Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Good Food pie contest

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I'm all ready for tomorrow's Good Food pie contest, sponsored by Evan Kleiman's "Good Food" program on National Public Radio. Two pies baked and cooling on the counter. Two complete experiments, untested recipes I created out of thin air. Yeah, that's the way I roll. Or, in this case, do not roll, as both pies used press-in crusts. Despite my cherry pie practice earlier this summer, I'm still not much good with a rolling pin.

I entered in two categories: Fruit and Savory. I knew what I was making for the fruit pie. It's fig season, and last year I made a really good fig and goat cheese pie. Okay, I called it a tart, but really, it was a pie. I made it only a few months after I started working at Business.com, and it was one of the more unusual things I brought in for my colleagues to taste. They have sophisticated palates; they liked it.

But I thought there was one problem with that recipe: The figs were too watery. This time I got rid of some liquid ahead of time by making a fig compote for the bottom layer of the pie, rather than using fresh figs. I also decorated the top with cut figs that I broiled first. I'm pleased with the way it looks, although I won't really know what the consistency is like until tomorrow. I'm a tiny bit afraid that the goat cheese layer will be rubbery - maybe I should only have added one egg instead of two. Oh well. Too late now.


I had more trouble deciding what to make for the Savory category. I wanted to use the Hatch chiles I found at Bob's Market earlier in the week - such a rare treat, especially outside of New Mexico. I thought about making a pork and green chile stew, but in the end I was just too lazy. So I made a sort of {quiche} - I'm saying that softly because if it's really a quiche it might get me disqualified. No, it's a pie, dammit! Anyway, I mixed the roasted Hatch chiles with chopped cooked bacon, green onions, cotija and panela cheese, eggs, and cream, and baked it all in a cornmeal-enhanced pie crust. It smells unbelievably good. My family is quite irritated that I only made one and it's going to the contest instead of in their bellies.


I'm not expecting to win. But I'm expecting to have a good time and take lots of pictures. And eat lots of pie. If you're in Los Angeles and free tomorrow, come on down - it's going to be a hoot.

UPDATE, Sunday evening: Nope, I didn't win anything. But I had a really good time hanging with the other pie bakers. And I got lots of compliments on both pies. I'm already thinking of pie ideas for next year....

7 comments:

Marla said...

I so wish I was in LA to try your pies. Both the sweet and savory versions sound awesome. Love the treatment of the figs. The pies look gorgeous! Good luck to you in the competition :)

Hilary Cable said...

WOW these both look amazing! Can't wait to hear how they taste!

Erika said...

You're both local. What are your excuses for not coming? It's free!

Dorothy at Shockinglydelicious.com said...

Oh yeah, those look fantastic! I can taste the chile pie already...mmmm bacon. Love what you did with the figs, both compote and then broiled fresh on top. Very chic.

I love a press-in crust. There is nothing to apologize for in a press-in crust.

God, I hope one of us wins SOMETHING tomorrow! Wouldn't that be just grand!

Am making genius pie. Had to be done.

Monet said...

I wish I could be there! Both of your pies looked delicious, and I would vote for you if I had a voice. I hope you have a wonderful time tomorrow and take home a win!

lynn @ the actors diet said...

i'm such a fig freak! wish i could be there for the pie contest - my friend mayuka, who placed last year, will be entering a few more tonight. good luck!

Erika said...

@Lynn - I'm a fig freak too. In fact, before the contest today, I went back to my secret spot and picked five more pounds. Fig salad for Labor Day dinner, hooray!

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