Tuesday, July 22, 2008

And The Winners Are...

After an overwhelming response, the jury has responded with five winning Pietopia Pies! Congratulations to the winners!! If you have a favorite, I'd be interested to know...

Leslie Wilson
the "my life is changing more quickly than I can adapt" pie

Designer: Justin Bland

1 bunch of fresh asparagus, approximately 18 stalks
1/3 cup chopped scallions
4 eggs slightly beaten
1-1/2 tablespoons flour
1-1/2 cups light cream
1 medium sized head of broccoli, approximately 1 cup
1 cup shredded cheese: goat and gouda and parm
1 pie crust
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg (preferably fresh if possible)
dollop of honey when served
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Steam asparagus and broccoli for five minutes then place in cold water bath to stop cooking. Reserve up to twelve pieces of asparagus whole and chop up rest. Chop broccoli equal to one cup.
Shred cheese into a bowl and stir in flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder until well incorporated.
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs; add the cream, chopped asparagus, chopped broccoli, chopped scallions and shredded cheese mixture in with eggs.
Place the mixture into the prepared pastry shell.
Take remaining whole steamed asparagus stalks and place on top of unbaked quiche artfully. Sprinkle the nutmeg on top.
Place unbaked quiche on the center of cookie sheet and place in oven on the middle rack.
Bake quiche at 325 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Let quiche set for at least 10 minutes prior to serving.
Serve with a dollop of honey on top.

asparagus is refreshing, crisp and bitter and with some rough parts much like becoming an adult. Like the vegetable, whose best flavors are contained in its head, I am a woman defined instead by my stringy stalk. Finally, in this transition from girl to grown up, the scent of my urine has mysteriously and suddenly changed. This is perhaps the greatest mark of asparagus.

I have included eggs in the pie as a reminder of my fertile body: the monthly flood of relief that balances itself with that ever subtle ticking of my biological clock. Eggs in a pie, though a reminder of my sometimes questionable (often late-night) life choices, are also the very ingredient that holds the pie together, lending both substance definition.

Broccoli is an important element in viewing a life changing more quickly than one can adapt because it resembles nature. Logging, rapid development, landscapes inundated with impervious surfaces, forest fires destroying regional crops, peak oil lending itself to uncanny grocery expenditures. As I child I took advantage of broccoli. By throwing it away when nobody was watching, I thought that by beating the system I could capitalize on the opportunity to work my mealtime and accommodate my best interests. On the environment, kids didn't know then what we do now.
But finally, Honey, because it is important to make life sweet nevertheless.

Chemo Savvy Apple Pie, Marlene Dopp

Designer: Jason Traeger

Made with carefully sliced (dissected) apples, extra flattened top crust with steam vents to look like mastectomy scars and a few extra pokes to mimic drain holes and a port for administering drugs. Serve with bald vanilla ice cream balls (like my head) on a day you feel like eating.

This spring I received the diagnosis of “recurring breast cancer”. After 14 years I thought I was home free. No such luck! In May I entered the hospital for a double mastectomy. Wanting to lighten the mood a bit I entered the operating room with two of my favorite presidential candidate’s stickers on my chest in the appropriate places. I came out with the stickers neatly reapplied to my bandages. The operating room staff enjoyed the humor. In June I started the Chemotherapy. It will continue for four months with me getting infusions every other week.

There are days I could care less about food, but when the hunger comes I think of comfort food. I love making pies and they are definitely comfort food in my book, especially apple pie. A purchased pie just doesn’t cut it. I like the sweet fresh fruit flavor, the texture of the apples in the slightly salty flaky crust and the creamy topping of vanilla ice cream or rice dream.

