I was not really planning to make this pie. I’d seen some photos of “Stargazy pies” while searching for unusual pies, but I had no plans (or desire) to make one. Then, they came up in conversation, I believe Cathy mentioned the name and a discussion ensued. I showed everyone in the room images from the internet to explain what we were talking about. But, I still had no intention to make one. No way!

Then, we went to our local fish market to pick up salmon for the Russian Fish Pie and there they were, right there in the case, picture perfect smoked mackerel! Fate was set in stone at that moment, and I went ahead and bought them. One half-pound of smoked mackerel… 

In the Astoria Oregon version of this medieval Cornish dish, freshly smoked mackerel poke their heads through the crust of this savory pie made with bacon, hard-boiled eggs, and a mustard custard. Based on the recipe for English Sardine Pie from André Baranowski


  • 2 1⁄4 cups flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. mustard powder, preferably Coleman’s
  • 12 T. butter, cubed and chilled
  • 6 T. cold water


  • 6 slices bacon, cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 c. yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1⁄2 c. chicken stock
  • 1⁄2 c. plain yogurt
  • 2 T. English mustard, such as Colman’s
  • 2 T. finely chopped parsley
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6 – 8  smoked mackerels (from Warrenton Deep Sea:
  • 3 eggs, hard-boiled, peeled, and sliced



Make the crust: Whisk flour, mustard, and salt in a bowl. Using a dough blender, two forks, or your fingers, cut butter into flour mixture, forming pea-size crumbles. Add water; work dough until smooth. Divide dough in half, cover and chill 1 hour before using.

Heat bacon in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.

Add butter and onion to pan; cook until golden. Remove from heat; whisk in stock, yogurt, mustard, parsley, lemon juice, half the egg, and salt; set aside until cooled.

Heat oven to 400°. On a lightly floured surface, roll one disk of dough to fit into round pie pie plate; trim edges, leaving 1” dough overhanging edge of plate.

Arrange bacon and eggs in slices around the pie, pour in mustard custard, add salt and pepper. Arrange fish in a clocklike pattern with heads resting along edge of crust.

Roll remaining disk of dough into a 12” round; cut slits in dough about 2” from the edge. Place over top of pie and pull sardine heads through slits. Pinch top and bottom edges together and fold under; crimp edges. Brush with remaining egg; bake until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, 35–40 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.


Recipe: Russian Fish Pie aka Coulibiac

This recipe comes from ‘Elegant Food’ by Valerie Childs

From 1988, published by Gallery Books in NYC. It’s a huge cookbook, and I mean big! It’s some large format coffee table style book, size 10×14”, and a thickness of 256 pages, with sweeping full page color photos of many of the dishes.

The recipe suggests being served with a vegetable and a hollandaise sauce. I did not serve it with a sauce, but I can see how a nice sauce would be a classy addition to this stacked, free form pie. This sauce is what I will make the next time I make this pie.

Russian Fish Pie, known as “Coulibiac”

  • 1.5 lbs fresh or frozen salmon
  • 1 T. chopped parsley, fresh
  • 3 c. button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 eggs hard boiled, sliced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 recipe double pie crust
  • 1 egg white

Brown Butter Cream Sauce (optional)

  • 4 T. butter
  • 3 T. potato starch or corn starch
  • 1 c. cream or milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • dash ground white pepper
  • salt to taste


Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake salmon with butter and lemon in foil or parchment sealed tight for about 25 minutes. Remove bones and skin and flake. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Saute mushrooms until carmelized.

Roll out crust into a large rectangle. 12 x 10” or so on cooking sheet.

Arrange half the salmon in the center. add layer of sliced hard-boiled egg, top with mushrooms, more hard boiled egg slices, and the remainder of the salmon.

Fold pastry crust around salmon, seal on top and fold edges.

Brush with egg white.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Remove from heat. Serving this pie with a sauce is a good idea, I include a recipe below, but one could use any sauce you want, or none at all.

Prepare sauce while baking.

