Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Piedaho Serves Up Pies with a Twist
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Rebecca Bloom and her husband Dave Kurtz recently handled out samples of their pies at Hotel Ketchum.
 
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

Rebecca Bloom concocts a blackberry pie with a fresh thyme crust. A blueberry pie with a cinnamon lemon zest crust. A salted caramel apple pie with a salted caramel and cinnamon crust. A chai-spiced Apple tarte and peach cream pie with a cinnamon cream cheese crust. And her family’s traditional pumpkin pie with a spiced cinnamon and nutmeg crust.

She adds chocolate chunks to her chocolate strawberry pie. And she bakes jammy-like strawberrie pies with matcha tea crusts and vanilla bean crusts.

This out-of-the-pie-tin thinker is the woman behind the new Piedaho Bakery, which recently opened in the Wood River Valley.

 
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Rebecca Bloom is baking a plethora of strawberry pies with vanilla bean crusts for Mother’s Day.
 

Bloom’s foray in to the pie business started with a blog that she began writing with her mother Ruth Bloom a few years ago. They titled it “Square Meal Round Table,” an acknowledgment that a square meal is satisfying, nourishing and complete and that a round table includes all.

“My mother taught me the way food brings people together and that it’s not just all about the food but the time spent together as a result of food,” said Bloom, who worked on and off at Jiraffe, Campanile and other restaurants in her former life in Los Angeles. “You can sit down with anyone and have a piece of pie and conversation. Communicating over food is the most important thing.”

The blog was an excuse to hang out together and cook together but mother and daughter also started it with the idea they’d eventually publish the recipes they shared in the blog in a cookbook.

Then, Bloom and her husband Dave Kurtz decided to move with their 9- and 6-year-old sons to Sun Valley, a place where Rebecca’s parents Jake and Ruth Bloom have long had a second home.

 
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A happy couple enjoyed their Piedaho pie with Prosecco at Hotel Ketchum.
 

“We always thought, ‘One day we’ll make the move.’ Finally, we thought, ‘Why not just do it?!’ she said. “And, when we did, I decided to turn the food blog into something that made money.”

Bloom concocts the flavor profiles and bakes the pies. Her husband makes pie dough and delivers the pies.

 “What is a more classic American desert than apple pie? I’m just coming up with new profiles and artistic designs to elevate it into art,” said Bloom, who cuts out leaves and other shapes to adorn her pies.

Bloom works out of a commercial kitchen in Bellevue, shipping pies to customers all over the nation. She plans to sell her pies at Farmer’s Markets in Ketchum and Hailey this summer, as well.

 
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Rebecca Bloom likes to endow her pies and galettes with cutout leaves and other ornamentation.
 

“I studied at a culinary school in Paris and they taught us to season every step of way. A tasty filling added with a tasty crust just adds to adventure,” said Bloom, who studied to be a chef at the Ecole Ritz Escoffier after graduating from Brown University.

 

 

 

 
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Rebecca Bloom cuts into a juicy berry pie.
 

Experimentation is in Bloom’s DNA, fueled by her mother who “is fearsome in the kitchen.” This past Passover, for instance, she came up with a pie incorporating apple-walnut haroset eaten by Jews to remember the mortar Israelites used to make adobe bricks while enslaved in Egypt.

The pie featured a Matzo crust signifying the unleavened bread they ate when they had no time to let bread rise as God led them out of Egypt.

Bloom has already made the rounds of peach orchards in Hagerman and organic food markets in Caldwell shopping for ingredients since moving here in July. She can’t wait for the apricots, nectarines and cherries to go crazy. Ditto for rhubarb, which she will endow with a brown butter crust.

And she’s already dreaming of the Blue Ribbon Brown Sugar Peach Pies she’ll bake come summer using the recipe that won her a first-place ribbon at the 2018 Western Idaho Fair.

“Last summer I was gifted some sour cherries, and I came up with an absolutely delicious sour cherry pie with an oatmeal cookie vibe, thanks to the streusel and oats.”

Bloom recently concocted a Beet, Sweet Potato and Hazelnut Galette, experimenting with leftovers in her refrigerator. And she’d like to experiment with more savory vegetable pies, using mushrooms and zucchini, eggplant and feta cheese.

Last fall she found a way to use cranberries in a Cranberry Orange Streusel pie spiked with ginger and a rose wine poached pear tart in a thyme-flavored crust. She concocts what she says is a tasty peanut butter and chocolate pie with a pretzel crust, and she’s even found a way to infuse Texas pink grapefruit into cheesecake.

She also hopes to bake more cream pies boasting cream cheese bottoms, whipped cream and various fruit toppings inspired by Briermere, a small Long island farm stand with pies so “insanely delicious” that people will drive hours to get one.

“Nothing says love and affection better than a piece of homemade pie,” said Bloom.

REBECCA BLOOM’S MIXED FRUIT GALETTE

½ batch of your favorite pie dough or store bought, enough for 1 disc, jazzed up with whatever spices you like, from ginger and vanilla to cardamom, cinnamon or nutmeg

2-3 cups mixed fruit, cut into bit sized pieces (this has apricots, blueberries and strawberries)
1 lemon, juiced and zested
¼ c to 1/3 c sugar depending on the sweetness of your fruit
1/4 cup cornstarch
½ teaspoon ginger, nutmeg, or cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten
Sugar for sprinkling
 

Preheat oven to 375
 
Add cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla extract, lemon zest, sugar, and spice to a bowl. Mix then add the fruit. Carefully mix fruit, but mix well so juices begin being released. Mix until cornstarch is almost dissolved then set aside.
 
Roll out your dough on a well-floured surface.  Trim sides to get as close to a circle as you can then save the scraps. Move dough onto a parchment lined baking tray preferably without a lip.
 
Place fruit in middle of the dough and spread out, leaving about a two-inch rim around the sides. Brush with egg wash and start at twelve o’clock, folding the dough in. Work your way around the tart and use the egg wash to seal your folds. You will get about 6-8 folds resembling an octagon or hexagon.  You can stop here and brush with egg wash, then sprinkle with sugar. Or, reroll scraps and have some fun with cookie cutters, using the egg wash to help stick your shapes to the tart. When done decorating, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
 
Bake for 40-50 minutes until fruit is bubbling and dough is brown.  If it browns too quickly, cover with foil and keep baking.
 
*You can also freeze before baking and then bake when you choose. It will take about 20 more minutes.

For more information, visit www.piedaho.com.


 

 

 

 

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