Pie Times

Would you believe it? It’s the second week of February and yesterday I picked enough apples off a tree in a garden on Folsom Street to make three big apple pies (I’m thinking ahead). I lusted after more on the tree but they were too high, and since my risk-taking had already hit TILT leaning over the edge of the garage roof, I decided that foregoing a climb into the highest branches could be justified by an arthritic hip. Damn anyway. They’re still there.

I was being greedy. These apples are so plump, firm and sweet. Normally they would get picked greenish months ago, but these have held on month after month getting yellow and succulent. My clients have no regard for them that I can tell, so I make out like a raccoon.

One pie is already made and half-eaten. Matthew and I had a pie seminar at his house last night, he making a blueberry pie and me this apple, each of us following the all-butter recipes doled out in two hip piebooks, one from a pie-hole in Brooklyn, the other from Detroit. Oh riches, and richness.

I have made many pies and never, not once, have I made a crust that rivals what you get in your local pie shop if you are lucky, like hip me, to live in a town with a nearby pie shop.

Matthew is a neophyte but we were equally giving the recipes a close reading. The Brooklyn crust recipe and the Detroit one are in the basics identical, although minor details vary. Water all at once or dribbled in tablespoons? My first mistake: Matthew has nesting measuring spoons of white plastic, one of which is a one-half tablespoon. Who ever heard of such a thing? Naturally I used it thinking it was one teaspoon. It was sugar, no big deal. My second mistake: forgot to add apple cider.

Matthew starts to notice things, like expiration dates. 2016. Who knew cinammon died? And corn starch too? Oh well, I brought some from my house from an era, no doubt, preceding the requiring of expiration dates.

I did not promise Matthew I would not write about this in my blog. He threated me with mayhem if I did. So all I will say is that there weren’t very many of those little specks and they were easy to pick out.

Listen. I grew up on a wheat farm in Kansas. We ate bugs for protein.

We tested the pie this afternoon. I am still standing. A’s in taste. B-minus crust. The bottoms are tough as jerky.

We have our motto:

Pies to Die For or From.

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