Black Bottom Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Pie

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Miss Fats calling it: pie is a breakfast item.

She’s being completely serious.  No eye rolling or outrage.  Pie belongs in the early morning hours.  Fruit pie?  Custard pie?  Cream pie?  Aren’t these all qualifiers associated with breakfast, anyway?  Is a flakey crust and tender fruit filling all that different from your standard danish?  (Well yes.  Miss Fats upholds they are different objects.  However conceptually they are closer than one thinks with regard to food genre.)  But can’t we replace those boring fruit parfaits with a silky banana cream?

The reality is that sweet breakfast treats are almost always glorified dessert items, hiding beneath a whole wheat flour or bran addition.  (Or even just parading its sweet self for all to see.  Miss Fats is talking to you, french toast.)  Miss Fats doesn’t understand why the donut should sit comfortably in the breakfast genre, while pie remains in evening hours.  If anything the deep-fried dough item, perfectly crafted to send you to bed, should be flip-flopped with a bright and tangy slice of fruit pie in early hours.

Why should all the round sliced food objects be confined to the second half one’s day? (Pizza?  Also breakfast.)  Their perfect portability and triangular shape make for an ideal nutrient delivery system during the hours when your brain is still waking up and struggling to organize yourself in the morning rush.  Sure, it’s not the healthiest of breakfasts, but if you’re going to reach for a sweet morning treat, pie at least holds the promise of breakfast flavors.  Plus a pie is almost always waiting for you.  No need to mess with flour or a pesky waffle maker first thing in the morning: a big slice of pie is just sitting there on the counter, waiting to be consumed.  Throw a big dollop of greek yogurt on that apple pie and you’ve basically got a power breakfast.

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Look: Miss Fats realizes she probably hasn’t convinced you of breakfast pie yet.  But she’s sure this recipe makes a strong enough case for itself.  Black Bottom Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Pie combines the chewy oatiness of a granola with the flavors of banana bread.  Welcome to layers of flakey pie crust, silky chocolate, gooey banana custard and toasty oatmeal top; a veritable stratum of flavors and textures.  This pie manages to straddle the line between granola bar and pecan pie: teetering deliciously between breakfast and dessert.  Perhaps it’s actually meant to be consumed at the end of a late night around 3 am: right between the two.  Miss Fats can get on board with that.

This pie started as Four and Twenty Blackbird’s Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie.  Blackbird’s “poor-man’s pecan pie,” received rave reviews from a group of Miss Fats’ dear friends.  The crazy-simple recipe made for the perfect game night pie on a Sunday night: no fuss, just good clean fun.  However, always looking to innovate, Miss Fats’ friend I, suggested a banana cream hybrid.  They all agreed the pie had an air of breakfast and would happily begin any day with a big slice and cup of coffee.  But I was interested in producing the ultimate breakfast pie object.  The custard center seemed to be begging to mate with a banana cream friend, so I tasked Miss Fats with the challenge of melding the two.

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Through some simple substitutions and modifications, Miss Fats created a breakfast dessert monster.  She also simplified the whole thing by throwing all the ingredients into a blender and allowing the machine to do all the work for her.  Reducing the sugar and adding bananas makes for a pie that holds all the power of a pie, banana bread, and granola bars. Topped with chocolate. The custard center is the real revelation here.  Miss Fats upped the salt (as she does)  to highlight the creamy, caramel-y flavor fruit to produce a homey richness akin to a beautifully simple slice of moist banana bread.  Pie crust creates a tender base, followed by a bit of bitter chocolate (again, perfectly salted), then comes the smooth banana custard-y center, topped off with a chewy layer of toasted oats.   The ultimate geological formation: the perfect stratification of discrete breakfast treats that come together in pure mouth harmony.  Morning bliss.

Black Bottom Banana Oatmeal Pie:
adapted from Four and Twenty Blackbird’s Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie

1 9-inch single pie crust (Miss Fats prefers this one from Smitten Kitchen)
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
3 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream divided
2 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup corn syrup
5 tbs melted butter
4 eggs
2 tbs cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ginger

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Par bake the crust, rolling out the dough, lining a 9 inch pie pan and crimping the sides.  Puncture the bottom to allow air to escape and line the crust with a piece of parchment or foil. Weigh down the center with beans or fancy pie weights, if you have them.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove weights and foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the bottom of the crust looks dry.  Set aside to cool. (Can easily be done in advance.)

