Category Archives: pies, tarts, and crumbles

Skillet Tarheel Pie

tarheel pie 2This weekend we headed north to celebrate my dear friend Charlotte's upcoming wedding. Charlotte, lover of many foods other than wings but especially wings, was treated to a special food centric shower. Guests were encouraged to bring the couple a gift for the kitchen, and to fill it first with food for the party (actually perhaps the most genius trick for hosting a wedding shower ever). Gifting food is one of my favorite things to do, and this was a perfect way to honor Charlotte and share food with family and friends. tar heel pie 4My one rule for weddings is that I always gift cast iron. I'm a completely dedicated cast iron user, yes, but I also appreciate what it symbolizes. I have cast iron passed down to me by my grandmother. My dad has his grandmother's cast iron cauldron, a family heirloom that I would one day love to inherit. Cast iron is the wedding gift that will last as long as your marriage, as long as your grand children's marriage, if you treat it well. Treat it as carefully as you treat your relationship with your spouse. Just don't light your spouse on fire. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIn the skillet I made Charlotte one of my favorite pies, the Tar Heel Pie. The Tar Heel Pie is essentially a chocolate chess pie with pecans, and it's so easy to make you won't actually believe it. To sweeten the deal I topped it with pecans, brown sugar, and a drizzle of melted chocolate. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWhile we were in DC we also got the opportunity to explore a bit, visiting friends and taking a few short trips out into the city. I'll be back in two weeks for the bachelorette party of my lovely friend Rachael, and I'm looking forward to seeing the city in full bloom. That and spending some quality time with my two best gals, 1-95 and Audible. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset tarheel pie 1 Skillet Tar Heel Pie 1 cup chocolate chips 1 stick melted butter 1 cup chopped pecans 1 tsp vanilla 1/2 cup flour 1/2 cup white sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar 2 eggs, beaten Pie dough (halve this recipe here) 1/4 cup pecans 2 tbsp brown sugar 1/4 cup chocolate 1 tbsp melted butter Pour hot butter over chocolate chips and stir until fully incorporated.  Whisk together remaining ingredients and add to chocolate. Pour into pie shell. Top with pecans and brown sugar. Bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes. Mix together melted butter and chocolate to melt. Drizzle around edges of the pie, or evenly across. Let cool and serve.

