Since my last post, I’ve done a little research on varieties of seeds available during WWII, for the utmost historical accuracy. I anticipated this being a research hunt of epic proportions, leading to visiting museums and calling people on the phone, and analyzing photographs of gardens.
I haven’t had a garden since 2008, when I moved out of my first apartment. I had dug out a little section by the driveway, and filled it with tomatoes and sunflowers and marigolds and weeds. I haven’t had space since then, and routinely miss the deadlines for signing up for the community gardens in my neighborhood. Not this year, I vowed. I set a calendar alarm for the moment registration began at the Peterson Garden Project location near my apartment. All summer long I had walked by it with envy and longing. I got my slot. A 4×8 garden bed shall be mine!
Okay, so life got a little crazy over here at Retrofitting Vintage, and our final pie of Seven Pie Mountain wasn’t featured! (Why is life so crazy, you ask? Well, I’m a full-time freelance writer, and co-artistic director of a theatre company, so pie reporting can get pushed to the back burner, I’m afraid).
Our most mysterious pie was Quince Custard. Neither A nor I had much experience with quince, and we were perplexed by them. They smell delicious, but are hard as rocks, or at least potatoes. My quince experience is forever colored by the quince tree in my early childhood back yard, that had wicked looking thorns on it. Still, we decided we would learn “how to quince.”
We adapted the original eggy custard to a vegan version, using minute tapioca. The result was a delicate flavor and creamy texture. I liked it quite a bit, but I think everyone else settled on, “just okay.”
Here is the recipe:
1 pastry crust
2 large ripe quinces
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
2 T. melted margarine
3 T. minute tapioca
1 c. soy milk.
Dash of vanilla extract.
Peel and quarter quinces. Cook, covered in a small amount of water, until tender. Drain them. Stick in the food processor, or a food mill, and grind it up. This should yield about a cup of fruit mash. Add the sugar, lemon, spices, and margarine.
Heat almond milk. Add vanilla. Mix in tapioca, follow directions on the package to cook.
Mix milk and quince mixture. Pour into pie shell.
Bake at 400 degrees until custard sets. (Check at 30 minutes).