Maryland Senator Ben Cardin joins us to talk about the youth movement against gun violence, Russian sanctions, and more. D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh shares her thoughts on relief for high water bills and news that D.C. Public Schools is taking over an all girls charter school.
For a lot of people, Thanksgiving is synonymous with pie. And lately, in Washington, the nostalgic favorite is in demand year-round, thanks to the rocketing popularity of local food trucks. We’ll talk fillings, technique and home-made crust with people who really know their pie.
- Rodney Henry Owner, Dangerously Delicious Pies
- Teresa Velazquez Co-owner, Baked & Wired
- Lisa Yockelson Author, "Baking Style: Art, Craft, Recipes" (Wiley); baking journalist
From “Baking by Flavor” by Lisa Yockelson (Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2002).
Ginger Molasses Sweet Potato Pie####
(One 9-inch pie, creating about 8 slices)
Ginger preserved in syrup, along with a flavor-charge of molasses and vanilla extract, sharpens a sweet potato pie filling in the most glorious of ways.
Single crust pie dough
Vanilla Pie Crust
Ginger molasses sweet potato pie filling
2 cups freshly cooked and pureéd sweet potatoes
1/2 cup granulated sugar blended with 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves and 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (firmly packed) light brown sugar, sieved if lumpy
3 tablespoons mild, unsulphured molasses
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger root
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons finely chopped ginger preserved in syrup, well-drained on paper towels
9-inch pie pan
Prepare the vanilla pie crust
Make the pie dough, line the pie pan, and prebake the crust as directed in the recipe.
Preheat the oven
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Mix the ginger molasses sweet potato pie filling
Place the sweet potatoes, granulated sugar-spice blend, light brown sugar, molasses and grated ginger root in a large mixing bowl. Stir well to combine, using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Blend in the vanilla extract and eggs. Mix in the melted butter. Slowly blend in the heavy cream. Stir in the chopped preserved ginger.
Scrape the filling into the pre-baked pie crust.
Bake and cool the pie
Bake the pie in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. and continue baking for about 30 to 35 minutes longer, or until just set. Cool the pie on a rack. Slice and serve with a spoonfuls of whipped cream, if you wish. Refrigerate any leftover pie in an airtight container.
Best baking advice
Mix the filling ingredients slowly but thoroughly to keep it smooth and dense, rather than airy/fluffy.
Vanilla Pie Crust####
(One 9-inch pie crust)
The suggestion of vanilla extract in this tender, buttery pie dough—in the form of the liquid extract—gives this crust a certain vitality.
Vanilla-scented pie dough
1 1/2 cups unsifted bleached all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon shortening, frozen
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into tablespoon chunks
2 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk, cold
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon ice-cold milk
1 tablespoon ice-cold water
9-inch pie pan
To make the vanilla-scented pie dough by hand
Whisk the flour, and salt in a medium-size mixing bowl. Drop in the shortening and chunks of butter and, using a pastry blender, cut the fat into the flour until reduced to pieces the size of dried navy beans.
Mix in the granulated sugar. Dip into the flour-butter mixture and crumble it lightly between your fingertips for about 1 minute. This will disperse the butter into slightly smaller fragments. In a small bowl or cup, whisk the egg yolk, vanilla extract, milk and water. Pour the egg yolk mixture over the flour and, using your fingertips, quickly mix to form a dough.
Dough texture observation
The dough should come together as a moderately firm, but not dry, mass. Add extra ice-cold water, a 1/2 teaspoon at a time, if the dough seems very dry. Pat the dough into a 4 to 5-inch round cake on a sheet of waxed paper, wrap it up, and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
To make the vanilla-scented pie dough in a food processor
Place the flour and salt in the container of a food processor fitted with the steel knife. Cover and process, using 2 quick on-off pulses, to combine the flour and salt. Add the shortening and chunks of butter, cover and process, using about 7 to 8 on-off pulses, to reduce the butter into small morsels. Sprinkle over the vanilla-scented sugar, cover and process to combine, using 1 or 2 quick on-off pulses. Whisk the egg yolk, vanilla extract, milk and water in a small mixing bowl, pour over the flour-butter-sugar combination and process, using 10 to 12 quick on-off bursts, until the dough mixture gathers together into small clumps.
Turn the fragments of dough onto a sheet of waxed paper and gather into a 4 to 5-inch flat cake, wrap it up and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Roll the dough and line the pie pan
Have a 9-inch pie pan at hand. Roll the dough between 2 large sheets of waxed paper to a round, about 13-inches in diameter. Refrigerate the dough on a cookie sheet for 15 minutes.
Remove the top layer of waxed paper from the sheet of dough. In order to build up the edge of the crust so that you can flute it, cut 1/2-inch strips of dough from the outside of the sheet of pie crust, keeping the circle intact. Press these strips on the rim of the pan.
Quickly invert the dough over a 9-inch pie pan. Press the dough onto the bottom of the pie pan first, then press it up the sides and onto the dough-lined rim. With a small, sharp knife, cut away any excess dough that overhangs the edge of the rim. Using a round-edged table knife, make tiny horizontal scoring marks against the cut edge of the dough to give it texture. Flute or crimp the edges decoratively. Prick the bottom of the pie lightly with tines of table fork.
Wrap and refrigerate the pie crust
Wrap the dough loosely in plastic wrap and carefully slip into a large self-sealing plastic bag. Refrigerate the pie crust for at least 5 hours, or overnight.
Prebake the pie crust
On baking day, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. About 10 minutes before pre-baking the pie, place a cookie sheet on the oven rack.
