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Pie power; building a better tomorrow

January 28, 2013
Smoked salmon quiche

Smoked salmon quiche

“We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.” David Mamet

For the 5th year in a row, pie-crazed characters gather together in this community to celebrate National Pie Day with a rousing auction and wrap-your-face-around-a-pie feast to Benefit “Lower Nehalem Land Trust” (LNCT) and “Food Roots” of Tillamook. It is time to eat pie to make the world a better place. I think that is the best idea ever!

National Pie day is actually January 23rd but the event will be held on Saturday January 26th at Nehalem Bay United Methodist Church Community Hall at 7 pm. National Pie Day was put it on the calendar in our community by pie lover, Lorraine Ortiz. Five years ago, she started the event that gets the community to bake tons of pie, eat tons of pie and support a good cause. There is a $5 donation at the door that includes the exciting and mouthwatering pie auction then to follow, an all-you-can-eat Pie Feast.

Ortiz at the pie feast

Ortiz at the pie feast

This is a fundraiser not to be missed. Seriously. There will be over 25 pies made by some of the finest bakers in the valley. (Moi included) Now I am talking crazy delicious pies that nobody can resist! Savory Pies like last year’s German Onion pie, Quiche Lorraine, and English pasties which were all a big hit. Then there was the delectable Dark Chocolate Coconut Cream Pie with Chocolate Almond Crust, Granny’s pecan pie, Baklava pie or the classic northwest Marionberry Pie. (I’ve got to stop this! I’m drooling on the keyboard!) Ortiz added “We’ll also have a gift certificate for auction from RANDOM PIES in Portland OR for a whole Coconut Cream Pie plus a pie lovers t-shirt.”

This year’s pies will be equally as amazing including some terrific crusts inspired by supreme pastry chef Kim Miller’s pie crust workshops held during the day on the 26th. Ortiz said “The workshops will focus on a variety of crusts to add so much more to the full flavor of the art of pie. Kim knows her crust. We have 20 people signed up for two sessions—yowza! We actually had the first class fill up so fast we created another, then it filled up!” So sorry folks, there is no room at the inn but keep posted to sign up for next year’s event in early January.

People drooling over the pies to be auctioned

People drooling over the pies to be auctioned

The pie auction will once again be the highlight of the evening as pie loving auctioneer, Claudia Johnson will tempt the crowd to buy pie for a better tomorrow. “The big news is that she will be our auctioneer this year! I am so excited that Claudia will be the driving personality as our community loves her and she is so much fun.” Ortiz continued. “I’ve even heard people say they are already “planning their bidding strategies for this year.” (I hope a pie fight doesn’t ensue!)

“Last year’s event was packed with pies and people and brought in whopping $2447, which the two organizations spilt 50/50. Not bad for selling baked goods in a church.” Ortiz shared. So get on down to the celebration and buy my pie (Or someone else’s) to support a great cause! I will be making this smoked salmon quiche that I has been a standard in our house for years. I’m sure it will become a standard in your house as well. Keep your appetite sharp for this scrumptious event that you can have your pie and eat it too. (PS the event went fantastic!)

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Smoked Salmon Quiche with a dill crust

The secret of a good pie crust is cut your butter up then put it in the freezer for 10 minutes to get very cold. Also handle the crust as little as possible. The more you handle it the tougher it gets. If you are in a hurry, a frozen pre-made pie crust is a nice option.

The Crust
3 1/3 cup unbleached flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon of dried dill
1 cup very cold unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
Around 1 cup of very cold water

Get out a mediumish bowl and add the flour, dill and salt to it. Whisk till it is fluffy and happy. Cut the butter into smallish cubes and either cut it into the flour by hand or get out that handy dandy food processor to do the job. First add your flour to the food processor bowl, then drop your butter in there. Pulse till you have a coarse crumbling mix. Pour back in the mediumish bowl.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, 1/3 cup of water and vinegar. Make a lovely little well in the center of the flour mix and slowly pour the egg mix into the flour while you are mixing with a big fork. Add just a little bit more water at a time till everything holds together reasonable well. Don’t add too much water or your crust will be like the pavement in front of your house!

Using your hands, form the crust into 2 flat discs and wrap up and stick in the fridge for 30 minutes. Roll one disk out and place it in your deep dish pie plate and put back in the fridge to await your quiche. Freeze the other one for another time.

The quiche
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup 2% or whole milk
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon of dried dill
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of capers, drained
1-3 garlic cloves, pressed
4 oz of smoked salmon broken into bits
1 cup of gruyere cheese (or swiss cheese)
1/2 cup of thinly slice green onions, (use the whole onion)

Whisk the eggs, milk, mustard and spices up into a froth in a medium workhorse of a bowl. Add the garlic and mix in. Sprinkle the bottom of pie crust with the cheese and then layer the salmon and onions on the top of the cheese. Pour the egg mix over top and a little dried dill for beauty. Bake this creation at 40-45 minutes at 375 degrees until center stops wiggling when you touch it and a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Serve after it has set for about 20- 30 minutes. (I know, I know it’s hard to wait!) It is really very good cold, served with a lightly dressed salad to celebrate pie day!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 20, 2013 5:27 pm

    Touche. Solid arguments. Keep up the great effort.

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