Bluebeard the PIErate

Okay okay several weeks late but I love this guy too much not to share – the yearly pie donation for the Lamplighters gala fundraiser!

Mom gets credit for naming him Bluebeard, hahaa. He thinks he’s so cute.

He also sold for $70 this year, which is a new high! Very exciting.

I’m including process photos for those who like this sort of thing – I make these in stages, typically. Bottom crust first so it can chill in the fridge overnight, then the top crust that also chills overnight. Pie gets assembled and baked first thing the morning of the gala, usually around 6am so it can bake and cool fully before I have to transport it at 1p.

Per usual, this is made with wild blueberries. Not only are they sold in 3 pound bags at whole foods (extremely convenient), they are also smaller than normal bloobs so the top crust design sits flat; important with this level of detail. Obviously some of it sinks into the bloob soup but I feel that just adds to its charm. I also had a very nice lyft driver this year who took the turns and downhills with care, which I very much appreciate. Pie transport is no joke.

Et voila!

Let’s see what else is new….

I have been making the apple cake I posted previously on repeat! It’s SO GOOD and SO EASY. I’ve adapted it for a refined sugar free version with coconut sugar – am working on one that is all maple since that’s my preferred. Stay tuned!

grainy, 7a photo taken post-swim

Still swimming, though the it’s DARK when I get in and barely light when I get out. Makes for some beautiful sunrise swims though, and the bay is oddly peaceful when it’s dark out. No, it’s not all that creepy either, for those who are wondering. I can’t see my hand in front of my face in the water when it’s light out anyway so what’s the dif? Also is noticeably colder in the last two weeks and I found a not-small hole in my favorite sleeveless wetsuit (DANG IT) so maybe the universe is telling me it’s time to switch back to longsleeves… hmmm…

sunrise turret!

I guess I’m accidentally timing this post right for halloween! He fits right in.

We made haunted houses at work for happy hour to practice model-making skills because, architects. This is what architect playtime looks like… not a contest but if it was, we’d be winning muahhaha:

Happy Halloweekend!! I hope there is pie.

Downton Pie


Hey hey friends!

Short and sweet today – this isn’t so much a recipe as it is a brainchild that actually came to fruition, of which I’m SO pleased and proud. Many of you will have already seen this on my insta, but I’m sharing it here too for blog posterity.

I made a Downton Abbey Pie! I really wasn’t sure I could pull this off and have it translate in pie dough, but somehow it worked. As usual for these crazy, once-a-year pies, this one was my donation to be auctioned off for the benefit of Lamplighters Music Theater at their yearly gala – so many friends, such a fun day! It was Downton Abbey themed and I couldn’t resist.


For those of you interested in the specifics:

  • Total renderings for concept design: 2
  • Total time: 4 hours
  • Top crust design & construction: 2 hours
  • Bottom crust crimp & pie assembly: 1 hour
  • Bake time: ~shy of 1 hour
  • Essential tools: paring knife, bench scraper, rolling pin, hands, crappy pair of scissors
  • Amount of blueberries: somewhere close to 4 cups
  • Flour usage: just over 2.5 c of whole wheat pastry flour
  • Butter usage: just over half a pound
  • Refined sugar usage: none, of course!
  • Final bid: $65! YAAAY!
  • Amount of fun had and creative joy generated: defies description








There you have it!

Pie. The Dowager might think it was chintzy, but I’m happy with it ;)


Part of the SF Pie-Line


Good morning!

I made another pie for auction this weekend, for my favorite Lamplighters! It feels so good to be able to help out a group of people and an organization that I love so much – on account of both the fave human and my good friends!



I’ll keep this short today but I wanted to share pictures – I am SO proud of how this one came out, and I was definitely stressing the details.

Process pictures! Sorry for the crappy lighting – I was definitely more focused on making pie than I was taking good photos at that point.









I used my usual pie recipe, found here. I made a double batch of dough so I’d have enough, plus some leftover for any potential last minute patch jobs (thankfully wasn’t needed!)


Have a great week!


Pie in the sky(line)!


I’ve discovered in the last year that I really love making fancy pies! That’s probably fairly obvious to anyone who reads this on a semi-regular basis — I’m still dreaming of one day starting a pie/dessert business – we shall see!




This is a start at least – to benefit the Lamplighters at their annual Champagne Gala auction, I made pie! Excited to report that it went for $45 — not too shabby! Besides, it was such a joy to make and to help benefit a group I love — everyone is just winning all around :)


This one is an ode to my beloved Bay Area – despite all its issues (traffic and ridiculous cost of living, to name a couple), there is nowhere I would rather live. Besides, since the Lamps are based in SF, it was a fitting auction contribution.



The recipe is the same I’ve made before; namely the Death Star pie (here) – I find wild blueberries are optimal for decorative pies, since the small berries don’t create distortions in the top crust like chunkier things do (think blackberries, rhubarb, and apples). Plus, they look like night sky, AND they’re delicious – what’s not to like. This pie was refined sugar free and whole wheat.



I’m excited for so many top crust ideas – since I draw my own templates, the options are endless! Watch this space for further pie shenanigans ;)