Friday, September 21, 2007

Pie Friday

Vegan cook extraordinaire Emilie deemed on her blog that Friday was Pie Day. This stems from a great story about how her tiny college town's hardware store proclaimed the same: Friday is Pie Day. And though I'm probably butchering her story, I love imaging golden and ballooning homemade pies amidst the hammers and wrenches and two by fours.

I've wanted to perfect vegan fruit pie for a long time. I've made a handful of attempts that produced a weak result. The crust was chewy, inside runny. I'm not saying I didn't eat the whole thing still. That's how much I love pie. But I didn't understand how something so conceptually simple was eluding me entirely. My ultimate dream is to eat fresh pie for breakfast. Is that too much to ask?

To destress, I crawl into bed after the house is calm and asleep and watch the Food Network. Nothing's vegan on the channel, but I like to feel as though I'm absorbing technique and strategies for cooking well. I also ignorantly believe anything can be veganized since I'm always after the sabor, the flavor, of food no matter what the TV chefs are using as the base of the dish. I have a secret crush on Bobby Flay and I was watching one of his smackdown shows where he throws down the gauntlet to an unsuspecting civilian who has perfect one aspect of cooking. The show is sometimes embarrassing and painful to watch; however, I often find myself making mental notes, and more often scribbled ones. Last week’s show was a Pie Throwdown, and I figured if this was going to be a battle between two great pie makers, I was gonna take notes and ride their coat tails to fresh, perfect pie.

I suppose pie making is like anything; the secret is in the details. That's what I learned from the pie show. Bobby Flay and the Pie Experts skimmed over quickly the points that would make the difference between flakey, perfect crust and chewy, nasty crust, but I knew enough to pick up on the subtle pointers. Things like: When not to handle the crust too much and Roll the dough with a flick of your wrist, don't put your back into it. Later, I went online and pulled the ingredients for Bobby Flay's pie. I was just after his crust because I had another plan for the filling. I did note that he had used a couple tablespoons of peach eau de vie in his filling, which after looking up I learned was a fruit brandy. He said it helped do "something" to the fruit. I didn't catch what. I knew it was probably a good enough suggestion to try it though. I didn't want to buy peach eau de vie, so instead I used a grappa that Ma had brought me from her trip to Italy. The grappa had been decorating my counter for that last month in the tiniest, sweetest bottle plugged with a wooden cork.

My end result was a Black Raspberry & Strawberry Pie. I gotta say it was out of this world. The crust was amazing. It has an embarrassing amount of earth balance and vegetable shortening in it. Sigh. None the less, I am over the moon that autumn is dawning a new season of pie making for me.

Here's what I had for breakfast:


Maven said...

Hell yes.

Don't Get Mad Get Vegan! said...

mmmmmmmmmmmm boy, i so did not need to see this right now. hehe.

lookes flaky and perfect. brava!

Marigoldie said...

Yum! I'm like the dog in the Far Side cartoon who only hears: Blah blah blah PIE blah blah blah PIE.

Deezee said...

I so want you cooking over at my house!

acumamakiki said...

i'm drooling because i love pie so much. and i'm awed that you can bake a good one and vegan.

Melinda said...

I've never understood that whole "no dessert for breakfast" thing. But donuts and Danish are ok? Whatevs. Rock on with your bad self and your breakfast pie.

Myself, I had a leftover cupcake from my husband's b-day this morning. Mmmm.

Rachel said...

MMM. I was just telling people last night that I LOVE pie for breakfast. They thought I was whack. Glad to hear I have some backup. your pie looks awesome. I was going to suggest adding a little flour to the filling to combat runniness, a tip that I picked up from that Bobby Flay pie throwdown. I was sad that he beat those cute old ladies though.
Is that a cute little heart cut into the crust? Too cute!

Emilie said...

Gawwwwd. That pie looks like a wedge of heaven. Seriously, I could not love food macros more--that crust? the flakes!?! You know as soon as I'm done writing this I'm going back to stare at it some more. Looks like you picked up some good advice, cause, damn. Oh, and you got the story just right. Pie at the hardware store. Oh, I miss pie day. Thanks for keeping it alive!

madness rivera said...

Thanks everybody. I'm cooling pie dough now for the next go around. Yes!

Hey Rachel, yea, I thought they stuck it to the Pie Moms pretty good, but they were great characters. Oh! And I did add the cornstarch to the filling. Helped a lot! I heart Flay.

And thanks Emilie.