Day 1 of 2016′s Nine Days Of Pie!

Day 1 Pies:

The first night of the Nine Days of Pie has come and gone, and it was a great success! Normally, on the first day of the Nine Days Of Pie, I play it safe and go with classics I know I can do without fail. I don’t make pies for the rest of the year usually, so It’s almost always been a full year since I last rolled a crust or made a filling, so Day 1 is where I get “un-rusty”. This year I threw caution to wind! 

I started out making a filling for hand pies, which I plan to make when needed. The filling is vegan, incase an unexpected vegan shows up, I’ll be ready.

For the savory pie, I made a mustard tart, which was quite delicious! Not too mustardy. It was fun to make too, I got to steam veggies for it which I thought was really smart, and I will probably do that more in the future instead of sautéing veggies for pies.

Next, I made a coconut custard pie from and old cookbook. The thing about old cookbooks is some of the instructions and even ingredients do not translate well, and the measurements are different. I made the pie exact to the recipe, but I had quite a bit of liquid left over, so much I made 4 mini pies in addition to the regular size. Of course when it was all cooks it shrunk down quite a bit, but in its precooked state the filling was nearly pouring over the crust! It turned out okay, not greatest ever, but decent, and maybe better chilled though the recipe did not say to.

The third pie is one I have made twice before too rave reviews, it’s a cherry (shane’s historical favorite one) with a layer of REAL almond paste on the bottom.

Our single guest for the night was out neighbor Bill a talented actor who could probably be the next Steve Buscemi if he wasn’t in Astoria Oregon. It was so nice to sit and have pie with Shane and Bill, and hear the two of them talking away in the next room while I baked.

Since no one else came by, I decided this was the perfect audience to test the hand pies on and see how the filling held up. I was worried that is might be too watery. So I took the leftover ball of crust and rolled it out. I made four small pies. They were actually done before the cherry pie was firmed up, so we each enjoyed one and agreed the filling was just right.

It was a perfect first day of the Nine Days Of Pie, quite wonderful!

 

 

Coconut Custard Pie

This recipe was marked some time back by me, but never got made, it’s from a cookbook called 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 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 c. scaled milk
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 c. shredded coconut
  • 8 inch pie shell, lightly baked

Instructions

Beat egg yolks with sugar, add milk gradually, salt then the coconut and stiffly beaten egg whites. If desired, mix 1/2 tablespoon of corn starch with the sugar and use only two eggs. Fill shell and bake for 30 minutes at 300 degrees.

Note: A couple things here. The directions are kind of obtuse, and I was concerned the cornstarch was a hint it was needed, but it wasn’t, it made it a little dry. Also, the filling nearly went over the sides of the crust which had shrunk quite a bit in the pre-baking, so I had to make a few mini pies of it. You’ll want to make this then in a deep pie pan. I also sprinkled coconut on the top which browned up nicely. A very good, not great pie.

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Mustard Tart – Dorie Greenspan’s Mustard Tart

I found this recipe from searching “unusual pies” online. I have no idea who Dorie Greenspan is, but this tart was a winner! Way to go Dorie! Here is the original link:  http://www.saveur.com/dorie-greenspan-mustard-tart-recipe  

  • 1 14 cups all-purpose flour, plus more
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 12 tsp. kosher salt, plus more
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. ice-cold water
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and trimmed
  • 1 large leek, white and light green part only, trimmed
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 tbsp. creme fraiche
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp. whole grain mustard
  • freshly ground white pepper

Instructions

Whisk flour, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Using a dough blender, two forks, or your fingers, cut butter into flour mixture, forming pea-size crumbles. Add 1 egg and water and work dough until smooth. (Alternatively, pulse ingredients in a food processor.) Flatten dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour before using.

Heat oven to 400°. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12-inch round. Fit into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Trim edges chill 30 minutes. Using a fork, prick the dough all over. Line dough with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove paper and weights and bake an additional 5 minutes, then cool.

