So I'm entering my apple pie into the annual Pie Festival on Saturday here in Malibu. It's a huge deal. The Malibu Country Mart, which on most weekends is a roiling mob of hipsters, tourists and B-list stars trolling for paparazzi, turns into a little piece of Iowa. It's all picnic tables swathed in oilcloth, balloons bobbing on the breeze, bakers and judges and pie lovers hovering anxiously on the green, green lawn. Sure, you can stroll twenty feet in any direction and blow $500 on a pair of jeans. And yes, that's probably Nic Cage and his daughter playing over there on the swings. But on Pie Festival day, Malibu's just a small, country town.
I've got a game plan. On Wednesday, a friend and I are meeting at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market. The See's Canyon apple stand has some tiny, tart reds which, if they hold their juice in the oven, might be amazing. A friend has generously offered his services as taster during the test runs. ("Bake as many pies as you need to," he said. So selfless.)
Karen Duffy Walker Gindick, an actual Iowan (and the news editor at the LA Daily News) is also entering her apple pie. She's a gifted baker, takes it seriously, as only a heartland native can, so the competition is going to be tough.
If you've got any pie baking tips, please share them. (Butter? Lard? Crisco?) I need all the help I can get.