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Ru’s Pie Club Field Trip 2012, Part 1

25 Jun

A few weeks ago, 8 Pie Club fans caravanned south to Swanton Berry Farm to harvest enough strawberries to (hopefully) last through the winter. Thanks to all who came along! See the crew below:

Here’s the crew (Thanks, Jared, for taking the shot!)

Swanton Farm has a lovely farm stand that sells berry jams, strawberry lemonade, strawberry shortcake, chocolate-dipped strawberries, and pretty much any other strawberry delicacy you can dream up.  The farm also has a very interesting history, and you know how much I love historical context!

According to their website, Swanton was the first organic farm in the U.S. to sign a contract with United Farmworkers of America AFL-CIO and to carry the union label – helping to ensure fair labor practices. Picking strawberries is very physically demanding, and can be dangerous if the berries are sprayed with pesticides and other chemical agents. While it was fun for an afternoon, I know that many people work incredibly hard so we can buy crates from farmer’s markets and grocery stores closer to home, and I am sincerely thankful.

Stay tuned for Field Trip 2012 Part 2 –  we’ll be going again in a few weeks to harvest ollalieberries and blackberries. Yum!

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We’re finally on facebook!

20 Jun

You know it’s real when it’s on facebook.

So go ahead, like us!

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Open for Business!

19 Jun

Last Friday, Ru’s Pie Club completed its first large order of pies! The pies came out beautiful and delicious – with the help of several amazing and talented loved ones. Thank you to Patricia for making the trek across the Bay during last Thursday’s BART craziness, and giving the day a great start! Thank you to Mom B, Amalia, Andrea, and Al for closing out the long day with high energy and chinese food. And especially, thank you to Cole for your incredible support throughout this whole trial run – from hunting down ingredients to comforting me at my 1am meltdown. You are amazing.

I seriously could not have done it without all of you!

One lemon tart…packaged and ready to go!

20 pies, waiting to be delivered

So….let the new orders roll in. Ru’s Pie Club is open for business!

New Summer Catering Menu!

31 May

Baking with Friends!

4 Mar

While many folks took today’s beautiful weather as an opportunity to spend time outside, I headed inside for a fabulous day o’ baking with my friends Patricia and Melissa. We started with a classic chocolate cream pie – an incredible chocolatey delight with a chocolate graham cracker crust. (Here is a picture from the first time I made the pie, because I forgot to take photos today. oops.)

Chocolate Cream Pie

Putting the final touches on the chocolatey filling!

While the chocolate pie was chilling in the fridge, we started on a second recipe – plum and orange tartlets. This recipe was pretty easy and incredibly delicious. We began with a filo dough crust, glazed with an egg white and cream wash. Then we added plums and orange pieces marinated with honey and lime on top. Handmade whipped cream to finish it off. See some photos below!

One Tartlet!

Two Tartlets!

Thanks Patricia and Melissa for a fabulous day!

Takin’ it slow is sometimes okay

3 Mar

Hello readers and fans!

You might be asking – Where have I been? Where did all the pies go? Well dear readers and fans, I believe this was no typical blogger fatigue. About 6 months ago, something went horribly wrong with my neck and shoulders. Quickly, the pain traveled down my arms, and I couldn’t do a lot of the things I really loved to do, like cook and bake. So Ru’s Pie Club took a hiatus so that I could heal. It’s been pretty hard, and I’ve missed baking like whoa.

But I’ve been doing better! And while I take time to work up to full-fledged pie-baking, I’ve been getting creative and thinking outside the pie box. About a month ago, I experimented with creme brulee! Here are some photos:

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Safety First!

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Brulee-ing the Creme!

Delicious!

I’ve also been eating my fair share of pie. In fact, today I tried Three Babes Bakeshop for the first time, and it was incredible! They operate out of Stable Cafe on Folsom at 18th Street, and are only open on the weekends, 9am-4pm. If you get a chance, definitely head over before this weekend is over because they have THE MOST DELICIOUS lemon meringue pie I have ever had. Seriously. Cole and I got an extra slice to take home. Yeah, it was seriously that good. So go!

Melty Sugary Nutty Goodness

25 Nov

I am an American history nerd to the core, and believe it is incredibly important to reflect on the origin of Thanksgiving and think critically about the f*cked up American values that are at play.  At the same time, according to several sources, more Americans eat pie this week than any other time of year.  (There’s no point in citing sources because it’s kinda obvious.)

There’s a Jewish value that I hold dear to my heart – that we are meant to wrestle with contradiction, but not get stuck on it.  So though it’s complicated that something I love so much is associated with a holiday based on one of the most horrendous historical moments in American history, I have decided that it doesn’t mean that those at my family’s Thanksgiving meal have to settle with mediocre pie.

This year, Cole and I made a relatively traditional apple pie with crumble top, and went all out with a second pie – pumpkin with candied pecans on top. Sounds amazing, right? Here are some shots:

yum!

can you see the pumpkin under the pecans?

a pair of pie fans

This was the first time I had ever candied pecans, and I had no idea it was so easy. Here’s the recipe:

2 cups nuts, broken into large pieces

10 tablespoons brown sugar (a little more than 1/2 cup)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon cinnamon (optional)

In a medium non-stick skillet, combine the sugar, butter, and cinnamon over medium heat and stir constantly until it becomes brown and melty bubbly. Add the nuts and stir constantly for 5-7 minutes until each nut is coated with the sugary goodness.

The nuts will harden pretty quickly, so while they are still hot, transfer them to the top of your pie. And that’s it!