I have been giving away most of my baked goods to friends and family so I am not tempted to eat them all! My powerlifting coach, Robert has been one recipient of many of the goodies which he shares with his three kids. As a result, they have now started to make special requests, which I love! Robert recently shared the Binging with Babish imaginary pie Youtube video with his daughter Aurora and she asked ‘can Mandy make that?’. So here we are, my spin on Babish’s imaginary pie recipe.
What the heck is imaginary pie?
Imaginary or imagination pie can be found in the dinner scene in the 1991 movie Hook. The lost boys and Peter sit down to enjoy a delicious ‘meal’ that is bought to life using their imagination. On the table is a vast spread of food including a handful of brightly colored cream pies. In fact, it is the filling of one of the pies that is the first food Peter imagines to life when he flicks a spoonful of it at Rufio’s face.
Binging with Babish suspects the pies were nothing more than colored whipped cream in the actual film and after rewatching the scene I tend to agree. Thankfully Babish has created a more appealing take on the pie which is essentially an all butter pie crust filled with no bake cheesecake and topped with whipped cream. Below is my adapted version of the recipe.
Imaginary pie ingredients
- Fully baked all butter pie crust
- All purpose flour
- Granulated sugar
- Salted butter
- Apple cider vinegar
- Ice water
- No bake cheesecake filling
- Heavy cream
- Granulated sugar
- Cream cheese
- Lemon juice
- Lemon zest
- Vanilla extract
- Red food coloring
- Whipped cream
- Heavy whipping cream
- Powdered sugar
- Blue and green food coloring
Making imaginary pie
This pie is not something you can just whip up on a whim, it requires some pre planning. The reason for this is the pie crust needs time to rest, bake and cool. Following that the cheesecake filling needs time to set. I started this process on Saturday afternoon and had the finished pie ready for the kids to enjoy on Sunday evening.
A good all butter pie dough needs time to rest before it is rolled out. It then needs even more time to rest once the dough has been placed in the pan. Most recipes call for at least one to two hours of chill/rest time between forming the dough and rolling the dough. If possible you will want to push this time out as long as possible, preferably overnight. Chilling/resting allows the dough to hydrate and for the gluten fibers that have formed to relax. This will help prevent the dough from shrinking when it is baked and also results in a more tender crust. I find my crusts are always more flakey if I let the dough rest overnight before I roll it out.
Once the dough has been rolled and placed into the pie dish you will want to let it rest in the fridge one more for at least an hour. When transferring the dough to the pie dish be sure to drape the dough into the corners rather than stretching or pulling it. This will help the dough relax even further and reduce shrinkage as it bakes. Once the pie crust has been baked it will also need time to cool before the filling can be added. You do not want to add the filling to a warm pie crust or it will melt resulting in a soggy mess!
The no-bake cheesecake filling is simple to put together. You may want to rearrange the order of the instructions however based on your kitchens climate. The first step involves dissolving the gelatin in warm heavy cream. This mixture is then set aside to cool while you prepare the other steps. However, if you are working in a cold environment the gelatin mixture may set before you complete the other steps. If you are working in a cold environment consider dissolving the gelatin after you whip the heavy cream and sugar.
The cheesecake filling will also need between 4-6 hours to set once it has been added to crust. This means there is 8-10 hours of just chilling/resting time required, not including baking or prep time! Now you can see why this recipe is not something you can just whip up.
Now for the fun part! Once everything is set you will make the colored whipped cream to create the big blobs. It is easiest to pipe the cream on using a piping bag. If you do not have a piping bag you can use a plastic ziplock bag. Fill the big with the whipped cream and cut off one of the corners to create a make shift piping bag. If you have no ziplock bags you can use a spoon to add the blobs of cream. The great thing about this pie is that it does not need to be perfect!
Looking for other pie ideas?
Check out my other pie recipes.
Did you make this recipe? Share your thoughts in the comments below. We’d also love to see your pictures on social media.
Imaginary Pie from the Movie Hook
Inspired by the feast scene from the movie Hook! This imaginary pie is fun to make and just as fun to eat whether you use a spoon, your hands or something else.
No-Bake Cheesecake Filling
Pulse flour and sugar in the bowl of a food processor 4-5 times or whisk together in a bowl
Add cold cubed butter and pulse 5-6 times or cut in with pastry cutter until butter is no larger than a pea
Transfer flour mixture to a large bowl and sprinkle over iced water and vinegar until dough holds together. If dough is not holding together add more iced water 1 tsp at a time until a ball forms
Turn dough onto a flat surface and shape into a disk.
Wrap disk in plastic wrap and rest in fridge for at least two hour, but preferably overnight
Once dough is well rested roll out on a well floured surface until dough is 2" wider than pie dish diameter
Use rolling pin to gently transfer the rolled out dough to a 9" or 10" pie dish. Drape the dough into the edges of the dish, do not press or stretch it
Trim off excess dough from crust and cover with plastic wrap. Rest in fridge for at least 1 hour
Once crust is rested place a cookie sheet in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 425F
Dock (poke) bottom of rested pie dough with a fork
Line pie dough with foil ensuring edges are well covered and fill with pie weights, uncooked rice or beans
Blind bake pie crust for 15 minutes
After 15 minutes remove foil and pie weights and bake a further 12-15 minutes at 400F or until evenly golden
Let crust cool completely before adding cheesecake filling
No-Bake Cheesecake Filling
Gently heat 1/4 cup of heavy cream in a small saucepan
Add gelatin to warm cream and stir until completely dissolved (this could take up to 5 minutes so be patient). Set aside to cool
In a medium bowl beat remaining 1 1/4 cups of heavy cream and granulated sugar until soft peaks form and set aside
In a large bowl beat cream cheese until smooth (about 30 seconds - 1 minute)
Add whipped cream to cream cheese and beat on medium speed for 1 minute
Add lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla extract and red coloring to cream cheese mixture and beat on medium speed for 1 minute
Add cooled gelatin mixture to cream cheese mixture and beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes until smooth and creamy
Pour cheesecake mixture over cooled pie crust and cover with plastic wrap. Place in fridge for 5-6 hours until set
Whipped Cream Topping
Beat heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract till soft peaks form
Transfer 1/4 of the cream to a separate small bowl and set aside
Add blue food coloring to larger portion of cream and beat until medium-stiff
Add green food coloring to smaller portion of cream and beat until medium-stiff
Add whipped cream to piping bags or use spoons to add 1 large green blob in center of set pie and 6 large blue bobs around perimeter of set pie
Did you try this recipe? Tag us in your pics!
Sunday 5th of December 2021
i was looking for a recipe like this for this pie bc this is my favorite movie of all time, i love this <3
Monday 6th of December 2021