Day 9 of the Nine Days Of Pie – Happy Birthday Shane!!!

The Big Finish and Happy Birthday Shane!!!

Rats, just as I got my second wind and it’s over – Nine more days! Nine more days! - Another Nine Days Of Pie for the history books! And truly there could not have been a better end to this celebration.

First the pies:

  • Cherry Almond Pie
  • Bluebarb (Blueberry & Rhubard)
  • 1890 Coconut Pie
  • Sweet Potato and Andouille Sausage Pie
  • French Easter Pie (redux)

Yes, FIVE pies! I know, how did it happen? Well, since I was able to re-add Bluebarb thanks to Cathy Nist aka The Rhubarb Fairy, and Shane had already requested the 1890 coconut and a cherry pie, so I had three sweet pies now planned. Then Shane, whose birthday it is, also said he wanted a redo the French Easter pie which he liked so much. Off to the store I went for more pork, and several other items.

The pies were rolling out in perfect procession, the cherry, the  bluebarb, then the savory sweet potato, then the French Easter Pie, and finally the coconut. All of the pies were out of the oven by 7pm which is a feat this year!

We had a splendid showing of guests as well. Shane’s Birthday Brother raymond joined us for a second night, also Rick from Astoria Coffee and Tea, the finest coffee and tea you’ll ever drink, and a surprise visit from Kathy Duffy my former co-worker at the Sou’Wester rounded out another perfect group of Pie and Shane celebrants! Even our neighbor Bill stopped by for more pie, this year attending three of our nights of pie.

Pies we ate and laughs we had, I think we all agreed the cherry was amazing, Shane gave it his Best in show stamp of approval and of course the coconut was perhaps the best it has ever been. The French Easter Pie was not as good as the first time, but I suppose I got cocky and made it too big so the meat was spread too thin. Oh well there is always next year. And next year will be year six, and time for a retrospective of favorites which will certainly include French Easter Pie.

Shane was so very pleased with the very interesting people that came by, he said it was the intelligentsia of the area and beyond. He reveled in the varied and riveting conversations, sharing information and swapping stories was great. And Dave Archer made sure to show everyone the beaver sac display Shane made for me, and we handed out our Beaver Riot papers for the vanilla company too. And everyone who came really came for pie and to be part of this celebration, which means so much!

Thank you to all of our wonderful guests and all of the great gifts offered forth to Shane. We don’t have family really, so this is a very special time for us. Shane received a great painting from Roger, a Nine Days Of Pie/Big Foot sketch and a Spike painted pumpkin from Jane, cool art making items from Dave and Brent, a jar of plastic and glass eyes from Raymond, a cool painted T-shirt from Reno Amy, a good book (and a journal for me!) from Heather and Tim,  a third of a bottle of vodka with aluminum foil as the cap from Dinah, Peerless pie tins from Rick, computer speakers, warm socks and slippers from me, and a stainless steel french press from Kniqui & Dianne who were with us in spirit.

We also received wonderful treats and libations from Jessamyn Grace, Cathy Nist, Kathy Duffy, Heather & Tim, Joanne Leech, Raymond, Dinah, and Dark Lady & DJ Kronos, Nik & Jesse, and Jake. Coffee & Tea provided by Rick and Astoria Coffee & Tea Co. Thank you all for being part of the Nine Days of Pie! If I missed anyone please forgive.

And, yes it’s true, I am still posting recipes. If there are any missing they will be up in the next few days. I will work on them as I come down from my pie high!

I think I have counted 34 pies this year. That’s a new record! Also, I used 10 pounds of butter, about 22 pounds of flour,  dozen eggs, 3 quarts of heavy cream, countless pounds of fruit, and a large array of spices.

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Bluebarb Pie

(Not sure if it was eating this after the amazing almond cherry, or what, but this one needs a little something. Next time I might double the cinnamon and vanilla. Or perhaps the blueberries were just tasteless, not sure, but it needed some zazz.)

  • Double crust pie recipe
  • 2-3 cups of blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2-3 cups of rhubarb, cut to about the same size as the berries
  • 3 T. cornstarch
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1 T. butter
  • 2 T. milk

Directions: 

Make pie crust, roll out half and line pie pan.

