Desserts, Pies, Recipes

Mandarin Pie #CookoutWeek

A creamy, dreamy mandarin orange pie made with an Oreo crust and topped off with mini chocolate chips… this cool treat is perfect for hot nights. 

A creamy, dreamy mandarin orange pie made with an Oreo crust and topped off with mini chocolate chips... this cool treat is perfect for hot nights. #CookoutWeek 2017

I’ve always been a fan of fruit and chocolate. Separately or together, this combination is pretty great. I can hardly think of a single fruit that doesn’t taste good with a bit of chocolate. Can you? Oranges and chocolate is one of my favorite combos. I love it in these cookies and these muffins, so it should come as no surprise that I also love it in pie form!

A creamy, dreamy mandarin orange pie made with an Oreo crust and topped off with mini chocolate chips... this cool treat is perfect for hot nights. #CookoutWeek 2017

The first time I tried this pie was a pretty bad night. Maybe “pretty bad” is a bit of an exaggeration, but over Christmas, both Ben and I got pinkeye. It was pretty much the worst. We were visiting my parents in beautiful Bluffton, South Carolina when the dreaded infection struck. My eyes looked awful and vacation went from relaxing to constant laundry, handwashing, and disinfecting. I blame the baby. Haha. 🙂 Maybe I’m still exaggerating about how bad it was, but I wouldn’t wish pinkeye on anyone! The only highlight of the evening I spent at urgent care was this dessert that I got to enjoy afterwards. This pie was graciously shared with our family by my parents’ friends. We each got a slice and I was so sad it was all gone. I couldn’t stop thinking about it! Eventually I got the recipe and the rest is history! I forsee a LOT of mandarin pie in my future!

A creamy, dreamy mandarin orange pie made with an Oreo crust and topped off with mini chocolate chips... this cool treat is perfect for hot nights. #CookoutWeek 2017

The goodness of this pie starts off with an Oreo crust. The original recipe suggested a chocolate crust, but I amped it up a bit with some Oreos (or fauxreos, as Ben calls them because in baking, I tend to use the store brand). The crust is then filled with a glorious mixture of cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, orange juice, and sour cream. It’s light and sweet and almost cheesecake-y in texture. Utterly amazing! Fold in some mandarin oranges, spoon into crust, and top with mini chocolate chips and a few decorative mandarin oranges and there you have it! Every bite is filled with chocolatey orange goodness. Since this pie doesn’t require any baking, it’s perfect for summer. This would be a great pie to bring to a cookout, as long as it could be kept cold until serving. Wherever you enjoy this pie, be sure to share it with those you love. 🙂 ❤

I hope you’ve enjoyed all the recipes I’ve shared for #CookoutWeek. Don’t forget to enter the #CookoutWeek 2017 giveaway, happening NOW! Lots of great prizes and an easy entry!

Check out some other delicious cookout recipes shared today for #CookoutWeek here!

Tell me: what’s your favorite no-bake dessert for cookouts?

two years ago: Iced Coconut Mocha
three years ago: Chewy Coconut Oil Granola Bars
four years ago: Coconut Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Crumb Cake
five years ago: BBQ Ranch Pasta Salad
six years ago: Lemony Roasted Vegetable Couscous

Mandarin Pie

  • Servings: 8
  • Print

from my mom’s friend Karen – addition of the Oreo crust by yours truly


for Oreo crust (can also substitute your favorite chocolate crust or a storebought one)

  • 25 Oreos
  • 5 tablespoons butter

for pie

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened (I use Neufchâtel)
  • 1 – 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 8 ounces frozen whipped topping (Cool Whip), thawed
  • 1 – 15 ounce can mandarin oranges, divided
  • 1 ounce semi sweet chocolate OR a handful of mini chocolate chips


Begin by preparing crust. Crush Oreos in a food processor to form fine crumbs. Transfer to a bowl. Then melt butter and drizzle into Oreo crumbs. Use a fork to combine, then press into a 9 inch pie pan. Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes before using.

To prepare pie filling, beat cream cheese in a stand mixer until fluffy. Add sweetened condensed milk, orange juice, and sour cream. Beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.