Sauce Preparation:

Heat butter, cook at low heat until golden and foamy, stir regularly. Remove from heat.

Mix cream with potato starch in a medium sized bowl, whisk until smooth, add egg yolk and white pepper. Whisk until smooth.

Slowly stir cream mixture into butter, whisk until smooth and combined.

Return pan to medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened.

Pour sauce into serving vessel or a bowl with a ladle.

Serve with Fish Pie.

Recipe: Veggie and Cheese Savory Pie

After last night’s great herbed tart, I felt confident I could improve on the recipe for lunch. I decided to give it another try in a different size and shape, with the addition of sautéed vegetables. Our dear friend Charlie was coming for lunch, so I wanted to make something special. Of course meat is optional, as are the veggies. Use what you got.

No picture of this pie. Here's a picture of a sleeping dog named Frida.

  • 1 recipe double pie crust [2 1/2 c. flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 c. butter, 1/2 c. cold water]
  • 1 c. ricotta cheese
  • 1 c. cream
  • 1 egg
  • 4 oz chèvre cheese
  • 1 c. fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 c. onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1 red pepper thinly sliced
  • 6 – 8 slices hard salami
  • 1/2 c. pepperoni, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. herb de provence
  • salt & pepper


Make pie crust, roll dough in a rectangle large enough to line a 9×13″ rectangular pan. Pat in pan and seal edge.

Mix ricotta cheese with herbs de provence, a dash of salt and some fresh ground pepper in a bowl. Add cream and egg, beat until smooth.

Heat skillet, add 1 T. butter and heat to simmer.

Add onions, cook at medium high heat until translucent, add 1 T. butter and mushrooms.

Add some of the red pepper as mushrooms begin to cook down. (Keep some of the raw red pepper slices aside for a design on top of the pie.)

Add garlic. Remove from heat when the mushrooms are nicely browned and the onions are lightly caramelized.

Place slices of salami on the crust, one for each serving of the pie 6 or 8 usually. Crumble goat cheese over the salami. Sprinkle pepperoni on top.

Top with the sautéed vegetables, spread evenly.

Pour ricotta mixture over the top. Gently spread mixture across the top evenly. Top with slices of red pepper in a design on each or making squares.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, or until crust is golden and cheese is browned.



Recipe: Pear Pie with Red Wine and Rosemary

I thought this pie would be really loose given the wine and the pear combo, but instead the pear pieces were suspended in a thick solid purple custard of red wine and rosemary. It was kind of sci-fi, but it may have been a mistake on my part in the interpretation of the recipe. Reducing wine has produced mixed results for me over the years, it’s an admitted weak spot. Was the purple about healing our nation during a contentious election or maybe honoring Prince? Who knows?

Note: in retrospect, I believe there is an error in the original recipe, I don’t think it is supposed to have both flour and corn starch in the filling.


  • Double Pie Crust recipe
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1¾ cups dry red wine, divided
  • 2 T. butter, cut into pieces
  • 5 tsp. cornstarch
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 5 tsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 pounds firm but ripe pears, peeled, cored, sliced
  • 1 egg, beaten to blend
  • 3 T. granulated sugar or raw sugar


Make crust for double pie recipe, divide into two balls, cover. Roll out one ball and line bottom of pie pan.

Whisk egg yolks, vinegar, and ½ cup ice water in a small bowl. Drizzle half of egg mixture over flour mixture and, using a fork, mix gently just until combined. Add remaining egg mixture and mix until dough just comes together (you will have some unincorporated pieces).

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, flatten slightly, and cut into quarters. Stack pieces on top of one another, placing unincorporated dry pieces of dough between layers, and press down to combine. Repeat process twice more (all pieces of dough should be incorporated at this point). Form dough into two 1”-thick disks. Wrap in plastic; chill at least 1 hour.

DO AHEAD: Dough can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled, or freeze up to 3 months.

filling and assembly

Bring granulated sugar, rosemary, and 1½ cups wine to a boil; cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about ⅔ cup, 5–8 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Whisking constantly, gradually add butter and whisk until syrup is smooth.