In a small bowl mix cornstarch, sugar, and cinnamon.

in a large bowl toss blueberries and rhubarb with lemon juice and vanilla. Pour dry ingredients on top and toss.

Pour fruit into pie shell, dot with butter.

Roll out and top with crust, seal and flute edges. Cut clots in top and brush with milk.

Bake in a 375 oven for 45 – 60 minutes, until crust is golden and filling is bubbling.

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Almond Cherry Pie

I made this recipe up, but the inspiration came from a cherry almond tart I used to make while working at Jimella’s Market Cafe on the Long Beach Peninsula. Jimella Lucas and Nancy Main were the original chefs to use LOCAL, SEASONAL, and SUSTAINABLE foods as the focal point of their menu since back around 1980. Their work caught the attention of James Beard who praised them very publicly leading the foodies of the world to take notice. These two amazing women ran the renown Ark restaurant for some 25 years, they cooked for President Clinton, and flew around the world making appearances and cooking for the rich and famous, in a pre-Food Network era they were culinary stars.  They have several cookbooks out. I was very honored to work for them for almost a year as a rather pathetic excuse for a baker, while their beloved baker and now chef Katie was on maternity leave. Jimella passed away on Nov. 30, 2013, she was an amazing lady.(http://blogs.seattletimes.com/allyoucaneat/2013/12/03/pioneering-peninsula-chef-jimella-lucas-left-a-culinary-legacy/)

  • Double pie crust
  • 8 oz real almond paste (I used a small can of Solo Almond Paste)
  • 2 lbs cherries, (pitted) fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/3 c. corn starch
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. grated orange rind
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1 T. butter
  • 2 T. milk

Directions

Prepare pie crust, roll out half and line pie pan.

Roll out almond paste between two sheet of waxed paper until 1/4 inch thick. Trim to fit in bottom of pie crust. 

In a large bowl toss cherries with lemon juice and vanilla.

In a small bowl mix sugar, corn starch, cinnamon, and orange rind. Pour over cherries and toss until covered.

Pour cherries into pie pan.

Add top crust, seal and flute edges, dot with butter. Brush with milk. Cut a few vents in the top.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, lower temperature to 375 and bake another 30 minutes until crust is golden and filling is bubbling.

Cool for several hours before serving.

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Coconut Pie from 1890 (revised again)

Coconut Pie from ‘Mother’s Cook Book’  by S. M. Gates, 1890 on loan from Patricia Moss

“One half pound grated cocoanut, three-quarters pound of white sugar (powdered), six ounces of butter, five eggs, the whites only, one glass of white wine, two tablespoonfuls of rose water, one tablespoonful of nutmeg. Cream the butter and sugar, and when well-mixed, beat very light, with wine and rose-water. Add the cocoanut with as little and as light beating as possible; finally, whip in the stiffened whites of the eggs with a few skillful strokes, and bake at once in open shells. Eat cold, with powdered sugar sifted over them.”

*Note: Okay, so this recipe is pretty obtuse. It’s from 1890 after all. I made few changes because I wanted to make only one pie, and I don’t have a scale.

Updated for 2014:

  • 2 c. Coconut
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 4 oz. butter
  • 3 egg whites
  • 4 oz. white wine
  • 1 T. rose water
  • 1.5 tsp. nutmeg
  • Single pie crust, unbaked

Directions:

Roll our pie crust and line pie pan.

In a large bowl cream butter, add sugar, when well mixed add rosewater and white wine. Beat until creamy.

Lightly mix in coconut.

In a bowl whip egg whites to stiff peaks, carefully fold into  coconut mixture.

Pour into pie crust and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, top should be golden brown and set. It will be puffy when removed from over, but Pie will settle when cooled. Cool for an hour at least before serving.

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Andouille & Sweet Potato Pie

This recipe comes from the Food & Wine website. Here is the link: http://www.foodandwine.com/slideshows/savory-pies-and-tarts#!slide=17

(I simplified things a bit, I did it without pie weights or a food processor and it all seemed to work out just fine.)