Pear & Pecan Pie

apple pear pecan pie 6This Christmas we bounced all around the northeast visiting family from every branch of our tree. We started in Wilmington and visited Morehead City, Virginia Beach (twice), Lansdale PA, and Lorton, VA. We saw all of our parents, most of our siblings, both of our nieces, and in an experience that was more rare than the Southern snow storm I'm currently watching from my window, the whole of my mom's immediate family, all in one place. apple pear pecan 14 apple pear pecan 10For the first time since I was the tallest cousin (read: many years), all of us- my grandparents, my mom and her five siblings, their partners and children, were all in one place. We all traveled, from places as far flung as Zanzibar, to a beautiful beach house in Virginia to eat, drink, laugh, and be together. It was amazing. apple pear pecan pie 5 apple pear pecan pie 4I'm often asked, especially since the debut of The American Cookbook, where I was trained, how I got into cooking. The short answer is that I'm self taught, but the long answer is that I come from two families that are more passionate about food than they are about most anything else. I come by it naturally because I was raised in a culture of food. apple pear pecan 13 apple pear pecan 11For months (months) leading up to this trip there was a family email thread wherein we debated the intricacies of the trip- most importantly, the meals. By April we'd already decided who would cook each night, and by September there were spreadsheets going around detailing who was bringing the tomatoes and who was bringing the chili paste. More than anything else about this whole trip, this whole Christmas, I was excited to cook with my family. To share what I've learned, to stand around the stovetop cracking jokes and eating out of the pan. To be together enjoying our favorite thing. apple pear pecan pie 2 apple pear pecan 16Dan and I were responsible for dinner the second night we were all there, and it was a fantastic day of cooking. After a leisurely morning and the first of many meals featuring pork roll, Aunt Jill and I made a pear and pecan pie using all the tools included in our first taste of The Besh Box. I was lucky enough to have a Besh Box land on my doorstep shortly before Christmas and I knew it would be the perfect project for my crazy, picky, food-loving family. A subscription based kit, each Besh Box features ingredients, tools, and recipes to help you expand your kitchen horizons. The holiday kit included everything from a pastry knife to Louisiana pecans. apple pear pecan 9 apple pear pecan pie 3Of all the meals we cooked and ate during that week, this was my favorite. Along with the pies we made samosas, chicken tikka masala and garlic naan, a project that was truly communal. One Aunt stirred the masala pot while another pulled samosas out of the oven. My mom and two of my cousins totally took over the frying and seasoning of the naan with assembly line precision that would put Henry Ford to shame. Dinner was family style, of course, on a long table that sat all of us. There were toasts and stories and it was perfect. apple pear pecan 12 apple pear pecan 7One of the things that I've learned over the years is that it doesn't always matter what you're making or even how it tastes. What matters is the experience of making it, the act cooking and feeding. Like serving your closest friends a breakfast that will hit the spot or slicing apples next to your Aunt, catching up and being together and making together. My favorite meals are always those that remind me that cooking is so much more than making food, and food is so much more than nutrients. apple pear pecan 15 apple pear pecan pie 1 apple pear pecan 8Pear and Pecan Pie 6 pears 1/2 stick of butter 1 vanilla bean 2/3 cup brown sugar Dash of ginger Dash of cinnamon 2 tbsp all purpose flour 1 cup fresh pecans 1 tbsp salted butter, melted 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 egg Pie crust (recipe here) Peel and slice your pears.  Melt butter in saute pan.  Add in pears, sugar, and spices.  Let simmer for twenty minutes or so, until pears are very tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.  Stir in flour, remove from heat.  Set aside. Heat oven to 375F. Toss pecans in melted butter and brown sugar. Spread over a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until toasted. Prepare your dough.  Divide in two and roll out bottom crust. Spoon filling into dough,and top with pecans. Roll out remaining pie crust and spread over the pie, pinching the edges to seal.  Whisk together honey and egg.  Brush onto the top of the pie crust. Cut five or six slits in the top crust. Bake at 375* for 45 minutes or until golden brown.  

Vinegar Pie

vinegar pie 2 This season has made me realize how truly, incredibly, overwhelmingly blessed I am. It's been a hard few months, full of happiness and good fortune and time with family but also loss and heartache. It's always a balance, but every once in a while something amazing happens that reminds you that you are loved. vinegar pie 5 As silly as it sounds, that something this month has been the results of this crazy whirlwind contest- the Colombo Marsala Recipe Contest. Going into it I was hopeful but didn't have any expectations of winning. I did my best to create a recipe that I was proud of, I encouraged my friends, family, and readers to vote (and tried to walk the line between enthusiastic and obnoxious), and I crossed my fingers. And while I was sitting there hoping, something magical happened. I watched  people I love sharing the link, over and over, encouraging their friends and family to vote. My aunt texting the extended family once a day to remind them. People I hadn't seen or spoken to in months or even years rallying for me. My sister in Dublin asking people who came into her boutique to vote. My dad asking people at the bar with us for their vote. It was inspiring. It was humbling. I am so grateful. vinegar pie 3Voting ends tonight and I'm up by a fair margin. For that, I owe you all a debt of gratitude. The winner will be announced on the 20th and it will be determined by the number of votes, the quality of the recipe, and the merits of the blog post. Whether or not we go to Italy, I am so grateful for what this contest has taught me. These past two weeks have shown me the type of love and small acts of kindness that this holiday season is supposed to be all about; it's a small and silly thing to vote for someone in a recipe contest but it has meant the world to me. Please know that I am so thankful, that you all have made my world a better place. vinegar pie 4 Consider this pie, a traditional vinegar chess pie, my thanks. It's a sweet and simple pie that is warm and filling. The perfect balance to hot chocolate and peppermint and the decadence of the Christmas dessert table. And, with the help of a heart shaped cookie cutter, the perfect way to add a little love to your plate. vinegar pie 1 Vinegar Pie pie dough 2 1/4 cups flour 2 tbsp sugar 1 tsp salt 1/4 cup vegetable shortening 1 1/2 sticks butter Ice cold water chess 5 eggs 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 1 tsp vanilla 2 tbsp flour 1 tsp ginger 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp nutmeg 1 tsp cardamom 1/2 cup butter, melted Begin by making your pie dough.  Mix together dry ingredients.  Using your hands, work in the shortening.  Cube the butter and cut that in, until the dough has the consistency of cornmeal. Add ice water, as needed, until the dough clings. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. To make the chess combine your dry ingredients.  Using an electric mixer, beat them together.  Add the eggs, one at a time.  Add the butter, melted.  Add in vanilla and vinegar. Heat your oven to 325. Roll out your pie dough and press into pie dish.  Pour filling into the dish.  Bake for 45 minutes or until the pie is brown and mostly set. Let cool. Serve at room temperature.