Transfer half of the pie filling to crust, then top with most of the mandarin oranges. Reserve eight oranges for the pie topping. Cover with remaining filling. Depending on how deep the pie pan is, you may have a little leftover. Top pie with mandarin oranges and mini chocolate chips.

Instead of mini chocolate chips, you can also melt 1 ounce of semi sweet chocolate (a baking square if possible) and drizzle over the pie. Either way tastes great!

Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before slicing. Best enjoyed the same day, especially for presentation, but leftovers are also good for ~48 hours.

I haven’t made this, but I think this pie filling would also be amazing as parfaits: Oreo crumbs, pie filling, mandarin oranges, chocolate chips, and repeat. Yum!

Desserts, Pies, Recipes

Fantastical Food Fight: Baked PB + J Pie

Your favorite childhood sandwich… in PIE form! Enjoy PB&J in a whole new way. It’s not Pi Day anymore but that doesn’t mean we still can’t enjoy some pie. 🙂

Your favorite childhood sandwich... in PIE form! Enjoy PB&J in a whole new way. :)

Hey hey! It’s PB&J… not on bread… but in a PIE. Yes, you read that right. Peanut butter and jelly… in pie. Whaaaaat? I made this delicious pie for the PB&J themed Fantastical Food Fight this month. (New to Fantastical Food Fight? Check out all the details here–this is my first time joining in and I’m sure it won’t be my last.) This pie combines the best of the sweet childhood sandwich with a little bit of adult sophistication.

Your favorite childhood sandwich... in PIE form! Enjoy PB&J in a whole new way. :)

When tasked with making a peanut butter and jelly themed recipe for Fantastical Food Fight this month, I had so many ideas… cookies, cake, muffins, candy… the sweet treats go on and on! I even considered some kind of savory peanut butter pasta that incorporated berries somehow… or even a peanut butter-dressed kale salad with fruit. But then… somehow, someway… peanut butter and jelly PIE started sounding awfully appealing. I think it was the leftover cubed butter I had in the freezer from Thanksgiving that started it. See, my go-to pie crust requires cubing butter and chilling it in the freezer, so there you have it. To make the crust a little more interesting, I substituted some of the flour for crushed graham crackers to mimic some of the super-sweetness of the childhood version of the PB&J.

Your favorite childhood sandwich... in PIE form! Enjoy PB&J in a whole new way. :)

Most Peanut Butter Pies are no-bake concoctions, featuring lots of whipped cream, powdered sugar, and fluffy sweetness. But for some reason, I wasn’t feeling that lightness–I wanted something creamy and thick, more like the peanut butter and jelly sandwich that I still have for lunch on occasion. So I consulted my friend Google and found a few baked peanut butter pies and decided to give it a whirl! Turns out baked peanut butter pie is AWESOME, my friends! The texture is similar to pumpkin pie or even a homemade pudding/custard pie… it is rich and delicious. When you add a layer of jam between the graham cracker-laced crust and the creamy peanut butter pie filling, you’ll be in heaven. Each bite is better than the last. I used cherry preserves in this layer and the tartness pairs so well with the sweet peanut butter filling… but any kind of jam/jelly/preserves would go well I do believe. 🙂

Your favorite childhood sandwich... in PIE form! Enjoy PB&J in a whole new way. :)

I would say one slice is enough… but it really isn’t! Haha. We couldn’t get enough of this pie and hope you feel the same way. 🙂

one year ago: Coffee Chocolate Chip Streusel Muffins
two years ago: Mujaddara: Mediterranean Lentils and Rice with Carrot Slaw
three years ago: Apple Rubies in Coconut Milk
four years ago: Double Blueberry Walnut Muffins
five years ago: Quinoa Pancakes
six years ago: Lemon Blueberry Bread

P.S. Are you loving my custom stamped fork? Check out my college friend Nicole’s awesome Etsy shop, Tattooed Silver. #GiftIdea

Find more PB&J deliciousness at the link below!

Baked PB + J Pie

crust adapted from Simply Recipes, pie from Magnola Days


for crust:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of sugar
  • 8 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (I like storing mine in the freezer for at least 1 hour)
  • 3-4 tablespoons ice water, very cold

for pie:

  • 2 eggs, at room temperature and separated
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 5 ounces evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup jam or preserves of choice (I used cherry preserves)


Begin by making your pie crust. If desired you can just use storebought or use your favorite recipe.

