By Brenda Clough
And, the final Book View Cafe pie!
This is my son’s favorite summer treat, a veal and ham pie. I made it to celebrate his return from Army Reserve duties in Ft. Dix, New Jersey. It is made in a 10 inch springform pan; you cannot see it in this photo but the pie is a straight-sided cylinder good three inches deep. it is solidly layered inside with two kinds of ham, veal scalloppine, and turkey cutlets pounded flat, plus green pepper, parsley, celery, onion, and black Chinese mushrooms, all held together by a beefy gelatine chilled solid It is particularly pretty when sliced, when all the layers show up beautifully.
To achieve the letters I rolled the top crust out (cunningly, between two sheets of plastic wrap) and cut the silhouette of the letters out freehand with a small sharp knife. Thank goodness we did not name ourselves Areopagus Enterprises Inc., because this is fiddly work, unquestionably the most exacting way to achieve letters on a pie, and you could only ever do it with short words. With my two sheets of wrap it was easy to flip the cut top crust over, and then peel off the plastic and flip it back, right side up, onto the filled pie. The stable and flat pie contents makes for very little distortion in cooking.
Having done it three different ways, I think it is clear that although this is the prettiest result, the best bang for your buck is achieved with the lattice method. As long as you select a fairly even and flat pie filling you can pretty well spell out anything you like with strips of dough, as long as it’s not sesquipedalian. With really long texts, that’s where frosting on a cake (or around a cake) comes into its own; effects can be achieved with a frosting bag that you could never get with pastry crust.
My newest novel Speak to Our Desires is out exclusively from Book View Café.