Just the mention of pie probably brings up childhood memories of cooking with mom or grandma—those fresh fruits and flakey crusts baking, bursting, and bubbling just begging you to dig in. Whether you’re enrolled in culinary school as a Baking & Pastry student or simply a dessert diva, you probably have a favorite pie and quite possibly a unique way of eating it. A slice of cheese on apple? Whipped cream or non-dairy topping on mixed berry? Or maybe a sweet pie isn’t your thing. What about savory pies or dishes that are called ‘pie’ – chicken pot pie, shepherd’s pie, or even GASP… pizza pie?!
No matter how you define a pie, we’ve assembled some sweet pie recipes created by Escoffier Chef Instructors that are sure to you leave you craving more. Even though February is National Pie Month, be sure to check back often as our chef instructors share more of their own favorite pie recipes.
Chef Luke’s Lemon Pie
“I made this pie one Thanksgiving as an alternative option to the usual cast of characters. It was so well-received, I make it for just about every holiday, and sometimes just on a Tuesday. The amount of lemon in the filling and curd gives this pie an aggressive tartness that balances the sweetness. The crust made with Biscoff cookies is like a more refined version of a graham cracker crust, and the richness really shines through. ”
Luke Shaffer, Escoffier Culinary Arts Instructor
(alternatively use a graham cracker crust)
- 16 ea Biscoff cookies
- 1/3 c Sugar
- 5 Tbsp Unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Buzz ingredients in a food processor.
- Press into a pie pan.
- Bake 8 minutes.
- Allow to cool.
- 5 ea Egg yolks
- 2 ea Cans sweetened condensed milk
- 2 Tbsp Lemon zest
- 1 c Fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Combine ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Pour into pre-baked crust.
- Bake 15-18 minutes (center should be barely jiggly and not brown at all).
- Allow to cool to room temp, then place in the fridge to chill.
- 3 ea Egg yolks
- ½ c Sugar
- 3 ea Lemons – zested and juiced
- 4 Tbsp Unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
- Add 1 inch of water to a small pot and bring to simmer; reduce heat.
- Add yolks and sugar to a medium bowl and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Add juice and zest.
- Place bowl over simmering water and stir with a rubber spatula until mixture thickens, to about 170° – should coat the back of a spoon (7-10 minutes).
- Off the heat, whisk in the cold butter one cube at a time.
- Remove curd to a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap – press plastic onto surface of curd to prevent skin from forming.
- Allow to cool to room temp, then chill at least 2 hours in the fridge.
Once the pie is cool, spread a thin layer of cooled lemon curd on top.
Serving Suggestions: Serve with whipped cream.
Chef Luke’s Favorite Characteristic: The pucker-inducing tartness of this pie is why I love it so much.
What Makes This Pie Unique: The lemon juice and zest in the filling and curd could be substituted with any other citrus!
Cherry Yum Yum Pie
“This is a very popular pie served at Buxton Hall in Asheville, NC. I first saw Chef Elliot Moss on Netflix some years back. Then, when I started my BBQ business I reached out in hopes he would answer some questions I had. He was surprisingly generous and a very nice guy! Once, discussing desserts, he mentioned his cookbook “Buxton Hall, Book of Smoke” and a wonderful pie he had included in it. Once tried it I was hooked and make it on a regular basis. ”
John Shaw, Escoffier Culinary Arts Chef Instructor
- 1/2 stick of butter
- 1.5 cups of ground graham crackers
- Preheat the oven to 325° F.
- In a mixing bowl, add the melted butter to the graham cracker crumbs. Mix the mixture together so it holds its shape.
- Press the graham cracker mixture evenly into the pie pan.
- Place the in the refrigerator to chill for around 10 minutes.
- Bake for around 10-12 minutes until the crust is starting to turn toasty in color. Once removed, let completely at room temperature before adding the filling.
