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9.29.2008

The Surreal Life and a Boiled Cider Pie


About around 9:00 Saturday night I was thinking about how surreal my life was. I was standing under a Big Top style tent working as the hired help for a billionaires birthday bash down by the river next to a power plant. And a week before I was at a posh wedding in England. Talk about the tables turning.I swear about a quarter of the nations wealth was under that tent Saturday night. Not to heavy league politicians and the CEO of my company. She saw me and I was busted. But she smiled and said she doesn't blame me moonlighting for such a event. The bash is the private party of the year. I was working for the caterer on the 'front of house side'. But the kitchen was the exciting part me me. In addition to the caterer there were about five of Chicago's top restaurants teams sharing pace with each other to crank out various buffets. Back there I met Gale Gand! And how nice and approachable she was.!I was buzzing with excitement , but some of my co workers though I was talking about Oprah's best buddy Gail. Not!If you don't know who Gale is check out this and this. Most of the staff were excited about the Eagles performing that night. Not me, I was with the cream de la creme of the Chicago culinary scene. I still can't get Hotel California (kind of ironic if you read this and think about the lyrics)out of my head this Monday. In addition to Gale Gand , I met the owner of the hottest cupcake shop in Chi town. More Cupcakes on the Gold Coast. Little bite size miniatures of perfection. They encouraged us to try some towards the parties end. I was hesitant to try her BLT one, but it was awesome. I said it was like a muffin with a savoury cream cheese butter cream. She corrected me and said it wasn't a muffin but a cupcake. Anyway the cupcake was good, and I think most of this cupcake business is overrated. I need to visit that store.

I worked and walked my ass that evening and collapsed into bed.Why do I do this! For the experience and the extra income. I have learned so much and maybe one day I will have may own catering company. Certain Someone was at the Notre Dame /Michigan game all day with his boys and doing what comes with that( tailgating, drinking, etc.). I came in about an hour after him. We slept so late from the sheer exhaustion of of our respective days, previous travels, etc. Then Sunday afternoon he flew to Brussels for work and I was left alone. I have been working on a Etsy shop which I will announce in a few weeks. But I was to tired to produce. So I made a comforting dinner. One item I have been meaning to bake was something I never heard off. A boiled cider pie. I had purchased some boiled cider for an upcoming pie competition. Imagine a custard style pie with the tartness of cider. My pie didn't look like the photos I saw. What I saw had the custard separating from the cider stuff. Mine remained a cider colored custard. I wonder if this was due to me using maple syrup ? Anyway it was delicious. I made my crust using the Atora I brought back from the UK. Atora isn't the healthiest, but it makes the flakiest crusts. I mean its not as if I'm baking pies all the time!For the boiled cider recipe check out this recipe. To see what I thought mine would look like, check out this post ( they used a different recipe, but the principle is the same). This pie was the texture and color of a creamy pumpkin pie. I definitely see me making this again. The only thing I changed was adding grated nutmeg. After today's news I need a comforting slice. My 401 K is vanishing into thin air and my real day job is in the retail sector dependant on consumer spending. I wonder how a those guests on Saturday made out today as the markets plunged? Its all so surreal.
A quick note based on comments:
Boiled cider is a reduced no sugar added cider product. You can make it your self by reducing cider for a very long time, or buy it. See the recipe link for a leading manufacturer. I got mine through King Arthur's. I have read you can substitute frozen apple juice concentrate as well. It is not alcoholic. Just pure non fermented cider.

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36 comments:

Dee said...

Coco, I love that your blog is not just about your food (which is amazing, of course) but your life. That pie looks amazing - but what is boiled cider?

Thank you for your kind words, by the way.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I've never had that, but it sure looks delicious! A wonderful pie!

Cheers,

Rosa

maybelle's mom said...

isn't funny how many roles we all fill in life? And, the pie looks wonderful.

Ivy said...

Coco, the pie sounds wonderful. I read the link recipe but what exactly is cider? Did you use the alcoholic beverage or just apple juice?

joanne at frutto della passione said...

I've never heard of boiled cider pie but the ingredient list is interesting. Unfortunately I'll never be able to make this in Italy, unless I find a substitute for boiled cider!

TeachGirl said...

I'm not sure what boiled cider is either, but it looks very good. I could need some comfort food as well, M is away for the week, Greece this time.

Núria said...

What a day Courtney!!! Only by reading your ups and downs, comes and goes I feel exahusted ;D. Hey I think it's so worth... see what you get to know and all the things you learn!!! By the way, that pie is saying EAT ME!

glamah16 said...

Boiled sider is a reduced no sugar added cider product. You can make it your self by reducing cider for a very long time, or buy it. See the recipe link for a leading manufacturer. I got mine through King Arthurs. I have read you can substitute frozen apple juice concentrate as well. It is not alcoholic. Just pure non fermented cider.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I think your Picasso quote is one of the reasons you do live such a creative, varied life. And I think our 401Ks will return eventually... we just need to ride this out and not sell ourselves in debt to future generations... sigh.

The pie looks amazing. I'm still surprised yours didn't separate out - the only thing you subbed was the maple syrup?

