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Entries in tour of pie (3)

Monday
Jan022012

Teeny's Tour of Pie: Petsi Pies, Somerville MA

CakeSpy Note: This is the second in Teeny Lamothe's Tour de Pie series on CakeSpy! Teeny is touring the country, learning how to make pies at some of the nation's sweetest bakeries. She'll be reporting here on each stop! This stop: Petsi Pies of Somerville, MA!

Where: Somerville, MA at Petsi Pies

When: November 1st through December 16th

Why: I knew that I needed to have at least one month in Boston or the surrounding area because that's where my boyfriend just happens to be going to grad school. I figured if I could combine my love for pie and my boyfriend's love for eating pie, I would be good to go. I was very persistent, perhaps to the point of badgering, but Rene McLeod, owner of Petsi, seemed more than happy to have me. They're also the place to get pie in Cambridge and Somerville. What began as an extra set of holiday hands turned into a full blown love of this Somerville shop and all the people that work there... I'll be back if I can. 

How: The few weeks before Thanksgiving were filled with figuring out the day to day routine of the bakery. Their full time baker for the scone shift (which is the evening shift that makes, bakes and boxes all of the wholesale) was out of commission for my first week, so I was able to step in and lend a hand with all of the scones and muffins that get sent out to the surrounding cafes and coffee shops. The second week I learned all there was to learn about crust before the Thanksgiving chaos ensued... and after that it was madness! We had over 2,000 pies to make in less than a week, and everything went swimmingly. I think if you can survive something like Thanksgiving pie making in a pie shop you reach automatic 'fast friends forever' status. The final few weeks were filled with a much more lackadaisical baking schedule. I think my time at Petsi Pies was absolutely wonderful. I was rather hesitant in the kitchen when I first started, but I was made to feel like a baker from the first day I walked into the shop. Over the month and a half I was there I became steadily more confident. I was put on the schedule, I was given a list of things to accomplish each day that I worked, and for the first time I felt as though I made friends. Plus, I survived my first Thanksgiving as a pie baker; the pie holiday, when millions of people who aren't necessarily pie eaters indulge for the day. 

Observations: I felt very settled at Petsi Pies and very much like an official baker. I loved coming into work, and having a list of things to accomplish before I left for the day. I also learned every aspect of being a baker. I learned the basics of making a Petsi Pie, of course, but I also learned a slew of their other pastries as well. I was in charge of apple cake and brownies, almond bars and brioche. Baking at Petsi made me realize that I was a baker of many things, and that there is an ease and a sense of fun that comes with spending time in the kitchen. 

Thanksgiving Dinner Pie

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups shredded turkey
  • 2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 cups prepared stuffing 

Procedure

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt butter in a large saucepan and cook chopped onion until tender. Stir in celery and carrots and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Add the sweet potatoes and simmer until tender. Stir in turkey, poultry seasoning and peas. Salt and pepper to taste. Add cranberries and take off heat. Pour into a crust lined pie dish. Cover the filling with the stuffing, like you would with a crumble. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees until crust and stuffing are golden brown. 

Tuesday
Dec062011

Teeny's Tour of Pie: Emmy's Organics, Ithaca NY

CakeSpy Note: This is the second in Teeny Lamothe's Tour de Pie series on CakeSpy! Teeny is touring the country, learning how to make pies at some of the nation's sweetest bakeries. She'll be reporting here on each stop! This stop: Emmy's Organics, Ithaca, NY

Where: Ithaca, NY to work at Emmy's Organics 

When: Ithaca was the second stop on the tour and was from the beginning of October to the end.

Why: I actually went to college and was friends with one of the co-founders of Emmy's, Samantha Abrams. Being at Emmy's had less to do with baking (seeing as they are a raw company) and so much more to do with learning everything small business. I was really interested in spending some significant time with both Samantha and Ian in order to really get a feel for what it was like to build a business from the ground up. 

How: October was lovely. I think I really learned a lot about myself and what it's going to take in order to begin a successful business. I definitely had moments of doubt and insecurity, but luckily both Sam and Ian were there to offer endless support. This month everything settled into something much more real and therefore achievable, as long as I'm willing to put the work in. 

Observations: It was wonderful to experience firsthand the growth spurts of a young company. Both Sam and Ian are incredibly knowledgeable about the value of food, and what a huge part it plays in people’s health and well being… not to mention an affinity for all things small business. I loved going to their kitchen because they both understand that for me learning means doing. Being able to mix the recipes, spread the granola and hand press the cheesecake crusts, all the while being told why certain grains and seeds benefit from sprouting, and what substitutes for what, means that I’ve been able to accumulate a vast amount of knowledge in a short amount of time. I also did a lot of baking and selling on the side. Being in Ithaca, using local ingredients and selling pies to strangers helped to instill a huge sense of pride in myself and my product. It’s was a blast price shopping different flours and trying different variations on my favorite fall recipes. I got to sell my pies at Felicia’s Atomic Lounge during their happy hour, and it was a huge success… I mean, who doesn’t want a tiny pie while sipping on a fall cocktail?? Ithaca was a huge lesson in everything small business, as well as a real sense of coming into my own as a potential business lady. It was everything I could have hoped for and more.

