Just Beet It Pie

beet-pie

Photo credit Gina Yu

The first full week of January is traditionally a weird one.

You’re [kind of] energized after having some [kind of] relaxing/recharging time off. You’re easing back into the day-to-day grind and/or easing back into your office life. Which initially seems like a good idea, because you’ve been a little stir crazy after so much fam time and you need to get going so that you can get caught up at work. But then, wearing real pants every day sucks, and there’s too much, and you’ll never get caught up.

You’re trying to implement lifestyle improvements and keep promises to yourself, because New Years. And you rejoined the gym and bought a new gym bag, but  your head is spinning trying to figure out at what point in the day you can feasibly make it to the gym. And you’re trying to schedule annual doctors appointments, or maybe just wrap your brain around the fact that you should actually go to certain medical professionals annually. And how is this week so damn long?

Good news: it’s basically over–you made it! #TGPieday

I’ve had a weird week. But in a good way. Like plenty of folks, I use Jan 1 as a checkpoint to take stock of things and set some goals–concrete and loose–for the months ahead. My most immediate goal has been reevaluating how I prioritize; and subsequently, prioritizing my physical health. Because when I’m physically well, literally everything else gets easier. So, I think I’ve consumed more vegetables in the past week than I had in the past 3 months leading up to it. I am going to bed early, I am going to bed sober, I am getting up earlier and exercising. I know this isn’t like some grand secret, because I know plenty of people who manage to live their life while taking care of their bodies, but I have genuinely been amazed by how my energy levels have gone up and my stress levels have eased a bit. Literally, in only about 1.5 weeks of this routine… which gives me every incentive to prioritize keeping it as best I can. I’m not saying that to brag. I’m honestly majorly excited to be rediscovering something I knew to be true through experiencing it, and I hope that might be encouraging for anyone who is struggling to get up an hour earlier to jog or pack a healthy lunch.

Also, being more awake and mentally alert has made me a little more conscious of the thoughts that have skipped through my head during this weird week. Which has been both amusing and informative. I’m trying to be  better about writing down my critical thoughts and just writing down more, in general. This week, I kept a list of some of my less-than-critical thoughts too:

If I had to give an acceptance speech for anything right now, it would go like this… “Thank you. I love waffles and people who do me right.”

I hate when people use “quirky” to self-describe. You can’t call yourself or something that you do “quirky.” You might as well just say, “I think I’m super cute and unique, don’t you?”

If I had not one, but TWO grillz, I’d be the most unstoppable girl in the state of Alabama.

My Snuggie is a part of my charm.

My medical records for 2015 are depressing. I literally used my health insurance for 2 things: the most bullshitty ER visit ever and therapy. This year, I’m going to the dentist.

I wish a kind stranger with an accent would ask me what unnecessary piece of kitchen equipment I desire most… then give it to me like a genie. I need a soft serve ice cream maker.

Point being–this little sliver of the year is overwhelming, but mostly because of how much palpable potential is in front of you. It is strange, but delightful.

Which is why this bold and beautiful pie is perfect for this week. It stems from a very real love of beets–it looks like love! It’s vibrant. The color will make your eyes smile. If you too are trying to get more veggies into your life, it’s got you covered. It’s a little strange in theory, but a whole lot of delightful in your mouth. Get after it.

Crust

1 cup ginger snap crumbs

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup buttermilk powder

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 275 °. Combine crumbs, buttermilk powder, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add melted butter to bowl; toss to combine. Press crumb mixture evenly along bottom and sides of a 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom.

2. Bake crust at 275 ° for 14 to 16 minutes or until browned slightly, rotating pan halfway through cooking. Remove pan from oven; cool completely on a wire rack.

Filling

3/4 cup tawny port

2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided

1/2 pound red beets–peeled, trimmed, and cut into 1/2-inch-pieces

21/2 tablespoons warm water

1 (1/4-ounce) envelope unflavored gelatin

9 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

4 large egg yolks

11/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Heat port in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a simmer. Cook until reduced by about 1/2. Add 11/2 cups heavy cream and beets to pan; stirring. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover; cook 25 to 30 minutes or until beets are tender when tested with a fork.

2. Combine water and gelatin in a blender; let stand 3 minutes. Add beet mixture to blender; cover and process until smooth.

3. Combine sugar, salt, yolks, and remaining 1/2 cup cream in a medium saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Cook mixture over medium heat for 4 minutes, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula. Add beet mixture to pan; cook 4 to 5 minutes or until thickened slightly, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat; add butter and vanilla to pan, stirring with a whisk until butter melts.

4. Strain beet mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl; scrape filling into cooled crust. Refrigerate at least 6 hours.

Topping

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, chilled

3 tablespoons powdered sugar

2 teaspoons honey

1/2 teaspoon orange zest

1 ounce goat cheese

1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until light and fluffy. Spread evenly over chilled pie.



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