We were tempted to build this edition of the INDY around Life of Pi, but we couldn't find a tiger. Or a boat. Or a shipwrecked kid.
However, we did find stories and recipes not only for historical favorites such as lemon meringue, but also for cultural imports such as bean, an African-Muslim tradition, and mincemeat, a, uh, gift from the British.
If you're going to make pies this holiday season, you'll need a pie-centric playlist. Download these rock songs and start your ovens. (Note that I omitted Don McLean's musical calamity "American Pie.")
Some of the greatest power chords ever played are on The Small Faces' psychedelic masterpiece "Song of a Baker," from 1968's Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake: "There's wheat in the field and water in the stream. And salt in the mine and an aching in me." (This song was also covered by the Screaming Trees on Invisible Lantern.)
Steve Marriott, lead singer of The Small Faces, went on to form Humble Pie, which, to my knowledge, sang no songs about pastries. However, the name alone qualifies them for this playlist, as does "30 Days in the Hole," with its references to Black Nepalese hashish (add it to Dutch apple pie) and a silver coke spoon (perfect for snorting all-purpose flour).
The opening track of Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti is the riff-heavy "Custard Pie," in which Robert Plant sings, "When you cut it mama, mama please save me a slice."
Lighten up with the Beatles' jaunty "Honey Pie" before moving on to the antithesis of the sweet girl next door, "Bitch" by the Rolling Stones. "I'm feeling hungry, can't see the reason," Mick Jagger sings, "just ate a horsemeat pie." Horsemeat? Not in the U.S. International orders only. French operators are standing by.
The classic R&B song "Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie," by Jay and the Techniques, sounds innocent, but in retrospect, the lyrics seem to have been written by a stalker: "Now that we've grown up it seems/ You just keep ignoring me/ I'll find you anywhere you go/ I'll follow you high and low."
Drive your friends and family away with "Cherry Pie," a misogynistic—and popular—song by hair band Warrant. In 1990, shortly after the song was released, I took my then 15-year-old sister to see Warrant in concert. Lead singer Jani Lane mooned the audience, forever linking in my mind his bare butt and cherry pie.
Play this song and the party's over, which leaves more pie for you.