2. Toast the oats by spreading them evenly on a lined sheet pan and baking for 10-12 minutes.  Toss every few minutes.  Set aside to cool.  Reduce oven to 325 degrees.

3. Heat 1/4 cup of the heavy cream in the microwave for about 2 minutes or until scalded.  Pour the cream over the chocolate chips and throw in a big pinch of salt. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.  Whisk the chocolate and cream until smooth.  Pour into the bottom of the pie crust and spread evenly.  Allow to cool in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

4.  In a blender, throw in all the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.   Stir in the oats with a spoon.  Pour into the prepared pie crust.

5. Bake the pie for 1 hour, rotating once approximately 30 minutes into baking.  The pie is done when the edged have browned a bit and the center is set.  The center should be completely set but have a little give: imagine gently poking a fluffy cake.  Allow to cool fully: about 2-3 hours, or leave that guy sitting out over night to chow down on in the morning.

Miss Fats highly recommends consuming a big slice of this pie with a fresh cup of coffee.  She’s pretty sure a big dollop of full fat yogurt (or whipped cream.  She doesn’t judge early hour whipped cream consumption) would send this over the edge.  Waking up to a slice of this pie just might make you a morning person.  Watch out.

grumpy cat crack cake attack

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Miss Fats is mid birthday rush this week.  She has two “high seasons” for birthday cake baking–May and November–when she’s convinced a ton of parents got together and conspired to breed an entire generation of children born in the same week, spaced perfectly six months apart. 20-30 years later, Miss Fats is busy crafting three cakes in one week to celebrate all that Valentine love (gross) that bred an entire generation of pod people. ( i.e. her near and dear friends.)

Now, she began #birthdayweek (if it’s a conspiracy, it may as well have its own hashtag), with a classic birthday cake (a rare request!), but she’s going to save that post for later; because she is damn excited about the craziest of 30th birthdays “cakes” she put together this past weekend for her friend E’s bash.  Meet the Wacky Crack Attack.

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Miss Fats loves to bake for any crowd, however she has a couple of favorite individuals who she’s always eager to feed and please with decadent desserts.  E is right at the top of the list thanks to his insatiable sweet tooth and affinity for seconds (that’s appreciation, people).  She knew there was no way to get any specific flavor requests from him for the big day (he will eat anything and loves all things sweet), so Miss Fats just decided to dream up the most insane cake monster she could think of.  Initially, she was gravitating toward an ice cream concoction, since he and Miss Fats have been known to venture far across the city in search of giant creamy cones.  However there were already plans for frozen custard on the night of the celebration (double dessert. duh.); And she knew any old chocolate layer cake thing wouldn’t do.  Not to mention it was E’s 30th and therefore required Miss Fats to kill him via sugar object.  As you know, Miss Fats has got pie on the brain, and she had a recent conversation about the Momofuko Crack Pie that had been nagging at the back of her head for a couple of weeks now.  That was it.  Crack pie.  The name and object were ideal for E: done and done.

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But this is a birthday, people.  And a big one.  For an important friend.  So Miss Fats could hardly stop there.  So what does crack need?  More crack, apparently.  Something she adores about Momofuko’s pie is it’s complete and total acceptance of ugly.  None of that prissy, fancy pants dessert garbage (all prim and proper: boo), but  instead a total embrace of disgusting deliciousness: truly privileging taste over aesthetics.  Naturally this meant Miss Fats wanted to extend this aesthetic to the cake (pie) topper.  She decided to make excessive clusters of salty sweet goodness to mound on top of the ugly monster pie base to create a Frankensteinian sugar object capable of catapulting insulin levels and destroying any pancreas in its way.  You can’t even imagine how excited she was.

