When the Austin Food Blogger Alliance decides to have a Pie-Luck, you’d have to be crazy* not to attend.
*OK, either crazy or wanting to actually maintain your current weight.
That’s right. I said a Pie-Luck. As in: a “potluck” for pie.The Pie-Luck was the first of two events combining social and philanthropic activities for the Austin Food Blogger Alliance. In conjunction with Alamo Drafthouse, the AFBA is sponsoring an event on August 21st called Pie Safe: a screening of the movie Waitress, followed by a pie sale, to benefit Safe Place, a shelter, hotline, and resource helping victims of domestic and sexual violence. But first: the Pie-Luck, a contest whose winner would have the opportunity to make enough of his or her pie to serve during the movie! To enter, I had to make not one, but two, delicious pies. [One for judging, and the other to share.]Since the rules said nothing about being healthy, and only specified that the crust had to be homemade, I figured I better rely on an old favorite.Yes, that is the Peanut Butter-scotch Banana Pudding Pie you see above and below.This time with a homemade Brown Sugar Graham Cracker Crust.
[Yes, that DOES sound delicious, doesn't it? No, I didn't win--that honor belonged to the Pecan Pie made by Michael of Cooking For Engineers...but I did find a fan in one of the judges who happily took 3/4 of a pie home with him. As for the other 1/2 of pie that remained...well let's just say my stomach hurts a LOT right now.]
The Pie-Luck occurred at House Wine, a charming little house on Josephine Street, just off Barton Springs, that I had wanted to visit for some time now.
Sadly, drink specials would have to wait……because although the wine bottle sculpture and drink list were tempting……I was focused on pie.Although I was fairly certain that–based on the ingredient list alone*–my pie would be the ugly white trash relative crashing the gourmet feast concocted by the much more adept in the kitchen AFBA members, it actually blended in quite nicely.
*Thankfully, I did not have to specify exactly how much Cool-Whip was involved…Although I was a little intimidated by Kathryn‘s “Just Add Port” [with blue cheese crust, bittersweet chocolate, hazelnut frangipane, & figs] craziness of wonderful…
…and somewhat shocked at just how tasty the vegan and dairy-free peach pie made by Sommer was [date-nut crust...YUM!]……we ALL had to bow down in awe at the chocolate cherry creation made by Plinio, the pastry chef from Second Bar + Kitchen.I honestly wish I could give y’all all a piece of this. It was fudgy gooey goodness surrounding whole, plump cherries in a crumbly chocolate crust…topped with a thick layer of hardened chocolate. Um. Right. [Thankfully this pie was not in the competition.]Other personal favorites included Addie‘s simple cherry crostada……and (precious) Natalie‘s (precious) Peach-Strawberry-Basil Pie.* I honestly think I ate a quarter of this.
*And I promise it was already my favorite even before I introduced myself and she said, “Oh, you’re great! Aren’t you the one who licked the plate?” [Ah, yes...that'd be me...the notorious Austin plate-licker!]As you can see, however, I enjoyed them all! To be fair (and to watch my intake a little bit) I did follow a plan of action that basically read: “Filling is first. The crust is secondary.”We were all experiencing somewhat alarming sugar crashes, so thank goodness for Beanitos bringing us goody bags.I definitely need to balance out that sugar with some salt.
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (1 sleeve of honey grahams pulsed in a food processor will do the trick)
- 3 Tablespoons of brown sugar
- 3/4 cup butter, melted