Saturday, October 28, 2017

St. Jude Impossible Pie

The patron saint of impossible causes - St. Jude. What could be better than an "impossible pie" to remind us of St. Jude's intercession for us with impossible causes. This is a pie that does the impossible by making its own crust while it bakes. It was marketed as versatile and crowd-pleasing, as well as quick and easy which is ironically the opposite of impossible.  Impossible Pie is one of the most successful corporate recipe projects in the U.S. food-marketing history.  Americans took to the easy recipe that is adaptable for making both sweet dessert pies and savory meat, vegetable and cheese pies. There were recipes for crustless coconut custard pies that appeared in cookbooks in the south in the mid-century but it first became widely known as Impossible Pie when it was printed on Bisquick baking mix boxes in the 1970s and then adapted for a multitude of variations.  You can find many varieties of pie recipes - from sweet to savory - in this Bisquick booklet from 1982.

The impossible pie is impossibly easy. You don’t need to make a crust for it. Instead, you just mix up all the ingredients together — the ingredients for the filling and the crust — and while it cooks the pie forms its own crust. I have found that the "crust" is more pronounced in the original custard recipe than some of the variations with add ins. But it is defineitly firmer along the bottom and sides and sets up nicely when cooled to form an easily made, but substantial pie. Give it a try in honor of St. Jude today (or St. Rita on her feast, as her patronage includes the impossible, too!)

Since St. Jude's feast falls in October, I went with one of Impossible Pumpkin Pie recipes to fit the season.

Impossible Pumpkin Pie

1 cup canned pumpkin
½ cup baking mix
½ cup sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened
1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 9 inch pie plate. Put all ingredients in a mixer and blend until smooth. Pour into pie plate. Bake until knife inserted into centre comes out clean (35-40 min).

Garnish with whipped cream.

One nice aspect of Impossible Pie is that the basic ingredients are probably readily available in most kitchens - just add the extra for the variation of choice. You don't even have to have a baking mix as that is very easy to make at home.

Homemade Baking Mix

1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter or shortening

Combine dry ingredients. Add butter and cut with pastry blender until evenly combined. 

St. Jude Thaddeus, Pray for us!

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