Tuesday, 2 December 2008

You Want Pies With That? Fairytale of New York Pie.

This month's You Want Pies With That? was chosen by Anne Strawberry. A very creative tart, if I do say so. Anne has chosen holiday music as the theme - make a pie inspired by your favorite holiday song.

Ok Anne, you asked for it.

My favourite song for the holidays is Fairytale of New York. A rolicking tune from the Pogues, circa 1987. My kids (teens) cringe when I bring it out for Christmas and complain bitterly when I hit repeat on the stereo. This doesn't bother me, I just turn it up.
Give it a listen! It is very catchy. Don't forget to grab a beer to wave around as you sing along.

Fairytale of New York Cords

It was Christmas Eve babe
In the drunk tank
An old man said to me, won't see another one
And then he sang a song
The Rare Old Mountain Dew
I turned my face away
And dreamed about you

Got on a lucky one
Came in eighteen to one
I've got a feeling
This year's for me and you
So happy Christmas
I love you baby
I can see a better time
When all our dreams come true

They've got cars big as bars
They've got rivers of gold
But the wind goes right through you
It's no place for the old
When you first took my hand
On a cold Christmas Eve
You promised me
Broadway was waiting for me

You were handsome
You were pretty
Queen of New York City
When the band finished playing
They howled out for more
Sinatra was swinging,
All the drunks they were singing
We kissed on a corner
Then danced through the night
The boys of the NYPD choir
Were singing "Galway Bay"
And the bells were ringing out
For Christmas day

You're a bum
You're a punk
You're an old slut on junk
Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed
You scumbag, you maggot
You cheap lousy faggot
Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God it's our last

I could have been someone
Well so could anyone
You took my dreams from me
When I first found you
I kept them with me babe
I put them with my own
Can't make it all alone
I've built my dreams around you

Wikipedia -
The song takes the form of a drunken man's Christmas Eve reverie about holidays past while sleeping off a binge in a New York City drunk tank. After an inebriated old man also incarcerated in the jail cell sings a passage from the Irish drinking ballad "The Rare Old Mountain Dew", the drunken man (MacGowan) begins to dream about a failed relationship. The remainder of the song (which may be an internal monologue) takes the form of a call and response between two Irish immigrants, lovers or ex-lovers, their youthful hopes crushed by alcoholism and drug addiction, reminiscing and bickering on Christmas Eve in New York City. MacColl's melodious singing contrasts with the harsh sound of MacGowan's voice and the lyrics are sometimes bittersweet, sometimes plain bitter: "Happy Christmas your arse/ I pray God it's our last".

A Fairytale of New York Pie - A pie rich in chocolate, cream, Irish Whiskey and Irish Cream - what more could you ask for?
Adapted From Great Pies and Tarts - Carole Walter

Chocolate Crumb Crust
4-5 tbsp cocoa powder, for sifting
1 ½ cups chocolate cookie crumbs
3 tbsp dark brown sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled.

Preheat oven to 350f. Place rack on lower 3rd shelf. Butter pie plate generously, sift cocoa powder to coat - tap out excess.
In food processor, pulse crumbs and brown sugar, on and off for 20 seconds. Add butter, pulse again.
Press gently into prepared pie pan.
Bake 10-12 minutes. Crust will be soft until it cools.

Black Irish Pastry Cream
4 large egg yolks
6 tbsp sugar
4 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups milk, scalded
1 tablespoon Irish whiskey
2 oz dark chocolate, melted

Irish Cream Topping
2 tbsp water
1 ½ tsp unflavoured gelatin
3 tbsp Irish Cream - such as Baileys
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 egg whites
¼ tsp cream of tartar
6 tbsp sugar
¼ cup heavy cream, whipped

Whipped cream
Shaved chocolate
Candy cane pieces

To make the Black Irish Pastry Cream
1. Place the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl. Beat with a whisk. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking until the mixture is thick and light in colour. Blend in the cornstarch and flour, mixing until smooth. Stir in the hot milk, a little at a time. Cook the mixture in a heavy sauce pan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil and is thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the rum and vanilla.
2. Measure 1 ¼ cups of pastry cream and place it in a bowl. Keep the remaining pastry cream in the saucepan to use for the Irish Cream topping. Blend the melted chocolate into the 1¼ cups pastry cream, then empty the mixture into the cooled crust. Chile while preparing the Irish Cream topping.
3. Making the Irish Cream topping: Place the water in a small heatproof container. Sprinkle the gelatine over the top, and let stand about 5 minutes to soften,. Do not stir. Then place container in a skillet filled with ½ inch of simmering water for 3 to 5 minutes, until the gelatine is clear and dissolved.
4. Over low heat, warm the remaining pastry cream. Off the heat, stir in the dissolved gelatine and blend well. Blend in the Irish cream and vanilla.
5. Empty the pastry cream into a large mixing bowl. Set the bowl in an ice-water bath to cool the mixture. Stir occasionally. As the pastry cream cools, it will start to thicken and is ready to use. Remove the bowl
from the ice while you make the meringue. Do not let the mixture become too cold or it will over-gel.
6. Place the egg whites in the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with beaters or whip attachment. Whip on medium speed until frothy. Add the cream of tartar. When the whites form soft peaks, add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, taking about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium-high, and beat for 10 seconds longer, forming a soft, meringue. Do not over-beat.
7. Fold a quarter of the meringue into the pastry cream to lighten it. Then fold in the remaining meringue and the whipped cream. Spoon the mixture on top of the chocolate layer and smooth the top as best you can, forming a mound in the center. Refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours or overnight before serving.
8. Garnish the pie with whipped cream, chocolate shavings and broker candy canes.
9. Laugh, cry, fight and sing for the rest of the evening.