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Impossible pies- the convenient baked dishes that make their own crusts- were popularized by Bisquick (TM) baking mix. In the early 1980s, the company published the recipes, widely expanding their popularity. The original "Impossible Coconut Pie" and "Impossible Bacon Pie" started as grassroots recipes that consumers shared with each other in the late 60's, quickly increasing to over 100 versions. Below are my favorites evolved from the bacon pie and some of the more interesting dinner combinations.
Substitute healthier ingredients to get a better food. Substitute a high quality homemade baking mix such as Ellen's Better Buttermilk Baking Mix for the Bisquick. The original Impossible pies were full of eggs, cheese, butter and often meat, so pretty high in cholesterol. To lower fat and cholesterol, they can be made substituting two egg whites for each egg, using reduced fat cheeses, ricotta or drained cottage cheese or naturally lower fat cheeses such as mozzarella, Parmesan or lower fat queso quesadilla. Precook and drain ground meat. Frozen and crumbled, seasoned to taste, tofu makes a fine ground meat substitute, or you can use ground seitan/ wheat meat, or ground chicken or turkey in place of ground beef. The pies taste great with all these variations.
Fresh is best. Impossible pies are best made just before serving. Not suitable for freezing once baked, they do allow you to prepare freezer packages of the additions/fillings (ground meat, etc) and add the liquids at the moment of preparation. Baked Impossible pie keeps several days in the refrigerator, so they are handy for totable breakfasts and lunches.
Pan size: a single recipe will fill a 9" or 10" pie plate, or an 11"x7" biscuit pan. A double recipe will fill a 9"x13" pan. A half recipe will fill a 1 quart round or square casserole. If a pan size is specified, it probably works better in that size. Always spray or grease the pan.
The darkest secret, or what Bisquick didn't want us to know: If you are making a single recipe and use a blender, you can use self-rising flour in place of the baking mix! In a pinch, even plain flour with a 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder will do.
High altitude hints: Substitute 1/2 flour for the baking mix, to reduce the amount of baking powder. Some recipes do better at high altitudes if you increase the amount of baking mix/flour by 1/4 to 1/2 cup. Use a 10" pie plate to get a thinner layer. Preheat oven to 375 degrees instead of 400. If granulated sugar is called for, reduce sugar by 1/4 to 1/2 cups at altitudes of 3,500-6,500 feet). Baking time is usually increased. Some pies have specific high altitude adjustments, see recipes.
Filling/ crust portion
1 1/3 cups milk (evaporated skimmed gives great result): may use part milk and part mayonnaise
4 large eggs
5/8 cup baking mix
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper, black
1-3 teaspoons herbs to complement selected flavors
1-2 cups (1 pound) proteins or meat, cooked and chopped or very thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups vegetables, bite-sized, partially pre-cooked
1 cup mushrooms, pieces or slices, precooked
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup onions, chopped or rings, sautéed first
2 bell peppers, rings/chopped
1-2 cups cheese, shredded or cottage cheese, drained
Vegetarian protein additions can be seitan or wheat meat, tofu which has been frozen and baked or grilled in small dice or very thin slices, in addition to chicken, turkey, beef, ham, or even bacon. Vegetables can be anything your family likes and you have in the freezer or garden: frenched green beans, corn, carrots, peas, onions. If you use a chewy or watery vegetable such as onions or zucchini, be sure to precook, drain well. Cheese can be whatever will go well with the meat: ham and Swiss, beef and cheddar, chicken and Monterey jack, garden vegetables and parmesan, shrimp or crabmeat and almost anything. For a vegetable quiche, just use vegetables and more cheese. Drained cottage cheese can replace regular cheese or proteins.
Procedure is to preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Thaw and drain vegetables. Spray one 9" pie plate per 4 servings with nonstick spray. Mix meat, vegetables, and cheese in pie plate. (If desired, reserve 1/8 cup cheese per pie plate to sprinkle on top for last 5 minutes of baking.) Beat filling ingredients until smooth; 15 seconds on high in blender, or 1 minute on high with an electric beater. Pour into plate(s). Bake 20-55** minutes. Cool 5 minutes on flat surface, not wire rack, to maintain temperature at bottom of pie, then cut. Refrigerate leftovers promptly.
** shortest time for half recipe or very thin pie, longest for thick deep pie.
Microwave directions: You have to test this for the recipe you are trying. Microwaving works great with some and not nearly so well with others. Prepare as directed - except decrease milk to 1 3/4 cups (increase baking mix to 3/4 cup to microwave at high altitudes). Pour into greased microwavable pie plate, 10 by 1 1/2 inches, sprinkle top with paprika before microwaving.
Microwave on medium-high (70 percent) 24-28 minutes (20-24 minutes in high altitudes), rotating plate 1/4 turn every 8 minutes, until knife inserted in center comes out clean (center will be slightly soft). Garnish with tomato and green pepper.
Cover with waxed paper, let stand on flat, heatproof surface 10 minutes (do not use wire rack- too much heat loss). Sprinkle with additional paprika, if desired.