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This was Miss Fats first Momofuko recipe attempt and she knew they were notorious for being somewhat finicky and required great attention to detail.  Therefore for the actual pie, she stuck straight to it and executed the body of the beast step for step, to the t.   It was really that crack topping where she got to work on her salty-sweet craft, improvise and (literally) sculpt the perfect collection of morsels.  So what goes into wacky crack, you ask?  Well the short answer is: whatever the hell you want.  This is really more of a method (methodology?) than a recipe.  Miss Fats is going to share her mixture for you all, but she encourages you to get down and dirty with it: be creative: be cavalier.

wacky crack clusters:
makes about 2 cups of clusters

3 crunchy chocolate chip cookies (Miss Fats used Trader Joe’s Chocolate Chip Dunkers, but Chips Ahoy would also be good here)
3 peanut butter sandwich cookies (Nutter Butters)
1/4 cup honey roasted peanuts
1/2 cup pretzels (broken up a bit)
1 chopped candy bar (Miss Fats used a mini M&Ms bar she had on hand)
1/4 cup peanut butter chips
1/4 cup melted chocolate chips
1/4 cup melted peanut butter chips
sea salt

salted caramel:
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbs water
2 tbs butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp salt (to taste)

1. Make the caramel sauce: in a small sauce pan, heat the sugar and water over medium, carefully stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Once dissolved, turn the heat to medium high and DO NOT stir or take your eyes off it.  Allow the sugar to caramelize and turn a deep amber (about 5-8 minutes), swirling the pan by the handle every so often.  Once the caramel has deepened in color, remove from the heat and add the butter and cream (be careful: it will bubble rapidly).  Stir until completely smooth.  If it seizes up, return to medium low heat, and stir constantly until smooth.  Add salt to taste.  Set aside to cool slightly.

2. Cluster assembly: line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (makes for easy clean up).  Throw down all of the dry cluster ingredients and roughly mix.  Drizzle the caramel, chocolate and peanut butter over top.  Toss together and roughly pat into a single layer of goodness.  Drizzle another layer of caramel and chocolate over top and sprinkle with salt to make it nice and pretty.  Allow to cool completely by either leaving it to harden on the counter, or sticking in the fridge for about an hour.

3.  Once cool, break into large chunks and enjoy.

To top the pie, mound the clusters into any monstrous form you’d like.  Donezo. Miss Fats’ wonderful roommates also created the perfect topper using some creative pen work and some printed off images of Grumpy Cat.  Since E looks like grumpy cat with a mustache, it was the ideal expression of birthday affect for an aggressive dessert.

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In the end, her pie wasn’t perfect (but should it be?).  Her oven had some hot spots that caused the custard to bake slightly unevenly, and the crust baked a little more than she would have liked.  However, anyone who’s executed this pie knows, the whole thing isn’t really meant to be eaten like a pie.  Instead, the crack pie creates a salty sweet object that is to be scraped from the pan and consumed in a messy pile of all that is good in life.  Yes people” the crust sticks to the pan.  It sticks real bad.  And she’s sure that one could do some serious greasing and throw down some parchment.  But that would probably ruin part of the joy of crack pie: this is as much of an aesthetic–tactile–experience as it is about taste: embrace ugly. The crack clusters added a crazy crunchy layer to the chewy, creamy pie custard and cookie crust to make for a mouthful of all things good.  This is some serious mouth porn.  Pure dessert filth.  She highly recommends it.

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Between eight people, they only managed to get through half of the pie.  It’s fucking intense.  The rest was sent home in a glorious pile to be eaten while standing over the kitchen counter with a fork in hand.  Probably in your underwear, at 3 am.  Crack pie will definitely make it into Miss Fats’ recipe arsenal, but clearly must be accompanied by some sort of chocolate pretzel object. ( She feels no need to explain this.  It’s self-evident that chocolate and pretzels make everything better.)  She hopes E is enjoying his leftovers and that Wacky Crack Attack was all he could have dreamed of for his big birthday celebration.  Or she hopes he’s dead of diabetic shock from pie overload.  Either or.

recipe review: cranberry apple pie

IMG_7703And so pie month continues at chez Miss Fats.  In order to motivate her baking and force her to tackle the classic and simple pies she fears most, Miss Fats participated in the recipe testing for Food 52’s latest “Best Thanksgiving Pie” contest.  As a tester, you simply execute the recipe per instructions are provide a 100 word review for the site.  Each pie ideally has three volunteers who provide feedback on the taste, instructions and over all experience.  However 100 words is damn short, and Miss Fats is pretty sure no sweet treat can be accurately summed up in such a short space (eating and food description demand [illicit] excess).

