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Monday, April 25, 2016

Birthday pie

Within a 1-month period, our family has 3 days of birthdays. Our daughters in mid-March, then mine in mid-April, followed by my husband's, just 6 days after mine. That's a lot of cake.

We still have some cake in the freezer from my daughters's birthday. For me, another birthday cake would be cake-overload. So, traditionally, I've made a pie for my husband's birthday. It's always lemon meringue, as that was his childhood favorite.

Lemon meringue pie works well for this time of year, as I usually have lots of eggs still from Easter week stock-up, and it's not dependent on availability of any particular fresh fruit, and I've made enough of them that it's an easy variety of pie for me. (It helps that I have a very reliable recipe.)

There is one other aspect about baking a birthday pie instead of a birthday cake that I really appreciate. A birthday cake from scratch can take me several hours, start to finish. A birthday lemon meringue pie can be knocked out in about 1 1/2 hours, start to finish. Yet, homemade pies have that reputation of "extra effort", put into their making. So, I get brownie points. My husband gets his childhood favorite pie. And we aren't staring down another slice of cake for the immediate future.

Do you always make cakes for birthdays, or do you do something else?


Cheryl said...

Always a apple pie for my dh's birthday, that was his favorite that his mom made. Doesn't hurt that his birthday is in October, I buy apple's from the local farm and the apples are delicious. Cheryl

Live and Learn said...

The pie is beautiful. I don't really like meringue pies, so I've never perfected making one. I know that the egg whites can be finicky and the meringue doesn't always turn out as hoped--especially for the beginner. So yours looks like what everyone hopes for.

TG said...

I have fond memories of my mother's lemon meringue pies.
Would you post your recipe Lili that you use?
I frequently make a blueberry pie for my husbands July birthday.

Anonymous said...

That pie looks delicious!

I've always baked cakes for birthdays. My husband's birthday cake is always his favorite, yellow cake with chocolate frosting. For the last several years, both of my sons always ask for a chocolate cake, drizzled with warm sweetened condensed milk and caramel, and then topped with whipped cream and crushed chocolate and toffee bar. Not the cheapest cake, but still much cheaper than bakery.

I think my husband would be just as happy with a lemon meringue pie for his birthday. That's his favorite pie, as well. I may do that for his birthday this year.

Have a wonderful day!

Lili said...

Hi Cheryl,
Yum! An apple pie made with really good apples is the best! I'm sure your husband really appreciates it.

Have a great day!

Lili said...

Hi live and learn,
Some people say that trying to do meringue pie topping in hot and sticky weather is troublesome. But other than keeping egg yolks out of the whites, adding sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, and making sure the bowl and beaters are clean and grease-free (don't use plastic, attracts and holds grease), I've never had to go to any great trouble to make a good meringue, and never had one not turn out. Maybe our weather, here, is suitable for making meringue pie topping. Hmmmm. . .

Lili said...

Hi Theresa,
I have 2 different recipes that I use, just depending on mood. One of them doesn't call for cornstarch. Here's that recipe:
That one makes a creamier lemon filling than using cornstarch. I'll post the cornstarch lemon meringue recipe for you soon.

Blueberry pie with fresh blueberries is one of my favorites. I'm sure your husband loves that one, and how fitting during July, too!

Lili said...

Hi Angie,
Yellow cake with chocolate frosting is a favorite around here, too. Your sons's choice of cakes sounds quite delicious, as well. My two daughters used to make a "special" cake at the end of the school year, topping it with fudge frosting and caramel sauce. It was pretty decadent!

Hope your day is wonderful, too, Angie!

Anonymous said...

I've often had Banana Cream Birthday Pie.

Anonymous said...

There can never be too much cake, in my opinion, so we always have cake for birthdays. :)
Your pie looks yummy though.

Cat said...

That looks delicious! I love lemon pie, though am not so fond of meringue, so I usually leave that off. My grandmother loved it as well, so we often had it at holidays, but since she's been gone, not so much.

As for birthdays, we've done a variety of things. Cheesecake, pie, cake, cookie cake. Just kind of depends on if the birthday person has a preference, finances and ingredient availability, and who is making it. I make some but my 15 YO and 12 YO also make some of the birthday desserts, especially mine.

Kris said...

Ooh, yum. I have yet to attempt making a lemon meringue. It's on my bucket list.

I make pie for the hubby, always. Cake for the kids--sometimes an ice cream cake. I have to make treats for my own birthday--sometimes I don't bother.

I have to laugh at your multiple-hour cake creation. You obviously put more work into it than I do. I do the lazy box mix with canned frosting technique with sprinkles on top. When the kids were younger, I make cut-out cakes that were more labor-intensive but they seem to have outgrown that stage.

Live and Learn said...

