Dangerously Delicious Pies (Truck).

If there was ever an intellectual challenge, this is it.  The quest: search far and wide, in towns, cities and villages (villages?) and find a job that is superior to owning a pie truck.   That’s right, a pie truck.   Take an ordinary ice cream truck, get rid of that tweeting, chirpy theme song box, the deep-freeze barrels and replace it with warming trays and pie.  Slice after slice of homemade pies.  Fruits pies, chess pies, chocolate pies and savory pies.  Fill up a truck with pie, and drive it around.  I dare you to propose an occupation that outdoes the happiness quota of manning a pie truck.

You may not make millions, but there will be millions of pies.

Work?  Hardly.  You’d be sitting in a mobile heaven, a small chamber of pie-love on wheels.  And just think of all the joy that a pie truck spreads to the less-fortunately employed, simply by dispensing pies across the city.  With all the good-will being spread, you’d be hard pressed not to be escalated to sainthood.  By driving a pie truck, spread good cheer and fruit-filling, the masses would assemble to petition for the addition of a halo to your image as a PieMan.  That’s the power of pie.

I can’t take credit for the sheer genius of a pie truck, Dangerously Delicious Pies of Baltimore, Maryland has already done it with their Dangerously Delicious Pie (Truck) roaming the streets of Washington.   The black truck emblazoned with pie and cross-bones travels the DC streets, even during the slushy snow days that  seem  to scare off the more delicate cupcake and pastry trucks.  And even on such snow days, the pies are hot and yes, dangerously delicious.

After a quick two-hour session of productivity at work and twitter research which revealed that the Dangerously Delicious truck was less than four blocks away, I recruited a fellow pie fan for a lunch break.  Because of course, pie constitutes only the most nutritious and delicious of lunches.  Having made the unfortunate decision to wear my glasses, after about two minutes outside in the odd Washington combination of snow and wet sleet-rain, I was blind.  Actually requiring eyesight-help, fogged-up glasses do nothing in aiding the absolutely necessary step in food truck locating—the actual spotting.  All the twitter information in the world does nothing when it comes down to finding the physical truck.  Following a quick detour in the wrong direction though, the pie truck was spotted…and it was pulling away!

Thankfully, my pie compatriot was a native New Yorker, and therefore was born with an affinity for hailing moving vehicles.  The Dangerously Delicious Pies (Truck) pulled over in a bus stop and a lined formed, complete with DC policemen who had no interest in illegally parked vehicles, only in the Apple Pie.  The PieMan in the truck was more than happy to recommend pies, insisting of course that they were all good, but that the Baltimore Bomb was currently the best-seller.

The pies.  Oh the pies.  The Baltimore Bomb, a sweet vanilla chess pie (southern tradition, egg-based baked custard) loaded up with Berger Cookies that melt down and create a sweet, chocolaty miss-mash, is a winner if you’re in the mood for something close to the maximum tolerable amount of sweetness. In true pie form, the Blueberry Pie is perfectly warm, messy, and loaded with a tart and remarkably fresh fruit filling.  The crust is appropriately flaky and not at all soggy.  Each slice is served in an individual container and while $6.50 a slice may seem pricey, you’re getting a good sixth of a pie, and a delicious homemade pie at that.  It’s also on the go, for the spur-of-the-moment pie need.

Only after demolishing the pie did we notice the looks of envy from the other patrons in the coffee shop we had settled in.  They should be envious.  Those who lack pie really should remedy the situation.  And what better way than to walk outside and visit a pie truck?

Dangerously Delicious Pies (Truck) accepts credit cards, for those struck by the need-for-pie when they are unfortunately lacking cash.

S’mores Tart.

Dear god, it’s been almost a month.  Three weeks about, on the nose.  Have I not eaten in the past three weeks?  Clearly not.  With a combination of finals, Thanksgiving, and the relative consumption of food either after all the natural light is gone or—oh my—before the camera makes it out of the bag…golly food writing is hard.  All that food and not enough time.  Oh, the struggles.

Speaking of struggles, really difficult, soul-wrenching struggles, try finishing a slice of this S’mores Tart.  Appealing to the child-within, this S’mores Tart is everything a s’mores should be, warm, melting, overwhelming chocolaty with a salty-graham finish.  A hint of toasted marshmallow caramel.  Except sophisticated and lacking the campfire.  (But if you close your eyes, don’t worry, the campfire is still there when you want it.)  So what’s the problem you ask?  How, on this dear planet of ours, could finishing a decadent wedge of this tart be a hardship?  Especially when, at the age of eight, eating s’mores en mass was the easiest thing about camping.

Because, as it often happens with the most delicious of deserts, when your tongue says yes, sometimes your stomach says no.  God damn those internal organs.  Although my brain wants to eat a rich and melting bar of buttery ganache topped with light and airy toasted marshmallows, my gut can’t handle it.  And the discord between heart and stomach, tongue and stomach, soul and stomach, is too much.  So what, don’t make the tart?