Meanwhile, julienne the carrot and the leek into matchsticks. Fill a large wok with 2-inches water and place over medium-high heat. Fit a steamer basket on top and add the carrots, leeks, and rosemary sprigs. Cover the steamer and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the rosemary and allow the vegetables to cool completely.

In a medium bowl, whisk the remaining three eggs with the creme fraiche, mustards, salt, and pepper. Pour filling into tart and arrange the vegetables over the top. Bake until the tart is lightly browned and set, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving, or serve at room temperature.

NOTES: This was a top notch pie. I did add about 1/3 cup of half and half because the filling looked like not very much, and I did not have creme fraiche so I used plain yogurt. Also, obvious from the photo I did not julienne the leek and carrot – read that part after I chopped the leek. I would do this again, for sure.

Hand Pie Filling (vegan)

  • 2 lbs frozen berries (mostly blackberries in this case)
  • 1/4 c. corn starch
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • vanilla

Instructions

Put berries in a large pot, add lemon juice. in a  small bowl mix corn starch and sugar, pour over berries. Turn on medium heat and stir regularly until thickened. Turn off heat and add vanilla. Cool.

When using for hand pies a small scoop of 2-3 T will make a fine hand pie. Be sure to seal edges well.

 

Patronize the Pie if recipes ye shall try!

With seven years worth of recipes on this website, it is a pretty epic resource for pie. I have made pies from old out-of-print cookbooks, peculiar small run cookbooks – Such as one from an airline’s staff, and oddities I have created myself, plus of course pies from the far corners of the internet! There’s a lot of pies here, with me baking more than 30  each year for the last few years, and five years of nearly zero repeats, the collection is vast.

If you enjoy the pies on this blog, or if you enjoy following along with the celebration, or if you want to support this wacky, self-funded art project, perhaps you’ll want to become a Patron Of Pie! Or a Patron Of Shane and Amy! If so, why not sign up for Patreon?

As you can see, there are no ads poking at you from the sidebar, no pop-ups, nothing of the sort! This is pure, ad-free, information!

Patreon allows anyone to support us with a one-time donation, or a regular monthly boost, and it can be as little at $2. It’s a pretty amazing service for us creatives, and we thank you sincerely and with great gratitude if you do. Simply click the link: https://www.patreon.com/creativeclass

The countdown the Pie has begun, a cartful of groceries purchased, and housecleaning is commencing. See you soon for pie!

Nine Days Of Pie 2016 coming soon!!!

Hard to believe nearly a year has passed since last year’s festivities! I have been collecting a number of new pie recipes these months, and have decided to try to do all the pies I always want to do that never seem to happen. Look for new pies, old favorites, and wild experiments this year.

Of course all the pie is fun, and sometimes delicious, but the real reason for the celebration is the birthday of Shane Bugbee on November 9th! He is the Pie Master and it is his love of pie that created this amazing holiday!

As always, we welcome satellite celebrations, please post photos of your Nine Days Of Pie pies & celebration! Someday, this holiday will be world-wide and could bring world peace to our planet!

I am working out my rolling pin to get ready, and we’ll see you soon!

Also Big News! We have an “official” Nine Days Of Pie Motel!

OFFICIAL HOTEL:
Coming from out of town?
Mention Nine Days Of Pie and get a special rate of $55 a nite at: 
Atomic Motel (formerly the Lamplighter Motel)
131 W Marine Dr, Astoria, OR 97103
(503) 325-4051 

Stop by for a slice!

Day 9: Happy Birthday Shane!!!

Day 9 Pies:

Another Nine Days Of Pie has come and gone. It ended well on Monday night, Shane’s birthday.

An early visit brought us Stephen and Alan baring the gift of crab, and ah ha the admission that Alan was the person placing those little figures around. Unfortunately, they could not stay very long.