So she’s sharing a fuller review of the pie recipe here for you all, complete with modifications and tips for the baking process.  Miss Fats wound up selecting the Cranberry Apple Pie for testing.  This was primarily for aesthetic reasons (hey, Miss Fats is a visual person, and firmly believes in the power of good food porn), but she also had some extra cranberries on hand and liked the simplicity of this pie’s filling: no crazy spices or techniques: just fruit hanging out with more fruit.  Additionally, the crust recipe seemed standard enough: the usual all butter recipe with a little lemon zest to complement the tart fruit.  Simple.  Done.  She even had all the ingredients on hand.

Unfortunately, Miss Fats hit problems early on.  She meticulously following instructions to test the rhetoric and measurements of the recipe.  However, as the mound of flour piled up, it was incredibly clear to Miss Fats that there’s no way 1/3 cup ice water would be sufficient.  She went ahead, adding the specified amount, praying that by some pie miracle it would come together (she actually believed this given her amateur pie status–so naive).  However, she instead encountered the exact reason she hates making pie:  She felt as though she was scrambling against time as the butter warmed and threatened to create a gummy, dense crust, but the incredibly crumbly, dry dough just would not come together and instead created a mess.  She quickly sprinkled an additional 1/3 cup water over top, working it into the dough with a rubber spatula.  Though the dough began to form, she was facing her most annoying enemy: fucking butter/flour crumbs at the bottom of the bowl (she hates that shit).   Finally ditching the spatula, she went for a last sprinkle of ice water and went elbows deep, pulling together the uneven dough and cursing flour out lout (literally).  Scrambling to get that butter business into the fridge as soon as possible, she used the plastic wrap to assemble the hunks and hoped that if we all just calmed down a bit (dough included), it would come together in time.

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After eating (critical) and some quiet time, Miss Fats returned to the pathetic butter disks, assuming they’d developed into impossible masses of gluten and dry hunks of powder resembling the old container of Play-Dough she has lying around.  She prepared herself for some serious elbow grease and frustration tears during the rolling process, throwing the disks down onto her floured countertop, prepped to let disaster ensue.  However to her surprise, the dough proved surprisingly pliable and only cracked a bit at the edges where she clearly had failed to mix properly.  Carefully turning and working the disk outward, she rolled out a fairly thick twelve-inch crust and transferred it to her pie pan.  She was calming down.  It would be ok.

The filling was incredibly simple, both in technique and ingredients.  Miss Fats was surprised (and slightly disappointed) to see how few apples the recipe called for (only 5??).  However she executed them to a t, and loaded her prepared pan with the spiced fruit mixture.  Layering her second crust, she did her best to make the edges as pretty as possible (not easy for Miss Fats), which essentially resulted in some bloated, sausage-like crimping that would undoubtably end up underdone.  On with the egg wash and a sprinkling of raw sugar, and into the oven for an hour.  Smooth sailing from then on out.

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In the end, the pie was fine.  She was pleasantly pleased by the filling, which had a sharp, tart flavor and a really nice balance of textures between the slightly softer, sweeter pink ladies, and grannies that still had a bit of a bite.  The cranberries themselves, sprinkled bursts of tartness throughout and created a pleasing marbling effect.  Her number one complaint?  Not enough.  She could have seriously used more of that filling action. The crust-fruit ration was way off. Hell, from now on she’ll probably just go for that portion of the recipe sans crust, throw in the oven to get caramelized and soft, and then go topping a cold, creaming scoop of vanilla ice cream with all that apple-cranberry business.  With a drizzle of salted caramel.  Obviously.  Despite the beautifully browned, surprisingly, non-chewy texture, she frankly, found the crust bland.  And too thick. (Well, that’s probably more of Miss Fats fault; but also there should not have been three cups of flour in that recipe.)  The lemon zest was a nice touch, but it could have seriously used more salt (Miss Fats would up it to about 1 tsp) and a bit of sugar given the tartness of the filling.  Oh well.  The important part is that Miss Fats was not beaten by this baking beast.  She’s a bit bruised (well, more like scolding herself for being a whiney little child about pie crust), but she’ll take away some serious experience from this pie.  Fruit pie has yet to be conquered, but she’s well on her way to proficiency.

