I love pie.
It is, by far, my favorite dessert. It doesn’t have any of that disgusting, sickeningly sweet icing that makes most cakes inedible (in my humble opinion).
And crust! Oh my god, crust – that dreamy blend of butter, salt (& sugar sometimes) all perfectly suspended in a delicate flour conveyance. I FREAKING LOVE CRUST.
I used to be fairly adept at baking pies: I had the pie dough down just right (pie dough is a real art form), and was getting really adventurous with different fillings (homemade caramel apple being a favorite, but lots of berry pies, sour cherry pies, and pear galettes made their way out of my kitchen, too). A friend and I volunteered to bake pies as a fundraiser for our dragon boat team one summer (the “Pie of the Month Club”).
Then my second child was born and the whole pie-baking operation went to shit. I just didn’t have time anymore.
My husband, bless his heart, has a habit of starting projects for me to complete: if one was feeling generous, he could be called an initiator; a motivator. I guess I’m feeling generous today.
The other day my husband removed a frozen block of Cinderella pumpkin (harvested this past fall – the thing was massive and it sat on my front porch until finally I decided to bake it, chop it up and process it for later use) from the deep freeze in the garage. He cooked it down over a low burner for most of Saturday afternoon. I believe his intention was to bake a pie. But the world will never know. The condensed pumpkin sat in my fridge for another two days, making no progress towards becoming anything other than a big pile of pumpkin mush.
I hate seeing food go to waste – I guess I could have tried it out on the chickens, see if they enjoy eating pumpkin. But that sounded kind of gross, so I decided instead to roll up my sleeves and bake a pie.
It is not the season for pumpkin pie, but that is irrelevant. It’s always a good time for pie.
My go-to pie crust recipe is from Martha Stewart. I love it because it utilizes a food processor (gasp! heresy!) and makes the whole process so super fast: Martha Stewart’s Perfect Pie Crust.
For the filling, I decided to be fancy and follow a recipe (I ordinarily would just throw approximate proportions of known ingredients in a bowl and call it good – it drives my husband, Mr. Meticulous, absolutely bonkers) since this is for the blog and all.
Here is the fancy recipe I used: The Food Network: From Scratch Pumpkin Pie. I was a little nervous about the molasses (I’ve never used molasses in pumpkin pie before) but I was feeling daring so I decided to give it a go. I probably should’ve followed the recipe to the T since I took the time to look it up, but I left out the whipping cream and cornstarch. I don’t know why other than pure rebellion.
I just pulled it out of the oven, and I cannot tell you how freaking amazing it smells in my house right now. Okay, maybe I can: it smells REALLY FREAKING AMAZING in my house right now. Like butter and ginger and everything that is good and wonderful in life.
I’ll report back once we cut into this bad mamma jamma (great, I have that song in my head now): I am feeling pretty confident, however, in the reassurance that we have a fresh container of vanilla bean ice cream in the freezer right now, because it would take a real shitty pie not to taste good with vanilla ice cream (I think I’m drooling).