On this night, everyone got a gift with a visit from two local dignitaries, Jane Herrold, a well known artist and notable local fisherman’s daughter, and Dave Densmore, the famed poet, adventurer, and Alaska Fisherman. To see these two old friends interact was a rare treat! This is what the Nine Days of Pie is truly about – Trading stories and jokes and eating pie, with Dave’s partner Renee and Karri Gallagher. It was a great finale to a very action packed and pie filled Nine Days of Pie.

I always look forward to the Nine Days Of Pie, and I am always glad when it is over. It is a challenge to host an open house pie party for 9 straight evenings, but a great adventure and community builder. It is a ritual and a celebration, there is power and suffering, pleasure and pain, and most of all, indulgence.

There were a plethora of pies on this final night, yet for perhaps the first time ever, butter remains in the freezer, and a couple balls of crust are still chilling…

Most of all, I would like to thank everyone who came and shared pie with us, a big thank you to everyone who brought gifts, or pie, or whatever, and especially thanks to Shane for being so wonderful that you deserve your own holiday!!! I love you!

 

2 am Monday Morning 11-9-15

The Nine Days of Pie has kicked my ass! I have lost count of how many pies I have made. Many people have also brought pies, thus far including lemon meringue, mini apple caramel, and paleo pumpkin and cranberry, others brought additional supplies such as butter and fine cream, and wine and crab. Several people have suggested, and after my struggle this year to make enough pie to really allow for pie frenzy, next year may be a full on pie potluck.

It is after 2 am and the last pie of Sunday night is just about to come out of the oven! I have failed miserably with my promised daily posts. Not only did I fail to post daily blogs, I did not post recipes either. This leaves me the obvious dilemma of what the hell did I bake on Tuesday? and that sort of thing.

The Nine Days Of Pie the 2015 version has been a wild ride! Pie madness, last minute pie changes, near disasters, and even a pie heckler made for the most insane Nine Days of Pie ever!

Full pie list, recipes, and a recap coming soon…

 

Yarnall Family’s Fyrstekake

This came from Bon Appetite (Link at bottom of page). It had cardamom in a strong role, so it caught my attention in a big way!

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom, preferably freshly ground
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tsp. whole milk or heavy cream

Filling And Assembly

  • Unsalted butter (for pan)
  • 2 c. slivered almonds
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cardamom, preferably freshly ground
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg yolk

Special Equipment

  • A 9-inch-diameter fluted tart pan with removable bottom; decorative cookie cutters

 

Directions:

Crust

  • Whisk flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter and sugar in a medium bowl until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg yolk and milk. With mixer running on low speed, gradually add dry ingredients and beat just until thoroughly combined.
  • Pat dough into a ball; break off one-quarter of dough. Form each piece into a ball. Flatten balls into disks. Cover separately and chill dough disks for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Filling And Assembly

  • Butter tart pan. Break larger dough disk into small pieces and scatter over bottom of tart pan. Using your fingertips, press dough onto bottom and up sides of pan. Use the flat bottom of a measuring cup to smooth the surface and trim the edges. Roll out smaller dough disk to about 1/8 inches thick. Using decorative cookie cutters, cut out shapes and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cover and chill crust and cutouts for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Pulse almonds, powdered sugar, cardamom, and nutmeg in a food processor until nuts are finely ground. Transfer dry ingredients to a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites and vanilla in a medium bowl until medium peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into dry ingredients.
  • Whisk egg yolk and 2 teaspoons water in a small bowl to blend. Fill chilled crust with almond mixture; smooth top. Arrange cutouts on top and brush cutouts with egg wash.
  • Bake tart until crust and cutouts are golden brown and filling is set, 30-35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool. DO AHEAD: Tart can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
  • Recipe by Rachel Sanders, http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/yarnall-family-s-fyrstekake

Aussie Humble Pie

Aussie humble pie with a steak and ale filling (See link to original recipe below)

