Saturday, November 17, 2012

Pie Day!

For the last six or seven or so years I have thrown a big Pie Day Party.  And just so we are all on the same page, we are talking about real, best desert ever, pie and not math 3.14 pie.  Pie Day is usually the Sunday before Thanksgiving, which um, is tomorrow. A whole evening of stuffing your mouth full of pie, so you don't even have to pretend to save room on Thanksgiving Day.

But this year, between work, traveling, and general exhaustion, it was just too much to plan. Add to that the fact that many of my regular pie party goers are faraway*,  and well, to be honest, I have been burned a couple times this year with a lot of random people showing up to my shindigs, eating all my food, and then leaving without so much as a thank you or an offer to help with the dishes.  As much as I love entertaining,  I am just too tired right now. Next year it will be resurrected for sure!

But as many of you are Pie Day veterans, I hope you carry on the tradition wherever you are. It's a great way to get to know people if you are new to the area (who can say no to pie?), and hello, an excuse to eat pie, lots and lots of pie.

Here are some of my own Pie Day tips and trade secrets:

1. I always make at least 3 pies: 1 fruit (usually apple, pear or berry), 1 cream (banana, coconut, chocolate silk) OR custard (lemon, key lime), and 1 involving large amounts of chocolate.  The last couple of years I have leaned towards making mini pies, they tend to cut down on the mess of cutting and dishing out slices. For planning purposes,  I usually plan for each person to have 2 slices of pie. 

2.  I invite others to bring pie, but only about 50% actually bring something. Some will bring non-pie desserts which always confuses me a little bit, but which I will always graciously accept and put on the display table. Except if it is brownies. Brownies are graciously accepted and then taken and placed on the kitchen counters in the back and never spoken of again. This is Pie Day, not munch and mingle.

3. I always have a way to identify each pie, this will save you from having to stand by the table all night, answering "What kind of pie is that?" a million times.  Most years it is by little place cards I put by each pie on the display/serving table with the name of the pie printed on the card.  I have a pile of blank cards and when new pies come they all get a place card. Last year I had a chalkboard by the table with the list of pies (we had over a dozen!), it was super easy to add pies to the list. 

4. Water! Water! Water! I have always have two pitchers of water (not juice, not soda) and a couple stacks of cups on the table. Sweet things always need plenty of water to help wash them down and cleanse the palate for the next piece of pie. I circle around throughout the night making sure these pitchers are always full.

5. The extras: for the love of everything good in the world, never put a container of Cool Whip on the dessert table. Making your own whipped cream is super easy and tastes 1000 times better.  Pick up a container of heavy whipping cream, grab your electric mixer and start whipping, just don't whip too much and make butter. Sometimes I add a little sugar (though it shouldn't be too sweet) or a couple drops of almond extract. Heaven. Also, vanilla ice cream really should be the only ice cream for a la mode. Complicated ice creams will distract and mask the wonderful flavors of the pie.

Even though I am not hosting Pie Day this year, I am still collecting pie recipes, always collecting pie recipes. Here are some of my favorite from the interwebs:

Caramel Apple Pie from The Best Remedy
Chocolate Hazelnut Pie from Bake or Break
Chocolate Peanut Butter Chess Pie from Love & Olive Oil
And not quite pie, but close enough:
Chocolate-Caramel Tartlets from David Lebovitz

And from the food magazines:
Cranberry-Apple Pie with Pecan Shortbread Crust from Southern Living
Pioneer Vinegar Pie from Martha Stewart Living

I would love to hear it you throw a Pie Day Party this year, what kinds pie you are making for Thanksgiving and well, anytime you are eating pie.

*For those friends still in the area I am hoping to have jam/pie festivities around my birthday in December. 

1 comment :

  1. I look forward to joining your jam/pie festivities later this year. My Pie Day was wonderful, but not the same without all of the originators :(