Line the pie crust with a sheet of aluminum foil, allowing the foil to extend up the sides. Fill with raw rice (kept exclusively for this purpose) up to 1/4-inch of the rim. Place the pie shell on the cookie sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the aluminum foil and rice. (Cool the rice completely before storing). Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. and continue baking for about 15 minutes longer, or until a golden amber color. Transfer the pie crust to a cooling rack. Procedural observation To preserve its texture, fill the pie crust when it’s freshly baked and still warm, so plan on preparing the filling while the crust is pre-baking.
Baked & Wired’s Cream Peach Pie
Baked & Wired’s Apple Cranberry Pie with Crumb Topping
MR. KOJO NNAMDIFrom WAMU 88.5 at American University in Washington, welcome to "The Kojo Nnamdi Show," connecting your neighborhood with the world. Later in the broadcast, preparing for a nationwide test of the EAS or the Emergency Alert System. But first, easy as pie, pie in the sky, eating humble pie, cutie pie. I could go on, but let's leave it there. The point is all of the deserts we know and love, pie, pie among all of them, maybe the most iconic.
MR. KOJO NNAMDIAnd the nostalgic treat is enjoying a renaissance. The holiday staple is being re-imagined with hand pies and pie trucks taking off across the region. But even if you have it just one day a year, that day is fast approaching making now the perfect time to talk pie. And here to help me talk and hopefully eat pie is Teresa Velazquez, co-owner of Baked & Wired in Georgetown. Teresa, thank you so much for joining us.
MS. TERESA VELAZQUEZWow, thanks for having me.
NNAMDIAlso with us is Rodney Henry. He owns Dangerously Delicious Pies, which has shops in both Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Rodney, thank you for joining us.
MR. RODNEY HENRYMy pleasure, thank you, brother.
NNAMDIAlso with us is Lisa Yockelson, baking journalist and cookbook author. Her latest book is called "Baking Style." Lisa Yockelson, thank you for joining us.
MS. LISA YOCKELSONThank you.
NNAMDIYou, too, can join this conversation, this pie conversation, on Food Wednesday by calling 800-433-8850. You can send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can simply send us a tweet @kojoshow. That number again, 800-433-8850. Teresa, I'll start with you.
NNAMDIPies roots have been traced to ancient Egypt and it's found in one form or another in most cultures. What is your earliest memory of pie?
VELAZQUEZI guess it's...
NNAMDIGo back a ways.
VELAZQUEZ...you know, yeah. How old am I and then we'll kind of go from there so, pie has always been in our family and part of our family. So generally, instead of a birthday cake, you would get your favorite pie for your birthday and it'd just have a big candle stuck inside it. So, you know, I'm from a very pie rooted family.
NNAMDIRodney, your earliest memories of pie?
HENRYWell, I was like six years old and it was in Seymour, Ind. and me and my sister, my grandmother gave us 50 cents to get on the street and we went to this place, naugahyde chairs, was crazy. And this lady with a big beehive and a pink dress was like, can I help you sweetie? And I was like, sure. And I got a -- she had a piece of a French apple pie and I was like, man, looks so awesome. So I got a piece of French apple pie and, like, eight ounce Coca-Cola and I was, like, man, this is -- right from that moment, I was just hooked on pie.
NNAMDIAnd you, at six years old, remember the event so vividly.
HENRYI remember it totally, brother. I mean, the whole thing about it was like try to recreate that with my whole shop and everything. Like, if you'd come in, you feel like you're a kid again and I try to give that experience to the cats that come in my shop and get some pie in them.
YOCKELSONWell, my sweetest memory is my mother's lemon meringue pie. And she had a little bit of problem with a pie crust. She rolled it out with a Coca-Cola bottle. She apart from that, the meringue didn't weep and the lemon filling was tart and sweet. And then as I got older, she graduated to a real rolling pin.
NNAMDIYes, but starting with the bottle first, I've seen that, been there, at least been in a house where that was done. Lisa, I'll continue with you. Tarts, quiches and even flans are all varieties of pie. What differentiates them from one another?
YOCKELSONA tart really can be a shortened version of a pie. It has a bottom crust and sometimes a top crust. And it has fruit or a savory or a sweet filling. And what's wonderful about a tart is that it's not as -- well, it's a little daintier then a pie. A pie is, I think, kind of a manly -- it's a manly kind of big filling thing, which I love, you know, of course. But a tart is, I would say, a bit of a French delight.
NNAMDIAh, okay. Teresa, when you opened Baked & Wired, you had never, up until that point, baked professionally. How did you go from a career in graphic design to running a coffee shop and a bakery?
VELAZQUEZWell, I think that, you know, you look at yourself and you say, what am I good at and what else can I do? And since I had grown up baking, I thought, you know, this I can certainly do. I know I can produce really good products and the area that we were in, you couldn't find it so it's kind of finding that hole in the market. And my husband and I just tend to jump into things and don't know much about it and figure it would all would work itself out as time goes on.
VELAZQUEZSo I was able to grow slowly which was important and you know to get where we are now so, yes, from going from a pan of brownies that you make for your kids' class and you know banana bread because you had like four leftover bananas that were rotting to, you know, producing over 60 different items on our shelves every day, it was quite a learning experience. It was awesome.
NNAMDIIn case you're just joining us, we're talking pies on this Food Wednesday and inviting your calls at 800-433-8850. Are you gearing up to make pies this holiday season? If you'd like some advice before you begin your baking, now is the time to call, 800-433-8850. Send us a tweet @kojoshow, email to email@example.com or go to our website kojoshow.org, join the conversation there. We're talking with Lisa Yockelson, baking journalist and cookbook author. Her latest book is called "Baking Style."