Or maybe practice makes perfect. :)

Lili said...

Hi frugal spinster,
banana cream is one of my favorite pies. I hardly ever make it as my husband simply can't stand it. It would make me so happy to have that as my birthday pie! (Maybe some year, I'll make what the family wants, and make a banana cream pie just for me!)

Lili said...

Hi Mary,
Too funny! I do enjoy a good slice of cake!

Lili said...

Hi Cat,
You know, whipping cream is also a good topping for lemon pie. I had that once at a potluck and thought it was very delicious.

Your assortment of birthday treats sounds very tempting!

Lili said...

Hi Kris,
Well, you're still saving a lot of money over buying a pre-made/decorated cake. And my kids always liked the colorfulness of sprinkling something like M&Ms or sprinkles on top.
Ice cream cakes seem to be very popular. And I'd think really great for making ahead of time. You could make it a couple of weeks in advance and have it all ready to pull out of the freezer. Good for busy periods which always seem to crop up around birthdays!

Anonymous said...

My dads favorite is spice cake with peanut butter frosting. A few year ago I took the Wilton cake decorating classes . When our youngest son got married he bought a small wedding cake to feed 25 people it was $200 . Yikes ! Since I took the classes I have made several wedding cakes ,birthday and graduation cakes. I even made my daughters wedding cake. A few years ago it was my mom and mother-in-laws 75th birthdays I was able to make them both very nice cakes for little money. I was asked to do a wedding cake for my husbands cousins son this next summer. Doing cakes or cupcakes is my way of giving love and I feel so blessed to have people who have faith in me!
Your pie looks sooo good and Happy Birthday to you and your family .
Dee D

Precious People Preschool said...

Yum I love lemon pie of any kind. I whipped the juice from
a can of garbonzo beans this week end turned out like whipped egg whites. I chilled the bean juice first then added vanilla and sugar after it turned into white fluff. It was wonderful. We topped strawberries with it. Terry at blue has jounal posted about it she got it from a blog called chocolate covered Katie. You just have to wip a long time maybe 10 or 15 minutes. Nice topping for something I usally throw away.
Have a great night. Might be lots of typos fighting a migrain today,
Have a great night.

Anonymous said...

Your pie looks yummy! We don't do birthday desserts anymore. I am not really a baker & since its just the two of us we usually go out to dinner. Not frugal but how we celebrate. When my mom was still alive she always made us cake or pie, she usually asked what we wanted. I remember as a kid I would often choose brownies.

Shara said...

We do a mix of the two desserts, too. My husband likes pies or fruit crisps. My children want cakes. I am a cheesecake kind of person.

I tend to think of pies as holiday desserts because that is the only time I remember my family making them. However, we had a lot of cakes and sweet breads. My husband's family had more pies though and he still requests them pretty regularly.

Lili said...

Hi Dee,
I don't think I've ever had a peanut butter frosting. What do you put in it besides peanut butter? I have a daughter who I think would love that!
That's so nice that you can do these family celebration cakes. What a gift to your family! I am certain that your hard work baking and decorating is very much appreciated by your family.

Lili said...

Hi Patti,
Wow! I've never heard of doing that with the liquid rom a can of garbanzo beans. And it didn't taste beany?
I hope your migraine is at bay right now, and you can get on with enjoying life. Have a great day, Patti!

Lili said...

Hi Rhonda,
I can imagine not wanting to have an entire cake around, if it's just the two of you. That makes perfect sense. Celebrating with a dinner out sounds lovely. It may not be the cheapest option, but it is affordable, because of your frugality. And that's what counts.
Have a great day, Rhonda!

Lili said...

Hi Busy Bee,
Our family, too. I grew up with pie as a holiday thing (with an occasional exception of a summer lemon meringue or fresh strawberry). And maybe because pie seemed to be such a special occasion dessert that I like having them often, now.

I love cheesecake, too, especially New York style. It's hard on my tummy, so I rarely make them :-( My mom had a creamy pineapple cheesecake recipe that was her special dessert that she made for company. Now, my sister does that recipe often.

Have great day!

Kris said...

Interesting--I've tried a couple of Chocolate Covered Katie recipes and have been "meh" in how I feel about them--maybe I'd like the one Patti tried better. FYI, Lili, Katie blogs ways to make healthier desserts, which I appreciate to a point, but sometimes my mouth wants a party. :)

Lili said...

I've been to her site and remember the black bean brownie recipe. Brownies, mmmm, now I won't be able to focus all day.

Anonymous said...

My grandmother always made it for my dad . She never measured anything so just guessing. Powdered sugar , probably a few cups , Crisco and milk until it looks like frosting then add the amount of peanut butter you like to it if too thick then add a little more milk. It really is good on spice cake .
Dee D

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