Pies, Pies, Pies and Cranberry Ice

Yes, yes, I’ll share my recipes.

This isn’t going to be a post like you see on those cooking blogs with photos for every step and careful instructions, but I can promise delicious results. Remember when we all cooked from Better Homes & Garden and The Joy of Cooking? No photos, sparse instructions, but we figured it out.

Here are the top five requested pie recipes and the elusive, amazing cranberry ice.

Pecan Pie

MOST IMPORTANT: You need really good pecans. Most people who don’t like pecans just haven’t tried the good ones. Trader Joe’s and Costco offer good quality, but if you really want an amazing pie, order your pecans from Sunnyland Farms.

I order a home box of Junior Pecan Halves and store them in the freezer. Home Box means they pack them in a plastic bag and put them in a cardboard box. Nothing fancy, but the best pecans you’ve ever tasted. And c’mon, you know they aren’t sponsoring this post. My Grandpa Harold gave me one of their paper catalogs in the 1980s and I’ve been ordering from them ever since. You’ll need 12 oz. (2 cups) for this recipe.

9″ unbaked pie crust (I like this Martha Stewart pie crust recipe)

1/3 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup light corn syrup 

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs

Mix together well, but not too much. You don’t want it to be all frothy.

Pour 2 cups of pecans into the pie shell, then pour the sugar/butter/egg mixture over the pecans. Bake in a 325 oven for 45 minutes or so (I’d watch it carefully, you know your oven better than I do). Allow to cool completely (preferably overnight) and enjoy!


Over-the-Top Apple Crumb Pie

This is my sister’s recipe and we’ve never written it down so we call each other every pie day to figure it out.

It starts with an empty pie shell. Use one of your larger pie dishes…this is a big un.

Peel, core and slice AT LEAST 14 apples. You may need as many as 20. Put all the apples in a big bowl and stir in

1 cup sugar

2 T. lemon juice

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 cup flour

Stir until evenly coated and pour into pie shell. It should be a MOUNTAIN of apples.

Next, mix

1 1/3 cups flour

1/2 cup butter (softened)

1/2 cup brown sugar

dash salt to make the crumble topping. Mix with a fork and then with your hands. You’ll want nice clumps. I was just checking my phone to see what my sister said and found this lovely, pre-oven photo.

Bake at 350 for 75-90 minutes until golden and bubbling. You’ll need to cover the top with foil for the last 30 minutes or so. You might want to put a tray on the rack below the pie to catch the juices.

It’s completely acceptable (and advisable) to eat this pie for breakfast.

Dodo Chocolate Almond Mousse Pie

For the past couple years, we’ve gone to the Dodo the day before Thanksgiving, ordered a piece of pie, then replicated the recipe. We’re pretty good at it. And for those of you who have never been to the Dodo, I’m just sorry for you. Next time you’re in Salt Lake, look them up, go there for lunch and order the smoked turkey sandwich and a piece of pie for dessert. Every one of their desserts is amazing. Pretty much everything on their menu is amazing.


1 and 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

pinch salt

1/2 to 1 cup chopped walnuts

Mix together, press into pie pan and bake at 325 ° for 12 minutes. Allow to cool completely before adding filling.


4 packages (2 lbs.) cream cheese

2 1/3 cups Nestle Semisweet chips melted

1 cup sugar

mix the cream cheese and chocolate

whip 2 cups heavy cream and fold into chocolate mixture

add 8 oz toasted slivered almonds (the Trader Joe’s ones work perfectly)

Pour mixture into cookie crust and refrigerate overnight. Serve with whipped cream. Prepare to be AMAZED.



Dodo Banana Cream Pie

So, it took us two years to replicate this pie because the first year we bought a slice and ate it all before we could figure it out. This year we were smarter– we bought two pieces of pie. Sammie was the real brains behind cracking this recipe– the rest of us just sliced bananas and admired her abilities.

I actually don’t really like bananas, but I LOVE this pie. And it’s pretty easy. Don’t skip the caramel sauce and whip cream for garnish. They are super, super important. Also, I found another recipe for this pie that uses Cool Whip. People.  Never, ever trust a recipe that uses Cool Whip.

Start with a graham cracker crust.

12 full crackers finely ground

1/3 cup sugar 

6 T butter

Mix well and bake at 350 until lightly browned– 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool.

Next, mix

2 8 oz packages cream cheese 


4-5 ounces sweetened condensed milk (about 1/3 of a 14 oz can– you’re going to use the rest of the can so don’t buy one of those tiny ones).

Pour the cream cheese layer into the pie crust and then begin slicing bananas on top. You’ll want to use a LOT

6-8 bananas

We found an easy substitution for creme pat with this Jello Simply Good Vanilla Bean Pudding Mix. It only cost a dollar at my grocer and it’s pretty fantastic.