NNAMDIRodney Henry owns Dangerously Delicious Pies which has shops in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. and Teresa Velazquez co-owns Baked & Wired in Georgetown. Teresa, it's my understanding that when your shop first opened, you made a lot of pies...
NNAMDI...and they just kind of sat there.
VELAZQUEZI don't know. I mean, I'm from Ohio. I figured everybody loved pie.
NNAMDINot in D.C.
VELAZQUEZI don't think D.C. was ready for pie so, you know, I always kept pie on the shelf because it's so much a part of who I am. That I was not going to give up on pie and I wasn't going to give up on Washington getting used to what a really good pie should taste like. So I kept at it and baked all the other sweets that we bake, you know, all the homey things that come along with it, anything from Grandma's kitchen. And, you know, the increase in pie sales over the last couple of years have really been jumping.
VELAZQUEZI see it most each Thanksgiving. I think it's going to be my busiest Thanksgiving yet and we have, like, cutoffs and last year my cutoff was 150 pies. I figured it was all I could produce because we hand make all the crust and no Cuisinarts are used. And this year my limit's 200. So for me, I won't produce anything more than I know that I cannot handcraft myself and...
NNAMDIEight months ago, you realized that portability was the key and now hand pies.
NNAMDIThe hand pie t-shirt.
VELAZQUEZI know, chased with cold beer.
NNAMDIAh, good. It's my understanding that I will acquire a hand pie t-shirt...
VELAZQUEZYou get a hand pie t-shirt.
NNAMDIDoes that come with cold beer? I'll ask...
VELAZQUEZWe could make that happen.
NNAMDIRodney, pie is not your only love, music is a big part of your life and of your stores. When did you decide to bring together, to hitch, to marry the two?
HENRYIt's awesome, man. That's -- I was on the road with my -- because I'm on...
NNAMDIRight now, I'm not talking because I'm eating your apple pie.
HENRYAwesome. (unintelligible) I was, like, one day I would come off the road, I'd always be home for a couple weeks and I'd be broke so I lived above a bar. They let me use their kitchen during the day and started out making pies for like -- to take to a girl's house to get a date. I'd be like, hey, baby, your partner baked you a pie. And she'd be like, oh, Rodney, that was so sweet. So the...
HENRY...worked. It totally worked but it was awesome. And then I started off slinging pies a couple times, you know, when I was home for a couple weeks, to coffee shops. And then I went on the road with this band "Drive-By Truckers" for four months. And before I left, I made 60 pecan pies and loaded it in my van with my t-shirt, CD's, my amps, guitars, everything. And we cruised all over the country.
HENRYAnd was the coolest thing ever because I was -- I had the pies and I'd bake fresh pies at people's houses and my accommodations started getting better then sleeping next to the cat litter box, I started sleeping in a bed, you know. And the next morning I'd wake up, I'd have a couple girls help me out baking. I was like, I was the king. And the other guys would be having a barbeque in the back and I'd be baking pies and fresh pies and always had pecan pie.
HENRYBut the thing about it was, that whole trip, I never sold one thing. Not one slice but every -- after the shows, we'd all hang out, pass the guitar around, you know, whiskey or whatever. We'd just sit around by a fire and have pie and talk smack. Man, it was the best thing ever. So...
NNAMDIPie was getting you through life it seems.
HENRYTotally man. And when I got back and rock and roll wasn't really paying the bills, I'd just, one day, I was like, man, I'm going to start a pie shop. And didn't know what I was doing, I just went for it. And from them on it was gang busters from day one. It's been awesome.
NNAMDI800-433-8850, what's your secret for making delicious homemade pie. It's 800-433-8850. There's an intimidation factor a lot of home cooks face when they think about making pie. And it boils down to one word, Lisa, crust.
NNAMDIHow important is it to make your own?
YOCKELSONWell, I think, you know, nothing beats a homemade pie crust, whether you make it with butter or a combination of butter and shortening or lard. And the real secret is, using a light hand.
NNAMDIA light hand? What do you mean by that?
YOCKELSONYes. Well, if you overwork a pie crust or if your hands are sweaty, you've got a problem. So I always tell beginning cooks and bakers to dip their hands in ice water and then dry them. And then when you go into disperse all the fat in the flour, which is the key to making a really great pie crust so that the flour particles are coated with fat, you don't make, I would say, muck out of it. You end up -- have a very light mixture and then you add water, cold water, ice water or for some pies and their crusts, you use milk or heavy cream. But ice water is just perfect and then the dough will come together very quickly. So a cool hand and a light touch.
NNAMDITeresa, what is your secret because this scares a lot of people, it freaks people out, they get psyched out, they're scared.
VELAZQUEZThey are very scared. I think that a lot of recipes has made it really hard for people to get in their head that they can do it, that it is really an easy thing. And it's all these techniques people say, oh, you got to use a cold marble board, you got to put all your flour in the refrigerator. Every, you know, there's all these techniques and there's really not that much technique. I mean, you know, like Lisa said, you take those fats and you mix them and you can do all you want with it at that point but once that water comes you just lightly pull it together.
VELAZQUEZAnd it is a technique. I think it is a craft. But I think that it's a learnable craft. And once you fail at it the first time, oh, go make another one. You just rolled out that crust, it cracked in your pie plate, make it -- what have you lost? You've lost very little. Start over, make it again and practice. You know, I've taught so many people how to make pie and they're like, wow, this isn't so bad. I can do this.
