Another ‘Twin Peaks’ Puzzle: How to Make That Cherry Pie
NORTH BEND, Wash. — Finding an authentic recipe for “Twin Peaks” cherry pie is about as easy as figuring out who killed Laura Palmer.
They serve a version here at Twede’s Cafe, the restaurant about 30 miles east of Seattle that played backdrop as the Double R Diner in David Lynch’s quirky 1990s television series. Visitors still come from around the world to linger over slices of the bracingly sweet, viscous red double-crust pie and cups of the “damn fine” coffee at the U-shape counter.
A short drive away, there is another pie, heavily seasoned with cinnamon, at the Salish Lodge & Spa overlooking Snoqualmie Falls, the waterfall in the series’ opening credits.
“Twin Peaks,” which returns on Sunday after a 26-year hiatus, fetishized pie (as well as doughnuts and that coffee, “black as midnight on a moonless night”) to such an extent that almost any real-life slice is bound to fall short.
Mr. Lynch has not said whether the pie will be in the new show, but billboards with cherry pie appeared in March.
Dale Cooper, the F.B.I. special agent (played by Kyle MacLachlan) assigned to solve Ms. Palmer’s murder, ate his first slice of Double R pie in the second episode and promptly ordered two more. That pie was the handiwork of Garnet Mae Cross, an employee at the Mar-T Cafe, now Twede’s. When Ms. Cross died in 2002, her obituary noted the connection to the show’s cherry pie and the tourist clamor that sometimes required her to “bake 50 pies a day.”
After those early episodes, when production of the series moved to the San Fernando Valley in Southern California, the pies became more generic. Jeff Moore, the prop master for the show’s second season, chose standard sweet-cherry bakery pies, latticed and double-crusted, and always had both on set.
“There was a reason why the pie worked, and there was a reason doughnuts worked,” he said. “Those two things represented Twin Peaks, the normal American town.”
As for the original recipe, the owner of the Mar-T, Pat Cokewell, would not reveal it, though she said the pies used sweet cherries flavored with almond and a crust made with vegetable shortening. “Ours was very good,” she said. “I can just say that.”
Ms. Cokewell sold the restaurant in 1997 to Kyle Twede, who chose not to use the Mar-T recipe. Mr. Twede tested recipes on customers, he said, before settling on the current incarnation, which uses canned sweet-cherry filling and a secret-recipe crust made on site. “A regular pie crust has three ingredients,” he said. “My pie crust has seven.”
I found a pie that matches flavor expectations closer to home. At Butter & Scotch, a bar and bakery in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, the owners, Allison Kave and Keavy Landreth, serve a sour cherry pie with a mock buttermilk crust called the Cherry Pie That’ll Kill Ya for their occasional Twin Peaks Tuesdays. The filling, made with sour cherries and brown sugar, is almost a compote.
Tart cherries help bolster acidity. “It really brightens things up,” Ms. Kave said. The Twin Peaks menu, including the Laura Palmer Wrapped in Plastic, a vodka and blue Curaçao lemonade, will be served for the new season’s premiere.
But is it the perfect fantasy slice? It can be, with a few modifications. The following recipe is the composite sketch of a divinely good cherry pie.
It calls for milk curdled by vinegar for the mock buttermilk crust but takes liberties with the cherry filling, packing as many sour cherries as possible into a deep-dish pie and amplifying the fruit flavor with a generous splash of cherry liqueur.
It is cherry pie in HD. And it will keep for up to a week wrapped, like Ms. Palmer, in plastic.
Recipe: Twin Peaks Cherry Pie
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