George Washington Pie

George Washington Birthday Pie

On February 22, 1732 George Washington, first President of the United States, was born. I share this recipe as a pie that evokes dreams of my nation conceived by Washington (and others) centuries ago.

In celebration of Washington's birthday and Sugar High Friday (today), I created a pie that has backward glance into history, a touch of ideology and some lore in its embedded local ingredients. May we not forget those who came before us and how the land nurtures us- practically year round here in California.

In honor of Washington's famous quote, I am introducing the actual full name of this pie:

Let Your Heart Feel for the Afflictions and Distress of Everyone and Let Your Hand Give in Proportion to Your Purse Pie. (Title inspired by names of pies in the movie, The Waitress)

It combines the sinful chocolate crust of Sinful Chocolate-Berry Pie from the Mystic Seaport All Seasons Cookbook, plus an adaptation of this Lemon Strawberry Pie recipe.

George Washington Pie by Rachel MedanicI changed the filling by halving the sugar (down to 1/2 cup), blending 1 teaspoon of lemon peel and 1 teaspoon of orange peel- straight off our trees.

In the center of the pie, I used jam made from the December strawberries at Pie Ranch. Famous Chocolate Wafers and butter created a black bottom crust- like a microcosm of life. Deep below the sweet and light (strawberry jam) and the day-to-day (cream, eggs and orange zest in the center), there is always the reminder...of the dark (chocolate wafer crust).

I want to explore the orange zest just a little. In The Meaning of Trees by Fred Hagender tells us that the orange tree genus includes lemon, grapefruit, mandarin and lime trees. The orange symbolizes fairness and justice. Tip of the hat to you on that, George! Oranges are native to northeast India but historically spread first to China, the Near East, Portugal and Spain, and then on to the New World (with a stop in Sicily in 1002). Andalusian and Haitian legends liken the orange to the sun, shining light on everyone and offering its fruits unconditionally.

George Washington pie
The cherry blossom in the center symbolizes the story of Washington as a boy cutting down the cherry tree- a story which has been debunked over the years. But this recipe also my breath of spring to other parts of the world that are still under winter's overbearing rule at this time of year. Here in California the dogwoods and cherry trees are in blossom. In our yard, the trees are heavy with citrus harvest.

Inspired? Feeling the kisses of spring?

Make a contribution to this event's beneficiary, Pie Ranch. Pie Ranch is a non-profit helping to transform the world of food through pie. Please specify "Pie Ranch/Green Oaks Fund” in the "Designation" field of the online donation form (Pie Ranch is fiscally sponsored by the Rudolph Steiner Foundation). Click here to make your donation!

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