Friday, May 31, 2013

The Book Cookbook: Attachments and French Silk Pie

So this is hardly revelatory (have you seen my instagram?), but I like baking. Also not revelatory, I like to read. I know, I'm blowing your minds here right? What you may not know is that I enjoy mixing the two together (just like a cake, BOOM). I haven't yet mastered how to read while baking (aside from the obvious audiobook, but that's clearly cheating) but I do like to bake what I've read. Or more specifically, the tasty delightful treats that are mentioned as being the favourite dessert of my favourite character, or the main snack when the gang hangs at a late night diner. I guess it's part love of baking, part wanting to be a part of the awesome world I just read about, part not wanting to let the story end just yet. It was after hunting the internet for a recipe for French silk pie after my marathon read of Attachments that this new segment popped into my mind. I mean, duh, of course I should write about my two loves colliding. How did I not think of this earlier? So here it is, the inaugural post to my new semi-regular segment;

Up first is the book which kicked this whole thing into motion. It's the kick-assiest, most amazing book I've read this year and it started a whole rather ridiculous obsession with all things Rainbow Rowell that I am currently struggling through. In it Lincoln, a tech security officer, falls in love with a woman through the emails she writes to a friend which keep getting snagged by the security system he monitors. It is the most wonderful of romantic comedies, a little unrealistic (as all the best rom-coms are) but also completely down to earth and unbelievably heart-warming and mouth-smiley. Lincoln is a little sad but lovely all the same and the two ladies, Jennifer and Beth are smashing, although they make me very sad that I don't have similar email conversations with girls at work. Why don't I work somewhere that involves emails? Or quippy ladies? WHY DIDN'T THE GUIDENCE COUNCILLOR COVER THESE THINGS? CURSES!

"Lincoln ate two pieces of French silk pie and listened, "if you really wanted to be with another girl," he said finally, mulling a third piece, "you would be. You wouldn't be here with me, talking about Dena." (page 98)
Food plays a pretty prominent role in this book since Lincoln's mum, who he still lives with, is constantly baking and boiling and roasting and steaming the most drool-inducing foods for him, which he then shares with the delightful Doris. As tasty as her food sounded, it was the French silk pie which had my mouth watering. Which is quite a feat considering I don't usually like pie that much and I'd never even heard of French silk before.

I think it was less the pie and more the events surrounding the pie that piqued my interest so greatly. Not only is he eating tasty desserts, but Lincoln is spending late nights in a diner talking to friends about music and relationships. And isn't that what we all want in the end? Desserts, friends, and endless cups of coffee? I defy you to offer a more perfect recipe for happiness.
 "Lincoln had seen Beth's boyfriend half a dozen times now. Justin had really taken to Scajawea after that first show. Now he called Lincoln whenever the band was playing. Dena, Justin's girlfriend, would come, too. They usually ended up at the Village Inn afterward. They'd all order pie and listen to Justin dissect the night's show." (p114)
I adapted my recipe from this one here, although I added a touch more chocolate and chose to use premade shortcrust pastry tart shells rather than make my own. Pastry is ridiculous here in the tropics, and I wanted to make sure I actually liked the pie before spending hours with fiddly sticky dough, but I've used this recipe before, so if you want to do things right (and homemade is always best) this is a good place to start.

So bake a pie, get hold of Attachments and get ready to be swept off your feet. And if you want to get swept of your feet for reals, I hear writing hilarious emails on the office intranet and hanging out at diners works wonders. Happy book cooking!



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