This is a beautiful dessert all around. Eating it, you’ll notice the tart’s elegant flavors and presentation. But as the cook, you’ll appreciate that it comes together quickly in one pan, which later doubles as the baking dish. Serve a slice hot with a spoonful of vanilla ice cream melting into the sweet collapsed grapes and pooling with the caramelized grape juice, olive oil, and hint of black pepper.
It might be heresy to admit at this time of year, but pumpkin pie isn’t really my thing. I make one every year, but it’s only out of a sense of duty. I’ve used canned pumpkin and I’ve roasted and pureed my own. I’ve spiced it up with ginger and with maple whipped cream and I’ve gone rogue and served pumpkin cheesecake instead. Pumpkin pie’s…okay.
Apologies for the sugar rush this week, but ’tis the season.
There’s a sweet little pie shop in my neighborhood that boasts a bakery case full of the cutest little pies you’ll ever see. Pies in jars, lollipop pies, handheld pies. Little deep-dish pies piled impossibly high with whipped cream or meringue. Itty-bitty mini muffin bite-sized pies. And, of course, the classic larger size.
I love them all, but my special favorite is the Cutie Pie, made in a standard-size muffin tin. It’s substantial enough, but you can get away with eating one all by yourself. In fact, I recommend that you do so. Make them for your holiday table, sure, but be sure to set aside a few moments and at least one tiny pie to enjoy alone as well.
I always make at least one apple pie a year, on Thanksgiving, with the last of the apples from our trees that are tucked away in the fridge. I always use this recipe.Today, Election Day here in the U.S., seemed to call for an extra apple pie. There’s the Americana kitch of apple pie, of course, and there’s the fact that a pie is always welcome at a potluck. But making a pie is also meditative, soothing, distracting. By the time I arrived at our usual Election Day party with three little girls and a warm pie in my hands, I was calm and confident and I had stopped obsessively refreshing polling data on my phone. This was our fourth Presidential election in a row with the same savvy, snarky, deeply caring group of friends, and I rather think that we all deserved an apple pie tonight. So do you. Continue reading »