It has recently come to our attention that Rooney Mara experienced the glory of pie for the first time during the filming of her new movie A Ghost Story.
Adding insult to injury, it apparently was also her last foray into the world of pie, for frankly understandable reasons:
It was a no sugar vegan pie 😥— A24 (@A24) July 6, 2017
Look, we don’t fuck with sugar-free anything around these parts, but we can understand if Mara has her own dietary restrictions. Mostly, it just makes us sad that she may never again experience the vibrant, varied wonderfulness the world of pie has to offer.
(Well, it makes some of us sad. But even within the Pajiba ranks there is dissent, in the form of a pestilence known as “Team Cake.” So, in the interest of avoiding yet another bloody food-based Civil War, we shall hereby acknowledge that dessert be dessert, whether it be pie-filled or spongey, and there is no incorrect choice. Just one very deeply, morally wrong one, if presented with both options. *coughTEAMPIEcoughcough*)
So, in the interest of showing Ms. Mara all that pie has to offer her life, her tastebuds, and her soul, we’ve decided to compile a helpful starters guide to the wonderful world of pie!
Pie usually involves crust (unless it doesn’t, like shepherd’s pie), and a filling. Sometimes there is a top and a bottom crust, or sometimes there is only a bottom. Sometimes it’s folded over to form a hand pie, or folded up and around like a little pouch (that, in fact, is a galette). Crust in and of itself is an art form, with some recipes calling for buttery crust and others for flakey crust. Or you can mash up some graham crackers and call THAT a crust.
And the fillings! Oh the fillings! Berries, apples, pumpkins, even sweet potatoes (which is a travesty but SOME of us like it so whatever)! Custards - lemon or lime, or even chocolate! Meats and gravy and cheese and veggies! There is only one pie filling fact that we should all take a moment to acknowledge:
There is no excuse for pecan pie. Ever. It sullies the name of pies everywhere. What even is that? You know what? Let’s not think about it.
But any discussion of pie is remiss without listing the best examples. So, Rooney, here are some amazing pies you should try before you abandon them completely!
1) Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
It’s summertime, which is as good a reason as any to give this sweet/tart dish top billing. Try it with a crumb topping, and then try it again with a crust top. Then try both again, just to be sure you’ve gotten the whole picture.
2) Apple Pie
Ok, this isn’t hands-down the best, but it is an essential part of the pie experience because, let’s face it, Grandma’s apple pie is the best. Anyone’s grandma. Basically if a grandma makes it, it’s good. Though one thing we should note: the filling should be cooked to the point that it is almost apple sauce. Anyone who tells you the pieces of apple should still have some body to them, some bite, some chew — that person is a goddamn liar.
3) Meat Pie
Meat pies come in all sorts of varieties, from the bright yellow Jamaican beef patty to the endless varieties of British hand pies. Pot pies, mince pies, steak & kidney pies - it’s all proof that pie can be salty instead of sweet and still be just as satisfying. Please forgive me for lumping all savory pies together, but I find it impossible to pick between them. They are all delicious.
4) Key Lime Pie
Perhaps you’d prefer Lemon Meringue? Personally, I love a good Chocolate or Banana Creme Pie. But the fact remains, if you’re looking for a good example of a thick, creamy custardy pie with a cracker crust and a tart bite to it, you HAVE to try a Key Lime Pie.
This pie straddles the line between savory and sweet, and still has a custard filling as well. It’s the best of all possible worlds. Before there were Pumpkin Spice Lattes, there was just Pumpkin Pie. Please note: Sometimes it looks like Sweet Potato Pie. Don’t let yourself be fooled.
6) Tarts & Galettes
Sure, these may seem like high-brow, fanciful versions of a standard pie, but they still have their place in the dessert rotation! Tarts are shallow, with a custardy filling topped by glossy fruit like little shining jewels. Galettes are free-form pies. Melting-clock Surrealist pies. And yet, with that freedom comes endless invention. Mix together whatever you want for filling, pour it into the center of a piece of dough, and wrap that dough up and around like a little magic pouch-of-plenty.
Yes. Pizza. It’s a pie. Please tell me you’ve had pizza!
8) Berry Pie
Any berry will do. Blueberry? Blackberry? Triple-Berry?! Take your pick! You can mix and match to your heart’s content.
9) Cherry Pie
This one’s for you, Agent Cooper!
10) Crack Pie
Since there was no goddamn way Pecan Pie would make this list, here is a delicious nutless alternative. We don’t recommend you try it at home (it sounds hard to make, and frankly you don’t really want to spoil the mystery by seeing just how unhealthy it is for you), but this Momofuku Milk Bar original recipe is worth a try anyway. So if you ever find yourself near a Milk Bar, drop in and grab a slice!
Now, Rooney, I’d like to share a personal story about pie. Years ago, after my first and last attempt to bake a whole Thanksgiving turkey, I gave up on the holiday and instead formed what came to be known as Piesgiving. In a nutshell: Eat pie all day, for every course. Apple Pie for breakfast. Pumpkin Pie for lunch. Dinner could be any form of savory pie — I typically opted for Chicken Pot Pie. And for dessert, finish it off with some Chocolate Creme Pie. Basically, pie beats pilgrims every time.
But not as hard as it beats cake.