Peace Through Pie

Rustic Ginger, Almond Pear Pie

The generation who actually heard Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous speech, I Have a Dream, in 1963, were closer to the realities of slavery. They were the babies who bounced on their grandparents laps. Their grandparents were the babies of former slaves. Perhaps, after slavery, people should have been content with just living. Maybe the next generation should have been fine with living within a “separate but equal” culture of hate. I suppose my generation should be happy to pretend Affirmative Action isn’t needed, and the reality of living in at least the middle class is fading into a dream of the past. Luckily for us, each generation was never content as they continued to march for their rights over the foundation of their ancestor’s sacrifice. They were the brave who dared to dream.

In honor of my Great-Grandparents who crossed the Atlantic ocean towards an unknown land, those who worked the fields from sunrise to sunset, those who wandered the South looking for lost loved ones after the Emancipation Proclamation, those who took a chance to move away from what they knew to venture out west and own a ranch on acres of land, those who joined the military and returned to marching against segregation, the grandfathers who worked in Detroit’s car factories, and those who would become the first kids in the family to earn a college degree… to them, it would be easy for me to live in peace.

Rustic Ginger, Almond Pear Pie

If I should currently live in peace, it would be dishonest to the realities of today. Yes, my grandparents experienced worse situations than me, but they didn’t fight for me to stop dreaming the impossible. Racism still lives today. I owe it to them to continue their fight.

Before one must  fight, one should know their dreams for the future. I recently read an Metropolis magazine article in their January 2013 issue about modern dreamcatchers, or researchers, living in India working on a project, Dream:In. The researchers work for Idiom Design & Consulting, who train ‘dreamcatchers’ and sends them to almost every region in India to record people’s dreams. What was fascinating about the research, is anyone was asked about their dreams. It’s easy for a five year old to instantaneously know what they want. I wonder how long it took for someone of 35, 47 or 75 years old to reveal their dream?

My dreams are fewer and fewer as I become older. I live in the moment to survive and live in the past via my regrets. Dreaming is for the future, in which I can’t see. Imagination is for the kids.

Or, so I think.

When’s the last time you dared to dream?

I have a dream today that I dared to dream, again. Peace be to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. whose dreams are a common reality today. In 2013, we sit, laugh, cry, live and work together. That was one of many of his dreams. However, if we should continue to live naively in peace, it would be dishonest to the realities of the injustices today. Within Dr. King’s dream, we owe it to him to continue pushing his vision.

When Toni Tipton-Martin contributed a beautiful story to about one of her projects, Peace Through Pie, I thought it was a great idea of bring people together to openly discuss Dr. King’s visions. With pie being mostly round and made of various ingredients, it’s a unique symbol of inclusiveness. Taking a variation of her idea, I asked few fellow food bloggers to create a pie recipe in honor of Dr. King’s holiday. My contribution is Rustic Ginger Almond Pear Pie.

Rustic pie recipes of folding the dough around the filling is one of the fastest desserts made in while. A mandoline was used to thinly slice pears. Almonds were toasted. Crystallized ginger was finely chopped. The filling took less than ten minutes. The dough took less than 30 minutes. The result was a simple and delicious pie.

I wish talking about racism would be easy as making pie. It’s not. When people of various backgrounds honestly and openly talk about racism, the conversation is likely to start with a clash of ideas and thoughts. However, the more honest people are about their opinions, the better the solution. It’s a grieving process. It’s about letting go of hate or negative energy. It’s about learning new ideas. It’s about accepting positive energy. The result is sweet as pie.

Happy Dr. Martin Luther King’s Day. My great-grandparents dare you to dream so your great-grand kids can live in peace and eat pie.

Rustic Ginger, Almond Pear Pie

Rustic Ginger Almond Pear Pie

Adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything.


  • Flaky Pie Crust Dough (see recipe below)
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds; toasted
  • 2 to 3 pears; peeled, cored and thinly sliced (ideally sliced with a mandoline)
  • 2 tsp. minced crystallized ginger
  • 1 to 2 tsp. sugar; plus more for garnish
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter; melted
  • Garnish: Powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Layer a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Lightly toss pear slices, ginger, sugar and salt.
  3. Roll dough over the parchment paper. Place half the almond slices over the center of the dough. Using a slotted spoon, place pear mix over the center almonds. Place the other half of the almond slices over the pears. With lightly floured hands, gently bring edges of the dough over the pears and almonds. Pinch dough together if necessary. Do not completely cover the pear slices. Brush pie with butter, including the almonds and fruit on top peeking through the center. Lightly sprinkle pie with sugar.
  4. Bake in the oven from 20 to 35 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  5. Remove from the oven and garnish with powdered sugar.
  6. Serve immediately with ice cream or freshly made whipped cream.

Flaky Pie Crust Dough


  • 1-1/8 (5 oz.) unbleached flour; plus more for dusting surface
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 8 tbsp./1 stick/1/4 cup cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
  • 3 tbsp. of ice water; plus more if necessary


  1. Light toss flour, salt and sugar in a food processor. Add butter and process until the mixture resembles cornmeal; about 10 seconds.
  2. Place dough into a bowl. Sprinkle with water to make the dough. Using a spoon or your hands, gather dough into a ball. If mixture is too dry, add a tsp. more of water. If it’s wet, add a little more flour. Place dough and flatten into a thick disk. Wrap dough disc into a lightly flour coated plastic (the flour side should touch the dough). Chill in the freezer for 10 minutes or in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove and unwrap the dough. Using a floured rolling pin, gently roll dough from the center to the edges to at least .25” thick. Don’t worry about making the perfect circle shape.
  4. Loosely wrap dough around a lightly floured rolling pin.
  5. For the rustic pie, gently unwrap dough over the parchment paper that is placed on a baking sheet. Follow the directions for making the rest of the rustic pie above.

Rustic Ginger, Almond Pear Pie

Rustic Ginger, Almond Pear Pie

Want more pie recipes? Visit KarmaFree Cooking and GrandBaby Cakes’ Candied Yampanadas.

Visit Peace Through Pie to learn more and contribute your pie recipe.

3 thoughts on “Peace Through Pie

  • January 22, 2013 at 10:34 am

    I loved your entry. As a South African I realise how difficult each step of integration always is – if only pie could help!

  • January 22, 2013 at 1:22 am

    Thanks for sharing your story on this day–a day that will forever be etched in American history. Of course, talking about racism is usually never easy, but it is necessary. It can be a difficult conversation, but it is always important to remember where our country used to be, so that we can appreciate where we are and how far we still have to go.

  • January 21, 2013 at 11:06 am

    What a beautiful entry. Thank you for sharing. I posted on Facebook. Lettuce luv ‘n’ peas, Betsy

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