8 Slices in 1 Pie.

Have you ever considered all of the numbers that navigate our lives? We have phone numbers, social security numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, addresses, pin numbers, ages, heights, weights, calories, Scrabble scores, miles, zip codes, GPAs, test scores, membership numbers, latitudes, longitudes, bar codes, SKU numbers, lottery numbers, lucky numbers, numbers of friends or followers on Facebook and Twitter, income, tax brackets, TV and radio stations, hours, minutes, seconds, prices, sex partners, the list goes on and on.  There are also countless numbers involved in cooking, like tablespoons, ounces, cups, temperatures, cooking times, portions and the like. Thinking about this compelled me to try to put all of my numbers together and see what they look like. It's a pretty amazing thing to see in front of you. It also really takes you through some interesting channels of your past. I was brought back to old addresses and phone numbers I hadn't thought about in a long time. Hell, I was shocked that I could even recall them in the first place.

Last Sunday, Mom, Maggie and I attended the A Slice of Pie event at LACMA. As you may recall, I was not able to be a part of the competition because I missed the submission deadline by 36 hours. So I figured I’d go to support Maggie’s apron business and rock my own apron for the walk-off. It was fun. It was really hot. It was also really crowded. I heard over 400 folks were in attendance. Maggie’s aprons were a huge hit. My ever-spirited mom went ahead and brought the buttermilk pie we had intended to submit to the contest (by the way, I looked through the hundreds of pies submitted, and not one buttermilk pie). I’ll be damned if Mom didn’t actually have her own Salon de Refusés after all! She stood in the shade and handed out small slices to the hungry folks standing in line to try the submitted pies. The very last slice, however, she gave to Evan Kleiman, host of KCRW's (89.9 FM)  Good Food and the grand dame of the event.  Plus, I heard Evan loves buttermilk pie. Thanks Mom!

After the event I went home to my kitchen and thought about all of those hundreds of people and all of those hundreds of pies. I decided to bake one more pie.

I was recently invited to attend a chocolate tasting in Beverly Hills for Green and Black’s products. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth but their peanut and sea salt bar really won me over. They sent me home with a sweet gift bag and all the chocolate I could wrap my chocolate-y hands around. 

I knew what to do. 

My Green & Black's gift bag.

It was just me, one person, making just one pie. And while I baked, I noted all of the numbers involved in the process, from preheating the oven to measuring out the ingredients in cups, ounces, teaspoons, the cooking time, and even getting the 9" pie crust measured out correctly.

One person. One slice of pie. So many numbers. 

Chocolate Sea-Salt Pie

Serves 8 

Pastry for 9" single pie crust (recipe below)
1/2 cup butter
3.5 ounces Green & Black's milk chocolate with peanuts and sea salt
3 ounces Green & Black's 70% dark chocolate
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 eggs beaten well
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line pie pan with crust.

Melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Remove from heat and add chocolate.  Stir quickly to melt chocolate in warm butter and to combine well.

In a medium bowl, combine flour and sugars; stir with a fork or whisk to mix well.  Add eggs, vanilla and chocolate mixture.  Stir to mix everything together evenly and then pour filling into pie crust.

Place pie on the bottom oven rack and bake 30 to 40 minutes.

Let cool to room temperature.

My mom's awesome pie crust

Makes 2 pie crusts
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) sweet butter, chilled
6 tablespoons lard, chilled
5-6 tablespoons ice water, as needed

Sift flour, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl. Add chilled butter and lard. Working quickly and using your fingertips, rub or cut fat into dry ingredients until the mixture resembles course meal.
Sprinkle on ice water, 2-3 tablespoons at a time, and toss with a fork. Turn dough out onto your work surface and, using the heel of your hand, smear dough away from you, about 1/4 cup at a time. Scrape it up into a ball and wrap in wax paper. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours.
Roll dough out to 1/4-inch thickness on a floured work surface. Line a 9-inch pie plate with half of the dough. Crimp edges for a single-crust pie.

1 comment:

  1. I've only just sampled your Mom's awesome pie crust for myself, and I thank you for the recipe. I've just forwarded her my recipe for Boston Baked Beans, which she has repeatedly threatened to reproduce. When she does, I hope you'll help yourself!

    Readers of F for Food, take heed! You'll not find a more savvy baker than Elliott's mom.