BaltimOregon to Maine

Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Posts Tagged ‘pie

The Death of Gourmet

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The end is near: this is an unripe quince on the recipes for everything in season September issue.

The end is near. They couldn't even find a ripe quince for the "recipes for everything in season" September issue.

I’ve meant to blog about Gourmet magazine’s fate but can’t seem to manage posting more than once a week these days. Folks have a special fondness for it here in this food-loving state. And Gourmet loved Oregon back: see this recent feature on Portland Food Carts.

But I came late to the Gourmet table. I didn’t have the same heart attack/heartbreak other foodies did when the news of its demise broke. Yet it’s trumped-up website, rolled out by the magnetic (and tireless-that woman is always on the road) editor Ruth Reichl, drew me in this past year. Particularly Politics of the Plate columns. And their cookbook club reviews of new ones like Corey Schreiber’s Rustic Fruit Desserts. That’s where I got the apple-blackberry pie recipe. The website even encouraged me to subscribe for $12 a year. Wonder if I’ll ever get that first issue? But I can barely keep up with Bon Appetit. Two increasingly identical food pubs under one house is redundant, especially in these times. Why not keep the website though?

The September cover does now seem a harbinger of Gourmet’s imminent demise. Why would they put an unripe (green, still fuzz-covered) quince on the cover of an issue devoted to cooking with produce at its peak. Quinces don’t really come on ’til October. At least they got the favored quince preparation method right: poaching, in cardamom syrup, which really brings out the Caucus region fruit’s rosy fragrance and flavor.

These Oregon quinces are ripe. You can see-and especially smell-the difference.

These Oregon quinces are ripe. You can see-and especially smell-the difference.

Written by baltimoregon

October 9, 2009 at 12:26 am

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Apple Blackberry (and Quince) Pie, from Rustic Fruit Desserts

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Apple Blackberry (and Quince) Pie

Apple Blackberry (and Quince) Pie

Local quinces, including ones that are apparently edible raw.

Local quinces, including ones that are apparently edible raw.

This is a brilliant pie because it bridges the seasons, melding tart, jammy berries with crisp, fragrant apples. I also added quince slices to the mix, because the astringent fruit gains a wonderful rosey pear-like flavor when cooked with sugar. I’d never come across quinces before moving here to the Pacific Northwest, where we even haven them growing on the neighbor’s tree down the road. The USDA genebank here in Corvallis is home to North America’s perhaps most diverse quince collection.

Making and rolling out your own pie crust is always a patshkie, but at least this all-butter recipe made four discs, so we had two leftover to freeze. We also didn’t dock the dough (prick it with a fork) before pouring in the filling. The crust was flakey and delicious but not quite crisp enough. Maybe pre-bake it a bit first? This pie crust tutorial video helps you beef up your technique.

Fresh out of the oven.

Fresh out of the oven.

The pie recipe comes from Rustic Fruit Desserts, published by Portland chef Cory Schreiber and Julie Richardson of the Baker & Spice Bakery there. Cory recommended the recipe when he came on our KBOO Food Show Wednesday. For our School Lunch Special, Schreiber also spoke about the challenges of his work as farm-to-school coordinator for the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Written by baltimoregon

September 20, 2009 at 10:49 pm

Give a Boy (and a Poppy) Some Blueberry Pie

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My blueberry blackberry homemade butter crust creation.

My blueberry blackberry homemade butter crust creation.

Berry pickin' source in Albany.

Berry pickin' source in Albany.

I don’t often haveĀ  pie for breakfast. But I did today, in honor of Poppy on his birthday, because he made the habit of doing so, but of course only with fruit pies. It’s also not often I make a pie, with homemade butter crust. But it’s a habit that could grow on me.

When your partner turns 30, you bake him a pie. I won his heart six years ago with a key lime graham cracker crust one. This year’s blueberry with fresh foraged blackberries did the trick. I finally had a chance to test out my master food preserver blueberry pie filling recipe, after stopping on a whim to pick some at a mom-and-pop place in Albany. I’d rather not use lab-developed Clear-Jel modified corn starch, but I did for the first time because it imparts a pleasant consistency, so you won’t have a soggy, runny, mushy pie. I spiced up the utilitarian extension office recipe with grated nutmeg, lemon and lime zest and vanilla. This Portland kid’s prize-winning pie recipe inspired the lime. Blueberry needs such tang to heighten its flavors. I processed the jars of filling for 30 minutes so they melded together in a fruity goo.

What else have you made with your blueberries? I stumbled across this fabulous muffin recipe, which, with the ample maple syrup and melted butter, evokes the taste of fresh pancakes. Throw some crystallized ginger into the batter for kick. And with blackberries, consider milk with some sweetener and the muddled fruit.

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Fresh muddled blackberry milk.

Foraged raw blackberries added to the inside just before backing gave the pie that extra umpf we were looking for. Topped with gelato from a downtown shop (why was this our first time there?) the result made for a pretty memorable dessert.

Fresh from the oven. Notice the egg wash is key for a glaze.

Fresh from the oven. Notice the egg wash is key for a glaze.

Written by baltimoregon

August 23, 2009 at 1:59 am

Obama and Sweet Potato Pie

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sweet_potato1

We’re having a spiced pumpkin tiramisu-like cake for Thanksgiving dessert. But I do love sweet potato pie, especially the praline-topped ones my former colleague John-John used to make. It’s also our President-Elect’s favorite kind of pie. See this video on the best sweet potato pie around D.C.

Another former colleague, Rona Marech, wrote a deliciously descriptive features story about that Henry’s Soul Food place near D.C. They can’t wait for Obama to come try some.

Written by baltimoregon

November 27, 2008 at 10:29 pm

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