Cooksister | Food, Travel, Photography

The secret life of pie – the February WTSIM roundup

Pie in the sky.  Sweet as pie. Eat humble pie.  Pie-eyed.  A finger in every pie. It seems we are obsessed with pies!  And why not?  They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and flavours that you can’t believe, they are warm and filling on a cold day, and they can be adapted to suit your ingredients, your taste and your budget. I think you’d be hard pressed to find a person who really, really doesn’t like some sort of pie. So, for an event like Waiter, there’s something in my… that aims to be as inclusive as possible, they were a pretty safe choice 😉

For last month’s inaugural edition, we had an impressive 50 entries, and I must say that I was feeling a little intimidated. What if I got so many entries that I was totally swamped and couldn’t cope (particularly because I scheduled my hosting cunningly to coincide with the busiest time of year at work – aaaarg!)? Or (worse), what if hardly anybody participated? Well, in the end neither of these calamities befell me – we ended up with a very respectable astonishing 60 66 entries from all over the globe, and although it was touch and go for a few days, it seems the round-up hasn’t killed me yet.

Before we kick off with the entries, there are a couple of posts that aren’t strictly speaking entries, but which I though warrranted a mention anyway. The first is Kathy of Start Cooking who provides us with a great primer on how to use ready-made pie crusts, including stuff like how to get a pretty crimped edge on your pastry and using tinfoil to stop the edges of the crust from burning. And the second is Deborah who alerted me to her blog called… Pie Day Friday! Really! She specialises in pies and posts every Friday (just like it says on the tin…!), so if pies are your thing, this is one to add to your blogroll.  And then there was Bake me Happy’s recipe for chicken, leek and pea pie that was posted more than a week late, so I didn’t think it was fair to add it as a full entry when people put themselves out to make the deadline. 

As to the inordinately long time it has taken for this round-up to see the light of day, I apologise humbly.  Unfortunately, Feb/March is an insanely busy time of year for me at work and I have been getting home late every night for a couple of weeks.  Add to this the fact that Typepad’s WYSIWYG editor freaked out at all my cutting and pasting and simply stopped working, leaving me to construct the post largely in html (my *favourite* passtime… not!).  But I have finally got it done – hurrah!  If by some terrible accident I have overlooked your entry, please don’t stick pins in your Cooksister voodoo doll and vow never to visit again – drop me a line and I will send you a grovelling apology and include you as fast as possible.  [As predicted I did forget a few of you – SORRY!  Now all present and accounted for! – Ed.]

And now Ladies and Gentlemen (drum roll), may I present… 66 different ways with pie!


First out of the starting blocks was Bonnie of Daydream Delicious in Cambridge (UK) who correctly points out that this month’s Delicious magazine also had a feature on pies.  Let it never be said that we here at WTSIM don’t have our finger firnly on the pulse of foodie trends ;-).  From Bonnie’s post I learned that pork pies are called gala pies as soon as they have a pretty hard-boiled egg in the middle.  You learn something new every day…

Staying with the pork theme for a moment. let’s skip across the Atlantic to Josie of Flavor Junkie in New York.  She has recreated one of my favourite traditional British foods – the pork pie!  But her version comprises a tray full of adorable muffin-pan mini pork pies, perfect for a sneaky snack!

From there, we headed all the way around the world to Edward  of Winosapien in Perth.  Edward did the manly thing and produced an absolutely beautiful lamb shank pie aka the dog’s breakfast… with a side order of litigation.  Yes folks, that fun-filled professional cheeky chappie Mr Jamie Oliver has an equally cheerful legal arm to his empire, who got in touch and informed Edward that including a recipe with full credit given to Mr Oliver AND a link constituted copyright infringement and should be removed forthwith.  Never mind that it would constitute free advertising for him and might actually encourage people to buy his books when they hear how delicious the recipe is.  Well, kudos to Edward for his courage under fire and I, for one, am not at all encouraged to buy any of Mr Oliver’s publications again in a hurry!

