Here’s the pie that we made for the Pushing Daisies Party. Let me know how it goes!
For anyone who’s seen the show, you might remember in the first season when Chuck starts baking pies for her Aunts. One of the more famous pies she made was a Pear Pie with a Gruyere cheese crust. We decided to make one. We also served it with Vanilla Ice cream topped with Homemade Honeycomb (for the Homeless..of course)
1 cup med grated Gruyere cheese (don’t skimp on this, get a small block that’s been aged about 60 days)
2 9 inch pie crusts (homemade or store bought)
4-5 Bosc pears, peeled, pitted and sliced thin
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
4 tbs all purpose flour (or 2 tbs cornstarch)
1 tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp salt
Dash of ground nutmeg
Place 1 of the pie crusts in your pie pan of choice (I like using a tart/quiche pan with a removable bottom, as suggested by Alton Brown)
In a large bowl, mix pear slices, brown sugar, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon, ginger, salt and nutmeg together
To avoid boil over or pie domes, place a pie bird in the center of the pie pan (or a tubed roll of foil like I did..see pic) to allow steam to escape and begin layering pear slices around it.
Cover the pie with the 2nd piece of dough and create a hole for the bird/foil vent
Heat the oven to 425 degrees and remove all the racks. Place the pie on a baking sheet and the baking sheet on the floor of the oven and cook for 30 minutes, allowing the bottom to brown.
After 30 mins, replace the bottom most rack and bake again for 20 more mins
During the last 5 minutes, sprinkle the cheese around the top of the crust and return to the oven to allow to melt.
Let cool for at least 4 hours.
Homemade honeycomb crumbles
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 cups granulated sugar
5 tbsp water
2 tbsp baking soda
Line a shallow baking pan with parchment paper
In a large saucepan over med/high heat, heat the honey, corn syrup, sugar and water.
Stir every so often with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves, continue heating until it begins to caramelize and turn a med brown.
To make sure you’re not confusing the color of the honey with the caramelizing, dip the spatula in the liquid and let it run down. If it’s clear it needs some more time. It should be a light/med brown.
Add the baking soda and mix fast. The mixture will foam up and erupt.
Quickly pour the mixture onto the baking sheet.
Let it cool for about 5-10 minutes on the counter and transfer it to the fridge to harden up. About 10 more minutes.
To break it up, I found its easiest to separate the whole thing from the parchment paper, flip it upside down and then break it from the back. The top is generally harder than the bottom.
I’ve come to terms with the fact that there will be many moments in my design career where I get extremely jealous/envious about a great idea. I’m sure many of you have had those instances when you wish you thought of something. For me, Outlier is that idea.
Outlier was started by a bunch of guys wanting to look sharp while riding their bikes. Their solution? Combining high tech fabrics with fashionable, sharp silhouettes.
The result: A waterproof, breathable, quick drying, grease and stain resistant pant that look like they came off Saville Row.
I’d def pick up a pair of pants if I knew how to ride a bike. (Though that is one of my goals on my 43things list, one that everyone at Robert Geller are determined to help me achieve.)
As my line continues to develop, my interest in creating a multi-functional yet minimal workspace has grown.
The number one item on my to-get list is a new work table. I’ve been really interested in throwing more dinner parties, especially since there has been an explosion of communal dining restaurants here in New York. I think what really attracts me to the idea of a communal table for my apartment is the fact that it’s large enough to seat all my friends and large enough to accommodate the rolls of fabric I will be spreading out on it.
My current work table is actually a dinner table from Ikea. It’s served me well the past 3 years but suffers from a few problems: It’s too high, it’s too narrow and it’s too flimsy.
The table pictured above is by Robert Lo, the owner of Vancouver based menswear store Roden Gray. I met the owners when they dropped by Robert’s showroom last season and had no idea he does custom furniture. Thanks to Raymond Chiu for the image and the info, I’m hoping he can possibly do something for my studio that suits my needs.
I also came across this table by St-Paul Home, a furniture design company based in Belgium. I found out that they’re stocked at ABC Home in New York, however I have not had the time to check them out yet. I’m fearing their prices as ABC Home isn’t the most bank account friendly. (On an unrelated awesome note, they have a pair of Sofa’s named Mathilde and Leon, I don’t think that’s a coincidence at all. Even more reason for me to want one of their tables!).
One of the stores that influenced and shaped my design and aesthetic sensibilities when I began studying fashion design, Atelier, has relocated to an amazing space in Tribeca.
To me, Atelier epitomizes the image that I associated New York with long before I moved here. Monochromatic, moody, romantic. And I think it’s no wonder why I was drawn to it in the first place.
Their old location, on the hidden narrow strip of Crosby street, was just 2 blocks from my apartment. I spent so much time there touching, examining and asking questions about the clothes. The owner, Karlo Steel, was extremely kind enough to let me spend to much time there and “dissect” the clothes, even though I would rarely purchase anything. (And yes, if you are wondering, it is a very expensive store.)
It’s unfortunate though that I have not visited the store in almost a year. I think I’m long overdue, especially since the new location is very close to Robert’s offices.
