Thursday, July 1, 2010


I've been obsessed with pies lately.  It happened when my talented baxtress friend Abby mentioned she hated making pies.  I happen to love baking pies and offered my services as an overflow option if she ever needed it.  I usually try not to do this because there are few things more annoying than someone trying to weasel her way into your culinary project.  In fact, I'm a firm believer in staying out of another cook's home kitchen entirely.  That being said, Abby is my PLP and I know she would feel comfortable saying, "Monica, stay the eff out of my biz," if she had to.  So I offered, and then stayed the eff out her biz, but I made pies anyway.  For myself.  Of course.

So Abby got pies back on my brain, but with a twist.  I'm usually an apple pie baker with a full top crust, but she got me thinking about galettes - rustic topless pies.  Pretty sexy, eh?  Indeed.  My first go was a mixed berry version, which Andrew still requests.  It was great.  I'm a big proponent of lemon in pies, so any pie I make will get the juice of at least 1/2 lemon.  It's just for some extra zing.  For me, a berry pie/tart with no hint of tart zing is a failure.  I hate failing.

Then, a couple weeks ago I got up at an ungodly early hour on a Sunday morning while spending the weekend at my friend Sabina's place in Gig Harbor.  I raided her kitchen for pie ingredients and threw together this:

Okay so it's not rustic, but it was delicious and simple to throw together - literally.  I put six eggs, some provolone, ham, zucchini, dill, and a shallot int a bowl, stirred it up, and threw it in a pie crust (which I half-baked ahead of time). We ate it like this:

While we ate, I had this in the oven:

This one is indeed a rustic pie, which just means I pay more attention to the way the fruit looks and forget the top crust altogether.  It was scrumptious.  We ate it like this:

The secret's in the crust.  I am fortunate enough to come from a long line of pie-baking women who have a tried and true crust.  I'm sure it dates back before Grandma Miller, but that's as far as I have ever bothered to ask.  That was four generations ago and out to the plains of Kansas, a generation before the Great Depression.  It's damn good crust and even if she didn't create the recipe, she gets a nod for keeping the pie tradition going, as does Gma Benton and Gma Shank, and especially my mama.

So I've been making these galettes since Memorial Day weekend and I just can't get enough.  It's a lazy way to make pie without compromising on any of the deliciousness or presentation.  Last night I made a recipe I saw on Smitten Kitchen for a zucchini ricotta galette with some of my own mods.  I plugged the recipe in HERE so I could calculate the nutrition info per serving too, because I like to do that.  We all loved last night's galette so much, I made it again this morning for lunch/dinner tonight, plus a peach one with lemon-scented ricotta.  My car was extremely fragrant.  Here they are in my back seat:

Happy July to you all!

1 comment:

Ani said...

omg i miss your baking!! your mom showed me how to make the family pie crust once. hot dang its amazing :)