Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Babyfood Pie

Now that I've totally revolted you, let me explain.

Baby food, in my opinion, should be of the freshest, best sorts of food there are. I'm making mine these days since I have the luxury of time and my baby eats such simple foods. I buy organic produce and steam or roast it, or just mash it up raw. What could be better? I figure that since I have no desire to eat mush out of a jar, I probably shouldn't feed it to me baby. I'm sure it's better than I think it is, but why pass up the opportunity to get us all used to Mr Tumnus eating what we eat?

So this morning, I got out some sweet potato I had roasted last night and approached Tum with it. Granted, he had had some for dinner the night before. Ho hum. So I got out some banana and mashed it in there, too. He took his usual first judicious taste (he likes to understand what he's eating before taking bit bites) and then immediately opened his baby-bird mouth for more! Always a delightful sight.

I thought I'd try it myself. I tried the rice cereal that most babies start on and thought it was vile. So I switched him to whole-grain baby oatmeal that actually tasted like food - lesson learned. Do not feed baby anything you wouldn't eat. (Note: Yo Baby yogurt is delicious and very dangerous for a parent since it's full-fat milk!)

As you might guess, the combination of two were delicious! Because the potato had been roasted, it had a very dark flavor, strong but very sweet - more like molasses than table sugar. The banana had all the bright, tropical fragrance and melting sweetness you'd expect. Together, they were fabulous!

The baby ate two bowlsful and was full of energy and cheer thereafter. Success!

I got to thinking while he was playing, that this combo must surely be a popular one - and one that I should turn into a pie! I Googled recipes for it and saw some nice ones, but nothing like what I was thinking of.

When the fall rolls around, and I'm not distracted by berries and stone fruits currently begging to be en-pied, I'm going to:

1. start with a graham cracker crust.
2. roast several garnet sweet potatoes until they are as tender as possible.
3. once I've mashed the potatoes up, I'm going to start adding bananas one-half at a time. I don't want people to say, "Good Lord! BANANA!" I want them to get a complex mouthful of many kinds of sweet and smokey flavors.
4. once I have those proportions correct, I'll use brown sugar and a small amount of cane sugar for the added sweetener (which you need in a pie!)
5. vanilla, fresh nutmeg (my obsession), Vietnamese cinnamon.
6. I could debate adding: cloves or allspice. The first may be too strong and the latter too "dusty." Also, I could be wild and add cardamon if I wanted to really make an exotic and more tropical kind of pie.
7. thicken with eggs and cream - I'm going to avoid evaporated milk, which is too like pumpkin pie. I want a lighter filling, I think.

Should there be a topping? I tend not to do such, but who knows. I might feel like it. There could be an argument for drizzled bittersweet chocolate. Toasted nuts (pecans or hazelnuts could nice) or even pralines would add a traditional element of crunch. Of course I would serve it with fresh whipped cream.

So there is the project. I will post again when I get to it! Fall seems so far away as we get into the heights and delights of summer, but now I have a pie to look forward to - and something new for the Thanksgiving table!

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