No More Desserts in JarsSeptember 8, 2011
This past summer a trend seemed to pop up overnight: Serving pie and other desserts in jelly jars. Recipes and photos were all over the Internet. Restaurants put versions on their dessert menus—key lime and chocolate cream pies with Graham cracker crusts and fruit pies with and without bottom crusts. I found it silly and shrugged it off as another passing fad.
As someone who strives to make great tasting desserts on a daily basis, what bothers me is part logistics and part pleasure. Ground cookie-style pie crusts work fine but all the ones I’ve tasted that featured a traditional pie crust were under-baked and soggy. Glass jars serve one person and in a small container the fruit cooks faster than the crust can brown. If you get the crust brown the filling will be overcooked.
Also when you dig in all you get is filling, and you have to go to the edge to get the crust. I know some may think I’m no fun and being picky. Yes, they might be a cute hostess present, but when I am making desserts cute is not what I strive for.
I was willing to let pies in a jar go unmentioned, but I recently saw cupcakes in a jar. This is just plain dumb. The one I sampled had the cake part with a paper liner in the bottom of a one pint jar and frosting piped on top. To fill the jar required about 2 1/2 inches of frosting. The frosting stuck to the sides of the jar making it practically impossible to eat the cupcake; you had to dig through all the frosting to get to the cake. Then you have to avoid mistakenly eating the paper liner. I have seen them without paper liners, a definite improvement, but the proportions of frosting to cake are still off and they still require a spoon. This negates one of the best things about eating a cupcake— using your fingers.
So please no ice cream sandwiches, napoleons, muffins, or Rice Krispies Treats in jars