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Archive for the ‘Pies and Tarts’ Category


Apparently, I have been very busy as of late, but every so often, I pause to reminisce about the Farmers’ Markets.  I probably have been thinking of it more often since the Farmers’ Market was literally two blocks away from work, and I just started work again.

To me, the Farmers’ Market was the best part of the week after all, it signified the end of the work week and the possibility of weekend baking projects.  During that one hour lunch break, I had fun ruminating over the best way to showcase the ripest summer fruits.  Alas, it is winter now, and quite a number of them have closed up.

However, that has not stopped me from thinking about fruits lately.  Even something as common as the apple may have some 46 odd varieties at the European-style market and co-ops that are so popular here in the Bay Area.  I am still unsure what a Jazz Apple tastes like as opposed to a Pink Lady.

That, to me, is unacceptable since both varieties are readily available, so I have been trying my best to learn more about the fruits and vegetables available to me.  What better way to learn about apple varieties than making a pie that is stacked tall with three kinds of apples.

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Please tell me you get the giggles reading the name of this post.  I know I can’t be the only one because every time I loosely mention it in conversation, people stop me and repeat it, “Crack pie?  You got to be kidding me!”

Reading the name alone gave me the giggles for months because it had such an unpolitically correct name.   It took me a long time to take the name of this pie seriously.  By seriously, I mean acquiring the desire to make something silly like crack pie.

Meanwhile, many bloggers have made this pie and raved about its addictive potential.  Dusted with a dubious powder, the pie and its catchy name has taken the nation by storm.  Martha Stewart raves about it.  Anderson Cooper made his mother addicted to it.  I wanted to understand this obsession.  It seems lonely to be left out of this madness!

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My morning routine consists of answering personal emails and sifting through food blogs.  That’s right–I read food blogs in the morning as inspiration for the rest of the day.  It’s my cup of coffee in the morning!

One morning, I saw a blog post about the CJ Olson Cherry stand in Sunnyvale, I knew exactly where I must go that day.  Although the CJ Olson Cherry stand is considered a Sunnyvale institution and reminder of the days when the Silicon Valley used to be called the Valley of Hearts’ Delight, I have never been to the fruit stand in the 18 years I have lived in the South Bay.  The name would always come up from time to time, but it never piqued me enough to venture on out there.

However, I was suddenly craving for pie, and the lure of an amazing cherry pie was too good to pass up that I had to drag a friend along for the adventure.  The pie, of course, was wonderful and buttery and bursting with cherry.  Then, I wondered over a bite-ful of pie, Why don’t I make pies?

Oh yeah, I forgot that I am terrified (and fascinated) by the pate sucree dough that make or break pies.  It’s an irrational fear, but I realize that while I like the filling, I like the crust much more.  Thus, it is a big deal to me if the crust isn’t “right” and I am left with copious amounts of filling!

I must find the perfect tart dough, and the way I am going to test it is if it works beautifully in something low-key and charming like galettes!

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