Food and Drink

Make This Stunning Gelt Pie to Celebrate Thanksgivukkah

Raspberries and chocolate come together in this sufganiyot-inspired dessert.

Photo by Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin
Photo by Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin
Photo by Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin

There’s a reason why many weddings feature sky-high cakes and holiday houses are constructed with gingerbread cookies. Those pastries are pretty easy to build with. But pie crust? Not so much. Home baker Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin quickly learned why when she started to experiment with the art of pie construction in early 2016.”My friends in the industry told me you don’t see a lot of it because of how pies change so much in the oven,” Clark-Bojin explains. “When you carve out details, they puff up and get distorted. Because of the browning, things change color. Any time people would get fancy with pies, they wouldn’t turn out how they wanted.”She made it her mission to tinker and experiment, developing techniques to properly shape pie dough without sacrificing texture and flavor. Her hard work is showcased in Pies Are Awesome, a baking book that features 28 pie art designs centered around holidays and life occasions.Employing her background in fine arts, the Vancouver-based baker began researching early pie artisans from the Renaissance. Clark-Bojin sketched out designs in notebooks, which are now filled with “hundreds of pie sketches, more than I could bake in 10 lifetimes,” she says. Her first a-ha moment arrived when she made a pie shaped like the Predator.”That was a couple months into my pie-baking journey,” she remembers. “I realized that I could make pie dough behave like clay if I used egg white or something with a protein as a blending medium. Instead of 2D layers, I could get real depth.”Her creativity began to really take off and she started posting her designs on Instagram, first capturing the attention of family and friends, and soon a much wider audience. The Food Network and Today show came calling and she realized how connected people feel to pie.”I’ve spoken to people all over the world about pies,” she says. “Pie is kind of the great equalizer, one of the few things that is ubiquitously good. No matter where you live, people remember getting something baked with love.”Realizing how connected the dessert is with special occassions, she decided to organize her book by holidays, including pie construction tutorials for everything from Lunar New Year to Day of the Dead to Diwali. Plus, there are ideas for baby showers, birthdays, and, yes, weddings to go beyond the traditional three-tiered cake.Another way she went outside the box was to create a pie inspired by Hanukkah, which begins on November 28 this year. Her Gelt Pie takes the flavors of a traditional sufganiyot (a type of jelly doughnut) and combines it with images from the gelt chocolate gold coins used in dreidel games.

“Whenever I do something for Jewish culture, I call my cousin who lives down the street from me,” Clark-Bojin says. “She is my cultural consultant and let me know that raspberries are a pretty traditional ingredient.”Clark-Bojin uses an all-butter pie shell recipe and, once it’s baked, pours a thin layer of chocolate on the bottom and lets it set. For the filling, she reduces fresh raspberries with water and instant clear gel on the stove until it’s boiling and thickened to a jam-like consistency. Then she throws in another cup of raspberries and sets it aside to cool.

“Make sure the filling is completely cool, otherwise the dough will absorb the moisture and it will get all gummy and yucky,” she advises.The next step is to pour the cool raspberry mixture into the baked pie shell, dust with sanding sugar to give it a “bit of a sparkle.” Finally, Clark-Bojin’s signature is to top the entire thing with a dough medallion in the shape of a gelt coin and add gold foil topping as the pièce de résistance.

Though the final result certainly is a work of art, Clark-Bojin wants at-home bakers to feel reassured by her book. “I don’t want people to look at pie art and feel in any way intimidated,” she says. “I fail as much as I succeed. I want them to understand that the whole point is having fun and creating joy.”

Photo by Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin
Photo by Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin
Photo by Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin

Gelt Pie Recipe

Ingredients:

  • The Base Pie: The traditional sufganiyot has a raspberry filling, but as long as you choose something “red” and add a decorative crimp you’ll get the same effect.
  • The dough: Any dough will work for this pie design. This example uses an all-butter crust-as you can see it is a little puffy after baking, but the basic shape is retained
  • Red sanding sugar
  • Pasteurized egg white (or almond milk if making a vegan pie)
  • Vanilla extract
  • Brown gel food color

Directions:
1. Cut out your circle, interior shapes, and six strips of dough the length of the circle’s diameter. Use your ruler to cut the strips.
2. Coat your disk in pasteurized egg white and paste down the strips. If you are feeling fancy you can weave them together, or simply overlap them.
3. With a fondant sculpting tool or toothpick, mark little score lines around the perimeter of the pie to emulate the edge of a coin.
4. Score the lines for the decorative menorahs. Go around the circle, first scoring all of the center lines, then all of the bottom arms.
5. Now fill in the remaining arms.
6. Give the disk a vanilla wash, making sure the mixture seeps into all the cracks, then bake at 400°F for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Use a cake lifter to place the cooled disk onto your base pie, and finish it off with red sanding sugar.
7. If you are using a particularly puffy dough or a dough prone to spreading, freeze your disk decoration overnight before baking to help retain harper details.
8. If you have small Hanukkah-themed cookie cutters or stamps, you can use them to create the decorations around the circle instead of hand scoring the menorah design.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTwitterPinterestYouTubeTikTok, and Snapchat.