Ellen's Better Buttermilk Baking Mix
Generic main dish pie recipe
bacon breakfast pie - BLT and ham variations
sausage mockmuffin breakfast pie
beef and tomato
Beef Enchilada or Megas
Vegetable or Vegetarian
salmon or tuna
crab, asparagus, and hazelnuts or almonds
ham and Swiss
chicken pot pie
turkey & stuffing
IMPOSSIBLE BACON BREAKFAST PIE (Quiche-STYLE)
1 cup bacon pieces (1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled)
Cook, drain and crumble bacon. Put in bottom of 11"X7" greased dish. Top with onions, chilies and cheese. Put remaining ingredients in blender for 40 seconds. Pour into pan. Bake at 350 until it tests done with a knife tip (35-45 min). Cool 5 minutes before cutting.
1/2 RECIPE: Use 1 qt. square or round casserole. Decrease onion to 2 tablespoons. Divide remaining ingredients amounts in half. Decrease beat time to 10 sec.
HIGH ALT: Bake about 45 min.
For 1/2 recipe: use 1 1/2 qt round or 1 qt square casserole. Bake 30-40 min.
IMPOSSIBLE SAUSAGE MOCKMUFFIN PIE
12 ounces to 1 pound fresh sausage, cooked, drained, crumbled
Cook, drain and crumble sausage. Seed, slice and drain the tomato slices. Put sausage in bottom of 11"X7" greased dish. Top with tomato and egg slices and cheese. Put rest in blender for 30 seconds. Pour into pan. Bake at 350 until it tests done with a knife tip (35-45 min).
1/2 RECIPE: Use 1 qt. square or round casserole. Decrease beat time to 10 sec.
HIGH ALT: Bake about 45 min.
For 1/2 recipe: use 1 1/2 qt round or 1 qt square casserole. Bake 30-40 min.
IMPOSSIBLE BEEF AND TOMATO PIE
3 cups cooked beef, cut up in bite size pieces
Heat oven to 350. Grease a 13x9x2" baking dish. Layer beef, onion, celery, tomatoes and cheese in dish. Beat remaining ingredients until smooth, 15 sec. in blender on high or 1 min. with electric mixer on high. Pour into dish. Bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean, 40-50 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley sprigs if desired.
IMPOSSIBLE CHEESEBURGER PIE
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 9-inch pie plate. Cook ground beef and onion until beef is brown, drain. Stir in salt. Spread in pie plate, sprinkle with cheese. Stir remaining ingredients with fork until blended. Pour into pie plate. Bake 25 minutes(30-35 at high altitudes) or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Makes 6 servings.
IMPOSSIBLE BEEF ENCHILADA PIE- FRITOS
2 cups (1 lb.) cooked, drained ground beef
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease pie plate 10 x 1 1/2 inch. Cook and stir ground beef, onion and garlic until brown, drain. Stir in chili powder, oregano, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup taco sauce. Sprinkle tortilla chips evenly in plate. Top with 1 1/2 cups cheese, spread with beef mixture. Beat milk, large eggs and baking mix until smooth, 15 seconds in blender on high or 1 minute with hand beater. Pour into plate. Bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Spread remaining taco sauce over top, sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, 3-5 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Serve with chopped tomato, shredded lettuce and sour cream if desired. 6-8 servings.
IMPOSSIBLE PIZZA PIE
2/3 cup chopped onion
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Grease glass pie plate, 10 by 1 1/2 inches. Sprinkle 2/3 cup onion and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese in pie plate. Beat milk, large eggs and baking mix 15 seconds in blender on high or 1 minute with wire whisk or hand beater, or until smooth. Pour into pie plate. Bake 20 minutes. Spread sauce over top. Top with remaining ingredients. Bake 15-20 minutes or until cheese is light brown. Cool 5 minutes. Makes 6-8 servings.
Fast Pizza Sauce: Mix 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste, 1/4 cup water, 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves, 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
IMPOSSIBLE LASAGNA PIE
1/3 cup ricotta or creamed cottage cheese
Heat oven to 400°. Grease 9-inch pie plate. Spread ricotta cheese in pie plate, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Stir together beef, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce and the salt, spoon evenly over cheeses. Stir baking mix, milk and large eggs until blended. Pour into pie plate. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 1 to 2 minutes longer or until melted. Cool 5 minutes. Serve with additional spaghetti sauce.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Heat oven to 425°. Decrease milk to 3/4 cup. Increase first bake time to 35-40 min.
1/6th pie: 260 calories (135 calories from fat), 15 g fat (7g saturated), 100 mg cholesterol, 510 mg sodium, 10 g carbohydrate (0 g dietary fiber), 20 g protein.
