Stay Gold, Pie

A salty caramel pie inspired by Robert Frost’s “Nothing Gold Can Stay” Happy Pi day! I think I get wished a happy pie day more than I get wishes a happy valentines day or a happy halloween; occupational hazard. Today’s pie is a sure-to-please salty caramel pie with lots of golden, buttery goodness throughout. It…

Reaper’s Desserts

A raspberry lemonade icebox meringue, inspired by Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Trilogy (or at least the first two books). When I recommended Red Rising to my friends, I said things like, “it is so good, you have to read it!” But when I tell people about the recently-released Golden Son, the second book of Pierce…

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…

The Devil’s Night Fire Tart

A cognac crème brûlée tart inspired by Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita. Magical realism is probably my favorite genre; I like how introducing the fantastic into an existing political or social context engages both my imagination and my (somewhat pretentious) analytical sensibilities. I think in spite of unusual occurrences in Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master…

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…

Creature Comforts Pie

Maple and oat chess pie with dark chocolate seams, inspired by Frankenstein by Mary Shelley At this point Frankenstein has become so ingrained in our popular consciousness I think it’s difficult to read the novel without any kind of preconceived ideas. The green, flat-headed monster with bolts protruding from his neck has become such an…

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….

The Wonderland Tart

Rose and white chocolate custard studded with fresh raspberries in a Nilla wafer and gingersnap combination crust, inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll I read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland specifically for this project. For me, it belonged to that list of books that every college professor and classmate assumes you’ve read and…

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…