After court was adjourned, we whizzed round to Rachel of Rachel’s Bite in Tampa, Florida, for her truly original take on shepherd’s pie andouille shepherd’s pieAs Rachel says, this truly is a labour of love as it took her two days to make and assemble, so clearly not a quick dish to make after work!  But she professes it to be deliciously spicy and well worth the effort.

Staying in the South and staying with a sorta kinda minced beef theme, we move across to Fort Worth, Texas where Jessica  of Small Time Cooks cooks up a memorable bolognese pie.  But wait – theres a Southern twist:  this is bolognese pie with a biscuit topping (non-Southerner translation:  biscuit = scone!)  Now this does look like something you could cook up after work for a satisfying supper.  Mmmmm!

Back across the pond with Andreea of Glorious Food and Wine in Brussels, we get to learn just how versatile the basic cottage pie recipe can be.  Like Jessica above, Andreea gives her cottage pie an ethnic twist, only this time it’s… Italian cottage pie!  I am all for this as the English version of cottage pie can be quite bland – and I always say that loads of garlic and loads of red wine are absolutely essential in the cooking of mince 🙂

And still staying with the mincemeat theme… this time we head back to Europe where Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte in Andalucia wows us with a leek mincemeat and poppyseed pie.  This unusual and delicious combination means you get the meatiness of the mince together with the crunch of poppyseed – and just look at how beautifully it’s decorated!

Just to show what a universal favourite these pies are, we flit back arcoss the atlantic to Shirley of Melting Wok in Covina, California for yet another original take on an old favourite.  Shirley was one of a handful of participants that got so carried away with the theme that they prodiced two pies for the price of one.  One of the recipes Shirley offere us is a friend’s recipe for a fairly traditional shepherds pie, but the other is a re-worked cottage pie with a crust and with a topping of cubed potatoes rather than mash.  Vive la difference!

From there, we jet off to see Kristina who blogs at Clivia’s Cuisine in Stockholm.  She was feeling a bit under the weather and thought something spicy would cheer her up.  She does a riff on cottage pie and covers the mince with a crumble instead of mash, and spices the whole lot up with garlic and chile – comfort food at its best, even if she didn’t think the end-result was very pretty 😉

Another classic pie gets a facelift from Kevin of Seriously Good in Knoxville.  You have to love a man who writes: "I pictured a mound of overlapping circles of golden-brown potatoes strewn with sprigs of green. Instead, I ended up with a single circle of potatoes surrounding a bird’s nest of potato strips. Such are the uncertainties of creation."  Check out his riff on classic steak & mushroom pie.

Next up we have Sue who blogs at Coffee & Cornbread in Virginia.  She makes one of my favourite dishes that I haven’t eaten in probably close to a decade.  Hint:  what do you make if you’re a pizza freak but have to produce a closed pie?  Calzone, of course!  Sue gives us a great step-by-step tutorial with pictures, explaining just how she made her cottage cheese, pepperoni and mushroom calzones.  Irresistible

Back across the Atlantic, Meeta of What’s for Lunch, Honey? in Weimar, Germany poses a question for us to ponder:  is she being lazy or comfortable when she decides to skip making potato rosti to go with her creamy veal and mushrooms.  Instead, she makes adorable little potato rosti lids for her veal and mushroom ramekins and voila – a new dish is born! Never mind comfortable – this is just plain inspired 🙂

From Germany, it’s time to head Down Under for the second time this month to visit Zoe of Puku in Queensland.  She puts a jumbo muffin tin to great use when she makes individual beef, aubergine and fetta pies.  Check these babies out:  it’s like a puff pastry wonton with a pastry lattice lid – and who can resist a pie with a fetta filling anyway?

Also favouring something meaty was Devra of Puu’s Cookbook in Washington DC.  Proving once again that you learn something new every day, I was a little worried when I got her e-mail and read that she was making pizza rustica – surely that would be an open pie?  But no – she wowed me with this recipe: a pizza-style filling sandwiched between two pie crusts! Heavenly.