Pulse flour, graham cracker crumbs, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Add about half of the butter cubes and pulse 6-8 times, then add the rest and do the same. The butter should be pea-sized at this point. Add water (minus the ice cubes) one tablespoon at a time, pulsing between additions, until the mixture starts to clump together. The dough is ready when you pinch it and it holds together. I usually use about 4 tablespoons water–don’t add too much or crust will be tough.

Turn dough out onto a clean countertop and shape into a disk. Dust with flour on all sides, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to a couple days. When ready to use, bring to room temperature for about 10-15 minutes, then unwrap. Sprinkle some flour on the dough and countertop so the dough doesn’t stick. Use a rolling pin to roll out dough to a 12 inch circle. Gently fold in half before transferring to a pie pan, then press dough into pan. Alternatively, you can skip the rolling out process and just press this dough into the pan–sometimes that is easier, though it won’t be as pretty. Keep handling to a minimum for ultimate dough flakiness.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Then, make your pie filling. Beat egg whites in a large bowl until stiff peaks form–I used my stand mixer for this, but a hand mixer would be fine too. In another large bowl, whisk egg yolks and brown sugar together. Mixture should be thick and light brown in color. Add peanut butter and corn syrup, then stir to combine. Mix in milk and vanilla, then gently fold in egg whites.

Spread jam or preserves directly on pie crust, then pour peanut butter mixture on top.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until filling is set. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Desserts, Pies, Recipes

#TripleSBites: Crumb Top Apple Pie

This walnut-laced crumb topped apple pie is a perfect dessert for the pie lover in your life!

#TripleSBites Crumb Top Apple Pie |

Ben loves all desserts, but his two favorites are pie and cheesecake. Often for his birthdays I’ll make one or the other instead of a traditional cake. So this Crumb Topped Apple Pie, while not a traditional Valentine’s Day dessert, is certainly appreciated in my house!

#TripleSBites Crumb Top Apple Pie |

I’ve made plenty of apple pies in my day, but with this recipe, I have found my new go-to. The apple filling is sweet and perfectly spiced, but the crumb topping takes the cake [hahaha]. I’m usually not a nut-in-desserts girl, but the walnuts in the crumb topping are absolutely DIVINE! I can see other nuts, like pecans or almonds or even hazelnuts working really well in the topping too.

Crumb Top Apple Pie | #TripleSBitesThis pie is great on its own, or a la mode. Maybe with yogurt it could be an acceptable breakfast?! 🙂 But if you’re looking for more Valentine’s desserts, read on!

Spicely Chocolates for #TripleSBites |

As part of #TripleSBites we were all sent some fancy chocolates from Spicely Organics. These chocolates were EXCELLENT! I got to try Honeybush Caramel Milk Chocolate and Green Earl Grey Dark Chocolate. Both were delicious and part of their tea-infused line of chocolates. The Honeybush Caramel tasted like cinnamon and spice, along with sweet caramel, while the Green Earl Grey tasted like earl grey tea and citrus. Normally I like dark chocolate better than milk chocolate, but the milk chocolate option was my favorite. On their website, Spicely also has some other flavors and you can win them through our giveaway, which ends today! These chocolates remind me of some specialty ones I purchased in France when I spent a summer in Nice during college. So you know they have to be good! You can find Spicely on Twitter and Facebook too, if you want to learn more. 🙂

Kitchen IQ for #TripleSBites |

We were also sent a handy spice grater from Kitchen IQ. It’s great to use for grating cheese or cinnamon or chocolate… the essentials, really! I love the design–it’s very easy to use and feels safe for your hands unlike my large grater. I know I will use it often! I hope to share a new recipe soon where I use it…. so stay tuned! 🙂 You can check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and also check out our giveaway for their prize! I’ve had such a great time being part of #TripleSBites over the past week or so, and hope you’ve enjoyed it too! Have a great Monday, guys!

three years ago: Mexican Chicken Alfredo
four years ago: Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Crumb Top Apple Pie

  • Servings: 8
  • Print

crust and pie from Life as Mom


for crust

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, chunked
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons cold water

for pie

  • 6 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced – I used a combination of Granny Smith and Golden Delicious
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract

Begin by making the crust. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, butter, and salt with a pastry blender or two knives. Mix until the mixture forms pea-sized pieces. Stir in cold water until dough comes together. Transfer to a pie pan, spreading the dough along the bottom and sides of the pan. Set aside.

