Pies in Our Eyes: Three Perfect Pies! {plus the tips & tricks to make them at home}

  • Home
  • Desserts
  • Pies in Our Eyes: Three Perfect Pies! {plus the tips & tricks to make them at home}

Dress up a store-bought pie with homemade goodies!
PIE! Pumpkin pie. Apple pie. Pecan pie. As the holidays approach, there is no better time to start brushing up on your pie-making skills. Whatever you do, don’t let pie making and baking intimidate you! It’s an American tradition that is beloved by nearly everyone; after all, who doesn’t love a good piece of homemade PIE? 

Julie Roller- Kansas Department of AgricultureWe met with Julie Roller from the Kansas Department of Agriculture who shared about one of our favorite Kansas establishments: Nelson’s Landing in Leonardville. Nelson’s Landing is a From the Land of Kansas member famous for their chicken fried steak, their world-famous pies, and their son, Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson! If you’re ever out that way, you MUST stop in and try a slice of pie! But if you’re not able to make it to Leonardville, read on. I’ve got you covered with all you need to know for making a world-famous pie in your own kitchen!

  • There are lots of new options available to home cooks when it comes to pie baking these days.  Jarred pie fillings, such as some of my favorites from Grandma Hoerner’s, (pictured here) make pie baking speedy and efficient – simply add a few essential ingredients, such as eggs and butter, then pour the filling into a pie shell and bake.  It’s really that simple.Jarred Pie Fillings make pies simple and delicious! | Chef Alli's Farm Fresh Kitchen
  • But maybe it’s not the filling that actually overwhelms you. Maybe, just maybe, it’s really that darn pastry crust? Everybody wants their pastry crust to be tender and flaky, something that actually takes a little know-how and practice. That’s why I’m so glad that I’ve found Elsie Grace’s No-Roll Pastry Crust Mix – it’s absolutely delightful to work with and you’ll be so delighted with the outcome.  Simply combine the pie crust mix with oil and a bit of milk, then PAT it out across the bottom and up the sides of your pie plate – that’s it.

Apple Pecan Streusel with a NO-ROLL Pie crust!

  • If you just don’t have time to make and bake a pie, store-bought pies can be an option as well, and they are fun to embellish with pastry cut-outs, sugared cranberries, or flavored whipped creams.  (See the recipes below for the how-to on those embellishments – they are all super easy.)Pecan Pie with Cinnamon Whipped Cream | Chef Alli's Farm Fresh Kitchen


1 jar Grandma Hoerner’s Apple Pie Filling, 32 oz.
½ package Betty Crocker Super Moist Butter Pecan Cake Mix, 15. 25 oz. (just the dry mix is needed)
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1 – prepared unbaked pastry crust (I love to use Elsie Grace’s No Roll Pie Crust Mix), pressed into a 9” pie plate
Pour pie filling into prepared pastry crust; top with dry cake mix, then drizzle cake mix with melted butter and top with pecans, spreading as evenly as possible over top of pie.
Place pie into preheated 350 degree F. oven on center rack, uncovered, and bake for 30-35 minutes or until top is golden brown and filling is hot throughout.  (When filling is oozing out in places along the edge of the pie crust, that’s a good sign!)
Print Button


1 jar Grandma Hoerner’s Caramel Maple Pumpkin Pie Filling, 17.5 oz.
2 large eggs
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
9” deep prepared unbaked pastry crust (I love to use Elsie Grace’s No Roll Pie Crust Mix, 7.7 oz.)
In a large mixing bowl, combine pie filling with eggs and milk; pour into pastry crust.
Place pie onto center rack of a preheated 325 degree F. oven and bake, uncovered, for 50-55 minutes, or until set at center and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool completely, then top with pastry stars, overlapping and piling them up slightly, then add sugared cranberries into nooks and crannies as you’d like.  Or, if you prefer, keep pastry stars and sugared cranberries completely separate from pie and once pie is sliced it into pieces, garnish each piece with the stars and sugared cranberries at that point.
Pastry Stars
1 box refrigerated pie crust
star cookie cutters of varying sizes (or use your favorite holiday cookie cutters to create the holiday theme of your choice)
nonstick baking spray
Granulated sugar
To create pastry stars, roll pie crusts out on a lightly floured surface, then cut into stars with cookie cutters.  Place pastry stars onto a well-greased baking sheet and lightly spray the tops with baking spray; immediately sprinkle stars with sugar.  Bake stars on center rack, uncovered, in preheated 375 degree F. oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.  Let cool on baking sheet for 1-2 minutes, then immediately remove to a cooling rack to cool.
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 cup granulated sugar, divided use
1/2 cup water
Meanwhile, create sugared-cranberries by placing cranberries into a large mixing bowl.  In a medium saucepan, bring water and 1/2 cup of sugar to a boil; whisk mixture until sugar is completely dissolved; remove syrup from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.  Pour prepared syrup over the cranberries in the mixing bowl and stir.  Refrigerate cranberries overnight.  Remove from refrigeration (syrup will be thickened by this time) and drain cranberries.  Pour remaining ½ cup of sugar over drained cranberries, gently tossing to coat well.  Place sugared cranberries onto a parchment sheet, spread out,  until ready to use.
Print Button


1 jar Grandma Hoerner’s Pecan Pie Filling , 21 oz.
4 large eggs, beaten
¼ cup melted butter
9” deep prepared unbaked pie shell (also known as a pastry crust and I love to use Elsie Grace’s No Roll Pie Crust Mix, 7.7 oz.!)
In a large mixing bowl, combine pie filling with eggs and butter; pour filling into prepared pastry crust.
Place pie, uncovered, onto center rack of preheated 325 degree F. oven and bake for 50-60 minutes or until knife inserted into center of pie comes out clean and center of pie is set.  Let pie cool completely, then serve in big, fat wedges topped with gobs of Spiced Cinnamon Whipped Cream.  And, if you’re feeling extra fancy, sprinkle a little cinnamon on top of that whipped cream – la tee dah!
Spiced Cinnamon Whipped Cream
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ cup pure maple syrup
In a small deep bowl, (if you have a glass one that’s been chilled ahead, it will speed up the whipping process, but it’s not absolutely necessary) beat whipped cream using an electric mixer until stiff peaks form; add cinnamon and maple syrup, 1 Tbs. at a time, incorporating well before adding the next tablespoon of syrup.  Cover and store in the fridge for up to 4 hours. Serve with your favorite pie.
Print Button

Now You’re Cookin’,
Chef Alli

**These recipes were featured on Chef Alli’s Farm Fresh Kitchen with From the Land of Kansas, as part of WIBW 13 News This Morning, October 2015. To order your favorite From the Land of Kansas products and ingredients, visit our new ecommerce sight. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. It may also contain “affiliate links”. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Chef Alli

Chef Alli is a home-grown Kansas girl on a mission to strengthen families through enabling kitchen confidence, educating the family cook, and encouraging better food relationships. She believes with her whole heart that time spent with our loved ones and our overall quality of life is greatly enhanced by nutritious food made at home with simple, wholesome ingredients. She loves being able to connect and share this passion with others through her website, her social media presence, and her coveted speaking engagements.

Blog Comments

[…] Roasted Pork Loin & Sweet Potatoes Over Baby Kale & Spinach Salad Three Perfect Pies Julie Roller & Nelson’s […]

Leave a Comment