Week 11: It’s a Pie Marathon! Parathon? Marapie?

Despite knowing that this week would be a complete s***-storm, I thought it would be a great idea to commit to making not one, but TWO pies (technically three) to bring to work on Friday and yet another for a meeting this morning. We had our third-largest fundraiser at work on Thursday, so instead of compromising freshness and making the pies on Sunday or Monday, I devised a plan to slowly make them over the course of the week. In theory, this sounded doable. But between working late every night and a cappella rehearsal, this was easier said than done. Well, I made it to the weekend after a beautiful and amazingly successful event, three/four delicious pies, and way less sleep than anticipated. TGIS…off to nap.

Love, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness Pie

Monday night (10pm): dough
Tuesday night (11pm): bake shells, make fillings
Wednesday morning (6am): fill and bake
Friday afternoon (12:30pm): top and decorate

What’s Inside: Strawberries, blueberries, gelatin, cream cheese

“Pro” Tips:
1) For some reason, I just can’t seem to get the whole “no bubbles in the crust” thing down. I recommend more pie weights than I used and maybe keeping a closer watch as the crust bakes. Poke those suckers as they start to form!2) Learn about all of the functions of your food processor before using it for the strawberries and blueberries. I made more of a relish after using the wrong blade, but after running the fruit through twice, I got the purée effect.
3) Unflavored gelatin smells. Really bad.
4) This pie won’t fit in a regular pie carrier. On the plus side, you’ll get an arm work-out carrying it wherever you need to go.

What Baking Can Do:
I made this double-decker pie for our staff BBQ. I couldn’t find any blue sugar, but I think this turned out pretty darn beautiful if I do say so myself. The pie was gobbled up within minutes! A great pie to end the summer…or to reserve for a 4th of July party.

That’s Patrick’s “damn this s*** is good” face, I swear.

Thanks to my beautiful co-worker pie models!

Razzleberry Buttermilk Custard Pie

Monday night (10pm): dough
Thursday morning (12:30am): bake crust
Friday morning (1am): filling and bake
Friday afternoon (3:30pm): topping

What’s Inside: Raspberry vinegar, buttermilk, raspberries

“Pro” Tips:
1) Again, a poofy crust. Pie weights, poking, etc.2) If you are using a hand mixer, choose a bowl that won’t allow your filling ingredients to fly all over the place. I made a serious mess mixing the butter and sugar. I also only just discovered that my hand mixer has three speeds, so that could have something to do with it.3) The buttermilk whipped cream topping was just a disaster for me. The cream cheese topping I made earlier in the day for the BBQ went swimmingly (I made the toppings for both of these pies in our kitchen at work). I think maybe the buttermilk component messed with the concoction, or perhaps it was just a whisk speed issue, but the ingredients wound up curdling. Luckily, my co-worker, Richard, ran to the store to grab some heavy cream and I was able to whip up a fresh batch of plain ‘ole whipped cream. Quick, efficient, and always tasty.
4) If your raspberries are freshly washed, wait for them to dry before adding to the pie. Otherwise, your sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar will just disappear.

What Baking Can Do:
After the staff BBQ, we threw a little party for two of our teammates who have some upcoming milestones. Basically, we had a baby shower/bridal shower in one. I wanted to make a pie that didn’t have anything harmful to baby in it (raw egg), especially since mom-to-be loves pie (and is also an awesome baker…have to impress!). The party was a lovely end to a crazy week. We had quite the spread!

Betrayed by My Eggs Pie
Friday night (9pm): make dough and bake crust
Saturday morning (8am): fill and bake

What’s Inside: Egg, chorizo, enchilada sauce, green chiles, cheese

“Pro” Tips:
1) I am going to admit right off the bat that I changed some of the ingredients in this recipe. I was in the grocery store after work on Friday night and I just couldn’t stare at the cheese or meat for one more second or else I would burst into sleep deprivation tears. After searching for fresh chorizo, I broke down and purchased chorizo from the deli. Not at all what the recipe needed, since you’re supposed to cook the chorizo and bathe it in beer, but I couldn’t spend one more minute in Key Food. The cotija was also elusive. I googled to see if there was a good replacement, learned that it was known as the “Mexican Parmesan,” and sped home before I convinced myself to do yet another lap around the store. After arriving home, I realized I didn’t actually have any chili powder, but had cayenne pepper instead. There was no way I was leaving my apartment again, so cayenne pepper it was.

2) These ingredient changes made no difference. I think this can be a pretty versatile pie. I’d like to make it again and really stick to the recipe, though.

3) You need a particular kind of pie dish to get the effect displayed in the book. I do not have that kind of pie dish, so I just made the crust without a lip. This cornmeal crust was interesting to work with. It had more of a dough texture than cookie crusts, which are easy to press into a pie dish, yet you aren’t supposed to roll it out. You really need to keep pressing and working the dough until it covers enough ground to hold the filling. Picture versus reality below.

What Baking Can Do:
I had a little a cappella meeting at my apartment early this morning and bribed my guests with breakfast pie and coffee to get them here. It worked!

The sad thing about all of these pies is that I’m actually doing the Whole30 diet this month and wasn’t able to taste ANY of them. I’m just going to take everyone’s word and say that they were all delicious. I am told that the strawberry/blueberry pie was fruity and summery, the raspberry pie had an almost cheesecake-like custard, and the breakfast pie was perfectly spiced. I have one more pie to make this week (I know…I’m crazy), but I’ll save that for next time. It’s different than any other pie I’ve ever made, so I’m excited to see what will happen!

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