Sunday, June 20, 2010

wedding pies!

Over Memorial Day weekend, Darcy and I undertook the great pie making endeavor. A few months ago, our friends Jane and Craig asked us to make the dessert - pies! - for their impending nuptials. D and I said yes, and the wheels started turning. Oh, the ideas we had for pies! Mango, coconut, various other tropical flavors, to mesh with the Indian food that would be served at dinner. In the end, it came down to seasonal flavors and colors, the fresh bounty of late spring. After a tasting a few weeks ago, the bride and groom settled on four flavors:

strawberry rhubarb, with a hint of orange zest. I cannot tell you how amazing this smelled as the berries and rhubarb macerated in the orange zest-sugar combination; blackberry apricot, with a splash of cassis (a berry liquer) and walnut streusel topping.

Our friend Jill said the topping "smelled like Christmas" with a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove; vegan chocolate, oh so creamy, with a graham cracker crumb crust and a splash of whiskey. Oh, and it's a no-bake pie; and, finally, my personal favorite - a truly luscious lemon curd, from Alice Waters, topped with blueberries and citrus zest. These disappeared at the wedding!

We had loads of help from our friends - Mo, Jill, Chris. Andy was our clean-up help, dutifully washing dishes - which were plentiful! In the end, we successfully made about 130 mini pies, and one large Strawberry Rhubarb pie. All were beautifully displayed on a pie tower constructed by the groom.

Below are some of the recipes we used, plus loads of pictures of the whole process.

Congrats, Jane and Craig! Thank you for giving us the honor of baking for your wedding. Xoxoxo.

vegan chocolate whiskey pie

for the crust:
3 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 18 graham crackers)
1/2 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

place the graham cracker crumbs in a mixing bowl. drizzle with the oil and mix until moistened. add the soy milk and vanilla and mix with your fingers, the crumbs should hold together if pinched. press into pie tins. (note: your graham cracker/oil ratio may vary. vegan graham crackers can be hard to find so if you make your own you'll probably use less oil, add gradually).

for the filling:
12 oz. dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup whiskey (jamesons is delicious)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 lb. silken tofu, room temperature

melt the chocolate with the whiskey over medium heat, when melted and smooth stir in the syrup and vanilla. remove from heat. blend the tofu in a food processor or blender until smooth. add the chocolate mixture and combine.

you'll be able to get about a dozen little (4 inch-ish) pies out of this.

country pie pastry
used for the fruit and lemon curd pies
(makes enough for 30 4-inch pies)

4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water

In a food processor, add the flour, salt, sugar, butter and shortening. Pulse for 30 seconds until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add ice water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough just holds together.

Divide dough in thirds and shape into flat rounds. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour.


Susan O. said...

Growing up in the hills of West Virgina we grew up on rhurbarb pies. Grandpa Pflock grew a huge patch of it in his backyard garden. We baked many a rhurbarb pie! I made a simple filling using one egg beaten, lemon juice, milk, a little flour to thickening poured over the chopped vegtable.
I think I'll have to make one soon!

Anonymous said...

These pies were amazing! Really just out-of-this-world! So many of our guests were raving about them, and going back for seconds (or thirds). You guys are awesome. This meant so much to us.

-Jane (the bride!)