Thursday, March 13, 2008

Apple Pi

So, I mentioned my blogging plans to my boss this week—3.14 , I said, and laughed. In that laugh, it became incredibly evident that yes, I am a nerd. Actually, I love being a nerd, and not only do I relish being a nerd (not a dork), but I also make choices to propagate this status. I read books with endnotes, just for fun. And, I love pi for its amazing universality; I like the golden ratio for the same reason, but pi evokes love.

All this said, I don’t love pie. I don’t hate it, but I am not someone who lives and dies by pie. However, I do love the miniature and making food that Belle will enjoy. This weekend in the snowstorm, my husband and I spent a full day making crusted food—2 pot pies and 3 different kinds of sweet pies. Of course, all these pies (excluding one) hinged on a single crust. We made basic vegan pie crust with shortening. Shortening freaks me out, and the crust was a bit too tough (the pate brisee from the tarts a few weeks earlier was much more tender but not vegan), so I will be trying this recipe next time.

Today, I thought I would post the pictures of the two apple pies that we did. As these were for Belle, I did not add sugar (though clearly you could). These are very close to being the same pie, but one is fussy and one is, well, rustic. In the end, Belle liked both, but my husband dreamt of pies that were both sweeter and bigger (the rustic was about palm-sized and the fancy ones were silver dollar-sized).

In addition, we also decided to add cardamom to the little pies. I have been thinking that cardamom would compliment the tartness of rhubarb. I had hoped to make cardamom and rhubarb meringues this weekend, but didn’t get around to it. This pie experiment made me think I should make those meringues.

But I was so pleased with the three pies from the weekend (these are just two of them) that I decided to include them in a blog roundup for Pi Day on Kitchen Parade.

Rustic Apple and Rhubarb Pie
Begin by creating a syrup by heating and reducing in half
½ cup of unsweetened apple juice

Roll pie crust out to 1/8 of an inch thin and then use a butter knife to cut out a circle of crust

Soak in ½ cup of apple juice (not the syrup) the following:
1 stalk thinly sliced rhubarb
1 small tart apple

Arrange the fruit in a radial pattern in two layers of the crust and then fold over the crust to form a rudimentary pie. Sprinkle with the apple syrup.

If desired top with 1 T cane sugar (I did not.)

Bake at 350 for ten minutes.

This results in one rustic pie.

Mini Apple Rhubarb Pies
Roughly dice
1 small tart apple
1 stalk of rhubarb

In a space sauce pan heat the fruit with
½ cup water
1 pod cardamom
1 sprinkle of nutmeg
1 sprinkle of cinnamon
1 T cane sugar (if desired)

Cook on medium until the fruit is softened.

Use cookie cutters to create rounds of pie crust that will fill mini-muffin tins (ideally, with a little crust peaking out over the tins)

Fill each pie, ¾ ths full with the rhubarb/ apple sauce. Seal each pie with another round of dough

Bake at 350 for ten minutes.

This results in 5 tiny pies.


Anonymous said...

Three cheers for pi nerds! Three cheese for pie bakers!

Thanks so much for your mini pies, they're just perfectly cute and perfectly sized. I'm so glad you joined the Pi Day festivities!

Anonymous said...

these are adorable! great photos

Tempered Woman said...

From one fellow mini pi(e) lover to another~ Woot! Cardamom is my secret ingredient in my apple dumplings, so I say go for it. I really love the latticed pie, that is on my to do list for future mini pies.

Lisa said...

That lattice top is so very cute!

I love the idea of rhubarb in those tiny pies and cardamon sounds like a great idea too.

Thanks for sharing!

holly_44109 said...

I love anything miniature! Those pies look too cute to eat...lucky Belle :)

Simone said...

Your little pies look delicious! I love that they are so small. Thanks again for more great recipes.

Anonymous said...

Oh Bravo! and Brilliant! They are sooo cute! We thought about doing this too, but didn't know how we could pull it off. But you did it and they look fantastic! Thanks for the inspiration!

Anonymous said...

Just came by your blog and wanted to
let you know what an enjoyable read it is. I enjoyed reading about the Indian dinner at Fire, and am eager to see what they have planned for the Thai event.

maybelles mom said...

Thank you to everyone for commenting, for your compliments, your support of the miniature, and support of my use of cardamom. It makes my heart feel much better, especially on a tough work day, like today.