Thursday, August 20, 2009
The other night we had a little (sort of) get together with a few friends, mainly to celebrate (or lament?) the end of the biking season, though we've still got Lotoja to go.
I loved the evening because it was nice to hang out and relax with all of our friends we've made through Mark's hobbies, and it was great to serve pie. Don't get me wrong. I love eating pie, too, but – if I had to choose – I would pick making and serving pie over eating it any day.
We had a really difficult time limiting the number of people we invited, which is always a real issue for us, since we would prefer to have an open invitation and let everyone show up, but we don't have that kind of space. Instead, we chose a very crowded amount we thought we could manage and most of them were able to come, fortunately.
That meant we needed a lot of pies. A couple of friends brought cookies (which were really, really delicious). Holly volunteered to make two peach pies and Gina lent me two pie dishes. It was also my brother-in-law's birthday, and he requested pecan pie. I can't make a lot of pie without making chocolate cream, so I made 2 of those, 2 pecan, 3 blueberry, and 1 peach, bringing us to 10 pies with Holly's contribution. But then I had one more pie dish sitting in my cupboard and two boxes of peaches waiting to be frozen and canned, calling out to me. I gave in and threw another peach pie in the oven last minute. As busy as I was, I loved making the pies. It may be my favorite thing to make. I could make them forever.
Even better than making pies, though, was hanging back and watching everyone chat and eat, knowing they were happy to be here. I really like all the friends we've made here, and it was comforting to me to surround myself with them, since moving to a new place can potentially make you feel like you're a fish out of water for a long time. It's terribly selfish of me, really, but I feel really happy serving good food, knowing someone gets to enjoy a taste of something they'll like. I didn't even care if I ate pie that evening, which is crazy, since it was really good. Know what I mean?
I made blueberry pie for the first time ever just a few weeks ago. Not only was I surprised at how well I liked the flavor of the baked blueberries, I couldn't believe how simple it is to make. No peeling or slicing fruit. No juice streaming down the arms. And they bake a little faster than other pies, too, which is nice. This is my recipe:
enough dough for a double crust pie (I like to do 1 1/2 batches of dough and bake the extra, just to be sure I've got plenty)
36 oz. blueberries (2 1/4 lbs.) - frozen then thawed blueberries are great, just use good quality
2/3 c. sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1 T. lime juice
1 t. cinnamon (you almost can't taste it, but it gives it a nice nuance of flavor)
Preheat the oven to 425˚.
Stir together all the pie filling ingredients.
Roll out the bottom and top crusts. Lay the bottom crust in the pan. Add the filling. Top with the top crust. Trim edges, press together, and crimp. Cut a few vent lines in the top of the pie.
Bake at 425˚ for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375˚ and bake until filling bubbles in the middle, topping with foil if necessary to keep the crust from burning (not always necessary). Cool on a cooling rack until room temperature. Serve with vanilla ice cream.