This double-crust favorite is a rustic take on the dessert that has graced American dinner tables since pioneer days. My version combines sorghum and millet flours in a crust "shortened" with butter and coconut oil, then hydrated with a blend of water, vinegar and honey. Apple choice is critical; Northern Spy or Lodi are the best choices for single-source fruits, but a blend of tart, sweet and spicy work well too. This recipe can be halved for a 6-inch pie.
Yield: One 9-inch circular double-crust pie.
Of all the surprises I get when talking about 9 Grains, millet tops the list. I think of millet and its flour as a “stranger”; a food that’s familiar to very few. And yet most audience members express an awareness, if not downright familiarity, with this pretty and somewhat tricky food.
Perhaps this is because, as my mother pointed out when I went on a gluten-free diet in 2002, I was now forced to consume “bird food.” Bird seed mixes are loaded with millet, and our avian friends seem to love the grain. With (# of millions) of pounds of birdseed sold annually in the USA, it’s thus no surprise that so many know about millet.
Or maybe millet is known because of its long history. Centuries before corn entered the European diet my ancestors were enjoying millet. Centuries before then, people in millet’s origin region, what’s now China and Manchuria (check this), were cultivating and cooking with it. In our multi-cultural world it’s no difficult task to find a restaurant with millet on the menu or a store with bags of it on the shelves. One can, with a bit of searching, find the grain, the flour, puffed millet, millet cereal, even unusual varieties, such as Finger Millet. Or is it just me, finding millet everywhere because of relentless shopping and unstoppable curiosity?