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Pie Revival

Pie Revival

Curried Lamb & Potato Pie

February 4, 2017

Sure, sugar pies are good, but a sturdy savory pie in midwinter is heaven. In response to a reader request, I put this curried lamb and potato pie together using minced lamb, fresh green beans, lots of garlic, curry & cumin, topping each slice with a little bulgarian yogurt and minced preserved lemon. Continue Reading…

Pie Revival

Spiced Butternut Squash Pie & Southern Sweet Potato Pie

November 22, 2016

Ever since a food blogger published an article early this fall talking about her shock and horror at discovering that Libby’s canned pumpkin was in fact, squash, Libby’s has been inundated with questions from panicked pumpkin pie bakers. Turns out the whole kafuffle was one of preferred parlance: The word ‘pumpkin” has no biological or scientific meaning. Part of the cucurbita genus, “pumpkins” can legitimately be called squash, pumpkin or gourd depending on where you happen to live. To help abate the canned pumpkin panic: Libby’s “pumpkin” is packed from their pale-skinned, proprietary Dickinson cucurbita cultivar. So no worries, people. On the home-made front? Lost Recipes Found did its own experiments years ago and found little difference Continue Reading…

Pie Revival

Shaker Lemon Pie

October 10, 2016

Except for the no-sex and separation-from-the-world rules (pretty hard to overlook), I admire most everything I’ve read about Shakers. Progressive thinkers who supported full equality for men, women and all races, Shakers embraced technological advancements, were amazing architects and craftspeople and made a not for the faint-of-heart lemon pie. Continue Reading…

Pie Revival

Banoffee (Banana Toffee Coffee) Tarts

July 19, 2016

This recipe story moves from Chicago to England to California and back again : ) It started back when I was doing Lost Recipes Found as a Chicago Tribune column. A woman wrote in to say she’d heard you could boil an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk to make some kind of dessert, and could I find it? Imagining exploding tins of hot milk, I tossed that request into the “not likely” bin and moved on. Until this… Continue Reading…

Pie Revival

Sweetcorn & Bacon Pie

July 17, 2016

The waitress at Ernie Risser’s family restaurant in Womelsdorf, PA, watches me looking dubiously at the gravy she just plunked down with the corn pie I ordered.  Assuming we’re in cahoots, she leans in, whispers, “I like to eat corn pie with hot milk, too!” and smiles conspiratorily. Whisking away the gravy boat she soon returns with a little pitcher of milk. Strange upon strange, think I…but, it turns out, not awful. Still, I left plotting something better & more akin to my Midwest upbringing: homemade creamed corn with bacon and onion in a flaky pie crust. The result? This recipe. Continue Reading…

Pie Revival

Serviceberry Pie (Yes, you can eat them!)

June 25, 2016

The berry world has its less-than-romantic nomenclature. I mean, “straw” or “rasp” don’t scream, “Eat me!” But those berries eclipsed their names to become berry rockstars. Not so the serviceberry. Reddish-purple and shaped & textured like a small blueberry (but with more “red-berry” flavor to the juice) serviceberries are the fruit of one of America’s favorite ornamental trees. But most Americans don’t know the berries are edible.  I’d love to change that. Continue Reading…

Pie Revival

Mile-High Strawberry Pie

June 23, 2016

Max Hess, Jr. was the P.T. Barnum of the department store world, a master at selling with flamboyance and showmanship. Following in the footsteps of his father Max and his Uncle Charles, who founded the Hess Bros. department store chain in 1897, Max Jr. made shopping there an entertaining experience, with flower & fashion shows and “every week a different celebrity,” says Jill Youngken, assistant director and chief curator at the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum, keeper of Hess-history esoterica. Under Max’s watch (1932 to 1968) Zsa Zsa Gabor, Gina Lollobrigida, Rock Hudson and Johnny Carson all made appearances. Continue Reading…

Pie Revival

Kentucky Derby Chocolate Pecan Pie

April 30, 2016

Was Derby pie named for the hat or the horse race?

The horse race. But a hat does figure in the original name of this rich, chocolate & nut pie. Created in 1950 at the Melrose Inn in Prospect, Kentucky, by Walter and Leaudra Kern with some input from their son George, the pie–first made with chocolate and walnuts–sparked debate in the family, each person wanting to call it something else. To resolve the conflict, everyone tossed their favorite name into a hat: The slip that got plucked was inscribed, “Derby Pie.” Continue Reading…

Pie Revival

Concord Grape Tart & Pie

March 27, 2016

My lovely friend Kathleen S. grew up 15 miles from Silver Creek, NY, where they still host a Festival of Grapes during the concord grape harvest every year, complete with grape stomping, pretty-baby contests, and Jr. Miss, Little Miss, and Miss Festival of Grapes pageants. Continue Reading…

Pie Revival

Key Lime Pie

January 25, 2016

The story of Key lime pie is delightfully odd, including Cuban sponge “hookers”, mystery aunts, canned milk and curing. The classic filling: sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks & lime juice, has been around since the mid 1800s.

Key limes, those leathery little yellow-green golf balls otherwise known as Citrus aurantifolia, once thrived in the Keys as a commercial crop. That was before the local lime growers figured out they could make more money running tourist fishing boats, and sold off their groves. Key lime trees still grow in Key West backyards, but the big groves are in Mexico Continue Reading…