  • 1 lb. sweet potatoes, pierced with a fork
  • 1 c. yellow cornmeal
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 1/4 c. plus 2 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. andouille sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • 1/2 T.  dried sage, crumbled
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 large egg yolks

DIrections

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Wrap the sweet potatoes in foil and bake for 45 minutes, until they are soft. Let the sweet potatoes cool. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the cornmeal and flour with the 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the chilled butter cubes and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the ice water and pulse until the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead until smooth.
  2. Lightly flour the work surface and roll out the dough to a 13-inch round, about 1/4 inch thick. Ease the dough into a 9-inch glass pie plate. Trim the overhang to 1 inch, then fold it under itself and crimp decoratively. Prick the bottom crust several times with a fork. Line the dough with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the crust is barely set. Remove the foil and weights and bake for 10 minutes longer, until the crust is dry and very lightly browned.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the andouille sausage and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until it is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, garlic and dried sage and cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  4. Peel the sweet potatoes and transfer them to a food processor. Add the cream and puree until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Add the egg yolks and process until incorporated. Transfer the filling to a large bowl and stir in the andouille mixture.
  5. Scrape the filling into the crust and bake for about 45 minutes, until the custard is set. Let cool for 20 minutes, then cut the pie into wedges .

MAKE AHEAD The pie can be refrigerated overnight. Rewarm before serving.

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Day 8 of the Nine Days of Pie

It was Saturday, Day 8 of the Nine Days of Pie, and I was staring at a giant pile of rhubarb left by the Rhubarb Fairy aka Cathy Nist, it was really a bounty! It occurred to me there was a rhubarb pie I had longed to make but never seemed to have enough rhubarb to do so.

The Nauvoo Rhubarb Pie, which has quite a history became a reality, a wonderful, delightful delicious reality, and all of those present agreed in community – just like the Icarians it commemorates! (Learn more about it on the recipe)

Tonight’s pies:

  • Nauvoo Rhubarb
  • Bacon & Goat Cheese Tarts
  • Asian Pear Pie

Jane Herrold came by today, and she is the only person outside of Shane and I to try the coveted Taos Chocolate Pie. We had to have one witness to its greatness! Hard to believe we took it down like that even with so many pies already in our bellies – a testament to it’s greatness! 

Another knock at the door brought us a great surprise Raymond Shane’s Birthday Brother! We met Raymond a few years back during the Nine Days Of Pie, he came along with Dark Lady and he and Shane soon realized they shared the same birthday – the exact same, year and all!  When we did not hear from him this year we were very concerned, but surprise there he was – and looking so different hair short, 50 pounds lighter, but with the weariness of someone dealing with a sick father. Of course he was at the right place, both Jane and I took care of our fathers, so there was a melancholy camaraderie in the kitchen.

Of course the Bacon and Goat Cheese Tarts made us forget all that for a while at least! They were amazing little disks of joy!

Jane headed out worn out from eating pie, but not long after, a knock at the door brought us Cathy Nist, now with a giant mushroom in hand – a King Bolete! Do I dare put that in a pie???? (We saved it for after the Nine Days of Pie). Cathy knew an impressive amount of Nauvoo history – Joseph Smith founder of the Mormon faith was murdered there! So it made our rhubarb pie that much more interesting!

Shortly after came another knock which brought us Gregg Skloff who does a great radio show on our community station, KMUN. His show is a soundscape of music and noise – And Otherness which is its apt name. We have long listened to his show, but I have never met him before so it was great to get to know him a bit.

Gregg and Raymond headed out after a while, and then the amazing Dinah came by. There we were, Cathy, Dinah, and I – Three Hipfishers together in one place all celebrating Shane’s Birthday and Pie! Crazy! …. One more day left!

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Asian Pear Pie

  • 1 double crust recipe
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 4-6 T. white wine (I used Riesling)
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. five-spice powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  • 6 c asian pears, sliced peeled
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1 T. butter
  • 2 T. cream for top

Directions

Heat oven to 400°F.

In small bowl, mix flour, brown sugar and five-spice powder.

In large bowl, gently toss pears, wine and lemon juice; sprinkle with brown sugar mixture and toss again.

On lightly floured surface, roll out the bottom crust and line pie pan.

Fill pan with pears. Dot with butter.

Roll out top crust. Place over pie, press edges together. trip excess, seal and flute.