Nipping back to Europe we encounter the first of the recurring themes in this month’s event:  chicken pie.  Man, we all seem to love chicken pies!  And the first one I received was from Mari of Mevrouw Cupcake in Amsterdam.  She writes what must surely be the definitive post on chicken pot pie, including a recipe for chicken stock, bechamel sauce, buttermilk biscuit (scones) for the topping, and of course instructions on how to assemble it all.

It seems chicken pot pie is equally popular across the Atlantic, because the next version came from Chris of Experimentation of Taste in Longview, Washington.  This recipe is a different animal altogether:  flaky, buttery double-crust individual chicken pot pies made in a muffin tin.  So clever, Chris, and they look just adorable!

The lovely Sam of Becks & Posh in San Francisco is a master of all culinary arts, so whipping up a flaky, buttery, delicious pie is easier for her than most of the rest of us mere mortals.  Her recipe is so easy too: Go down to the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market, find the Mystipie stall (run by fellow South Africans, woo hoo!!) and buy one of their mouth-watering artisanal chicken and mushroom pies :o)  Or coconut curry vegetable.  Or whatever takes your fancy! This wasn’t exactly what I had in mind when I announced the theme but we’ll forgive Sam just this once, particularly because she is promoting a proudly South African product 😉

Back in Europe, Ulrika of Kuechenlatein in Kiel, Germany explains that Germany isn’t exactly classic pie country.  But never mind, she still manages to wow us with her crumbly chicken and mixed vegetable pie, which looks like the ultimate winter comfort food to me!

And so we head for warmer climes, back down to I-Ling of Feed Me I’m Hungry in Melbourne.  Like me, she’s been pretty busy at work and bemoans the fact that she has no time for surfing her favourite food blogs, let alone making pies!  So her free-form chicken, potato and bacon pie sounds like the recipe for me:  quick and simple!  Oh yes – and delicious!

Staying in Oz Neil of At My Table, also in Melbourne, treats us to an old-fashioned morality play – or should that be a morel-ity play?  Or maybe it’s more of an adult recipe, featuring long-established relationships and the introduction of a third party to complete the "circle of love"!  Ooooh la la!  Is your curiosity killing you?  Well nip on over to Neil’s and read his brilliantly witty post about chicken, morel and asparagus pie.

And just when I thought there were no more chickens to be eaten… along came a sneaky late entry from Xochitl of Xochitl Cooks in London.  She just managed to sweet talk me into accepting her fab-sounding contribution of Claridges chicken pie – a very rich Gordon Ramsay number but sooooo worth the calories 😉

Probably the most unusual take on a chicken pie this month came from Bahar of Where’s the Revolution? in Syracuse, NY.  Bahar has used this month’s WTSIM as the perfect excuse for a very comprehensive illustrated tutorial on cooking the traditional Iranian dish of rice, tah digh and caramelised onionsShe then demonstrates how to prepare chicken and zereshk (barberries), and when you put it all together you  have zereshk polo ba morgh.  But hey, why stop there – she then pops this traditional Iranian dish into a very un-traditional pie crust to make chicken zereshk pot pie with a saffron cream sauce.  Fusion food like you’ve never seen before.

And then in a bizarre coincidence, I received a late entry from Christina of Thorngrove Table in London who submitted a Tudor recipe.  And you’ll never guess what the main ingredients were.  Chicken and barberries!!  What are the chances? Apparently barberries were reasonably common in Tudor times but as they were a vector for wheat rust, they are no longer easily available.  But Christina has managed to track a few down, so go and see her Tudor version of chicken and barberry pie with sauce.

Staying with poultry but moving away from chicken, we have a great contribution from of Ros of Living to Eat in London.  She comes over all adventurous and tries her hand at bastilla. This is a Moroccan pie traditionally made with pigeon and "flavoured with cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, garlic and rosewater, encased in phyllo pastry topped with flaked almonds, sugar and cinnamon".  Wow!  Although chicken can be substituted for the pigeon, Ros even finds some pigeon breast for her recipe, but finds the phyllo pastry to be the uncooperative part 😉  Still, it’s a show-stopper of a dish!