Up next?  Pure crack.

recipe review: salted chocolate pecan pie

IMG_7626Miss Fats is going to share one of her biggest fears with you: pie.  Clearly she has a bit of a bias toward fluffy cake objects and their bready relatives, but this mainly stems from her crippling fear of pastry.  The simplicity and precision required to execute even the simplest of pastries requires a restraint and attention that Miss Fats rarely has.  She needs a bit more wiggle room.  Because she’s lazy.  And hates measuring.  As a result, she stays away pastry, hiding behind a defensive layer of language that suggests it’s “too fancy” or “fussy” for her taste.  This is a load of crap.  The reality is that Miss Fats just hasn’t been practicing and fears the perpetual disappointment that it can often create.  She hates nothing more than when a carefully labored pie crust, chilled and minimally handled, winds up too chewy or dense.  This may be because she believes that in order to be a truly great baker, one should have a grasp on a standard crust.  And when it comes down to it, Miss Fats just doesn’t.  And thanks to grad school logic: thus she is not a real baker.

Ok enough self-loathing and indulgent nonsense.  She knows the only way to really get past this hang up is to approach it like every other pastry novice: practice, practice, practice.  So in the spirit of the season, Miss Fats is taking pie on for reals this time.

Her resistance to pie primarily stems from not only this fear of pastry, but the number of flubbubs that can occur with any pie production.  Is the fruit too sweet?  Too moist?  Did I add enough flour this time?  Is it going to boil over and make a big sticky mess at the bottom of my oven?  Will my crust shrink in the pan?  Or will it absorb my filling and turn into a soggy mess? Ugh I cannot roll out pie dough.  Why is it so ugly? See: so many anxieties go into a pie.  Miss Fats is a such a coward.  Get over it.

So in order to ease her way into the pie game, she decided to go for a single crust, non-fruit pie in an attempt to eliminate as many potential problems as possible.  Since Thanksgiving is fast approaching and she loves herself some pecans, Miss Fats settled on a classic pecan pie: only naturally, this required the addition of chocolate and salt.  Duh.  The final pie ended up being a hybrid of Smitten Kitchen’s Foolproof Pie Dough and David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Pecan Pie for the filling.

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She ultimately stuck pretty close to the original recipes, particularly with the dough.  Miss Fats anxiously measured, pulsed that food processor exactly the right number of times, and carefully added the freezing cold liquids to the batch.  Reluctantly to even touch the dough with her hands, she scraped it into the plastic wrap, played a bit of hot potato with the disk and threw it in the fridge.  Miss Fats was pleasantly surprised to find that the dough rolled out with ease and didn’t crack or she wasn’t forced to stretch her gummy over-mixed mess like in past pie experiences.  Her pie vanity issues were rendered null thanks to her roommate’s beautiful pie pan complete with a wavy mold, that she gently pressed the dough into.  For the filling, she omitted the bourbon (only because she didn’t have any on hand), upped the salt content to a full teaspoon, and went with semi sweet chocolate chunks instead of chips.  She decided not to pre-bake the crust (out of laziness and lack of baking beans), and simply allowed the filling to fuse with buttery crust.  The finishing touch was brushing the crust with a little egg wash and sprinkling it with some raw sugar crystals before baking.  Then obviously, after cooling the topping got a heathy sprinkle of sea salt to add those perfect bites to cut the gooey sweetness of the pie filling.

The pie was a freaking miracle.  Somehow the damn thing turned out and it looked good.  Miss Fats couldn’t have dreamt of a better outcome given her inexperience.  The crust’s mixture of butter and shortening gave it both a chewy and flakey texture.  It remained crisp on the bottom but managed to soak up some of that caramel-y filling, creating a nice contrast with the decadent insides.  Next time Miss Fats makes this pie, however, she’ll be using bittersweet chunks instead of semi-sweet.  She actually found it to be just every-so-slightly too sweet for her taste: she’s pretty sure a hit of darker, bitter chocolate is just what this pie needs to send it over the edge.  Overall the pie was not perfect, but well beyond expectations and enough to keep Miss Fats’ hopes up and baking until Thanksgiving.  She feels restored and ready to take on these scary dessert objects.  Just you wait: soon cake pans may be exchanged for rolling pins… though who is she kidding?  Probably not.  (There’s just more options for peanut butter with cake…though maybe not?)

