National Pie Day Celebration
National Pie day was January 23rd. Who knew there was even a National Pie Day till a pie crazed fundraiser, Lorraine Ortiz, has put it on the calendar in our community. Three years ago, she started the event that gets the community to bake tons of pie, eat tons of pie and support “Lower Nehalem Land Trust” (LNCT) and “Food Roots” from Tillamook. That is brilliant. Eat pie to make a better world. Why didn’t I think of that?
Ortiz has been celebrating Pie Day since 1989. Three years ago she and a friend was struck with an idea while watching a documentary about the apple industry. “We brainstormed that it might be fun to show the movie as a fundraiser for LNCT and Food Roots. It happened to be a few weeks until Pie Day, so I said, How about if we showed the movie and serve pie and celebrate Pie Day?” Ortiz said. The tradition was born.
The first year was just the movie and the pie feast but after seeing the popularity of the event they decided to expand the affair. The next year they added a pie auction and pie making workshop, along with the movie and pie feast. “This year we dropped the movie and decided to just focus on the workshop, pie auction and feast–I think we hit the right equation.” Ortiz shared
This year was the third annual “Pie Day Celebration.” The event started the day before on Saturday the 22 of January, with a pie making workshop lead by the incomparable pastry master, Kim Miller of Manzanita. “There were 10 people in attendance and this year it was all about fillings.” Ortiz continued, “Last year Kim taught us how to make the perfect pie crust. Next year the workshop will focus on savory pies.”
Which is good as the pie that fetched the highest price tag, $70, was a English County Cheese and Onion Pie. Yum. Some of the other pies that were up for auction were Pumpkin Sweet Potato Pie with a ginger crust and Apple Lemon Ginger Mile High Pie. Or how about the Kahlua Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie and the Mixed Berry with Fresh Pineapple pie created by none other than Kim Miller herself. Are you salivating yet? I am.
I decided to go out on a limb and create a “Lemon Shaker Pie” for the auction. I hadn’t ever seen one, had one or made one, so it was quite a risk. The only reason I made it was because it is Lorraine’s favorite pie. And yup, you guessed it, she bought it. And I hear it was wonderful. Whew, dodged that bullet.
The Lemon Shaker pie was created by the Shakers in the 1800’s when they first discovered the divinity of the lemon. They were so enchanted with this fruit that they considered wasting any part of it a crime. So the Lemon Shaker pie was created using every part of the lemon. Of course they also used 2 cups of sugar to make it taste sweet.
It is very important to use Meyer Lemons in this pie, if you can find them. It takes a fantastic pie to a transcendental pie. So I hear from Lorraine. It is also easy and a very good time to make. Make sure and cut a window in the crust to show off your juicy lemons. I got this recipe from Saveur.
Lemon Shaker Pie
Makes one 9-inch pie
2 large lemons, preferably Meyers
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespons butter, melted
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 egg white
Coarse sugar, for sprinkling
Dough for one double-crust pie
Thoroughly wash lemons, then dry with paper towel. Finely grate lemon zest into a bowl. Using a mandoline, slice lemons as paper thin as you can get them; remove and discard seeds. Add slices to zest and toss with sugar and salt. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Roll out half the dough 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured surface, fit it into a 9-inch (1-quart) pie plate, and trim the edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang.
Mix the macerated lemon-sugar mixture with eggs, melted butter and flour until combined well. Pour in to prepared pie shell.
Roll out the remaining dough into a 12-inch round on a lightly floured surface, drape it over the filling, and trim it, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fold the overhang under the bottom crust, pressing the edge to seal it, and crimp the edge decoratively. Beat one egg white until frothy and brush over pie crust, then sprinkle with coarse sugar. Cut a window in the crust with a sharp knife, fold bake the crust to reveal the lemons. I piled up a few lemons in the window that were particularly beautiful. Bake the pie in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350°F. and bake the pie for 20 to 25 minutes more, or until the crust is golden. Let the pie cool on a rack and serve it warm at room temperature.