Jello Simply Good Vanilla Bean Pudding Mix


2 cups milk (NOT 2 1/2 like the recipe on the packet)

Whip 2 cups heavy cream.  

Combine the cream and pudding. Pour over the banana layer.

Now throw that pie in the fridge and lets make some caramel sauce.

It couldn’t be easier. Just pour the rest of the sweetened condensed milk into a bowl, cover with foil, place in a pan or baking dish with 3/4 in water and bake for 60-90 minutes. You may want to add another can of sweetened condensed milk…. it’s good stuff. Once it’s golden, stir in some vanilla, whip some heavy cream and serve with your gorgeous banana cream pie.

Cookie Dough Ice Cream Pie

Ah, this is a beauty. Heather invented this one based on an idea, a dream, pure magic… I wasn’t eating sugar at Thanksgiving (I know, I know) but I’ve already decided this will be my birthday cake in February.

Now, this is an easy recipe, but the instructions are important so pay attention. We debated this pretty hotly, but the pie is best if you make the crust ahead of time and then assemble the rest an hour or so before serving. So plan accordingly! You can make the crust days ahead of time, but you’ll need 30 minutes an hour before you serve it to put it all together.

First, take your Nestle’s Chocolate Chips bag and mix up the cookie recipe on the back:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

large eggs

2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) chocolate chips 

You don’t need instructions for that, do you? Nah. You’ve got it.

Get your biggest pie pan. I have kind of a decorative one that worked really well. Do NOT grease the pan. Take about 2/3 of the cookie dough and press it into the bottom and sides of the pan. Bake at 325 for 10-15 minutes. It should be barely golden, puffy and a little underdone. Use the rest of the cookie dough for mini cookies. Spray a cookie sheet or use parchment paper and make as many little bitty cookies as small as you can. You’ll need a dozen or so for the pie, Hans will eat all the rest for you.

Let the cookie crust cool completely before assembling the rest of the pie–you can even put it in the refrigerator for a few days.


take our 1/2 gallon chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and set it on the counter for 30 minutes or so. We really, really like the Private Selection brand from Smith’s but just choose your favorite.

Now to make the hot fudge:

Bring 2 cups heavy cream to a boil

decrease the heat to medium

then add 1 1/2 cups brown sugar and whisk until thick and boiling. This is a great caramel sauce if you want to set some aside. Add 2 cups semi-sweet or dark chocolate and whisk until combined. Best fudge sauce ever. Crazy easy.

Whip up 1-2 cups cream with a bit of sugar and vanilla.

Now take the softened ice cream and spread it in the crust, decorate the top with whip cream and mini cookies and put in the freezer for 1-2 hours. Why? Because if you freeze the whole thing overnight it just gets too hard to cut. This way gives you the perfect texture for the cookies, ice cream, whip cream…but you know, make it any way you like.

Cry over how beautifully your pie turned out.

Serve with fudge on the side.

(a very sad photo, that’s the cookie dough ice cream pie)

Cranberry Ice

As far as we know, there’s no written recipe for cranberry ice. So this can be the first. The recipe comes from my mom’s family– we don’t know how many generations back– at least six. It’s a sorbet served with dinner– not dessert. And you’ll determine the amount of sugar, but we like it pretty tart.

Start with

2 bags cranberries

4 cups water

Rinse the cranberries and pick out any rotten ones. Place the cranberries in a pot, add the water and bring to a boil. Simmer until the cranberries start to pop open.

Take out a large bowl and a mesh colander. You don’t need anything special. Make sure you have the bowl under colander and pour the berries into the colander. You’ll want to preserve the water the berries were cooking in, so don’t dump it out!

Now just take a large spoon and squish the berries through the mesh. Squish and squish until you get all the pulpy juice out.


juice from one lemon

one cup sugar

2 cups water

Add more sugar if you like and/or more water (sorry, I am really vague).

Pour the mixture into whatever kind of ice cream freezer you use.









December 13, 2017



  1. Kayci

    December 19, 2017

    I don’t think I commented on your Thanksgiving post but I’m glad others begged for your recipes. I would have gotten around to it. I agree with The Dodo desserts. I have only been there once but might request another trip for a date or something to test more out. 🙂 These all sound amazing. Thank you so much!

  2. Katie W

    December 20, 2017

    I can’t wait to try these out! They sound so delicious!

  3. Cecily

    January 8, 2018

    Thank you for writing this up. We tried your version of the Dodo chocolate almond mousse pie at our annual pie night, and stuck some leftover pieces in the freezer for later. (I had one last night.) I’m excited to try some of the others as well.

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