Today’s Matcha Pie recipe makes me think about second chances. Sometimes I feel like we’re given a fair amount of them in our lifetime.
In an ideal world, we’ll always notice when we’re being pushed into a second chance: We’ll recognize being there again in the same situation, and know that we’re being given another try to do things differently from the first time around. And if you’re smart, it becomes a matter of grabbing the opportunity and running with it, whether it’s about life-changing decisions or personal relationships.
And while that might not be the case all the time, I still believe that more often than not, the Universe, and God, gives us another go at something we thought had already passed us by. We just need to know when it happens.
Reflecting on my own life, I can’t claim that I manage to catch my very own second chances each time they present themselves. Lately there’s this one thing that’s been niggling at the back of my mind, and it’s been making me question whether I’m undergoing one of those second chance situations or if I’m just imagining things.
Of course, I’m speaking on broader and deeper terms here. If I talk specifics we’ll be here all day, so let’s just take a less serious route for this blog post and talk about how this Matcha Pie falls into this particular train of thought.
See I already made a version of this Matcha Pie once before, and despite tasting well enough, I thought my first try was a big fat fail. There were problems: First, my crust came out tough. Add to that the matcha taste wasn’t as evident. And lastly, I baked the pie in the wrong temperature, causing it to brown instead of stay green. Whoopsie.
How such a mundane thing as a pie can serve as a point of comparison to life is far-fetched, I know. But let me finish my story about second chances. See, I wasn’t really planning on making this again because I had run out of matcha powder as well, but right when I was about to scrap this recipe into my ‘done and never look back on’ pile, I got a message.
‘Can we mail our new Ceremonial Matcha Powder for you to try?’ asked Cebu-based Match King.
My attention was piqued. Okay, maybe my heart started to beat faster too. I’m a big fan of matcha, and reading the word ‘Ceremonial’ is candy to my eyes. See, ceremonial grade matcha is the highest grade there is. It’s made from the first harvest of the best organically grown tea leaves, and thus is the most expensive as well.
Because of its very high quality, Ceremonial-grade matcha is usually reserved for special occasions and is served with just hot water to make the flavour shine, but you can also use it for desserts that rely heavily on the matcha flavour like this Matcha Pie. Plus this felt like a special occasion because it was a tiny second chance victory for me!
This Ceremonial T-Type Matcha is made with Tencha Tea, and its smooth, lightly sweet, earthy flavour is something Matcha King is proud of. Aside from taste, you can usually tell the quality of organic matcha by its hue. The more vibrant the colour, the higher the quality it is. And this one indeed has a very vibrant green colour.
Of course, we’re talking about authentic organic matcha here, like the ones Matcha King sells. Sometimes non-organic matcha contains fertilizers that mislead you into thinking you’re getting good matcha because of its intense hue. Be careful and make sure you buy from a trusted source, like Matcha King. This bottle of Ceremonial Matcha costs Php 2,025 plus shipping for those outside Cebu, and I say it is worth every peso!
Before this even arrived at my doorstep I already made up my mind what to do with it. This time around, the second chance I was being given was so obvious it was practically poking me in the eye!
Even though pie making is something I feel I really suck at, I happily went into the kitchen to get my Matcha Pie making groove on. You can ask me to make you macarons and souffles and I’d probably nail them, but for some reason I’m just terrible with pies– pie CRUSTS, I should say more specifically. They always shrink on me no matter what I do, so no tips for you all until I get it right! I did follow some tips from another blogger and it has definitely improved my pie crust for this second try. 😉
I was certain there was going to be a big difference in flavour using Matcha King’s high-grade Ceremonial matcha versus when I used generic matcha powder the first time. I mean, my old matcha wasn’t so bad, but this was a whole new level altogether!
The matcha taste was more prominent against the lightly sweet egg custard base, and it smelled pretty amazing. Normally, you use culinary grade matcha for desserts, but like I said, when you need something stronger it’s okay to take a few tablespoons from your best stock! It’s totally worth it.
This Matcha Pie is adapted from the cookbook of the famous Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Shop in Brooklyn– a place that I wish I visited when I went to Brooklyn a few months ago. Luckily for me, not only did they release a cookbook (which I do not yet own), some of the recipes are on the interwebs, including this one for Matcha Pie!
I love the colour green and I love the taste of matcha, so it only made sense that I would scramble to make this when I came across the recipe. I shared a few slices with my best friend and just like me she was so in love with this pie!
Makes one 9-inch pie
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (150 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
- 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water, as needed
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons matcha powder
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 3 large eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 cups (470 milliliters) heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Whipped cream, for serving (optional)
- 1. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or two knives, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- 2. Add in water a tablespoon at a time. I only needed 3 Tablespoons before my dough came together, forming a ball. Gather onto a plastic wrap and flatten with the heel of your hand. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 4 hours, or overnight.
- 3. Once ready, roll out the chilled dough to fit a 9-inch pie plate. Gently press the dough against the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Place parchment paper on top and add pie weights (rice grains or beans will do), then chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes. This helps to control shrinkage of the crust somewhat as it bakes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- 4. Bake chilled pie crust for 20 minutes, then remove all the pie weights by lifting up the parchment. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork all over to prevent air bubbles from forming. Return crust to oven and bake another 15 to 20 minutes, until golden.
- 5. Turn down the oven to 325°F (165°C). In a large bowl , whisk together sugar, flour, salt, and matcha powder. Drizzle in the butter and stir into the mixture until well combined.
- 6. Beat in the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, until the mixture is completely smooth. Beat a couple of minutes more before stirring in the cream and vanilla. Strain mixture into your prepared pie shell. There will probably be enough left over for another mini pie.
- 7. Bake about 50 minutes, rotating the pie 180 degrees after about 35 minutes to help it bake more evenly. It should be set around the edges but still wobbly in the center. Allow to cool before serving, with vanilla ice cream or a bit of whipped cream, if you desire.
- Crust adapted from AllRecipes.com; Filling adapted from The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book