Sugar Pie Pumpkin Pie

sugar pie pumpkin 1 This time of year, everything is pumpkin. Pumpkin lattes, pumpkin soup, pumpkin beer. And while I occasionally indulge (especially in the pumpkin beer category), I tend to stay true to the classic- pumpkin pie. sugar pie pumpkin 5 The first time I tried my hand at making a pumpkin pie from a pumpkin and not a can of Libby's it was a complete disaster. A fiasco, if you will. I'm not sure if it had more to do with the fact that I forgot to add spices to the pie or sugar to the whipped cream, but the pie was a bust. It made matters worse that it was the first time that I cooked dinner for the Turcottes, so the failure was amplified. Let's just say that I was mortified and Meredith cried. sugar pie pumpkin 3 This time around it was slightly less dramatic. I opted for a filling that included buttermilk, Greek yogurt, brown sugar, and a lot of spices and the result was a fresh and tangy pie that was a different take on the classic. Traditional enough to earn a place on your holiday table but unique enough to make it stand out from the crowds. sugar pie pumpkin 2Sugar Pie Pumpkin Pie 1 sugar pie pumpkin 1 cup buttermilk 1 cup Greek yogurt 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 tbsp cinnamon 1 tbsp powedered ginger 1/2 tbsp cloves 1/2 tbsp nutmeg 2 eggs Pie dough (halve recipe) Heat oven to 350F. Halve and gut pumpkin. Roast pumpkin, skin side up, for 35 minutes or until tender. Let cool. Heat oven to 425F. Mix together pumpkin puree, buttermilk, yogurt, sugar, eggs, and spices. Roll dough out and press into pie dish. Transfer filling into dough and sprinkle with ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes and then drop heat to 350F. Bake for an additional 35-40 minutes or until mostly firm (it's okay if the center jiggles a bit). Let cool and serve with spiced whipped cream.  