Butterscotch 3.14159

Miss Fats would like to begin this pie tale with a quote from her friend- who when nearly done with a slice, queried: “What… IS it?” The mystery dessert which Miss Fats baked in honor of March 14 (3/14 aka PI day!) was in fact, a simple Butterscotch Pie.

THREE THINGS:
Pie crust. (Pre-baked.)
Oh dear.  This is what happens when you work real hard making that crust all balanced with flour, butter and water, and then take the time to chill it but then get real lazy come roll-out time. Clearly Miss Fats didn’t take the time to make this crust big enough, or round enough, and instead opted to just throw it in the pan and squish the edges all up…. Then she baked it.  Clearly without being properly weighted.  Oops.  But they were in a time crunch! Pi Day was nearly over and this shit had to get done.

Miss Fats Butterscotch Pie Crust

2. Butterscotch filling. Basically you cook up a crap ton of heavy cream, brown sugar, some egg yolks, butter, a little flour, cornstarch, + vanilla. Oh yeah, and Miss Fats added salt, because THIS RECIPE CALLED FOR EXACTLY NONE. ?! That’s the whole point of butterscotch, it’s the epitome of sweet-salty! Anyway, cook that all together and you get this:
Miss Fats Butterscotch Pie FillingButterscotch gloop! Pour the gloop into the crust and chill. Miss Fats made this close to the stroke of midnight on March 14th… so the Pi Day pie was DONE on Pi Day, but wasn’t admired/consumed until the 15th. So it received a full 24 hours worth of chillage and became more of a Ides of March thing…. let’s just call it Pides of March Pi Day Pie. C’mon, let’s!

3. WHIPPED CREAM. The final step is to whip up another crap ton of cream and smother the now extremely chilled pie. It’s like that time when it snowed three feet here in Chi-town, and everyone freaked out and called it Snowpocalypse, only in this scenario, Chicago is the pie, and the cream is the snow, and whipped cream blizzards are way more fun. The original recipe called for two cups of whipped cream. Miss Fats made that much and maybe used… half of it, which gave the pie a serious smother. So halve that, unless you have a whipped cream disorder and need it to stay alive. Miss Fats doesn’t want you to die on her watch.  Given the rushed pie-making process, the whip cream seriously cleaned up Miss Fats’ mess.  A little swirl of creamy, fluffy goodness will do that to the ugliest of desserts.
The final product:

Miss Fats Butterscotch Pie/Butterscotch 3.14159

Pretty nice, eh? This pie would comfortably serve about ten reasonable people, or 7-8 gluttons. (We will leave it to you to guess how many servings we got out of it.)

The pie ended up being a tasty salty, sweet creamy combo.  While chowing down on this pie, the J half of Miss Fats was like, “I had a chocolate bar I thought about melting on top but I thought it would be weird.” To which M responded, “WHY WOULD THAT BE WEIRD?!”  In the future, Miss Fats definitely intends to add some chocolate sauce action to the top, since clearly chocolate belongs in almost everything.  Additionally, after indulging in Lickity Split’s coffee butterscotch concrete, she’d probably be into serving this butterscotch pie with a heaping scoop of coffee ice cream.  Yeah she know it sounds weird, but that combo must be tried: totally out of control.

While sitting around enjoying the pie with friends, the room went quiet as hungry mouths were filled with salty sweetness.  The silence was only to be broken by the best review Miss Fats has ever received, “I want to take a quiet bath in this pie.”

Miss Fats highly recommends that you do.

galentines part 2: JAM + Bang Bang Pie Shop

Miss Fats did galentines RIGHT.  Newly mobile, team Miss Fats got themselves up to Logan Square. the inaccessible [at least from where Miss Fats lives] mecca of hip[ster] food in Chicago.  Top of their list: Jam and Bang Bang Pie Shop.  Since they rarely make it this far north, Miss Fats was NOT going to let this opportunity got to waste.  4 course brunch, followed by pie dessert/dinners to-go. Get ready for some serious eats.