The process of making this pie, the slicing, flattening, poking and going through the fire reflect what I have been going through to a tee. It has been helpful to put a difficult situation into a tasty metaphor.
Chemo Savvy Apple Pie Recipe:
5-6 apples, peeled and sliced (my favorite are my homegrown Akane)
3⁄4-1 cup sugar (the amount depends on the tartness of the apple)
2 tablespoons flour
1⁄2-1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter or vegan margarine if desired
Layer slices of apple alternating with flour and sugar and cinnamon in a crust lined pie pan. Mound the apples up as they will shrink. Dot with butter or margarine and top with another piecrust turning the edges under the bottom crust and flute the edges. Cut vents in the top crust . It helps to bake the pie in the middle of the oven and place a cookie sheet on the bottom rack as sometimes apple pies can get juicy and run over. Bake in hot oven (425 degrees) 50-60 minutes until crust is browned and apples are tender. Tent with foil if the crust browns too quickly.
Oil Pie Crust Recipe:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1⁄2 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons ice water
Mix flour and salt, add oil and mix with fork. Sprinkle cold water over mixture and mix well. With hands press mixture into a smooth ball. Divide ball in half and flatten both parts slightly. Roll out 1 dough ball to circle between 2 12” square sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap. Gently peel off top sheet of wax paper. Fit pastry into pie pan, using care not to stretch. Trim evenly with edge of pan.
Repeat with second ball of dough and arrange over filled pie and peel off paper. Trim crust 1⁄2-1” beyond edge of pie pan; fold top crust under bottom crust. Flute edges. Cut vents for steam to escape. Bake as above. There you go, no cholesterol pie if you omit the butter and use healthy margarine instead.

Homesick for Miami Pie, Thom Wheeler Castillo

Designer: Mia Nolting

Inspiration for my pie comes from being homesick for Miami. I often long for the savory dishes that I ate growing up. The dinner table I ate off of was rich with flavor and culture.

You see, my mother is from Ecuador, my grandmother from Texas, and my friends were of cultures from all over the Americas and the Caribbean. I was very fortunate to come from such a rich heritage and fortunate that my mother insisted that I eat everything offered me at a meal.

Although the concept of this fusion of flavor was my own, the various layers were gathered from the kitchens of my mother and grandmother. My culinary skills were mastered in these kitchens. So its where I returned for my research in this project.

Grandma Anne passed on her recipe for pie crust that originated from a trailblazer's chuck wagon. My mother's secret for sugary plantains is to store the plantains in a paper bag in a cool, dark spot and to wait for the black plantain's skin to mold. And, yes, the picadillo recipe is mostly of Cuban influence but mom did remind me that the dish is part of the Americas colonial past and originated in Spain.

Simply put my pie is a reflection of my experience and of the hybrid nature of my sense of self. It is these influences I long for when I am homesick and I attempted to bring together in one savory dish.

Ingredients for crust:
3 c flour
1 c shortening
1/3 c water

Ingredients for filling:
1lb of lean ground beef (or T.V.P)
1 large onion (finely chopped)
1 green bell pepper (finely chopped)
3/4 c tomato sauce
5 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
2 tsp of capers
1/3 c raisins
1/3 c of green olives
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp of sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1 large moldy black plantain
olive oil for sauteing
oil for frying

Pre-heat your oven at 375F.

Crust Preparation:
In a large mixing bowl, sift 3 c of flour to 1 c of shortening and mix with hands. Then add 1/3 c of water and salt and mix with hands again. If the crust crumbles, you've mixed too much. If the crust is tough, you've added too much water. Roll out with a rolling pin (or a wine bottle). Separate enough crust to line you're pie plate. Leave the rest to cover the pie.
Bake the bottom crust for about 15 minutes. Make sure you fill in the pie with something that will keep the crust from rising. I use a small plate.
Filling Preparation:
In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper.In a frying pan, heat the olive oil. Saute the onions, green pepper, and garlic until soft. Add the ground beef mixture, and tomato sauce. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes.Remove the cover. Add the sugar, olives, capers and raisins and cook uncovered 15 minutes or until the liquid is fully evaporated, but the meat is still moist.
Slice the plantain in long, medium thick slices.
Then fry the plantain over medium heat in oil. The secret to frying sweet plantains is to fry the slowly so they'll caramelize slowly.

Fill the meat in the half baked pie. Layer the plantains.
Roll out the remainder of the crust for the top.
I roll out the center, then cut triangles out of the remaining dough.
I line the edges of the circle with the triangles so the shape resembles a sun.
Bake until the top is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Matt Freid
"Once you move to Oregon you'll never move away because you know you might never get another slice of HuckleCherry Pie"

Designer: Tricia Martin

The first time I ever visited Oregon, I was impressed by the fact that everywhere I went there were blackberries growing. The whole state seemed to smell of ripe berries. After a many a hand to mouth picking sessions, I decided that I had to do something more elaborate with all that fruit and baked my first pie. A little runny, not the most tender crust, but it helped to set me on a course in my life that led to decades of living in the NorthWest, and many, many pies made. Though I've been to any number of beautiful places in the world, I am never comfortable being too far from here in the pie filling capital of the world, especialy during the summer.

