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Spring Into Action with Pies for Easter

By Jane Butel  March 12, 2024

Pie baking is an ancient style of baking and is known in most every cuisine.  The earliest pies were meat with only a bottom crust.  These are credited with originating from Egypt and then a bit later from Greece around 10 to 5 BC.

The pies as we know them today are from the earliest European settlers and were generally fruit two crusted pies with apple being most probably the first.

Next week we will be making one of my favorites, Green Chile Apple pie (pictured).   The addition of green chile is complimented by the cinnamon and we sell some of the best.  Did you know that the earliest and finest cinnamon came from a special pine tree with a very thin bark that grew best in southern China.  We Americans took that cinnamon for granted and it was widely available until the Communist takeover of China, when an embargo was placed on most everything coming from China. 

It is still illegal from China.  But a while ago, the fine cinnamon trees were introduced to Viet Nam.  And that cinnamon is marketed as Saigon Cinnamon and is nearly as good as the ancient Chinese cinnamon.  And we do sell it and I am placing it on sale in commemoration this week.

Our special Pie Baking class next week  features a never fail pastry I learned from my Aunt who studied and obtained it from the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris.  I will be sharing that recipe in class where we will also be making my A+ Lemon Meringue Pie from my college days at K-State.  We look forward to baking up a storm with you.  Here is the menu--

Green Chile Apple Pie

French Pastry


Lemon Meringue Pie

French Silk Pie

Margarita PIe

We are not making any savory pies, however Tamale Pie, below, is a great one and very good for entertaining.  If you need any of our red or green chiles--we just got a new shipment of fresh, fresh last fall's harvest of both red and green pure Chile powder--never with any additives. We are placing the chilies on a 25% OFF sale this week, so you can enjoy some yummy spice dishes at a discount.

Our next cooking class is the Perfect Pies class next Thursday, March 21, at 5 PM, followed by our first  Barbecue and Grilling class of the season on Thursday, April 4 both at 5 PM. Our next weekend class is May 17 - 19 and our next week long class is April 15 - 19.

And,  our Oaxaca tour is June 1 - 17, 2024.

Here's a savory pie recipe, the Tamale Pie, to enjoy--



This simple, straightforward tamale pie can be varied by using chicken instead of beef and by adding more vegetables, even green chiles, to the filling. 

Yield:  4-6 servings

2 teaspoons butter
6 cups water
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound ground beef
1 medium-size onion, chopped
1 (about 14-oz.) can whole or stewed tomatoes
2 pimientos, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon pure crushed pequin chile or to taste
1 teaspoon salt

1. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish. Heat three cups of the water to boiling in a large heavy saucepan. Mix cornmeal, salt, and remaining three cups of water together in a bowl and pour into boiling water, stirring constantly.

2. Cook until thickened into a mush, about 30 minutes. Before it cools, line the bottom and sides of the prepared casserole with three-fourths of the mush, reserving remainder for top. Preheat oven to 325F (165C).

3. Put the meat in a large skillet and cook until red color disappears, stirring to break up meat. Add onion and cook until softened. Add tomatoes, pimientos, garlic, and pequin.

4. Spoon meat mixture into lined casserole dish. Cover with reserved mush and bake, uncovered, 2 hours or until filling is bubbly and the topping is browned.



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