Adrienne's Cakes and Pies

Pie Time You Showed Up

Pies have a storied past, beginning as savory things before developing their sweeter popularity. In England it was traditional to send a lamprey pie to the monarch, as a coronation celebration. And, while the thought of eel pie may not make your mouth water, clearly the famous pork pie Pip steals from the Christmas dinner in Great Expectations was intended to be the crown of the meal. Maybe it was the rise of Victorian villain Sweeney Todd that led to the marginalization of the savory pie, but, for whatever reason, the most we can hope for in that category is a chicken pot pie every year or two.

Did Pip's purloined pork pie look thus?

Did Pip's purloined pork pie look thus?

Sweet pies still abound, however, and they're never out of season. My husband whipped up his seasonal batch of blueberry pies for the freezer, and the freestone peaches are coming in this week and the next! As soon as we get back from vacation, that'll be me carrying a box through the parking lot to be turned into pies and cobbler.

If you're not a pie baker yourself (and it's never too late to start), Adrienne's Cakes and Pies offers a tempting selection every week. Last week my youngest and I got key lime and cherry, respectively, but I forgot to take a picture before this happened:

Adrienne makes some pretty tasty crust, and, since eating pie is often just an excuse to eat crust, it's best to make it worthwhile. 

Eating pie leads to making pie, as the night follows the day, so my fourteen-year-old then whipped up these mini chocolate mud pies for us from the Sweet Auburn Desserts cookbook:

 

And since Atlanta baker Sonya Jones' pie crust is pretty tasty too, that's what I'll leave you with. Fill it how you please, with our bounty of summer fruit!

Pie Pastry Dough

1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp shortening
1/2 stick butter
1/2 c cold water
To make the pastry dough, mix the flour and salt together in a mixing bowl. Cut in the shortening and butter with a pastry blender or fork until the mixture has the texture of coarse cornmeal. Add the cold water and mix until the dough is consistently moistened. Shape it into a ball and press flat. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
Once the dough is chilled, roll it out on a lightly-floured surface to 1/2" thickness. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie pan and trim the edges.
To prebake a pie shell, preheat the oven to 425F. Using a fork, prick holes in the bottom and sides of the pie shell. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

A Tale of Two Squashes

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Sigh. The final Bellevue Farmers Market of the 2016 season is upon us, and we face a November forecast of "equal chances of below normal, equal to, or above normal temperatures for the entire state" (OWSC). Ha ha. Meaning it will either be colder than normal, normal, or warmer than normal in November. Good job covering those bases, Washington State Climatologist! But they do predict more precipitation, which means, no matter the temperature, we'll be holing up indoors more. The official vegetable of Holing Up has got to be the squash.

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You can't just cut up a squash and eat it raw, dipped in ranch dressing. Squashes require planning and prep and sometimes long cooking times. (If you hate long cooking times, reach for the Delicata in the picture above.)

It so happened at the last Market that Adrienne's had pumpkin pies on offer, and that immediately gave me pumpkin pie on the brain. I had to have pumpkin pie! Well, I mentioned this craving to one of our farmers, and he pointed me to the pile of Kabocha squashes.

"I made a pie out of one of those squashes," he said, "and it tasted just like pumpkin pie. Once you add all the spices, you could use whatever squash you wanted. But the secret is our eggs. I used four of our eggs, instead of the the two the recipe called for."

What could I do? A need is a need. I bought the squash, and I bought a dozen eggs!

Now, the trick to squash is to cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and throw it in the slow cooker on LOW for a few hours. Piece of cake. Although, if you plan to eat it just like that, it would taste better roasted in the oven, for caramelization. Since I planned to pumpkin-pie my squash, the slow cooker worked just fine. And since the recipe only called for two cups of cooked "pumpkin," I had enough left over for a pumpkin-sausage pasta and still have another cup-and-a-half in the freezer.

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What I didn't have enough of was 9" pie pans. I had to use this too-large one; therefore my pie had no rim to it. No matter. I still managed to eat three-quarters of this pie entirely by myself over the course of five days. If the pie in the picture above were a clock face, I ate my way from noon to nine o'clock.

Pilgrim "Pumpkin" Pie (from the Good Housekeeping Cookbook)

one 9" pie crust, unbaked (used the recipe from The Bellevue Farmers Market Cookbook)

2 cups mashed cooked squash or pumpkin

12-oz can evaporated milk

3 eggs (I didn't dare use four)

3/4 c packed brown sugar

1.5 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

pinch of ground cloves

1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl, with mixer at medium, beat pumpkin and remaining ingredients until well-mixed. Pour into your pie crust and bake 40 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.

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The extra egg gave the pie more stiffness and a more custard-y flavor. Delicious. And even better the next day. And the day after.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to grab another squash or two to stock the pantry because my husband's butternut crop disappointed this year. Hope to run into you all one last time!

One Month to Go

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Somehow another Market season has gone whipping by, but before we reach Closing Day on Thursday, October 27, I wanted to mention a few must-tries for your shopping list. Nashi pear.jpg

  1. Asian Pears. Whoa. Martin Family Orchards had them last week, and I made the mistake of only buying three. These guys are juicy, crisp, sweet, and delicious.

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  2. Pumpkin Pie pops! This sounds like a treat straight out of Harry Potter. My daughter went with strawberry, but I'm hoping she'll give this one a try in the remaining month.

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  3. Adrienne's cherry pie. Now, I've never tasted anything I didn't like from Adrienne's Cakes & Pies, but the little cherry pie she had the other week really hit the spot. Maybe because it'd been years since I had cherry pie (it not being my husband's favorite). No sooner was it gone than I couldn't wait and had to go buy the ingredien ts to make my owncherry pie. I hadn't made a pie in almost a year, but I had to have another cherry pie immediately. That's how good Adrienne's pie was! I also used the promise of homemade cherry pie as a bribe to get my folks up to watch the kids while we're out of town, and it worked. So Adrienne's pie not only inspired me to make pie again, but also improved my life by allowing me to go on a mini-vacation. Top that!

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  4. Salmon and grass-fed beef for the freezer and tuna for the pantry. As most of us know by now, Americans get way too many omega-6 fatty acids in the diet, and high omega-6 ratios have been tied to inflammation, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, obesity, depression, and bipolar disorder! In eons past, the ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s we consumed was around 1:1, but with all the vegetable oils, seeds feed to livestock, and processed foods that make up the modern diet, the ratio has skewed to 1:10. Yikes. Fight back with foods high in omega-3s. Lots of fish, yes, but don't forget that grass-fed beef is another omega-3 powerhouse.

Five Markets to go...let's make the most of them.