The store is exlusively men’s, though many of the items they carry are cut and sized extremely small, making it very popular with female clients. They stock primarily avant-garde brands, on the darker side, such as Ann Demeulemeester, Rick Owens, Number (N)ine, Undercover, Carpe Diem, Yohji Yamamoto.
Probably my favorite purchases I have ever made of all time, a pair of slouchy Undercover Boots from Fall 2005, I got at Atelier. It has pretty much achieved Holy Grail status in my closet, along with my Gold Dior Homme boots, they’re something I would never sell. (And I’ve just noticed, I think I have a bit of a boot obsession.)
If you’ve read my 43things list (and if you haven’t already, you should make one yourself!) #9 on my list of things to do is to write a cookbook.
I fell in love with cooking again recently, partly due to my insomniac obsession with competitive cooking shows (Hell’s Kitchen, Top Chef, The F-Word) but also discovering that cooking parallels my progression in design so much.
Lately I’ve been delving deeper into understanding elements that make up the dishes and doing things my own way. I feel like I did when I first started at Parsons, they teach you how to do basic jackets, basic shirts, basic pants and after you understand the basic idea (i.e. follow the recipe), your imagination and creativity take over.
I’ve gotten past that point of following the rules and have began experimenting and developing my own recipes, and I get the same joy I do as when I design clothes! And just like any collection I design, this is still in its infantile stage, I have no idea what direction the cookbook is going. What I do know is that I want to recreate and re-imagine foods I had growing up as a child.
My girlfriend gave me an early Christmas gift last night, a Flip Video MinoHD camera. I always loved the older models but never liked the quality, but ever since they released an HD model I wanted one, and she is a great listener.
It’s perfect timing as well since there are a lot of things that are happening that I was disappointed I couldn’t video blog about since I didn’t have a proper camera. I’m currently on the hunt for the final fabrics of my collection, I spent the greater part of yesterday staring at the wall of fabric rolls midtown, and have been spending the greater part of this evening doing the same to my swatches. I’m still indecisive on the color story I want to use. Normally designers would do create the same items in different colors, but of course I cannot afford to do that.
I’ve also been obsessed with linen fabrics. Blends. Pure. I swatched some amazing linens when I was hunting for fabric, the problem? Great linen is extremely expensive. And even worse, most people won’t be able to tell the difference between ok linen and amazing linen. It really comes down to how it looks wrinkled, which I think is the appeal to most linens. Amazing linen will continue to look amazing (or even more) when it’s wrinkled. Shit linen will look like crumpled paper (and feel like it too).
I’ve been hit with another case of insomnia, which is actually a little perfect because I’ve been having trouble finding things to blog about.
My line is going slower than expected, I’m running into several bumps that have been such a headache. The hardest part about starting your own business (especially from home) is pushing yourself daily and maintaining your motivation. Even harder? Finding money. I’m finding that no matter how much I cut corners, no matter how many things I put on ebay, what I need always out does the amount that’s coming in.
In much happier news, Sugar and I are throwing a Pushing Daisies themed Holiday party next weeks. I’m excited because I get to cook and try out some of my new recipes, unfortunately I’m on a strict training plan (thanks 43things!) so I can eat ANY of this stuff for real. Sad no? But I’m going to have fun tasting along the way. Can you spot the references?
Peter’s Pushing Daisies Party Slash Sugar’s St. Nicholas Soiree
At this very moment at his desk Young Peter, aged 25 years, 5 months and 4 days, eagerly awaits the rsvp’s of his friend’s, and friend’s of friends. For on a Wednesday one week from now, The Clothesmaker has expedited an event like no other. In celebration for the upcoming Winter Holidays and the mourning of the news that Pushing Daisies will no longer be on television after winter has passed, The Clothesmaker and his love, Sugar, their friend’s, and friend’s of friends will gather to eat delicious delights and escape the bitter cold.
We will be screening the show throughout the party.
So yesterday Sugar and I went to the launch of my friend George Gozum’s gift guide, Unwrapped: Not usual gift ideas, at the Kate’s Paperie store in Soho.
It’s an amazing 48-page gift guide exclusive at Kate’s Paperie. It’s split up into sections to cater to all those in your gift giving circles; from brides-to-be’s, to writers, design afficianados and foodies. Not only that, several sections have guest writers (such as Fashion designer Peter Som and Darcy Miller, VP of Martha Stweart Weddings) giving their input on what to give your loved ones.
I had to share a couple of my favorites, which was hard because I loved almost everything!
A personal embosser, great for adding a sophisticated touch to letters and even post-it notes!
Portable karaoke machine via Ipod Touch/Iphone. This mic has output plugs so you can hook it up to your t.v. and jam out to your favorite songs. Amazing!
And probably my favorite section of the book, George’s ideas on wrapping gifts. The most genius: Using woodgrain contact paper you can get at home decor stores to line cabinets.
Sorry but that’s all I can share. I had to limit it to a few so you all can actually spend the $8 and just pick it up. I also believe you can get it free with a $25 purchase. So go down to Kate’s Paperie, grab some wrapping paper and cards, snag your free guide and get shopping.