Whisk cornstarch, cinnamon, 5 tsp. flour, and remaining ¼ cup wine in a small saucepan set over medium heat; cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute. Slowly add syrup, whisking until smooth, then stir in vanilla and salt. Chill until cool, about 30 minutes.

Place a rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 375°. Toss pears and red wine syrup in a large bowl. Roll out 1 disk of dough on a lightly floured surface into a 14” round. Transfer to a 9” pie dish. Lift up edges and allow dough to slump down into dish. Trim, leaving about 1” overhang. Pour filling into crust and chill.

Meanwhile, roll out remaining disk of dough into a 14” round. Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, cut into twelve 1”-wide strips. Arrange 6 strips crosswise across top of pie, spacing about 1” apart.

Arrange remaining 6 strips lengthwise across top of pie, lifting crosswise strips and weaving lengthwise strips over and under to form a lattice. Brush edge of dough with beaten egg and press ends of strips and bottom crust together to seal. Trim strips to same length as bottom crust, then fold bottom crust over lattice strips; crimp edge. Brush crust with beaten egg and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Chill in freezer 15 minutes.

Place pie dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°, rotate pie, and continue baking, tenting with foil if crust is browning too quickly, until juices are bubbling and crust is golden brown, 60–75 minutes longer. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool at least 4 hours before slicing.

Recipe: Election Pie – A new pie for a new world

New invention! Election Pie

This is my pie version of election cake. Apparently, Election Cake was an old time American tradition dating back to the start of our nation. I’ve seen “Election Cake” in many of my old cookbooks, but I cannot possibly make a cake during the Nine Days of Pie! Instead, I invented the FIRST EVER Election Pie!  … Seriously, Google returned nothing on my search for “Election Pie”.  A new pie for a new world!

  • One unbaked pie crust
  • 1 tsp. smoked vanilla powder
  • 1/3 c dark brown sugar
  • 3 T molasses
  • 3 T. maple syrup
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 T. butter, melted
  • 1/3 c. golden raisins
  • 1/3 c. dried currants
  • 1/2 c. nuts, (I used toasted pecans)
  • 1/4 c. white wine
  • 1/4 c. toasted coconut (optional)


Melt butter, let cool. Toss currants and raisins in butter until coated.

Mix eggs with wine, molasses and maple syrup, add brown sugar, vanilla powder, salt, beat until smooth and light.

Add nuts, butter with fruit and coconut, mix well and pour into pie crust.

Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is set. Let cool before serving.

Recipe: Herbed Ricotta Tart

This was the alternative to the tomato tart. Since I do not eat tomatoes, an alternative was required!

Here’s the link to the original recipe, I like this David Leibovitz guy so far, every recipe I’ve tried has turned out: 2009/08/herbed-ricotta-tart/ The recipe says it’s adapted from Local Flavors: Cooking & Eating from America’s Farmers’ Markets by Deborah Madison. Okay.

  • 8 oz spring onions (I forgot these)
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp. herb de provence
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 1/2 c. half & half
  • 2 ounces spicy salami, diced
  • salt and freshly-ground pepper
  • One unbaked tart dough (see recipe, below)


1. Slice the spring onions into 1/2-inch pieces. Melt the butter in a skillet and cook over medium heat, seasoning with a bit of salt and pepper, until tender and cooked through. When you remove it from the heat, stir in the fresh thyme and let cool to room temperature.

2. Preheat the oven to 400F (200C)

3. In a large bowl, crumble ricotta, then mix in the egg, cream, half & half, salami, and a bit more salt and pepper along with the onions.

4. Scrape the filling into the tart shell and bake until just set and slightly-browned on top, 20-30 minutes.

5. Let the tart cool briefly, then serve either warm or at room temperature. Sprinkle fresh thyme leaves over the top of the tart before serving.

Tart Dough

  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 4 1/2 ounces (125 g) butter, chilled, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 T cold water

1. Make the dough by mixing the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and use your hands, or a pastry blender, to break in the butter until the mixture has a crumbly, cornmeal-like texture.

