Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Choose Pie Heaven

“When you die, if you get a choice between going to regular heaven or pie heaven, choose pie heaven. It might be a trick, but if it's not, mmmmmmmm, boy.” Jack Handy

I'm not much of a baker. Or a cook in general. I eat all my meals at work, so any semblance of kitchen prowess I used to possess is loooong gone.

Plus, my real problem with baking is that I sometimes get a little too.....flexible. Like, soften the butter? Sure, I'll just melt it. Save some stirring time. Apparently decisions like this affect the outcome of the recipe? It's all a little tedious for my taste. EFFICIENCY IS ALL I ASK

A few years ago, I went through a brief pie-making phase. It appears to have made a return lately. What I like about pie is that it has built-in room for creativity. If I can create a caramelized filling from peach juice...I can do the same thing with strawberry juice, right? Or raspberries? Or all three? Pie is lovely because so many of the flavors are interchangeable. You learn a few basics (thicken with corn starch!) (universal crumble topping that works for all kinds of pies!) and suddenly you can make ALL THE PIES. It makes me feel competent and creative all at once.

Plus.......when you make pie, you get to eat pie. So that's a primary motivation right thurrr.

Pie is pure summer food to me.

I know it's often associated with Thanksgiving and Christmas, but for some reason I get the hankering to crank 'em out come warm summer temps, bare feet and open windows. That could be because I'm ultimately destined to live a simple life in a quiet farm town somewhere, in which case I'll be well equipped to be that old woman who puts pies out to cool on the windowsill. And then knits on the front porch. And decorates with random knick-knacks and quilts. ....Guys, these are already my hobbies. #80yearsyoung #cantwait

Anyway, here's a few photos of what's been coming out of my kitchen lately. The peach-raspberry pie is loosely based on this recipe, and the blueberry-raspberry-blackberry (snozzberry?) crumble pie is invented but uses the crumble recipe found here, and that nutella strawberry-raspberry concoction is entirely an original. (With a shout out to my baking buddy -- you know who you are and I can't take all the credit!)

Next I just need to get good at making crust, since the dough in these ones is all store bought. And admittedly, my most favorite part of pie making is creating a design for the top crust. OPTIONS FOR DAYSZ! I think I'd feel even more satisfied if I made those pretty braids/weaves/twists/cutouts/crimps from my own homemade dough, you know? Feel free to pass along your best crust recipes and advice. I'll be here.


Myke said...
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Myke said...

This is the crust recipe I use: http://www.saturdayeveningpost.com/2013/11/19/health-and-family/food-recipes/3-2-1-pie-dough.html The ingredients are listed by weight instead of volume, so you'll need a scale, which is a worthy purchase because weighing ingredients is more accurate and efficient than measuring by volume. If you've got a pizza stone, use that too -- the radiant heat helps seal the crust and make it more puffy and flaky.