How much pie do you think you could eat in three hours?
Innkeepers in Rockland are throwing down the proverbial oven mitt. Their challenge: Sample 50 pies between 1 and 4 p.m. Jan. 26 during the 10th annual Pies on Parade.
This year’s event will cover a “pie route” that stops at 25 venues – some familiar, some new – that will serve the public 18,000 slices of pie over three hours. There will be a sweet and a savory pie at each stop.
And yes, apparently it’s possible to taste every single pie, if you pace yourself and don’t eat an entire slice at each stop.
“I’ve done it every year and we’ve always tasted all the pies,” said Marti Mayne, a marketer who helps the inns and other local businesses promote the event. “It’s a lot of pies to eat, but it’s fun. Almost everybody goes to all of them.”
Pies on Parade is a local celebration of National Pie Day (which actually falls on Jan. 23). Tickets are $25 per person, or $10 for children age 10 and under. All of the proceeds will be donated to the Area Interfaith Outreach Food Pantry. That $25 will feed a family of four three meals a day for four to five days.
“Every single cent goes to the food pantry,” Mayne said. “All of the inns and businesses pay for the pies that they make.”
The event usually sells out at 500 tickets, and sales are off to such a brisk start this year that organizers have added an extra 50 tickets.
Some of the newcomers this year, and their pies, include Art Space Gallery, which will serve an apricot almond pie; Breakwater Vineyards, which will serve pumpkin whoopie pies with unoaked chardonnay; and Over the Rainbow Yarns, which will serve a savory chicken cheesecake.
Archers on the Pier, Chowder House and the Winding Way B&B are also joining the party.
The definition of pie at Pies on Parade has been stretched a bit over the years to include shepherd’s pie (served in tasting cups), egg pies (also known as quiche), tarts, pot pies and pizza pie. The Captain Lindsey House Inn usually serves its signature Cornish meat pastie.
At 2:30 p.m. Saturday, the day before the big event, the Audubon Project Puffin Center will be giving a special tour of the center, featuring its Sweet Cream Puff(in) Pastry Pie, a cream puff-and-cookie concoction that looks like a little puffin.
There will even be little pies for dogs, courtesy of the Loyal Biscuit.
Don’t let all of the more unusual pies fool you. There will be plenty of traditional pies available, served in sliver-like slices so you can still walk to the next venue.
“We’ve gotten pie cutting down to a science, at least with the inns,” Mayne said. “The smallest piece of pie you can make, that we’ve found, is to cut the pie into 12 pieces. So the places that create actual pies cut them into 12 pieces. It’s the only way to really survive.”
Walking from venue to venue will help burn off all that pie. But if your stomach finally cries uncle, or you want to hit as many venues as possible within the short time frame, All Aboard Trolley will be providing transportation between stops.
Organizers suggest that ticket holders park at the Lincoln Street Center for the Arts, 24 Lincoln St., and then walk or catch the trolley from there.
The historic inns of Rockland, of course, hope that tour-goers will take the opportunity to stay the weekend, and are offering special packages.
To hear details of those packages, or to order tickets for pie day only, contact one of the participating inns or call (877) 762-4667 or 596-6611.
IF ALL THIS TALK of pie has made you hungry, here are a couple of recipes from the Captain Lindsey House Inn that you can try at home.
CAPTAIN LINDSEY HOUSE’S PEANUT BUTTER PIE
(Makes 2 pies)
2 pie shells, baked and cooked
2 teaspoons vanilla
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 ½ cups peanut butter
1 ½ cups sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
16 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 ounces butter
1 cup heavy cream
Chopped peanuts for garnish
Start by beating together the cream cheese, sugar, salt, vanilla and peanut butter. Whip in the heavy cream. Set aside.
Melt the chocolate, cream and butter for the ganache in the top of a double boiler. Do not overcook. Place the two pie shells on the counter. Pour half of the ganache into each pie shell and cool. Ganache will harden somewhat. Wait until it cools and then pour the peanut and cream cheese mixture on top, dividing it in half (half for each pie).
Drizzle the leftover ganache over each pie and garnish with chopped peanuts. Makes 2 single crust pies (16 servings).
DEEP DISH APPLE WALNUT PIE FROM CAPTAIN LINDSEY HOUSE
12 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tablespoon whiskey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup walnuts
Preheat oven to 400. Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook on medium heat until a syrup forms around apples. Don’t let the apples get mushy.
1 tablespoon yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup warm water
2 sticks cold butter
½ teaspoon vanilla
Dabs of butter
2 cups flour
½ cup walnuts
Dissolve yeast in the water and add egg and vanilla. Beat and set aside. Combine the flour, sugar and salt and then cut in the butter with a pastry knife or your fingers.
Make two balls, one twice as large as the other. Pat the larger ball into a 9-by-9-inch baking pan and then fill with the apple filling.
Sprinkle the apple filling with liberal dabs of butter and walnuts. Roll out the small piece of dough and place on top of the filling and crimp to the outside of the pan.
1 teaspoon melted butter
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon heavy cream
½ teaspoon lemon juice
½ cup confectioners sugar
Combine all of the ingredients and spread on top of the top crust. Bake for 45 minutes or until crust is brown. Serve warm. Makes one 9-inch pie.
Staff Writer Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at: