I’ve tempted you with Adirondack Pie and illuminated the uncanny resemblance between Lady M’s Mille Crêpes and Adirondack Pie. Is Mille Crêpes cake the posh progeny of Adirondack Pie? Perhaps. Perhaps both harken even further back to a forbear from coastal Normandy or Brittany bypassed by history. What is certain is that Epiphany is the perfect holiday for Adirondack Pie.
Why Epiphany? Why Adirondack Pie?
Call it nostalgia for a stack of crêpes I ate once upon a time with a porcelain fève tucked between the buttery, maple sugary layers. I’m not certain when or where this memory was born, nor am I even 100% certain it really happened. The imagination is wondrous and wily…
And yet I can summon up the delicate sweetness of the crêpe cake, even the texture on my tongue and the cautious way I chewed in case I was the lucky one. My family did celebrate Epiphany when I was growing up, we used a thin silver trinket or a bean. I lived in Paris for four years in my early twenties, and I remember porcelain figurines in the Epiphany cakes, but I can not summon up a precise memory of having eating something akin to Lady M’s Mille Crêpes nor Adirondack Pie to celebrate Epiphany.
If you’re unfamiliar with the celebration of Epiphany (aka Three Kings’ Day) you’re missing out on an enjoyable tradition. Celebrated by Christians (and others who enjoy extending the holiday season) on January 6, the holiday commemorates the arrival of the Magi. In France, most bakeries do a swift trade in galette des Rois (or gâteau des Rois) which is a short, round pastry made up of frangipane spread layers of flaky pastry. The fève, usually a porcelain or plastic figurine/trinket is hidden inside, and the person who discovers it in their piece of the cake becomes king for a day. Bakeries include a paper crown with the Epiphany cakes, and families usually create special privileges for the winner.
Growing up far from France, my brother and sister and I created the paper crown and my mother baked a cake. The best privilege at our house for the lucky fève finder was a chore-free dinner. No dishwashing, etc.
So if neither Adirondack Pie nor Mille Crêpes are actually customary fare for Epiphany, then why am I so insistent that this dessert is the perfect match for Epiphany? Nostalgia. Somewhere in cobwebby attic of my mind there’s a recollection that invites the marriage of Adirondack Pie and Epiphany.
But that’s not all. Much as I’ve encouraged a rebirth of the once legendary Adirondack Mountain Creams, I am hoping for a new tradition of Adirondack Pies baked in our fair village by Lake Champlain. Imagine the enticing aromas of Adirondack Mountain Creams and Adirondack Pies wafting through Essex each December and January! What a delight it would be to walk down the road to a local bakery or confection shop to pick out a fresh, decadent Epiphany cake, complete with beautiful paper crown? And a small birch bark inspired satchel of maple sugar candies to enjoy on the walk home…