Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pie Happiness

It was an atmosphere of indulgence and festivity. A smorgasbord of pies. Pies for every mood and whim.  A few people were restrained and only sampled a few slices. As for others, let’s just say there’s a special place for the sinners of gluttony. Good thing I’m not Catholic. But my tummy did protest vehemently later that day. The 2nd Annual Maui PieTweetUp was a success. 

Pies in a state of being de-pied. 

Pies were fantastic. Varieties included raw pies, gluten free pies, cream pies, phyllo pies, mini pies, and even a pizza pie!  Sweet pies outnumbered savory pies, by at least 4 to 1. Sweet pies included sweet potato pie, lilikoi tart, lemon pie, lime pie, mango pie, apple pie, cherry pie, berry pie, chocolate pie, pecan pie and countless others. Savory pies included sausage, cheese and apple pie, quiche, quinoa pie, pizza pie, beet and veggie pie, roasted tomato handheld pies, Thai chicken curry pie with homemade coconut cream from a freshly opened coconut, and steak and kidney pie. 

Roasted Tomato Handpie - photo courtesy of @CPstout and @mauiplantgirl.

Every pie had a story. My favorites included the roasted tomato mini pie, the lilikoi tart, and a peach (or nectarine) flat pie. There were others that I also loved, but their names are a blur now – a creamy lemon or lime pie, a pie with a hint of rosemary…

Pie smorgasbord. 

The idea was to bring a pie with as many local ingredients as possible, and I expected predominantly local produce, so that would normally rule out apples, most berries, cherries, and chocolate, but again… all these things are available locally, but are not common.  I would have liked to have included some local potatoes in my pie but it was too hard to obtain them.  I’m not sure what percent of each pie was local, but once the pies were sliced and beckoning, it didn’t matter too much.

Fruit pies

DH insisted on having a steak and kidney pie. It’s kind of a guy pie, and I didn’t expect it to be popular. Indeed, my biggest compliment was from a friend’s husband. The steak was Maui beef and the local kidneys were from DeCoite packing house. No potatoes, so I pulled up a young taro plant from the garden and used a Maui sweet onion, a local chayote squash to make up for potatoes, local burdock to make up for not having local carrots, and slices of green papaya to help soften the chuck steak.

Maui steak and kidney pie - designed to make you grow hair on your chest.
Not for the faint of heart.

Getting to the pie tweetup was a misadventure. Sort of like going over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house. I had printed out the address and directions from the tweetvite, which was Kohea Road off of Polipoli Road. We arrived at an area with several homes and farm processing equipment, but nothing that looked remotely like a pie eating event. I spotted some workers behind a house packing onions into a big machine and they said it was down the highway. Ah, so it was at the Kula Country Farm booth, which we had passed earlier, and I had simply assumed the event was at their “official address.” 

Kula Country Farms Store

As we drove down Polipoli, we saw other cars round the bend and wondered if they too were looking for the wrong address. But once we arrived, everything was just dandy.  Tables were set up under open air tents, and decorated with local strawberries.  There were plates and forks and napkins and handy wet wipes for pie smudged fingers. Special thanks to Dania Katz of Edible Hawaiian Islands Magazine and Marilyn Jansen Lopes who greeted arrivals and offered gifts, including Kula made strawberry syrup, handmade cards, and a chance to win a farm tour. Kula Country Farms was very wonderful to host the event. For more photos, visit this pie pics page
Produce at the Kula Country Farm Store, which is a great farmer's market. The strawberry syrup was given to early arrivals at the pie tweet up.  

Within 20 minutes, the pies were actively coming in, and also disappearing quickly. Most pies arrived within the first half hour but later pies kept showing up. Most people were there specifically for the pie event, but a few others just happened to stop by the farm booth and got invited in, since there was so much pie to share. I had fears that one pie wasn’t enough and had made a second back up pie, a gluten free mango lilikoi pie that ended up staying home, and will have to be divvied up among friends. As the pie tweetup can attest, pie is best eaten shared. 

Creamy chocolate fruity pie. 


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