NNAMDII was wondering about that Rodney. Because some people get pretty elaborate with their crusts. As Teresa was saying, I guess, it doesn't have to look perfect for it to taste good, right?
HENRYNot at all. It's like -- my school of thought is, like I can tell when you come into my shop that I can see every single persons pie crust. Like, I know exactly who's -- just by looking at who is more busted up then the other one. But I tell you what, man. I think the secret of pie crust as far as I'm concerned is people get too freaked out.
HENRYIf you just relax and not worry about it and just do your thing, it's going to be fine because that's what people get worked up. They work it too much. They beat on it, they squeeze it and they make it like China. You want it to be nice and break apart nice. I mean it's a -- crust is awesome. Having like imperfections in your crust just adds to the beauty as far as I'm concerned.
NNAMDIWell, you know Teresa, apparently, you are a lot like Lisa's mom, I think it is, because a lot of people don't want to invest in all kinds of special tools for baking. But you have been known to use the wine bottle.
VELAZQUEZI have. When...
VELAZQUEZ…yeah. Well, after the last Thanksgiving, my son lived in New York and everybody headed to New York and then after my great pie bakeoff, I met them. And usually I have a great list, that I get everything there and I don't forget anything. And this year I forgot the rolling pin. And my daughter loves to make pie with me and I'm in this dinky little apartment. And it was, like, well, there's always a wine bottle around. And it works. It's, you know, it's got a round surface, you can do it. And it's a great substitute. And, you know, my daughter has even used a wine bottle, making her own pie crust since she's never invested in a rolling pin.
NNAMDISo don't get hung up on the tools.
NNAMDIWe'll start with Hanna in Washington, D.C. Hanna, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.
HANNAHHi everyone. Hi, Kojo.
MS. KOJO NNAMDIHey, Hannah.
HANNAHI love baking. I have never made a pie and I was wondering if you had a pie suggestion for this Thanksgiving that is an easy one for a novice baker and one that can build me up for success if I wanted to please everyone. What is your suggestion?
NNAMDIStart with you, Lisa.
YOCKELSONWell, it just so happens that on your website, Kojo, you have my recipe for a fantastic sweet potato pie. And sweet potatoes are synonymous with Thanksgiving and so are the spices. And there is a little bit of molasses in it and it's a very quick and unfor -- and forgiving -- not unforgiving -- a forgiving recipe for mash-ly potatoes with brown sugar and seasonings in a very simple pie crust.
NNAMDIAnd you can find that at our website, kojoshow.org. Any simple suggestions, Rodney?
HENRYI'd say the best bet would be go make an apple pie because you can't really bust it up. It's easy. Get some butter, make sure you put in butter in there, some brown sugar, a little bit of cinnamon. Make your crust nice and, you know, just don't get worried about it. Make sure you got enough fat in there. The pie's going to be out of sight, man. Your folks, everybody comes to your party's going to be digging it.
NNAMDIYour suggestion, Teresa.
VELAZQUEZI'm gonna stick with apple. I think that apple is the good place to go. It is easy. You make your pie crust. I posted mine on your webpage and tried to go in depth with crust and how easy it is to do the crust. But you're slicing apples and you're putting sugar in there. And I always throw an easy crumb topping just to kinda counterbalance that sweet on the top and the nice tartness of your apples. So I would stick with your basics.
VELAZQUEZAbsolutely, all the way Granny Smiths.
NNAMDIHannah, are you ready?
HANNAHYes, thank you so much.
NNAMDIYou're welcome. We're going to take a short break. When we come back, if you are gearing up to make pies this Holiday season and you want some tips or advice, call us at 800-433-8850 or go to our website, kojoshow.org where you can find some of the recipes for pies right there. I'm Kojo Nnamdi.
NNAMDIWelcome back to our Food Wednesday conversation on pie. We're talking with Rodney Henry. He owns the Dangerously Delicious Pies, which has stores in Baltimore and in D.C. Teresa Velazquez co-owns Baked and Wired in Georgetown. We just got a Tweet from Tee who says, "I am in Baked and Wired listening to Kojo Show talk about Baked and Wired." I am in D.C. right now. And Lisa Yockelson is a baking journalist and cookbook author. Her latest book is called "Baking Style."
NNAMDIIf you're calling and the lines are busy go to our website to join the conversation there. It's kojoshow.org. Lisa, so once we've got our crust rolled out onto the filling, measurements have to be pretty precise for most baking. Is there a leeway when it comes to the ingredients that go into that crust?
YOCKELSONWell, yes. Actually, there's a certain amount of flour with a certain amount of fat with a certain amount of liquid. And largely, you have to depend on the quality of the recipe, but in "Baking Style" what I always like to teach people is to learn how to make a pie crust by feel as well. You can do it in a food processor, but getting your hands into it, breaking down the butter and the flour, adding a little bit of sugar, which basically tenderizes a pie crust -- that's my secret ingredient, a little bit of sugar to tenderize it -- and keeping the butter fairly flaky so that you have built up layers of flakiness when the pie crust bakes.
NNAMDIRodney, you started out with seven kinds of pie for sale in your shop but now you offer literally dozens of flavors ranging from classics like blueberry and chicken pot pie to creations like pulled pork barbecue and the Baltimore Bomb. How do you come up with your filling ideas?
