Posts Tagged ‘pie’
We had intended on going to Oxford on our first day in London. But alas, the weather conspired to confine us to indoor activities. Our umbrella gallantly shielded us from rain and wind as we waited for The Wolseley to open for breakfast. Thanks to Paola for the recommendation, the eggs Benedict, croissant and classic English (eggs, bacon, sausage, baked beans, black pudding, tomato and mushroom) were superb. So much so that we returned with a Canadian and a French on our last morning in the Old Dart!
Dried, warmed and nourished, we strolled to The National Gallery and shuffled with the crowd to admire the mastery of Cézanne, Constable, Monet, Turner and van Gogh. We ordered a canvas of Monet’s The Thames below Westminster and had lunch at The National Dining Rooms while it was printing. A ‘proudly and resolutely British’ restaurant by Peyton and Byrne, chef Simon Duff ‘seek out, celebrate and transform the finest British regional produce into exquisite modern dishes that represent the best of Britain’s abundant food treasures’.
A contemporary design, the mirrored restaurant shimmered. The main dining room has a view of Trafalgar Square and the café area is adjacent to the entrance.
Peyton and Byrne branded lilac tins lined the shelves.
Sweet treats were displayed on the counter, colourful swirls of icing on cupcakes contrasted with mounds of green salads.
I quenched my thirst with a freshly squeezed orange juice.
The smoked haddock, salmon and Parmesan pie was hearty fare. The flaky crust encased a creamy filling with morsels of fish, reminiscent of the Scottish specialty Cullen skink. A side salad of leafy greens and celeriac remoulade was the requisite vegetable serving.
My traditional pork pie was crimped and cold. A warm dough made with lard, the hot water pastry was thick and rich. A dense pink mass, the pork had the texture of spam but had a delicate flavour perfumed by herbs and spices.
The leaden clouds dissipated and silver beams illuminated our afternoon walk to the Victoria and Albert Museum.
This is a belated final post of my trip home in November. It’s been just over three months since I was in Australia and in that time we’ve had our first full winter in Seattle. There’s been plenty of rain, snow, sleet, wind and hail. But there have also been enough glorious days to sustain us through the darkest and wettest of the Pacific Northwest season. Sydney has suffered a drenched summer with mild temperatures and we experienced the prelude during our two weeks there. Thankfully our last day in Sydney was a lovely souvenir, a sundress and bare limbs day.
We walked to The Star in the afternoon to complete number five.
We have been loyal patrons at Adriano Zumbo since it opened in 2007. His sweet treats have special meaning for us as the talented and passionate pâtissier made our wedding cake (croquembouche) and desserts (macarons in four flavours). The original Balmain patisserie is a narrow room with a glass counter displaying his whimsical creations where the queue was regularly out on the footpath. He has since expanded to several locations and the one at The Star greeted us with a radiant neon pink sign.
The concept store has a patisserie on the left and a dessert train on the right which was closed on Sunday.
Each year Adriano Zumbo celebrates his birthday with Zumboron Day. This year there were sixty flavours of macarons!
A sample of each flavour was lined along the window to tempt us. Left to right: finger bun (Australian iced bread), fried chicken, and gin and tonic.
Left to right: liquorice, Margherita pizza and mandarin.
Left to right: toasted marshmallow, vanilla ecstasy and Vegemite.
The interior of the patisserie was bright and funky. Desserts in cone stands enticed passers-by, a bathtub was topped with high tea tiers and Zumbo, Adriano’s cookbook, and the table has purple shoes!
A 360 degree view of each dessert with a description card.
Ovens warmed savoury quiches, pies and sausage rolls.
Peach boxes encased seasonal macarons.
‘In case of emergency break glass’ for sugar hit!
I heart Zumbo.
The stainless steel kitchen with containers of ingredients.
Trolleys of macarons for Zumboron Day.
Man Goes Peanuts: peanut butter crunch, mango compote, mango burnt honey mousse and pain d’épices. Peanut butter and mango were a curious combination in this layered and textural dessert.
Tarte aux fruits de la passion: passionfruit curd and pâte sucrée. The passionfruit tart and opera gâteau are my favourites at Adriano Zumbo. A glossy two toned disc was studded with passionfruit seeds, a perfect balance of luscious piquancy.
We savoured our last night in Sydney with a bottle of Champagne and macarons.
Our cache of of macarons: butterscotch caramels, chocolate orange, cinnamon doughnut, coffee, pandan and coconut, passionfruit and yoghurt, rice pudding, salted butter popcorn, toasted marshmallow, and vanilla ecstasy.
These colourful jewels were a sentimental farewell to Down Under.
My beloved Sydney, I miss you dearly.
In the heart of Sydney is the historical area of The Rocks. Narrow laneways and steep stairs wind around cobblestone footpaths, sandstone buildings and timber wharves, I have fond memories of the Walsh Bay precinct. Home of the Sydney Theatre Company, the waterfront has a spectacular view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Luna Park.
