If I had a pie shop, it would be called ‘Simple Simon’ and it would serve pie, good coffee and sandwiches by Tiffany for lunch.
A friend here in Berlin, who knows of my pie shop fantasies, emailed me to say he was going to visit a pie shop in Berlin-Kreuzberg, Hemingway’s Pie Factory and would let me know if they were any competition.
Suddenly, I was inspired to bake a pie.
I had been reading about the comeback of non-hydrogenated coconut fat and so decided to try making the pie crust with coconut fat instead of lard, shortening or my usual favourite, butter. Thus the pie was vegan for no other reason than I was curious.
You can do worse than follow the Joy of Cooking’s instructions for fruit pies. In short, you want five cups of fruit for a pie. For flavour inspiration, I turned to epicurious.
At the market that morning, I had already bought a beautiful pint of sour cherries and some ok looking peaches. Turned out to be just enough for five cups of fruit. Some sugar, some cardamom, some vanilla, 3 tbsp of flour, and ta-da pie filling. Yes, this is how I bake.
Coconut Oil Crust
- 3/4 cup coconut oil
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 3-4 tbsp ice water
Coconut oil melts really quickly. I had to work quickly both when blending the pastry and when rolling it. I wasn’t entirely successfully rolling out the top and I ended up putting the dough back in the fridge and rolling it out again.
I used a slotted spoon to scoop the filling into the crust so that the pie would not end up too runny.
The pie was delicious. The crust was flaky and light – and did not taste of coconut. Four of us had healthy portions of the warm pie. It tasted great warm and the leftovers were devoured for breakfast the next day. Homemade pie for breakfast is sublime.
I’m not sure I’m ready to compete with the Pie Factory but it’s a start.