Cut vents in top. Brush cream on top.

Bake for 45 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Cool before cutting.

*NOTE: If I were to make this pie again, I think it would benefit from a lattice top crust more than the full crust I did here.

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Goat cheese, grilled onion, and bacon tarts

  • Double crust pie recipe
  • 5 medium fingerling potatoes
  • 1/2 lb. bacon
  • 1 1/2 T. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • flour, for rolling
  • 8 oz. chevre goat cheese
Directions
  1. Place potato in a small saucepan, bring to a boil. Cook over high heat until tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. Drain, then peel and thinly slice crosswise.
  2. Cook the bacon until crisp; transfer to paper towels. Cut into 1 inch and smaller pieces.
  3. Cook Onions in bacon grease until softened and browned, about 10 minutes; place on paper towel when done.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  5. Make the tarts free form, or use large muffin pan. (I actually rolled the whole crust out, used a measuring cup to cut the circles – a stroke of luck they were the perfect size – and then lined the bottoms of giant muffin pans I have that I never use because the muffins would be huge!) For the free form style - Divide crust dough into into 12-16 balls and roll out to 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the rounds to a parchment lined cookie sheet. Press edges up to make crust. lightly brush with olive oil.
  6. Top the pastry rounds with the cheese, onion, potato slices, bacon and more cheese.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Top the pastry rounds with the cheese, onion, potato slices, bacon and more cheese. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the pastry is browned. Transfer the tarts to plates; serve hot or warm.

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Nauvoo Rhubarb

This recipe comes from the book ‘Heartland: The Best of the Old and the New from Midwest Kitchens’ by Marcia Adams, 1991.

Over the years I have made a number of recipes from this beautiful hardcover full of photos of the Midwest and dived by states – Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio & Wisconsin. Admittedly, I have yet to be disappointed by a recipe from this book, and the background to some is fascinating, especially Nauvoo Rhubarb Pie. The book contends this pie is served at an annual picnic in Nauvoo, Illinois by descendants of the Icarians, an French utopian socialist community that took over the Mormon settlement following the murder of Mormon leader Joseph Smith. It says they ALWAYS serve this pie, never anything else, as it was the Icarians that brought Rhubarb to that area.

This pie was great!

  • Double crust pastry recipe
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 T. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/4 c. half & half
  • 3 1/2 c. diced rhubarb
  • red food coloring (optional)
  • 2 T. butter, cut in pieces

Directions

Roll out and line a 9 inch pie pan.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the sugars, flour and spices.
Mix in the half & half.
Add food coloring if using (I did not).
Add rhubarb, and stir.
Pour into prepared pan, dot with butter.
Roll out and top with crust, seal and flute edges.
Cut top for vents, and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until golden and filling is bubbling. Remove to rack to cool.

Day 7 of the Nine Days Of Pie

Pie list:

  • Shaker Lemon Pie
  • Goat Cheese and Corn Masa Tart
  • Sweet Potato or YAM & Pecan
  • Taos Chocolate Pie

Day 6 was so great, it was a fitting end to Dave and Brent’s visit. I was sad to see them go but I understood, Brent had work awaiting his return and Dave awoke on Friday morning feeling very sick (I can’t imagine why?).

Of course we had to send them off in style, so I awoke at 6:30 am and put the Shaker Lemon Pie together. I wanted to make this for Dave’s final night since he loves lemon so much, but the recipe said the lemons had to sit in the sugar for 24 hours at least, so it became the bon voyage pie of Friday morning. I got it into the oven, and Shane contacted our friend Jane. She lives in Astoria and is a talented, multi-faceted artist, and a great local eccentric, we always felt Jane and Dave would really hit it off if their paths crossed, and boy did they!

As far as Dave’s Scruffy and Jane’s new pal Spike, that was a little slower going, with Scruffy demanding that Spike submit. But they finally relaxed and all was fine.

At first Dave said he was too ill for pie, but the lemon wafting through the house made his taste buds decide otherwise. Soon lively conversation, strong coffee and decadent lemon pie (those darn Shakers really know how to live!) eased Dave’s terrible heartburn and we were off to the races! Dave and Jane talked art and shared stories, I demanded he tell her the one legged lizards story which is a true story from Dave’s childhood but sounds like something Beverly Cleary & Stephen King collaborated on. Within a couple hours the two had a graphic novel planned!