Tour of Pie Recipe: Sweet Potato Pie (because it was in Ithaca that I bought my first box of bulk sweet potatoes)

Ingredients

  • 1 large or 2 small sweet potatos
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tbs allspice

Procedure

cut potatoes in half, lightly oil the cut surface and place cut side down onto a baking sheet. bake @ 325 until tender. coooooool. remove peel and puree. In a large bowl mix 2 cups worth of the puree with the ginger, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Add the eggs and beat them in. Add in the honey and the heavy whipping cream all while mixing. Pour filling into crust and bake at 400 for 50-55 minutes or until a knife inserted 1in from the edge comes out clean. cool on a rack before enjoying!

Wednesday
Nov302011

Teeny's Tour of Pie: High 5 Pie, Seattle

CakeSpy Note: This is the first in Teeny Lamothe's Tour de Pie series on CakeSpy! Teeny is touring the country, learning how to make pies at some of the nation's sweetest bakeries. She'll be reporting here on each stop! First stop: Seattle!

Where: Seattle, Washington

When: The first stop was September... beginning to end.

Why: I found a friend in pie and a fellow lady baker: Dani Cone. She is a truly savvy business lady as well as an inspired pie baker. Dani was the first person to say yes to the tour of pie! 

How: The first stop on the tour was phenomenal. I couldn't have asked for a better way to begin. Not only were Dani and lead baker Anna happy to host, they seemed enthralled with the idea of a pie tour. They provided some really solid advice as well as major baking time. I was able to go in four or five times a week and learn the process of making a High Five pie. 

Observations: I was able to do all sorts of things during the month I was at High Five. I learned how to make fillings by the pound rather than by each individual pie. I helped bake the wholesale pies, packaged them and got them ready for delivery. There was always crust to be rolled out. Anna was very conscious of not wasting excess dough, and I've actually incorporated a lot of her crust ideals into my own pie making. While I was there I fell in love with their marionberry pie and their savory reuben pie. I made my very first cream pie ... banana cream, thank you very much! and was able to share my own recipe for french silk pie, which I think they might still make on occasion. (and if they do, I am endlessly proud) Every day at the kitchen felt like a collaboration. If we weren't making the actual fillings we were talking about them, bouncing ideas off of each other and essentially letting the excitement of baking pie permeate our lives. The whole month felt very surreal, I had a hard time grasping what my life had become. Every day I got to play with butter and flour and that at the end of each day our labors resulted in delicious pies. It was truly an inspiring first stop. 

Tour of Pie Recipe: I did a lot of biking while I was in Seattle, and after getting very lost one day I stumbled on a huge cache of wild blackberry bushes. I later found out that they grow like weeds along the bike trails... but that day I thought I had discovered an amazing hidden treasure. I was tired and frustrated and entirely lost lost lost, but I dove into those bushes without a second thought and picked blackberries until my arms were sufficiently scratched, my fingertips were sufficiently stained and my appetite was sufficiently sated. So, clearly, the Seattle 'tour of pie' recipe is for...

Washington Blackberry Pie

Whole Wheat Crust Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1/2 c shortening 
  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter (12 tbs)
  • 1/4 c vodka
  • 1/4 c water

Procedure

  1. mix all the dry ingredients. cut in the butter and shortening until the pieces are about the size of peas and coated in flour. add the vodka, smush together with a spatula. add the water, smush together with a spatula. it's gonna be a little sticky/wet. divide into two balls, put in baggies, refrigerate for at least half an hour.... ya know, while you mix the filling. 

Blackberry Filling Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen (but definitely handpicked if possible!) blackberries
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 4 tbs cornstarch

Procedure

  1. mix everything together and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. assemble the pie! Roll out the first of the chilled crust balls. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter pie dish, trim any excess dough but be sure to leave a 3/4 inch overhang, spoon filling into the crust. I would use a lattice for the top crust, because it's just the prettiest with the dark blackberries. Arrange 7 or so dough strips on top of the filling, spacing evenly. Form lattice by placing remaining dough strips in opposite direction on top of the filling. Trim ends of dough strips even with overhang of bottom crust. Fold strip ends and overhang under, pressing to seal. Crimp edges decoratively.
  3. bake for 45 - 55 minutes or until the crust is a golden brown and your blackberries are bubbling. 
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