Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Quad Pie - The World's Greatest Pie Baking Challenge

Since the dawn of time, people have looked for ways to challenge their cooking abilities and expertise. Many centuries later, we are marred in a quagmire of county fair bakeoffs, 4-H recipe challenges, and Food Network forced competitions like Iron Chef and fragile cake creations.

The need to search for a great baking challenge is finally over. I have a creation that usurps all pie making contests in difficulty, stamina, and creativity. This is the decathlon of pie making. The recipe tests a baker's knowledge of structural integrity, flavor, taste, design, and planning. Only experienced piemakers should even attempt this 3+ hour recipe.

I present...the Quad Pie! Just in time to celebrate National Pie Day on January 23 or the other Pi Day on March 14 (3.14).

A Quad Pie is a four-filling pie with multiple crusts and toppings. To my minimal knowledge of everything on the Internet (Google), a Quad Pie has neither been made nor thought of before. The trick is cooking each quad in the same pie plate, balancing cooking times, preventing flavor crossovers, and keeping ingredients fresh without losing your mind from tracking multiple timers.

Here's my ever so sweet quad breakdown:
  • Quadrant 1: cherry/blueberry with crumble top on standard crust
  • Quadrant 2: pecan with no top on standard crust
  • Quadrant 3: key lime on graham cracker crust with glazed lime wedges or fruit compote
  • Quadrant 4: chocolate pudding with a whipped cream top on an oreo crust.
I did not create a Quad Pie, but I did think of it, documented the steps, and risked my own life for cooking science by eating it after it was done. As mentioned on Jezebel and Asylum...Here are pictures from the greatest pie ever made...

The pie's bottom is a little thicker than a normal one-filling pie and the two strips are edible walls that will separate fillings.

The first half of the Quad Pie's base is set.

Garbanzo (chick peas) are used to weigh down the bottom dough and hold walls up. Use aluminum foil to shape the load-baring holder as necessary.

The cherry filling is the first to be cooked. A tough lesson is learned why you can never assume the walls will hold the filling on their own. Use the foil wrapped beans in all empty quads all the time. Some quick cleanup and the Quad Pie was ready to move forward. No harm done.

With the cherries baked, the next quad was filled with pecans and syrup. Garbanzo beans remain in the unused half for structural integrity. You'll want to bake the bakable fillings on the same side because caddy-corner wall baking is not worth the increased risk of collapse.

During the cherry crumble top and pecan baking, some pecan syrup leaked out, but it wasn't a dealbreaker. Be sure the wall is solid before shaping the garbanzo foil for the final quad. Some quad filling spillage is within the acceptable error threshold.

The key lime pie graham cracker foundation is put into place as is the final dough wall axis.

Key lime filling added and ready for the fourth, and final quad filling.

The oreo crust was added and quickly pressed down with the garbanzo bean foil until its walls were strong enough after baking. It's a great challenge to not over-bake the other ingredients at this time.

With the chocolate pudding added, all that's left are the toppings.

Voila! The world's first and only Quad Pie! Note the whipped cream on top of the chocolate pudding and fruit on top of the key lime quad.

Another low-resolution picture of the greatest pie ever baked.

Any amateur can cook four separate cheesecakes and put a quadrant of each on the same plate. The Quad Pie is for professionals only.

The best cut from a Quad Pie is the inside square, giving you a small quad of each quad.

It's a mini Quad Pie...four pies in one! Try making one if you think you're up to the challenge.


Anonymous said...

Brilliant! Too bad I'm low-carbing it.

Anonymous said...

This should be sent to David Lettermans mom

AndreaJRouda said...

After you eat that, you'll need to read this:

B and T Crowd said...


No need to assume that I blew up after eating this pie, but I appreciate your concern with my health. Meh.