Alas, too soon it was time for everyone to go, it is quite a trek to Roseburg and with daylight savings time, it is dark very early now. Dave, Brent and Scruffy departed, and Jane and Spike also had to go, and I headed off to work. Leaving Shane a mountain of dishes and some quiet time.

When evening came I got right to work on pie making. I was hitting my stride again. First I made the savory, a tart of corn masa with goat and ricotta cheese. I folioed the instructions on baking the masa crust, but in the end it was not done enough, was too thick, and was like eating grain. Not so hot. I don’t blame the recipe so much as either my interpretation and perhaps the heart shaped tart pan was not large enough. Next came a Sweet potato and pecan pie from the same cookbook the Lemon Cornmeal came from, it wasn’t bad but there was something odd about about crunchy things in a sweet potato pie. The final pie of the evening made the previous two disappear in my memory banks, this pie – Taos Chocolate Pie made all other chocolate pies pale in comparison. Sure the chocolate almond of the night before was grand, but this one – the three bowl bonanza of chocolate was incredible. it was supposed to chill overnight, and I kept requiring tastes which mean less and less would find it’s way into the pie.

By the time the Taos Chocolate hit the fridge both of the others were out of the oven. Shane and I tried the tart, which I hated, then the yam and pecan, which was okay. I decided to take a short nap on the sofa, I figured I’d get a few winks in before any knocks on the door. When I awoke sun was creeping through the blinds! I’d slept all night!  Shane was asleep in the recliner across from me. The first thing I thought of was the chocolate pie! As I ran to the refrigerator and yanked the pie out – already missing several slices – my second thought was that no one came by on the 7th day of pie, at least not since the morning. I think there is a bible quote about resting on the seventh day, perhaps it’s author was talking about the Nine Days of Pie! 

I pondered the thought as I made coffee and ate chocolate pie like a ravenous beast!

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Taos Chocolate Pie

From the cookbook ‘KMAK: The Music Of America Presents the American Cook Book’ No year given, but location says Fresno, CA. (I made a few minor changes.)

Crust: 

  • 1 1/2 c graham cracjer crumbs
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. butter, melted
  • 2 T. cocoa powder (or 1 oz unsweetened chocolate melted)
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg

Directions:

Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and nutmeg in a bowl. Melt butter with chocolate or cocoa powder. Mix until combined. Press into pie pan until firmly set. Chill.

Filling:

  •  6 oz chocolate chips
  • 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla (I may have doubled this)
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 c. heavy whipping cream

Directions:

Melt chocolate at low heat with 2 T. of the cream, stir until smooth. Cool for 10 minutes.

In a bowl mix cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla, beat until smooth.

Beat in eggs yolks and melted chocolate, beat until combined.

In another bowl beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.

In another bowl whip cream until firm.

Fold egg whites into chocolate mixture, fold in whipped cream.

Pour into chilled pie crust. Chill overnight.

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Sweet Potato or Yam & Pecan

This recipes comes from the cookbook ‘Cajun – Creole Cooking’ by Terry Thompson. The Louisiana Lemon Cornmeal from this same book was so good I figured I would try it.

Verdict: If I’d actually followed the recipe it may have been better, but I combined recipes with one that mixed the pecans into the filling – not so good. The sweet potato pie filling flavor was amazing!

  • Single Pie Crust recipe
  • 2 T. butter, melted
  • 1 c. cooked & mashed sweet potatoes
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. dark corn syrup
  • 1 c. evaporated milk (I used cream)
  • 1 1/2 c. coarsely chopped pecans

 

Topping:

  • 1 pint whipping cream, whipped with
  • 1/4 c. praline liquor or Frangelico
  • pecan halves

Directions:

Prepare and roll out pie crust, line pan and flute edges. Refridgerate.

In a large owl stir butter into sweet potatoes. Add all remaining ingredients except pecans and mix well.

Pour sweet potato filling into pie pan , sprinkle chopped pecans on top.

Bake in a 375 degree oven until filling is set and a knife inserted into the cent comes out clean, 40-50 minutes.