Sweet Tango Hand Pies

apple hand pies 4Strictly speaking, these are sweet tango apple hand pies with a buttermilk biscuit dough and a buttermilk caramel sauce. But that's a heavy title for a little hand pie, isn't it? apple hand pies 1 Even down here in the southeastern corner of North Carolina, our markets are flooding with apples. The air is crisp, the world smells of cinnamon, and I'm always wearing socks. Which is generally how I know I'm ready for apple pie. Usually I'm a honeycrisp devotee, occasionally straying as far as the Pink Lady, but never over to the green side or even into the MacIntosh department. I want sweet, a little tart, and very very crunchy when it comes to my apples and since this time of year I subsist on a diet that is 99% apples (I'm a seasonal binge eater- see watermelon, tomatoes, and blueberries) I'm pretty particular about what I pick up. However, like most consumers I'm influenced by a well designed and carefully placed chalkboard, especially one assuring me that the apple I've always dreamed of (crisp, tart, sweet, crunchy) was in fact the sweet tango. They were right. I concede, market. apple hand pies 6 Each morning on Avery Island we woke up to a hot breakfast cooked by chef and food writer Stanley Dry. Among the bacon, eggs, pancakes, fig preserves, and boudain, were hot fresh fried hand pies. Featuring filling from apricot jam to sweet potato purée, these pies were a little slice of heaven and the reason to wake up early and sneak into the kitchen. Stanley shared that his secret was using biscuit dough, so when I started dreaming of apple pie I decided to experiment a little. I wrapped my classic apple pie filling in my buttermilk biscuit dough and topped the whole thing off with powdered sugar and homemade buttermilk caramel. The results were phenomenal. The dough is light and airy with a hint of tang, and the caramel complimented both the biscuit and the filling perfectly. Because the dough had leavening in it they puffed up beautifully, making the experience sort of like a funnel cake married an apple pie. So, heavenly. apple hand pies 2 Sweet Tango Hand Pies filling: 3 sweet tango apples 1/2 stick salted butter 1 tbsp cinnamon 1 tsp powdered ginger 1/4 cup sugar Juice of 1 lemon 1/4 flour dough 2 cups flour 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 6 tbsp vegetable shortening or lard Pinch of salt 1 tsp cinnamon 1 cup buttermilk buttermilk caramel sauce 1 cup sugar 1 stick butter 3/4 cup buttermilk 1 tsp vanilla Pinch of salt Oil for frying Powdered sugar to top Peel and slice apples. In a skillet combine with spices, sugar, and butter. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. As filling is simmering sift flour, sugar, salt, and spices for biscuit dough. Cut in shortening and work with your hands until the dough is the texture of cornmeal. Stir in cold buttermilk. Refrigerate until ready to assemble pies. In a heavy skillet melt sugar over medium heat. Allow the sugar to cook, stirring frequently, for 7-8 minutes or until a rich brown color. Stir in butter. Once butter is fully incorporated remove from heat and add in buttermilk. Stir until mixed completely. Stir in vanilla and salt and allow to cool. Stir lemon juice and flour into filling. Heat oil for frying. Roll dough out onto a floured surface and cut the dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a small circle and fill with 2-3 apple slices. Wrap the dough around the slices and crimp the edges to seal. Fry each pie for 2 minutes or until golden brown on each side. Serve hot topped with powdered sugar and a drizzle of caramel sauce. apple hand pies 3

Honey Pie

honey pie 1Yesterday I celebrated the end of my first school year as a Montessori preschool teacher. Since November I've been with a local school that serves 3-6 year olds (and growing!). It's a bit of a career shift away from Museum Education, but one that I've been happy I've made every day since I started. The commute is an easy bike ride from our house, the families we serve are lovely, and I adore my two coteachers. It's been wonderful working with the same students day in and day out, getting to know them as independent and creative people. I feel so lucky to be a part of their lives, and they definitely keep me on my toes! honey pie 2 For our end-of-the-year celebration we had a potluck picnic at Greenfield Lake, a lake in downtown Wilmington that is gorgeous, huge, and home to a fair amount of alligators (Dan saw his first alligator in the wild yesterday!). We gave each student a certificate and a rose (a Montessori tradition), sang songs, and ate as a community. It made me feel so thankful for this Wilmington family we've been welcomed into. We've only been here 7 months and yet this feels more like home than I could have ever imagined. honey pie 4For the celebration pie I was able to get my hands on local wildflower honey, local strawberries, and local blueberries. The pie was so simple but the flavor was overwhelmingly honey. It was the perfect Spring dessert- light, bursting with flavor, and just sweet enough. honey pie 3Honey Pie crust: 1 1/4 cups flour 1/2 cup sugar Pinch of salt Pinch of ginger Pinch of cinnamon 1/4 cup shortening 1 stick butter 1/2 cup cold water filling: 1 cup wildflower honey 3 eggs 3 tbsp flour 1 tsp vanilla Pinch of salt topping: 2 pints strawberries 2 pints blueberries 3 tbsp wildflower honey Stir together dry ingredients for flour. Work in shortening. Cube butter and work it in with your hands until the texture of the dough is like coarse cornmeal. Stir in water, a little at a time, until a ball forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. Melt butter. Mix together butter, honey, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add flour and salt. Roll the dough out and press into a pie dish. Heat the oven to 400 and pour the filling into the crust. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes and then drop to 350 for an additional 50 minutes. Pie should be golden brown. Let rest for 2 hours or until center has firmed. Hull and halve strawberries. Toss berries in honey and spread over pie once set. Slice and serve.

