My mother, Val is the best pie maker I know. Hands down, no argument. The best part of all? The crust. That crispy, flaky crust. She makes pies year round: strawberry rhubarb, peach, blueberry with whipped cream on top. It all culminates in an extravagant showcase on Thanksgiving of multiple pies. We can’t wait for it. We drool over the sight of them upon arrival on that 4th Thursday. The turkey is always moist and delicious but those pies are to die for.
Throughout the years, my sister suffered through the Thanksgiving meal. Never realizing until recently that she cannot tolerate so many of the ingredients on the table. Most of all: gluten.
Well there goes the pie eating. That glorious moment when you feel you may burst and you need to lie on the couch and secretly unbutton your pants.
Although a Chess Pie is not much to look at, it is a truly decadent recipe using only humble ingredients from the pantry. A diamond in the rough, so to speak. It makes me feel like a queen when I indulge in a slice of this gooey, fudge bomb of a pie. It doesn’t matter that I am trapped in the house with my teenagers who make me want to pull every hair out of my head. This pie is like Calgon, it takes me away from all of their bickering, demanding of snacks, t.v. time, sulking and pouting. I take a bite and savor a brief moment of solitude, locked in my office before they come knocking on the door, yelling , “Mo-om! Where are you???”
The first time I made this pie, I followed the original instructions which included the pith and the skin of the oranges and the lemon. And it was oh, so bitter. But in spite of the fact that I do not like bitter orange flavors like marmalade and such, I persisted and ate all of the pie, a small slice per day, until it was gone. Not because I am stubborn, prideful and refuse to let my hard work go to waste (all these points are true), but because of the real reason: the crust was exquisite and shame on anyone who wastes a crisp, flaky homemade pie crust. Shame on them. Continue reading →
What to do with all of the local tomatoes that I have been waiting so long for? I wish they ripened a little at a time so that I didn’t feel rushed to enjoy them all! But here we are in mid August when the tomatoes seem to be ripening faster than anyone can possibly eat them all. This recipe for tomato pie helps. The whole wheat crust lends a bit of cracker type texture which keeps the crust from getting soggy from too much tomato moisture. And who doesn’t love some sharp cheddar cheese with tomatoes? I cannot resist. Make this pie as a side to go with dinner, for lunch to go with a green salad or for breakfast as it is the perfect accompaniment to softly scrambled eggs. I also like it cold right out of the refrigerator the next day, if there is any leftover, like a slice of super fancy cold pizza.