Cool to room temperature. Top with whipped cream, and pecan halves.

 

Lemon Shaker Pie

I found this recipe on a website called Pie Love You, it followed a year of pies a young gal made for her husband – one a week for a year! She said here husband called this one the best pie of the year. Since Dave Archer is a huge lemon bar fan, I thought I needed to make it while he was here.

Here is the website: http://pieloveyou.blogspot.com/2010/01/shaker-lemon-pie-3.html

NOTE* The lemon slices have to sit for 24 hours before being made into pie.

  • 2 large Meyer lemons
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 Tablespoon butter, melted
  • 3 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Double crust pie recipe

Filling: Thoroughly wash and dry lemons. Finely grate lemon zest into a bowl. Using a sharp knife, slice the lemons as thin as possible. While slicing, make sure to remove the seeds. Combine slices, zest, and sugar, cover and set aside at room temperature for at least 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 425°. Whisk eggs in bowl until frothy. Add butter, salt, and flour and whisk until smooth. Combine with lemon mixture. Roll chilled dough into two 12-inch rounds. Fit one round into a 9″ pie plate and pour in filling.Cover pie with remaining pastry round. Cut excessive dough, fold edges under and crimp to hold in place. Cut a few steam vents in top crust. Brush with cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake (at 425°) for 30 minutes or until edges begin to brown.

Reduce heat to 350° and bake until crust is golden brown, 25–30 minutes more. Remove from oven and let cool for at least one hour before slicing.

*NOTE another mention here, I sprinkled the sugar on the top of the pie and it burned, be warned.

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Day 6 of the Nine Days of Pie

What a day! Admittedly I was not looking forward to tonight, I was feeling pretty rough, so many pies, so many early days and late nights, coffee wasn’t helping, BUT THEN the pies began rolling out and guests arrived and I was reinvigorated!!!

The first pie of the night was a savory pie called French Easter Pie with ground pork and hard boiled eggs. The second pie was Chocolate and Almond. Both pies were gone in moments. The final pie was ginger peach, which some of our guests left before it was ready for eating, and then in a burst of mania I whipped up a crustless cranberry pie, which I have not yet tried but doesn’t look very good.

Our guests were varied and unique, this is Dave and Brent’s last night with us, so we wanted to make sure it was special and it was! The first knock brought us Nik & Jesse, our former neighbors and dear friends. They are a great young couple and we have known since before they were even dating, Shane married them more than a year ago. This year they came bearing a giant plate of Apple Pie Wontons with a Salted Caramel Drizzle on top. Amazing!!! They have the distinction of being the only people aside from Shane and I to attend all 5 years of the Nine Days of Pie!

Next came Roger Hayes and Cathy Nist.  Roger is a great artist who will probably not be properly appreciated until his death, Cathy Nist is a fellow Hipfish writer and she became the Rhubarb Fairy later in the night when I was lamenting having to remove blueberry rhubarb pie from my plans because I could not find rhubarb, she announced she was growing some in the community garden down the street and returned some minutes later with a basketful!

Not long after, Roger’s beautiful wife Sally arrived just in time for the last slice of French Easter Pie. Sally is also an amazing artist, if you have spent any time in Astoria you’ve likely seen her work.

Another knock on the door brought us the one and only Dave Densmore with his lady love Renee. They stayed only for a quick slice and to visit with Dave Archer.

It was a great night! Finally though my eyes began to glaze it it was time for sleep and dreams of pie…

Pies Today:

  • French Easter Pie
  • Chocolate Almond Pie
  • Ginger Peach
  • Crustless Cranberry

 

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Day 5 of the Nine Days of Pie

I know that I have totally slacked on the recipes, I am not sure what is going on with me, but I assure you I will catch up, hopefully today. Last night, was another perfect Nine Days of Pie evening. Shane, Dave, Brent and I welcomed Geno & Joanne Leech, two of the most interesting people around. Geno is a poet, an amazing poet we first encountered at the Fisher Poets Gathering and were completely riveted by. He was like the Jim Morrison of the event, Geno’s wife Joanne – Married 37 years!!! – is a restaurateur , an accordion player, an author of a children’s book, and so much more1 They are also just the loveliest people. We got to spend some time with them a few months back  when Shane’s old pal Matt Dwyer was here in town and looking for local icons to interview for his podcast.