IMPOSSIBLE SALMON OR TUNA PIE
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
Drain fish, mashing any bones and including them-they are an excellent source of easily absorbed calcium. I do take out the skin, but that is my taste. Put salmon or tuna and grated cheese in a greased 10" pie pan. You may add some thinly sliced sautéed celery, thawed frozen peas, or thinly sliced drained tomatoes. In blender blend the rest of the ingredients for 15 seconds, pour over ingredients in pie pan. Bake 400 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until knife comes out clean when tested. Top with extra cheese and the tomatoes. Bake 3-5 minutes longer until cheese is melted.
IMPOSSIBLE SEAFOOD PIE
6 oz. pkg. frozen crabmeat, thawed and drained OR
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease large pie plate (10 inch). Mix crabmeat, cheeses and onion in pie plate. Mix remaining ingredients in blender until smooth (15 seconds on high). Slowly pour liquid mixture into pie plate. Bake until golden brown for 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.
1 1/2 cups (approximately 8 oz.) crabmeat
Heat oven to 400°. Coat an 11-3/4" X 7-1/2" baking dish with cooking spray. **Reserve 1/4 cup of hazelnuts for garnish. Set aside. Layer crab, 1/2 cup hazelnuts, cheese and vegetables in greased baking dish. In separate mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and baking mix until dry ingredients are incorporated. (Batter will be somewhat lumpy.) Pour over layered ingredients in baking dish. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and knife inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to stand 5 minutes before serving.
While quiche is baking, blanch reserved asparagus for 5-8 minutes in uncovered pot. Drain on paper towels. When quiche is removed from oven, garnish with asparagus and sprinkle hazelnuts over all. To give asparagus a shiny appearance, brush very lightly with vegetable oil.
IMPOSSIBLE HAM 'N SWISS PIE
2 cups cut-up fully cooked smoked ham
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease glass pie plate, 10 by 1 1/2 inches. Sprinkle ham, cheese and onions in pie plate. Beat remaining ingredients except tomato and green pepper 15 seconds in blender on high, 1 minute with hand beater or until smooth.
IMPOSSIBLE HAM SALAD PIE
1 cup finely chopped, fully cooked ham
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease 10x1 1/2 inch pie plate. Rinse peas under cold water to separate and then drain. Sprinkle peas, ham and cheese into pie plate. Beat remaining ingredients in blender on high for 15 seconds, or by hand 1 minute or until smooth. Pour into pie plate. Bake until golden brown and until knife inserted into middle of pie comes our clean. This is about 30 to 35 minutes. Let pie stand 5 minutes before cutting.
IMPOSSIBLE CHICKEN PIE
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat oven to 400°. Grease 9-inch pie plate. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese in pie plate. Mix chicken, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese, the oregano, basil, garlic powder and tomato paste, spoon over Parmesan cheese. Stir baking mix, milk, pepper and large eggs until blended. Pour over chicken mixture. Bake 35 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake 5 to 8 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes.
1/6th pie: 260 calories (110 calories from fat), 12 g fat (5 g saturated), 120 mg cholesterol, 690 mg sodium, 15 g carbohydrate (1 g dietary fiber), 23 g protein.
IMPOSSIBLE CHICKEN AND BROCCOLI PIE: Add 10 ounce package thawed frozen broccoli (1 1/2 cups cooked), increase cheese to 2 1/2 cups.
IMPOSSIBLE CHICKEN POT PIE
2 cups cut up cooked chicken
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 10 inch pie plate. Mix chicken, peas and carrots, mushrooms and onion in plate. Beat remaining ingredients until smooth, 15 seconds in blender on high speed or 1 minute with hand beater. Pour into plate. Bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. 6 servings.
IMPOSSIBLE CHICKEN PARMIGIANA PIE
3/4 cup creamed cottage cheese (sm. curd)
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease pie plate, 10 x 1 1/2 inches. Layer cottage cheese and Parmesan cheese in pie plate. Mix chicken, 1/2 cup of the Mozzarella cheese, garlic powder, oregano, basil and tomato paste, spoon over Parmesan cheese. Beat remaining ingredients in blender on high speed 15 seconds with hand beater 1 minute or until smooth. Pour into pie plate. Bake 30 minutes. Top with remaining Mozzarella cheese. Bake 5 to 8 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. 6 servings.
IMPOSSIBLE TURKEY PIE
2 cups cut up cooked turkey or chicken
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease 10 inch pie plate. Sprinkle turkey, mushrooms, onions, salt and cheese in pie plate. Beat remaining ingredients until smooth, 15 seconds in blender on high speed or 1 minute with hand beater. Pour into pie plate. Bake until golden brown and knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting. Garnish with parsley if desired, refrigerate any remaining pie. Makes 6 servings.
IMPOSSIBLE TURKEY & STUFFING PIE
2 cups turkey, cooked, diced
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9" pie plate. Arrange turkey in plate, sprinkle with seasoned salt. Separate stuffing into small pieces, arrange on turkey. Top with onions and peas. Beat large eggs, milk and baking mix until smooth, 15 seconds in blender on high. Pour baking mix mixture into plate. Bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean, 30-35 min. Cool 5 min. Serve with hot turkey gravy. Garnish with cranberry jelly.