Please make pie.
This happened spontaneously on Twitter and Facebook -- talking about pie. A clutch of us talked about how much we like pie, making it, and how sad it makes us that people are too afraid of pie crust to make pie.
So we're making pie. And we want you to join in.
Make a pie -- any pie you like -- before July 5th. Gluten-free crust, cornmeal crust, lard, butter, or whatever you like. Use a pre-made crust, if that makes it easier. Let it be imperfect. Just make a pie.
On July 5th, post up a photo of your pie. If you have a blog, and you want to share the recipe, do a blog post. If you have a Facebook account, post the photos to your account and here. If you are on Twitter, post a photo.
July 5th is pie day.*
I wanted to play. When the invitation came in, I had a nice box of giant, sweet, delicious peaches from Costco sitting in my kitchen, and I had the idea I'd make ginger-peach pie. I searched for a recipe and found this one, which looks pretty awesome.
But then a day went by and between me putting peaches into my blender drinks and David grazing, we were down to three lonely peaches. The ones in the regular grocery store are just pathetic and hard and tasteless, and no self-respecting pie baker would use them in her pies.
And then it just so happened that my black raspberries were ready to be picked on Sunday. It simply had to be that I used them in my pie.
But then I realized that having a big ole pie sitting around here was the last thing I wanted. Pie for a project is one thing, but going that far off my diet was not something I wanted to do, because I know myself. Oh yes, I do. I know that I would down that thing all by myself in 24 hours. I know no shame when it comes to sweets. I am just better off not having them anywhere around.
But fresh black raspberry pie! And for an online party! How could I not?!
So I compromised. Instead of making a regular pie, I made three little rustic single-serving pielets in ramekins. And oh, is my waistline glad that I did not go for the whole pie, because this thing was so delicious I d-e-f-i-n-i-t-e-l-y would have guzzled the whole thing down.
I used a lard crust, because last year when I was visiting Paula in Nova Scotia, and going all authentic Acadian-like, I made and ate the first lard crust of my life, and it was the best piecrust I had ever had. I never thought I would want anything but my mother's style of shortening piecrust in my life, so that was a big pie revelation. Though I can definitely get into a butter-based tart crust, in my mind that is a different topic. Pies and tarts are two different species, much like black raspberries and blackberries are. (see discussion below)
So I made a half recipe of lard-based piecrust, and I made a little bit of black raspberry filling (I used 2 1/4 cups black raspberries, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 T. instant tapioca, and some lime juice. I combined these things in a bowl and let them sit and blend for a while before putting them into my little crust-lined ramekins and baked them at 375F... Um, I didn't record the time, because that is just the way I roll. I think it was about 45 minutes. I had way too much filling for the three ramekins, which was really unfortunate, because I had to eat it off a spoon. Oh, darn.
It being hot and humid, the piecrust was just NOT going to be pretty, and so I made like Julia Child and called it "rustic." I just shoved pieces of crust in there all willy-nilly, patching it up as I went. I intended to have a little bit of rustic lattice on the top, but I ran out of crust. So it came out to be sort of a, um, rustic equal sign.
Equality pie! Pie for one and all!
Holy Acadian housewife that was delicious Batman.
Now, we've had this discussion before, the one about the difference between black raspberries and blackberries, but I imagine it bears repeating, since a large part of the world has apparently never heard of a black raspberry.
They are two different species, and have very different flavors.
This is the Rubus occidentalis, or the black raspberry, that I have in my yard. They are much smaller than blackberries, rounder, and when you pick them, they readily separate from their core thingy, or
From Wikipedia: The black fruit makes them look like blackberries, though this is only superficial, with the taste being unique and not like either the red raspberry or the blackberry. In much of the Mid-Atlantic United States, black raspberries are simply called blackberries, even though they are not. (Could the writer of this article be implying that those people in the Mid-Atlantic don't quite have all their faculties? Maybe.)
This is a BlackBerry. Please note the capital B in the middle of the word, which tells you that you would want to avoid putting this into your pie. Putting it into your washing machine should be avoided, too. #soresubject
These are really blackberries. Without a side-by-side comparison photo, it's hard to see that these are much bigger and more oval than black raspberries. They are juicier, I guess, and though I have hardly ever eaten any blackberries in my life because I usually find them too bitter, I think they have no seeds, but they DO have their core, or botanically speaking, the carpel, inside. Black raspberries leave their carpel on the stem when you pick them. Or put another way, as Wikipedia does, they are "readily separated from their carpel."
What is a carpel, you ask? Before you click on this link, be aware that it is a highly x-rated drawing. Some people might be alarmed and dismayed to know how sexual their fruit really is.
Personally, I like having my berry separated from my carpel as often as possible black raspberries much more than blackberries. I find them so much more flavorful. They do have a metric tonne of seeds in them per quart, though, which can be annoying as hell in something like a pie.
But the flavor is worth every crunchy, OH MY GOD AM I GOING TO HAVE TO GO TO THE DENTIST FOR A CROWN NOW? bite.
*Well, July 5th is a Tuesday, and Mr. Jefferies objects to talking about pie on his day, unless it's RABBIT PIE, so July 4th it is... Happy Pie Independence Day!