Cooks In 4H 30M plus cooling. Difficulty: Not too tricky

*PLEASE NOTE the above statement from the original recipe that this is “not too tricky”, but takes 4.5 hours “plus cooling”. Kind of an oxymoron. This took overnight cooling. Do NOT be fooled, there is nothing humble about this “Simple Steak Pie”.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg beef skirt, chopped into 1cm chunks
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 whole nutmeg , for grating
  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 2 red onions , peeled
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked
  • 500 ml pale ale
  • 1 heaped T. corn starch
  • 1 T. tomato purée
  • 250 g button mushrooms
  • 1 large egg yolk, beaten , or semi-skimmed milk

For the pastry:

  • 600 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 150 g cold unsalted butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
  • 150 g Cheddar cheese

Method

Place the beef, 1 heaped teaspoon of pepper, a good pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large bowl. Grate in half a nutmeg, then toss to coat and set aside.

Roughly chop the carrots, onions and rosemary leaves.

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a wide, medium pan over a medium heat, then add the beef and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meat is browned all over and any liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, heat another medium pan over a medium heat. Add the chopped veg and a drizzle of olive oil and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until softened and caramelised, stirring frequently, then remove from the heat.

Add the ale to the beef, turn the heat up to high and allow the liquid to boil and bubble away, stirring and scraping all those lovely sticky bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the corn starch and tomato purée and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it forms a thick paste. Stir the softened veg into the pan, then pour in 2.5 c. of cold water. Roughly slice and add the mushrooms, then bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes, then take off the lid and simmer for another 30 minutes, or until thickened and reduced and the beef is tender, stirring occasionally. Season to taste, transfer to a bowl and allow to cool completely for a few hours or preferably overnight in the fridge.

Meanwhile, make the pastry. Combine the flour and a good pinch of salt in a bowl, then grate in the Cheddar and rub into the flour along with the butter, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Gradually add 250ml of cold water, stirring continuously to combine, then use your hands to bring it together into a rough dough – be careful not to work it too much. Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge until needed.

Ready to bake:

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Grease pie dish with a little butter. Roll out bottom crust on a flour-dusted surface to the thickness of a pound coin. Place in pie pan. Gently press the pastry into the sides of the dish, then roughly cut away the excess.

Fill with meat filling. roll out top crust and cover. Trim away any excess, crimp the edges with a fork and pierce a little cross into the top. Brush over a little more milk or beaten egg, then place in the hot oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden and piping hot through.

Adapted from recipe at http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/beef-recipes/aussie-humble-pie/#g079DXWVLx2apGq7.99

Pecan Pie 2015 – The Good One

Pecan Pie, Based on a recipe in Time Life Books ‘Foods of the World’

Single crust pastry, unbaked.

4 eggs

2 c. dark corn syrup (I used 1 c. dark corn syrup and 1 c. Lyons Golden Syrup)

2 T. melted butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract (I used 2)

1 1/2 c. pecans

 

Instructions:

Prepare crust, roll out, and line pie pan.

Beat eggs welling large bowl for about 30 seconds.

Pour in syrup while mixing, beat well.

Add butter and vanilla, mixing well.

Add pecans, still gently and fold into unbaked pie crust.

Bake in 400 degree oven for 35-40 minutes.

Serve warm or room temperature.

Raspberry Pie

I chose to make an all raspberry pie because no one ever makes them, they always get mixed with other berries or fruit. This is a decadent, fragrant, and delicious pie!
  • 1 recipe for Double pie crust recipe
  • 24 oz raspberries
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1/3 c. corn starch
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 T. butter

Directions:

Make pie crust, line pan with crust. Prepare top crust as full cover or lattice crust.

In a large bowl pour in raspberries and sprinkle with lemon juice and vanilla.

In a bowl, combine sugar, corn starch and cinnamon. Pour over berries and gently toss to combine.

Pour berries into crust, top with butter cut into tiny pieces.

Cover with top crust, if using full crust be sure to cut vents in top, or weave up a lattice crust.

Bake in 375 oven for 30 minutes, then lower temperature to 350 and bake an additional 20-30 minutes, or until crust is golden and pie is bubbling.

