Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Pie of Tomorrow

NYPL Digital Gallery
Meet Mrs. Leo Steingut, champion baker, and Mr. Roy Moulton from the Piccadilly Circus Restaurant. They are at the 1939 World's Fair in New York City and Mrs. Steingut is receiving accolades from Mr. Moulton for her Pie of Tomorrow.

I love that: the Pie of Tomorrow. And yet there it was, that day in 1939: a Pie of Today. And now? It's a Pie of Yesterday! That's some pie. But what kind of pie? I looked at the back of the photo over at the New York Public Library site: they aren't telling. It looks like a kind of cream/berry concoction. They could be blueberries or raspberries. That's all I've got. I don't know what's so evocative of the future about berries and cream, but let's just run with this.

Just in case you want to make a forward-thinking, modern dessert, here's a different 1930s pie recipe. Let's call it the Pie of Next Tuesday. You can serve it when and if Alice in Wonderland comes to tea; she's already had Never Jam Today. This is from Ida Bailey Allen's wonderfully wacky Food For Family, Company and Crowd (1936). I incorporated the ingredients into the text to shorten things a bit, but otherwise it is all Ida. Have you ever heard of a chocolate oatmeal crust before? I hadn't. It sounds pretty good, too (though maybe not with lemon - I'd go with Mrs. Steingut's berries and cream):

Black and Gold Pie

Crust: Add 1/4 tsp salt to  2 cups milk and scald in top of double boiler. Pour in 1/2 cup quick cooking oatmeal slowly, stirring constantly, and cook until thick and smooth. Add 3/4 cup sugar and 1 square unsweetened chocolate and cook 15 minutes longer. Cool until stiff enough to hold its shape, and line a 10-inch pie tin with a thick layer. Fill with Golden Filling. Cover with meringue and bake 20 minutes in a slow oven, 300 degrees.

Golden Filling:  Mix 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 tsp salt and 4 Tb flour in top of double boiler. Add 1 cup boiling water slowly, and cook until thick and clear. Place over hot water and add 2 slightly beaten egg yolks and the grated grind of one lemon. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from stove and add 3 Tb lemon juice and a Tb of butter. Cool and pour into chocolate shell.

Meringue: Add 1/8 tsp salt to 2 egg whites and beat until stiff. Add 4 Tb sugar slowly, beating constantly,. Completely cover pie with meringue, so as to prevent shrinkage when cooling. Makes 6 servings.


Marcheline said...

Just look at her sweet little dress and the doo-bob in her hair! Couldn't you just eat her up? Never mind the pie of tomorrow!

Fisher and Staff said...

I don't read recipes very well, and don't even think about baking, but I sure enjoyed your humorous writing!

Eric said...

I thought the pie of tomorrow would have moving sidewalks and hovercrafts.