Friday, July 29, 2011

On the Cover of Gourmet

A selection of Gourmet magazine (r.i.p.) covers that feature pie. See all of them here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Peach-Bourbon-Ginger Hand Pies

Peaches in the summertime! I picked up some of summer's favorite stone fruit at the market last week, and got to baking them this past weekend. I found this recipe from the ever-inspiring Smitten Kitchen, and was, well, smitten. Peaches + personal pockets + pies... oh yeah, and bourbon = some of my favorite things.

Peach-Bourbon-Ginger Hand Pies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Makes 14 to 24 (depending on cutter size)

For the crust:
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 c. sour cream
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 c. ice water

For the filling:
2 pounds of peaches (approximately 4)
1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. bourbon
1 tsp. fresh ginger, zested
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
One egg yolk beaten with 2 tablespoons water (for egg wash)
Turbinado sugar, for dusting

To make the pastry:
1. In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Place the sliced butter in another bowl and put both bowls in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove the bowls from the freezer and make a well in the center of the flour. Add the butter to the well and, using a food processor or pastry cutter, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Make another well in the center. In a small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients and add half of this mixture to the well. Stir in the liquid with a wooden spoon until large lumps form. Once dough can be formed, form it into a ball, but do not overwork. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Divide the refrigerated dough in half. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one half of the dough to 1/8-inch thick. Using a 4 1/2-inch-round biscuit cutter, cut circles out of the rolled dough. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and place in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes. Repeat with the other half of dough.

To Make the filling: 
1. Peel and dice the peaches into small pieces. Mix them with the flour, sugar, salt, bourbon, vanilla, and ginger.

2. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator, and let stand at room temperature until just pliable. Spoon about 1-2 Tblsp. filling onto one half of each circle of dough. Brush some cold water around the edges of the dough, and fold it in half so the other side comes down over the filling, creating a crescent moon shape. Seal the hand pie by pressing the edges of the dough together with the back of a fork. Repeat with remaining dough. Place the hand pies back on the parchment-lined baking sheet, and return to the refrigerator for another 30 minutes.

3. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove the pies from the refrigerator, cut a small slit in each and lightly brush with egg yolk, sprinkling Turbinado sugar on top. Place pies in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until pies are golden brown. Remove the pies from the oven and let cool. Enjoy!

Overall I was pretty pleased with this recipe, though I found the crust-to-filling ratio a little too high--meaning I need to figure out a way to get more filling in there and still be able to seal it shut. They also get a little soggy fast, so eat them right away! Shouldn't be too hard.
I shared mine with my weekend house guests and co-workers on Monday. Everyone was happy.
p.s. there are not really hands in hand pies.

Monday, July 25, 2011

TEZ/PEZ on Film

I like shooting film (still), but sometimes it means photos are late to the digital party. Here's Ryan in the strawberry-rhubarb and wine-soaked fig rustic tart enjoyment zone (TEZ). Read more about it here.

And here's Artie, Justin, and Jamie in the strawberry-apricot pie enjoyment zone (PEZ). Read more here.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bruiseberry Pie

The lattice is a little wonky, because I was getting tired and impatient, compromising refrigeration time.

I took a trip to Lewes, Delaware last weekend to meet my dear friends' Mandy and Greg's baby Juniper, and hang out on the beach with the Fischer family. Katy and Lanny picked up some blackberries and blueberries at the farmers' market, and after a full day of SPORTS (kayaking, ocean swimming, bay floating, biking, and tennis), Artie and I made what I call a bruiseberry pie, with black-and-blue- berries (mostly black).

Here's the approximate recipe:

Bruiseberry Pie

Nothing-in-the-house pie crust recipe
5-6 c. fresh blackberries 1 c. (or a handful) fresh blueberries
1/2 c. white sugar  
1/2 c. brown sugar  
2.5 Tblsp. corn starch (or arrowroot)
pinch of salt  
2 tsp. lemon zest
1-2 tsp. ginger zest  
2 tsp. lemon juice  
1 egg (for washing)
Turbinado sugar (for dusting)


1. Follow instructions for pie crust preparation. Once crust has chilled, preheat oven to 425 F. In a large bowl, mix berries with sugars, corn starch, salt, zests, and lemon juice and set aside.

