Warning: I’m about to bombard you with pie photos. I promise recipes will follow after this weekend.
It seems cruelly absurd that on the days approaching the 6th annual KCRW Good Food Pie Contest, of which I am a first time participant and therefore making pies and having the oven on round the clock, we are experiencing a heat blast in Los Angeles. Although we do not have central air, my husband and I do have a detachable air conditioning unit that has been moping around in our garage since we got married 5 years ago, but neither of us have been motivated to unearth it and place it in one of our windows — not only does it look ugly but it’s cumbersome and heavy, and I suppose we’re lazy. I am thinking it would live more happily at our mother-in-law apartment’s renter’s place — after all she is upstairs where the heat rises, and she is nearly 90 years old and does not likely weather the heat extremes as well as us middle agers, so why not? In the meantime, I’ve got my Turbo Vornado firing up, the tunes blasting and cold showers at the ready if I need, the combination of which will see me through to the finish line on Sunday October 5. I’ll need to make a total of 4 more pies, 2 for each category I’ve entered (savory and fruit), because one pie goes to the judges and the other goes to the public.
These past few weeks in preparation for the contest, I have been toying around with different crust recipes and have settled on the most wonderful recipe (and all-hand technique) from award-winning pie maker Allison Kave, that includes flour, butter, sugar, salt, cornstarch, whole milk and apple cider vinegar. I absolutely love it. It’s got a slight tang and it’s super tender and rich tasting. That’s for the savory category (my pork pie); for the fruit I settled on Zoe Nathan’s recipe that uses about twice the butter as I’ve ever seen anywhere. On the way to arriving at these crusts, I made a single/whole apple dumpling, a ginormous double crusted apple pie, a strawberry rhubarb pie, a beer braised pork and cabbage pie, a few mini pearl onion/garlic/quail egg tartlets, and a plum/pluot gallette. Let’s take a look while visiting with each other at this week’s Fiesta Friday.
In homage to the only fella I know right now who loves all things porcine as much as me, the next pie will be submitted and named after Mr. Fitz:
For the pluot gallette I used Zoe Nathan’s flaky pie dough that used . . . like . . . twice the amount of butter as the already butter-rich Allison Kave’s recipe . . . and cooked it longer than I thought I should because Zoe says “color is a flavor.” It was unparalleled. I thought it would taste burnt or crumbly but instead it was just flaky and wonderful.
I’m really looking forward to carting my pies over to UCLA for the contest this weekend and meeting other fellow pie bakers and eaters. I’ll keep you posted and have a wonderful weekend!