I once wrote a 40+ page paper about pie…which means that THIS WEEK IS MY SUPER BOWL.
I don’t even make that many pies for Thanksgiving, usually just pumpkin straight from the recipe on the side of the Libby’s can. But it’s not just about the pie that I’m making. It’s about how for one week the whole country, from sea to shining sea, finally celebrates one of the most culturally powerful, historical, and goddamn greatest dishes on earth.
I could talk for hours about pie. About how it developed in the Middle Ages as a way of transporting meat and veggies in a basically inedible crust, and it wasn’t until Arabic pastry influences made their way through Europe that people actually started to pay attention to, you know, the actual crust. Or how women used pie to achieve fiscal independence in eras when they weren’t allowed to work outside the home. How Bethune Cookman college, an HBCU, was initially funded by its founder, Mary McLeod Bethune, selling sweet potato pies. How housewives across America made apple pie out of crackers during the Great Depression when ingredients were scarce. Or how the Nation of Islam became famous for their navy bean pie, because Elijah Muhammad thought using beans made pie healthier and more pure.
It’s so freaking cool you guys!!!!
And you know what makes me sad? This whole narrative shaming pie and all of the articles floating around about how to stick to your diet on Thanksgiving, or avoid overindulging, or the best foods to eat at the Thanksgiving table to avoid gaining weight. I mean, it’s one day. Just eat the freaking pie. And the turkey and the stuffing and everything else.
But mainly the pie.
All of that, and I don’t have a pie recipe for you. Instead, there’s cookies! To prepare you for the season after Thanksgiving, I guess. Mainly I just wanted to wax poetic about pie. But also…cookies!
These are simple and straightforward and rather wholesome, all things Christmas-cookie-related considered. The oat flour adds a nice nuttiness, while the jam is an excellent addition. They’re crunchy and not achingly sweet and while you can’t cover them in frosting and festive sprinkles (I mean, I guess you can), that’s not exactly a bad thing. I like them in the morning with coffee, because they’re rather similar to the ubiquitous breakfast cookies that always float around without looking or tasting like granola mashed into cookie form. Plus you get to whip egg whites into a meringue, which is basically enough to get me to make any cookie.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all!
Sidenote: THIS (!!) is on repeat until December 26th thankyouverymuch
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Jam and Oat Meringue Cookies
Makes about 20 cookies
2 cups oats (or 1 1/2 cups oat flour)
2 egg whites
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup jam of choice
Preheat oven to 400F. In a food processor, grind oats until they form a fine flour. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites and salt on medium speed in a stand mixer until opaque. Increase the speed to medium high and gradually add the sugar. Beat until soft peaks form. Gently fold in 1 1/2 cups of the ground oats (you may have some left over) just until completely combined.
Spoon the batter by rounded spoonfuls onto a lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. As soon as you remove them from the oven, use the bottom of a wooden spoon to press an indent into the top of the cookies (be gentle–they might crack). Meanwhile, gently heat the jam of choice on the stovetop and let it bubble for about 30 seconds. Spoon into the indent in each cookie, then let cool and set.