Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cake or pie?

I feel with a blog post entitled "Cake or Pie" I should have pictures of both desserts to have at least a visual feast for the eyes since about the only thing the Internet hasn't allowed is "smellability" or a "tasting feature." But I have no photos. Just thoughts.

Which is better- cake or pie?

I realize there's a fount of wonderful desserts I'm abandoning by only arguing for cake or pie. I'm omitting the much beloved cookie, eclair, ice creams, cobblers, brownies, tarts, and many more lush sweet pastry goodness. But sometimes, in a small town such as mine, what it all boils down to is cake or pie for that end of meal sacchariferous treat.

Is a brownie a cake? Really. Is it?

What is cheesecake? Is it a category all its own or is it a cake? It's not all floury and such, like a regular cake so is it cake or more like a pie? Key Lime Pie is of the same consistency as cheesecake but it has pie in its moniker. Both often have a crust, which is a feature of a pie. USUALLY cheesecake is round, which is also a pie feature, albeit a cake can be round, too. Hmmmm, is it a pie or a cake? ITSam thinks it's the Platypus of the bakery world. It's really not cake, he thinks; he feels it's a pie, but overall it really fits into no category at all. Not flour so not a cake, no fruit so not a pie.

I love round cakes. I never make a round cake- I don't know why since I have about every size and shape of cake pan known to man, woman or beast- but I do so love a round cake. And with all the cooking shows on the Food Network not to mention special cake shows (Ace of Cakes, Cake Boss) everyone and their sister now knows tricks to making a perfect round cake.

When it comes to cake, I'm sort of picky on flavor. I love lemon cake. I also am a fan of vanilla cake. Sometimes I like chocolate. We must also not neglect the yellow cake, or the delightful bunt cake! There's the celestial offering we like to munch known as the Angel Food Cake- which can be topped with fruit or icing, or just plain. I do like carrot cake BUT only on two conditions: no nuts and it must have sweet cream cheese frosting. Speaking of frosting, all the cakes must have frosting. I don't like chocolate frosting on my vanilla cakes- it throws off the look as well as the taste for me. I often stand in the cake mix aisle at the grocery store and look at all the flavors and I generally to default to one of the aforementioned choices. Though I should admit that of late, I've become quite the fan of red velvet cake, with sweet creme cheese icing. Oh Divine! Da-Voon! De-Lish!

I love jell-o cake. LOVE LOVE LOVE it! And do I even need to mention the yummy goodness that is wedding cake? And my mom's Texas chocolate sheet cake that gets iced with warm frosting? Since it's my cake world and my blog, I say that strawberry short cake is cake. But it must have strawberries atop said cake or otherwise, it's just a sweet biscuit, not cake at all.

But regardless of the flavor and look, it has to be moist. Dry cake? Pshaw! I hate dry cake.

I must say, however, that the birthday cake I remember most in life was one my Aunt Rita made for me. (Yes, I know she's not really an aunt but actually a more of a distant cousin but I always have thought of her as Aunt) I was just a little bit of a thing and she made the most extraordinary cake ever. It was a round, two layer cake. The flavor was cherry chip. The frosting was white and I can't remember now if it was vanilla, butter creme, or creme cheese. Then she poured a can of cherry pie filling over the whole thing. Finally, the pièce de résistance were 3 models of carousal horses. It was the most glorious looking and tasting cake ever. I wonder if she would do another one since I'm going to be 40? About 37-35 years later... is that long enough to wait? I think it was the best cake I've had in my life.

When I go to a restaurant I'm so visual that if a server brings a dessert cart/ tray and there's a decadent looking cake, I'm a complete sucker for it. I really and truly am.

But what about pie? I do love pie. Before I started scribing I thought there were more pie flavors that fit my picky dessert palate than cake, but now I'm not so sure. I love sugar cream (OMG- Wick's!!!!), peach, cherry, apple, chocolate, strawberry, rhubarb, lemon, peanut butter, and banana creme. I do NOT like meringue. Ever or at all. I love the fact that pie can be served with a full top crust or none. And don't even get me started on my love of criss-cross, scalloped top crusts that are so pretty.

I don't believe in pie a'la mode- usually. Take the following as an example. Yes, I swiped this from a film (When Harry Met Sally, one of the top 3 movies ever made!!!), but prior to the movie's debut, I had this conversation with waitresses on dinner dates long before it hit the silver screen:

Sally: I'd like...the apple pie a la mode.
Waitress: a la mode.
Sally: But I'd like the pie heated and I don't want the ice cream on top I want it on the side and I'd like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it if not then no ice cream just whipped cream but only if it's real if it's out of a can then nothing.
Waitress: Not even the pie?
Sally: No, just the pie, but then not heated.
Waitress: Uh huh.

What else could I say about pie?

I like pie. I like cake. I love pastry and in the end, I would choose some glorious European style pastry over cake or pie anytime, but for the the sake of argument, would I rather have cake or pie? Well...

Both, please.
Who said I could have my cake and eat pie, too?


Jimmie Earl said...

In the immortal words of some queen of England, "Let them eat cake!" I will take pie every time. (except in the case of your mom's chocolate Texas sheet cake). And I think Dutch Apple would be the winner in the pie category. Along with raspberry, and apricot. French Silk chocolate isn't bad, either.

Jimmie Earl said...

It was Marie Antoinette instead of the Queen of England, but who cares...Pie is where it's at!

Maggie said...

JE- How in the world did I forget apricot????!!!! Yummy!!!!

Curley said...

Coconut Creme Pie, when given the choice but the coconut has to be fresh. YUM! But if I had to chose between that and sugar creme pie, it would be a tough choice. Oh yeah, I'm not supposed to have either. Drat!

Jimmie Earl said...

Curley: Coconut Creme?? Coconut on or in anything adds a yucky taste as well as an extreme texture violation. Now, sugar creme, now you're talking my language. I will willingly eat any and all of your pieces of sugar creme pie any time. Let me know! LOL!