All signs point to pie

by Patricia on May 6, 2009 · 7 comments

And yet I am pieless.

About a week ago, I finished reading American Pie: Slices of Life (and Pie) from America’s Back Roads by Pascale Le Draoulec.  From the first page through the last I craved pie.  How could I not? Riding along with Pascale through small town America sampling pie and talking about pie with people who still make pie from scratch.  It makes me want a slice of pie just thinking about it.  The book includes recipes she collected on the road: everything from blueberry-peach to shoofly pie and lots in between.  I hope to someday try more than a few of these recipes.


Since finishing the book, I’ve been thinking a lot about the art of pies.  The underlying theme of Pascale’s book is that people just don’t make pies any more.   We’ve all begun to settle for store bought or manufactured instead of slowing down to make the pies our grandmothers made.  We’re all in a hurry. And you cannot make pie in a hurry.  Crust requires patience.  Perhaps this is why I haven’t baked a pie despite the intense pie cravings while reading this book… I just haven’t been able to slow down long enough to make a crust.

I’m not scared of crusts.  I make pies.  But really only around Thanksgiving (pumpkin and pecan).  And really, the from-scratch pumpkin pies are a relatively recent thing that I started a couple of years ago.  I love it now.  And could not, at this point, go back to store bought pumpkin pie. Ever.

But apple pie? Cherry pie? Rhubarb pie? (What do you know about rhubarb? It’s still a mystery to me. I’ve been looking for it at the farmer’s market so that I can stop saying that I’ve never had it. Hopefully I’ll find some soon).  Mostly, I’d rather make cobbler because cobbler is easier.  And cobbler is faster.  But because of that, cobbler doesn’t have the same soul as pie.  It’s delicious and I would not turn down a warm cobbler, but… you know what I mean?  It feels like pie has become antiquated or something… doesn’t quite fit into our fast-paced modern world.

But you know what?  We could all use a little break.  Just slow down a little, and enjoy the quiet stillness of an early morning.  Tie on your favorite apron.  And make pie.

That’s exactly what I plan to do very soon.  Between America Pie and the latest pie themed apron contest at Tie One On,  all signs are pointing me toward pie.  (I love aprons.  Especially fun girly ones… I plan to turn the cherry fabrics in the photo above into just such an apron).

So Pie it shall be.  Of course, I’ll let you know all about it.  I just can’t decide what sort of pie. What’s your favorite pie?


1 Molly May 15, 2009 at 10:25 pm

One time when Stephen and I were visiting Alicia and her family in Wisconsin, we went to her mother-in-law’s house for dinner. Mrs. Van Hecke made the most amazing beef stew… and the most delicious strawberry-rhubarb pie we’d ever had in our lives!!

We were there in June, and it just so happened that the Van Heckes had rhubarb growing in their backyard at the time. (From what I recall, it only grew from June to July, so we really lucked out!) Oh my goodness, it was sooooo good. If you ever get your hands on some rhubarb, give it a try! You just might like it. :-)

BTW, when you make your pumpkin pie, is the pumpkin part made from scratch? As in, do you buy a whole pumpkin and go to town?

2 Kirstin May 8, 2009 at 4:22 am

I guess if I absolutely had to choose a favorite, I would say pecan…or apple…or shoo-fly pie! I haven’t had that since a vacation to Lancaster when I was 10! If you try out that recipe, be sure to post it!

3 Melissa May 7, 2009 at 10:13 am

I grew up on cream pies. Banana, chocolate, peanut butter, butterscotch….. My Grandma made the best chocolate pie, after she put the meringue on top, she would put it under the broiler just to brown the peaks (that was my favorite part of the whole pie!). I make a pretty mean peanut butter pie myself. The crust is made with peanuts, it’s a nice surpirse when you first bite into it.

My husband eats rhubarb raw. My aunt used to make a strawberry rhubarb pie, it’s not something I ever enjoyed.

4 Angie May 7, 2009 at 2:00 am

Banana cream pie is my favorite, but I also love apple pies. I’ve never made pies before because making the crust intimidates me, but I plan to do something about that sometime soon. I would love to learn how to make pies from scratch. I can’t wait to see the pie that you’ll bake!

P.S. My muffins turned out great. It’s awesome that they all turned out to be the same size. The ice cream scoop made the job so much easier :)

5 piggiep May 7, 2009 at 1:27 am

That’s an easy one, Apple and blackberry. Of course I have been spoiled by being brought up solely on home made pies. And yes while the crust is key, what makes my mum’s blackberry and apple pies so special are the freshly picked, by me, blackberries from out secret neighborhood location and granny smith apples from our backyard tree. Because we have experienced these superior ingredients, and don’t try to fudge it with store bought berries, the pies are only made during the peak of the summer and therefore so much more desirable.
As my birthday is during blackberry season, pie is now my standard request instead of birthday cake :)

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