2. Mix the egg with 2 tablespoons of the water. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the beaten egg mixture, stirring the mixture until the dough holds together. If it’s not coming together easily, add the additional tablespoon of water.

3. Gather the dough into a ball and roll the dough on a lightly floured surface, adding additional flour only as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the counter.

4. Once the dough is large enough so that it will cover the bottom of the pan and go up the sides, roll the dough around the rolling pin then unroll it over the tart pan. Press pastry firmly with your fingertips a few times, pressing in to make indentations.

Recipe: French Tomato Tart

We were generously gifted some beautiful Yakima tomatoes, so this tart was a must. I usually like this guy’s recipes, but I don’t eat tomatoes, so Shane attests it was grand, here is the original link:

Tomato Tart Filling

  • One unbaked tart crust (recipe below)
  • Dijon or whole-grain mustard
  • 2-3 large ripe tomatoes
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • two generous tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, chives, chervil, or tarragon ( I used rosemary & chives from the yard)
  • 8 ounces goat cheese, sliced into rounds
  • Optional: 1 1/2 T. honey or olive oil (I drizzled both honey and olive oil on the tart)

Tart Dough

  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 4 1/2 ounces butter, chilled, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2-3 T. cold water


1. Make the dough by mixing the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and use your hands, or a pastry blender, to break in the butter until the mixture has a crumbly, cornmeal-like texture.

2. Mix the egg with 2 tablespoons of the water. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the beaten egg mixture, stirring the mixture until the dough holds together. If it’s not coming together easily, add the additional tablespoon of cold water.

3. Gather the dough into a ball and roll the dough on a lightly floured surface, adding additional flour only as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the counter.

4. Once the dough is large enough so that it will cover the bottom of the pan and go up the sides, roll the dough around the rolling pin then unroll it over the tart pan. Press the pastry firmly with your fingertips a few times, pressing in to make indentations.

If making a freestyle tart, simply transfer the dough to a prepared baking sheet (see headnote); no need to make indentations with your fingers.

5. Preheat the oven to 425ºF (218ºC).

6. Spread an even layer of mustard over the bottom of the tart dough and let it sit a few minutes to dry out.

7. Slice the tomatoes and arrange them over the mustard in a single, even layer. Drizzle the olive oil over the top.

8. Sprinkle with some chopped fresh herbs, then arrange the slices of goat cheese on top. Add some more fresh herbs, then drizzle with some honey, if using.

(If baking a free-form tart, gather the edges when you’re done, to envelope the filling.)

9. Bake the tart for 30 minutes or so, until the dough is cooked, the tomatoes are tender, and the cheese on top is nicely browned. Depending on the heat of your oven, if the cheese doesn’t brown as much as you’d like it, you might want to pass it under the broiler until it’s just right.


Day 5, of the Nine Days Of Pie, 2016 version

Day 5 Pies:

What a day! Three, count ‘em three different GRAPE PIES! Last night the amazing Helen spent 4 long hours peeling grapes, this morning she caught the 8 am bus to Astoria and then walked all the way to our house. She came with a container full of peeled grapes and a bag of the peels. Yes, that’s right, a bag of the peels. It’s true, I had recipes for grape pies and a grape skins pie. No Joke! And Helen is no joke either, she may be one of the most thoughtful people to ever walk the earth! Not only did she come with love peeled grapes, but also a gift for Shane. A statue of the very first piece of art he was ever exposed to – The Screaming Hand skateboard art by Jim Phillips!

This was Saturday, so I had a feeling we might have a bit of a crowd, and I was right. I believe 12 or 13 people joined us for pie, and one guest came just for the art!

Helen arrived early, then our favorite produce guy and art scholar Andy came to see Shane’s studio, not long after came more guests and several Big Surprises!  A knock at the door brought Jan with her friend Charlie. Jan had said she would not make it this year, so her arrival was a delight, then another surprise, Heather and Tim who also said they would not be making it tricked us as a surprise! Then came great friends Steve & Alan, Bill, Kathy & her four legged friend Frida, and Wenda too!  What a great group!  Conversation rolled and roared. Shane was showered with gifts and everyone brought goodies for pie!

