Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How to: Vintage Sea Pie Bar


Springtime often means a flood of parties: engagement, baby showers, weddings and graduations. According to me: Every party needs dessert! And not just dessert, but dessert options. Cupcakes are a natural tendency nowadays. But if you are going to do an alternative or compliment to cake, why not really commit to something different? Ice cream sundae bar, cookie bar (personal favorite)...or even a pie bar?

The Spring 2014 issue of Twila online magazine is all about weddings. The main photo shoot included 3 wedding themes---Moroccan, B&W glamour, and vintage sea---complete with invites, table settings, and wedding dresses. For the first time, I participated in the photo shoot and I took on the challenge of creating a dessert display. Specifically: a vintage sea pie bar!



I take pictures of my food all the time, but it was a ridiculous experience for me to watch someone else take pictures of it! Of course, I took some of my own too because I was so excited at how it came together. As you can see below, I had a small area to work with and don't own a lot of food displays, accessories or decor. A quick trip to some thrift stores and my parents the night before, however, had me overwhelmed with materials and ideas.


A lot like setting up a cookie swap, levels and textures are important for the actual display. Blues and bleached neutrals were used with a few pops of silver and pearl; I also had to put my Charleston roses to good use. Johnna of Twila & Co. made the adorable dessert labels and bunting.



A great thing about selecting pies as the dessert theme was the ability to spread out to baking and preparation. Most pies taste better after they've had a day or two for the flavors to marry. Pies can also be frozen pre-baking (the Kitchn) for an even easier way to build your dessert buffet.

Pie making is by no means my speciality---I have a grand total of 2 on my blog from over the years. I've never been patient enough for perfectly crimping pie crust edges and latticing. I challenged myself to make the pie crusts for these, but took the easy way out by making pies that could be dressed up without the worry of top crust burning, sinking or distorting.

My final menu included:

Key lime pie
Chocolate pie
Bumbleberry hand pies
Banana cream pie shooters





The pies are far from perfect, but I love that about them! They are approachable recipes that anyone can bake and make look pretty. The final presentation of each pie were my favorite details: freshly whipped cream, chocolate garnishes, tiny heart toppers, candied lime slices... [Some instructions are included within my magazine article.]



The issue also includes the recipes for the fudgey chocolate pie and key lime pie that I hope you get to make yourself! The chocolate pie is a simple 4 steps for a rich and brownie-inspired slice. The key lime pie is equally easy and requires only a handful of ingredients (like 5!).


The photo shoot was so much fun. Sure it was a little intimidating, stressful and time-consuming, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat! When it comes to making desserts, you always know the reward will be sweet ;)




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