HENRYI'll tell you what, man. When I first started it started like savory pies. I had these English guys come into my shop in Baltimore, always asking me for kidney pie and I was like, oh sure, man, I can make that. No problem. I'd never made it before, never even heard of it before. So I got some kidneys and I was kind of, you know, it was one of those weird things. I saw these big giant kidneys and I roasted them. I didn't know you were supposed to slow cook them or anything. I just did it, chopped them up and these cats were like, man, that's so cool Rodney. Thank you so much. And the pie was horrible but they dug it. You know, it kinda like reminded them of back home.
HENRYAnd most of the time you sit there and you listen to things, you talk to people. People have things that they really dig. You know what, man? Anything can go into a pie. Anything.
NNAMDIDangerously Delicious started in Baltimore. It's now in D.C. as well. Which pies are the most popular in which cities? What's the most popular in Baltimore and what's the most popular here?
HENRYIn Baltimore, the most popular sweet pie is apple pie. Baltimore Bomb is second and the steak-mushroom-onion-gruyere. And in D.C., which is really weird, Baltimore Bomb by far blows away all the sweet pies.
NNAMDIWhat's a Baltimore Bomb?
HENRYThe Baltimore Bomb's a full custom pie. It's basically a vinegar pie with a burger of cookie, which is a Baltimore thing. It's like a white shortbread cookie with the dark fudge icing. We bust it up and it cooks through the crust and makes a really nice crust on top. And it's kinda weird, man. It's, like, it's really sweet, but it's -- the vinegar kinda cuts back a little bit of the sweetness so...
NNAMDIAnd the Baltimore Bomb is the most popular pie in D.C.
HENRYYeah, isn't that wild?
NNAMDIYou gotta make a D.C. bomb and market it in Baltimore (unintelligible) .
HENRYWell, we had -- we have Marion berry Pie.
NNAMDIOh, tell us about the Marion berry pie.
HENRYWell, it's totally messed up, man. I feel bad even saying , but we have Marion berries from Portland, Oregon.
HENRYSo basically we -- I was like, man let's make a Marion berry pie since we're in D.C. And it basically start off with a -- it was a real dark blackberry and it's really -- it's really the best -- my favorite pie as far as berry pie goes. And I just put a dollar bill sign on it and sort of like the -- it's his little debacle, he can't get a break, but I would put a rock candy on top of it and cook it off. It looked really nice. It was a killer pie, awesome.
NNAMDIRock candy on top. No comment here.
HENRYBut it was delicious. It's really good.
NNAMDITeresa, this time of year it's all about the apple, pumpkin and pecan. What are some other fall flavors to consider as we get ready for Thanksgiving?
VELAZQUEZYou know, we also do, that becomes very popular, is a blueberry -- a wild blueberry cranberry pie that I put a pecan crumb topping on. So that one is very popular. You know, in the apple world we'll do the straight apple and -- with the crumb and we'll do an apple cranberry with the crumb. And, you know, I can always still maintain the fruits but I would say right now, like when I'm getting my pie list in, it's, you know, your apple, pecan, pumpkin. I mean, people are -- you know, they're sticking with the basics and they're sticking with what Thanksgiving's about and what they want to see on their table and what they remember. You know, it becomes a very nostalgic thing.
NNAMDILisa, same question to you.
YOCKELSONWell, I think Thanksgiving is perfect for chocolate. I take my brownie filling and I put it in a pie crust and top it with whipped cream for a brownie pie. And it's 100 percent solid chocolate and it's gooey and fudgy. And for everyone who can't get enough of chocolate it's the pie of choice.
NNAMDICan't get enough of chocolate. I hear people rushing now to start making that. Here's Eva in Falls Church, Va. Eva, you're on the air, go ahead, please.
EVAThank you. Hi. I'm so delighted to hear this show. I need to bake a pie that cannot have any milk products because of allergies. I'm sure I could make the crust with Crisco or something like that, but what about the pumpkin pie filling? Soy products are acceptable. Any help on that?
NNAMDIAny suggestions? Here is Rodney.
HENRYAlmond milk works killer. That works good. Any butter you need just change it with margarine or some sort of -- like something like that. I mean, I know that having a problem with dairy is a real pain in the neck. But, yeah, almond milk, soy milk it works fantastic. And you won't have any problems and it'll taste just as awesome as with regular milk in there.
EVARight. And so the crust can I use Crisco? Would that be...
EVAYeah, just what, about a cup for a normal pie crust?
HENRYAre you doing one pie -- you just gonna do one pie?
EVAYeah, I think I'll just do one.
NNAMDIWho does one pie?
HENRYI don't -- that's right. Small get together. I would do like a third of the fat to the flour, that's what my deal is. I usually do a cup, cup-and-a-half of flour and maybe, you know, half a cup of shortening or maybe 2/3 cup of shortening. And then just bust it up and make it look like BBs. And then add your cold water, or milk or whatever you want to use -- oh, you don't want to use milk, I'm sorry -- use cold water and your crust is going to be out of sight. A little salt and sugar, you're going to be, you know -- you'll be fine on all cylinders there.
NNAMDIGood to go, Eva.
EVAExcellent. Good. Thank you.
NNAMDIThank you very much and good luck to you. We move on to Lisa in Lowden County, Va. Lisa, you are on the air. Go ahead, please.
LISAHi. Yeah, you guys talked a little bit on my secret of the pie crust and finally I've been lamenting for years, as I'm a pretty good cook but I just never got pie crusts. And my mother's a great baker. She said, just -- it's a $1.80 worth of ingredients. Just do it and don't worry about it. And if you have to throw it away you throw it away. It's not like it's a roast or something and you're going to screw up a $12 piece of meat. And once I did that it got easier. I don't know why. It's just like maybe the pressure was off or something.
