Andie MacDowell can’t act, but she can sure sing some pie song. Other than saying that Michael smells like cookies and it gets worse when he’s in heat, that pie song is the best part of the movie.
I love pie. Because it’s harder to mess up pie than it is cake, pie wins when I’m out looking for dessert. Moist, flavorful cakes are rare gems outside of my Granny’s kitchen (and I say Granny because the moistest cake that’s ever come out of my kitchen started in a red Betty Crocker box). I don’t know why I can’t just leave batter alone. The joy of mixing? The desire to kill every last lump? It took me years to figure out that my pancakes tasted more like pan than cakes because I was beating the hell out of them. Not so with biscuits, because I learned that biscuits could be dropped instead of rolled, and this was the only thing that saved them. And here’s where I admit that to this day I have never, not once, made a pie crust from scratch. Pie crust comes from my grocer’s freezer in either a pie tin or a rolled tube. Every time I watch Ina make a pie crust in her food processor while trying to persuade me as to how easy it is, I ask myself why haven’t I made homemade crust.
Actually, I know the why. Because it’s lies, Ina. It’s not easy! Pie crust and cakes are made by people with flour thumbs, or else everyone’s pies and cakes would be delicious. Either that, or people just won’t suck it up and use lard like they oughtta.
It seems like I’m avoiding getting down to it, doesn’t it? Ok, here goes. There are a couple of new pie places in Seattle that I was very excited to try. I wanted to be a super big, loyal fan because a girl cannot live on cupcakes alone. I first visited High Five Pie last February and was very impressed with how gorgeous the place is.
The display case was a wonderland of pastry delights, and as soon as I saw “Pie Jar” I knew I had to have one. We also ordered a biscuit and an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie (if there’s an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie on the menu, I will have it. Oh yes. I will have it).
As you may be able to see here, when I lifted up the first forkful I felt the first twinge of anxiety. There was a decided lack of “goo” that I associate with pie. Do you know what makes good goo? Sugar. Sugar and butter and juice from fruits. Without sugar and butter, there’s no goo. No goo? No good, man.
I suspect what’s happening at High Five, and I don’t know this for a fact because I haven’t spoken with the people there, but I suspect that they, like almost everybody else in Seattle, are biased against Big Sugar. We’ve got to put less in our foods to save the world. What’s that? It’s a dessert and it’s supposed to be sweet? Mad concept.
All joking aside, the pie filling was dry, not very sweet, and the crust wasn’t awesome. I know High Five uses all butter to make their crusts, but perhaps they’re not keeping the butter cold when mixing, as the crust was tough and chewy. Lard. Try it.
A biscuit with butter and a pat of strawberry jam. Weirdly enough, the biscuit was the best thing we had a High Five Pie. They must be using all butter in those as well, and the dough wasn’t overworked. The result is a damn good biscuit.
If the oatmeal chocolate chip had a crisp outside to go with the chewy inside, it could’ve been spectacular. It wasn’t, so I haven’t had one since. In fact, I haven’t been back to High Five since that visit and not one person has even encouraged me to give it another try.
Feeling down, but not out, we drove to the center of the Universe in hopes of fulfilling the pie jones. Pie is located on the busy Fremont Avenue, surrounded by cafes, coffee joints, music shops, and more bakeries. The small eating area was crowded, which is always a good sign, and there was a line at the counter. Promising! When we finally got our turn at the counter, my expectations dropped when I saw the minimal goods on display.
The first items I saw were mini pies, but upon closer inspection,I realized they weren’t pies, they were cookies shaped like pies. I know there are crusts made out of cookie crumbs–graham cracker crusts, chocolate wafer crusts, shortbread crusts, but there’s a line that’s crossed when your crust is just a peanut butter cookie that’s shaped into a crust. It’s a cookie, not a pie.
While there were a couple of different savory pies available, with the exception of the cookies, there were no sweet pies. We were assured they were baking and would be out soon, I was kind of stunned at the empty shelves and displays. Three bakers were getting busy toward the back, but still?
I sucked it up and ordered a savory and got a couple of cookies. I wasn’t leaving without trying something.
This is a peanut butter cookie with a chocolate center. Sure it was tasty, because there’s nothing wrong with a peanut butter cookie filled with chocolate, man, just don’t look me I’m eating pie when there’s cookie in my mouth.
Peanut butter and jelly pie/cookie. If the Pie folks had created a thinner cookie crust in an attempt to recreate a pie experience, maybe I could get on board. But until then, this is a cookie, man.
Finally the savory pie I wanted finished baking, and I wasn’t even mad that I had to wait–you have to wait for hot pot pie at any restaurant, so there’s no grudge here. But waiting for them to replenish fruit or cream pies? Insanity.
Freshly baked chicken pot pie is in my all time top five favorites, and I had high hopes.
I liked the thinner crust on this pie, and the ingredients were there, but there was no “creamy” to hold it all together. It was dry, heavy on the potatoes, and just wasn’t a good pie. I looked around at the crowd and guessed maybe I’d ordered the wrong items.
Pie wasn’t as upscale snazzy as High Five, and looking at the pictures months after trying them both kinda makes me want to take a bite again, but then there’s that whole “I wasted those carbs on this?” Maybe we just went on the wrong day and should try again, but when there are places like the Seattle Pie Company where I know every time I go my mouth is going to be amazed, it’s hard to imagine trying these places again.