Category Archives: Pie

Midwinter Merriment: Throw a Pi Party!

Here it is – a countdown til spring. From now until the first day of spring, I will post ways to make the dreary days of midwinter a little more merry.

Day 7: Celebrate Pi Day with some pie!

PiI’m sure no one would be surprised to learn that I coordinated a pie bake-off with my staff.  We made pies in honor of Pi Day, as if we really needed an excuse to eat pie. Since Wednesdays are a better day for us to get together, we celebrated one day early. I served up a cardamom ginger apple pie with a vent in the crust, carved out special for the occasion. It was pretty awesome.

Table_RunnerI arrived ridiculously early to fill the staff lounge with Pi Day cheer! Some butcher paper and a little polka dot oil cloth became the table runner. I wrote the decimal numbers of pi  along the edges of the paper, as far as I could go.

BallotsI put out labels for the pies and ballots for the tasters. We were all judges in this contest.  I loaded up a bowl with slivers of each of pie so I could vote in good conscience. I wouldn’t want to be unfair. And for the winner, I procured the most awesome, but nerdiest prize I could find:

Pi_PlateWhat do you get if you divide the circumference of a bowl of ice cream by its diameter?
Pi a la mode!

Want to buff up your pie skills? Kate was my pie mentor and she could teach you at Pie School!

A Taste of Pie School – Ep. 1 from Stringbean Productions on Vimeo.

*Pi Plate can be found here

Day 9: Put a little summer on your pancakes.
Day 10: Feed your soil.
Day 11: Chicken gawking.
Day 12: Plant identification with kids.
Day 13: Plant your backyard berry patch.
Day 14: #dirtonmyiPhone
Day 15: Start seeds indoors.
Day 16: Sew a sassy garden tool belt.
Day 17: A class that keeps on giving!
Day 18: Buy yourself some flowers.
Day 19: Go to the park and play!
Day 20: Plant peas (and sign up for my free newsletter!)
Day 21: Take a gardening class.
Day 22:Plant bare root.
Day 23: Sign up for Seattle Seedling’s Spring Fling!
Day 24: Plant primroses.
Day 25: Get yourself a doughnut and make it “for here.”
Day 26: Frequent the Farmers’ Market
Day 27: Eat Root Vegetables Disguised as Cake!
Day 28: Be a Garden Show Goer.
Day 29: Drink more hot chocolate.
Day 30: Create a springtime “advent” calendar.

Video: DIY Pumpkin Puree

No, you’re not going crazy. My weekly video post is up one day early. I won’t be available to post tomorrow, so I thought it best to put it up today! I had fun with pumpkins this weekend – a little carving, some puree, a loaf of pumpkin bread, a pumpkin doughnut…that all happened. Tis the season, I guess.

In this week’s video, I share with you just how easy it is to make your own pumpkin puree. I will concede that opening a can is indeed easier, but with about 15 minutes of hands-on time, you can make your own from scratch – delicious, unprocessed, in-season pumpkin puree.

Now, I will warn you that there is about a 20 second segment in this video that is horribly unfocused. If only I could be behind the camera and in front of it at once! The content just wouldn’t make sense if I left it out and since I had already roasted and pureed both of my pumpkins, I couldn’t reshoot. So, in the loop it stayed – in all its imperfect glory. It’s human. And clearly, I’m rolling with it. I hope you all have a lovely week! Get yourself a pumpkin!

How about a little pumpkin puree inspiration? Try using your pumpkin puree in these delicious recipes:

What’s your favorite way to use pumpkin puree?

Video: Freeze an Apple Pie for Winter

Today, I want to show you how to properly freeze an apple pie. Ok, not the whole pie really, just the filling. This is one of my all-time favorite ways to preserve fruit – you don’t have to know how to can to do put ’em up this way and it’s the best when you’re jonesing for some summer fruit during the winter. Not only that, it’s great for entertaining! There’s nothing better than being half-way ready for dessert when you’re already making dinner for someone. Plus, who doesn’t love a good ol’ apple pie?

In today’s video, I’ll walk you through the quick and simple process. (It should be noted that the R & M Industries 5920 Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer, my all-time favorite kitchen tool, is what really makes this process so simple. Gotta give credit where credit is due.) I got a 20 pound box of apples through a bulk buy and made a batch of apple sauce and four of these apple pie fillings. Because when it comes down to it, when I think about what I really like to eat, it’s pie over some jam any day!

Remember, make your pie filling according to whatever recipe you’re using. Freeze the filling in the pie dish you plan on using later when you want to bake the pie. When it’s that time, bake as directed in your recipe – no need to adjust the time by much. If anything, it may take 5 to 10 minutes longer, but I still look for the usual signs  to let me know if my pie is done – a golden crust and some bubbling juices.

Cardamom Ginger Apple Pie (filling)
Adapted from Mark Bittman

Makes on generous 9 inch pie filling

6 large apples, cored, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ginger
pinch salt
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch or 2 tablespoons instant tapioca (thickeners optional)

Put the apple slices in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice. In another small bowl, mix together the sugar, spices and thickener. Add to the bowl of apple slices and toss to coat.

Speaking of pie…

My friend, Ashley, wrote a new book all about making pie throughout the seasons. I LOVE it! I’ve already made the coconut cream pie and the summer ratatouille polenta pie – twice! It’s totally creative, with a combination of sweet and savory pies. I can’t wait to cook with it all year! Check it out!