National Pie Day, January, 23, 2010

Posted by Chrisi

National Pie Day was a reminder that my blog has suffered from serious Naughty Pie neglect. Those who know me understand why. Fall 2009 was a busy time. The end result of that “busyness” is that Naughty Pies & Company will relocate to Virginia in May 2010. But while I have not been blogging, I have been baking—almost a pie a week. In fact, on November 15th I led a pie workshop for Slow Food Orange County. Sixteen participants made apple caramel, pumpkin and apple cranberry pies for the holidays. The workshop was a huge success (tickets sold out in days) and everyone left with a piece of Naughty Pie (see photo, above).

Thanksgiving clinched that the best pie crust is made with goat butter. A 50:50 mixture of goat butter and Spectrum shortening produces a golden, flaky crust with a ton of flavor. In fact, I am so in love with goat butter pie crusts that I have informed my hubby that, in Virginia, we will own a goat. You can imagine his response…. In the interim (as I perfect my persuasion skills), we have adopted two goats through Best Friends Animal Society, our favorite charity. Their names are Joseph and Maggie.  

For Christmas, we made the same pies that we devoured over Thanksgiving… maple pumpkin pie (my all-time favorite) and apple-cranberry pie (my husband’s all-time favorite). It was during these holiday pursuits that I made an interesting (if not disturbing) discovery… real, fresh pumpkin is NOT orange. For years, I used Libby’s canned pumpkin in my pumpkin pies. Now, as I strive toward the Slow Food mantra, I shun canned concoctions (unless I canned them myself). Between October and November I roasted no fewer than 15 spice pie pumpkins and not one of them produced a Crayola orange pulp. All of my pureed pumpkin was a pale yellowy-orange. Hmmm… how does Libby do it?

As I sit here and write this update, our kitchen smells of lemon and homemade pie. A Lemon Shaker pie (with a goat butter crust) just emerged from the oven. Citrus is in season and I felt the need for a little sunshine in my life. This pie is unusual in that it uses sliced whole lemons and has a double crust. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Naughty Pies is back!


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