Bakers Journal

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Editor’s Letter: November 2011


October 31, 2011
By Laura Aiken

When in complexity we yearn for simplicity. This basic human attribute
has kept the word nostalgia at the top of consumer trend lists for a
while now.

When in complexity we yearn for simplicity. This basic human attribute has kept the word nostalgia at the top of consumer trend lists for a while now. Ironically, but true to human form, in simplicity we tend to drum up a little complexity. But recessionary times speak more to the former than the latter. The uneasiness of the past few years and the uncertainty of what lies ahead makes us want something we can count on. Combine this urge to go back to basics with the descent in temperature, and you’ve got a warm slice of pie just waiting to comfort someone.

We’re very excited to bring you our Ultimate Pie contest sponsored by BakeMark. We couldn’t think of anything more fitting for a fall/winter food challenge than pies. Plus, 2011 was dubbed “the year of the pie” by a number of foodie authorities. We’d love to see what you think makes a great pie.

You may be concerned about sharing proprietary information with us. While your entry is confidential, by no means do you need to send us your exact formulas. You may also develop a pie just for this contest, something experimental that you’d like to see tested out. Get creative or get classic. What we are looking for in your initial entry is for you to sell us on why yours is the best. Tell us your basic recipe and list your ingredients in your pitch. If your entry is selected for stage 2, we’ll ask you to ship us your pie for the taste test. 

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To my knowledge, we don’t have a national pie council in Canada as they do in the U.S. The American Pie Council’s (APC) mandate is to preserve the heritage and promote America’s love of pie. I found some fun pie facts collected by Crisco and the APC on Crisco’s website. Here is one of the more fascinating ways pie has shaped history: “The term ‘upper crust’ refers to early America when the economy was difficult and supplies were hard to come by. Only affluent households could afford ingredients for both the upper and lower crusts of a pie; thus, the term ‘upper crust’ was born.” The compilation also included a good list of alternative names for pie: pastie, oggie, piraski, piragie, patty and pierogi, or, more commonly, streusel, tart, turnover and crumble.

Not only do we know pie by many names, but we also can’t help but appreciate its diversity. Sweet, sour or savoury, pie fillings are a baker’s pizza. The combinations are limited only by imagination. Pies have seasonal and festival appeal. Some kinds give instant nostalgia, such as pumpkin at Thanksgiving, mincemeat at Christmas or apple anytime. Their symbolism can be powerful and personal. Of all the things my mother every made, it’s her apple pie recipe that I have made the most since her passing. It’s a combination of her filling and my grandmother’s pie crust with a small addition by me, making it a true generational recipe. Pie is indeed very dear to my heart, which makes it all the more exciting to bring our readers an opportunity to share what makes pie special to them.

We’ve featured The Canadian Pie Company in this issue to help get you jazzed up about pie. We hope you enjoy our November edition and put your pie hats on for the Ultimate Pie challenge!


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