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Pie Revival

Pie Revival

Sour Cherry Hand Pies

July 27, 2022

Hand pies take a person back. To fourth grade, maybe (or even earlier,) when you’d bike to that corner grocery store with friends after school, finding the rack of pies, wax-paper-sleeved, sugar slicked, and skimpy on the filling, but easy to grip in one hand as you wheeled to somebody’s house before piano lessons. We’ve built on that nostalgia with better flavor and fresher fruit. Our pies are full of fresh-picked sour cherries, in a tender, oven-baked butter crust with optional sugar glaze. A bit of almond flour and red wine vinegar in the dough adds to the texture and flavor. Continue Reading…

Pie Revival

Summerberry Pie

June 26, 2022

Juneberry, Sugarplum, Shadblow, Saskatoon…there are many names around the U.S. and Canada for what we know in Illinois as the Serviceberry tree. We planted ours to beautify the landscape 24 years ago and were delighted to learn that the pretty red berries are edible, with a flavor profile similar to blueberries (but more redberry-ish) and even higher in protein, dietary fiber, calcium, magnesium & manganese. No wonder Native Americans used them to make pemmican!

This year, I used the berries in combination with raspberries, blackberries and blueberries to make this fabulous summer berry pie. You can alter the berry-to-berry ratio, just be sure to use fewer blueberries than the other types of berry, and you will still need about 7 cups of fruit which should mound up nicely in your 9-inch, deep-dish pie plate. While American farms don’t grow serviceberries for sale, my foodie friends let me know that they are available frozen here, from Canada: Saskatoon or Juneberries Continue Reading…

Pie Revival

Peaches + Cream Pie

August 2, 2021

If you’ve had the pleasure of plucking a sun-warmed, fully ripe peach from a tree and eating it right there and then, you know why peaches show up in my dreams. Velvety soft, juicy and with the most fragrant nectar, peaches are one of my favorite fruits. This old-fashioned pie is full of them. To make it, you’ll spiral peach slices over a butter crust and bake them in cream with just a hint of sugar and spice. A good dream in the making. Continue Reading…

Pie Revival

Key Lime Pie

August 29, 2019

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…

Pie Revival

Chocolate French Silk Pie & Butterscotch Pecan Meringue Pie

November 12, 2017

Making pie crusts is such a soothing thing. A quieting, settling-in ritual that centers you in one place and time as you sift the flour, sugar and salt, cut in the butter, gently pinch the butter bits into even tinier bits with your fingertips and stir in just a bit of cold cream. I thoroughly enjoy the process—and you may too. So try handmaking your crusts this time, instead of buying pre-made! The results are worthy of these dreamy, vintage fillings. Continue Reading…

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 boat she 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 winks conspiratorially. Whisking away the gravy she returns with a little pitcher of milk. Stranger and stranger, think I, new to these small town Pennsylvania gustatory habits. The savory pie wasn’t bad, though bland. But before I left, it had me plotting something more flavorful & akin to my Midwest upbringing: Homemade creamed corn with bacon and onion. What if I put THAT in a flaky pie crust? The result is this lovely recipe. Continue Reading…