Wednesday, May 4, 2011

#Year of the Pie

There's been a buzz on Twitter and Facebook this week that has so many wondering what the heck the hashtag #Year of the Pie is. So many questions - what's going on? you're making me hungry? I want to live in the Year of the Pie, who do I have to kill? and on.. but you get the idea. It made me realize how effective the written word can be when used properly.

Let me tell you all about it. I was fortunate enough to have been one of the invitees to the Tenderflake Year of the Pie celebration. The promise was a delicious afternoon and a fun "tweet up" to create a buzz about using Tenderflake pastry/pie crusts for more than just filling a traditional pie. Don't get me wrong, a good pie is a beautiful thing but options are priceless. I really had no expectation and looked forward to meeting new friends and learning new things. I accomplished both goals and had the best time doing it.

We were all greeted by James and many of the staff of Maple Leaf Foods. James set the tone of the afternoon with a strong message to have fun. From the reception, I felt as though I had been invited into someone's home and the environment was entirely inviting and cordial. I'm mentioning it because I don't always feel that way. Often, one can walk into an event and really get a sense of "it's all about business" and even if it is, I didn't feel that way.

James talked about the Tenderflake line of products;

and introduced key kitchen magicians; that's chef John Placko, Director of Culinary Excellence on the left

... and then the Twitter Feed for #YearofthePie, where we watched as many kept the tweets fresh and active with a play by play of everything that was going on.

Remember I mentioned "fun" - well, here we go. We all put on our aprons and got ready to get right into pocket pie making. We were getting ready to each visit three stations; a savoury, a sweet and a decorating. We started with a show and tell that began with how to successfully remove the pie crust from the foil pie pan and then on to assembly, baking and the best part; eating.

Blogger friend Melanie from MBAMamaMusings takes on the role of efficient box holder. Make a point of visiting her blog; well written and fun.

Once the pie shells were dislodged, we used cookie cutters to cut out the shapes, placed a heaping teaspoon of filling in the centre, a little water around the edges to create the seal and top with a second cut out, gently pressing the top and bottom edges together and crimping with a fork dipped in flour. The finishing touch is either a wash of milk or egg yolk with 1 tbsp water and into the oven for approximately 12-15 minutes. The first group I participated in made Ham and Broccoli pocket pies. Deeee-licious!!!! You can find the recipe HERE

Beautiful, no???

The decorating station churned out some pretty imaginative pocket pies.

These were absolutely my favourites; an apple cookie cutter with apple pie filling, topped with a little sugar. Beautiful!!! and perfect one person size. You really do need to try these. Here's the RECIPE

I had a blast and could see so many interesting possibilities. There were several moms with young children so having a baking day with near instant gratification and very little mess can only be a good thing. Appetizers become a breeze and no worries about whether or not your crust is working. As a pie crust failure, I'd have no hesitation using a small cheat. One of the ladies was wedding planning and thinking pocket pies, decorated nicely could be interesting guest gifts. How would you use them?

My afternoon was stress free and filled with laughter and idea stimulation. I was so pleasantly surprised to receive some nice swag (thank you) to get my own pocket pie making going.

Feedback: I like the pocket pie idea and would use it for my own entertaining; easy to use and freeze so the availability is there whenever I want it. The pie crust takes only minutes to thaw so no long term planning is necessary. The only enhancement for me would have been to see packages of flat, square pie crust in sheets (6/pkg); easy to store, no need to separate crust from pie plate and maximizes surface space for cutters. StumbleUpon


Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I had heard that it was the year of the pie. Hand pies are a way to save washing dishes but I also like the pies made in mason jars I see in the blogosphere.It sounds like such a fun event...why do I live in the middle of nowhere:D

kat said...

I hear we are even getting a pie store this year at the Mall of America

That Girl said...

I don't think we have tender flake as a brand here, but I do have a pie crust in the freezer!

FOODalogue said...

Looks like a fun way to spend the afternoon. I laughed at your comment that you liked the apple one best because it was 'personal size'...don't like to share?

Unknown said...

I enjoyed my time at the Tenderflake / Maple Leaf Foods Pie Happy Hour! :)

The day really did inspire me to think beyond a deep dish cherry pie.

giz said...

Fooodalogue - Joan, you should know me better than that -a personal size works when you sneak more than just one