LISABut I use that and then I also -- I use a chilled wine bottle. I pull out my coldest bottle of wine out of the refrigerator. And, I don't know, I think that helps keep the dough really cold while you're messing with it. And maybe just not having room temperature hands dealing with dough has helped keep it, you know, really short. And pie crusts turn out really good now. I'm not sure why. I think the pressure was off and I kept it cold.
NNAMDITeresa Velazquez, it doesn't matter how you get there once you get there.
VELAZQUEZThat's right. I mean, it really doesn't matter. It's gonna all taste great and you just need to just practice a little bit and just, you know, relax. It's...
NNAMDIAnd not just a wine bottle, huh Lisa? A wine bottle with chilled wine in it.
VELAZQUEZGives a little more weight.
LISAYeah, it's my coldest bottle, my coldest bottle from the fridge, absolutely.
NNAMDIWorks for you. Thank you very much for your call. We move on to Migan in Annandale, Va. Migan, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.
MIGANThanks. I wanted to ask about pie crusts. I've been making an apple pie, my grandmother's recipe for years. I use Crisco and flour and it always turns out great. But the same pie crust as a base for pumpkin pie turns out soggy. I was wondering what kind of modifications you add to the pie crust when you use a pumpkin filling.
YOCKELSONI would definitely prebake the pie crust because a pumpkin filling is essentially pumpkin puree and seasonings and sugar and eggs and a little bit of liquid. And it's really a custard. And so that the filling doesn't weep in the pie crust, I always instruct bakers and home cooks, and it's something that I learned in France and in England, to prebake the crust a little bit by lining a very well-chilled pie crust with foil -- aluminum foil. And filling it with dried beans and baking it off at about 400 for about 10 minutes and lifting off the foil and beans very carefully. Don't invert -- don't invert that situation or else you'll do what a lot of readers do. They invert everything and then the piecrust falls on the floor.
YOCKELSONSo lift off the foil with the beans and bake it until it's just sort of a very pale ecru color and then fill it with the filling of choice and bake it. And you will find that the baked crust stays firm and flaky and not soggy.
NNAMDIMigan, thank you very much for your call. Some people like to add a little something extra to their pie, ice cream, whipped cream, even cheddar cheese. Do you have any favorite additions or do you prefer your pie straight, no chaser, Rodney?
HENRYI like it straight, no chaser. I like to give a piece of -- a hunk a pie out there and be like, here you go, brother, there's your pie. Enjoy it. And, you know, I'm not against it. When I was a -- I just did some pie baking in Detroit this last couple of weeks and we actually messed with sauces, like some horseradish stuff for steak pies. And more on the savory side I'm more into adding a few things on top of there. But as far as pie goes, maybe some caramel on top of an apple pie. I mean, we do have an apple crumb pie but basically I just want to give you a hunk of pie and that's it.
NNAMDIHow about you, Teresa?
VELAZQUEZI'm a traditionalist so, you know, I usually don't put too much on my pie. There is a controversy in our house where I love a slice of my pie with a scoop of ice cream. Because, something with me with that tartness kind of going against the sweetness of the ice cream and maybe cutting some of the sweetness of the pecan pie with the ice cream. So my husband, my son, total purists. They are not letting anything touch their pie. I mean, that's it.
HENRYI mean, I like it both ways...
YOCKELSONWell, for me it's not finished with whipped cream or vanilla custard sauce. It's just -- I don't mind it naked, but I like it with a little extra cream.
NNAMDIA lot of times, Lisa, when we talk about pie, our mind goes straight to dessert, but savory pies are popular, too. Any favorites?
YOCKELSONIn London, I have to say we did a lot of baking with steak and kidney pie. And that was my favorite. That was actually...
NNAMDIRodney should've been there.
YOCKELSON...that was my favorite. That was my final exam at the Cordon 'Bleu which was a feuillete, which is a very flaky crust with steak and kidney pie filling. I have to say I've grown to love it over time. Not initially, but over time I like it.
NNAMDIHow about you, Rodney?
HENRYWell, I like all savory pies. I mean, the steak-mushroom-onion-gruyere is really unbelievable. But the pork barbecue -- I mean, I like any sort of meat in there. Like, now that I learned how to make a steak and kidney pie I dig that too, you know, 'cause I know how to bake it right. I mean, I just -- meat pie is so awesome, man. You get a whole meal in one slice of pie. It just -- I'm joneses for it right now, I gotta tell you. Just talking about this whole pie is making me crazy.
NNAMDIWell, Teresa, I know you sell a ton of quiche at Baked and Wired, don't you?
VELAZQUEZWe do, we do.
NNAMDIAnd that's what people like.
YOCKELSONWhich is a pie. It's the same pie crust that you use for the pie. It's just in a different fluted pan. So it is a savory pie. You know, the -- one of the most popular ones is the Manly quiche. And I came up with that because my father always used to...
NNAMDIReal men don't eat quiche.
YOCKELSONThat's what he said. Real men do not eat pie. So I said if you put enough meat in it, a real man will eat it. So that's, you know, how the manly came about.
NNAMDIYou can now tell your father that he and other real men all love quiche (unintelligible) . Here is Sharri in Annapolis, Md. Sharri, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.
SHARRIHi. You guys have covered the dairy allergies and now how about is there any way to make a pie without gluten -- the crust without gluten?
VELAZQUEZYeah, there are.
NNAMDIA gluten-free pie, Rodney.
