For the Love of Pie

Angela Li, M2, Class of 2023

Food has always been a part of my social life: going out to eat at restaurants or grabbing drinks at a cocktail bar were activities that I enjoyed with my friends and they were ways to connect with people and catch up with those that I haven’t seen for a while. When we first went into quarantine, all of a sudden, I lost a big portion of my social life, and it was truly quite isolating in the first couple months.

Lemon tart with almond meal crust, candied lemon and grapefruit, and meringue

While I missed socializing and seeing my friends, I also really missed trying new foods and new restaurants. So to combat that feeling, I felt that if I couldn’t go to a restaurant, I could bring the restaurant to me–and I could do so by cooking and baking. I’ve always enjoyed cooking casually and I had enjoyed baking for friends in the past, but now I finally had the time to explore some new and more complicated recipes. It became a fun project to make something and then find a way to plate it and make that into a work of art–after all, we eat with our eyes first.

Hand-made butternut squash ravioli with hazelnut and sage

Because quarantine first began in March, I got inspiration for the plating and setting by simply looking outside and seeing all the beautiful flora surrounding us. There were many gorgeous spring flowers, and I loved going out on walks and coming back with a branch of flowers or a sprig of leaves–all locally and ethically sourced of course.

Crepes suzette and homemade coffee jelly with whipped cream

One of my favorite things that I made were homemade pop tarts. They were basically little hand pies: raspberry jam sandwiched in flaky pie crust, covered with royal icing and sprinkles. The pop tarts were so much fun to make and they turned out so cute that I had to share with friends, because being able to share my creations is one of the greatest joys of cooking.

Homemade pop tarts with raspberry jam filling

For more food and other miscellaneous creations, follow me on instagram @angela.lxh

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