This great mix of people is exactly what the Nine Days of Pie is about! Then as the evening calmed down another knock came upon the door, Carol!!! Carol is a smart and amazing woman, a new York City transplant and political activist like no other! Conversation ramped back up about everything from the Water Protectors to the election, to non-violent communication, and how city folk find it challenging to fit in in a rural community in a state with its entire population smaller than NYC!

Suddenly Carol hurt her elbow and Heather, a healer jumped into action rubbing her arm and then her feet until she felt wonderful!

Oh Nine Days Of Pie! Bringing people together, with kindness and generosity and pie!

Bobotie – A South African Meat Pie

From the link in which this recipe came: 

I almost feel uncomfortable describing bobotie as a type of meat loaf, because it’s so much more than that. A Cape Town specialty and one of South Africa’s best-known dishes, it generally consists of spiced meat—normally beef, sometimes lamb—mixed with chutney and tamarind paste and milk-soaked bread, poured into a dish, topped with a custard of egg and milk, and baked until it’s golden on top. The dish’s origins go back to the mid-17th century, when the first Malay slaves were brought to the Cape of Good Hope, and with them, their cooking. At the same time Dutch colonizers brought a taste for sweet things—hence the golden raisins mixed in with the meat; Indian immigrants, who began arriving in the late 19th century, contributed warming curry spices, giving rise to the classically Cape Malay balancing act between sour, spicy, sweet, and savory flavors that makes bobotie so satisfying. Often almonds are part of the recipe, and even bananas, but there are limits to what you can do and still call it bobotie. I believe the traditional way is the best way. —Reuben Riffel, chef-owner of the Reuben’s restaurants in South Africa

  • 2 oz. Asian tamarind paste
  • 2 slices square white sandwich bread
  • 12 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 lb. ground lamb shoulder (I used ground lamb)
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 14 cup sliced almonds (I omitted this)
  • 3 tbsp. golden raisins
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 eggs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Break tamarind paste into small pieces and place in a small bowl; cover with 12 cup boiling water, and let sit until soft, about 30 minutes. Massage and stir paste and water together with your fingers until paste dissolves; pour through a fine strainer into a bowl, and set tamarind juice aside. Meanwhile, tear bread into small pieces and place in a small bowl; cover with 14 cup milk and let sit until bread soaks up milk; set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat; add lamb, and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned all over and all moisture evaporates, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, and set aside. Return skillet to heat along with butter, and add onions and garlic; cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder and sugar, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes; transfer to bowl with lamb along with reserved tamarind juice, soaked bread, 3 tbsp. almonds, raisins, lemon juice and zest, and 1 egg. Season with salt and pepper, and mix until evenly combined. Transfer to a 9″ deep-dish pie plate, and spread evenly over the bottom.

Heat oven to 375°. Whisk together remaining milk and egg in a small bowl, season with salt and pepper, and pour over meat mixture in dish. Bake until custard is set on top, golden brown, and meat mixture is heated through, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining almonds; let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Apple and Sausage Pie

This recipe is a redo, and so rather than just link to the original recipe, I wanted to note the changes. This recipes comes from: 

  • Single crust , unbaked
  • 1/2 pound sweet sausage
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1 apple – peeled, cored, and diced
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • salt
  • 1/2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

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

Remove the sausage from it’s casing and crumble‚ saute over medium heat‚ drain.

In a separate skillet, heat 1 T. butter and saute the apple until just softened.

Combine egg yolks and egg with cream and a pinch of salt.

Place sausage in bottom of pie. Arrange apple on top of sausage and distribute cheese evenly over apple.

Pour the egg mixture over everything.

Bake for 50-60 minutes‚ until pie is somewhat firm.

Cool for a few minutes, but serve warm.