HENRYWell, this is -- all right. This is not your standard gluten-free pie, but this is gluten free. And it's going to sound messed up, but we make an awesome scrapple crust pie. And scrapple is gluten free. We make scrapple apple, we make scrapple cowboy quiche. It's out of sight. It's a great thing to use. Otherwise, you know, the Bob's -- I think it's -- what's it, Hog's Mill, something like that -- all that's just kinda hard to work with. If you use like buckwheat, stuff like that, it works really well. But I really dig the -- I was surprised that scrapple worked as a really good crust. A little hard to press it around, but once you get it, prebake it. It's a really awesome crust. It's out of sight.
VELAZQUEZI mean, there are -- you know, you can use your flour substitutes and you can do the same thing with cutting in your butter. As all the gluten-free people know it is a different product and you know what you're going to end up with. And I think it's harder to get the flake when you're using your flour substitutes than you do with your all-purpose flour. So, you know, it's just kinda working with a completely different beast, but it can be done.
YOCKELSONWell, I say the hell with the crust and just bake the filling. And that would be my answer. Because I think pie is, you know, crust and filling together. But I would just bake the filling and call it a custard pie without the crust.
NNAMDIHere is Ellen in -- and Sharri, thank you very much for your call and good luck to you -- here's Ellen in Fairfax Station, Va. Ellen, your turn.
ELLENHi, Kojo. Thanks for taking my call. My question is that I'm entertaining a vegan for Thanksgiving and I would love to be able to serve her traditional pumpkin or chocolate pie but I'm not sure if that's possible. Can you give me some suggestions?
NNAMDISuggestions for a vegan, Lisa. This one's taking some thought...
NNAMDI...as you can tell, Ellen.
YOCKELSONI don't know. I would say that I would really go back to doing a non-pie. I would bake the apple mixture and make it some kind of apple crisp with a particular topping. In fact, you can use Hogs and Mill. That's what you're thinking of, the flour substitute. And I would make a crisp mixture and I would do the apple filling, 'cause you don't need to have anything outside of the regular ingredients. And I would do a crumble topping. And I would bake it in a pie dish and I would serve it as a pie. It will come together and then you don't have to worry about the crust.
VELAZQUEZWell, but you can -- the recipe that I had posted, since I do all of my pie crusts with shortening, and it even goes over the crumb topping with you to use a butter replacement, you will have a vegan apple cranberry crumb pie that is going to be just as good as anything else. So you -- it's gonna be harder for you to go to like the pecan pie, because it needs eggs. You've got the same problem with a pumpkin pie because of the eggs, and egg substitutes aren't really gonna work that well. So I would stick with your fruits and use a shortening crust and then either do a double-crusted pie or come and do the crumb topping with -- go to Whole Foods and get their, you know, their butter replacements, and it's gonna be just as good.
NNAMDIEllen, thank you for your call. Good luck to you. We move onto Sandy in Annandale, Va. Sandy, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.
SANDYHi. My question is actually for Rodney. I'm a big Dangerously Delicious fan, and I just actually I want to say that first of all, I appreciate that your pie shop in D.C. is open later than the bars, because you definitely like having the savory pie options at 3:00 o'clock in the morning. So thanks for that. I was curious, because I know that you started in Baltimore, which is -- I know the whole pie and rock and roll thing seems sort of almost like more conducive to Baltimore. I was curious about the whole vibe of everything. I know you guys are notorious for doing everything by hand and like the whole mom and pop thing, but it's not your stereotypical country, you know, pie shop. You know, the whole rock and roll thing, I'm curious as to how the response has been in a little bit of a more hoity-toity, if you will, city like D.C.
HENRYI'll tell you what, man, I think coming to D.C. was so awesome because I think people needed to get like a little bit -- a dose of like some, I mean, not -- I don't want to say nasty, but sort of like a little bottom rough edge pie thing, and the music is awesome, because the whole thing about what we were doing in the first place is we baked pies to start out to pay for rock and roll. Rock and roll wasn't paying for anything, so pies paid for that. So D.C. has been killer, man. I love it down here, and people down here have super out of sight and really taken to the shop really well. It's awesome.
NNAMDISandy, see if you agree with this. We got a tweet from Susan that says, "Dangerously Delicious's Baltimore Bomb really is all that." Sandy, would you agree?
SANDYI would agree. The Baltimore Bomb is definitely for someone with a serious sweet tooth, but I have had it on a number of occasions.
SANDYI -- yeah. I mean, and I...
HENRYYou're cool, Sandy.
SANDY...I can see why people like it.
NNAMDISandy, thank you very much for you call.
NNAMDIWe got an email from Ryan about crust ingredients. "Would you please ask your guests what fat or fats, butter, lard, vegetable shortening, et cetera, they prefer to use when making their pie crusts and why." Teresa?
VELAZQUEZI stick with straight shortening, so all -- I do a lot of my pies with butter Crisco. I like the flake that I get, I find that it's hard to achieve that with a whole butter pie. It's a little bit more forgiving. I don't think that it's as sweet, so you -- you aren't competing with the flavors in your pie with the shortening crust. I mean, it's what my grandmother always used, my mom used, so I kind of just keep that tradition going. I like working with it.
NNAMDIOkay. We got an email from Michael in Alexandria saying, "I love pie much more than cake. So much so, that when I got married, my wife had cake, but I had pie." Have you ever heard of things like that occurring, Lisa?
YOCKELSONOh, sure. I've heard of...
YOCKELSON...pie cake -- pie wedding cake in layers, and I think that, you know, it's your day and it's your sweet tooth, and you get to pick the confection of choice.
NNAMDIIt's my understanding that Rodney actually had people get married in his H Street shop; is that correct?
