This past weekend my family along with our good friends attended the family fun day at Georgia Buffalo. This event was wild, and southern, and dusty and a whole lot of fun. My new brown shoes were gray by the time we left, my boys cheeks were tinted pink from activity and sun, and our bellies full of buffalo burgers and pie. Award winning pie.
Sure, there were only three entries in this years pie bake-off, but I would like to brush my shoulders off and say the runner-up was actually a pie man. He sold 35 flavors and was as southern as the day is long. Yeah I beat him at his own game, thank you very much. The contest went without a hitch. I watched nervoursly from the sidelines with a little man in my arms screaming, “Eat! Pie!” over and over. After a moment of pure humiliation when my crust crumbled under the first slice, things got rolling. I watched the judges faces as the lemon cream puckered their taste buds then the honeyed mascarpone whipped cream soothed them. Ah, a moment of pride for this woman. Left and right I was getting compliments of, “Young lady! This here is a good pie!”, and “Job well done!”, and “Looka here, this little girl can bake!”… Yeah, I was soaking it up. I was practically a celebrity.
I left the stadium (or tent with a dozen chairs under it, whatever you want to call it) with my camouflage buffalo baseball cap adorned with none other than the flag of our great country, a buffalo t-shirt and a ticket to buffalo heaven- fifty dollars to spend in their delicious store… I can see buffalo hot dogs and sausage and steaks in our meal planning for the weeks to come. Oh yes, it feels good to be a baker.
SO here, I will share it with y’all (I am feeling the southern expression).
I mean, I don’t believe in secret recipes anyways. Its plain old ludicrous if you ask me. I bake for the people. And if they want to bake for themselves? I can still provide a helping hand as well.
Bluebird sky kind of pie (I cannot believe I have no pictures of my masterpiece up close and personal! You will have to trust me it was a beauty.)
Almond crust – This is an approximation, I really don’t know what I did exactly. You might have to tweak it.
Grind up 1 mason jar of toasted almonds in your food processor. Add in a stick and a half of cold butter, about 1/2 cup of flour, and 1 tsp. of vanilla. Finally crack one egg in and pulse until it comes together. Slice into two, roll them into balls, and refrigerate. You can freeze one if only one pie is in your agenda. Preheat the oven to 375F and roll out your dough. Place it in a unbuttered pie dish. You may have to piece together the crust, I did. It doesn’t all together matter really. With a fork press down all along the edges of your pie so a nice decorative touch. Then poke the bottom all over to let out a little air as it bakes. Place a piece of parchment paper over your crust, fill it with beans or rocks or some other weighted thing you can put in the oven. Bake until the sides are brown then carefully take out the beans letting her finish off for the last 5 minutes of so alone.
Lemon Cream –
Squeeze and zest four large lemons into a metal bowl. Place 8 yolks in with the mix and 3/4 cup of sugar. Get a large pot of simmering water going and hold the bowl over it mixing with a silicone spatula for 8 full minutes. It should thicken up, do not worry if you see bits of whites that snuck in cooking in strands. The next step should remedy it just fine. Strain through a fine chinois. Whisk in 5 tablespoons of butter one at a time, then set aside. This will make more than you need for the pie. But trust me, this liquid gold will not go to waste. Spread it on sweet toast or scones and you will ooh and ahh just the same.
Place 3 pounds or so of blueberries in a large baking dish cooking until lots of juice comes out. Pour about a cup of juice into a cup and set aside.
Honeyed Mascarpone Cream
Whisk a half cup of cream until frothy then add in a tablespoon of honey, one tsp. of vanilla extract, and 3 tablespoons of mascarpone. COntinue to whisk until there are shiny sparkly stiff peaks forming. THis will keep just fine in the fridge for several days if you dont use it all. Its good on everything under the sun. Or all by itself.
Spread the lemon cream all over the crust, even the sides. Stir in about a tablespoon of gelatin into the blueberry juice. With a slotted spoon scoop the berries into the pie making a big heaping mound. Pour the gelatin mixture on top. Either pipe the whipped cream on top and smear around or just use an offset spatula to cover the berries with a blanket of fluffy deliciousness. Decorate with sliced almonds, candied lemon peels, and/or blueberries to your pleasing and serve.
Yes, it was a long day enjoyed by all. Especially by yours truly.