The Politics of Pie
Ever notice how pie always seems to get overlooked at holiday parties? Sure, everyone wants a piece but if there are cookies or sliced fruit or pieces of baklava on the dessert table everyone goes for that stuff first.
First, there is the apprehension about being the first person to cut into the pie. You are nervous that you might come across as greedy. You wouldn’t want to cut into a pie and be the only one to eat it would you? And if you are the only one to eat it, then the remainder of the pie is clear evidence for the rest of the crowd of exactly how much pie you ate. People might judge you for wanting a big piece (what a pig!) or even for taking a small piece (that’s all?!) Plus the first piece always ends up looking pretty mangled and who wants that?
Then, of course, if you are slicing the pie on behalf of other people you get caught up in the politics of size. People will start telling you to cut them a small piece, but just how small is small anyway? Are they just being coy and saying that so that when they are dished out a a huge piece and they eat the whole damn thing they can blame you for their gluttony? I remember one Thanksgiving when my sis was doling out pieces of pie. One of my uncles asked for a sliver of pumpkin pie and my sister cut him a piece that was quite literally 1 centimetre wide. We all looked at her and laughed as my uncle said, `What the hell is that?!` Apparently we all have different definitions for sliver.
So my answer to the politics of pie is this: pie squares.
Remember the 25lbs apples that I picked on Thanksgiving weekend? Well, besides packing away three a day between breakfast and lunch I decided to actually use them in a recipe. And what’s better than home made apple pie? Apple pie in a convenient eat-with-your-hands bar form, that’s what! It’s like a fast food apple pie because you can take it on the run—but it’s better because it’s vegan and McCruelty free.
Oh yeah, and you can put it on your Christmas cookie tray too and expect people to overlook all the other pies on the dessert table. How do you like them apples?
Apple Pie Squares
- 3 c. pastry flour
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 3/4 c. vegetable ghee
- 6 Tbsp cold water
- 1/4 c. graham cracker crumbs or bread crumbs
- 3 large Mutsu apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
- 1/2 c. dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Combine dry ingredients until well mixed. Add in vegetable ghee and cold water. Mix with your hands until the dough just comes together to form a ball. Be careful not to overmix the dough as it will become less flaky.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and put in the fridge to chill for 1-2 hours.
Cut the dough in half with a pastry cutter. Place one half on a non-stick mat and roll out the dough carefully until it is large enough to cover a 8×8 inch baking dish. Roll the dough around the rolling pin and then unroll the dough over the baking dish. Trim the edges of the crust knife.
Once you lay the filling then repeat with the second half of the crust for the top of the pie.
Preheat the oven to 375*F
In a small bowl combine the sugar and spices.
Cover the bottom crust with bread crumbs or graham cracker crumbs. Place half of the sliced apples on top in one layer. Sprinkle half of the sugar mixture over the apples. Repeat.
Lay the remaining crust over the filling and score the top so that steam can escape.
Bake for 35 minutes or until both the top and bottom crusts are gold brown.
Once the pie is cooled, cut into squares and enjoy!
The 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies is being hosted by Abby Sweets.
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