HENRYI became a reverend for that. It was awesome, man. It was like the best year ever when I married two people that -- they didn't meet at the shop, but they worked at the shop. It was awesome, man. And the pie that we made them for their wedding was so out of sight, triple-tiered pies, strawberry cream with a -- with those -- the candy skulls sort of like the "Day of the Dead" style like people on top like bridge and groom. It was so awesome. We do it all the time. Like we -- we do wedding -- like all -- the whole deal.
HENRYWhat you get is pie -- savory pie, sweet pie, and quiche, and it's just a really cool thing, easy and fun, man. People just get down and eat a bunch of pie. It's -- it actually brings down the -- it makes people relax a little bit I think.
NNAMDIThe pie wedding at Dangerously Delicious Pies. Here is Karen in Arlington, Va. Karen, your turn.
KARENHi, how are you, Kojo?
KARENThis is a great show. First of all, I wanted to hear anyone's thoughts about whether pies might be the new cupcakes and whether that's gonna be trend that we'll see. Hopefully it will be. But also, that Rodney guy needs his own show immediately.
NNAMDIRodney's been all over media.
KARENAnd we also -- and we need to know what he's on, because we all need some of it.
NNAMDIHe's on pies.
HENRYI'm in love.
KARENYou're in love? That's awesome.
KARENBut you really, like you need your own show.
HENRYWell, that's cool.
KARENYou're hilarious, and it's just this is good. I -- it's been a great show.
NNAMDIAre pies the new cupcakes, Teresa?
VELAZQUEZWell, being that we sell thousands and thousands of cupcakes, I don't know if pie is ever gonna replace the cupcake, but I find that it is becoming a more serious contender. For me as a bakery, I don't think that we could produce pie like we can produce thousands of cupcakes. I -- it's gonna then became its mass produced self of what you buy in a grocery store, but I am finding that as people walk along the bakery counter and they choose their cupcakes, then they get to the end where they're going to go pay, and they see the hand pies and they see the beautiful, you know, pies by the slice, and they're like, oh, my God, I think I'm gonna have one of those, too.
VELAZQUEZSo I don't know if it is a replacer, but it certainly is coming out there as being in the front and people recognizing what a really good pie is.
YOCKELSONWell, I think Teresa is onto something with the hand pies, because I don't think anything is going to be a particular substitute for a cupcake because with a cupcake you get it all to yourself. You have the cake, you have the frosting, it's all yours, it's emotion, it's psychological, and it's right back to third grade. So for me, nothing trumps a cupcake, but a hand pie I think is a great and wonderful way to have pie all to yourself just like a cupcake.
NNAMDIHence my hand pie t-shirt. I know people who make tasty pies, but can't manage to get a slice from the pie tin to a plate without the piece falling apart. How do you serve pies without mangling them, Rodney?
HENRYI don't know, man.
NNAMDIDoes it matter if they're mangled?
HENRYThey still taste the same. It's like I know restaurants are kind of particular about how the pie arrives on the plate. They want to have it more like looking very nice. When you take one home, I don't think it's as big a deal, but most of the time the pie stays, you know, pretty much in shape. If you got a pie that's like a fruit pie and you got people putting corn starch and all this stuff in there, it's like you got a gummy bear pie. Who wants that, man? That's horrible. But I got something to say.
HENRYThe whole cupcake thing, man, it drives me insane, but the whole -- I think pie has always been a thing that you brought to somebody's house and you shared it with people, you know what I mean? Like pie was like you showed up and it's like, hey, man, I'm having a pie, and we're all gonna hang out and have some pie together. Like cupcake, I don't know. I mean, don't get me wrong, man, I've eaten plenty of cupcakes in my life, trust me, but it's like man, pie is the new cupcake? I don't ever see it like that. I think pie has been here for so long, when they were making pies and just letting them sit on like rocks in...
NNAMDII think that's the subject of a whole 'nother Food Wednesday conversation.
HENRYLet's get it down, I'm serious.
NNAMDIThe pie-cupcake conversation. Ideally, pies are eaten soon after baking still warm, if possible. But if you don't polish off the whole pie, or need to make them ahead of time, what's the best way to store them, Lisa?
YOCKELSONThe best way to store them actually is to refrigerate the pie and then depending on the pie, like a fruit pie, you bring it up to warm in a low oven. But I like a freshly baked pie. So I do the crust ahead and I bake it off and have it ready with the filling for a few hours before serving.
NNAMDIWhat do you say is the best way to store the pie, Teresa?
VELAZQUEZThe best way to store a pie is to refrigerate it. I say just take it out, let it sit at room temperature. You don't want to put Saran Wrap, plastic wrap, on the pie in the refrigerator. It's not good for the crust. It holds too much moisture. Put some foil on it, put it in there, take it out, let it go to room temp.
NNAMDIBest way to store that bad boy is to eat it as well, I say.
NNAMDIAnd I'm afraid that's all the time we have.
VELAZQUEZThat's for sure.
NNAMDITeresa Velazquez co-owns Baked and Wired in Georgetown. Teresa, thank you for joining us.
NNAMDIRodney Henry owns Dangerously Delicious Pies which has shops in Baltimore and Washington D.C. Rodney, thank you for joining us.
HENRYThanks a lot, appreciate it.
NNAMDILisa Yockelson is a baking journalist and cookbook author. Her latest book is "Baking Style." Lisa, thank you so much for joining us.
YOCKELSONThank you, and happy baking.
NNAMDIWe're gonna take a short break. When we come back, preparing for a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System. I'm Kojo Nnamdi.
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