CakeSpy Note: This is part of a series of Pie Slam Profiles, featuring the recipes and stories of each of the 9 entrants in last week's Pi(e) Day Pie Slam! This entry came from Aharona Ament, a recent Chicago transplant to Seattle, who has the sweetest smile in the world, is a very good story-teller, and makes a mean pie (making her a big winner, in this spy's book).
Here's her story:
Fig by Aharona Ament
Arthur Wendell “Fig” Newton,was born on March 14th at almost two in the morning, 1:59 to be percise. His parents, both math teachers, were very happy to have thier son born on such a special day, Pi day! They dreamed that their son would grow up in their footsteps to torment confused adolecents with numonics about dear Aunt Sally and cosines laws that could get you arrested in some states.
No one in Fig’s class knew that he was a desendent of Issac Newton and that an apple falling on top of a math equastion was part of his family’s coat of arms. Maybe if they knew that, they wouldn’t have given him the nickname of “Fig”, mocking both his heritage, and the fruit and cake concoction.
Fig, liked that he was born on Pi day, but favored the word of a different varerity. P-I-E! Fig spent most of his time in the kitchen. While his parents toiled away at number sequenices imported all the way from Italy, Fig was working at making the perfect pastry crusts with imported Danish butter.
Fig’s baking talents grew and grew. His ability to figure out fractions improved one whole half because of his love for making treats. He could double, triple and even quadruple recipes without the aid of a calulator or counting on his fingers. He knew that 2/3 cup = 1/2 cup plus 2-2/3 tablespoons and that 5/8 cup = 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons and he even knew that 7/8 cup=3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons. There wasn’t a numurator or demoninator that Fig couldn’t place perfectly in line and all of his cakes, pies, lemon bars, quiches, cupcakes, brownies, breads, muffins, croissants, tarts, paczkis and danishes came perfectly out of the oven, tasty, sweet and bursting with symmetrical sweetness.
When Fig decided that he wanted to be a famous pastry chef instead of a famous mathamatician, his parents, fat from miscalculations over caloric intake were upset. (yes, that extra piece of triple chocolate fudge goo cake cut in a perfect 45 degree angle of 250 calories will result in one pound or 3, 500 calories gained per week. Especially if it was so good that you ate two.)
“How can you not do real math problems all day?” his mother asked him? “You know, with a pencil and piece of paper and lots of head scratching”? Fig’s father was a bit more upset. “ Baking pies for a living is as irrational as pi itself, because its value cannot be expressed exactly as a fraction! Fig’s father growled confusing pastry with the mathematical constant and making no logical sense whatsoever.
No, said Fig. I like to bake pies and treats, you like to do math. There is nothing wrong with either.
But they suddenly realized that Fig’s baking talents were also his gift with numbers. How else could they explain the ongoing assembly line of mathmatically perfect confections coming out of the kitchen and in to their mouths? They were so excited that they joined him in the kitchen to learn math problems with flour, sugar and butter, but couldn’t figure out how to work the flour sifter. Fig sent them off to see if they could figure out the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter with a whole number. He knew that that would make them hungry, so he started to prepare a perfect treat.
Here's the recipe:
For the Crust
- 12 tablespoons cold salted butter
- 1 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
- a few tablespoons ice water (about 1/2 cup)
- Egg (for brushing)
For the filling
- 3-4 apples
- 1 cup of walnuts
- 2 cups figs
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- Make the crust: Mix dry ingredients together. Cut up butter into cubes and add along with vegetable shortening and mix in mixer.
- Add water slowly and pulse mixer until dough forms a ball. Wrap in wax paper and chill.
- Meanwhile, prepare filling. Cup up apples and mix in walnuts, figs and sugar in a bowl.
- Roll out dough and fill pie pan. There will be enough to make a top layer Add mixture. Brush pastry with beaten egg.
- Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees F. Yay!