If you’re looking for piecrust perfection, check this out

Maybe you are one of those who struggled making the perfect, flaky piecrust that your mother or grandmother did.

I know I worked like crazy to perfect that skill, but when they came out with the prepared and refrigerated type – I was hooked!

Maybe you just don’t like the typical type of crust that is used in most pies?

Right out of the oven, the pie looks fluffy. (Betsy Crisp)

Well, here’s something you might want to try.

You can call it impossible or just sheer magic.

But, the fact is, these recipes simply form the crust while the pie is baking.

To me, this might more aptly be described as a cross somewhere between a cobbler and a pie. For the result isn’t really a crust, and the it’s not really crustless.

Another plus? There are recipes for both sweet and savory concoctions. There are recipes for pumpkin, apple, custard, and coconut pies, as well as those for main dishes such as quiche, cheeseburger or taco pies.

I am not exactly sure where this idea originated.

I have seen an old Mennonite cookbook from my Iowa grandmother’s collection that featured similar recipes.

However, I’m also aware that some time back in the 1970s, a major food company began marketing a baking mix that you could keep on the shelf and draw from as needed for various recipes. Their test kitchens got busy and developed many recipes, and even printed several on the back of the box to entice consumers into using more of this versatile mixture.

If you don’t have that prepared/packaged baking mix on hand, you can try this substitute:

Homemade Baking Mix

1 cup of flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon sugar (optional)

½ teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon oil (or melted butter/margarine/shortening)

Combine all ingredients except fat in a large bowl (or pulse in a food processor) and mix.

Add fat and continue process (or use a pastry cutter) until mixture resembles coarse meal (crumbly/size of peas).

Note: Try not to make up more than you can use in one day. Once the oil is added, it does not store well due to food safety concerns.


Magic Coconut Custard Pie
(The first “impossible pie” recipe that seemed to appear promoting the baking mix product was for a coconut pie. This is a variation of the original.)

¾ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup butter (or margarine), softened

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Whipped topping (optional)
2 Tablespoons toasted coconut* for garnish (optional)


Preheat oven to 350°F Fahrenheit.

Spray a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray.

Cream butter and sugar with a mixer (or 30-seconds in a blender).

Add eggs, one at a time.

Add flour and milk alternately, and mix until all ingredients are just blended.

Stir in coconut.

Pour into prepared pie pan (on top of a baking sheet – just in case it spills).

Bake for 50 minutes to 60 minutes until slightly browned on top and knife inserted in center comes out clean. It will rise up some, be light and fluffy, but still giggle.

Remove from the oven. Let cool 15 minutes to 20 minutes before placing in refrigerator to chill at least 4 hours, or overnight is even better. Don’t be surprised when it starts to fall/shrink down a little.

Serve with whipped topping and toasted coconut as garnish (optional)

Variations: 1) Increase vanilla to 1 ½ teaspoon to 2 teaspoons; 2) add ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg and/or sprinkle on top; 3) add 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, which equals approximately the juice from ½ a lemon.

Makes 1 pie, which has 6 servings to 8 servings.

Note: *To make toasted coconut: Make a thin layer of coconut on a flat baking sheet. Bake at 350°F. for 4 minutes to 5 minutes. Be sure to stir with a spatula after the first 2 minutes to 3 minutes to help brown evenly and not scorch. This can also be done on top of the stove in a fry pan on medium low-medium heat – stirring constantly. You can store in an air-tight container for up to two weeks.

Betsy Crisp is a Professor Emeritus, UF/IFAS Extension – Family & Consumer Sciences.

Magic Cheeseburger Pie
(This is a kid-friendly favorite!)

1 pound lean ground beef (ground sirloin/chuck)

1 medium onion, chopped (approximately 1 cup)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 ½ teaspoons olive oil

2 large eggs

1 cup of milk

½ cup all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spray 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray.

In a large skillet cook the beef, onions, and garlic approximately 8 minutes to 10 minutes, until beef is browned/no longer pink. (Note: can also be cooked on high in microwave oven 5 minutes to 8 minutes depending on wattage). Drain fat/pat dry with paper towels.

Add Worcestershire and pepper, stir to mix and pour into prepared pie pan.

In a bowl with a mixer (or 30-seconds in a blender), combine oil, eggs, and milk.  Add flour, baking powder, and salt and blend well before pouring on top of meat mixture.

Top with shredded cheese.

Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until cheese is golden-brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Variation: To make a taco pie, add 1 package taco seasoning (preferably low-sodium) to ground beef when cooking.  Substitute 1 can (4.5 oz.) of diced green chilies for the 1 cup of chopped onion. Omit Worcestershire sauce and garlic. Hot sauce (1/2 teaspoon or to taste) can be added as well.

Makes 1 pie, which equals 4 main dish servings.

Published November 7, 2018

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