When pie crust has come together, preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together apples, sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Transfer to unbaked pie crust.

Place flour, butter, brown sugar, walnuts, cinnamon, and almond/vanilla extract in a food processor. Pulse until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Spread evenly over apples.

Bake for 1 hour or until filling is bubbly. Check pie after about 40 minutes and cover with foil to prevent burning, if necessary.


Pie can be frozen, unbaked, for up to 2 months. Just wrap in two layers of foil and do not thaw before baking–just add 15 minutes extra to the baking time.

Disclosure: I received chocolates from Spicely Organics and a spice grater from Kitchen IQ as part of my participation in #TripleSBites. I was not compensated in any way–for my time, to create a recipe, or to publish positive comments. I was not required to use these products as part of my recipe. My opinions are my own. 

#TripleSBites |

Be sure to check out other yummy recipes whipped up by my friends below:

Desserts, Pies, Recipes

Oreo Ice Cream Pie

This beauty is alllll because of Ben. [Who just started a blog, p.s.] Apparently, in his high school cafeteria, Oreo Ice Cream Pie was all the rage. Along with weenie winks [hot dogs wrapped in American cheese and white bread, then baked]. Look at this photo at your own risk, I’m not quite sure how anyone would find that appealing. But apparently some do. I can guarantee that pretty much everyone will find this pie appealing. And delicious. Certainly, delicious.

Oreo Ice Cream Pie |

I don’t think I ever ate anything this good in my high school cafeteria, partially because we had open campus so I often went home or out to eat. But I digress. Who cares about high school food? That was so last decade! Instead of lamenting about the old caf, you can make an easy no-bake dessert at home that you can enjoy for days [if it lasts that long!!].

Oreo Ice Cream Pie |

This pie couldn’t be simpler: an Oreo crust, Cookies and Cream ice cream, Cool Whip, and some cookie crumbs. Piece of cake. Cookie? Pie? Regardless, this pie is AWEsome. I made my own Oreo crust with butter and Oreo crumbs, but you can buy one if you’re pressed for time. My time concession was to use Cookies and Cream Ice Cream instead of mixing Oreos into vanilla ice cream. Whatever ingredients you choose are sure to be delicious! I think sometime I’d like to try it out with mint Oreos and Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream. Mmmm! But this time, I wanted to make the original for Ben to take him back to his days as a Lake High School Flyer! Happy Friday! 🙂

Oreo Ice Cream Pie |

two years ago: Spaghetti and “Meat” Balls
three years ago: Caramelized Onion Dip

Oreo Ice Cream Pie

  • Servings: 10
  • Print


  • 1 small package Oreos [15.25 ounces]
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1.5-1.75 quart Cookies and Cream ice cream, softened on the counter for 20 minutes
  • 8 ounce package Cool Whip, softened on the counter for 20 minutes


Crush 24 Oreos in a ziploc bag or food processor until you have fine crumbs. Transfer to a large bowl, then pour melted butter over cookie crumbs, stirring well to combine. Press mixture onto the bottom and sides of a 9 inch deep dish pie pan to form the crust.

Spoon ice cream over crust, then cover completely with Cool Whip. Crush 2-3 remaining Oreos and sprinkle over Cool Whip. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and return to freezer for at least 2 hours before serving.

Alternatively, you can stick the pie in the freezer uncovered for about 20 minutes, then remove it and stick a few toothpicks in the Cool Whip and then cover it with foil, using the toothpicks to hold up the foil so it doesn’t stick. Then return to freezer for at least 2 hours before serving.

Notes: I used the full 1.75 quart container of ice cream in a 9 inch deep dish pie pan. It was nearly overflowing. If you use a regular pie pan, use less ice cream. I’m sure you can find a use for what’s left! 🙂

Linked up with: Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday.

