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Fantastic All Natural Cream Pies

 

I love Thanksgiving because I love to cook for people.  Since this was my wife Helen's first Thanksgiving, I asked her what kind of pies she wanted and she loves cream pies.  I've never made a cream pie from scratch before, but I love a challenge, so I converted some recipes I had into healthier ingredients. 

 

I made a banana cream pie and a chocolate cream pie.  They both turned out fabulously well.  They were so good I can't wait to make them again.  So, I thought I'd share the recipes with you.  I hope you enjoy them, too.

 

First, let me make some suggestions about ingredients.

 

Milk and cream. I used raw milk in my recipes from a local dairy.  I would use pasteurized organic milk as my second choice, but I would avoid ultra-pasteurized milk because cooking milk at such high temperatures damages it's nutritional value (and in my opinion—taste). 

 

Eggs. I like to get Eggland's Best Organic eggs.  I'm not sure what Eggland does with their eggs, but they are some of the best tasting eggs I can get a the grocery store.  If you can get local free-range eggs, even better.  You'll have to separate the yolks for these recipes. 

 

Sugar. One of the reasons I've avoided cream pies is because I normally use honey or whole dark sugar and I thought that these would not work very well for cream pies.  However, I decided to use xylitol and it worked great.  You could probably use blond (turbinado) sugar, but I wouldn't use brown.  Honey would through the recipe off, too because it adds more liquid.  The xylitol worked perfectly.

 

Butter. Always use Organic butter because xenoestrogens and other toxins concentrate in fat.  For these recipes you need unsalted butter.

 

Chocolate Cream Pie

 

This is an incredibly rich and tasty pie for those of you who love chocolate (like me).

 

Chocolate Cookie Crust

 

Start with the following:

 

  • 18-20 Oreo-like cookies.  I used a natural cookie from the health food section of the supermarket that used unrefined sugar and flour.
  • 2 Tablespoons melted organic unsalted butter

 

Break the cookies into pieces and put into a food processor.  Process the cookies until they are crumbs.  Add melted butter and mix thoroughly.  Press crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan.

 

Bake in 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool before adding filling.

 

Chocolate Filling

 

Prepare all the ingredients before hand, because once you start making this you want everything ready to go.

 

Start with:

 

  • 2 1/2 cups organic half and half
  • 1/4 cup xylitol
  • pinch of Redmond salt or other high quality salt

 

Place the above in a saucepan and simmer over a medium-high heat.  Stir occasionally.

 

Whisk the following together in a separate bowl and add it when half and half begins to simmer.

 

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup xylitol

 

Add about 1/2 cup of the hot half and half mixture to the egg mixture and whisk it together, then add another 1/2 cup and whisk it together.  This is to temper the egg mixture before adding it to the saucepan.  Once you've mixed the half and half into the egg mixture add the egg mixture to the saucepan and heat the entire mixture over a medium heat until it bubbles and starts to thicken. 

 

Remove mixture from the heat, then whisk in the following:

 

  • 6 ounces of high quality bittersweet chocolate and 1 ounce of unsweetened chocolate chopped fine. (Ghirandelli is what I used.)
  • 6 tablespoons of unsalted, organic butter
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

 

When the mixture is smooth pour it into the cooled, baked pie crust.  Refrigerate for at least three hours before serving. It helps to cover the pie with some plastic wrap or better yet, to avoid xenoestrogens, use waxed paper.  This keeps the pie from forming a skin.

 

Serve with whipped cream.  Sweeten the whipped cream with xylitol, too.

 

Banana Cream Pie

 

This was by far the best banana cream pie I've ever eaten.  I don't think you could buy a pie this good anywhere, at least not one that was this healthy.

 

Graham Cracker Crust

 

Start with:

 

  • 1 1/2 cups Graham cracker crumbs

 

I used about 1/2 box of Organic Graham crackers to make this.  I pulsed them in my food processor. I accidentally got cinnamon graham crackers, but they worked great anyway.

 

Anyway, after you've made the graham cracker crumbs, add the following and mix thoroughly.  I did it in the food processor, but you can do it by hand.

 

  • 5 tablespoons melted organic, unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon xylitol

 

Blend these ingredients and press into a 9 inch pie pan.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Allow to cool before adding the filling.

 

Vanilla Pudding Filling

 

In a medium saucepan mix the following together:

 

  • 1/2 cup xylitol
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

 

Then add

 

  • 5 large egg yolks

 

Whisk these together with the xylitol and cornstarch mixture.  Then slowly whisk in the following:

 

  • 2 cups whole organic milk
  • 1/2 cup organic evaporated milk

 

Now, here's the secret ingredient that makes this pie so special.  You will need a

 

  • 3 inch piece of vanilla bean

 

The vanilla bean we got cost $10 and I used half of it in the pie, but believe me the flavor will be worth it.  Split the vanilla bean in half.  Scrape the inside of the bean out of the pod.  Put both halves of the bean pod and the insides you scraped out into the saucepan with the other ingredients.

 

Now, bring the mixture to a simmer over a medium heat, stirring constantly until it gets thick and a little bubbly.  Add this point remove from the heat and add:

 

  • 2 Tablespoons organic, unsalted butter.

 

Now pour half  the mixture into the pie crust.  Add a layer of sliced organic bananas and cover with the rest of the filling.  Of course, if you don't like bananas, then skip them and just have a vanilla cream pie. 

 

Again, cover with waxed paper (or plastic wrap) and chill for 3 hours before serving. 

 

I hope you enjoy these pies as much as we did.