IMG_1933Appetizer: half order of the “waffle of the day-” thyme waffle, with double fried chicken breast

M: Holy shit chicken and waffle.  This waffle is HANDS DOWN better than Longman & Eagle (famous for the bougie chicken and waffle).  They’re very lucky they don’t have to compete daily with this one. The chicken was so juicy and tender, and the waffle crisp and light. Despite being a bread/fried object, it was not heavy, dry or oily, like most waffle/chicken combos.  Instead all you got was pure flavor explosion and texture delight.

J: Chicken isn’t usually this dope. JAM took chicken as far as chicken can reasonably be expected to go, and then they put that radness on top of a reaaaaally nice waffle. Waffles are usually way denser than this one, which is NOT what you want with a chunk of fried cluck. The drippy was some kind of tomato syrup (?), there were some tomato-y things on top, and when all the flavors got together it was a SUPER AWESOME PARTY TASTE!!!

IMG_1934Second Course: Smoked Salmon, Potato-Leek Pancakes, Poached Eggs, Béarnaise, Salsify Slaw

M: Smoked salmon might be one of MIss Fats all-time favorite foods.  There is nothing better than a salty, soft piece of fatty smoked salmon.  And Jam paired this already indulgent ingredient with béarnaise and eggs, resulting in the go-to combo of creamy sauciness and salty fish.  While the salmon was absolutely satisfying and they did not skimp on the portion, the star of this dish was the potato-leek pancake: perfect salt, perfect crisp, pure potato bliss.

J: Skimp’s a weird word. Remember when Miss Fats ate Fish Cream? That bad fishflavor memory became fish dust in the fish wind, thanks to this ultra-pile. Omigod, it was so cute. Look at those poached eggs! There are few things more delightful than breaking the yolk on a perfectly poached egg. Okay, there are about 60,000 more delightful things, five of which are:

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but it’s still pretty fun to smoosh an egg.

IMG_1935Third Course: Egg Sandwich, Pork Shoulder, Ricotta Salata, Plum Preserve, French Bollo, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

M: Ooey-gooey porky mess.  out of control. This was the best kind of hot mess, people.  The oozing eggs soaked into the tender pork and bread creating a sticky mess that you could not wait to get into your mouth immediately.  Miss Fats favorite part was the ricotta salata, which provided the perfect salty, cheesy contrast to the rich meat and egg yolk.  Now there was no way Miss Fats could finish this monster, but boy did they enjoy trying.  Nice work, Jam.  Oh and a serious shout out to those potatoes: you were so good soaked in yolk.

J: These POTATOES, people. Breakfast potatoes usually suck. They’re there because they take up space and are cheap, and peeps usually don’t put a lot of effort into them.
It’s kind of an All About Eve situation with this sammy though. Mr. Eggypork got UPSTAGED by his taterfriends. Don’t get Miss Fats wrong, it was a WONDERFUL SAMMY, but these potatoes, man, these potatoes. Can Miss Fats just add that their waiter Brandon literally said, “you guys are my heroes!” when Miss Fats apologized for not being able to finish the whole thing. Brandon: “You not only got a whole other entree, you got a half order of chicken and waffles, AND a dessert pancake, and you STILL got further into this sandwich than most people.” Miss Fats Wins. Every time. Brandon also laughed at Miss Fats and had to bring them extra napkins because their hands were totally covered in egg yolk and gloop.

IMG_1937Dessert: Maple Pancakes, Meyer Lemon Custard, Indian Sugar Brûlée, Citrus Rind Conserve

M: Where to begin with these? Miss Fats was promised the “weirdest pancake you’ve ever had.”  She’s not sure “weird” is the right word, however.  More like mouth orgasm pancake.  Such tart lemony custard, crispy bruleed sugar and tender tender pancake.  dfsksfjslsdfnsdfkieng.  yep. words dissolved.  just like that buttery custard. WIN.

