The Unites States of Pie – yum!

We hold this truth to be self-evident: America loves pie.

Food writer Adrienne Kane celebrates that right. She has gathered those regional pie recipes into a new cookbook, United States of Pie.

Some excerpts from the interview:

Bakewell Pie: “is adapted from the very common English dessert, Bakewell Tart. I found the Bakewell Pie recipe in an 1886 cookbook called The Unrivalled Cook-book and [Housekeeper’s] Guide. It’s a raspberry jam on the bottom, and then an almond meal sponge on top. It’s not too sweet, so

Chocolate Raisin Pie: “It’s sort of like a brownie in a pie, and it has that wonderful combination of chocolate and raisins — think Raisinets,” Kane says. “And it’s obviously from the West Coast, actually from Southern California. It comes from the fact that California is grape country and raisin country, and it’s sort of an adaptation of using what’s around you.”

Sack Pie: “That is an intriguing recipe. You bake the entire pie in a large paper bag, and so it steams the fruit and the fruit becomes very tender. And then at the last moment, you take it out of the bag and finish it off in the oven and just sort of brown the crust and the top … It sort of smells papery in your kitchen for the first half-hour or so, but I will tell you that it doesn’t taste papery at all.”

 

Source: NPR – A Pie For All Regions: Serving Up The American Slice

 

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Jacques Pepin Desserts – light and healthy panache, tatin, and tart

My favorite chef, Jacques Pépin, cooks up four delicious, and mostly healthy desserts:

Episode 103: Jacques helps his daughter Claudine relinquish her fear of making pastry with his easy Tartelettes Aux Fruit Panaches. She goes on to assist her father in the kitchen as he makes his variation of the very traditional French, Tarte Tatin. Jacques then shares his mother’s recipe for Mémé’s Apple Tart using an unusual method to make the pastry. Finally his granddaughter Shorey joins him to make and taste Individual Chocolate Nut Pies.

“You cannot make great food without mixing some love into it.”

My favorite is the Tartalettes Aux Fruit Panaches - Thin disks of dough baked with a topping of lightly sugared apricot and plum wedges until the pastry is crisp and the fruit soft.

My Family Thanksgiving 2011 – Organic, Local, and Sustainable

The Lineup

Butternut Squash Soup
Turkey
Gravy
Mashed Potatoes
Bread/Rolls
Vegetables (corn on the cob)
Cranberry
Stuffing
Pumpkin/Apple Pie
Whipped Cream

Sourcing

Butternut Squash Soup: Farmers Market. Gourd. Cut in half, remove seeds, bake till a knife slides out easily. Usually 40+ minutes at 350-400. Then, remove the skin, add water, and blend. Also, consider nutmeg and cinnamon for flavor. The perfect Thanksgiving appetizer.

Turkey: Whole Foods sells Free Range, Organic, and Heritage turkeys. All are way more expensive than the $5 dollar supermarket birds, but buying a smaller bird makes it okay. Not as many leftovers but a better conscience.

Mashed Potatoes: Potatoes aplenty at the farmers market.

Bread/Rolls: Every farmers market has a bread vendor, pick your favorite and go. Ours are the Straight Eight Rolls from the Bread Gallery

Vegetables (corn on the cob): This changes every year. For this one I’m thinking corn on the cob, barbeque-d, reminds me the most of the original Thanksgiving meal.

Gravy, Cranberry, Stuffing: Unfortunately, I haven’t found a local or organic source for these items. I think it’s because they are complicated to make and they never sell cranberries at the farmers market. Have to save that for next year.

Pumpkin/Apple Pie: Yumm. Every market has these.

Whipped Cream: Milk by the glass. Every Whole Foods in the nation sells this now and so do most natural food stores. I like Straus Family Creamery from Mother’s Market.

Seafood

Knowing my Mid-Atlantic roots, I hope to one-day introduce some seafood into our Thanksgiving meal. The closer to the pilgrims and natives the better!

From Wikipedia:

“According to what traditionally is known as “The First Thanksgiving,” the 1621 feast between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag at Plymouth Colony contained turkey, waterfowl, venison, fish, lobster, clams, berries, fruit, pumpkin, and squash.”

P.S. – My 2010 post on Thanksgiving