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Pie

I arrived in London with a pyrex pie pan in my suitcase to a household with no rolling pin, inadequate numbers of mixing bowls, no suitable surface for rolling out the dough, and no pie recipe. The first three items were easily acquired on Oxford Street (although I would love to know where a good cooking supply store in London is); the lack of recipe was saved by the prompt aid of sioneva and maxineofarc. Between them, I made one truly delicious pie with a really tasty crumble topping.

Of course, the real question at stake today was what constituted a pie: can it have a crumble or meringue topping? Is a tart a kind of pie or not? Must a pie have pastry on all sides to count? These conundrums inspired easterbunny and aca to host the first Annual (or perhaps Quarterly) Great LiveJournal Pie-Off today down in the wilds of Cheam.

And oh, was there pie. There was taco pie, steak and kidney pie, breakfast pie, cherry pie, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, mostly apple pie, a cake masquerading as a pie, mince pies... and quite a few others as well. Most attendees had baked a pie - or three - and there was plenty of pie for eating... and judging... and taking home in the plastic containers which the hosts had thoughtfully provided. I'm happy to report that of all the sweet pies, I liked mine the very best - even if it didn't win the "Best True Pie, Sweet" award. It did sweep the "Pie from Afar" category, however, and I have a pretty certificate to prove it.

We had a lovely time, met lots of new people (since we only knew our hosts), and admired pictures and pottery. easterbunny was particularly thoughtful: she washed and dried our towels in which we'd wrapped the pie for transport! It was a lovely, pie-filled day.

Update: Pie awards and photos are here.

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
owlfish
Mar. 21st, 2005 09:42 am (UTC)
Hurray for more pie!

The pecan pie was my second favorite sweet pie. Mmm. My father was astounded that it is now possible to buy pecans in London. He's a big pecan pie fan.
(Deleted comment)
owlfish
Mar. 21st, 2005 12:15 pm (UTC)
I think my father's surprise is also a result of time-lag. The last time he lived in Britain was in '86. The food scene around here has come a long way since then.

I both admired and was confused by the nut selection at Waitrose, but then it is a very odd store. They had quite a variety of nuts, including pecans, in multiple places, as you say. But they had only two choices of peanuts... ready salted or unshelled. For no other nut was my only choice of plain nuttishness unshelled. Not that it's hard to shell peanuts.
aca
Mar. 20th, 2005 11:32 pm (UTC)
Thankyou for coming, lovely to see you. Your pie was indeed tasty.
owlfish
Mar. 21st, 2005 09:43 am (UTC)
It was good to see you too! I'm glad you liked it.
(Deleted comment)
owlfish
Mar. 21st, 2005 09:45 am (UTC)
Pie, glorious pie... my favorite diet.
doctor_mama
Mar. 21st, 2005 03:15 am (UTC)
I have not had much luck with pie, though the tart I made last week was very nice.
owlfish
Mar. 21st, 2005 09:44 am (UTC)
Pie
This is only my second pie, and I've never made a tart. My first pie wasn't exactly a disaster... but it sure showed I had no idea how to deal with pastry dough. In retrospect, I'm glad I didn't bring the recipe I'd used before with me - by asking for help, I ended up with a much tastier pie than I would have otherwise had.
a_d_medievalist
Aug. 26th, 2005 11:55 pm (UTC)
Re: Pie
mmmm .... envious of the pie! Secrets to good crust: real lard. Nasty, but true. Butter isn't bad, but either way, it needs to be cold. Also, iced water added in miniscule amounts. I think you may want to dump your leftover dough. Refrigerating and even freezing are fine for cookies, but something happens with the gluten in the pie crust dough, and you may find that it had become very tough. Sorry if you know all of this.
owlfish
Aug. 27th, 2005 07:01 pm (UTC)
Re: Pie
I've made more pie since I wrote that, but I'm still a novice in the Way of Pie, so your advice is useful. I used the dough from previous pie-baking within a few days of making it, and it turned out okay. Of course, it might have turned out even better had I not frozen it, as per the recipe's directions. I won't be using real lard this time around, but perhaps next time.
marzapane
Mar. 23rd, 2005 03:55 pm (UTC)
Let this be your first tart recipe
If I had been there, I would definitely have brought this tart: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/recipe_views/views/15748?epiSearchPage=http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/find/results?search=butternut+tart and it would definitely have won in the savory category
It's incredibly easy to make (and if you take the shortcut of using frozen piecrust and microwaving the squash I don't think it really changes anything it's pretty quick, too) and has become my signature potluck dish.
owlfish
Mar. 23rd, 2005 04:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Let this be your first tart recipe
That sounds really, really good. And I have pie dough left over from Sunday in the house still... and I was going to grocery shopping anyways... Thank you for the recommendation!
a_d_medievalist
Aug. 27th, 2005 07:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Let this be your first tart recipe
On fruit pies (I may be making one tomorrow ...) I still have a bit of trouble with the balance (did I mention that I seldom use recipes, except for the pastry?), but for cooked berry pies, it's important not only to use enough corn starch to help the juices set AND to let the pie cool. Otherwise, you just get really tasty runny stuff with crust. This is, IME, true for blue-, black-,and raspberries. And rhubarb, which is clearly not a berry, but cooks down in the same way.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )