Pie Party (real and virtual): Blood Orange Lemon Vanilla Infused Shaker Pie

by Irvin on July 5, 2011 · 24 comments

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Ahh… Pie. Who doesn’t love pie? I’ve talked about my friend’s love of pies in posts and have even won a few pie contests but I’ve never had the pleasure of making pies with anyone else. So when Shauna, Garrett, Justin, and Ashley all started tweeting about having a virtual pie party together, it was a given that I would join in. Shauna decided to open the pie party to everyone (and I mean everyone) by creating a facebook invite for it, and next thing you know, we got nearly 1500 people posting about pies today, for our virtual pie party. Pie for everyone! For me though, I knew that I wanted to post about the real life pie party I had with 18 Reasons as part of their DIY Desserts event. The theme, in June, was “Pies. Tarts. Galettes.” My contribution: The Blood Orange Lemon Vanilla Infused Shaker Pie.

Blood Orange Lemon Vanilla Infused Shaker Pie jpg

Blood Orange Lemon Vanilla Infused Shaker Pie

Summer is finally here, and that means pie season. Cherries, peaches, plums, pluots, apricots, and so many varietal of berries (blueberry, strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, tayberry, ollalieberry, loganberry, boysenberry) that I can’t keep up with them all. With those summer fruit, come pies of all sorts. The only problem for me, was that I was traveling out of town right before the DIY Desserts event for the Thermador Steamy Soiree event, and in fact, flew back home the day of the DIY desserts event. It was to be a whirlwind day, getting up at 6am, flying back from Phoenix, going directly from the airport to my client’s vendor (with luggage in tow) to check on a deliverable, then back home to bake a pie for the event that night. I needed a pie that I could whip out fast and could do in my sleep.

Blood Orange Lemon Vanilla Infused Shaker Pie jpg

Blood Orange Lemon Vanilla Infused Shaker Pie

Thankfully the Shaker Pie is a simple one. Invented by the ingenious Shakers (you know, the people who invented the clothpin, the flatbroom and the apple peeler -which is a huge time saver for me every fall) this pie uses ALL of the citrus fruit, meaning there’s no waste in the fruit. You basically just slice the citrus fruit thin (traditionally a lemon) and macerate (left in sugar) overnight to soften the rind. Then the ingredients are poured in with eggs and baked, so the filling becomes a lemon marmalade like curd. Since I was going to be gone for a few days, I went ahead and made the crust beforehand as well as the filling, letting it sit in the fridge for 48 hours. That way, I could come home, roll out the dough, pop it in the oven and bake the pie lickety-split for the event.

Blood Orange Lemon Vanilla Infused Shaker Pie jpg

Blood Orange Lemon Vanilla Infused Shaker Pie

This DIY Dessert event was the last of the monthly DIY Desserts events, as we have been having rather sporadic attendance to the event all this year. 18 Reasons, along with Melanie, my co-leader and I decided to change the format of the event, to a quarterly timeslot, four times a year and this evening was going to be the last one until September. On top of that, our fearless leader Rosie, who is the Executive Director of 18 Reasons decided to stop by as well (she hadn’t been to one of our evening since the first Ice Cream Social). Melanie and I had our fingers crossed that this event would be successful.

Sassy Melanie, my partner-in-crime co-leader of DIY Desserts jpg

Sassy Melanie, my partner-in-crime co-leader of DIY Desserts wasn't worried at all.

Our fearless leader Rosie, of 18 Reasons, enjoying a slice. jpg

Our fearless leader Rosie, of 18 Reasons, enjoying a slice.

We had nothing to worry about. It was probably one of the most attended events in the recent past. Perhaps it was the announcement that the event was the last one for while, or perhaps it was the publicity that 18 Reasons, Melanie and I did for the event, or maybe just because it’s the power of pie but we had people showing up all the way until the very end with amazing pies. The creativity and the energy of the evening was just fantastic.

Within minutes of our event starting, pies started appearing. jpg

Within minutes of our event starting, pies started appearing.

People immediately started to slice into the pies. jpg

People immediately started to slice into the pies.

People enjoy their pie! jpg

People couldn't wait to get a slice of pie!

There was another citrus pie at the event, a Meyer lemon double crust pie that had an incredible flaky crust. Most pies, however, utilized the awesome summer fruits that were abundant in San Francisco. My friend Sabrina, of the Tomato Tart was competing in the SF Food Wars, Pie or Die competition and she brought some prototype pies, a lovely nectarine and blueberry pie with honey caramel (she also made a note to warn vegetarians that she used lard in her crust, which was very kind of her). There was a gorgeous cherry blueberry yogurt tart that happened to be gluten free so all the gluten free people could enjoy their pie. as well I don’t know why, but whenever you make a tart in a square or rectangular it just looks so fancy.

Meyer Lemon Double Crust Pie jpg

Meyer lemon double crust pie

Nectarine and Blueberry Caramel mini pies jpg

Nectarine and blueberry honey caramel mini pies (with lard crust)

Cherry and Blueberry Yogurt Tart (gluten free) jpg

Cherry and blueberry yogurt tart (gluten free)

I love that pies are such a blank slate in experimenting with fruit. The Peach, Nectarine and Blueberry Crème Fraiche pie was such a refreshing way to put a twist on a classic pie. And there was a hilariously labeled “Mostly Apple Pie (blueberries & apricots too)” which totally had me thinking about how you can throw in whatever fruits you have on hand, and mix it up to get a different dessert. A few blueberries or apricots and you have a completely different flavor than just a basic apple pie. What a great way to experiment! There was another apple pie there as well, but it couldn’t have been more different in make up, almost cake like in it’s filling but so wonderful as well.

Peach, Nectarine & Blueberry Creme Fraiche Pie jpg

Peach, nectarine & blueberry creme fraiche pie

Mostly Apple Pie (with blueberries and apricots) jpg

Mostly apple pie (with blueberries and apricots)

a different sort of Apple Pie jpg

A different sort of apple pie

There was a white chocolate and raspberry pie, with the raspberries snuggled in the white chocolate mousse in an elegant fashion. The rustic nectarine and raspberry pie was the opposite, equally tasty, but down home, almost country, like it had just been put out in a roadside diner off of Route 66. I love that! And the cherry custard tart which struck a balance between rustic and elegant. I dunno how, but it did.

Raspberry White Chocolate Pie jpg

Raspberry White Chocolate Pie

Nectarine Raspberry Pie jpg

Nectarine Raspberry Pie

Cherry Custard Tart jpg

Cherry Custard Tart

Speaking of country, at the end of the evening, someone showed up with a fresh strawberry pie in a basket, and it’s shiny red glazed fruit just sparkled with invitation. I was smitten and had to help myself to a slice, even though I was stuffed from all the pie I had.

Fresh Strawberry Pie anyone? jpg

Fresh Strawberry Pie anyone?

My plate of pies. Lord have mercy on my waistline. jpg

My plate of pies. Lord have mercy on my waistline.

Of course, a few people “cheated” and showed up with non-dessert pies, even though the event was called DIY Desserts. One of them being my coworker Melanie! She showed up with a mushroom and spinach quiche, which was devoured instantly. She apparently had a very good “egg pie argument” about how the pie could be construed as a dessert but I never did hear it. And my friend Stephanie of Desserts for Breakfast showed up with some amazing BBQ chipotle cherry pizza pies. I, of course, was baffled that someone who blogs about desserts would show up with savory pies, but I wasn’t going to complain, because those suckers were SO GOOD. I scarfed a few down.

Spinach and Mushroom Quiche "Dessert" pie. jpg

Spinach and Mushroom Quiche "Dessert" pie.

Stephanie with her BBQ Chipotle Cherry Pizza pies jpg

Stephanie with her BBQ Chipotle Cherry Pizza pies.

BBQ Chipotle Cherry Pizza pies jpg

Not dessert but we didn't reject them. BBQ Chipotle Cherry Pizza pies.

It turns out that everyone loves pie. It’s probably why when the few of us started tweeting about hosting a virtual pie party, with nearly 1500 people saying that they would be attending the event. And it’s probably why we had such an huge turnout for the event at 18 Reasons. Maybe one of these days I’ll get to make pies with Shauna, Justin, Garrett, and Ashley in real life. But until then, we’ll just celebrate virtually, a slice at a time.

Taking a slice of my Blood Orange Lemon Shaker pie. jpg

Taking a slice of my Blood Orange Lemon Shaker pie.

Barbara Koh came too late, and my pie was all gone, but that didn't stop her from scraping up what's left. jpg

Barbara Koh came too late, and all slices of my pie were all gone, but that didn't stop her!

Bye Bye to my pie. jpg

Bye bye to my pie.

If you’re on Twitter, follow join in on the virtual pie party by sharing your pie pics and pie blog posts. Just tweet with the hashtag #PieParty and join us or leave a comment below with a link to your pie blog posts/pie pics. And if you live in San Francisco, mark you calendars for September 1st. It’ll be our next DIY Dessert event at 18 Reasons: The 2nd annual Ice Cream Social!

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

justcooknyc July 5, 2011 at 6:13 am

i will be dreaming about your pie tonight. by the way, i’m amused by the way you aren’t taking credit for starting the whole thing with Shauna, which is how it really went down. the rest of us crashed your party.


Irvin July 6, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Did I? I have no memory of how it really started. I just know we were all tweeting about making pie together. Of course, Shauna really took the ball and ran with it, in typical Shauna fashion. That woman is a powerhouse! Everyone needs a Shauna in their life.


justcooknyc July 6, 2011 at 1:45 pm

yes, i noticed you two tweeting about getting together to make pie and said i’d come alone. then it took off from there.


Irvin July 6, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Ha! That does sound familiar. Mmm. Pie. We all have to get together sometime and actually bake in real life. But I guess virtually will have to do in the meanwhile.


Garrett July 5, 2011 at 7:35 am

Goodness, I’ve never heard of shaker pie but now I want to try it! What a great group to be a part of! So jealous!


Irvin July 6, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Oh you must! Shaker pie is fantastic. I stole the idea of making the pie in a tart pan from Tartine because it gives a better filling to crust ratio (the filling is on the sweet side) but otherwise it’s a fairly standard recipe for shaker pie. Bright and sweet.

And Sacramento isn’t so far away. You should drive down here for a DIY Dessert event! We’ll play mahjongg afterwards. 😉


Bunny from Couleur Nature July 5, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Good grief! Here I was, sailing through my Tuesday afternoon without thinking about pie (I’m a crazy pie fan) and now I’m craving something really sweet. Love the post, love the story of the virtual pie party, and love the recipe. Especially love the idea of using the entire fruit. I’m trying this one!


Irvin July 6, 2011 at 1:47 pm

I’m ALWAYS thinking about pie. Especially here in the summertime! But the virtual pie party had me thinking in overdrive. And, of course, going back and looking at all the photos from the real life pie party had me wishing I had a slice.

Do let me know if you make it. I’d love to hear what you think of it!


Ashley July 5, 2011 at 2:48 pm

I love the idea of blood orange shaker pie. Amazing. I’m a little jealous that you actually got to go to a real live pie party but I must say, I’m loving this virtual one too. So glad I invited myself along. 🙂


Irvin July 6, 2011 at 1:48 pm

I’m glad you invited yourself along too! The virtual pie party has been so much fun. Everyone loves pie! And you should throw a real live pie party with your friends. It’s totally worth it. Even when people show up with the same pie, they are totally different.

Mmmm…pie. I think I might have to make another one tonight.


Lauren at Keep It Sweet July 5, 2011 at 5:51 pm

The real life pie party looks like a blast! I want to go to one! Much more exciting than a regular cookie swap:-)


Irvin July 6, 2011 at 1:52 pm

We did a cookie swap for DIY Dessert event in December and it was pretty amazing as well, one of our most popular events.

