14 May 2011

Pine Nut Pie

This will be a brief post. While this week's pie is amazingly good--and amazingly, not that bad for you, relatively speaking--I have a Mississippi River bargeful of other things to get done tonight. And to top it all off, I'm nodding off at the keyboard.

Pine nut pie. It's nuts on top of a sweet, slightly gooey filling, so kinda like pecan pie, but totally different. My wife strongly dislikes pecan pie. I had to sacrifice and eat the last piece of Pine Nut Pie because her self-control (and mine too, truthfully) was stretched to the limit.

The nuts come out soft and don't carry much flavor (not that pine nuts often do, in my experience), but the texture is appealing. The filling includes brown sugar, corn syrup, eggs, and flour so it comes off more solid than your standard pecan pie. "Nougat-y" was the wife's comment on the filling.

The recipe for Pine Nut Pie comes from Ken Haedrich's book Pie and I strongly suggest you go and look it up. Depending on your current household economy, you may want to hold off the baking, though, unless you find pine nuts for a decent price. A cup of pine nuts set me back about $11, but admittedly I didn't go hunting for a better price very diligently. I will, however, remember the recipe for the filling and I am looking forward to trying it with other nuts (walnuts, sunflower seeds?, pepitas?) in the future. Maybe even pecans.

07 May 2011

Tar Heel Pie

I'm told that, this weekend, there's some type of equine event down in the Bluegrass State. And that said event has inspired a range of tasty concoctions and confections. While I'm all for mint juleps, this is a pie blog, after all.

When I started this journey, one of the things I wanted to do was to try out some of the pies I had heard of before, but which I had never seen or tasted - Chess Pie, Derby Pie, etc. Going through recipe books, though, I didn't come across any directions for Derby Pie. This week's Tar Heel Pie is apparently the North Carolina cousin of Derby Pie, however, so I'll count that as close enough.

The web abounds with recipes for this pie, which are all pretty much the same. I cribbed my recipe from Mrs. Rowe's Little Book of Southern Pies, but just search for "Tar Heel Pie" and you'll find the right thing. Make sure to include the pecans!

The pie is effectively a chewy brownie in a pie shell. Don't overcook it or you'll lose the delicious not-quite-cooked gooeyness that is the hallmark of an excellent brownie. This is a very rich pie - skinny slices are the order of the day. The pecans can screw up your neat slices if you're trying too hard, but just go with it - the taste doesn't change. I would recommend serving a small slice of pie, warm, with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream and a cup of coffee.

On a side note, I will try my best to get back on the blogging horse. The month of April threw me a bit - allergies moved in for about three and a half weeks and took over my life. I knew I was getting better when I started getting the piemaking itch back!