August 12, 2009

Harold and Maude and Ginger Pie

Ginger PieI'm on a great streak of combining my food with movies, the latest pairing being Harold and Maude with Ginger Pie. Talk about a quirky little movie. I hadn't seen it in years; the thing I remembered most about it was that I liked the soundtrack provided by the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens.

A few months ago Rob asked me if I could make ginger pie as in what Maude serves Harold in the movie. Humph, I've never had that or made it or heard of anyone else doing so either, I told him. I started searching for recipes online. There's nothing out there, I've looked, he said. There are only recipes for lemon ginger, pear ginger, ricotta ginger, but there's no ginger pie. He was right. I found Mile High Ginger Pie, but it still looked to be more instant vanilla pudding than ginger.

Rob arrived as I was finishing the pie filling. I had no idea how this pie-making project was going to turn out. We tried the filling before pouring it in the crust. Hey, that's not bad--actually it's good. Filling in the pie crust, pie in the oven, checked it at 30 minutes, decided to let it stay in a few more, then out of the oven to cool.

We started Harold and Maude, and at the part where Harold is over at Maude's and she offers him oat straw tea and ginger pie, we paused the movie to try a slice. We liked it a lot. It definitely had the dark, sweet ginger flavor of gingersnaps or gingerbread. Rob was especially excited to taste it, because apparently he'd wanted to try this pie since 1985 when he first saw the movie. So without further ado, I present a completely original Kimberly recipe, that is, best I can tell, unlike any others out there:

Ginger Pie

Ginger Pie
8 ounces crystallized ginger, chopped
1 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 egg
1 prebaked 9-inch pie shell
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Combine the crystallized ginger and water in a heavy saucepan. Cook over high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until water is mostly evaporated and mixture is thickened and sticky, at least 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the heavy cream.

Mix the flour, brown sugar, honey, and egg together in a separate bowl. Then stir in the ginger mixture. Pour this mixture into the prepared crust. Thinly slice the butter and arrange the pieces over the top of the filling.

Place pie on the lower-middle rack of the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool to room temperature before cutting.

One change I made from what I originally did was specifying that the ginger be chopped. Last night I used large pieces of crystallized ginger, instead of chopping them, and when I got a bite with a big piece of ginger, the flavor was a little too strong for me. Also, it was only after the pie was in the oven that I realized that I hadn't added salt or vanilla to the pie filling, which things I'm pretty sure every pie needs a little of, so I may make that change for future experiments. The only other problem I see is that the filling is a little shallow for a 9" pie. I would remedy that with a little more cream and sugar and an additional egg.

Between the Ginger Pie and Sunday's Summer Berry Pie, I'm on quite a pie kick. I would love to know how the recipe turns out for you.

You can do what you want.
The opportunity's on
And if you can find a new way
You can do it today.


wendy v. said...

One of my good friends brought up the subject of "Harold and Maude" and the only thing I could add to the conversation was, "hey, my sister made a ginger pie." Another girl was quite keen on finding out how you accomplished that feat. She wondered if it was spicy at all, and I embarrassingly don't remember if it was.

Kimberly said...

Anyone could make that pie very easily. It was a little spicy, but not any moreso than gingersnaps.

Unknown said...

To funny..... It is 7:15 in the morning and what pops up on my TV? Harold and Maude. So of course I am curious about Ginger Pie.... I'm so glad I stumbled on to this blog. I will be making ginger pie this weekend, thank you!


Stephen Worland said...

Thank you for the recipe. I made it and added 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
My wife was very nervous that it would be spicy, but she really enjoyed it. Put on a dollop of whipped cream and it was delicious. I used a 8 in pie and the ratio of crust to filling was just right.
Thanks agian