Tuesday, February 28, 2012

needing a pie intervention.

I've always loved to make pies. When I was a little girl my great grandmother always had a pie on the counter. I remember her cream pies the most, with meringue piled a mile high. I watched her throw everything together, never measuring a thing. I can still see her hands on the rolling pin. She had big hands, her knuckles seemed especially large, but they moved that wooden pin like it was made of air. She was anything but delicate about it and yet they always came out stunning. I feel connected to her when I am rolling out my own dough. I think with every pie I make I am trying to make her proud. In my head I'm saying "Look at this one Nana! How'd I do?"

I've been in charge of the Thanksgiving pies for years, but in the last year I've been slowly developing this dream. It's a total Don Quixote dream, but it's fun to think about. I want to open a pie shop in New York City. I think about what I would name it...something after my Nana... Tom and I talk about what my signature pies would be...I think this part of the dream is what has made me become a pie junkie over the last few weeks - developing my signature pies. And plus, I just like making pie.

My obsession with Pinterest has only added to my pie frenzy. Not so much for the recipe's, 'cause I like to make up my own, but for creative pie crusts! I saw one where the top crust was nothing but leaves. It was gorgeous! I was going to make that, but the pie was headed for a super bowl party so Tom suggested the stars. Once all of the stars were placed I gave it an egg wash and Tom helped me sprinkle chunky sugar over it to give it a sparkle.
It was a pretty standard apple pie. I wanted to test how well that top crust would hold up over a fruit pie. I think I may have used honey instead of sugar in this one. It was yum!
This crust was another Pinterest find. It took me a minute to get the braiding down but once I did it was easy peasy!

And man, it is an impressive looking crust if I do say so myself. I've made it twice in the last month. First on this...
...Cafe au Lait pie! The idea came to me one night when Tom and I were talking about the pie shop, discussing all different kinds of pie, and I realized I had never had any kind of coffee pie. And that seemed ridiculous, so I headed straight for the kitchen! It's a tweak on a vanilla cream pie, heavy on the cream (vs. milk) and espresso powder. It turned out so well that I made a second one for my mom's bridge club.
I used the braided crust on this one too. A Spicy Mexican Chocolate Almond pie for my parents on Valentine's Day.
Then there is the savory pie! Oh how I loooooove a chicken pot pie!!!! I like making the crust for this pie a lot more rustic. We were so busy eating this deep dish yumminess that I totally forgot to take a picture of it after it came out of the oven.
I made this pie this past weekend for my dad's birthday. Cherry pie is his favorite and I had been wanting to try to make this hole-punched crust for awhile, but imagined it with blueberries for some reason. Now that I've topped a cherry pie with this beauty I've bid a happy farewell to the old standard lattice crust.
Now if I could just figure out what to do with all those left over dots...
Hot out of the oven and bubbling over, this has to be one of the prettiest pies I have ever made. So, what's next? Maybe I need to watch The Waitress again to get some inspiration? or go listen to some Patty Griffin...

"It's not far
I can walk
Down the block
To TableTalk
Close my eyes
Make the pies all day"