There’s something about chocolate pie that seems sort of wrong, right? Not because it photographs blurry—that’s just science!—or because its appealing exterior could be hiding an unwelcome surprise, but because it’s too… showy, somehow.
Pie is barely sweetened peak-season fruit and soft, warming spices; pie is rich custard that refuses to hold its shape when sliced and placed onto a plate; pie is labor-intensive but somehow unfussy. Pie is humble. Pie is not a moist, dense, almost criminally rich flourless chocolate cake baked in a pie dish, a dessert that earns its name only because it happens to be encased in a buttery, fully unnecessary crust.
Yet here we are. Continue reading
There’s a passage from Charlotte’s Web that plays in my brain each year, as the wind begins to shift and the pumpkin spiced novelty foods first rear their nutmeg-scented heads:
The crickets sang in the grasses. They sang the song of summer’s ending, a sad, monotonous song. “Summer is over and gone,” they sang. “Over and gone, over and gone. Summer is dying, dying.” Continue reading
The last time I attempted a cheesecake recipe, I served it on a torn-up paper bag, the height of rustic-eco-friendly-chic sophistication. (That, or we were at a picnic and forgot to bring plates.) My second cheesecake-like concoction was served in much more cheesecake-friendly environs—indoors, on a table, bathed in soft mood lighting and the wafting strains of an excellent playlist. Yet I still managed not to take a single decent picture, because even in my third (!) year of food blogging, I have yet to figure out how to make brown, crumbly things look tasty in photographs.
All of which is to say this: both the title and look of this dessert are unappetizing. “Chocolate cheese pie” sounds like a mistake, or a gross idiom I’d rather not try to define; when sliced, the pie looks not like this, but like a particularly heinous Pinterest fail. Continue reading
Pro tip: don’t declare that your blogging delinquent streak is over right before you move. Sure, we only had to lug all of our possessions about two miles, from one segment of stroller Brooklyn to another—but the ensuing weeks have been so filled with unpacking, organizing, and arguments regarding things I never in my life thought I’d even have an opinion about (paint colors! Lighting fixtures! Are you miming shooting yourself in the head with your index finger yet?) that I’ve hardly had any time to cook, let alone write about that cooking on the internet.
Before we left the old place, though, I did mark the occasion—and a certain long-suffering spouse’s birthday—by baking something special. Did all of our wine glasses make it to the new apartment unscathed? No. Did this pie? Yes.
TGIPS. (Thank God It’s Pie Season, obviously.)
I mean, sure, it’s not the season for this kind of pie. This one isn’t crafted from seasonal, indigenously American ingredients, humble orange things that grow on the ground or just below its surface. No, it’s really more of a cold-weather pie—a blind-baked crust topped with tropical fruit and a fridge-chilled filling, albeit one that doesn’t necessarily scream “swimsuit weather.” Hell, eat enough of this gut bomb, and you might just never wear a swimsuit again. (Unrelated: ask me about my post-honeymoon, post-election-depression bloat!) Continue reading
And now, for a break from our regularly scheduled programming (appropriate, since I’m later with this post than I’ve ever been before): This is not a recipe you’ll find in Nonnie’s cookbook. This is not even a recipe, really. This is more of a method, a technique, a way of life. A practice that will keep you from throwing away errant scraps of pie dough ever again, provided you’re, like, the kind of person who is always making pies and letting them cool on the windowsill. Continue reading
The Sunday before last—which I spent on weekend edit duty, which meant a full day immersed in this atrocity—I posted the above photo on Instagram with this caption: “The world is bad, so I made a pie.”
My old boss responded with a perfectly chosen Onion article, first published on September 26, 2001: “Not Knowing What Else To Do, Woman Bakes American-Flag Cake.” Continue reading