But there’s something magical about pies. You can’t help but smile and be happy when you have a slice in front of you. And even more happy when you have twelve slices in front of you! You should host your own pie party! Just have your friends bring some pies and instant celebration.


Nancy Baggett July 5, 2011 at 7:01 pm

Just wanted to check in and see what was happening. Didn’t want to get hooked on pie….but you made me! And all I have here (sigh, no pie) is a leftover brownie, so I’ll go eat that. Looks like a great event–wish I’d been there :-)!


Irvin July 6, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Leftover brownies are nothing to sneer at! I love a good brownie.

And the pie party was really fantastic, but it happened back in June and all the pies that I have made since, are long since history, as I’m away from my home for the month of July. Which means, I too was pie-less during the virtual Pie Party. So I feel your pain. I plan on rectifying this situation tonight though, by making myself a galette…


Ken⏐hungry rabbit July 5, 2011 at 8:14 pm

A virtual party is fun, but nothing beats a real Pie Party that you can share the sweetness or savory of pies. We need to follow suit in New York and make it happen next year. Of course I’m not waiting until next year to make your pie, can we say, Winning!


Irvin July 6, 2011 at 2:01 pm

You New Yorkers, always behind the curve, following us San Franciscans. 😉 Yes you guys must have a Pie Party! I think the idea of a sweet and savory pie party sounds so much fun. Our event was for the DIY Desserts event, but two people showed up with savory and they were much beloved. I imagine a split of 50/50 savory and sweet would be awesome.


Stephanie, The Recipe Renovator July 6, 2011 at 7:46 am

Irvin, so nice to meet you at the Pie Party at 18 Reasons! I had a tiny sliver of yours, and then two helpings of the GF one, which was fantastic. Just sorry I was in from out of town and couldn’t share my pie chops with all of you.


Irvin July 6, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Awww. So glad you were able to make it, and so great to meet you too! The gluten free tart was really fantastic. I’m so glad that someone showed up with a gluten free pie. I was going to make one as well, but with the insanity of flying out to Phoenix and back I just didn’t have time to prep it.

Hope you had a great rest of your trip up here in SF.


kellypea July 6, 2011 at 1:17 pm

I’ll stand in line for a piece of all of those pies! Love Shaker, but your version really sounds fabulous. The “different kind of apple pie” looks kind of like a clafouti, doesn’t it? Fun event — the wall posters for feedback are great. 🙂


Irvin July 6, 2011 at 2:15 pm

The different apple pie does look a like a clafouti doesn’t it? I think it was a traditional Russian version of an apple pie, where there is no pre-made crust, but the flour and sugar and eggs are mixed in with the apples and then baked directly, just like a clafouti. It was different than the type of “American” pie but really good.


Xai July 9, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Omg! This is just ridiculous. I. Want. This. Now. And I don’t even drink.


[email protected] April 22, 2012 at 6:12 am

I’m crazy for lemon shaker pie and your tip of making ahead is great. I just learned of a few weeks ago and am ready to make my third pie. One I used Meyer lemons, but i like the regular lemons best. The idea of blood orange is creative and charming. I learned that at least 24 hour of rind in sugar is necessary, and someone told me to layer some lemons across the pie, makes it real pretty.


Irvin April 22, 2012 at 11:04 am

I’m a huge fan of meyer lemons, but with shaker pie, I want a little more bite, and the meyer lemons are a bit perfumey sweet for me. So, as I did with the blood orange, I usually use one meyer lemon and one regular lemon. I think the regular lemon’s tartness is a nice foil to the sweeter blood orange or meyer lemon.

But either way, the 24 hour macerating is important to let the rind soften. I love the idea of putting some lemons across the pie though! That would be pretty.


Kirsten December 2, 2013 at 11:47 am

What a terrific event.
Thanks for giving me the link to include in my upcoming Band Fruit Fundraiser Recipe Round Up! It will be published on 12/4/2013!


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