18 June 2010

Baking a Pie For My Dad ...

Today, I'm baking my Dad a pie with the ugliest pie plate in creation. It's a big 11-inch plate that's a bit deeper than the usual clear glass numbers you see in the grocery aisle. I got it over thirty years ago when I opened a bank account and started life on my own in Gloucester, MA, my digs when I got out of college. It was a gift from the bank. It's come with me through the apartment years, the married years, and is still hangin' around my pantry shelf in my retirement years. Some old things are just too good to throw away on  'newfangled and shiny new'. This may be an ugly pie plate, but I will put a lovely pie in it and we won't see it until the pie is on so many plates at my Dad's Father's Day picnic. And just so you know, it won't be a cheesecake.

Speaking of old, here is my rolling pin. I got it at an antique shop years ago. It's smooth and has such a soft oily feel to the wooden rollers. I love it and wouldn't trade it for gold.  Pie crust, yeast rolls, Christmas cookies, baking powder biscuits ... wonder how many times I've used it over the years? Today, it's rolling a pie crust ... I'm a Crisco and ice water girl when it comes to my pie crusts. I learned pie making from my Mom and she is a Crisco and ice water girl too. You will never change us up! When you get a good pie crust thing going, don't mess with it.

This is a two crust pie. Give me a cold metal surface and the trusty rolling pin and I can whip up a decent- looking pie in minutes ... well, that is after I chill the crust dough 'good and proper'. My brother tells me he's jealous of my pie crusts ... I just tell him to keep his hands off the dough, chill it good, and roll it fast. Fill the shell and cover it quickly and get it into a good hot oven. Let the heat do the rest. No big secrets here!

Today, the filling is all about wild blueberries and some spice. Now, I won't lie. These are last year's berries. Through the time warp called 'my freezer', they have come to grace this bowl ... kinda weird-looking isn't it? They are frozen little bullets that I'm tossing with some flour, sugar, lemon zest, cloves and cinnamon. Yup. you heard me correctly! Cloves! Just a little and you will be a happy pie eater!

Okay, so in go the berries and their thickening, sweetening, spicing agents and on goes the top crust. I am always on the verge of forgetting to stud the surface of a pie filling with some butter. There have been times when I've gotten the top crust on and whacked the side of my head. Then, swearing a blue streak, I've had to make 'an artistic slit'  in the top crust and wheedle it into letting me slip butter pats in underneath. So annoying! Today, I had my act together.

I love crimping pie crust! I also love a thick edge to the pie crust ... now, that I've reached an age where I've developed a taste for that crispy, crunchy foil to the sweet gooey insides of a pie. I can remember leaving the crust edges on my plate, as a kid. What was I thinking ?! I guess I just wasn't and that's that! So, slather the top of the crust with a beaten egg white and sprinkle with 'raw sugar' ... the kind that has great big crunchy crystals. It makes a pretty pie and adds just a bit of sweetness ... like we need it. But hey, I like it that way.

And there we have it. Blueberry pie. Headed for a picnic. For my Dad, the Old Bear. Who I love like no other man. Make someone you love a pie. Go on! Get to work!


  1. Absolutely beautiful - ugly plate or no. And my Mom's rolling pin was the first thing I grabbed when my brothers and I were clearing out my folk's house. I love that old thing. It knows the tale of more crusts, noodles, and biscuits than we can count.

  2. You're right..that's one ugly pie dish but I can't wait to taste that pie.

  3. "Water whip pie crust" is the name on my recipe card! Wish I could be there to have some pie and hug your dad- my absolute most favorite uncle!


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