Jenny and I are avid pinners and are often enticed by the aspirational recipe offerings and lifestyle styling on Pinterest. Like you, we've drooled over the beautifully styled shoots featuring vintage decor and mouthwatering pastries. We also realized that between the two of us that "we could do that" (interesting enough, many a Pinterest Fails also begin this way) and so we began scheming. It would be a tea party where each lady would bring a pie to share and after we'd publish an electronic recipe book to commemorate.
Jenny and I looked forward to seeing pie in all it's forms... cream pie, tarts, fruit pies, hand pies, meat pies and pies in a jar... But how would we find willing accomplices to accept the challenge of baking a pie? I put the call out and a dozen ladies answered.
On December 8, 2013 we hosted the inaugural Upper Crust pie celebration.
How it worked (The rules we sent the ladies)
1. Bring pie to share. A standard 9 inch pie, or 12 hand pies, whoopie pies, mason jar pies so we can at least all get a taste!
2. Pie must be homemade. Commercial/frozen pies, crusts and canned fillings are verboten. Pies made with your mom/personal baking gnome are ok. Bonus points if you make everything from scratch. We’ll want to hear all about it on your recipe. Tips, tricks, mistakes to avoid.
3. Cold is fine and we can heat it up at my house if it’s better warm.
4. If you have a hard time with crust, try a crustless pie like shepherd’s pie or pie in a jar. Pies can also be made with a short bread crust or buttered cookie crumbs. I can help with inspiration. Its not scary!
5. We need some pies to be sweet and some to be savoury. If you aren’t particular, let me know and I’ll tell you which we need more of after everyone has RSVPed.
6. RSVP here on Facebook with the type of pie you’ll be bringing. First to RSVP with the pie gets to make that type of pie. No dupes!
7. Presentation counts! We’ll be taking pictures of your lovely creations for a digital recipe book, so please do try to make it pretty! You'll get a copy of this e-book with your recipe and the recipes of all the ladies pies!
8. Email me the recipe of your pie or bring a copy of the recipe so I can include it in the book. BONUS POINTS: the story of the pie, who’s recipe?, memories of the pie, suggested modifications to the recipe or sides to go with the pie. Colour commentary.
9. As some people have special diets, we will be putting small place cards with each pie with the major ingredients. (nuts, meat, gluten, milk, etc.)
10. Come hungry and bring a container. There's gonna be alotta pie
The house was cleaned and decorated, flowers arranged, fine silver polished by hand (thanks Doreen!), english bone china delivered from the depths of ebay and a douglas fir liberated and adorned. John - excited by the idea of so much pie in his house, volunteered to be the tea sandwich master chef and official tea water boiler with the hope that a benevolent pie maker would bequeath him a slice for good behavior.
To ensure we had things to each other than pie to eat local delicacies such as Soirette macarons, Thomas Haas chocolates, Oyama Sausage Co. duck and pistachio terrine , a variety of cheeses from Benton Brothers Fine Cheese, cold smoked salmon, micro greens, and fresh fruit from Granville Island were served. A pot each of Black, Red, Green and White Teas were served with milk, lemon syrup, honey, raw sugar and sugar cubes.
We suspected that this would be a fun day but we had no idea how enjoyable it would be to eat other people's pies and hear their sentimental stories and trials, tribulations, failures & successes. It was well worth the effort because the day was full of hot tea, elegant tiny sandwiches, great pie, and most importantly laughs! You'd be surprised at how hard it is to eat 11 slices of pie in one sitting, though we gave it our best! haha.
In the end as promised, we made a compilation of all our recipes. Jenny processed the photography and I assembled a book that I hope will bring joy to our friends and family.
A web friendly version is available for download here (5 MB). A print version is available upon request. It would mean a lot if you'd leave a comment if you liked our book.
Jenny and I hope to have more of you join us at Upper Crust 2014!