Here is the winning recipe for the pie Molly and I (a.k.a Team Peace o’ Pie) created for SF Food Wars 2011 Pie or Die competition. Note that I’m not at liberty to share the techniques behind the secret pie crust recipe. But I will list the ingredients: unsalted butter, water, salt, all purpose flour. We don’t use lard. I recommend using your favorite flaky 100% butter pie recipe.
Lemon Shaker Pie with a Sugary Dusting of Violet Petal Dust (photo by Lisa Boghosian)
Lemon Shaker Pie with a Sugary Dusting of Violet Petals & Zest
This pie has a double crust (top and bottom). Before you lay your top crust atop the pie, be sure to cut out 4 vents (narrow long slits).
Pre-heat oven to 400-degrees.
- 3 lemons
- 1-1/2 cups of sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup of flour
- 2 tablespoons of softened butter
- 1/3 cups of water
- 1/3 cup of lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- Line a pie pan with your favorite all butter pie dough (again, apologies, but Peace o’ Pie’s dough recipe is a closely guarded secret). Prepare another pie dough round for the top and pre-cut 4 vents for steam to escape.
- Zest the 3 lemons and set aside.
- Remove peel and white pith from one lemon, section and set the lemon sections aside.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar cinnamon and salt. Add the water/lemon juice combo, and eggs. Whisk in the lemon zest and lemon sections. Stir in softened butter.
- Pour mixture into a pastry lined pie pan. Lightly brush the outside edges of the bottom crust with egg wash. Place the other dough round on top and seal the edges. Create a nice flute all along the outside edge. Brush the top and out side fluted edge of the crust with egg wash. You really want to make sure your edges are sealed. You don’t want a leaky pie!
- Lightly sprinkle the top of the pie with about a teaspoon of sugar.
- Back directly on the oven rack for 45 minutes. If you are concerned about spills, place a piece of foil or baking sheet on the rack below. Metal pie pans are best.
- Once the pie has cooled completely, sprinkle sugary petal dust and more lemon zest on top and serve!
Ah…but what about the sugary violet petal dust? Read on…
Sugary Violet Petal Dust (Makes 1 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon of African Violet Petal Dust (find this at cake specialty or candy making shops). A little goes a long way!
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- Zest from four lemons
- Mix together and spread on parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Let dry for 24 hours (zest needs to dry out a bit).
- Keep in sealed container.
Six experimental pies and one month since we started prepping for SF Food Wars, Team Peace o’ Pie has taken home the Judges’ 1st place and the People’s Honorable mention.
A Twist on Shaker Lemon Pie -- Team Peace o' Pie
What makes this sweeter than ever is that we bested our last year’s place (Judges’ 2nd).
I mentioned before what participating in an SF Food Wars is like for me (“”To me, SF Food Wars is much like Fernet: at first, a little voice in my head says, “Hell yes, let’s do this,” both make me giddy and willing to talk to strangers, and finally, both leave me feeling hung-over, wondering, “What was I thinking?””).
This year was different for several reasons:
- Experimentation: We baked 6 pies and experimented every which way with filling, toppings, levels of sugar in the crust, number of pies in oven, number of slits in the top crust, etc.
- Mindful spending: We tried to calculate costs carefully so that we could at least break-even provided we placed. We also were mindful of how we spent our time. Do we bother with little design details like adding “vote for us” tags on each slice? We considered it, but really it wasn’t worth the time to us. We knew up front how much energy we were willing to exert in order to maintain a sense of fun (even if we ‘lost’).
- Planning: We budgeted our time, measurements and baking cycles so we had enough time to drop-off items at the event, park, set-up and serve.
- Prep-work: We did as much in stages as possible, setting aside about eight hours the day before to prep and bake.
- Location: This we had no control over. But happily, it was a sunny day in front of the Ferry Building. This added to the cheery attitude of everyone, really. Even better, we were able to wear short-sleeved dresses without a goose bump in sight.
Things that stay the same at SF Food Wars: meeting new people, like the delightful @thetomatotart and her crew of gals (http://www.thetomatotart.com/
I was asked by friends if we’ll compete the next time around. My answer: not sure. Feels kind of good to end on a high note.
Mary (left) and Molly (right)
To me, SF Food Wars is much like Fernet: at first, a little voice in my head says, “Hell yes, let’s do this,” both make me giddy and willing to talk to strangers, and finally, both leave me feeling hung-over, wondering, “What was I thinking?” Still for the past two years, I’ve gone back for more.
A brief history with SF Food Wars.
My first: SF Food Wars Mini Cupcake Clash 2009, with Team Baby Bites. I learned the most from this first one: Be organized. Be early. Be calm. Get sleep. Have fun.
We baked bacon chive poppers
with sour cream icing . We didn’t place, but received the biggest compliment of from Brandon of Mission Minis (who btw, was on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars) wanted the recipe for his shop. I was going to trade him the recipe for 100 mini cupcakes/month. Seriously. I didn’t close the deal though…the sheer logistics seemed silly. He’s not silly. The logistics were.
My second: SF Food Wars Pie or Die 2010, with Team Peace o’ Pie. We placed 2nd (Judges’ Choice) with Sour Cherry Sweet Berry Pie. Got some free stuff and a cool medal with just the right amount of weight.
This year is my third (June 12, 2011): SF Food Wars’ Pie or Die Part Deux with Team Peace o’ Pie once again! We might have a better chance of actually taking first this year. We have a new recipe (though will have the same buttery, flaky crust). Stay tuned to see what we’re baking for the event.