Cool for an hour or two before serving if possible.

Day 8: Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015

Day 8 Pies:

  • Chicken Spinach Pie
  • Raspberry Pie
  • Blueberry & Blackberry Paleo Pie (not very good)
  • Pumpkin & Cranberry (brought by Angela)

Sunday came much too quickly, but here it was Day 8! Over the years, most Nine Days Of Pie celebrations include two weekends, but not this year and that has made it rather challenging for me. I had planned to make the Aussie Humble Pie, but it when I read the recipe and saw it took 4.5 hours (Humble? Not so much.) I kept putting it off for the weekend, but now that I read the recipe yet again and more thoroughly, the filling actually needs to sit in the fridge overnight, ugh! SO Chicken Spinach Pie it is..

Our first guest of the evening was a great and total surprise, the amazing artist Roger McKay. We have only gotten to chat with Roger in passing here and there, but at our last run in I was armed with Nine Days Of Pie postcards! This was a wonderful surprise, and I know a real treat for Shane, as he does not often have the chance to spend time with other professional artists, and certainly none here in Astoria! Roger told us he has made a living at art for more than 40 years! He is one of the artists involved in the recent restoration of the Astor Column.

Another knock on the door brought additional Astoria royalty, Elleda & Bruce with Elleda’s awesome cousin Amy! Amy visits Elleda and Bruce every year around this time and we always look forward to seeing them all. Elleda is a well known photographer, and she brought Shane a beautiful and creepy print of an old doll having from a mirror. Perfect!  We all were enjoying pie and a low roar of conversation and laughter when another knock not he door brought us Angela and her son Ruben, they were sporting a beautiful diary, gluten and sugar free pumpkin and cranberry pie. It was a work of art. She told us her son said they HAD TO come because we invented out own holiday!!!

I decided to make a full on Raspberry Pie because no one ever makes raspberry pies, it’s always raspberry and something. And, I never do lattice crust, but there I was latticing it up! I also got daring and attempted a blue and black berry crumble top paleo pie, but it did not turn out very good. And never mind the two great gluten free pies I’d made days before, tonight when I had yet another lousy gluten free pie, our neighbor Sean came by – he and his wife Shannon had experienced the failed sweet potato of day one, but had of course missed the lemon custard and the peanut butter! Thank goodness Angela’s amazing pie was there to save the day!

Angela's Pie saved the day!

Day 7: Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015

Day 7 Pies:

This being Saturday allowed for some slightly more challenging pies than I am able to do on the weeknights. I’d read an interesting article about Key Lime Pie and it’s origins  that came along with a slightly boastful recipe so I was excited to make an authentic key lime pie!  Lucky for me, Shane offered to squeeze all those tiny key limes! And geez, it took the whole bag!

I also decided today would be the perfect day for spanakopita. It takes a while to make AND it makes a lot of pie, so it was perfect for a possible Saturday crowd.

Word came two of our invitees were passing through town and would be coming early. Our invitation for weekends said 5pm, and I had toyed with making it 3 pm, but I felt that made for too long of a day for Shane and I. Of course for Corina and Joe we were willing to make an exception! We met Corina when we lives in a beach shack in Seaview WA, she was our next door neighbor. Eventually, she moved away to California and met Joe, he’s a military guy even worked for what they call a “Private Security firm”, they have an adorable little boy but he did not join us today. Nowadays they live south of Portland, so we don’t get to see them as much as we wish we could. One thing for sure, Corina & Joe are the people I can count on to bring a pie, and this year was no exception, this year they treated us to a mile high Lemon Meringue pie from the famed Cottage Bakery in Long Beach.