Moving away from the henhouse and into the ocean, we also had a number of very fishy entries.  I know I am meant to be a neutral host, but I must profess a soft spot for Ben of Food and Drink in London‘s contribution.  It’s something I had heard of but always found very hard to picture, until I saw Ben’s gorgeous creation:  stargazy pie.  It’s a pie that originated in the village of Mousehole in Cornwall, it traditionally contains whole pilchards, and the name comes from the fact that the fish heads are left on the fish and poke through the pastry lid to gaze at the stars.  Intrigued?  Go and read Ben’s great post!

Staying with the fishy theme and moving across to Lynne of Cafe Lynnlu in Georgia, we encounter the first of two salmon entries.  Her perfectly executed salmon and leek pie comes with the wonderful-souding accompaniment of sour cream chile sauce.  How can we resist that?!

A lot closer to home, Freya of Writing at the Kitchen Table in Essex also took seafood as her inspiration.  During the course of her post she shares some thoughts on the importance (or lack thereof!) of carefully plating dainty portions of food, all of which culminates in a gloriously rustic dish of Picasso’s bream.  Just beautiful!

The next entry is one that I am very pleased to be able to say I actually sampled! A couple of weeks ago the lovely Johanna of The Passionate Cook in London invited me over to lunch on a grey and chilly spring day.  We chatted and laughed and she served us the most comforting dish possible on such a day – fish pie.  Have a look and find out why this is one old English favourite that has found its way into Johanna’s (and my!) heart.

Staying in London as well as staying with the pescatorian theme, we move on to Jenni of Pertelote.  In a sense, I also enjoyed a taste of this contribution, albeit in its in proto-pie form.  You see, a couple of weekends ago Jenni and Mr Pertelote very kindly invited a couple of bloggers over for lunch and made an approximation of what they are having for her wedding meal.  The purpose was for us to try the food with the various wine options avialable to them, and to make recommendations.  The starter included some rather heavenly roasted shallots, and the main included some deliciously fluffy potatoes.  So it will come as little surprise that Jenni presents us mackerel and shallot pie with a mashed potato topping.  Who said leftovers were boring?!

Then we hop on the Eurostar across the Channel to Pille of Nami-Nami in Tallin.  Now I have always been a great fan of salmon en croute, and the creation that Pille comes up with is a festive Russian pie recipe: salmon kulebyaka – think salmon en croute meets beef Wellington, with rice and quail’s eggs.  Oh my!  And just take a look at how beautiful it is!

Still in and around the ocean, Fiona of The Cottage Smallholder in Cambridgeshire has a great idea for a light meal or a filling starter.  We all know and love potato croquettes, right?  Crispy exterior and creamy potato centre,what’s not to like?  But now imagine those expanded to ramekin size and with a few king prawns dotted about in the potato for good measure.  Yum! And that’s exactly what you get in Fiona’s prawn croquette recipe.  Definitely a keeper!

Leaving the ocean behind (both in terms of geography and ingredients!) we pop in to visit Melissa who blogs at Hecticium in Birmingham.  She reminsces about the pastry-wrapped surprises she used to cook as a student and then comes up with the delightful-sounding cheesy vegetable plait.  With loads of vegetables, tangy cheese, humus and (erm) peanut butter, there’s a lot to like about this particular pie!

Back down south, we have Mark who blogs at I Cook Food in London and explains that he is not normally much of a pie-maker.  However, this event and a visit to his sister’s well-equipped kitchen certainly inspired him and he presents us with some rather intriguing deep-fried spicy potato and pea pasties.  I say intriguing because although he starts with pretty ordinary peas and potatoes, the addition of currants, cumin, coriander and chile make these sound like an explosion of taste.  Quite inspiring!

Some of you took the theme and just let your imaginations run wild – like Piperita of The Kitchen Pantry in Milan.  She adapts a recipe from Nigella in an attempt to satisfy her craving for a cheese focaccia and comes up with what I can only describe as the gorgeous lovechild of a pie, a focaccia and a quattro tres formaggio pizza.  Intrigued?  Go and drool over her beautful 3-cheese focaccia pies.  I certainly did 🙂

Across the border, Astrid of Paulchens Foodblog in Vienna explains that she is not a pie-maker my nature, but she was keen to try.  She comes up with a zucchini, leek potato pie that’s crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside – and I have to say that if this is her first attempt at pie-making, she’s a natural.  The photos are also a treat – and Astrid thinks she might have fallen in love with pies!

