I hinted last week that I was getting ready to embark on a pie project. I’ve been smitten with the lady behind The World Needs More Pie for quite some time. And by smitten, I mean I have to refrain from hopping in my car and driving all the way to Iowa to bake a pie with her. And play in her apron collection because I imagine it’s as equally wonderful as her pies.
Then last week, while thumbing through my Taste of Home magazine I learned of Vicki from Half Baked Retirement whose retirement goal is to bake a pie everyday and give it away. BAKE A PIE EVERYDAY. I admire her ambition but I can’t even wrap my head around daily pies. But Vicki? She is cranking out the pies. I think she’s on like day 200 and something.
Beyond admiring Vicki’s enthusiasm for pie baking, I was also taken by her guidelines she established for herself:
1. Find a new pie recipient everyday. No repeats. At least some must be strangers.
2. Try to use fresh, local ingredients, when possible
3. Try to bake and give a pie away everyday.
4. Bake pies that please the recipient.
The thought of baking pies for complete strangers melted me and if I lived in Vicki’s town, I’d bake a pie for her and tell her so. I can’t tell you how often I wish I was doing more, making more of a difference, taking honest strides to increase the happiness in someone else’s life. We live in a very, very selfish world and I hate that I often fall victim to my surroundings and don’t appreciate my blessings enough. Sure I volunteer from time to time for church baking activities or community bake sales, but a full-on-baking routinely-for-others project? Selfishly, I hadn’t gotten around to doing anything of the sort.
Also? I can’t tell you how badly I am at making pie crust.
But if I told you that the decision to jump in on the pie project was entirely selfless, I’d be fibbing. I’m doing it partially because I think it’s an admirable thing to do and I do believe that I will find great satisfaction in delivering happiness in the form of baked goods, but to be fair, I’m also doing it because I think it’s a way of pushing myself personally to master something that makes me fret.
That darn pie crust.
Now, I won’t be doing daily pies. Oh, no, no, no. I accept my limitations and know that I would be setting myself up for failure trying to join the ranks of the Vicki’s in the world. For me, I’m committing to weekly pies hence the 52 Pies Project.
There are 52 weeks in a year therefore I’ll bake 52 pies.
I searched and searched Instagram for a hashtag that wasn’t already taken. PieProject. ThePieProject. WeeklySlice. EatMorePie.
But 52 Pies Project?
See? It’s an omen that I should only commit to a pie a week.
So, to kick things off here’s my 52 Pies Project: Cast Iron Chocolate Pecan Wedge Pie.
I know. It’s a doozy to start off with, but since I wasn’t gifting this pie (I need to practice a couple of times before I go galavanting across town dropping off the goods) I elected to use my cast iron wedge typically reserved for corn bread.
The wedge pan makes the perfect pie slice!
And since this pie is baked into a Cast Iron Wedge Pan, you might find this link handy for caring for your cast iron: Cleaning 101: How to Clean a Cast Iron Pan.
- 1/ 2 package refrigerated piecrust (1 sheet)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chip morsels
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Using a refrigerated pie crust, roll out onto a floured surface smoothing out the rolled edges. Cut the dough into equal triangles equivalent to your wedge pan. My pan is a 9inch and will need 8 triangles. Press the triangles into the wedge pan, and up the sides- making a little boat for the pecan filing.
- In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, vanilla, slat and cinnamon until well blended. Stir in chopped pecans. Slowly pour the batter into each of the wedges. Sprinkle about 1 1/2 tbsp of mini chocolate chip morsels on top of the filling.
- Bake approximately 30 minutes or until the crust is a golden brown and the centers are set. Allow to cool in pan for 30 minutes.
As with any Pecan Pie, it’s delicious as dessert, an afternoon snack, or heck…have it for breakfast with a cold glass of milk.
I did. Yum.
I also had it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
And then I quickly realized that these pies will HAVE to be gifted otherwise I will put on even MORE weight than I already have this past year.
So, just a few more pies for practice and then we’re off to the races, er….delivery route.
I did however, wrap up a couple of slices for some friends I knew wouldn’t be overly critical.
And you guys, can I tell you how excited I am about packaging these things? I’m on a mission to make them cute.
Packaging is my love language.
It just is.
There’s a new menu category at the top of the website for the pie project and each week, I’ll add the pie of the week to the drop down so if you ever want to come scroll through the 50+ pies, it’ll be user friendly. There’s also a sign up on the right hand sidebar where you can sign up for the pies via email. And next week sometime there will be a fun little graphic to go along with the weekly slice emails, but for now, it’s just the generic sign up.
Have anyone in mind you’d like to nominate for a pie? I’m going to quickly run out of friends, family and neighbors and will need ideas. Otherwise, I’m going to be the weird girl sitting outside of Target asking strangers if they’d like some pie.
That doesn’t sound like it’ll go well at all. 🙂