Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy…
But here’s my pie–follow me maybe?
I love food festivals for many many good reasons, the best of which are 1) food, 2) eating, and 3) more food. In close fourth comes the company: there’s something oddly liberating about connecting with new people through the miracle of face-stuffing, ith delicious globs of cream dribbling down the side of your face as you and the stranger standing next to you rave over the ah-MAY-zing pie you both just tried.
Do you love coffee too? you ask. Cream pies are the best, right? he responds. What about that coffee crunch though? Isn’t it amazing? Are you going to finish that slice?
A few weeks ago, my friend sent me info on a pie contest that a local radio station was going to host. Of course, I was 110% excited, because I love pies. Eating an entire cake sounds like a terrible idea, but there is nothing more comforting on an autumn evening than snuggling up in your loveseat, inviting an entire Costco-sized pumpkin pie onto your lap, and eating the whole thing right up after a long swim meet.
Topped with a general scoop of homemade Biscoff meringue ice cream, if you fancy like dat.
After tons of debating and wiffle-waffling and probably more anxiety than necessary, I finally decided to adapt one of my favorite dessert recipes and create this Deep-Dish Tiramisu Pie with Coffee Crunch Crumbles. I slapped in a vegan shortbread chocolate chip crust, whipped up some rummy tiramisu filling, layered it with store-bought ladyfingers, dusted the top with cocoa powder, then topped the whole shebang off with this tricky but mind-blowing coffee crunch crumble, which was inspired by this famous Blum’s Coffee Crunch Cake copycat recipe.
GOOD IDEA, ALA.
I won’t keep you in suspense: of the hundreds of entries, this pie did not win a blue ribbon.
It won me something even better, and that’s some new friends.
Now you know how much I love meeting strangers. I’m pretty reserved when it comes to most big-crowd friend situations–but throw me in a sea of strangers and suddenly I’m a total extrovert: I feed off of crowd energies like the Negaverse fed off the human population of Tokyo. (Anyone?) One of my friends recently told me at a party that he had no idea I didn’t drink; he simply assumed all our fabulous party conversations were drunk talks because I’m really sensitive to moods and catch the ‘happy drunk’ vibe pretty easily when I’m around other happy drunks.
I’m not sure whether to feel flattered or…well, flattered about that. But anyway. Pie.
Well over two hundred eager pie tasters came by my little booth on that scorching hot afternoon, and at least 30 used one of their two coveted sampling tickets to try my pie. Even folks who lamented that they’d rashly spent all their tickets wanted to learn about the pie and my blog, which I could talk about forever. I handed out business cards, showed folks my Etsy shop, served pie, made friends with some of the other pie contestants, and generally went into social hyperdrive.
My favorite part was when folks who tried my pie strolled away a few paces as they took their first bite, then watching them stop–turn around–and hurry back over with their eyes bright and their forks moving very quickly from plate to mouth.
One sampler actually ran back as the fair was closing up to find me and make sure I knew my pie was his favorite pie, like, ever. When I first met him, he was insanely excited: he had been scouring the whole fairground for a coffee-flavored cake and had given up hope when he stumbled across our hidden tent. We had an excited chat about the merits of all things coffee-flavored and parted with huge grins slapped on both our faces.
But here’s the real kicker.
He took my card and followed me on Twitter later that afternoon, which is how I found out, in the most unlikely way possible, that he’s not just connected to me by a degree of separation: he’s the kid brother of one of my former bosses!
If somebody would like to blast the Small World soundtrack on my behalf right now, I’d totally take it. We’re slated to get coffee in the area sometime soon.
The point is that you never know where every little decision and encounter might lead you. If I had decided I was too busy to enter a big pie contest, I might have missed the chance to talk with hundreds of fantastic folks who wanted to know all about food blogging. If I’d decided to indulge my first five ideas and stick with a fruit pie instead of adventuring with a tiramisu pie, I might never have met a new acquaintance with a surprising connection to my life. And of course, I would not have had this stunning pie to share with all of you!
If you love tiramisu, coffee, cream pies, pies in general, or being a happy human being, you’re going to love this tiramisu pie. It takes quite a few steps to make and assemble, but it is totally worth the wait and PERFECT for those big upcoming holiday dinners. Save this recipe, guys! If my experience is any indication, you never know what wonderful surprises this pie might send your way this holiday…