Sticking with a veggie theme, we join Ramya who blogs at Cascading Flavors in New Jersey.  She gets my vote for referring to my blog as the "gorgeous looking Jeanne’s place" – flattery always helps!  Anyhow, despite protesting that she is not a pie-maker and cannot vouch for the authenticity of her pie, she produces a beautiful heart-shaped vegetable pot pie – and even inclides a link to a vegan pie crust recipe.

On the other side of the country, Susan of Food "Blogga" in LA gives us a very different take on a vegetable pie.  Like me, Susan is a great fan of calzones but she gives her filling a very southern Californian twist – a broccolini and sundried tomato calzone with pine nuts and parmesan thrown in for good measure.  Not only healthy, but just look at those vibrant colours!

From sunny California we head to considerably cooler climes to visit Mia who blogs at Cloudberry Quark in Finland – another blog that I had not discovered before but will definitely be visiting again.  She makes one of the most intriguing recipes of the bunch – a savoury two cheese pumpkin pie with a beautifully decorated wholewheat crust.  What really sold me on this recipe is that it resembles very closely the spicy open pumpkin pie with cheese that I had at an organic market in Paris this summer – this will definitely be going on my to do list 🙂

Back on home turf, we have Abby who blogs at Eat the Right Stuff right here in London.  She gives us yet another take on the cottage/shepherd’s pie – but the twist this time is that it’s a vegetarian shepherd’s pie! Just look at the ingredient list and you’ll see there’s something for everyone:  roasted tomatoes, lentils, sweet potatoes… and wait till you get to the topping of goats cheese mash and cheesy leeks!  Oh my!

Moving up north (the pie heartland of England, apparently!), we encounter Alex who blogs at Eating Leeds, unsurprisingly in Leeds 😉 He makes the culinary equivalent of the Holy Roman Empire (which was neither holy, nor Roman, nor a real empire…): a savoury onion pasty.  Which is not really a pasty, contains no onion and, as Alex says, "I can’t really imagine a sweet onion pasty!".  Turns out that it’s more of a bacon, cheese and leek pie – which sounds tasty to me no matter what you call it.   

Then it’s back across the Atlantic to Chris who blogs at Melecotte in Atlanta.  He makes one of my all-time favourite pies:  Greek spanokopita.  I discovered this delightful combination of feta cheese and spinach wrapped in phyllo pastry years ago and it was what led to me love of Greek food.  And it’s a love affair I won’t be over any time soon!

Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once in Melbourne also found the lure of spinach to be just too much to reisist, but her spinach and egg pie was a rather different affair.  Instead of going for the quiche effect and beating the eggs before adding them, these eggs are simply broken over the spinach and then cooked under a crust – just look how beautiful the result is!

It seems that Popeye’s favourite vegetable is a universal favourite as we fly around the globe to Elle of Feeding my Enthusiasms in northern California.  She has created something that could in my book easily be called "heaven on a plate":  spinach, mushroom, bacon and cheese pie.  She says "it’s all in the crust", but I’d have to beg to differ and say that rather a lot of it is in the filling too!  Yum.

And completing our quartet of spinach recipes, we head off in a totally different direction to meet Brigitte of Kuechendunst aus Singapur.  She totally outdoes herself as she builds an entire meal around her pies – so as a bonus you get recipes for stuff like spinach kofta with eggplant puree, or spinach, cauliflower and tomato puree with walnuts.  The star of the show, however, is an unusual recipe for goat’s cheese potato and spinach brioche pies.  A feast for the eyes and the tongue.

They say you’re never too old to learn – and I certainyl learnt something from J in of Have Fork Will Travel in London.  I’m sure many of you will have heard of tarte flambé or flamiche, the pizza-like open tarts served in Alsace.  But what neither J nor I knew was that recipes also exist for closed flamiche and that’s exactly what J made.  Described as a "flat double-crust leek pie", it looks and sounds quite delicious.