Several aisles of produce are on the right and Café Sopra is on the left. The seasonal menu was handwritten on a wall chalkboard in a spacious and well lit dining room.
At the entrance was a rectangular bar and I was seated at the counter for a leisurely weekday lunch.
Dotted with coin sized red tiles, the counter was set with printed placemats.
A zucchini flower was stuffed with five Italian cheeses and lightly battered. The delicate crisp shell encased a molten mass of cheeses.
There are several permanent items on the seasonal menu and one of my favourites is the farfelle with mixed mushrooms, green peppercorns and Pecorino. A large serving of al dente pasta, it was a hearty dish with the earthy flavours of fungi.
A classic English dessert, the banoffee pie has a biscuit crust, dulce de leche, sliced bananas, cream and grated chocolate. The decadent layers were a sweet treat.
It was another delicious meal at Café Sopra!
I find it difficult to define Australian cuisine. It’s a fusion of British traditions, multicultural flavours and classic techniques.
I don’t miss Australian food per se. What I do miss are our local eateries in Sydney – the pub with a view of Sydney harbour, the Italian restaurant with vinyl tablecloths, the efficient staff at the Thai take-away, the lovely Italian couple and their deli, the smoky smell of chickens roasting over charcoal. And the bakery.
The bakery with shelves full of flaky croissants, nutty cookies, crusty loaves of bread, fluffy sponge cakes, pretty fruit tarts, creamy vanilla slices, squares of rich brownies and light lamingtons. And pie.
A savoury pie for lazy weekend lunch. A sweet pie for weeknight dessert. A large pie for potluck dinner. A small pie to share as snack. It’s always pie time!
I love pie and other baked goods but I’m not a baker. Precise measurements, leavening agents and electric mixers – I’m lost in the science of it. The Art of the Pie Workshop with Kate McDermott has changed this. Teaching is her vocation and I’m privileged to have been her student.
Four strangers gathered at Kate’s home on Saturday afternoon to learn how to make pie. We left with pies and so much more. A genuine and happy soul, Kate warmly welcomed us and openly shared her life experiences.
A plate of ‘tasties’ greeted us. Made with leftover dough and rolled in cinnamon sugar, these delectable bites were indeed a taste of what we would be making.
Kate had purchased a bounty of fresh fruits from farmers’ markets. The mulberries were delightfully sweet and we all agreed we could easily consume a punnet to ourselves.
A vibrant red, the tart Montmorency cherries were ideal for a pie filling. We had fun taking turns pitting these.
Kate sourced these plump blueberries from a private farm in Prosser.
A late night pitting cherries by hand produced this beautiful pie.
Kate demonstrated her dough, generously noted hints and tips, and answered our questions with aplomb.
No sifting and no levelling, we scooped flour with a tea cup and made our dough confidently and quickly. Each batch is different and you have to use cold hands to feel if it’s ready.
I gleefully emptied containers of mulberries and tumbled blueberries into my pie dish.
Sugar, liqueur and thickener were gently stirred through the fruit and scooped into the pie dish.
The crust is next. Weaving the lattice was surprisingly easy. You can also use cookie cutters and arrange a pattern as the crust.
With our four pies in the oven, it was time to eat Kate’s cherry pie!
There was a moment of silence after the first forkful. Some closed their eyes, others exalted. I stared at my plate and wished my pie would taste half as delicious.
Fresh from the oven, the pies oozed and bubbled. We each hovered an ear over our pie, listening and breathing in the aromas.
Pie philosophy, baking with love and insightful conversations – it was an enlightening time.
A sincere thank you to Kate McDermott - pie maker extraordinaire, ‘practitioner of kindness’.
The weekday mid afternoon happy hour was just about full. This was our first visit to the original Serious Pie and it’s smaller and cosier than the Westlake loft.
Painted tiles line the olive green walls and we were seated at the back by the bay window. Service was a little haphazard and this was the first time in Seattle that I’ve had to do some hand waving to get the attention of the wait staff.
Mr S called it a ‘retiree dinner’ – early and discounted! At two-thirds the size and less than half the price of the standard ones, the mini pies were outstanding value.
It’s remarkable how consistent the pies are across both locations. The dough is always a lovely combination of crispy and chewy, and never soggy. A generous scattering of ingredients cover the hand stretched crust.
The chanterelle mushroom and truffle cheese pie is my favourite. I would be very sad if this is removed from the menu. Only two ingredients and yet the pie was rich and perfumed. I chewed slowly, savouring each bite for all its flavour.
The sweet fennel sausage, roasted peppers and provolone pie was almost as delectable. There was a delicious sweet spiciness to it, freshened by the tomato base.
One benefit of an early dinner was we returned home with many hours of daylight left, with baseball all but forgotten!
