A Few Druckin’ Pies

Confession time: I’ve been on a pie-baking spree. Like Betty Crocker on crack, I spend all my time thinking about, planning, baking and EATING pie, and my rapidly expanding waistline and shockingly full bottle of Belvedere tell me that I’d better go back to drinking my calories, toute suite. Let’s start with this strawberry-rhubarb fiesta:

Strawberry and Rude Barb.

It’s technically rhubarb season, but I couldn’t find any in the grocery store or the farmers’ market. (WTF, CA?!) When I asked the greengrocer at Albertson’s if he had any rhubarb, he looked at me like I was a sad, lonely person who goes around making up fake names for fruit, just so she can have personal interaction with another human being. (Okay fine so he wasn’t that far off.)

I finally found frozen rhubarb at Ralph’s. And, I’m proud to say, it worked fine:

Kitty, stop being a dildo and let me finish my pie! Mom, kitty's being a dildo.

I used this Lattice-Topped Srawberry-Rhubarb Pie recipe from Epicurious, and my mom’s pie crust. (1 cup flour, pinch sugar/salt, 1/3 cup veg. oil, 3 T milk makes one crust.) I played with the fruit ratio a bit, and it turned out PERFECTLY, so I’m going to share my version here:

  • 1 lb. frozen rhubarb, thawed
  • 1 16-ounce container strawberries, hulled, halved (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
It was one of the best pies I’ve ever baked. It made me hungry for more. So I moved on to sweet cherries, in abundance at my local Ralph’s.

I popped all my cherries myself.

As a kid in Washington state, picking Bing cherries with my family was a summer tradition. My mom would can them, use them for jam, pulverize them into fruit leather, boil them into pancake syrup, and BEST OF ALL, bake pies. I’d come in from a long day of freeze tag, covered with mud and popsicle melt and dog fur, and see my mom in her apron making dinner, a fresh pie cooling on the stove. Like a Norman Rockwell painting. But better.

So even though I understand the tart appeal of the sour cherry, sweet cherries will always hold a special place in my heart. (And tummy.) But unlike my mother’s consistently perfect pies, with their crispy crust both upstairs and down and cherries that stay in your slice, my pie was less than perfect. Even though it looked a bit like this:

Not my pie. But close.

It was a lying pie. A false advertiser. The padded push-up bra of pies. My cherries were mutant huge, like mini-plums, and the crust must’ve gotten too gluten-y when I rolled it out, carefully following the instructions to keep it COLD, encouraged by the sight of tiny butter balls suspended in my sheet of dough like Han Solo in bronze. But NO.

I followed the smitten kitchen recipe for filling and crust exactly, and this blogger is AWESOME, so I know it must have been me. Sigh. I will comfort myself with this amazingly apropos Family Guy clip:

And the knowledge that tonight, I bake a blackberry crisp. Wish me luck!


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5 responses to “A Few Druckin’ Pies

  1. Tanya

    I like that there are several heart shaped strawberries in the top photo.

    • debra

      aw, you are so amazing and artistic my darling — i remember how you used to MAKE your own envelopes! i would never have noticed that if not for you. you made my morning! miss you!!!

  2. Tanya

    I miss your beautiful self too!

  3. Miriam

    Have you tried Cook’s Country’s pat-in-the-pan pie crust? I’ve never tried the recipe but they go through repeated testing with all their recipes. Give it a try: http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/lowcarb-recipe-help-suggestions/611903-cooks-country-raspberry-chiffon-pie-lowcarb.html

    • debra

      thanks so much, miriam!! i’ve been experimenting w/lots of crusts — graham, nuts, etc — and i would love to give this one a try! really lovely to hear from you and i hope you’ll keep reading. 🙂

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