With all of the fruit that has been making its way through my kitchen of late - strawberries, saskatoons, cherries, blueberries, and now the first tart apples of the season - I find that my mind is being pulled back to "pie" on a regular basis. Surely this will be the year that I master the fine art of making pie.
Yes, it was last year when I took my first stab at making pie. We had stumbled across some sour cherries growing in the city, that just happened to be in a yard where we were picking apples. I read somewhere that sour cherries actually make a more delectable pie than their sweet relatives, so I decided to bake a sour cherry pie for my father's birthday.
That blessed man did an amazing job downing one piece of pie. It wasn't very good. Sour cherries, I discovered, start sour and finish sour. We didn't discover any sweetness lurking remotely near those gorgeous red orbs. And it was a soggy pie...there was a verifiable pink lake melting away the bottom pie crust.
This year, with the help of A Year of Pies, I started out small with hand pies. Small, individual, no-need-for-a-pie-plate apple pies to be exact. I had a box of small apples needing something done with them before the weekend, and it's surprising how many it takes to add up to two pounds. The apples were so small that I didn't bother to peel them...I simply trimmed off any bruises, then cut quarter inch slices around the core.
I was delighted with the result, all things considered (for I was simultaneously trying to freeze blueberries, make a crumble, whip up a teriyaki sauce, and do the pie all at the same time...or at least it felt that way). The filling is tart, but not too tart - there is a hint of sweetness. There was not copious amounts of liquid threatening to drown the crust. I may have worked the crust a little too much or needed to roll it out a little thinner, but on the whole, I definitely think I'll be making more pie tomorrow!