And I'm very, very jealous of your Gale Gand encounter. ;-)

Dhanggit said...

i have never heard of a pie from a cider, this is so amazing! im dying to try this

Mary said...

I think your pie looks really good. And I'm not usually a pie fan! I'll have to keep my eyes open to see if there's boiled cider around here. There's tons of apple orchards.
And I'm so totally envious of your exciting life. Meeting Gale Gand is HUGE!

Deborah said...

You really do live the surreal life!! I've worked on a few catering jobs before, and it really is exhausting!

I've never heard of boiled cider before, but now I'm intrigued by your pie!

Jeanne said...

Surreal as you say. I think you appreciate things more if you get a chance to see them from both sides of the fence!

And the name of the cupcake shop is...? Want to add it to my Chicago to do list!

Have never heard of boiled cider but am now fascinated...

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Wow I have never heard of this, but it sounds great for this time of year!

Peter M said...

As surreal as your life is, you're still hob-knobbing with the wealthy!

This pie reminds me of a pumpkin pie in looks but the idea of reduce cider is wonderful!

Darius T. Williams said...

the pie looks good - and yea, I've had that surreal moment happen to me before! it makes you really appreciative of life.

-DTW
www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com

Nik Snacks said...

I just want to give you a hug and laugh with you. I know...life is surreal. I go to a lot of social events and meet "important" people all of the time. And the coffee shop where I bake, is a haven to the likes of the big players in the city.

I like what I'm making there, but I have to step up my game. I need it to be amazing. Not just good. Gerald Ford's son came in today and took a whole box of cakes and cookies. I made those. And he's eating them. I wonder if he knows who I am...

giz said...

Now boiled cider pie is something I've never heard of. Serendipity - just came back from wine country and bought some apple cider...hmmm...
The event you worked sounds totally surreal. How did you concentrate?

Heather said...

I really love cider. Just fresh, sharp, cloudy cider. I like it hard too, but fresh pressed cider is one of my favorite things to drink.

Never thought to use it for a custard, though. Nice touch.

Gigi said...

What a cool and different pie! And I so jealous that you met Gale Gland.

Big Boys Oven said...

amazing! you make me want to bake one now which is sruel of you, lol!

kittie said...

I love reading your posts - so entertaining.

I've never heard of boiled cider or cider pie! But I'll give pretty much an pie a chance ;)

What's the difference between muffins and cupcakes anyway??

Y said...

What an interesting pie! Wish I could taste a slice :) Loved reading about your experiences in the world of catering too!

We Are Never Full said...

ok, this pie looks really awesome. LOVE the idea of using cider. my mouth is salivating thinking of the tartness.

as for catering - i think it's one of the most difficult jobs ever. i used to do it and it's exhausting!

~~louise~~ said...

Hi Courtney,
I also enjoy reading about your experiences in the catering world. You always make it seem like it's worth all your effort and that is rewarding in itself. Living in PA, I have heard of boiled cider pie before. There they call it Shaker Boiled Apple Cider Pie I believe. Although "hard" cider (alcoholic) is not used, I was wondering if any fruit cider could be used. Say for instance, grape cider? I'll have to look into it further in time for Apple Month (October) and before I post. Thanks for tantalizing the senses with this awesome looking pie and now I must research cider...

Hendersonville Epicurean said...

Nice post, Courtney. Hope you've had a chance to relax.

Proud Italian Cook said...

That pie looks amazing! And that crust! How cool you got to meet Gale Gand, and hang with the high rollers all night. You must be learning a ton of things! What's this about Etsy??

Emiline said...

You live an interesting life! I love hearing about it. I hope you get into catering someday. Maybe I could be your assistant.

The pie sounds intriguing. Are you entering it into a competition?

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

hmm your own catering company?

What would you need to do to put those wheels in motion? Clearly you are very talented.

Rosie said...

You live an interesting life Coco! You pie looks and sounds wonderful :)

Rosie x

Maryann said...

How exciting! I hope all your wishes come true :)

The Caked Crusader said...

That is a fine looking tart! Gorgous colour (and I bet taste) for Autumn

Mochachocolata Rita said...

wow! wat a night!...cupcake shops are blossoming throughout hong kong too...little beautiful overpriced beauties

your pie looks amazing but i have to try something beginner-ish first ^_^

Ben said...

I am jealous of you, mixing with Chicago's top restaurateurs and such. I really need to move to a city where more things happen (and has public transportation!) hehe. That pie looks interesting. I'll follow the links to find out more :D

Zen Chef said...

How cool you got to meet Gale Gand. I like what she does. I didn't know you work for caterers on your time off. Wanna come to NY to help me? :-)

Never heard of a cider pie before but it surely sounds delicious. I have to look into it.

Brian said...

To clear up some confusion. Apple cider is non alcoholic. HARD cider has been fermented and has alcohol. I’ve never boiled cider down to make “boiled cider” but I’m going to try it. If you wish to reduce HARD cider the best way is to partially freeze it and scoop the ice off. The water freezes but the alcohol stays behind. Reduced HARD cider is called apple jack.