Brer Rabbit was feeling huffy. Not only had he not yet featured in a single flash fiction, but his wasn’t even the first rabbit story in the chronicles. He found this state of affairs quite unacceptable, and complained to the registrar of official story tale records, who took it up with the keeper of the fictions, who told the registrar that Brer Rabbit’s turn was on its way and she had merely been saving one of her favorite literary characters for an appropriate recipe vehicle – which turned out to be this one, as luck and two bags of carrots would have it.
So where had Brer Rabbit been keeping himself all these days? Well, as a matter of fact he’d taken up residence in a particularly choice spot of briar patches down in central east Florida, by a little town called ‘Orlando.’ There he’d found work at a human park, as had some of his family members, and even Brer Bear and Brer Fox, who’d put aside their differences to come work on the same installation as Brer Rabbit. But to be honest, he wasn’t happy down in Florida – it was too humid, and the people at the park didn’t seem to understand him – they were always laughing and pointing at him and sometimes screaming in ridiculous ways, like cartoon characters in their own right. He missed the quiet of the woods and the true briar patches of the north, where a rabbit could run for ages and be safe from hawks and loud, clomping humans.
So one day, Brer Rabbit picked up his walking stick, attached a bag with a few belongings and some spare carrots some nicer kids had given him, and set off for New England. It was a long journey, different from the time he’d come down. No one would stop, these days, for a journeying rabbit with a walking stick, not like they would in the ’80s. And the biggest threat was no longer hawks or coyotes but people and their terribly driven vehicles, which somehow extended to noisy scooters on the sidewalk.
By the time he reached Connecticut, he was weary and beginning to regret having left the comforts of his Florida briar patch. But the air had turned crisp, and the roads slowed down (literally, I-95 was one big jam full of every bad driver in existence). He found a nice parkway shaded by trees, which resembled the oaks and maples of his youth, and his first northern briar patch – a sad, shriveled thing compared to the deep forest patches, but it smelled fruity and earthen like he remembered. With new verve Brer Rabbit continued north, padding along on his sore paws. He spent some time by the coast, watching lobstermen pull up traps and letting the northern sea spray the dust off his face. For the past couple days he’d caught the scent of something in the air – something delicious and reminiscent of his youth, that mixed with the sea salt and fish odor but was far homier. He followed the scent into the woods, up into the mountains, until he found a little wood cabin. There a young girl laid out a pie, and a cup of fresh cream.
“Hello Brer Rabbit. You must be tired, having traveled all this way.”
“I’ll say,” said Brer Rabbit.
“Well, I’m so glad you made the trip. And I’m sorry I couldn’t tempt you away with anything sooner.” She set the pie before him and Brer Rabbit’s eyes lit up. He took a bite of the pie and was transported to the briar patch of his youth, and memories of his own parents, feeding him their favorite gentle mash, which nothing had rivaled..until now.
“Stick around,” said the girl, smiling. “We can do great things together.”
In his blissed out, pie-d up state, Brer Rabbit could only but agree.
- Carrot filling
- 2 pounds orange carrots (other colors could be fun)
- 1 cup coconut milk (solid part of can)
- 1 tb ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsps nutmeg or mace for AIP
- 2 tsps ground ginger
- 1 tb grassfed butter (P), ghee (AIP re-intro) or
- coconut oil (V)
- 2 eggs (paleo), 2 tb grassfed gelatin (AIP) or agar agar (V)
- 3-5 stevia drops (optional) or 2 tb maple syrup (optional)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- mint sprigs (optional), whipped coconut cream or heavy coconut cream (creme anglaise-style) for serving
- Clean, rough chop, and boil all of the carrots in a pot on the stove (can add some water, ~1 cup) until carrots are very soft and water is mostly boiled off (you can add more if the carrots don't seem done/soft).
- While carrots are boiling, make the crust: mix flours and salt, and then cut in cold lard with a pastry cutter. Add water a tablespoon at a time until the mixture adheres and can be shaped into a ball. Flatten into a disc, cover in wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- When carrots are cooked, blend with a stick blender. Add all other filling ingredients and keep blending (if using eggs, wait until carrot mixture has cooled some before blending those in) until super smooth. Check flavor and adjust seasoning/sweetness as desired.
- Roll out dough and lay in 8-inch pie plate (9-inch probably also okay). Cut off any extra and reserve to make essential carrot crust cut-out decorations. Flute edges.
- If using egg version: pour filling into pie crust, smooth out if needed. Bake at 375 for ~40-45 minutes, or until top has darkened.
- If using gelatin/agar-agar: pre-bake the pie crust at 375 until crust has darkened/hardened. Remove from oven and pour in pie filling, then set in fridge to solidify.
- Decorate as desired (rabbits, mint carrot tops, and anything to do with Bugs Bunny highly encouraged).
This post has been shared on Phoenix Helix’s Paleo-AIP roundtable.