Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanksgiving - It Happens

Thanksgiving at Meghan and Gahlord's this year was somewhat subdued but very homey and fun. The dinner was delicious, particularly Angela's brussel sprouts, Meghan's vegetarian gravy, Stacy's spicy stuffing and my cranberry sauce, if I say so myself!

So after lots of liquor and laying around, the pies arrived, some fresh from the oven!

Here's Meghan's pumpkin pie. I rolled out the crust on this one, so it was a little funky, but the pie itself was smooth and spicy - a classic.

Here's Meghan's apple pie. Again, I rolled out the crust, so funkiness occurred. Perfectly seasoned (with help from Ben P.B.), the apples were melt-in-your-mouth awesome.

Here's my cherry pie. Not too sweet with a doughy crust, this pie was almost not healthy-tasting! Stacy liked it.

Here's Stacy's pumpkin pie, which had an awesome flavor and gorgeous look but kinda fell flat due to underwhipped chiffon, not that anyone would've known if Stacy hadn't been so pissed about it!

Ah, lounging. It was good to see Adam and some new faces, too. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Alright, back to my cherry pie breakfast. Love, Mandy

PS Meat pies! I totally spaced. 'Hey, Mandy, got any room for meat pie in that story?'
One was a tourtière, made by J.B., which people just adored. This style of meat pie originates in Quebec, is enjoyed by people with (and without) Quebecois ancestry throughout Canada and Vermont and is usually made with ground pork and/or veal and/or beef. I believe J.B.'s pie involved venison, but I'm not sure. With a perfect flaky crust and great mix of meats and vegetables, I have no doubt this meat pie would make many a meateater's 'best of' list.

The second pie was a meaty quiche by Tanner. I am not positive what it involved, though I think it was sausage. I did note how lovely the meat and veggies looked on the top of the quiche. Yum.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Erik's First Pie!

I was feeling rather glum last night when I got back to Robert and Talya's on Thanksgiving Eve. I checked my inbox and this e-mail from Erik TOTALLY made my night. As follows:

It took me all evening, but I did it. I baked an apple pie! Check it out!

That dark stuff is just cinnamon. It sort of clumped up on me when I wanted to sprinkle. It dropped instead of sprinkled.


George Washington Cherry Pie

I made this pie today for Thanksgiving at Meghan and Gahlord's house because I wanted to make a light pie that would be relatively low on the glycemic index. I had Gahlord in mind. Cherries are lower than many fruits, and the pie has very little refined sugar in it, using apple cider and the sweetness of cherries instead, except for the topping, in which I reduced the sugar but still used it because, well, it's Thanskgiving. Here's the recipe:
George Washington Cherry Pie
1 1/3 c. wheat flour
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 c. canola oil
1/2 c. + 1/3 c. apple cider
4 c. fresh or frozen cherries
2 Tblsp. arrowroot powder
1/2 c. all purpose flour (could use wheat)
1/4 c. sugar
2 Tblsp. butter

For the crust:
1. Combine and sift 1 1/4 cups wheat flour and 1/4 t sea salt. Add 1/4 cup canola or other oil and combine until oil is in pea-sized clumps. Add about 1/2 cup of apple cider and just mix, adding more cider if you need to. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. 
2. Roll out crust as thin as you can and put in a greased pie plate. Weigh it down to prevent bubbling in the oven with another pie plate filled with dried beans (or whatever technique you like). Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes until it just starts to brown.

For the filling:
Pit and half 4 cups of fresh cherries (I used frozen ones from this summer, already pitted). Put in a sauce pan with 1/4 cup of apple cider and simmer until cherries are good and soft, about 10 minutes. If you have a ridiculous amount of liquid, pour some off and drink it and think of my mother, who always does this! Combine 1/4 cup apple cider with 2 T arrowroot powder and add to cherries. Turn off heat. It should gel up.

For the crumb topping:
Combine 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar and 2 T butter.

Put the pie together; you know how. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 more minutes, until the topping browns lightly. You might also want to put a tray underneath the pie because it might leak!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thanksgiving= Pie Day NOT Turkey Day.

Because of my love of pies and distaste for meat, Thanksgiving is Pie Day, not Turkey Day. I would even go so far to say that it's probably the biggest pie day of the year!! It's such a big day that I'm having trouble deciding what to make. The friends with whom I will be sitting around the Thanksgiving table have reported that they will be making an apple pie and a pecan pie, so that leaves me with either a pumpkin/winter squash pie option or some other fruit...and what's local this time-o-year? cranberries.

Angela passed on a Cranberry Pie recipe from the localvores(below), but I also found a delicious-sounding recipe for cranberry lime galette (a pie with one crust folded over) on the npr website. It cound be found here.

I may try to combine the two recipes so that I can still be making a traditional pie (with a lattice top!!) but have the extra zest that the cranberry-lime galette filling has to offer.

Cranberry Pie 

4 cups cranberries (fresh or thawed)
3/4 cup maple syrup
3 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
pastry for a 1 or 2 crust 9-inch pie (I always make with just a bottom crust, but the recipe technically recommends a lattice top crust).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash and pick over cranberries; drain thoroughly. Chop cranberries and mix with maple syrup and flour. Mix in egg. Line a 9-inch pie pastry plate with pastry bottom. Add cranberry mixtures. If you want, cover with strips of pastry arranged in a lattice and seal edges. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and continue baking for 35 minutes or until cranberries are soft and pastry is brown.

What will you be making this Pie Day? Share your recipes!