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Awake at the Whisk: Clandestine Pie Buying

Monday, April 12, 2010


Clandestine Pie Buying

I belong to a super-secret pie list. Therefore, I’m going to write this in a hushed whisper…

Once a week, I receive a top-secret email announcing one or two pies of the week. There are a limited number of delicacies being baked, so if I want one, I have to respond quickly. They’re only available on a first-come, first-served basis. This is serious pie. If you’re lucky enough to beat the others to the pie-punch, you are sent a secret code, which is used at a local, clandestine pie pick-up point. The tart is handed over in a nondescript, plain white box. Only once tucked securely inside your car do you have a moment to open the box and peer inside at the mysterious wonder that is your hard-earned prize.

My favorite part of being on this super-secret pie list (other than the fact that I’m actually on the list) is reading the descriptions of the desserts. It’s like reading tiny poems:

Rich, flavorful and zingy, it’s even better when served with a big pouf of barely sweetened, softly whipped cream.

The juice of blood oranges, Meyer lemons, pink grapefruit and Pixie tangerines are cooked gently into a creamy curd, then snuggled into a dark chocolate crust.

These mesmerizing words would send even the most passé of pie tasters on the hunt for these treasures. I’ve been hypnotized myself by the enticing pie call. So, without special occasion or other good reason (other than sheer intrigue), I signed up for one of these ethereal treats. And lucky for me, I won the pie race!

After receiving my secret pie code and exchanging cash for prize, I became the proud owner of a “winter citrus curd in a dark chocolate tart shell.” I tucked the unrevealing pie box under my arm, obstructing it from view like a thief in a night as I ducked out to the parking lot and locked it securely in my trunk. I even caught myself glancing around for obtrusive eyes.

Once safely at home, I slowly lifted the lid to my prize, squatting down low to bring myself eye-level like someone opening the lid to a container filled with baby kittens they don’t want to escape. Inside sat my glorious pie, glowing golden and orange in a halo of chocolate crust.

The cocoa crust had all the rich flavors of a brownie matched by the elegant sophistication of a sturdy, chewy tart. The crust alone would make a divine dessert. Paired with the clean, tangy, velvety citrus curd, there wasn’t a bitter moment to be had. This was bright, smooth, rich, and oh-so satisfying. I ate it slowly, licking my spoon thoroughly after every creamy bite. For a fresh moment, there was a twist of tartness in the tiny speckles of candied citrus peel dotting the very center of the pie. This pie is rare, divine creativity.

With every bite, I understood more deeply why these treasures must be kept secret. If word got out, there just wouldn’t be enough to go around. There would be lines up and down the streets, stopping traffic. Nobody would go to work; they’d be waiting for pies. Like any illicit substance, these pies need to be controlled. Their wondrous flavors are meant to be reserved, savored. This is serious pie.

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Good. Lord. Save some for me, I'll be over Wednesday night. :)
Love it! "Secret pie code" sounds like the name of an electronica band from the 90s. Lucky you!
Oh my goodness Amber ~ I think I love you (I really hope that doesn't come off as too creepy)!

I was researching the ARP since my fiance and I are moving to the area on Friday. While doing so I came across your review on Yelp and loved the one you wrote! It describes exactly what we hope to do there and your words/tone/style/personality all connected with aspects I share.

Upon this discovery I clicked on your profile and liked you even further once I read your quirky and witty descriptions.

After further research I discovered your blog and stumbled upon this delightful and delicious review. I want some of this pie and I want more of your words. I will be back!

Best to you,
Meagan Isthar
Thanks, Meagan! Golly, you sure put a smile on my face this rainy morning. Thanks for reading! I look forward to seeing you around. :)


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