It was a perfect living room number of people – 6 including me. Though I was actually in the kitchen most of the time.

The pies tonight were Impossible Finnish Pie aka Pannukkaku, which was similar to a Dutch baby pancake, a cranberry, raspberry, strawberry pie which is still sitting on the table uncut, and most exciting of all Cracker Enchilada Pie, which is another recipe from Dave Archer’s childhood, which he said he hated as a kid because the crackers always turned black and it was gross. When I shopped for the ingredients, I began to understand why he was so disturbed by this pie – olives, creamed corn, soda crackers – he said he and his brother always wished their mother would make it with tortilla shells instead and so that is what I did. He told me all the things he hated about it and I tried to fix them – doubled meat & cheese, used tortilla shells, cut the excessive 1 cup olives in half, and the verdict???

It is gone, completely gone, and Dave said the recipe was redeemed. I will post both versions so pie makers can choose the original or the revised.

Pies Today:

  • Pannukakku (Finnish Impossible Pie)
  • Cracker Enchilada Pie (without crackers)
  • Berry Apocalypse (Cranberry, strawberry, raspberry)

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Day 4 of the Nine Days of Pie

In years past this is usually the time I begin to hit my stride. This year I feel like I started good but my stamina is just not there. I am concerned, but with a 9 day party party how much can one worry about things???? (Don’t ask).

Tonight I made the pie that we lured Dave Archer here with the Tourte a la Perigourdine (French Chicken Pot Pie) http://ninedaysofpie.com/?p=221, ironically the recipe comes from a book called “Great Meals In Minutes”. While I admit they are great meals, for this recipe at least, “minutes” mean triple digit! And, I promised to make two of these pies! The pie contains chicken, chicken livers, mushrooms, Madera wine, and a parsley crust. I really should have called it a night after this one, but I pressed on toward the first epic fail of the year.

Ah the epic fail, no Nine Days of Pie is complete with at least one epic fail pie. My frustration this year comes at the insane cost of the pie that I screwed up. Not only did I over roast the initial hazelnuts and pecans, and had to start over (no cheap error there) I then forgot the most important part of any nut pie – aside from the nuts – is the eggs. How could this happen? Too much going on I guess.

I also messed up the recipe for Scandi Apple Pie, but the pies turned out fine as a semi-standard apple pie. I will remake this one later, as I still have apples.

Now on to the guests and the evenings festivities! What an evening, of course we have the wonderful and amazing Dave Archer visiting with his protege Brent and Scruffy, and yesterday we had a stream of visitor none of whom crossed paths – It started with our landlord Charlie, one of the greatest men to walk the earth! Then Jake Reier, we met Jake when he painted our house, and have remained friends ever since! Then the beautiful and brilliant Jessamyn Grace stopped in. I always appreciate guests who are willing to sit done and try a handful of pies, really taking in the purpose of the celebration, and she was all that and more!

What a wonderful array of human beings! Shane had a great time visiting with each of our guests, which is the point of the pie party in the first place.

Now to slip the pecan pie into the trash can before anyone notices it is missing….

Todays Pies:

  • Scandi Apple x 2
  • Pecan & Macadamia Nut (FAIL)
  • Tourte a la Perigourdine (French Chicken Pot Pie)

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Cracker Enchilada Pie (without crackers)

 

This is another of Dave Archer’s mother’s pies, when I pulled this out of the recipe box at his house a few months back he told us how it was the most awful pie ever, that the crackers always turned black and that he and his brother untied in their disdain of this pie, so of course I have to try to make it the pie he wished it had been.

Here is my recipe adaptation:

  • 2 1/2 lbs ground beef (or beef and pork)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 T. butter
  • 8 oz  tomato sauce
  • 8 oz salsa
  • 1 c. water
  • 2 T vinegar
  • 1 can creamed corn (8 oz?)
  • 1/2 c. sliced olives
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 8 Corn tortilla shells
  • 3 c. shredded sharp cheddar

Directions

Melt butter add onion and garlic, when lightly browned add beef.

When cooked sprinkle flour over meat and mix.

