Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Just like a Fairy Tale: Pie of Day & Pie of Night

One of my favourite fairy tales as a kid was Peau D'Ane. Sure it was kind of a weird tale, but it's evening so let's sit down for a quick story time:

A king grieving his dead wife decides that he can only marry the most beautiful girl the kingdom, which he concludes is his own daughter. Trying to stall the wedding, the Princess demands all sorts of crazy gifts to try to dissuade her father, like a dress the colour of the moon, then a dress more brilliant than the sun. When he give those to her, and in a final act of desperation, she asks him for the skin of his magic donkey (who comes up with this stuff, seriously?) which poos gold, which she thought he would never do becomes that's how he gets his wealth. However, he does kill the donkey, but the Princess uses the skin as a cloak and flees the kingdom and potential incest by posing as a pig keeper's help.

While she's working as a pig keeper, a neighbouring kingdom's Prince espies her, sees her beauty despite her dirty pig-ness and falls in love with her. When the Prince is told she's just a pig keeper and they call her Peau D'Ane (translates as "Donkey Skin"), he becomes lovesick and his mother the Queen figures that only a galette made by Peau d'Ane can cure him. For some reason, unbeknownst to him, Peau d'Ane makes him this pie, and lets her ring fall into the dough. When he finds the ring in the pie, he must know how it belongs to and says he'll marry its owner. So à la Cinderella, all the girls of the kingdom come and try to claim the ring as theirs, but they don't fit. Until Donkey Skin shows up in her dirty garb and puts the ring on. Upon that, the Prince of course recognizes her as the girl he fell in love with, realizes she's a Princess and they all live happily ever after.

Why did I just share this story with you, especially now that I realize how weird it is? Well, because I always loved it as it has two of my favourite things: 1) baking involving Princesses (hello, scene where the fairies in the Sleeping Beauty Disney movie make her birthday cake!!) AND 2) pretty dresses involving Princesses (really, a dress made out of the sun and out of the moon, how much cooler does that get?).

When I went over to my friend K's place for a very belated pie-making date, we thought and thought about what to make and decided that we couldn't settle on just one pie, so we made two. When we were done playing in the kitchen and I put the pies side by side, the first thing I thought of was my favourite fairy tale. The contrast of colours and tastes, reminded me exactly of those two dresses from Peau d'Ane: the dress made from sun and the dress made out of moon... or in this case a cake made out of sun, and a cake made out of night. I present to you:
Raw Sun Pie
Almond, Apricot & Anise Crust
Fig & Apricot Spread Filling
Raw Night Pie
Bittersweet Cacao Nib and Almond Chocolate Shell
Cherry & Black Currant Filling

We even had our own fairy tale ending: Both of our Prince Charmings came over after work to eat our pies, and I guess the delicious charm of our recipes won them over. Just like finding a ring in a galette, these pies won them over and we all lived happily ever after.

(P.S. Yes.... this is the weird stuff I publish when I wait 'til 10pm at night to post.)


  1. We are princess and pie fans around here, too. I agree that some fairy tales are so crazy, especially if you are told the original versions. For example, did you know that the little mermaid actually kills herself in the end and that walking on land felt like walking on knives? I won't even tell you what I heard about Sleeping Beauty and Snow White.

    Anyway, the pies look amazing, especially since you used my favorite fruits (figs and cherries). Yum!

  2. Haha, I know!!! My grandmother actually gave my sister and I all these beautifully illustrated tomes of the classic fairy tales when we were little, so of course it was all the real version so I know all about the psycho! Bless Disney for being so happy and censoring... haha.

    The fig buy was definitely my favourite! They're so bready to begin with, it was like a giant bowl of pudding... yum!

  3. Disney definitely made these tales more kid-friendly. I was shocked by some of the originals.

    So jealous of your figs. They look amazing. Love 'em!