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This pie design and recipe was created in honor of Fannie Lou Hamer and Women’s History Month. In the spirit of sustainability, during a brutal fight for the civil right to vote, Hamer established the Freedom Farm Cooperative for Black farmers and the larger Black community in Mississippi. The lattice collards in the pie represent the green plains of Mississippi, and the sweet potatoes are a reminder of a familiar crop from their ancestors’ homeland, the yam or “nyami”.
Recipe by Tiffany-Anne Parkes @pi.naan.ee
Tiffany-Anne Parkes is the brain behind Pienanny. Her passion for food, creativity and culture fuels her practice of fusing African, Caribbean and European cuisine to reflect the global Black culinary experience. Tiffany is a culinary artist and self-trained pastry chef who utilizes pies and tarts as mediums for artistic expression and storytelling.
Watch Tiffany make this pie on IGTV!
Servings: 4-5 Time: 1.5 hours
Browning (a Caribbean Kitchen Staple)
Boil some water and set aside ½ cup.
Over high heat, using a thick bottomed pot, melt sugar granules. Stir occasionally, until bubbling action begins. Turn heat down to medium and continue boiling until sugar turns very dark brown (almost black). There will be a lot of smoke, so open windows and turn on the fan! Once sugar has gotten to dark brown stage, turn heat off and gradually pour boiling water into mix. It is very important not to pour all boiling water in at one time because you will cause an eruption. Once mixture takes on a syrupy consistency, sprinkle in sea salt, stir to combine, and set aside. You can store leftover browning in an airtight container in refrigerator until ready to use again.
Peel and halve onion, crush and peel garlic cloves, and throw all into blender/food processor along with Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and Browning.
Combine all dry ingredients in small bowl. Using a damp towel, clean any debris from mushrooms. Chop trumpets into rounds and slice up heads, then place in medium-sized bowl. Pour dry spices over mushrooms, evenly pour coconut oil over spices and mushrooms, and massage spices into mushrooms. Allow to sit 5 minutes; then pour wet blend over mushrooms. Tightly cover bowl and place in fridge 35 minutes.
Cut shallot into ⅛-inch rounds; cube sweet potatoes. Using half tablespoon coconut oil, sear shallots and sweet potatoes until edges turn golden brown. Remove from heat; set aside. Lightly sauté sweet peas; set aside. Add remaining coconut oil to pan and sear mushrooms 3 minutes on each side.
Pour remaining marinade into pan and cook on medium-low 3 minutes; then, mix in Muscovado and cook until sugar dissolves. Set aside.
Choose longest collard stems and wash with cold water. Using a chef’s knife, separate leaves from stems and vertically slice leaves into ½-inch strips. Place strips in bowl of apple cider vinegar; set aside 15-20 minutes.
Blind Bake @ 375º 25 mins.
(To blind bake a pie crust means to partially or completely bake the pie crust before filling it. When blind baking, the pie crust is lined with parchment paper and then filled with uncooked beans or rice, and then baked. This prevents the crust from puffing up while it bakes. After baking, the beans or rice are removed and the pie crust is filled. You can also buy special pie weights that work the same way as the beans.)
Fill blind-baked bottom crust with seared mushrooms. Then cover with the marinade, but don’t be too generous as you don’t want a soggy bottom. Place sweet peas, sweet potatoes and shallots on top.
Now for the collard green lattice! One-by-one, remove collard strips from bowl, shaking a bit of vinegar off as you pick them out, and place, side-by-side, on top of pie filling until whole inside is covered. Then, vertically place one strip across all horizontal strips, and fold the horizontal strips back over vertical strip, alternating between each. Do this until you have covered entire pie in lattice design. Brush with coconut oil.
Bake @ 400º 20 minutes and sprinkle with sea salt.