Mr. O-P knows Latin and, like most men, he loves to regale me with his wisdom. So much so that if I hear the phrase “De gustibus non est disputandum” one more time, I'm going to whap him a good one. Directly translated it means “about tastes, it must not be disputed/discussed,” the implication being that everyone's personal preferences are merely subjective opinions that can be neither right nor wrong. No better example do I have of this than with the making of this pie.
As mentioned yesterday, I am a bit leery when it comes to “special request” recipes. You know the ones. They are for dishes at local restaurants that people enjoy, and so write in to magazines or newspapers to request the recipe in the hopes of having them published so that they can make this much-enjoyed item in their own homes.
A couple of weeks ago someone requested the recipe for Sugarfire Smokehouse's Pie Shop's Signature Pie (are you still with me?), and it was published in all its sweet glory. I am not a pie person per se, but I know a lot of people who are, one in particular who was coming to join us for dinner and baseball last week, so as treat I made this pie. A seasoned cook and baker, I was a bit leery of the 2-1/2 cups of sugar called for, but against my better judgment, made it exactly as written. If you have ever eaten brown sugar out of the box (and I actually have done, so I know whereof I speak), it wouldn't have been as sweet at this pie. Cloying seems too kind a word. People managed to get it down, followed by gallons of hot coffee, but I heard the words “tooth achingly sweet,” “like eating pralines in pie form,” and “was like eating pure sugar.”
I bid my guests goodbye along with my profuse apologies and a coupon for 50 cents off a tube of Crest, and then set immediately to work writing a letter to the food editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to tell her that, clearly, a mistake had been made. Within 24 hours I received a reply and was told that, no, the recipe was 100% correct. So I took to social media to warn people against making this pie. Much to my surprise I was met by a lot of comments from Sugarfire defenders telling me that this delicious, Momofuko-type clone was their favorite pie and that they were addicted to it. Okay!
Now, I am a fan of Sugarfire. Their brisket sandwich is the stuff of which dreams are made; their coffee barbecue sauce so heavenly delicious that I was the one who wrote in to request that recipe, got it, and shared it with you here. So for those of you who have a sweet tooth that will not quit, I offer you this recipe for a pie that some deem so good as to become habit forming. This is the first time in my near five years of blogging that I have ever published a recipe for an item that I myself will not eat, but what can I say? De gustibus non est disputandem. Make it at your own risk, and don't say I didn't warn you.Sugarfire Pie's Signature Pie
For the crust
Vanilla wafers, enough to make 1 ½ cups crumbs
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the filling
1 cup granulated sugar
1½ cups dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
½ teaspoon salt
4 large egg yolks
¼ cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Make the crust. Grind vanilla wafers in a food processor to yield 1 ½ cups crumbs. In a bowl, stir together crumbs and 6 tablespoons butter until crumbly. With your hands, press into a 9-inch metal disposable pie pan. Do not bake.
Make the filling. With an electric mixer on low speed to avoid adding air, combine sugars, cornmeal and salt, then egg yolks, cream and vanilla. Add ½ cup butter and mix until fully incorporated.
Pour filling into crust. Bake for about 30 minutes until the top is round and puffy. To test for doneness, gently shake the pie: It should be a little jiggly in the center, not at the edges.
Let cool, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.
To serve Sugarfire Pie-style, sprinkle pie with powdered sugar and cut in 6 to-be-shared slices.
This post is linked to: