A Food Lover's Guide to Valentine's Day + A Giveaway!

January 22, 2015

Today: How to say I love you, Food52-style

To help spread the love (and the pie), we're giving away two miniature pie plates stamped with hidden quotes. To win, just tell us in the comments -- by Thursday, January 29th at 5 PM -- what kind of pie you'd bake in them.

Update: Congratulations to sherrybakes for winning the set of plates! Happy baking!

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It's almost February, so it’s time to think about Valentine’s Day. If you’re fans of the holiday already, then we don’t need to win you over -- just start practicing your heart-shaped caramels and molten chocolate cakes

For those of you who feel skeptical about it all, let us try and convince you otherwise. First of all, consider that this is practically a mandatory day to eat chocolate. That is a blessing. It’s also good motivation to think carefully about what makes your favorite people happy, and gift accordingly. Warning: This will involve thinking outside the packaged drugstore candy box.

For example, we polled our office to ask what makes everyone weak in the knees -- the answers ranged from mochi to a cheese of the month membership to noodles to Nutella. And we also collectively would not say no to a nice bottle of bourbon. So we’ve searched for some ideas for romantically-themed gifts that range from classic to very unexpected. Here’s a cheat sheet to navigate the tricky world of romance:


If they like surprises: Make them a pair of miniature pies. These pie plates each have a hidden phrase stamped on the thick aluminum bottom ("cutie pie" and "sweetie pie"). If you’re anxious about tackling pie crust, make a simple graham cracker crust. Fill it with a mix of melted chocolate and coconut milk and top it with raspberries. Champagne would not be inappropriate here. 

More: Read up on essential pie tips.

If they like spice: Riff on the candy theme and wrap up a jar of orange chili sugar. As an added bonus, make a batch of margaritas and dip the rim of each glass in the sugar. Tequila is pretty reliable in the romance department.

More: True love is making someone tacos from scratch to go with margaritas.


If they like chocolateChocolate may be the obvious option, but it can still be a brilliant gift. Choose a bar that’s an expensive indulgence. Out of all of our taste tests this year, we liked the limited edition dark milk chocolate Fruition bars best or this 68% olive oil bar studded with sourdough bread

If they have everything: Instead of agonizing over buying an unusual present, make an edible version of a quintessential Valentine. Homemade Nutella is sophisticated and simple, you can make chocolate almond butter bon-bons without turning on your stove, and there's even a recipe to make your own chocolate donut holes

If you want a small gift: This small tin of Parisian hard candies meets all the classic Valentine’s Day requirements: pretty, pink, and full of sugar. Each piece looks like a tiny square of pastel ribbon, and they’re flavored with raspberry, apricot, lemon, and strawberry.


If they’re adventurous: Wrap up a black Perigord truffle nestled in a glass jar. If you’re feeling particularly generous, slip in a note with an I.O.U to make risotto with shaved truffles for dinner. If there is ever a time to be overly sentimental, this is it.

We're giving away a set of miniature pie plates to celebrate Valentine's Day! To enter, tell us in the comments below by Thursday, January 29th at 5PM: What would you fill those pie plates with? 

Pie photos by Posie Harwood; all other photos by James Ransom

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Stephanie
  • maggie
  • K.Haber
  • Rust
  • sabrinafair84
I like warm homemade bread slathered with fresh raw milk butter, ice cream in all seasons, the smell of garlic in olive oil, and sugar snap peas fresh off the vine.


Stephanie January 29, 2015
I have to make two - a tart lemon for me and a sweet, rich chocolate pie for my love.
maggie January 29, 2015
I would make a bourbon pecan pie, because that is my Valentine's favorite!
K.Haber January 29, 2015
I would make a breakfast pie! I'd use a warm, crumbly crust, sprinkled with chopped garlic and salt. I'd then add a bottom layer of chopped bacon, then a layer of grilled zucchini and diced cherry tomatoes, and then add blackened corn with some pepper to season. After that I'd whip up some eggs with salt and chopped onions and pour it over the top to bake. That's a yummy, Valentine's morning.
Rust January 28, 2015
chicken pot pies, my favorite!
sabrinafair84 January 28, 2015
Apple pie targets of course!
Hwey J. January 28, 2015
i would like to bake my favorite apple pie.
Ruby January 28, 2015
A cheddar-apple or pear-gruyere pie. Maybe even tart apple-gouda pie if I'm feeling particularly clever.
Rose A. January 28, 2015
These are adorable!
My boyfriend and I were recently in Montreal for a weekend holiday and (of course) we went to a crȇpe cafe for breakfast. We are in line ordering and he points at the 6lb Nutella jar in the window and said "If you really love me, that's what you'll get me for my birthday." I am getting it for him for Valentines Day so if I got these pie plates we would make Nutella and Banana dessert pies together. Yum!
Laura January 28, 2015
I would make seafood pot pies for Valentines Day Dinner!
Chelsea January 28, 2015
A beer and beef pie, man food that he will love.
Sarah B. January 28, 2015
My sweetie loves key lime!
Two T. January 27, 2015
mini fresh blueberry pies via Rose Levy B. Love that recipe. With a rye crust.
Erin O. January 27, 2015
i have fresh meyer lemons that would be great as a tart! i also froze boysenberries over the summer for those winter days when i want a taste of sunshine. they would make an excellent pie.
Melinda January 27, 2015
I've got some black raspberries that need a home!!
Maxxwellong January 27, 2015
A honey yogurt and blackberry tart with a ginger-graham cracker crust...
Coriander January 27, 2015
I'd make tarte aux fraise (it's my beloved's favourite), maybe with a few chocolate dipped strawberries as a garnish.
Joan H. January 27, 2015
A Meyer lemon curd tart! (After someone teaches me, of course)
Laura January 27, 2015
i would make home made truffles!
E I. January 27, 2015
Chocolate chess pie
Caitlin M. January 27, 2015
Chocolate chess pie in one and blueberry lemon in the other!