Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Vinegar Chess and the Last Pumpkin

I finally used up the last of our pureed garden pumpkin from the freezer. The resulting pie went to the couple who babysat my son while my husband and I dined at the Belgian mussel bar in honor of Valentine's Day. After some strong, flavorful beer, foie gras, duck, and mussels, we were invited to have a slice of the pie with the babysitters. It was a sweet end to a hearty pumpkin pie season. In summary, I made 10 pumpkin pies with the pumpkins my husband and I grew in 2010. I probably could have made two more to round out an even dozen if I had portioned the puree better before freezing.

I also finally succumbed to trying out the Vinegar Chess Pie recipe from ReadyMade. I've made this style of pie once or twice before when I was in high school. I remember my dad liking it. This variation of the recipe is superb. The cream in particular really enriches and mellows the flavor and texture. Utter deliciousness and a perfect pie for a time of year when little fresh produce is available. I should also mention that I used yellow cornmeal instead of white, since that's what I had in the cupboard. I doubt it made much of a difference.

I made the Vinegar Chess Pie for a small, impromptu dinner party over the weekend. The guests were pleasantly surprised by the tastiness of a pie made with vinegar and one suggested that I look up the origins of such a strange pie. According to wikipedia.org, chess-style pie has no connection to the actual game of chess and hails from England. Chess pie recipes are very sweet (usually comprising eggs, sugar, butter, cornmeal, and vanilla) and have historically been common desserts in both New England and Virginia in the U.S. Vinegar Chess Pie is simply a chess pie that's had some vinegar added to bring the sweetness down a notch.

Current Pie Tally: 47

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