One of the recurring themes this month was venison and game, and the first gamey entry was from Rosie of What’s The Recipe Today, Jim? somewhere in the UK.  Her recipe for old English venison pie is made all the more intriguing by the unexpected addition of… marmalade!  As a confirmed fan of meat and fruit flavours together, this really piqued my interest, and I’m sure yours too 🙂

Staying in the UK, we get move over to Andrew of SpittoonExtra in lovely Shiplake.  The first of Andrew’s two (!!) entries was more of a mixed bag – quite literally a bag of mixed game comprising mallard, pheasant, pigeon and partridge.  Talk about four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie – this seems to be a similar number of game birds baked in a pie.  With a layer of redcurrant jelly for sweetness and a lard-laden crust, this sounds just heavenly.

From there, it was a short hop over the Channel to a blog that I had never encountered before but was very pleased to discover.  Husbear & Girlie in Florence blog at Boots in the Oven – but don’t be alarmed by the name.  No footwear was harmed in the making of this blog! Anyway, after a totally spectacular cascade of risqué double entendres, we are introduced to Husbear’s absolutely wonderful looking hare pie (yes, that’s -are and not -air, but you can see where I’m coming from with the double entendres!!)

And bringing up the rear in the savoury pies is, of course, Cooksister‘s own creation:  wildsvleispastei or venison pie with peaches, just like my mom used to make.


One of the first entries I received was from Helen who blogs at the rather aptly named Tartelette in Charleston.  She was the first of a few bloggers who chose to make berry pies – and who can resist those!  She decided to show her love for her family on Valentine’s day with these adorable little individual double crusted blueberry pies.  I swear I can actually smell those…

Petra who blogs at Foodfreak in Hamburg was all geared up to make a savoury pie of some sort… until she took a census of her freezer and found an abundance of frozen gooseberries.  From there on, her decision was made 🙂  She makes an intriguing cream cheese crust and adds sour cream to the filling – hence the name of a very dairy gooseberry pie.  And just look at that lovely lattice crust!

Now we leave Europe behind and head down to see Bron who blogs at Bron Marshall in New Zealand.  Now, those of you who read Bron’s blog will know how fantastic her photos are – but this tijme she really outdoes herself!  In fact, after explaining how she was intending to describe the genesis of this pie to her readers, she gives up and lets the pictures tell the story instead.  If you can tear your eyes away from the photos, the recipe is for a blackcurrant pie with Frangelico creme chantilly.  You’ve outdone yourself, Bron!

Sticking with berries but moving continents, we go to visit Margaret who blogs at Kitchen Delights in the West midlands of England. One of the things you have to admire about the English is theior eccentric naming of dishes: spotted dick, stargazy pie, bubble & squeak to name but a few.  Margaret has made the delightfully descriptive Victorian bilberry "Mucky Mouth" pie – because that’s exactly how you will look once you take a big bite of this delicious pie!

Let’s get back to the USA for a moment to drop in on Dhana from Fresh Kitchen in Mountain View, CA.  She’s another entrant who has an abundance of frozen berries on hand.  She puts them to good use by adding ginger, slivered almonds and "lotsa alcohol".  And voila – a new family recipe of mixed berry and ginger pie is born!

There seem to berries all around the globe as we cross the Atlantic to Robin in Virginia, USA.  Because Robin does not (yet!) have a blog, Johanna kindly agreed to post this recipe for bipartisan berry pie, so named because it has received rave reviews from both Democrats and Republicans.  This cranberry, apple and walnut pie is also called Cape Cod October pie, but is confined neither to Cape Cod, nor October.  I guess good taste knows no boundaries!

From berries we move on to another fruity favourite:  apples.  And the first person to submit an apple pie was Andrew of SpittoonExtra in Shiplake – his second entry this month!  Andrew’s recipe intriguingly called for a layer of rose petals under the pastry lid, but he plays it safe and uses a layer of quince jelly instead.  And check out the gorgeous pics!

Time to head South for some Antipodean apples now.  Cindy of Where’s the Beef? in Melbourne is another entrant who was inspired to bake for Valentine’s Day.  After seeing it on The Amateur Gourmet’s site, she makes a really beautiful Martha Stewart apple pie.  But I’m equally fascinated by the fabulous-sounding cinnamon vanilla icw cream that she serves with it!

I’m pleased to welcome a fellow South African to this month’s WTSIM: Ashleigh blogs at Stitched in Holland in Amsterdam, but she’s a born and bred South African like me.  Ash wows us with her industrious pie and crumble exploits – se made 6 apple and berry crumbles to freeze!  But for WTSIM, she submits a traditional double crust apple pie, beautifully decorated with a constellation of stars 🙂

Staying in Europe, another participant who succumbed to the lure of apples was Anne of Anne’s Food in Stockholm.  Anne also tells us that she does not usually make pies and is not a huge fan of pie crusts, but she makes an exception for WTSIM and comes up with individual spicy apple pies.  With cardamom, ginger and cinnamon to add zing, what’s not to like – and check out the adorable heart shapes!

Let’s head back to the land traditionally associated with apple pie – the US of A.  Stephanie of Dispensing Happiness, "stuck in the south" (her words, not mine!) was another apple pie baker, only hers gets the additional twist of… pistachios.  Now that sounds like my kind of nutty apple pie 🙂 

Elizabeth from Blog From Our Kitchen in Toronto starts off by re-living the childhood trauma of entering her apple pie in a pie contest and ends with a fascinating way of teaching kids their ABCs by centering it all on apple pie (of course!).  Somewhere in the middle she shares with us a great recipe for an apple pie that looks deliciously like giant apple danish.  Just marvellous!

From there it’s back to Astrid at Paulchens Foodblog in Vienna.  Like Andrew, she’s another overachiever (or pie fanatic?!) who made two pies for this event – and like Andrew she turns to apples for her sweet contribution.  As she mentioned, Austria is not big on pies but they are big on strudels – which are not covered pies 🙁 So she comes up with a simple solution and uses strudel ingredients in a pie format to produce an Apfelstrudel-pie!  Now that’s fusion food I could grow to love.

Heading over east, we arrive in Budapest where Dora blogs at Lila Füge (which means purple fig, incidentally).  She regales us with a tale of woe involving apple upside-down cakes that resulted in a second-degree burn to her wrist.  But luckily this didn’t put her off cooking and caramelising for life, otherwise we might never have known about her fantastic salted butter caramel walnut pie.  Caramel = good.  Salted butter caramel = better.  Salted butter caramel and nuts = I-think-I-died-and-went-to-heaven.  Check it out for yourself and you’ll see what I mean.

And now for something completely different.  Kristen of Dine and Dish in Kansas City sets her sights on a gorgeous vanilla cream pie.  She then goes on to tell a sad tale of a pie-tastrophe as egg whites won’t quite form stiff peaks and the pie starts off gorgeous but ends up losing its grip on the filling.  Not to worry – the family ended up with vanilla cream pie milkshakes for dessert! 

North of the border, Brilynn at Jumbo Empanadas in Canada has a happier ending to her meringue pie tale.  Like a number of other entrants, she tried her hand at a Dorie Greenspan recipe and presents us with a picture-perfect mango, lime and ginger meringue pie.  Not only did this give her an excuse to try out her nifty mini-blowtorch, but she also admits that she couldn’t resist a second slice – despite being a confirmed chocoholic.  Now that sounds like a damn fine pie to me…

And for our final pie we head west to Michelle at Je Mange la Ville in Portland, Oregon.  Just like me, it seems Michelle has had the urge to make pear-centric dishes lately – in the last month I have made two pear desserts and a pear salad.  Michelle is a girl after my own heart as she combines her pears with ginger and gives us a photo-tutorial to produce a delicious looking ginger pear pie with golden raisins.  Sweet, spicy, perfect.

And that, folks, as they say in the classics, is that!  Hope you enjoy indulging in the ultimate list of pie recipes and do check Johanna‘s blog for the announcement of next month’s WTSIM theme.