Jess Mayhugh is the editorial director of food & drink for Thrillist, whose Jewish grandfather certainly couldn’t bake but would have loved this pie. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Food and Drink

How Talking Terps Has Influenced Cannabis Hype Culture

The origins and optimism behind the cannabis brand that sells out drops within minutes. Canabis...

Photo courtesy of Buckle Your Brain
Photo courtesy of Buckle Your Brain
Photo courtesy of Buckle Your Brain

Many cannabis brands describe themselves as “lifestyle brands” and “cultural disruptors.” Few of them actually impact lifestyles or broader cultural trends. Only one of them has figurines up on Stock X right now.

“For OG Terp Crawford to be featured amongst Nike, Jordans, Supreme, BAPE, and PS5s is really sick,” says Hope Lord, co-founder of cannabis lifestyle brand Talking Terps. “Stock X is not taking everyone who makes a toy and putting it up there.”Between their psychedelic graphics, cannabis-adjacent accessories, and famous OG Terp Crawford figurine, Talking Terps has established a cult following amongst cannabis enthusiasts, hypebeasts, and beyond. On paper, it’s a lifestyle brand interested in both cannabis and psychedelics. In action, Talking Terps is an alternative universe that bridges the gaps between toy culture, cannabis culture, psychedelic culture, and American pop culture.

The brand was established as a concept in 2015 by Leor Feit aka Hope Lord, Flatbush Zombies member Antonio Lewis aka Zombie Juice, and Flatbush Zombies spiritual adviser Phil Annand aka PTA Haiti 3000. One year later, the phrase “talking terps” popped in a Flatbush Zombies song, referring to terpenes, a compound found in cannabis.

“We had a show at Red Rocks in Colorado,” Lord recalls. “I had a friend that was part of Blue River Terpenes who brought us the first sample of cannabis-derived terpenes. Then Juice and Erick made a song with it in the chorus.”

Talking Terps
Talking Terps
Talking Terps

Once Talking Terps emerged as a phrase, the graphics, accessories, apparel, events, and, of course, toys were soon to follow. By 2017, the phrase was spotted on one of Snoop Dogg’s t-shirts. In 2019, the concept of Terp Crawford was born, launching the brand towards the collectible toy game.

While the first Terp Crawford was technically a plush pillow, the first toy-named OG Terp Crawford-came in March 2020. The 6-inch tall vinyl sculpture of a humanized weed nug with a joint in his hand and a smile on his face is meant to embody everything Hope, Juice and PTA stand for.

“Our message is to love each other and be happy,” Lord says. “Tread lightly and disrupt nothing.”OG Terp Crawford drops sell out in actual seconds and resell on sites like Stock X for over double their retail price. More than a simple toy, he’s a figure that Talking Terps hopes will evolve into a full-on cartoon character.

“As time goes, the idea for Terp Crawford is for him to be a Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny type figure from our world that can cross over,” Lord says. “There should be no reason one day that Terp Crawford’s not throwing a football in some skit on Monday Night Football.”

That’s not just a high aspiration-the team is currently working with 3 Hearts Entertainment to develop a TV show around him. The goal is for Terp Crawford to go global and for Talking Terps to go meta. With their vast graphic library and club of TT enthusiasts, virtual collectibles like NFTs only make sense (though the team can’t let the terp out of the hat just yet).

“I can see Terp Crawford in Japan, speaking in Japanese on TV,” Lord muses. “Once we take him somewhere else, we could do big sculptures, like at KAWS level, maybe. I think we’ll get a TV show. I can’t speak too much on what we’re working on for the metaverse, but it’s got a lot of components. I can say that we’re building a whole new platform called the meta-forest.”

It’s safe to say there will be a sold-out waitlist to get into that forest.
Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTwitterPinterestYouTubeTikTok, and Snapchat!

Danté Jordan is a freelance writer, video producer, and media consultant specializing in cannabis culture and education. Follow him on Instagram.

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