2. Roll out 1/2 pie crust and place into 10-in greased and floured pie dish. Pour filling into crust. Roll out top crust and cut into lattice strips, using a ruler for uniform width strips (if desired). Weave lattice and flute crust. Brush on an egg wash and dust with Turbinado sugar. 

3. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 F, then reduce heat to 375 F and bake for 35-40 minutes longer or until filling starts to bubble and crust is golden brown.

With this pie, we inducted a new member into the PEZ: plate lickers club, though Lanny said she comes from a long line of plate and bowl lickers.

Lanny carries on the plate licking tradition

Thanks to the Fischers for the lovely weekend!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Dewey's Bakery

In Winston-Salem, NC. Clockwise from top left: mini apple pie, red velvet whoopie pie, chocolate eclaire. Sent in by my friend Lora. Let's go!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Pastry Brushes

This past weekend my friends Mandy and Katy and I were looking at old Childcraft books. The art and design in them is so amazing! We came across this page in a section about "people who use brushes" in the What People Do volume. I'm liking the crust design on those pies...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Unofficial Roches' Strawberry Apricot Pie

I spent the 4th of July weekend in Maine for some summer days in the ocean air with good pals. Having listened to a lot of my favorite 80s sister trio cheese folk group The Roches before the trip, this song in particular, I had it in my mind to make a strawberry apricot pie. This might sound like a weird desire to have in the land of wild blueberries, but up there, blueberries were still mostly green or purple, but strawberry season was in full force.

I know for a fact, because on our way up to my friend Jamie's cottage, our main haunt for the weekend, we stopped into my friends Nathan & Clara's blueberry farm in Brooklin (the site of Jamie's last plate licking nothing-in-the-house appearance), and there Magpie and I closely inspected the status of the berries. Not ready yet, as much as Magpie wanted them to be.

On our first full day on Mount Desert Island, I walked to the downtown grocer's in the morning to pick up a few items and check out the potential pie fruit. There I found the ripest local Maine strawberries, and some decent fresh apricots (probably not local). Then we went out for an afternoon sail, capped by an evening gin-and-tonics plus nachos happy hour at Dockside.

While the boys foraged for mussels along the causeway and prepared dinner, I set to work on the pie. I initially envisioned making a cold "ice box" variety, but when I asked the dudes whether they preferred warm or cold pie, all three of them gave me a blank look, and were like "WARM, DUHnoquestionHELLO!!"

Using a strawberry-rhubarb pie recipe as a guideline, here's the approximate recipe I improvised:

The Roches' Strawberry Apricot Pie

Nothing in the House pie crust
4 c. (approx.) fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
4 c. (approx.) fresh apricots, thinly sliced
1/4 c. port
1 c. sugar
3 Tblsp. corn starch (can use arrowroot)
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1 egg, beaten
1 Tsp. Turbinado sugar

1. Prepare dough for crust.

2. Soak apricot slices in port for approx. 1 hr in a medium-sized bowl. Add strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon zest.

3. Roll out half of crust in a 10-inch greased and floured pie plate. Pour fruit filling into crust and top with crust, fluting edges. Brush on an egg wash and sprinkle with Turbinado sugar.

4. Bake at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 and bake for 35-40 minutes more. Let cool, but serve while still warm, with vanilla ice cream.

Don't worry Maggie and Suzzy and Terre, I can't vouch for Dublin, but if you're going away to Maine, there's strawberry apricot pie. You might be compelled to lick your plate, but you won't die.

"Speaking Pie To Power"

As a pie blogger and folklorist with personal, professional, and academic interest in food (particularly pie) -as-social-change, I would be remiss to not at least MENTION the pied Rupert Murdoch incident. In referencing the attack, my friend Nathan told me about his friend Audrey Watters, a historian/folklorist who studies the use of pies in political protest (a lady after my own heart!). Read her post/essay "Speaking Pie to Power" here.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Here is a Country Woman Making Rabbit Pies

Please regard this 1934 video from the British Film Institute's "Kitchen-Craft" series. As a vegetarian, I find the full skinned rabbit carcass a bit gross, but this video is full of hilarious one-liners ("Here is a country woman and she is going to show you how to make rabbit and pork into pies," "be generous with your bacon," "no bits, no mess, all in a tidy heap") and some interesting pie-making techniques, like the decorative "beating" of the crust. Enjoy and please let me know if you try out this recipe...

Cranberry Chess Pie

Fig Pistachio Tarte Tatin

Peppermint Pattie Tart

Whiskey & Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake

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