Zen and the Art of Homemade Pies

September 30, 2007

Yes, silly title but do you know how hard it is to get a decent pie in the my part of the south? I don’t know where this craving came from, possibly Alton Brown, but I just want to find a nice place with homemade pies. Not pecan (pee-can) pies, any pie but that one. Pecan pies are the fast food in the pie world.

Sure, I could run out to my local grocery store and get some homogenized version of a blueberry pie, complete with corn syrup, but that would still leave me longing for a homemade pie crust and that taste (or soul) that comes with a pie being made by someone’s hands as opposed to an assembly line.

I went around Chattanooga on a Saturday afternoon, searching out these home-cooking establishments and most did the ubiquitous pecan pie and lemon meringue pies….most store bought. Not looking good.

Over a nice Vietnamese dinner out with Mom & the Wife, I let them know about my failed hunt for a homemade pie. This is how I typically wind up learning how to do something…from web stuff, or car stuff, or cooking….I learn because I’m not happy with what I find. I really don’t have enough patience to be a pastry chef, although a recent attempt at dark chocolate buttercream turned out great…but I digress.

So, the Wife hearing about this hunt, as a part of her venture out to a craft fair called to ask, “if I find a pie here, do you want me to buy it?”. Me: “Um, hell yeah”. She comes home with one of the most beautiful examples of piedom, a buttermilk custard pie and….yep, you guessed it, a pecan pie. Both homemade, with homemade crusts and good ingredients. But that buttermilk pie, awesome crust, awesome taste, solid and firm, wonderful taste…yep said it twice.

But yeah, it took going to a craft fair in Rock Spring, Georgia, to find a homemade pie. Not in a restaurant, but at a Fair. Then again, this is Fair season, with Fall Fairs turning up every weekend en’ masse , complete with kettle corn and homemade foods. Like I said earlier, I’ll probably learn how to make pies just to satisfy this monster.