Making pies in the heat is only for the bold pie maven. Enter Evan Kleiman, who has been madly making pies for several years now, starting with a summer of daily pies. These days she's got an online pie class going, and she's the head honcho for an annual pie contest.
Pie crust dough is not happy in the heat, so Kleiman was lucky that Sunday at The Los Angeles Times The Taste was a little cooler than the previous day for her demonstration of a cherry tomato and cheese pie with onions and garlic. In a nod to the weather, Kleiman opted for a cobbler -- just a top crust -- rather than a two-crust pie.
Kleiman's tips include making sure that the pie filling is thick enough to keep the juices under control, because juice that just spreads across the plate, she says, "is a missed opportunity" for delicious eating. She mixed multicolored cocktail tomatoes, gruyere cheese, onions, garlic and the rest in a bowl and poured that into a pie plate. The recipe is on her blog. [UPDATE: Link is updated]
Her pie crust dough included cream cheese and butter -- a recipe that she says originated with the Chicago restaurateur Charlie Trotter. Rolling out dough, she says, should not mean using lots of elbow grease to spread the dough. Instead, think of it as "unfurling a flag." Kleiman also uses a couple of old-fashioned tools that my mom always used: a pastry cloth and a sock for her rolling pin.
Kleiman demonstrated the way she likes to crimp the edges of the pie; there are plenty of possibilities, and she says, the choice is personal. But she only recommends using a fork to imprint the tines on the crust for pies with no top crusts.