Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Does bacon really make everything better? My not-so-fashionably late entrance to Gluten-Free Girl's Pie Party

Those who know me shouldn't be surprised about my tardiness. Try as I might, "prompt" is not a characteristic I'm often called. So, is it any shock that I show up late to a party, even if it's a virtual one?

Virtual party? Yes. Shauna Ahern, notably known as the Gluten-Free Girl "hosted" a virtual Pie Party so she and some of her friends could share tales of their pie-making adventures and invited everyone and anyone. I'd been looking for an excuse to practice making this special pie and this seemed to be as good as any. Unfortunately it required a particular ingredient that I didn't get until last week when Josh and Greg from my favorite Seattle food truck, Skillet Street Food, came to DC to showcase their yummy Bacon Jam -- er, Bacon Spread (thanks USDA) for the Fancy Food Show. Timing couldn't be more perfect (well, unless it were BEFORE the pie party), but at least the bake sale to benefit the DC State Fair was coming shortly.

I first came up with this recipe a couple of years ago in Seattle when my friend, Jenise, who was the Chef Event Manager for the Queen Anne Farmers Market asked me to enter their inaugural Blue Ribbon Pie Contest. The rules were simple, it had to be a fruit pie and it had to be entirely from scratch, including the crust. Eeek!

I'd never participated in such a competition before. I'd never even baked a pie. Hell, I don't even like fruit pies! Yet, I felt compelled to challenge myself -- that, and Jenise is a very persuasive friend, so I decided to make mine with bacon out of spite.

After several trials and errors, and very patient colleagues and neighbors who tasted and offered input, this is a rough guide (not a recipe) to my current iteration. If you're interested in tasting future attempts, please let me know.

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