Boxcar Chili Pie

A chili con-carne savory pie with cornbread crust inspired by The Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner I think everyone read at least one serialized chapter book series as a kid. If you say you’ve never read a Goosebumps, Nancy Drew, Magic Treehouse, or Sweet Valley High book you are just lyin’ like a rug. One…

Prufrock’s Peach Pie

Exactly what it sounds like: peach pie, inspired by “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T. S. Eliot This month (June 8th) saw the 100th anniversary of the publication of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” It is an odd but seminal poem in the American canon that uses the full range…

Good Quiches Make Good Neighbors

A spring quiche with peas, asparagus, parsnips, prosciutto, and goat cheese inspired by “Mending Wall” by Robert Frost It took an engaging, enthusiastic, patient seventh grade English teacher to show me that I could enjoy reading the classics as much as I enjoyed reading for pleasure. Poetry is a great example of this. It felt…

Heart of Gold Pie

Sugar cream custard with chunks of pineapple, inspired by The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams Don’t panic! The key both to pie baking and intergalactic hitchhiking, as it turns out. Irreverent, absurd, entirely improbable, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a pillar of 20th century science fiction distinguished by its tongue…

Hobbit Pie

A creamy mushroom and root vegetable savory pie inspired by The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien I wasn’t a very strong reader as a kid and it was hard for me to find books that I found engaging. J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit bridged the gap between the casual reading of popular literature, and a lifetime literary obsession….

Pumpkin Pasties

Pumpkin spice hand pies inspired by the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. It’s almost Halloween; goblins, ghouls, and ghosts are abroad in the muggle world. If you’re like me then you’ve done your apple picking, your pumpkin hunting, and your woodland hiking. But at the end of a long day of jumping in…

Gregor’s Pie

Shoofly pie with pecans and a poached apple garnish, inspired by The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. It’s really hard to sell people on this pie. The particular, bitter tang of molasses cut with woody pecans, balanced with the sweet, syrupy taste of an apple poached soft in cider, cinnamon, and brown sugar; it all takes…

Caddy Compson’s Black Bottom Pie

Chocolate ganache under a layer of mint julep chess and fresh whipped cream, inspired by The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner. For me (and probably for many others as well) Faulkner is an extremely difficult writer to grapple with. He’s thoughtful, dramatic, and his prose is gloriously tangled. He’s also verbose as hell….

True Love: The Man in Blackberry and Princess Buttercrust

  A blackberry-peach fruit pie inspired by The Princess Bride by William Goldman I grew up on the film adaptation of The Princess Bride, to this day it’s probably my favorite movie of all time. Like the kids of Florin and Guilder, I spent my childhood terrified of the Fire Swamp and the ROUSs, but…

Gatsby’s Houseparty Pie

An Orange, Lemon, and Key-Lime Pie with a Graham Cracker Crust, Inspired By The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It took me a couple of readings and a few years of living in New York City to understand the complexity of wit and emotion in Gatsby. When I first read it in 11th grade…