Birthday Pie and a Pie Party!September 26, 2011 at 7:00 am | Posted in Daring Bakers, Dessert | 5 Comments
Who knew I would be spending my 29th birthday making two pies and then going to a pie contest! What would surprise me even further was that I would win that pie contest! And I didn’t even guilt trip the other contestants/judges into voting for me because I was the birthday girl (I neglected to share that fact to make the contest more fair…). But it makes sense, cause when Bec and I get together for a extended amount of time, we end up spending a good amount of it in the kitchen making glorious concoctions (see these old posts here..) We scientists know how to whip up things very expertly. (or maybe we’re just good at cooking??)
Look at this cute friend of mine in her pink and green apron. 😀 So I went searching that weekend for the perfect awesome pie recipe. And I found this peach and blueberry one on Joy the Baker’s site. I ❤ Joy the Baker!!! I mean, even in this post, she tries to prove that making pie is like making pure love in your hands! She convinced me to make that pie and damned if it wasn’t the best pie I ever made! Thank you JOY! And thank you Becca for making it with me every step of the way. On to some fun pictures my friends!!
I should not be surprised by the Joy the baker recipe success though. Many many of her recipes have gotten me “accolades” before so it was even more awesome that I won something for this one. What made me go for this one was the simplicity of the pie crust ingredients, the filling ingredients (love blueberries and peaches) and the cinnamon sugar topping (reminded me of cinnamon pop tarts that I used to eat growing up!).
First up was the crust, (again for the recipe go here)- flour, cold butter, cold water, apple cider vinegar, some salt and a small bit of sugar. Get those dry ingredients well mixed and cut up the butter into teeny cubes and then its just hand magic from there! Turning those cubes into “shaggy” flakes and using a good amount of water so that the dough comes together nicely. Our attempt at the dough had me remarking that it could have used more water once we were getting it ready for refrigeration… it turns out that hunch was correct, so next time use a tbsp more water (or more) to get that dough to come together! But we fixed our dry refrigerated dough with some more water and let it sit out to almost room temp so we could work that water back in. Amazingly all of this water/dryness drama did not affect our dough! Cause when push came to shove, it rolled out beautifully.
Good job rolling Bec! Next up was filling, pretty easy. Just cut up peaches, rinse off the blueberries, add some sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, flour, cornstarch and lemon juice! Boom filling.
And then the pie dough was added to the top. I felt so grandmotherly adding the pinched edges and slits. For some reason I view pies with the dough added to the top to be classic pies.
So off this one went into the oven and the other pie we made was a sweet potato pecan pie, recipe courtesy of the Dinosaur Barbeque cookbook.
Here is our fearless leader and gracious hostess Ana, who lead the contest and organized the whole night! (Of course with help from Becca’s buddy Jamie, Ana’s partner).
Here were all the pies with their “number.” This one was straight peach…
This one was margarita with a crumbled pretzel crust (my favorite of the night!)
Here was a beautiful cherry and rhubarb pie. Loved the cut outs.
And here was a beautiful lemon meringue pie. The lemon portion of this pie was just to die for.
And here was my peach and blueberry one.
And Becca’s sweet potato pecan pie! Deeeelicious pie, but we forgot to add some butter to the topping… and we probably should have boiled the sweet potatoes instead of baking them.
And here is the whole group (sans me – the photographer) with our pies and water and voting ballots all ready! I would say it took a full hour to complete the rounds of tasting and then Jamie went back to her trusty spreadsheet and calculated the the totals! It was really a beautiful night to do this. Basically all nights in San Diego are beautiful… It was so nice to be able to sit outside with candlelight and eat 7 different kinds of pie! These ladies were great, we laughed alot. It was the perfect way to end my birthday.
And here were the winners. The point difference between all the pies was so minute, I was super surprised that mine won. It did have a great crust and good filling, but ya know… Lemon Meringue and Margarita came up behind me and it was so fun having those little pie ribbons to receive!
Ana also had picked up a miniature pie pan much like this one and I got to take that home!! Suhhhweet. So yeah, this was pretty much the most fun thing I ever baked for. We totally need to do one of these sorts of things in Baltimore! (as I am writing this on Friday afternoon, I will have attended the Charm City Cupcake Camp (as a standby viewer, not contestant or judge…, so we’ll see how that goes!)
I am so glad Becca has nice friends out here in San Diego now!! I was telling them about my cookbook club and I think, maybe, just maybe they are going to start one up!! So cheers to that!!