artbites’ Sweet Dream Pie

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PIE-A-DAY #35

This recipe comes to us from Maite Gomez-Rejon, who combines her love for art and food in her Huffington Post column Cooking Art History, as well as on her website and in her classes and workshops.

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I recently received an email from a mom wanting an ArtBites class for her daughters based on the children’s book, “Sweet Dream Pie.”  Her 10-year-old had only one request:  to bake “the pie” from the story.  I was immediately intrigued and rushed to the library to get my hands on a copy, at which point I was horrified – this pie had gummy bears, licorice sticks and chewing gum!  What to do?  While I always welcome a challenge, this time I was stumped.  Should I take a cue from Alice Waters’ “Edible Schoolyard” or Jamie Oliver’s “Food Revolution” and suggest a fruit filling instead, or make a 10-year-old and her 4-year-old twin sisters happy… but make sure to gracefully make my exit somewhere between the sugar high and the sugar crash?

I decided to forgo the farmer’s market and head straight to my local grocery store’s candy section.  In my shopping cart:  Milky Ways, M&M’s, Hershey’s Kisses, caramels, marshmallows and bananas (for good measure).  I wanted the kids to have fun cooking together but didn’t want to give anyone a stomachache or, even worse, a nightmare.  (In the story everyone gets nightmares after eating too much pie; but they were going to make dreamcatchers, too, so I had that covered).

The kids were giddy watching me unpack my bags.  They couldn’t believe they were actually going to make a candy pie!  They began by making and rolling out the dough, placing it on the baking sheet while watching it fall apart, then piecing it back together.  (Thank you Julia Child for your wonderfully delicious and forgiving galette dough).  They proceeded to unwrap the candies, eat a handful of M&M’s, position the candies artfully on the dough, and snack on a mini marshmallow.

After 30 minutes in the oven, out came gooey, chocolaty, caramely – not to mention sweet – goodness.  The girls loved every bite, even though they were only allowed a teeny, tiny slice, and great fun was had by all.

(Alice and Jamie, just for the record, we also made a fresh berry one).

Keep reading for the recipe…

Sweet Dream Pie

For the dough:
3 tablespoons buttermilk
1/3 cup ice water
1 cup flour
¼ cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 to 8 pieces

For the filling:
3 cups candies of choice (you can substitute fresh seasonal fruit)
1 tablespoon sugar (only if using fruit)
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into slivers (only if using fruit)

To make the dough:

  1. Stir the buttermilk and 1/3 ice water together in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Put the flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt in a bowl and stir with a fork to mix.  Drop the butter pieces into the bowl and using a pastry blender, or working quickly with your fingers, work the butter into the flour until it resembles course sand.
  3. Add the cold buttermilk mixture to the dough, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork to distribute evenly.  Continue adding until a dough forms.  You may not use all of the buttermilk mixture.
  4. Press the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill.

To bake:

  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400° F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll into a circle that’s about 1/8-inch thick.  Transfer the dough to the baking sheet by rolling it around the rolling pin.
  3. Spread the candies over the dough, leaving a 2 to 3-inch border.  (If using fruit, arranged the slivers of butter over it and drizzle 1 tablespoon of sugar).
  4. Fold the uncovered border of the dough over the filling, allowing the dough to pleat as your lift it up and work your way around.
  5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden and crisp.  Transfer to a cooking rack and let rest for about 10 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes enough for one 12-inch galette, serving 4 to 6

Galette recipe from “Baking with Julia”