Day 4, 2016 version of Nine Days of Pie

Day 4 Pies

Tonight was a quieter night at the Nine Days Of Pie, and that was perfect for us to spend real good time without guests, Bill arrived with his friend and former wife Lori, then later we were joined by their daughter Emily and her friend Nevaeh. Emily is 13 and has been a real trouper this year, trying a variety of pies, so as promised I made an apple slab pie with pie crust rolled into little pinwheels of cinnamon, butter, and sugar.

Also on the menu today was another pie with apple, a savory pie of Apple, sausage and cheddar cheese. It’s a redo from a failed pie from a previous year, so I was glad to redo it! The third pie of today was Navy Bean, and it is a traditional Muslim dessert not unlike pumpkin pie, but with more texture.

I was surprised and received to have a small group on Friday, it was really great to get to know Lori better and have a chance to sit down for a while. I even had a glass of wine!

Progress was also made on the art chair Wenda brought over on Day 1, it is going to be a really special chair when it’s all done!


Navy Bean Pie

I found this recipe looking for out-of-the-ordinary pies, I understand it is a traditional Muslim dessert, and not unlike pumpkin pie but with more texture. Here is the link to the original recipe, and reprinted below:

  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 c. evaporated milk
  • 2 c. cooked and mashed navy beans (about 1 c. when dry)
  • 3⁄4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ginger powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground cloves


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine eggs and evaporated milk in a bowl.

Add beans, sugar and all spices.

Beat at low speed of a mixer until well blended.

Pour into unbaked pie shell.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.

Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Serve warm with whipped cream or you can even enjoy it cold.

Day 3 of the Nine Days Of Pie, 2016 edition

Day 3 Pies:

There’s a lot to be said for taking time off the j.o.b. for this. I had all three pies done or at least baking by 7 pm. AND i had most of the dishes washed!

The focus on art continued today as Roger Hayes came by for open studio this afternoon to work with Shane in his studio. The two of them were busy down there, I could hear banter and launching and periods of silence and machinery and the compressor, I have not been down there yet tonight to see the results, but they were hard at work earlier when I stopped down to visit a few hours in. 

Meanwhile, the pies just seemed to go along, though adjustments were made here and there.

Sally, Roger’s wife and also an accomplished artist, was next to arrive. Roger and Sally live literally around the corner from us, but we almost never get to spend time with together. Roger announced to us this was his first ay as a gentle of leisure, so perhaps we will see more them. Hopefully.

The next knock on the door brought Bill with his daughter Emily, they are our staples of Nine Days of Pie, which is really nice. Almost like having family.  We were all enjoying pie, even Emily liked the chicken pie, which is a big compliment from a 13-year-old! Then another knock brought Lila from over the river with her friend Jeff. They enjoyed a variety of pie and were soon as stuffed as the rest of us. When they arrived we had nine different pies on the table! I think Lila’s friend was a bit overwhelmed by the absurdity of the event.

We all enjoyed conversation about everything from art, to the madness of the election, DNA tests, secret family members, and we pondered the vast differences of people in various parts of America. What I am saying is, another perfect day!

I must say, Nine Days of Pie 2016 has been really stupendous so far. Tomorrow is another day and I don’t want to get cocky with 6 more days to go!

A merry Nine Days Of Pie to all and to all a good night!

Pineapple Pie

Every Nine Days of Pie I swear I am going to make a pineapple pie and every year it gets edged out of the running. I actually found a can of crushed pineapple in the cabinet that expired in 2015 that I know I bought for this very purpose. Of course once I decided this was the year, then I could not find the recipe I was looking for. 

The recipe I used comes from ‘Sunset Cook Book of Desserts’ published 1979.

  • 1 medium Pineapple (I used 3 c. crushed pineapple from cans)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 T. flour
  • 1 T. each grated lemon peel and lemon juice (I used orange)
  • double crust pie recipe


Trim and peel pineapple, core. Cut fruit into bite size pieces (or open cans and drain juice.)

