Archive for August, 2010

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Do you ever have cupcake visions?  I do.  I’m realizing now that most people don’t and my dessert dreams are not only uncommon, but unusual.  This story begins with a free weekend and cupcake vision…

I first considered going to the Fifth Bi-annual Jazz Age Lawn Festival when I read about it in Time Out NY (my go-to guide for free weekends).  Upon further investigation into the Dreamland Orchestra, I discovered that this event would be the perfect way to finally explore Governor’s Island and have a bit of fun.  Then I found out the event would include a good ole fashioned pie recipe contest and it was on.

Upon registering myself as a baker, I had a vision of making a pie cupcake as a clever and modern play on the event theme.

Peach Pie Cupcakes

The season was a little late for berries and the peaches at my market were perfectly soft and supple.  The problem was that my pie cupcake was not really a pie, not in the technical sense at least (although many of the ingredients are the same).  A quick response from the pie contest coordinator let me know that there were no hard and fast rules and I should be creative.  Yippee!  One Peach Pie Cupcake coming up.

I decided to make a buttermilk cake, filled and topped with bourbon-infused fresh peach compote and topped with maple frosting.  An early morning tasting with my husband Tom led us to think these cupcakes would have a pretty good shot against the competition, despite the long journey from Jersey City to Manhattan to Governor’s Island in 95 degree heat.

Buffet of Pies

Upon arrival at the event, I spotted the table filled with tasty pies ranging in flavor from a traditional Blueberry Crumb to classic Shoo fly Pie with a few wild cards in the mix, including a massive cheesecake and a chocolate tart.  After the judges descended upon the pies and began their deliberations, slices were handed out to eager pie lovers that happily devoured the table of treats with enthusiastic hunger.  Winning categories included Mom’s Best, Hobo’s Best (so good a homeless person would still the pie as it cooled on the windowsill), Best Savory and Most Unique.

A few St. Germain cocktails and lots of dancing later, it seemed the judges were ready to announce the winners.  Several blue ribbons were handed out, honorable mentions were made, and yet not one word was spoken of my Peach Pie Cupcakes…then, the judging panel announced a fifth, secret grand prize category that would recognize an extraordinary pie by awarding its baker with a lifetime membership to the Jazz Age Lawn Festival.

This Bandleader’s Choice category was up to the bandleader himself to announce, and to my surprise (and delight!) the words “Peach Pie Cupcakes” came out of his mouth…



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