Sunday, October 18, 2015

Can there ever be too much pie in the world?

I think not, and Mr P would agree with me. Being a farm boy from a German background, he grew up on pie. It was the hearty go-to dessert for threshing crews and Sunday dinner (though farmers call it supper). 

I love pie. I love looking at it and I love eating it, and I love the look on my husband's face when he comes home from work and sees and smells my freshly baked pies. 

As a child, I loved watching my mom, aunts, and older sisters make pie. I dreamed of the day when I would make my own, but my first few attempts were disasterous (by "few" I mean approximately every pie I made during the first 20 years of married life). This profoundly affected my self-esteem and my conception of myself as a wife and homemaker. I was so traumatized by my lack of pie-making skills that I wrote about it in my Catholic Insight column (March 2004). 

Coming out of the closet of Pie Crust Ineptitude turned out to be one of the best things I ever did. For one thing, a lovely lady on the CI staff sent me a new pastry recipe that was truly, indestructibly, NO FAIL. (It was a "pat-in" recipe, and thus not a truly true roll-out pastry recipe, but it was a move in the right direction. It brought pie back into our lives, thus beginning my healing journey toward Pastry Proficiency). 

Now of course, I love making pie. Here are some pics from a recent effort (last September, when I was too busy doing other things to be able to blog).

You must start with a good recipe. I use Tenderflake lard, and only Tenderflake lard. I have not had good results with home-rendered lard from my childhood farm (sorry Ma and Pa), nor with Crisco All Vegetable Shortening.

Apple pie.

 "Bumbleberry" (three or more random fruits,
in this case, apple, blueberry, strawberry and peach)
Admittedly, it's prettier when it's unbaked. 
Darling little cut-outs courtesy of Mrs Beazly, and her #1 son,
 who gave them to me for Christmas one year. 

Something I still have not mastered: how to prevent your pies from boiling over and making a mess in the oven. I still put too much filling in my pies. Oh well, like sanctity, something to keep working on.

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