Grandma Jean’s Belgian Pie

September 01, 2014

About this recipe

Grandma Jean’s pies were noted for their thin crust and thick filling. When filling the pie shell with prune & cheese or apple & cheese, be sure to fill all the way to the edge.

As most handed down recipes go, there are a lot of tricks that are just done by having watched someone do it. I’ve tried to include most of the ones I remember and that I questioned when I was learning from my mom. When a true Belgian makes pies it is not unusual to make large quantities of pies. This recipe was re-written from the original “Grandma Jean’s Recipe” by Gina Guth Wautier, daughter of Jean Guth 05/18/2014. Adjustments have been made to the measurements to scale down the original recipe.

Belgian Pie Making Classes are taught by Gina Wautier and Karen Stillman through St. Norbert College Language Services Program. 

Good luck!

Gina (920) 495-1062


CRUST:

  5 Pies 10 Pies 15 Pies 20 Pies
         
Warm Water 3 tbsp. 1/3 cup ½ cup 2/3 cup
Sugar ¾ tbsp. 1 ½ tbsp. 2 ¼ tbsp. 3 tbsp.
Yeast 1 oz. 2 oz. 3 oz. 4 oz.
Heavy Cream 1/3 cup 2/3 cup 1 cup 1 ⅓ cup
Eggs 2 whole 4 whole 6 whole 8 whole
Sugar 3 tbsp. 1/3 cup ½ cup 2/3 cup
Salt ¼ tsp. Heaping ½ tsp. ¾ tsp. 1 tsp.
Butter-room temp 1/3 cup 2/3 cup 1 cup 1 ⅓ cup
Flour Approx. 3 c. Approx. 6 c. Approx. 9 c. Approx. 12 c

 

APPLE FILLING 5 Pies 10 Pies 20 Pies
       
Bags of Cortland, Macintosh, or Transparencies 1 – 5# bag 2 – 5# bags 4 – 5# bags
Sugar 1 cup 2 cups 4 cups
Tapioca (Instant) ⅛ cup (2 tbsp.) ¼ cup ½ cup

 

PRUNE FILLING 5 Pies 10 Pies 20 Pies
       
Containers of pitted prunes 1 – 18 oz. 2 – 18 oz. 4 – 18 oz.
Sweetened applesauce 8 oz. jar (1c.) 16 oz. jar 25 oz. jar
Sugar ¼ cup ½ cup 1 cup

 

CHEESE TOPPING 5 Pies 10 Pies 20 Pies
       
Containers of Dry Curd Cottage Cheese 1 – 12 oz. 2 – 12 oz. 3 – 12 oz.
Containers of Small Curd Creamed Cottage Cheese 1 – 24 oz. 2 – 24 oz. 3 – 24 oz.
Sugar ¾ cup 1 ½ cup 3 cup
Egg Yolks 3 6 12

 

RICE FILLING 5 Pies 10 Pies 20 Pies
       
Uncle Ben’s Original Converted Long Cooking Rice 1 cup 2 cups 2# box (4 cups)
Water 3 ½ cups 7 cups 14 cups
Egg Yolks 3 6 12
Salt ½ tsp. 1 tsp. 2 tsp.
Sugar ¾ cup 1 ½ cups 3 cups
Heavy Cream ¼ cup ½ cup 1 cup
Vanilla 1 tbsp. 2 tbsp. 4 tbsp

Instructions

CRUST:

  1. Mix together in a small bowl the warm water, sugar, crumbled yeast
  2. Cover with wax paper and wrap in a terry cloth towel and let stand until yeast starts to work
  3. In a sauce pan heat the cream on medium heat until a skin forms on the top (scald)
  4. In a separate bowl, mix with a mix-master: beat eggs, sugar , salt, softened butter (room temperature)
  5. Add scalded cream and beat.
  6. Add yeast to the batter. (It is easy to forget about the yeast! Be sure to add before adding flour.)
  7. Start with 2 ½ c. flour… beat with mix-master until dough creeps up the beaters. Then, work the dough by hand adding flour until it no longer sticks to your fingers. Do not add too much flour. Dough will be very soft. You should be able to cause an indent in the dough that will stay. Cover, and let rise until double.
  8. Prepare the table for your biscuits. Lay terry cloth towels down and wax paper over them. With your hand, pinch off a fist size amount of dough. Shape into a biscuit form and place on the wax paper. Let rise until double. Place biscuit in a greased pan (preferably an aluminum pan greased with lard) and pat with fingers to the pan edge, leaving a ridge at edges.
  9. Let rise slightly, create an edge with your finger before adding the filling (this prevents run over.) Bake at 350 ͦ Start pies on the second to the bottom rack, check frequently, when crust is golden brown on the bottom, (about 6 min.) transfer the pies to the top rack. Bake more until just set (about 4 minutes). Over-baking will cause a dried out pie. Set pies to cool on terry cloth towels that have been covered with flour sack towels. This helps absorb the moisture so the crust doesn’t get soggy.

APPLE FILLING:

  1. Peel and core apples. Cook down apples in oven without water. Add sugar to taste and tapioca to thicken. (Cooking without adding water eliminates a soggy crust when baking).

PRUNE FILLING:

  1. Place pitted prunes in a heavy saucepan. Cover with water & bring to a boil on medium heat. Turn temperature down and steam the prunes for 10 – 15 minutes or until soft. Let cool, drain & reserve liquid to use if mixture gets too thick. Blend in a food processor. Add sugar and applesauce. The applesauce cuts the strong prune taste. More sugar may be added to taste. YIELD: Depends on how thick you fill the pies. 

CHEESE TOPPING:

  1. Separate egg whites from yolks and set aside the whites. Squeeze the moisture out of dry cottage cheese with a cheese cloth. Discard the liquid. In a food processor mix together small curd creamed cottage cheese alternating with the dry curd that has been drained of all weigh. Add sugar to the cottage cheese mixture. Whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Add to the cheese and mix well. If mixture seems too thick to spread, you may add a small amt. cream to spreading consistency. YIELD: Depends on how thick you fill the pies.

RICE FILLING:

  1. Wash Uncle Ben’s Rice until the water run’s clear. Add. water & salt and bring to a boil, turn down and simmer 30 min. or until tender. (Liquid should be absorbed) Separate eggs, set aside yolks. In a saucepan, place cream & sugar. Bring to a boil on medium heat being careful not to scald and stirring all the while. Pour this mixture slowly into the rice. Remove from heat and stir well. Beat the egg yolks slightly and quickly stir into the rice/ milk mixture. Add vanilla. Rice mixture will thicken as it cools and will set up as pies bake. If it is too thick, add cream to thin. If too thin, use tapioca to thicken. When cool top with whipped topping. YIELD: Depends on how thick you fill the pies. 

Cooking

Step-by-Step Instructions

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