The HuckleCherry pie, like most good things was a happy accident. Made a cherry pie, made a huckleberry pie, and then blended the leftovers with the extra pastry - and it was good. The cherries - real, dark, European style sour cherries grown organically in Hood River ( and available from the Tamiyasu Orchard folks at the Thursday SE market ... ) are a transplant from a foreign place that found the perfect conditions to thrive on the east side of Mt Hood. The huckleberries are native, growing wild on the western slopes of the mountain long before the first human picked them. Somehow when blended together in a pie, they make a unique flavor and a deep beautiful purple color that neither can produce alone. A pie that has a sense of place, the ecology, history and culture of our region, and the season of full ripe summer. This pie is great for special occasions, because you only get so much of these ingredients each year, freeze all you can while they are available. Once you have a slice, would you move far enough from our fair volcano to risk not getting another slice ???

Measurements are in weight because it's the best way to always make your pies come out right ...

10 ozs huckleberries
10 ozs dark ballaton sour cherries

(Fruit can be fresh or frozen, and you can substitue Wyman's wild blueberries and sour cherries packed in water if need be ... )

1 oz dried blueberries
1 oz dried sour cherries
8 ozs granulated sugar
2.5 ozs corn sugar
.75 ozs quick tapioca, ground up a bit in a coffee grinder
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon orange zest
sprinkle of cinnamon

crust for double or lattice top pie

Milk or cream and raw sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Line a 9 inch pie pan with crust, freeze for 15 minutes and flute edges.
Prepare top crust or lattice top to cover, chill in refrigerator.
Mix dried and fresh or frozen fruit with sugar, corn starch, tapioca, zest and cinnamon in a large bowl. Let juice for 10 minutes.
Add juice and extracts, mix well.
Fill bottom crust, tamp down filling until even and well packed.
Wet crust edge with milk or cream, cover with top crust ( I prefer the solid top for this pie )
Brush top crust with milk or cream, sprikle with raw sugar, cut vents for steam to escape.
Bake for 10 minutes, then cover edges to limit over browning.
Bake 20 minutes, turn one half turn, and reduce heat to 350.
Bake 30 minutes or until filling begins to bubble through vents, remove from oven and cool thoroughly.

Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, or even better Hagen Dazs Honey Vanilla.

Red Door Rhubarb Pie, Maryanne Capobianco

Designer: Christopher Huizar

Well settled into the sixth decade of life with my children grown and newly retired, I believe most would consider that I have achieved the all American goal. Or have I, yet? As I read the previous sentence, the word settled is unsettling.

Make no mistake, I did enjoy my years of a conventional life style of being the good wife, the nurturing mother and the successful career person. Now, no longer married, children grown, thirty year nursing career complete, I have begun in earnest the journey into the next passageway of my life.

My big comfortable home in suburbia has been sold for a small bungalow in the Hawthorne district. A white bungalow with blue trim did not fit well with me. My bungalow is now green with a red front door. Red front doors have always fascinated me. Even as a child, I would imagine that anyone living behind a front red door must have a thirst and a passion for life.
Last fall I planted rhubarb in my back yard. This summer the ruby red rhubarb is the same color as my front door. There is a correlation between my red door, my red rhubarb and my life as I envision it to be. My life, just like my red door rhubarb pie, is not all sweetness. There is just enough tartness to keep it interesting. The delicious juices that flow from the pie are the same juices that fuel the spirit of my adventures...and all I have to do each morning is open my front red door and know that life is waiting for me juicy, tart and delectable.

Make 10 inch two crust pie (sorry, my pie crust recipe is secret)
Cut 5-6 cups of fresh red rhubarb into 1/2 inch pieces
2/3 cups sugar
1/2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
4 tbsp butter
Blend sugar, flour and cinnamon together and mix into rhubarb coating rhubarb well. Pour mixture into a pastry lined 9" pie plate. Dot mixture with butter. Cover with top crust. Fold two crust together and crimp edges. Cut vents in pie crust. Sprinkle top crust with 2 tbsp sugar. Bake at 425 degrees for 40-45 min or until crust is brown and juices are bubbling