Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Another Year, Another...Pie?

A stand-in for a slice of pie?
Yes, it has been all of two weeks since I posted to the blog (gasp!), but perhaps in my defense I should note that this is the first time since 2010 that I have written something for my birthday (which, by the way, was a nice musing and you should check it out)! And while this birthday is not particularly notable - 27 being a pretty unremarkable mid-twenties age - entering the next year of life is always a fun time to reflect. Sometimes on deep, earth-shattering issues, and other times on the simple pleasures in life. 

Growing up, I was one of those kids who rarely had birthday cake at her parties. We did ice cream cake (which is a complete misnomer), brownies, cupcakes, mud cups, cookies, and I'm sure others. But I have never much cared for cake. Yet one of the sweets I love - second to good dark chocolate - is pie. And more than eating said pie, I love to make them (which could be why I have so many darned pies on my blog)! It should come as no surprise, then, that for a little birthday potlucking this weekend three pies made an appearance and were completely consumed. 

You know how much I enjoy a good history of food lesson. So, I dug up an older Time magazine article on the history of pie just to get my facts straight and my ducks in a row (going into the baking fully armed with knowledge). Not surprisingly, the first pies were savory - full of meats or seafood - and can be traced back to Greek and Roman times. Not until the final years of the 18th century did sweet pies begin to take hold, and in the States there was no looking back. Despite most of our favorite pies having roots across The Pond, it seems that Americans have embraced the humble shelled dish as one of our own, and continue to pay homage to both our beloved classics and burgeoning innovations.

Now, I wish I could say that my own creation was some amazing gluten and sugar free, raw, macrobiotic example of culinary magic. Alas, this was my traditional, whip-up of white shortcrust and crumble topping. The pie does, however, reflect the amazingness of mid-July in the mid-Atlantic region. At the moment, rhubarb season is winding down, peaches are winding up, the few delicate apricots that made it through our bizarre spring weather are absolute gems, and somebody relatively nearby grows pecans (ok, so perhaps a friend's grandfather down in Florida...but still).

Spiked Rhubacot Peach Pie

Crust
2 cups white, unbleached flour (can sub half whole wheat for hardier flavor)
3 tbs granulated sugar 
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 cup ice water w/1 tbsp apple cider vinegar and 1 tsp vanilla extract

1.  Combine flours, salt, and sugar. With a fork, mix in oils until the dry mixture is completely coated and has almost a wet sand texture.
2. Mix in liquid mixture as needed, so that the dough will form a ball, but not be extremely sticky. Only mix until the dough comes together so as not to overwork the gluten. 
3. Roll out to about 1/4 inch thickness. Transfer to a deep-dish greased pie pan and fold/crimp edges. Put into the refrigerator.

Filling
2 cups diced ripe peaches (~4 large-ish)
1 cup diced apricots (~5 medium)
1 cup chopped rhubarb
1/4 cup bourbon (brandy would also work; optional)
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
3/4 - 1 cup sugar (evaporated cane will work nicely)
1 tsp vanilla

1. Simple, while the crust is resting in the refrigerator, mix everything together! Pour into pie pan. Place into preheating 350F oven.

Yeah, I was cute 24 years ago...
Crumble Topping
1 cup oats
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup pecans, broken
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar (evaporated cane/raw is lovely)
Vegetable or nut oil to consistency

1. Add crumble to the top of pie. Bake another 20-25 minutes until crust is just getting golden and filling is starting to bubble.
2. Remove. Let cool slightly for the filling to gel. Consume with a large scoop of non-dairy vanilla almond or coconut frozen delicacy.

On that note, I suppose it's time to sign off. Here's to another year of eating good local and seasonal food. Here's also to a year of more changes (don't want to jinx myself, so more to come in the next couple of weeks).

1 comment:

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