Desserts, Pies, Recipes

Mystery Dish: Sweet Potato Pie with Cranberry Compote

Good morning, everyone! I’ve got a wonderful pie to share with you today! But not just any old pie–Sweet Potato Pie with Cranberry Compote!

sweet potato pie with cranberry compote | thepajamachef.comRegular readers know that I don’t usually post on Tuesdays [I’m on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule] but this month our Mystery Dish posting happened to fall on a Tuesday. So here I am! 🙂 As a refresher, Mystery Dish is a fun new blogging group that I’m a part of– the premise is this: each month, one blogger will create a mystery box of ingredients. Ingredients can be themed related to a cuisine, a meal, a season, a specific ingredient, or anything else creative. Then, the other eleven bloggers have to create a recipe using some of the ingredients. SO FUN! This month it was Nora’s turn to come up with our assigned ingredients. Nora blogs at Buttercream Fanatic [yummmm] and she chose:

  • Sweet Potato
  • Kale
  • Squash (any kind, including pumpkin)
  • Nutmeg
  • Venison
  • Turkey
  • Cranberries
  • Caramel
  • Candy Corn

Since I made a pie for the first edition of Mystery Dish, I didn’t intend to make another one for this go-round. It just happened. I saw a picture on instagram of a sweet potato pie and inspiration struck! I have always wanted to try sweet potatoes in a pie and here was my chance. Oh, and Ben nixed the idea of anything else butternut squash, pumpkin, or kale. I guess he’s tired of those ingredients. I don’t understand… But I digress.

sweet potato pie with cranberry compote | thepajamachef.comI’ve typically shied away from making sweet potato pie because it seems so close to pumpkin… but YOU GUYS! It’s not! It’s pumpkin pie’s savorier cousin. It has a subtle sweetness, and when paired with tangy sweet cranberries, each bite is like Thanksgiving. Seriously. So I hope you make this pie and can look past the photos I took at 7 am in the morning because central time and fall and having a full time job are [gratefully] messing with my photography/blogging rhythm. The pie is great with coffee for breakfast, great for a late night snack, and just great all around. Try it out!

So there you have it. Mystery Dish is fun and Sweet Potato Pie is just as amazing as I dreamed it was… but don’t just check out my recipe. There are eleven permanent members in the group, and one guest each month who have each made something utterly fabulous! This month, our guest is Cate of Chez Catey Lou. She’s super sweet so be sure to check out her site! For a look at what everyone else made, check out the collage and links below. Enjoy my pie, and enjoy your day! 🙂

Mystery Dish Collage

1. Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream
2. Roasted Acorn Squash with Cranberries, Almonds, and Brown Sugar
3. Sweet Potato and Sausage Soup
4. Pumpkin Magic Bars
5. Pumpkin Pie Cake
6. Sweet Potato, Smoked Turkey, and Cranberry Croque Madame
7. Caramel Candy Corn Poke Cake
8. Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza with Kale and Ricotta
9. Sweet Potato Cranberry Quick Bread
10. Venison with Sweet Potato Hash & Fried Egg
11. Orange Cranberry Bread
12. Sweet Potato Pie with Cranberry Compote

Sweet Potato Pie with Cranberry Compote [pie recipe slightly adapted from Paula Deen]
click to print


for sweet potato pie

  • 2 large sweet potatoes [~1.25 lb]
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 9 inch pie shell, unbaked – I used the recipe and method here

for cranberry compote

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries, rinsed


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel sweet potatoes and cut into large chunks. Place in a microwave safe dish and add about 1/2 cup water before microwaving for 10 minutes, checking halfway through for doneness. When potatoes are very soft, add butter and mash until smooth. Set aside.

Meanwhile, combine sugar, eggs, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice in a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until combined, then pour in milk and mix again. After potatoes have cooled, add to sugar and milk mixture and beat on low for 2-3 minutes until very smooth.

Pour into unbaked pie crust, and bake for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If the crust starts browning too much during cooking, cover with aluminum foil.

To make cranberry compote, stir together sugar, water, and orange juice in a small pot. Bring to a boil, then add cranberries. Return to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Cook until berries begin to burst, stirring occasionally. Cool completely then store in the refrigerator.

Cool pie completely before cutting.

To serve, cut pie and top each slice with a generous serving of cranberry compote.

Time: 75 minutes.

Yield: 8-10 servings.