Buttermilk Pie

buttermilk pie 7 Strictly speaking, siblings are one of life's greatest joys. Fifteen years ago I was spinning a completely different tale, but these days I have nothing but appreciation and gratitude for my brothers and sisters. A few weeks ago when I went up to Chapel Hill for the Our State Magazine launch I had some free time and had the opportunity to enjoy an hours-long coffee date with Reid, just the two of us. For years my time with my family has been centered around big trips South or events- graduations, reunions, weddings, holidays. I've rarely had the opportunity to pop in for dinner or grab a bite to eat with any of my siblings which also meant that that we spent moments together catching up on the big stuff. This coffee date we were able to talk about everything else. Work and life and goals and dreams and love and family and everything in between. Over a slice of buttermilk pie and a cardamom latte I got to listen to Reid talk candidly about his life and I couldn't help but to feel so proud of him. He's accomplished so much and it's such good work. I am full of admiration for what he's been able to do by staying focused and committed to his passions and his beliefs. He's a great man, that Reid Rosemond. buttermilk pie 1 buttermilk pie 5 buttermilk pie 2 I've spent the past month craving buttermilk pie (Scratch makes a mean buttermilk pie), so yesterday I picked up a bottle of local buttermilk and in the small space of time in the late afternoon I whipped up this pie for a friend's party. Making and photographing this pie, with the glorious light in the kitchen and an oven that cooks evenly and buttermilk so thick and glorious it should be sipped from a glass on a mountaintop in the Alps made me so glad to be in this new space, in this town, in this state, back home. And somehow this simple post about a delicious pie has become a reflection on gratitude, which is fine. I'm incredibly grateful for my family, for old friends that are now so close, and for the new friends that are welcoming us into the fold and seem to like us and laugh at our stories and share their stories and make us feel home here. buttermilk pie 4Next week we're heading to New Orleans for Lauren's wedding. First we'll pick up the minivan then we'll get Reid in Durham and then Ryan and his girlfriend Erin in Charlotte and then an 11 hour car ride later we'll be there waiting for Genevieve and Naoise and our parents and cousins and aunts and uncles and, of course, Lauren and Bradley. And while the week of celebrating and the wedding is going to be amazing and wonderful and so much fun I think one of the things I'm most looking forward to is that drive, that chunk of hours spent in a rental car with my family, catching up and talking about the small things. The important things. buttermilk pie 3 buttermilk pie 6Buttermilk Pie crust: 1 1/4 cups flour 1/2 cup sugar Pinch of salt Pinch of ginger Pinch of cinnamon 1/4 cup shortening 1 stick butter 1/2 cup cold water filling: 1 cup buttermilk 3/4 cups butter 1 1/2 cups sugar 3 eggs 3 tbsp flour 1 tsp vanilla Pinch of salt Stir together dry ingredients for flour. Work in shortening. Cube butter and work it in with your hands until the texture of the dough is like coarse cornmeal. Stir in water, a little at a time, until a ball forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. Melt butter. Mix together butter, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add flour and salt. Slowly mix in buttermilk. Roll the dough out and press into a pie dish. Heat the oven to 400 and pour the filling into the crust. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes and then drop to 350 for an additional 50 minutes. Pie should be golden brown. Let rest for 2 hours or until center has firmed.