Beat eggs, four, sugar, lemon peel and juice,, blend with pineapple. Line 9-inch pie pan with pastry fill with pineapple filling. Cover with top crust, seal edges. Cut vents for steam. Bake in a hot oven 425 degrees for about 45 minutes, cool before serving.

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Chicken, Ham & Leek Pie

This was a pain in the ass recipe. As I read over the lengthy instructions, I felt really uncomfortable baking the pie and then adding cream and raw eggs to it after it cooked. Maybe I will try it this way some other time, but I opted not to tonight. As I type the recipe, I understand now, it was not supposed to have a bottom crust, which would have made the added cream slightly less disturbing, but it would not have fit the true definition of pie!

It is from a giant cookbook called ‘Elegant Food’ by Valerie Childs, published 1988.

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  • 1 3 lb chicken (I used 1.5 lb of chicken breast)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Parsley stalks (I had to use dry parsley)
  • salt & black pepper
  • 1/4 lb cooked ham in small pieces
  • 1 lb leeks
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1 c. chicken stock (made when cooking the chicken)
  • (I added 1 Tb of corn starch)
  • double crust pie recipe
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 1 egg lightly beaten for glazing


Line pie pan with bottom crust.

Put the chicken in large saucepan together with onion, bay leaf, parley, and salt and pepper. Cover with cold water and bring gently to a boil. Allow to simmer about 45 minutes until the chicken is tender.

Meanwhile, wash and trim the leeks cut them into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Melt putter in a pan and gently sauce leeks for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Remove chicken from broth and cut into good sized chunks. Put chicken, ham, parsley, and leeks into pie pan. Pour 1 cup of the chicken stock over.**

(Here’s where I deviated from the recipe by sprinkling a tablespoon of cornstarch over chicken. **I also added the cream and egg to the cup of chicken stock instead of adding it later.)

Roll out pastry for top crust. cover pie and seal edges. Cut slits for steam to escape.

Bake for 15 minutes in 400 degrees, then remove pie from oven and brush top with egg. Return to oven for an additional 20 minutes.

The recipe says to remove the pie from oven and “carefully lift a segment of pastry and pour in cream and leftover beaten egg.

Loveless Pecan Pie

I found this website while searching for unusual pies, their Elvis pie sounded intriguing but in the end, I went with the amazingly creamy looking Pecan Pie they offered, the photo was unbelievable. While it was amazing, it did not look anything like the one in their picture, but admittedly, I did overcook it just a tad trying to get that crust to brown up a bit.

Here is the link to their website:

  • 1 c. light corn syrup
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 oz unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 c. pecan pieces
  • 1 10-inch pie crust


Mix first six ingredients together with wire whisk until smooth. Place pecans in pie shell. Pour custard mix over nuts and bake at 375 F for 30 minutes or until filling puffs and rises above the edges of the pie shell. Carefully remove pie from oven and let cool completely before serving.

Day 2, of the Nine Days Of Pie

Day 2 Pies:

Today, all of our guest were artists, and what could be better than that?!?!

The day began with a bounty of gifts from Wenda, who we met a few months ago when Shane answered an ad to buy her welder, they really hit it off immediately and have been looking for a chance to get together again. Today was the day! She gave Shane the most amazing gift, and the ribbon was crime scene tape from a real crime! She even brought a mod wooden chair for an art co-lab for everyone! She had a quick taste of pies and headed out.

Not long after we received some truly tragic news from dear friend far away, one of our only friends from our Minnesota experience had passed away. Devastated, Shane said we would dedicate this Nine Days Of Pie to Sunrise Chosa, and we quickly set about to create a small alter for him in the living room. He was a wonderful, brilliant person, and the world is truly less without his youthful light, sweetness, and genius.

This caused a slightly delayed start to pie making, but I stuck with the full plan of pies. First, I made my first ever chiffon pie! I always want to make them, but always run out of days during the nine days of pie. Being home and not working during this year’s celebration has helped a lot. We have been in possession of a bottle of Kraken Rum, so a Rum Chiffon Pie it was to be! I thought “black” rum might make a grey pie, but in reality it was dark brown and made for more of a tan color.