Verna and William arrived all the way from Portland, and Verna who is an amazing cook & baker brought some delicious vanilla lavender shortbread cookies. Verna and William are eccentric adventurers and creatives, and they are always a treat to spend time with. William studies fencing, Verna is always climbing some giant hill or mountain, they are a blast! Since we don’t get to spend that much time with them in person, it’s always great to watch their adventures through social media. They could really not be more different than Corina and Joe, and yet there they were all chatting it up, and then our neighbor Bill and daughter Emily stopped by for a spot of pie before Bill’s theater rehearsal and finally, Stephen and Alan joined us once again adding some local flare to the festivities, and offering a near crate of tea.

I’d planned to make an apple pie, an upsidedown apple pie, because Emily likes apple pies and that’s about it (I was the same way at her age), but the pie was not ready before Bill had to depart, so I had to deliver a slice to Emily at home. Emily is a great kid, growing into a great teenager, and any time I can do something nice for her I always like to. Someday the world will know her name, I am pretty certain of that!

In addition, I decided to try a different Pecan Pie recipe, and this time follow it to the letter, the results? A damn good pecan pie! Might have been the Lyle’s Golden Syrup I used from England???

I’d noticed a few days back a little figure appeared in the kitchen, a little Minion guy, then tonight after everyone had left there was a viking fellow with a sword and a cape, and Shane said he had yet another in his office. We pondered where these could be coming from, but we hadn’t a clue….

Real Key Lime Pie

Real Key Lime Pie

Ingredients

Crust:

1 1/4 c. graham cracker crumbs

1/4 c. firmly packed light brown sugar

1/3 c. butter or margarine, melted

Filling:

2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk

1 c. fresh Key lime juice* (This took an entire bag of tiny key limes from the grocery store)

Topping:

2 egg whites

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

2 T. granulated sugar

Preparation

Combine first 3 ingredients. Press into a 9-inch pie plate.

Bake piecrust at 350° for 10 minutes or until lightly browned; cool.

Stir together sweetened condensed milk and lime juice until blended. Pour into prepared crust. Set aside.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed with an electric mixer just until foamy.

Add granulated sugar gradually, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until soft peaks form and sugar dissolves (2 to 4 minutes).

Spread meringue over filling.

Bake at 325° for 25 to 28 minutes. Chill 8 hours.

*Bottled Key lime juice may be substituted for fresh juice.

NOTE * I have not, that I can recall made a real Key Lime Pie ever. Shane kindly squeezed an entire bag of key limes for this recipe! In the end, it was a bit too sweet. And I would of course have added vanilla normally, but wanted to make it this time exact to the recipe which I believe was in Southern Living, though I do not have a link.

According to Southern Living… 

No one can pinpoint when lime pie first showed up in the Keys. Developed by early Bahamian settlers, Key lime pie appears to have been around for more than 100 years.

Opinions differ on whether it should contain eggs or even if it should be baked—and that’s just for the filling!

You could probably incite a riot discussing Key lime pie’s topping and crust. Should the topping be made of whipped cream or meringue? Does it call for a graham cracker crust or a pastry crust?

 

Key Lime Pie Basics

Key West locals—“conchs,” as they’re called—do adhere to a few universals for Key lime pie.

  • First, Key lime pie is never green, but rather a natural creamy yellow.
  • it’s always made with small, round key limes,
  • And any Key lime pie worth its weight—and taste—is made with sweetened condensed milk. Never milk. That is because milk was unavailable in the Florida Keys until the 1930s with the opening of the overseas highway when tank trunks carrying ice could get to the region.
  • And after much debate the Key Lime Pie was made Florida’s official pie in 2006.

Day 6, Friday, Nov. 6, 2015

Day 6 Pies:

Friday was upon us, and with that brought a large crowd to our door, tonight we were joined by Cathy Nist, Nik & Jessie (baby free tonight), Sally and Roger, William Ham, Bill Honl and his friend Sheila, Charlotte & Steve made a return visit, as did Stephen and Alan, and Carol Newman who came early and left quick, but made a huge mark on the entire event when she sang a beautiful song to Shane for his birthday. It was so wonderful to watch his face go from amazed to honored to embarrassed back to wondrous amazement! Such a great gift from such a beautiful woman with such a beautiful voice! It was just magical!

