Beth Bower hit the highway to map Kansas’ pie ways. Bower, a food writer and freelance editor, hosted “The Pie Way…Kansas Style,” a documentary which debuted on KPTS-Channel last month, and also wrote the companion cookbook featuring pie recipes from restaurants across Kansas, plus winners and runners-up in the station’s pie contest.
“This project was so much fun,” Bowers said, adding that not only did she discover great places to sample pie in Kansas, she picked up “tips and techniques to make my own pies better.” Carriage Crossing Restaurant & Bakery in Yoder, Arbuckle Mountain Fried Pies in Park City and Bradley’s Corner Café in Topeka are a few of the pie makers featured.
The book is available from KPTS for a one-time pledge of $96 or $8 per month. For more info, visit kpts.org or call 316-838-3090.
Chef Cole’s Sweet Potato Pie
(Makes 2 pies) Crust: 1 ¼ cups flour 1 tablespoon sugar ½ teaspoon salt 4 tablespoons butter, chilled 4 tablespoons shortening, chilled 3 tablespoons water or vodka,ice cold
Filling: 2 large baked sweet potatoes, mashed 1 stick of butter, melted ½ can evaporated milk 2 eggs 1 ½ cups sugar 1 tablespoon cinnamon 1 tablespoon nutmeg 1 tablespoon vanilla
For crust: in a large bowl combine flour, sugar and salt. Using two forks or two knives, work the butter and shortening into the flour mixture until it looks like cornmeal with a few pea-size chunks in it and some chunks of dough are starting to hold together. Quickly stir in water or vodka until a dough forms (you may need to add another tablespoon of water or vodka if the air is very dry). Keep stirring the mixture until a ball of dough forms. Once there is a ball of dough with some bits of cornmeal-looking bits on the bottom, knead the dough lightly in the bowl to bring together. Flatten into disc and wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and cut dough in half. Roll out each piece to fit a 9-inch pie pan. Line pan with dough and pleat edges. Poke holes in bottom and sides of crust.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients together and whip until smooth. Pour into uncooked pie shells. Cover pie with foil to prevent burning of crust while pie is cooking. Bake for 20-30 minutes and remove foil once pie filling is solid and bake until edges are brown. Cool and eat!
This recipe comes from Chef Greg Cole, instructor in Butler Community College’s culinary arts program.