J: Yeah, no words. Gonna use someone else’s words, to paraphrase good old e.e.:

i carry this bite with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my pancake;and whatever is not eaten
by me is your doing,my darling)

SAMSUNG

Following this meal, Miss Fats was borderline ill. But there was pie to be had. So off to Bang Bang Pie Shop they went.

IMG_1946Check those steamy windows and super cute interior.

J: Omg, it was steamy cause hot boys were inside! And hot pie!

M: Having read reviews before hand, Miss Fats ordered the Meyer Lemon Custard Pie, Chocolate Chess Pie and a Biscuit to-go.  They were very lucky to have gotten their hands on one of these coveted biscuits: apparently they stop serving them after 2 pm, however it being Valentines day, they had extras (probably just for Miss Fats.)  The real draw of the biscuit was the Jam and Butter Bar.

IMG_1938

M: Yeah, gurl.  You know you want all of that.  While loading up on jams and butter to-go, Miss Fats was trying to figure out how to split the pies as they parted ways. Overhearing their flustered dilemma, a wonderful (adorable) pie man offered up Miss Fats a couple of extra (sizable) pie scraps of each!! PIE WIN.  Little does he know, he gave them the greatest valentine ever.

J: FREE PIE FREE PIE MISS FATS GOT FREE PIE AND IS NOW IN LOVE WITH CUTE FREE PIE-GIVING BOY!!!

M: Miss Fats hereby owns the rights to future pie boy missed-connections screenplay. DON’T ANYONE GO STEALING IT.

IMG_0076M: Miss Fats started with this infamous biscuit.  She smothered the buttery, fluffy pastry in the homemade blueberry jam and cherry preserve.  Despite being hours old at this point, it was still flakey, soft, tender and moist.  This biscuit is PERFECTLY salted.  A rare quality for a biscuit, which usually is a sad side to some over-oily salty meal.  NOPE. This shit shines all on its own.  Miss Fats was particularly into the combo of the tart cherry preserve and salty crisp biscuit top.

IMG_0077M: Miss Fats is a huge fucking chocoholic.  So naturally she went home with the large slice of chocolate chess pie.  This was essentially a brownie with a pie crust.  The cakey center was fudgy but tender and not too sweet.  Yum Yum.  One little critique is that she’s not sure what was happening with the caramel sauce.  Supposedly this bad-boy has some caramel goodness in the bottom that was oozing out the sides.  However she could not taste this!  Disappointing.  Mostly because she could see all that amber sauce but couldn’t taste it.  Additionally, the crust was a bit too crispy.  Frankly, Miss Fats didn’t need it.  When she tasted it separately, of course it was delicious, but she’s not so sure it added anything to this pie.  The filling was star.

IMG_0074M: Not the prettiest picture.  But hey, that shit was FREE.  No complaints.  This meyer lemon custard pie was near pastry perfection.  Miss Fats has always been wary of fruit pie because it often borders on too sweet for her.  She just has never really understood why delicious fruit needs so much extra sugar.  But this lemon custard was amazingly tart and creamy.  The well-salted crust provided the right crispy texture against the fluffy filling.  mmmmmmmmm fluffy tart filling.  Yeah meyer lemon rind, you get in my mouth too.

J: Miss Fats is lazy and tired from the long hard day of eating all the food and so this is her 2 cents by way of altered song lyrics:

Chocolate chess pie you are making me crazy
I’m in love but I’m lazy (sort of the Beatles)
When you cut it, cute pie boy, save me a slice
Your chocolate pie, I declare, it’s sweet and nice  (sort of Led Zep)
Taste so good make a grown man cry
Sweet lemon pie, yeah (sort of Warrant)
You’ll be my lemon pie until the day I die, I hope that’s a long time,
cause I don’t wanna die and live without my Meyer lemon pie – (sort of Of Montreal)

SAMSUNG

J: Oh yeah, Bang Bang had Bacon. In a jar. Just in case you’re still hungry, or something.

M: Miss Fats didn’t even SEE this! Double win, Bang Bang.

This Galentines/Valentines was right near the top of best all time.  Miss Fats felt and looked EXACTLY like this at the end of the day: (this is a happy cat, people)

PudgeTheCat_valentineImage courtesy of Pudge the Cat.

Sleepy kitty needs a pie nap.