With 15 guests for pie, any pie surplus was gone in a jiffy, and soon all eyes were awaiting tonight’s offerings. Cathy brought a pile of rhubarb as a gift, along with two beautiful pounds of butter. Somehow the fresh rhubarb got placed on the top of the oven and soon it was making the house very fragrant. The only problem there was, it wasn’t in a pie! It was just cooking on top of the stove while I baked the Asparagus Tart. I quickly whipped out some strawberries and went to work assembling a quick Rhubarb Strawberry Pie, as the crowd continued to swell I made a quick Buttermilk Pie, but overlooking key instructions it turned out with separated layers. Of course everyone said it “tasted fine”, yeah right. Roger and Sally brought a couple pints of ice cream which helped sooth the sweet tooth beasts in everyone between pies.

Some time back we met a nice lady at a holiday party at the famed Sou’Wester, her name was Kimberly and it turned out she and Shane shared the birthday of November 9th, so it was nice to see her make her way into the kitchen, holding a few sticks of butter and accompanied by her beautiful teenage daughter Sunny. It was an eclectic mix of Astoria, full of a lot of laughs and surreal conversation.

This was a hectic but fun evening, and it is always nice to see different people in our community getting to know each other better.

 

Asparagus Tart

Another winner from Beatrice! This is from the book ‘Pot Pies’ from Beatrice Ojakangas.

  • Single pie crust
  • 1.5 lb. fresh asparagus, cleaned and trimmed
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 lb. prosciutto or shaved ham, shut into 1/8″ pieces (I used turkey bacon)
  • 1/3 c. fresh grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

Fit pastry into 10″ tart pan with removable bottom. Trim edges and place in freezer for 10 minutes.

Cut asparagus in 2-inch  pieces, blanche in boiling water for 2 minutes. Plunge in cold water to stop cooking. Drain.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Blend cream cheese, eggs, cream, salt and pepper until smooth.

Arrange asparagus stalks and ham (or turkey bacon) on pastry. Pour HALF the egg mixture over and bake for 15 minutes.

Add the rest of the egg mixture and bake, sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Reduce heat to 375, and bake for 40 minutes, or until knife inserted into center comes out clean.

Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

 

Day 5, Thursday, Nov 5, 2015

Day 5 Pie: Spiced Lamb

Day 5 was upon us, and with a Peanut Butter Pie ready and waiting, and a number of other quarters and halves hanging around I felt pretty good. Mid-afternoon brought our first guests all the way from Portland, our dear old friend Lonnie and young friend Stephanie. I raced home early to enjoy a bit of their visit when I learned they were not staying over.

We met Lonnie in Portland during our year long road trip project back in 2007, he became a subject in our videos and our book and we have remained friends ever since. Shane met Stephanie through Lonnie some time back, but she’d moved away for school for a few years. She recently moved back, and I was glad to get to know her a little better. While our conversation was great, it was over far too soon, and then they were gone.

I prepared a Spiced Lamb Pie for tonight’s savory, while Shane and I enjoyed each other’s company. The time passed quickly, and no knocks came!  We have not had a night of just us in some time so this was a welcome treat! We laughed and listened to music and danced in the kitchen! A perfect night!

The lamb filling was too hot to make hand pies, again the crust was melting off the top, so I struggled to get two hand pies into the oven and then gave up and made it a full size meat pie. We split one of the ugly but delicious hand pies, and talked a while more.

As soon as the porch light went off promptly at eleven o’clock I was headed up to bed!

Spiced Lamb Hand Pies, or Pie as it were…

I got this recipe from Bon Appetit, they usually come through with culinary some gold. this was no exception!
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar (or white balsamic)
  • 3 tablespoons dried cherries and blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ pound ground lamb
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Double recipe pie crust
  • All-purpose flour (for surface)
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend

Directions:

Bring vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan. Add currants; set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until browned and softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add tomato paste, cumin, ginger, cardamom, and turmeric and cook until fragrant and sticky, about 1 minute. Add lamb and cook, breaking up with a spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer. Stir in peas; cook until bright green, about 5 minutes. Drain reserved currants and add to lamb along with parsley. Let cool.

Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 350°. Working with one at a time, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 12” squares. Cut each into 4 squares; transfer to 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Spoon filling onto one side of squares, leaving ½” border. Brush edges with egg and fold dough over filling. Press to seal; crimp with a fork. Cut a few vents in tops; brush with egg.

Bake until pies are golden brown, 30–35 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Note: Or, you can do it as a regular full size meat pie like I did.

Recipe Link: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/spiced-lamb-hand-pies

Day 4: Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015

Day 4 Pies:

We made it to Wednesday, Day 4! Every year I make a list of the pies I plan to do and on which day – A Pie Schedule as I call it, and every year the list goes out the window.  But, this year was different, because for the first time ever rather than being disappointed in myself, I realized it is just a helpful guide to stop me from buying supplies for 60 pies, or trying to do too much.

When the porch light was turned on, we were delighted with a visit from our neighbor Bill Honl. We actually met Bill at the Nine Days Of Pie some years back, he came as the guest of one of our favorite community radio personalities, and now I really can’t imagine our life without him! We’ve had good times and bad, Bill became our next door neighbor a while after we first became friends, and it’s always nice to talk with him. He is also a great actor, and we have enjoyed seeing him in a number of local plays over the years, currently he’s rehearsing for a reader’s theater production in which he’ll be playing an old Jewish man in New York. He also did a cool art project over the summer where he invited people to tell him something he doesn’t know, check it out: http://youknowsomethingthatidont.tumblr.com

Soon another knock came upon the door, and it was ….. it was Lisa Marie and Jane! “I brought you a gift” announced Lisa Marie as she entered, and boy did she – The one and only Jane Herrold! I introduced them both to Bill. When Bill said “Nice to meet you” to Jane she retorted, “Yeah, for the millionth time!”. Talk about an ice breaker!

Soon there was a revelation that Bill’s uncle was Jane’s father’s best friend, and we were all dazzled with stories of the two men and their adventures and Uncle Buck’s naughty sense of humor, it was just perfect.

I’d told Shane about my heckling experience, but by this time I’d figured it was it was just me who’d had a bad day, and decided since it’s the Nine Days Of Pie we would not mention anything about it to Lisa Marie if she came by again. There was one stipulation, I didn’t want her to be with me in the kitchen. On this Shane took the immediate lead, and told everyone that I didn’t want anyone in the kitchen tonight, and he would be serving pie. He immediately began serving pie to our guests and everyone seemed happy. With one disaster thwarted headed back into the kitchen to roll my dough and prepare the night’s savory, of course all of the great conversation in the living room had made me lose track of time and my Wagon Wheel Apple Pie’s with the cheddar cheese crusts were a little too well done. Rats!

The French Easter Pie was one of the most unusual and popular savories of last year’s celebration so I was eager to try it again, with one minor change, instead of pork I was using a sweet apple chicken sausage. I prepared the pie and then realized I’d forgotten to boil the eggs so I worked to catch up on that. A knock on our door brought Karri bearing gifts of a wonderfully practical variety – cleaning supplies for the kitchen, and even a pair of new cooling racks!

On this day, I would say the pies were pretty good, everyone enjoyed the second coconut creme pie from yesterday, the repurposed sweet potato which was now rather tasty, and Pear Anise. We dove into the French Easter, which was even better than I remembered with the chicken sausage, but alas the late cooked and still hot eggs had reaped havoc on the pie crust, which melted right off several of the eggs.

The night ended great, with pleasant conversation all around. I felt so pumped up after everyone left, I stayed up and made two peanut butter refrigerator pies for tomorrow, oh but now I stayed up way too late and it is tomorrow…..