 cups sliced fresh fruit (such as bananas, strawberries, blueberries)
"Lite" fudge topping or any reduced-sugar fruit syrup Yield: 8 servings
Prep time: 25 minutes, plus freezing 5 hours
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9-inch pie plate with no-stick cooking spray or grease lightly. Combine the oats, flour, melted butter and brown sugar (dash of salt optional). Mix well and press evenly onto bottom and sides of pie plate. Bake 19 to 21 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool pie shell completely. Meanwhile, allow frozen yogurt or ice milk to stand 20 minutes to soften. Spoon softened frozen dessert into cooled crust, spreading evenly and packing down. Cover and freeze about 5 hours or until firm.
To serve, let pie stand at room temperature 10 minutes before cutting into wedges. Top each wedge of pie with sliced fruit; drizzle on fudge or fruit topping.
FLORIDA LIME PIE
1 (9-inch) graham-cracker crust
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (5 to 6 limes)
2 tablespoons grated lime zest
Dash of salt
8 ounces sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt Yield: 8 to 12 servings
Prep time: 25 minutes, plus chilling for 6 hours
Make the crumb crust. If baking the crust, keep the oven on and set temperature to 350 degrees.
Place the sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk), lime juice, eggs, lime zest and salt in a medium mixing bowl and stir them with a whisk until they are completely mixed. Pour filling into the crumb crust (if still warm, that's fine).
Bake the pie on the center oven rack until the pie filling begins to set, 10 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.
Meanwhile, whisk the topping ingredients together in a small bowl. Remove pie from oven. Spread the sweetened sour cream over hot pie filling and bake at 425 degrees for 5 minutes.
The topping will be soft when you remove the pie, but it will set as it cools.
Cool pie on a rack, then chill it thoroughly for at least 6 hours before cutting and serving small wedges.