For the savory I made a odd but delicious Shrimp Pie from an old cookbook, and for the third pie I made a Rhubarb and Raspberry pie that remains untouched.

 As pie time came, Bill and his beautiful daughter Emily arrived. As promised, he has made two days in a row so far! As mentioned previously, Bill is an amazing actor and a good ukulele player. Next came Jane another lifelong area resident, Jane’s father was best friends with Bill’s uncle, which is a great story of the old Astoria that made us love this area so much. Jane is a painter, costume designer and writer, it is always a pleasure to see her! Soon Wenda returned for evening pie, she is also an amazing artist, and in the spirit of the Nine Days of Pie she was snapping photos of everything! Another knock brought Sondra and Will, recent transplants to the area who came from Colorado and Arizona, and they too are artists!

  Soon the chair was being covered in art, and lively conversation was happening, and pie was disappearing, and there was lots of pie since plenty was left from yesterday, including the entire Cherry Almond pie! It was a wonderful time, and especially to see Shane laughing and talking art and having a great time, which is what the Nine days of Pie is all about!

Rum Chiffon Pie or Rum Cream Pie

I have seen these chiffon pies in lots of old cookbooks I collect, they were apparently the big thing for a while, I’d say in the 1940s thru about 1980. Just saying “Chiffon Pie” sounds classy, so I can see why ladies might have liked them. The cookbook this pie came from is dated 1970, and is called ‘Southern Living: Our Best Recipes’.

These recipes don’t type themselves, why not become a patron:

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 2 1/2 T. plain gelatin
  • 1/2 c. cold water
  • 3/4 c. cream
  • 3 T. dark rum
  • Crumb Pie Shell (recipe below)


Beat egg yolks until light and add sugar. Soak gelatin in cold water; put over low heat, until dissolved. Pour over sugar and egg mixture, stirring briskly. Whip cream until stiff, fold into the egg mixture, and flavor with rum. Cool until the mixture begins to set; then pour into pie shel. Chill until firm. Sprinkle top with shaved bittersweet chocolate curls. Garnish with whipped cream if desired. Serve cold.

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 6 T. butter, melted


Combine sugar and crumbs, add butter and mix until evenly combined. Press into pie pan firmly.

Notes: The rum is live in this pie, it is not cooked out. May not be appropriate for children.

Shrimp Pie

I found this recipe in the good old The Settlement Cookbook: The way to a man’s heart Treasured Recipes from 6 Decades. It was originally published in 1901, but mine is the 1965 printing. 

  • 3/4 c. celery, diced
  • 2 medium onions, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1 pound cooked shrimp
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 1/4 c. lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 c. cooked rice (I used orzo instead)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust
  • 1 green pepper, sliced (optional)


Saute celery and onions in butter until lightly browned. Mix with shrimp. Mix cornstarch with lemon juice; beat eggs and mix with lemon juice mixture. Add rice, salt and pepper. Put shrimp mixture into pie shell; pour egg mixture over the shrimp. Garnish with green pepper if desired. Bake in a moderate oven, 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until filling is set.

NOTES: Okay, old recipes can be a challenge because cups and other measurements have likely changed over the years. When I poured the egg mixture over the shrimp, it barely covered the entire pie pan. I was concerned this would not become a pie, so I mixed an egg and 1/2 c. cream and poured it over the top. That helped a lot, and a pie was born. In the future, I would mix all of the ingredients for more evens throughout the pie.

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Raspberry Rhubarb Pie

This is an Amy original.

  • 1 pound raspberries
  • 1 pound rhubarb
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. corn starch
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 2 T. butter
  • double recipe pie crust


Make crust and line bottom of pie pan.

In a bowl, mix sugar and corn starch. Pour sugar mixture over berries and rhubarb in a large bowl, add lemon juice and toss until well coated. Pour into pie shell. Roll out top crust and place over pie, seal edges. Cut slits in top of pie crust for vents. Bake at 375 for an hour, or until filling is bubbling and crust is golden.