- 2 sheets of gelatin
- 1/4 cup of ice water
- 1 cup of cream, brought up to 120 deg. F
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- 2 teaspoons of orange zest
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup of milk
- 3/4 cup room temp cream cheese
- 1/2 cups creme fraiche
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Start by blooming the gelatin in 1/4 cup of ice water and let absorb for about 5 minutes.
- Remove the gelatin sheets, and squeeze gently to remove any excess water. Once removed, place in your mixing bowl with the 1/4 cup of ice water.
- Add to a blender, with the hot cream, salt, zest, sugar, and lemon juice. Blend on a slow speed for about 1 minute or until everything is well incorporated.
- Once blended, add the yolks, milk, cream cheese, creme fraiche, and vanilla extract. Continue to blend on low for another 2 minutes to make sure that all of the mixture is smooth.
- Pour the mixture into the pie crust and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or more until the filling has completely set.
- 1/2 cup of granulated sugar divided
- 1 teaspoon tapioca starch
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups cherries, washed, stemmed, pitted, and halved
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk half the sugar, cornstarch, tapioca starch, salt, and cold water.
- In a small saucepan, add the juice, almond extract, vanilla, and the remaining water. Bring the mixture to a simmer and dissolve the sugar completely.
- Mix the syrup into the water and the dry ingredient mixture, then add back into the saucepan and add the cherries. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, add the butter, and slowly stir to combine, around 2 minutes.
- Let the mixture cool in the refrigerator. Once cool, pour over the chilled pie mix and it is ready to go!
Banana Cream Pie Cheesecake
“I have always loved banana cream pie and cheesecake – I wanted something that could combine the two, so I came up with this variation while working as a pastry chef. The menu version was slightly different as an individual portion of a plated dessert. This is one that can be made as a pie and served as slices. ”
Sarah Gunderson, Escoffier Culinary Arts Instructor
- 180 g Speculoos Cookies
- 65 g Granulated Sugar
- 85 g Butter, melted
- 125 g Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Lemon Zest
- 20 ml Lemon Juice
- 340 g Cream Cheese, room temperature
- 2 Whole Eggs
- 1 Egg Yook
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 60 g Heavy Cream
- 2 Bananas, roasted in skin until black
- 240 g Milk
- 40 g Granulated Sugar, divided
- 40 g Egg Yolks
- 15 g All Purpose Flour
- 5 g Vanilla Extract
- Pinch of Salt
- 60 g Butter, room temperature
- 235 g Heavy Cream
- 25 g Powdered Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Grind cookies to crumbs.
- In a bowl combine cookie crumbs with sugar and melted butter.
- Once combined, press into 9″ pie dish.
- Beat cream cheese in mixer until smooth.
- Slowly add sugar and lemon est while mixing. Mix until creamed.
- Add eggs one at a time.
- Add cream just until combined.
- Bake in the crust, in a water bath, at 325° F until set; approximately 30-45 minutes.
- Let cool in the refrigerator 1-4 hours.
- Bring milk and half the amount of sugar to a scald
- In a separate bowl, whisk together second half of sugar, yolks, flour, cornstarch, salt, and vanilla.
- Temper milk mixture into egg mixture and place back on heat. Stir continually until thickened in texture.
- Stir in cubed butter, off heat.
- Layer over chilled cheesecake layer and cover surface with plastic wrap. Set in frig to chill 1-4 hours.
- Combine heavy whipping cream with sifted powdered sugar and vanilla. Whip until peaks form.
- Top or pipe whipped cream over pastry cream layer.
Serving Suggestions: Garnish with sliced bananas and honey-candied peanuts.
Chef Sarah’s Favorite Characteristic: I am delighted by texture when it comes to all dishes, but I feel desserts can really shine. Here I have taken light and airy to dense and creamy, finished with crunchy and smooth all in one slice of delicious pie.
What Makes This Pie Unique: I developed this recipe to focus on bananas, as I can’t stand the artificial flavoring, as I wanted a celebration of true flavor. You can flavor the pastry cream or cheesecake differently to create unique flavor combinations.