Saturday, December 22, 2007

As Easy as Pie

Pie is usually an easy thing to make. I've never made cheese pie, so I can't speak to that. Apple pie is a bit more labor intensive because of the peeling and chopping. But a berry pie? As easy as pie. Or so I thought.

This evening, I looked forward to making a birthday Blackberry pie for our good friend Michelle. She is not only my friend, but she is also a regular e-mail correspondant with Cosmos. He always sounds a bit irritable in his diction to her, but he really does like the give-and-take of the relationship He also likes the taste of pie crust, so he was completely in favor of this planned endeavour.

Of course, there was the dinner engagement that I had to attend first, but I was home by 8pm... plenty of time to get this project done and into bed at a reasonable hour. Except...

Well, first, it was required that I procrastinate for a while. In my defense, I had the foresight to turn my oven on at 400 degrees as soon as I walked in the door, but then I retired to my computer and worked on yesterday's blog. Checked my e-mail. Visited various web sites at which I am a regular. And then realized that about 90 minutes had gone by. A little late, but there was still plenty of time to get the Pie project done.

Whoops! I just realized that I needed to process a few loads of laundry at the same time. I had no clothes for exercise class in the morning. So I sorted it to decide what to wash ( keeping it down to three loads), and took it to the laundry room. Into the machines, put in my money, and the washing was quickly in progress.

Back into my kitchen where I pulled out the baking ingredients. Flour from my freezer. A stick of butter. A stick of Crisco. And ice water. It's imperative that all the ingredients be ice cold for pie crust. This is unlike cookies where you want everything room temperature.

I started by measuring out 2 1/2 cups of flour. Or not. I hadn't checked my ingredients before beginning the project. I only had 2 cups of flour. That would never do, so I picked up my purse and keys and ran over to Gelsons to get more. Without my sweater because I knew this was only going to take a couple of minutes.

Bad mistake. It was in the mid 50's outside, but with wind gusts of up to 60 mph, it seemed much colder than that. I chose Gelsons because it's the quickest market from my home, but was certainly not aware that it closed at 10 pm. I arrived at 10:10. So back into my car I went and on to Vons (almost right next door) where I bought not only flour, but additional butter and sugar. I must have had a preminition to get these other two items, but that's for later in the story.

Flour in hand, I quickly measured 2 1/2 cups into my food processor...

As well as 6 TB of Butter and 6 TB of shortening.

Turned on the processor and mixed until flour was coated and the dough looked crumbly.

Added 6 TB of ice water, or so I thought. I had trouble getting a good picture of adding the water, loosing count of the tablespoons until there was way too much water in there and the crust was ruined. Had to start all over again.

The next batch of pie crust dough came out just fine, but that's when the timer rang.

Time to move my laundry from the washer to the dryer.

Now that the clothes were drying, I could put flour on my pie mat...

And roll out the crust.

Watching over my shoulder because two out of every two dogs like to eat raw pie crust and would steal it given half a chance.

Pie crust rolled out, I sprayed the pie dish with Pam to keep it from sticking. By the way, it's generally not a good idea to leave a spray can of Pam on a hot stove. Yes, I am trying for a Darwin Award. And I've almost won one too.

Pie crust rolled out, it was time to address the berries. I use frozen when making pies. It's much more cost-efficient than fresh and honestly, I can't tell the difference. Drain them, put them in a bowl, mix with sugar.... OY! Couldn't find the sugar that I know that I have stored in the pantry. It was a good thing that I bought another bag while at Vons!

And then it happened. The phone rang. Eric! So I talked to Eric as I finished mixing the berries, put it into the bottom pie crust that lined the pie dish, rolled out the top crust and topped the pie. Trimmed the excess and pinched the edges closed.

Now it was time to melt the butter with which I was going to brush the top crust. Easier said than done since my microwave is almost 20 years old and isn't heating much of anything these days. I think that's when I hung up with Eric... after two minutes trying to melt one TB of butter and getting nowhere fast.

Butter finally melted, I brushed the top of the pie and then dumped more raw sugar on it.

Vented the pie...

And put it in the oven.

OY! Time to collect the laundry from the driers! Then DING! As soon as I walked in the door, the 15 minute bake cycle timer rang and it was mandatory to turn the oven down to 350 degrees.

Then back to the front door to let the dogs out for the final time of the evening.

"Go on outside boys. It's the last time you're going out today. The next time you go out, it will be tomorrow."

Dogs finished with outside for the day, I had to put the laundry away - I hate folding, don't you? - and wait until the pie was finished baking. 45 minutes at 350 degrees and it was thankfully done.

And none too soon. Both dogs were exhausted by the evening's activites and were already in their respective beds. It was time for me to join them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Multi-tasking at it's best girl..You sure have the energy...Love ya.


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