Posted Thursday 23 June 2011on:
I love live events. Plays, musicals, comedy shows, festivals – there is something intensely intimate and vulnerable about a live performance. Seattle has finally awaken from its winter slumber, emerged from hibernation to embrace a full calendar of cultural activities.
Usually a wallflower in a room with strangers, I was apprehensive about attending What We Talk About When We Talk About Food (WWTAWWTAF) alone. Thankfully the lovely Kimberly spotted me and we were also warmly welcomed by Myra, the hostess with the mostest of the Andrew Scrivani food photography workshop.
We nibbled on hors d’œuvres as groups mingled. Clockwise from top: salumi and olives cone, fava and garlic skordalia with shallot pita, radish and chive butter toast and smoked trout devilled eggs.
The devilled eggs were very retro and the skordalia was creamy and heady with garlic. The simplicity of the radish toast was a palate cleanser.
What We Talk About When We Talk About Food (I affectionately pronounce the acronym as ‘what-ta-what-taf’) showcased the local talents of, from left to right:
* Amy Pennington of GoGoGreenGarden blog and author of Urban Pantry and Apartment Gardening;
* Anna Roth, food and travel writer and author of West Coast Road Eats;
* Becky Selengut of Chef Reinvented blog and author of Good Fish;
* and Keren Brown of Frantic Foodie blog, founder of Foodportunity and author of Food Lovers’ Guide to Seattle.
Moderated by Amy Pennington, it was a relaxed atmosphere and a convivial panel discussion. There was much laughter at the friendly banter and the rapport between the women were endearing.
Each author also read snippets from their books. My favourite was Becky Selengut’s headnote for her tom yum goong recipe. She had me giggling that the heat rating is WGS – white girl safe.
Below are some anecdotes from each of the authors that I jotted down.
Keren Brown – Food Lovers’ Guide to Seattle
* Recommended Mustafa’s harissa as her go-to flavour enhancer
* Felt strongly that tourist landmarks should be included in her guide book
Amy Pennington – Apartment Gardening
* Most people plant in pots that are too shallow for what they’re growing
* Rabbits and bees can make a small space productive (the rabbit section was omitted from her book in editing)
Anna Roth – West Coast Road Eats
* Emphasised the importance of the eateries’ context in and connection to their communities
* The thrill of eating in the moment transforms an excursion into an adventure
Becky Selengut – Good Fish
* Fish species ebb and flow; currently (pun intended) anchovies are ebbing and sardines are flowing
* Suggested mussels, clams, farm trout, squid and of course, sardines as cheap and sustainable seafood for now
I lingered for a while and moseyed across to the Palace Kitchen for supper with Myra, Kimberly and Kate McDermott, pie baker extraordinaire. The aromas of the grilled asparagus and braised pork cheeks were enticing but I opted for a dessert of chocolate Ovaltine panna cotta with cinnamon milk. Genuine conversation, delicious food - a lovely conclusion to a fun evening!
And finally, I’m proud to be the first to purchase a copy of Food Lovers’ Guide to Seattle. Where are my Post-it flags?
Showers were forecasted yesterday but Seattle defied it and it was sunny with a gentle breeze – ideal walking weather! We strolled along Lake Union to Fremont and it was time for pie!
Pie has a huge variety of pies on its menu – breakfast, savoury, vegetarian and sweet. My eyes widened when I saw the English meat pie was available and Mr S ordered the chicken pot pie. At our local bakery in Sydney, the steak and mushroom pie was a favourite comfort food. The Pie version is a good substitute. It is made with minced beef, mushrooms and onions, and encased in a shortcrust pastry. In Australia, pies are traditionally made with flaky pastry and are disc shaped, like a hockey puck, which I find easier to eat by hand but the shortcrust pastry is sturdier and less soggy.
There were chairs and tables on the sidewalk and we dined al fresco for the first time in Seattle. My pie was fresh from the oven and the filling was juicy with the onion finely chopped and slices of mushrooms are visible. I had a couple of bites of the chicken pot pie and they were mouthfuls of chicken and vegetable chunks.
I was in charge of choosing dessert and I returned with five mini mini pies. On top is peanut butter chocolate cookie, and from top right – mixed berry, key lime, lemon custard and classic apple. After sampling each, I realised we should have eaten them in reverse order. The creamy ones first, then the fruits and finally the chocolate. The key lime and lemon custard are subtle flavours, the classic apple and mixed berry are delicious and we would have happily split a full-sized one of each, and the peanut butter chocolate cookie is rich and crumbly.
I noticed there was a mac and cheese pie on the board when I was perusing the sweet ones. I was intrigued and will be returning to try that one and the other mini mini pies. I also think it’s an ingenious business idea to have a late night window open on Friday and Saturday nights for the party crowds.
Get thee to Pie in Fremont!