Don’t be ridiculous.  Make the tart, and then eat little slices.  Every hour, each hour, until it’s gone.

Recipe on the following page.

Tarte Tatin.

As it turns out, sugar and caffeine are not the sole components of a balanced diet.  Really, who knew?  That alone is my paltry, pathetic reason for the lack of sweet posts in the past two months.  Because, contrary to the image I try to convey in my everyday and blogging life sometimes, occasionally, it turns out that a person has to eat a little something else.  ‘Something else’ translates into those superfluous others: iron, protein, carbohydrates, meat, vegetables, maybe some salad, a bowl of soup, a sandwich, eggs.  You know, that little group of foods, i.e. the entirety of the Food Pyramid not containing sugar and butter.

It’s really very unfortunate.  Those other foods take up a lot of time and the desserts have fallen by the wayside.  Cover your ears, shield your eyes!  Say it isn’t so.  (But it is.)

About a month ago, after the lack of sugar became really too much to bear, I went out and bought 10 Crunch Bars.  Those milk chocolate candy bars studded with crispy rice.  And then I made a chocolate pound cake, covered the bottom with all 10 Crunch Bars and proceeded to make a little chocolate ganache – for good measure- to drizzle on top because every cake deserves a healthy drizzle.  It was an extreme and delicious ricochet effect, caused by the very unseemly lack of sugar.  Where, exactly, did it go?  It met its end in less than two days.  A valid sacrifice of an extravagant cake.  But while it was rich, sweet, moist and all things great that a cake should aspire to be, it was sloppy.  Take a second and imagine a dark chocolate cake that didn’t really want to come out of the pan, and cover it in a lot of chocolate.  Now imagine after 10 hands and forks have gone through it.

Not my most beautiful effort, but it set the groundwork for sweets and pastries to come and if that Crunch Bar cake was delicious, than let me take a moment to introduce you to this beauty, Tarte Tatin.  Elegant, rich, and the embodiment of fall it is in fact easier to make than said Crunch Bar fiasco.  Imagine plump caramelized apples atop a flaky and very, very buttery crust tasting better in fact than it looks.  And it’s a beautiful tarte.

Tarte Tatin is the upscale cousin of an apple pie, so yes, it is complemented extremely well by vanilla ice cream.  And it is delicious warm.  Or cold.  Or room temperature.

The best part is, it is made of apples.  Which are a fruit.  Which qualifies as a vegetable.  Which means that it really can be the main course in any meal, including dinner therefore obliterating any qualms I have about eating pastries for my meal.

Which is not to say I really have any problems with that.  At all.

Recipe on the following page.

Crack Pie Ice Cream.

Is it obscene?  Well, that really depends on where you stand in the battle of fat.  Are you afraid of a little cream, a little butter?  What about a little sugar then?

In a pervious post I noted that, as a Crack Pie Round Two, I was going to dress the Crack Pie portion of the Chocolate-Malt Cake and Blueberry and Cream Cookies Momofuku Milk Bar Trio in my absolutely favorite treatment.  Make it into Ice Cream.  So, that little amount of butter—you know, ½ a pound isn’t that much—plus a custard base, that’s not obscene, is it?  I’ve discovered that, when it comes to ice cream, my stomach and brain—oh yea, not the reasonable part of my brain, no way that gray matter has anything to do with my decisions today—demolish my arteries.  You’re clogging you say?  Butter will help with that.

Recipe on next page.

Crack Pie.

It hard to pin down, just exactly, what is so addictive about Crack Pie. The name, for one is particularly attractive in a bad kind of way—the way in which you feel like you’re doing something naughty ‘Oooo I’m doing Crack! Or at least, eating something called Crack…tee hee hee.’ It’s the square-bakers kind of foray into hard drugs, the excessive consumption of sugar and fat, dangerous in that the aftermath consists of bloated stomachs full of ecstasy and a requisite crash on some kind of soft surface.

Did Crack Pie bring about these things? Well, yes. But, as a lightweight baker, in general I lack a threshold cap on my judgment of how much—exactly—I can consume before I fall into a sugar coma. With everything, I always believe I can eat more than I really can or should, often resulting in me clutching my stomach in a sort of I feel like I am going to explode but please, Sir, can I have some more?

In general, I am a chocolate and ice cream type of girl. Fruit desserts, stay away. Cake? Not going to get me swooning. Cookies post-oven? Just not as enticing as cookie dough. But a bar of chocolate, dark, rich, and thick when it melts in your mouth? Alright. For that reason, I did not expect, exactly, to be blown away by Crack Pie. It not necessarily a beautiful dessert.  But it’s good. It’s really good. Imagine the texture of an underdone lemon bar, minus the lemon, with the malt and brown sugar and caramel flavors pumped up. Throw in sweetness to the extreme and a crunchy oatmeal sugar crust, then make it cold, chill it out. It’s delicious, yes it is. And the most interesting thing is, it disappears, without you even knowing.