Crass Pie

Kevin Bruce

all photos: kevin bruce

I hate winter. Nothing against kale or turnips, but winter is gross. It's cold, it's dark and everything is either dead, sleeping inside a tree for three months or–in the case of humans–forced to remain working full-time, while squeezing out a pathetic smile and biting back tears of SADness. Those of us that couldn't make it to SXSW for a Taco Bell-sponsored spring break stayed home, cold and hungry. And while some got to enjoy a week in t-shirts and warm beer, my week in NYC was pretty fun too: went to work at job I hate, got rained/snowed on a lot, did taxes and owe government $300.

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I don't have $300. Fuck.

When life sux, I do two things. One is lay on the floor and let little puppy Frankie lick my face until I'm gasping for air. The other, make a pie.

And since we're making this pie out of working-class anger (or at least the yuppie Brooklyn version of it), we'll take a little inspiration from Crass.

Do they owe us a living? Of course they do, of course they do! A mixed berry filling? OF COURSE THEY FUCKING DO!

In Nourishing Traditions, real food saviour Sally Fallon Morell says of pie crusts, out of more than 600 pages of recipes, “this is the only recipe in which we compromise somewhat on our principles.” Meaning, she uses white flour. And so can you. Sure, spelt or sprouted grain flour would make a healthier pie crust, but that costs money, so whatever flour you have in your cabinet is probably fine. It's up to you to change your life and my pie's up to me.

For the pie crust punx

1 1/2 cups flour
6 tablespoons butter, lard, tallow or any combination, ICE COLD (apparently bison tallow is best, but where do you get that??)
pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten
1 crass back patch since you probably can't draw the logo from memory alone

Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Cut up fat into cubes, toss in the flour and rub together with your fingertips. Be careful not to let the fat melt or your pie crust won't turn out flaky and crusty. When the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs add the egg and stir. If the dough is too dry, add a few drops of water, but keep in mind that although a dryer dough may be harder to work with, it will yield a crisper crust. Form dough into a ball and refrigerate at least 15 minutes.

For the filling

6 egg yolks
1/2 cup raw honey
two lemons worth of zest and juice
2 tbsp filtered water
1 splash vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, cold and cubed
2 cups berries

Jimmy-rig a double boiler by placing a mixing bowl in a pan of gently simmering water. In the bowl, whisk together egg yolks, honey, lemon juice and zest, water and vanilla until well blended. Add the butter a couple pieces at a time, while constantly whisking. After all the butter is melted, cook for an additional 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened. Place lemon curd in the fridge to cool. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Roll out dough until about 1/4″ thick and line pie crust pan. When lemon curd is cool, pour it into pie crust and sprinkle berries on top. Roll out remaining dough, cut out crass logo and place on top. Bake at 300 for 20-25 minutes, refrigerate 2-3 hours. Eat pie, not wars.

On a side note, if anyone would like to buy 1/4 of a pie for $300, please email me.

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