Add corn, vinegar, water, tomato sauce and salsa. Mix.

Add olives and chili powder and salt. stir until combined. Let boil for 5 – 10 minutes.

Butter a 2 qt casserole dish, line with tortilla shells (I used 5 to cover it all).

When meat moisture has thickened a bit, spoon half of it over tortilla shells, cover with half the cheese, top with three remaining tortilla shells, add the rest of the meat mixture and top with cheese.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

I served it with Sour cream and salsa.

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Day 3 of the Nine Days of Pie

I have had so much pie today I can barely move my fingers across the keyboard to write this. I arrived home at 5:30 pm, and had pies in the oven by 6:15, but I was prepared with the Angel Cream Pie I made last night, which remained untouched until my return and there was a good portion of the Apple Pomegranate left too (and still is).

I was greeted at the door by a very excited Scruffy, barking and jumping, jumping and barking with joy! It was a delightful feeling I have not had in a long time. Our dearly departed Cheyenne absolutely LOVED the Nine Days of Pie, there is a photo of her using her pie plate at a pillow awaiting the next slice.

Scruffy is our great friend Dave Archer’s furson, and it is always a delight to see them both. Also with Dave is his protege Brent, a quiet young man who is gaining an education in art that degree holders would kill for. They drove up from Roseburg Oregon for the festivities, having attended once before in 2012.

Our other visitors today were Amy, Elleda and Bruce. Three of our favorite people! Elleda and Bruce live here in Astoria, and Amy is Elleda’s cousin who visits her every year all the way from Reno. We hit it off with the trio from the start and we can usually count on at least one visit from them during the Nine Days of Pie.

Amy joined us early in the afternoon for lunch too, which is where my pie making began today. I picked Amy up just after 1 pm, and then I made a pizza on a cool round pizza pan I have been wanting to use since we acquired it for a fella who passed away. So I rolled out an extra ball of crust I had and added Marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella, pepperoni from Applegate farms, one of those 4 cheese blends and some bonus mozzarella. Pretty straightforward, and after a short amount of time, a very good pizza.

Pizza pie. Gone-o. #ninedaysofpie #pizzapie #lunchtime

A photo posted by @amy_bugbee on

I bid Amy and Shane farewell and off I went until the aforementioned Scruffy greeting. We had a few random slices which Dave got to try, and then I pulled out the Angel Cream I made last night. In 15 minutes the entire pie was gone! Everyone said it was very good. Bruce, Elleda and Amy headed out and I continued with the pies, next came Dave Archer’s mother’s recipe for Pear & Coconut crisp, which Dave said brought back many memories. Then came a peculiar but delicious savory called Bacon and Cheese Puff Pie, and finally I whipped up 2 peach & blackberry pies. The blackberries are picked from the plants on our back deck, so I was excited to use them.

 

That is a lot of pie…. I will have to add the recipes in the morning, I am too beat to do it now, but I must leave this blog. Pictures will be added tomorrow too.

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Pies today:

  • Lunchtime Pizza Pie
  • Peach & Blackberry x2
  • Pear and Coconut Crisp
  • Bacon & Cheese Puff Pie

Peach Blackberry Pie

(I used 4 very large peaches and ended up with two pies, be warned)

Double crust pie recipe

4 c. sliced peaches (I used fresh)

2 c. blackberries (I used frozen from our yard)

1/2 c. corn starch

1/2 c coconut palm sugar (any sugar will do)

1/2 tsp. dried grated lemon

1/2 tsp. vanilla powder

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

2 T. lemon juice

1T butter

1 T cream

Directions:

Roll out half the crust and line pie pan

Put berries and peaches in a bowl and toss with lemon juice.

In a small bowl mix dry ingredients, sprinkle into fruit.

Toss until combined.

Pour fruit into pie pan.

Dot top with butter.

Roll out top crust, seal and flute, cut vents into top.

Brush with cream.

Place into a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, reduce heat to 375 and bak until golden and bubbling, about 20 more minutes.

Cool before serving.

(Why cool a fruit pie? Fruit pies, especially berry pies really need to set up before serving or they will be very watery. It’s hard but worth the wait. If you cut int it too soon, you’ll risk making the entire bottom crust mush.)

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