Monday, January 23, 2012


Created by the American Pie Council, National Pie Day is the celebration of pie. Why January 23rd, you ask? According to the APC, "because celebrating the wholesome goodness of pie is as easy as 1-2-3." Today would be the perfect day to host a Pie Social; bake your favorite pie and share it with your neighbors, friends, and coworkers. Or do what I'm doing and get together with friends for a pie baking jamboree.

The next question, of course, would be what kind of pie? The three most popular in the United States is apple, pumpkin, and pecan pie. But I'm thinking something a little more decadent, like Chocolate Lavender Pie. I modified a recipe I found on Sunday Suppers that was originally created by Camille Becerra. Now, grab a slice of life!

Chocolate Lavender Pie
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick organic butter, cut to small pieces
1 organic egg yolk
  1. Pulse the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Scatter the butter pieces over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in.
  2. Stir egg to break the yolk. Add a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses - 10 seconds each - until the dough forms clumps and curds. Turn the dough out onto a work space with very little handling and form a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for about 2 hours before rolling.
  3. Roll out, fit to pan, fold overhang in, making double-thick sides. Pierce crust all over with the fork.
  4. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes or longer, before baking.
  5. For a parbaked crust, preheat oven to 375º F.
  6. Butter shiny side of aluminum foil and fit, butter side down, tightly against the crust. Since the crust is frozen there is no need to add pie weights. Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake on center rack for 20 minutes.
  7. Carefully remove the foil. if the crust has puffed, press down on it gently with the back of a spoon. Bake the crust another 10 minutes, or until it is firm and golden brown (you may want to protect the crust edge from browning too much by placing foil over it.)
  8. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool crust to room temperature, and proceed with the rest of the recipe.
Chocolate Custard:
3 oz bittersweet chocolate chip
2 cups cream
2 tbsp dried lavender
1/2 cup sugar
5 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 egg yolks, beaten slightly
1 tbsp butter
  1. Heat the cream over medium-low heat without scalding. Turn off heat, add lavender and steep for about 10 minutes, strain.
  2. Add sugar, flour, salt, chocolate, and eggs to cream and whisk together. Cook while stirring on medium heat until it bubbles and thickens, about 5 to 10 minutes. If it becomes lumpy, just beat out the lumps. Continue to cook until you get the consistency you want.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in butter.
  4. Chill slightly and pour into prepared crust.
  5. Allow to set through (about 4 hours) before cutting.
Crystallized Lavender:
2 tbsp dried lavender
1/4 cup granulated sugar
  1. Blanch lavender in boiling water for 30 seconds. Strain well and lightly pat dry.
  2. While lavender is still moist roll it in sugar. Spread on a sheet pan to dry separating clusters as best as you can.
*bain marie: is also known as a water bath and a technique to heat materials gently and gradually to fixed temperatures; this is to keep it from scorching, scalding or burning. Typically an inner container is immersed about halfway into the working liquid, with the heat source outside the outer container.

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