This week on What's for Dinner, Joe gives us some pie recipes and answers some of our listeners cooking questions.

A pie crust recipe you can freeze.
This will making prepping for Thanksgiving a breeze!


1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
½ cup butter, chilled
3 Tbsp ice water

A food processor is the best tool to use for this recipe.

Cut the butter into cubes and add to the food processor. Use the pulse button and add the water wile pulsing. Once the dough comes together you stop adding the water. Take the dough out with a pastry cutter. Place the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap, then using a rolling pin roll the dough out.

To freeze Joe suggests rolling the rolled out dough into a jelly roll form, wrapping in plastic wrap again and then place in the freezer.

Try one of these pie recipes this Thanksgiving using the pie crusts you have made ahead of time.

Sweet Potato Pie


1 lb. sweet potatoes
2 eggs
1 1⁄2 cups milk
4 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
1 cup brown sugar
1⁄2 tsp. ground cloves
1 1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp. nutmeg
1⁄4 tsp. salt
1 9" Unbaked pie crust


Preheat oven to 450 degreese. Peel sweet potatoes, cut into large pieces, and cook in boiling salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, mash, and measure out 1 1⁄2 cups.

Whisk together eggs, milk, butter, brown sugar, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. Add sweet potatoes; beat until smooth. Pour into your unbaked pie crust. Bake for 15 minutes; lower oven to 350° and bake an additional 20–25 minutes until set.

Cherry Pie


2 9'' pie crusts
4 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup white sugar
4 cups pitted cherries
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons butter


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place bottom crust in pie pan, set top crust aside and cover. Refrigerate until needed.

In a large mixing bowl combine tapioca, salt, sugar, cherries, and extracts. Let stand 15 minutes. Pour into the bottom crust and add pieces of butter. Cover with the top crust, flute edges and cut vents in top. Place pie on a cookie sheet (just in case of drips)

Bake for 50 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown.


Q: What is the difference between caramelizing onions and sautéing onions?

A: Caramelizing and sautéing are both forms of cooking the onions. When sautéing, you are cooking the onions in oil until translucent. When caramelizing, you are cooking the onions in oil and a little sugar until the onions begin to brown and stick to the bottom of the pan. The brown on the onion is a result of the sugar and onion juices caramelizing.

Q: My recipe calls for shallots, will onions give the same flavor?

A: While shallots are in the onion family the flavor is different, so no you will not get the same flavor. However, if the shallot is not a star ingredient of the dish an onion should do just fine.

Q: How long should I cook frozen Ravioli for? How long should I cook fresh Ravioli for?

A: Once the pot of water comes to a rapid boil frozen ravioli will cook in about 7 minutes and the fresh ravioli will cook in about 3 minutes.

Q: Every time I make rice or risotto it turns out clumpy, any suggests to keep it fluffy and not sticky?

A: You can not walk away from risotto, you have to constantly stir the risotto and it is very important to have plenty of liquid in the pan.

Joe's Pumpkin Risotto


Fresh Pumpkin, peeled and diced
Onion, chopped
Chicken or Vegetable Stock
Arborio Rice
Canned Pumpkin
Reggiano Parmigiano


Sauté the onion until it is translucent. Then add the fresh pumpkin, until it is nice and soft. Add the rice. Once the onion and pumpkin begin to stick to the rice add chicken stock and stir. Take a can of pumpkin and add it to the pan, continue to stir. Add the reggiano parmigiano cheese and finish with a little butter and black pepper. Enjoy!


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