2/100: Nash County Sweet Potato Chess

sp chess 2 I've made no secret about the fact that chess pies are the greatest pies that exist. I mean sure, almost nothing beats a good apple pie and mountain pie is my special birthday treat, but as a category, chess pies rule. For one, they're versatile. You can make anything from a Tarheel Pie to the Baltimore Bomb to a vinegar pie and they all fall into the same category. Like cousins in an incredibly tasty family. Secondly, they're a dying art. Growing concern about sugar and fat consumption makes people vary wary of chess pies, meaning you don't find them as often as you once could. To this I say- everything in moderation and long live the chess pie. sp chess 9 sp chess 5 This month, as an homage to National Pie Month and National Sweet Potato Month, and as the Nash County installation of Tasting North Carolina, I'd like to share the recipe for sweet potato chess pie. A light and soft pie, this chess is a delicate variation of a traditional sweet potato pie. With only one cup of mashed sweet potatoes, as opposed to four to six in a classic sweet potato pie, it has all of the sweet potato flavor with none of the density. And lest you think "sweet potatoes are for Thanksgiving!" I'll assure you that I had no problem gobbling up my (much more than a sliver) slice last night, late February date on the calendar and all. sp chess 8 sp chess 4 I topped the pie with freshly shelled pecans that had been caramelized with butter, brown sugar, and spices. I'll admit, the pecans on top and the cinnamon in the crust put this pie over the edge, from "pretty delicious" to "holy sugar high I'm going to eat this whole thing in one sitting." I'm currently playing the "if I have just a sliver it doesn't count" game, which, when you have about 100 "just a slivers," quickly becomes girl you just ate a whole pie. Which is all to say, make this for company. nash sp chess 3 I chose this pie as the recipe representing Nash county, which is located in the Northeastern part of the piedmont between Franklin, Wake, Edgecombe, and Wilson, because Nash county is the largest producer of sweet potatoes in North Carolina, and North Carolina is the largest sweet potato producing state in the country (and has been since the 1970s), accounting for 50% of the country's sweet potatoes. So, if you decide to make this pie, chances are good you're enjoying a NC sweet potato, probably even a Nash County gem. Nash County is named for the American Revolutionary War Brigadier General Francis Nash, who was mortally wounded at the Battle of Germantown in 1777, the year Nash County was formed. Of Nash county's many townships, I have the most personal connection to Rocky Mount, where a fair amount of Rosemond-side relatives reside. My most vibrant memory of Rocky Mount was a childhood Christmas visit where my brother Reid (maybe aged 5 or 6 at the time) recited the infamous Home Alone line "Merry Christmas, you filthy animal" to my Great Aunt Francis. She did not get the reference and my family still jokes about that moment and the horrified look on her face. Reid has always been good with impressions. sp chess 1 I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for the generous outpouring of support and interest in Tasting North Carolina. Since I launched the project a few weeks ago I've received countless emails, phone calls, and letters about recipes from all over the state and inquiries about how this community can get involved. I am psyched to make all of these delicious foods and I thank you for trusting me with your stories and your recipes. One thing is overwhelmingly clear- North Carolinians love this place and we're fiercely proud of our food culture. Thank you. I'm prouder than ever to call myself a North Carolinian. sp chess 6 This post is part of the ongoing series, Tasting North Carolina. Read more about the project here. Sweet Potato Chess pie crust: 1 1/4 cups flour 1 tbsp shortening 1 stick butter 1 tbsp brown sugar 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1/4 cup cold water filling: 1 cup mashed sweet potato (this was about 1/2 a medium size sweet potato. Either get a small sweet potato or do as I did and feed the other half to your pup) 5 eggs 1 1/2 cups brown sugar 1 stick butter, melted 1/2 cup cornmeal topping: 1 cup chopped pecans 2 tbsp butter 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 tsp ginger Dash of cinnamon Start with your pie dough, about 2 hours before you plan on making your pie. Stir together sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Work in shortening with your hands. Cube butter and work that in until the consistency is like cornmeal or sand. Stir in water until a ball forms, then wrap the ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. Peel and boil your sweet potatoes until soft. Combine in a mixer with remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and fluffy. Heat your oven to 350 and press your pie dough into your pie pan. Pour in filling and bake for 40 minutes or until the top has browned. Let cool until solid. Combine pecans, butter, and sugar in a skillet and cook over low heat until caramelized. Slather on top of the pie and give it all about an hour to settle. This pie is best served at room temperature.  

