“Serving pie with the intention of cultivating peace brings us together around the table, where there is a place for all and every voice is respected.” —peacethroughpie.org
These inspiring words are found at Peacethroughpie.org, a grassroots movement begun in 2009 by Luanne Stovall and Toni Tipton-Martin. Toni and Luanne are helping to re-establish the tradition of pie socials across the country but not just any socials. They are promoting pie socials for peace. Pie socials are a thing of wonder so read on.
Luanne contacted me a week before the MLK holiday to let me know that events were being planned for across the country and asked if Seattle would be onboard, too.
Without hesitation I said “You bet!”.
No place yet, or bakers but I knew in my heart that this is something that had to happen and would!
I immediately sent out an email to piemakers and food writers in the Seattle area I thought might be interested. Two responded quickly and the upshot is that 4 award-winning pie-makers provided pies, 14 of them, for the 1st Seattle Peace Through Pie Social, a privately held event at Google Fremont!
Smiles abounded as Googlers walked through the door to find a wide variety of pies ranging from chocolate and key lime crowned with lots of whipped cream, classic lattice top cherry and old fashioned chess pie (recipe below) to name but a few gracing the Google groaning board. And, in spite of the early day dismissal because of snow, we served 100 pieces in less than one hour all in the name of peace.
Peace is in a smile. Peace is in the hello you greet the next person on the street with when you could just have easily walked on by in silence. And peace is in the pie that you bring to the table to share.
Thank you to Charles Koh for getting Google onboard. We hope you’ll be with us next year, too! And thanks to pie makers Alicia Arter of Zagat, Kate Lebo, Seattle’s pie poet, and Chris Porter owner of A la mode Pies, who stepped up to the pie plate when his own pie maker called in sick and came in to bake five incredible pies himself at the last minute. I am honored to have had my pies on the table next to all of yours. And thank you to Luanne and Toni for helping to share the vision of MLK each and every day.
Now get on board everyone because we’re all on the peace train and it’s powered by Pie!
Here’s the complete list of pies:
Cherry Pie from Kate McDermott, Art of the Pie
Triple Berry Pie from Kate McDermott, Art of the Pie
Shaker Lemon Pie from Kate McDermott, Art of the Pie
Southern Chess Pie from Alicia Arter
Pumpkin Pie from Alicia Arter
Lemon Cream Dream Pie from Alicia Arter
Apple/Ginger Pear Pie from A la Mode Pies
Bourbon Butterscotch Pie from A la Mode Pies
Mexican Chocolate Pie from A La Mode Pies
Blue Hawaiian Pie from A La Mode Pies
French Apple Pie from A La Mode Pies
Rhubarb Custard Pie from Kate Lebo
Maple-Honey Pecan Pie from Kate Lebo
Pear-Quince Pie from Kate Lebo
Alicia’s Buttermilk Chess Pie
Adapted from Dessert In Half The Time by Linda West Eckhardt and Diana Collinwood Butts, Crown Publishers, NY 1993
For: 9.5” deep dish Pyrex pie plate or Emile Henry pie plate
1-crust pie crust, unbaked
3 cups sugar
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup butter, softened
5 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
3/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1 10-inch deep dish pie crust, unbaked (this rolls out to 12” diameter)
Oven 425 degrees
Rack in middle of oven
In a food processor, insert the steel blade. Add the flour, sugar and butter and mix until the batter is smooth. Add the buttermilk, vanilla, almond extract and the eggs and blend thoroughly.
Fill the crust with the buttermilk mixture and bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue cooking 40-50 minutes. When done, the crust will be set, and shouldn’t quiver when you gently shake the pie pan. The top will be golden yellow.
Set on a cooling rack for two hours. It will continue to set up.
NOTE: I cut down the sugar to 1.5 cups as I find 3 cups just too sweet for me.