Episode 63: Of Pies and Pearls

It’s the second week of Preheated Pie School, but before Andrea and Stefin call the roll, they’re talking sweet treats for Mardi Gras (February 13) and Valentine’s Day (February 14). Stefin recommends a molton-core Nutella chocolate chip cookie for the chocolate lovers in your life, though urges you to stock up on Nutella in an orderly fashion. (Unlike some recent French shoppers.)

Andrea’s continuing her Year of the Shortbread by making not one but two variations on the duo’s beloved London Fog Shortbread from Episode 61 — a lemon version with traditional purple, green and gold sprinkles for Mardi Gras, and a chocolate heart version for her valentines. She’s also making adorable mini banana breads following the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Banana Bread recipe — their 2018 recipe of the year.

Next up, it’s the challenging but ultimately worthwhile Butterscotch Pie with Curry Crust. A complicated recipe led to some frustrations (and some bad words) in both kitchens. Fortunately, however, both were able to overcome their setbacks and turn out a unique and utterly delicious pie. (Andrea’s husband says it’s the best dessert she’s ever made, and Stefin’s husband has already requested it for his birthday!) If you like a little spice with your sweetness, pack your patience, read the recipe a few times, and get ready to be amazed.

Speaking of amazing, have you seen Seattle “pie artist” Lauren Ko’s incredible pies? She is a sculptor who works in pastry! While Stefin and Andrea appreciate the beauty of these pies, they offer their own somewhat simpler techniques for creating beautiful crusts. Stefin relies on the classic “thumb and finger” crimp, and sometimes braids a separate piece of pastry to adorn the lip of the pie plate. Andrea likes to crosshatch her crust using the tines of a fork, and will no longer be pulling out the family pearls when making pie after Stefin sheds light on a never-fully understood technique. (LOL.) Andrea’s also a big fan of lattice, and its cousin, the “fat lattice” — especially pretty with fruit pies.

Listeners: What are your favorite crimping techniques?

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