Caramelized Plums & Chocolate Pie

Not that there is ever a time of year when I DON'T like a chocolate chess pie, the official season of chess is upon us once more. As a nip fills the air my mind starts to wander to the rich, decadent pie that has such a hold on my heart. Every year I make the same pie, but sometimes I like to throw in a little twist. And since I know you all love a chocolate chess as much as I do, I hope you don't me sharing these additions to an old favorite. Recently we were invited over for dinner by new friends, Katie & Michael. We met Katie and Michael through our recent video work with BeerGivr, and are so glad we've gotten to know them over the past few months. They're the type of friends that make us question our decision to leave Baltimore-- we seem to meet more amazing people here every day. Over dinner we talked about ourselves, work, politics, religion, and everything else. This pie became the rich and slowly eaten backdrop to a wonderful evening. Caramelized Plums & Chocolate Pie Pie Dough: 2 1/2 cups flour 2 tbsp sugar 1 tsp salt 1/4 cup shortening 1/2 cup butter 1/2 cup ice water Filling: 1 cup chocolate chips 1 stick melted butter 1 tsp vanilla 1/2 cup flour 1/2 cup white sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar 2 eggs, beaten topping: 6-8 Italian plums 2 tbsp butter 2 tbsp brown sugar Start with your pie dough.  Sift dry ingredients.  Using your hands, work in shortening.  Cube butter and work it in.  Continue to blend until the consistency is that of course cornmeal.  Stir in the water, a little at a time until your dough forms a ball.  Divide in half.  Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Pour hot butter over chocolate chips and stir until fully incorporated.  Whisk together remaining ingredients and add to chocolate. Remove half of the dough from the fridge.  Roll it out on a floured, non-stick surface (like a sil-pat).  Roll it out so it is 1 foot x 1 foot wide and 1/4″ thick.  Drape the crust over the rolling pin and transfer it to the pie dish.  Press into the pie dish.  Scoop filling into the pie dish. Bake at 350* for 30-40 minutes. Halve and core plums. Toss with sugar. Melt butter in a skillet over low heat. Once butter has browned add plums & sugar. Let simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the syrup is thick and the plums are soft. Once the pie has cooled top with plums. Let settle, serve.  

A Day for Pie

Yesterday was the second annual B'Eat More Pie Fest, a feat that means we have officially created an annual pie festival. I am exhausted, proud beyond words, and incredibly grateful to this community for making such an awesome event possible. Baltimore, you rock my world. We had 30 pies entered in the contest (10 more than last year), between 250-300 pie lovers attend (much more than last year), and we are going to be able to donate $700 to Heart's Place, the family shelter that the fest supports (significantly more than last year). All because people love pie. We could not possibly have pulled off such an incredible day without the judges, musicians, vendors, sponsors, and volunteers who donated their time. We are so lucky to have a group of people who wanted to lend us their talents, palates, and Sunday afternoons. And a huge, giant, crusty thank you goes out to the 2640 Collective for supporting the fest and letting us hold this homage to pie in their amazingly breathtaking space. It's crazy to think that something this magnificent hatched in a long car ride home, but somehow we've made it happen twice. We're already planning next year, so hold on to your hats! photos by dan & elena Peach & Ginger Pie pie dough: 2 1/2 cups all p flour 1/4 tsp salt 3 tbsp sugar 1 tsp powdered ginger 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, cold 1 1/2 stick cold butter 1/4-1 cup ice water filling: 6 peaches, a combination of ripe and unripe 1/2 cup water 1/2 cup sugar 2 tbsp fresh ginger Corn starch 1 egg Brown sugar Sift dry ingredients.  Add shortening and break it up with your hands as you start to coat the flour.  Add butter and work it in until it resembles coarse corn meal.  You should be able to pinch the dough together to form chunks.  Add the ice water, a little at a time, stirring in with a wooden spoon  Only add as much as it takes to make a ball.  Any more than that and you will be left with chewey crust.  However, make sure you’re using enough for your dough to hold together. Form a ball and divide it in half.  Cover each half with saran wrap and flatten into a disc shape.  Pop in the fridge for at least half an hour. Combine water, sugar, and ginger in a medium sauce pan. Heat until sugar dissolves. Let cool. Peel peaches. Slice. Toss the peaches in syrup. Roll out your bottom pie dough and place in pan.  Coat the bottom crust with a layer of corn starch. This will help the filling stay solid as the peaches release their juices. Depending on how juicy your peaches are add more corn starch. For a group of juicy peaches I put 1/4 inch layer of corn starch on the bottom. Toss your sliced peaches in an additional two tablespoons of corn starch. Scoop filling into bottom crust..  Roll your top pie dough out and, using a knife or a pastry knife, cut into strips.  Overlap the strips in a lattice pattern.  Whisk egg, and brush egg over the top of the pie.  Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 30 minutes at 350.