March 11, 2019

Pie and Coffee Pairings for the Office

There are very few things that can soothe the pain of an 8 AM meeting, but the promise of breakfast definitely makes everyone a little more cheerful. If you’re looking to take your next meeting up a notch, consider a fun food theme and definitely don’t skimp on the sweets! We decided to test out a selection of sweet and savory pies that would be a welcome addition to any meeting or office celebration. Obviously, we couldn’t forget the coffee so we paired each tasty treat with a coffee that helps it shine.

Rebecca WilliamsTo kick off this pie-a-palooza, we sat down with Rebecca Williams, Coffee Development Technologist here at Lavazza Professional. Rebecca is responsible for the quality of the coffee beans we roast, as well as developing the new coffee products you love.

She also just happens to be a trained pastry chef, with an Associate of Science in Baking and Pastry Arts from Johnson & Wales and a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Culinary Arts Management from the Culinary Institute of America. There really is no one better suited to lead us on this culinary adventure! But first we wanted to know a little more about a day in the life of a coffee development technologist.

Have you always been interested in the culinary arts?

For most of my life I’ve worked in the foodservice industry, most recently as the GM of a restaurant. When I was a kid, I thought I wanted to be an architect. I went to a technical high school, but it didn’t catch my interest. So at the ripe age of 14 I sat down and thought about what else I was passionate about. What better passion than food?

What’s your favorite thing about what you do?

There’s something special about taking a little, hard green bean and turning it into something people around the world enjoy (and rely on, let’s be honest) every day.

What is your favorite drink in our portfolio?

I am really digging La Colombe Monaco. I live a short walk from their flagship café and frequent it quite often. This full bodied, dark coffee is not my usual jam (I generally gravitate towards light roasts). To me, the chocolate and fruit combination reads as one of my favorite treats, a chocolate covered dried cherry.

Great Lavazza Professional Bake Off

Rebecca baked three pies for our breakfast celebration, and paired them with the perfect coffees to compliment the flavor of each bake:

 Apple Pie

Apple Pie: The classic choice, and for good reason. the buttery and spicy crumble shines when combined with the high acidity of the fruit filling. make it modern by pairing your apple pie with a latte brewed with your Flavia brewer. simply select Donut Shop Dark and a Real Milk Froth Feshpack to get started, and the brewer will do the rest!

 Pecan Pie Pecan Pie: Nutty, with a hint of bourbon to cut through the sweetness, this pecan pie is unbeatable. Try it with our new Starbucks Blonde Espresso, a smooth and sweet option that delivers the caffeine kick you expect from an authentic espresso.
 Quiche Quiche: We couldn’t let sweet have all the fun, and this caramelized onion, mushroom and goat cheese quiche is breakfast perfection. Try it with our Alterra Sumatra, which brings out the earthiness of the mushrooms.

Inspired? We’ve got you covered! Check out these helpful pie tips from Rebecca:

  1. Don’t overwork your dough! If you think it’s not quite kneaded enough, stop! Let it chill for an hour and the rest of the flour will rehydrate.
  2. For apple pies, slice the apples thinly and toss with sugar and lemon juice well before you put the pie together. Drain off any liquid that is drawn out by the sugar. This will help ensure you don’t end up with soup!
  3. For pecan pies, the thermometer is king. Once the middle of the filling reaches 200 Fahrenheit, you’re ready to take it out of the oven.
  4. When caramelizing onions, slice them thin and let them cook on medium heat for quite a while in order to develop a rich caramelized flavor.

Struggle getting the dough into the pie plate? Struggle no more with this easy hack:

Pie Crust 1   Roll out your dough to desired size
 Pie Crust 2  Fold dough in half
 Pie Crust 3  Fold in half again, to create a quarter-sized slice of dough
 Pie Crust 4  Lift the dough and place in your pie tin
 Pie Crust 5  Easily unfold and you're ready to start filling!

Tags: Workplace