Friday, March 30, 2007

Pierogi - small filled pies. No shit.

I've been eating pierogi for a while now and I never would have thought to call them "pies." After all, I (and most people--"people" being Americans) boil or fry them, right? Turns out that's because I wasn't making them from freakin' scratch like these crazy Russians. All of a sudden it makes sense. Hello, PIErogi! Duh.

FYI: In Russia a pierog (russ.: пирог) is a big pie with one filling. Small pierogi are called pierozhkí (russ.: пирожки).

Brie En Croute

Is this or is it not pie? I admit, this particular photo looks more like a brie CAKE than a brie pie. Nonetheless, in addition to being cheesily delicious, perhaps brie en croute is -- cheese pie.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

What to Make of This?

Pumpkin. CheeseCAKE (yes, yes - I know). Graham Cracker Crust.

But it sure as hell looks like pie, don't it?

The first pies, AKA Pig In Blanket IS TOO PIE

I'm sorry, Becky, but you couldn't be more wrong. Allow me to show you the error of your ways.


Even into the nineteenth century, the pocket pie in its most ancient meaning lingered on alongside the newer forms in both demotic speech and literature, especially in cookery books of a highly colloquial nature. The unifying principle was that they were considered finger food during a period of English cookery predating the introduction of forks—quite literally something broken or cut into pieces. Indeed, this idea of eating with the hands has persisted for a very long time and is still preserved in such American creations as the Pennsylvania Dutch shoofly pie, a breakfast cake baked in a pie shell and meant to be sliced, held in the hand, and dipped into strong coffee.

This marriage of very different types of pies under the umbrella of one term is further linguistic evidence that the turnover shape was indeed the oldest type and that the English language did not have a wide range of indigenous terminologies to accommodate the newer forms. It is also evidence that the transition from one form to the next was sometimes gradual, especially in the countryside. Food historians generally concur that there is a definite genealogical link between the ancient pie and its modern two-crust descendant, although there is no firm agreement as to how this transition took place. There are several possible avenues of evolution. The shallow dish or saucer pie and the deep dish or potpie offer two theoretical possibilities.

So a turnover-type dish is not only pie, it is the FIRST PIE. That makes it more pie than any of the graham-cracker crust FAKERS. But "wait," you say, "a turnover is only rolled dough also." Not true. According to Wikipedia, turnovers can have either short or "puff pastry dough."

A pie is any non-dough food baked into and with a dough crust, of any type. Filled croissant, pie. Shepherd's pie, not a pie. Any "pie" with graham cracker crust, not a pie. Pigs in a blanket, PIE!!!

Also, baked ravioli

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Boston Cream "Pie:" Not a Pie.

Open Letter to Boston Cream Pie:

Dear BCP,

I think it's about time that you came to terms with it. You are not a pie. At best, you are a cake. At worst, you are a donut. How or why you came to be called a "pie" is beyond me. You obviously were feeling insecure about the fact that you lack the proper frosting coverage to be truly respected as a proper cake. And what's with your filling? What is that, pudding? Custard? See now, if you put that pudding into a pie crust, you would have a perfectly legitimate pudding pie. But nooooo, you had to put the pudding in the middle. And the only baking going on with you is the sponge cake. Yes, that's right, cake.

Dude, give it up. You are such a poseur.

Your friend,

The experts...

Madeleine Kamman, author of "The Making of a Cook", includes pies only in her section on rolled pastry. The pies have one, one-and-a-half (like lattice), or two crusts; they may be shallow or deep (tarts or deep-dish); and their contents may vary (she includes a French country recipe for Belgian Endive-and-onion pie). The key is the dough type, which is a soft pastry dough, rolled out but not kneaded. It is different than puff pastry dough, and it is different than croissant dough. Therefore I am forced to contend that piggies-in-a-croissant-or-bread-dough-blanket do not qualify as pie.

Pigs In Blankets = PIE

I found it hard to believe myself. Pigs, when in "blankets", equal PIE.

While one generally would NOT consider this a pie-based dish, if keeping in mind that the "crust" must undergo a transformation through the baking process, this most certainly qualifies. Said pigs, however, must be baked.