Pies II – Savory and Sweet

When I think about pies, I remember the 1996 film in which John Travolta who plays the Archangel Michael, comes down to earth, long white wings, trenchcoat, and all. Also featured in the film are Andie MacDowell, John Hurt, Bob Hoskins, Jean Stapleton and others. I’ve seen the movie several times on tv and enjoy its humor every time I see it.

Sometime in the film, Travolta, MacDowell, and Hurt drive from a country town to Chicago, if I remember correctly. They stop at a roadside restaurant which specializes in pie – a dish the slightly lecherous angel Michael has never tasted. Andie MacDowell sings her song: “Pie, Pie, me oh my” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXG3l4FdviU). When I eat pie, I hear her slight southern accent … “pie, pie…”

I also remember a rainy Saturday long ago when in Grad School. A friend, Phyllis Harrison, and I had ventured somewhere into the southern Indiana countryside in search of an Amish auction. We found it! Even better, we found  where the women of the community were serving freshly baked pies and coffee. The creamy sweet peanut butter finished with a whipped topping has remained memorable all these years later. Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to find the amazing taste again.

What pie memories do you have? My first pie entry (June 26) included two savory family favorites – a yummy onion pie that’s a great accompaniment to any meat main course and a Greek inspired chicken filo pie that only needs a salad. Today, you’ll find a savory example and a sweet Halloween treat.

Spinach and Grapeleaf Pie. This one comes from a long-ago recipe clipped from a 2012 Food and Wine issue (https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/spinach-and-grape-leaf-pie). The clipping is in one of my four folders of recipes salvaged from magazines and newspapers. I’m too lazy to print those I download; they remain in my desktop “Recipe” folder.  

The recipe calls for ricotta in the filling. I left this ingredient out in deference to my husband’s sensitivity to dairy products.   I also did not use the instructions for a dough but substituted filo for a flaky, crunchy crust.

Before and After –
Grapeleaf Pie

Today’s post is a real blast to the past. The next recipe, for the sweet pie, comes from the Dallas Morning Post, dated October 23, 1996! If you like chocolate and peanut butter, this is for you – Spider Web Munch – https://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/30299/spiderweb-munch/. And I found it on the web. This is a variation of Rice Krispies treats. After this concoction, you’ll never use marshmallows again.

This gem comes from a co-worker at the Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, where I worked in the last 90s. My colleague, if I remember correctly was a student working at the museum who loved cooking. One Halloween we all descended on this treat when he brought it into the staff break room. Tip: If you have a family member/friend who is allergic to peanuts/peanut butter, use cashew butter.

Surprise! While looking for the photos for this post, I found another sweet pie image that is so easy to make. It’s a simple Apple Galette.  All you need is one pre-made pie crust and about 4 nice sized apples.  Peel the apples and slice thinly (you know to sprinkle sliced fruit with lemon juice to prevent oxidizing and browning) .  Open the pie crust onto a baking sheet. Starting from the middle, lay the apple slices in a spiral.  Fold the crust in around the filling. I then sprinkle a little bit of sugar on the folded crust.

Apple galette on my fall plate

Variations: You can lightly sprinkle cinnamon on the apples if you like.  Or make it Miami style! Thinly slice guava paste, lightly cover the crust with the guava paste before layering the apples. That’s the red peaking out from underneath the apple slices. Otherwise, there is NO sugar in this pie and, frankly, everyone who has enjoyed it at our house aggrees it’s not missed.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 -45 minutes, when the crust browns.

And that’s for Pies, today.

One comment

  1. Pies! These recipes sound amazing. I remember your onion tart. It is so delicious and simple to make, too, with the pie crust that is available at Publix (a grocery store). I will have to try making the apple tart with the guava paste.


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