Well, the day has arrived. Today I made my first homemade pie crust. Today was the day for two reasons. #1: it was just time. #2: Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, died yesterday. I must tell you how inspired I was to read about the accomplishments of this man. When I looked at my pile of ingredients and realized that I had been intimidated by them–just because it was something I hadn’t done before–I just felt silly. After learning about all the innovative and amazing things that Steve Jobs shared with the world, I offer myself (and you, if you want it) this advice:
Not doing something just because you think you’re not “the sort of person who does that thing” is dumb. Just do it. Sort yourself out and do whatever sort of thing you want to do.
So I did. And now, I am the sort of person who makes pie crusts from scratch.
I used Ina Garten’s (the Barefoot Contessa) crust recipe. Now, Ina happens to be my favorite chef, and I watch her show every day. If I miss it, I’ve got it recorded on the DVR. The woman can cook, she makes a mess, and she always has fabulous friends to help her eat the delicious food. Besides that, she LOOKS like she actually eats the food. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s a painfully skinny cook–it just makes me suspicious.
I’ve watched the woman make the crust tons of time on TV, and of course she makes it look easy. You know what? It wasn’t too bad. I used my food processor (a gift from my mom last year that I’ve only used one other time because I’m just plain lazy) and I was armed with printed step-by-step directions.
A couple of things were very specific. Use very cold butter and shortening and ice water. I did. I chopped up the butter, although my little cubes of butter were not as pretty as Ina’s because of my always-put-knives-in-the-dishwasher disorder. So, you just put the flour, sugar, and salt into the processor and pulse it a few times. Then you add the butter, shortening, and ice water. Then you pulse it a few times until it starts to make a ball–which it did! I dumped it onto a floured surface and rolled it out with my new rolling-pin.
So now to the filling. Recently, a friend of mine’s son asked what kind of pie I’d made for a certain day. She replied with a certain flavor, to which he exclaimed, “Dangit! I want some blueberry pie!” She chastised him, but I laughed to myself. Sometimes, you just wanna say what you want. Happens to me all the time. So…I’m making blueberry pie, and I fully intend for that sweet kid to have a slice or two if he wants it. I used frozen blueberries, which The Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook said was just fine. I added some sugar and a little bit of flour and dumped it all into the crust.
I rolled out the top crust, which worked pretty well. The hardest part was getting the top crust “stuck” to the bottom one. Again, my crimping needs work. Truthfully, though, I’ve never really heard anyone gripe about crooked crust if the pie tastes good.
Lastly, before putting the pie in the oven–on the bottom rack this time, and with the crusts covered for the first 50 minutes–I marked it with a B. B is for blueberry–and it’s the first letter of the name of the sweet kid who wanted the pie in the first place. So here’s how it looked after it came out of the oven. And even better to behold–look at the slice! A real triangle! After I post this, I’m gonna taste that slice with some ice cream. I’ll let you know how the crust tastes. But I gotta say I’m really impressed with how it looks.
One last awesome thing about today–a dear friend of mine showed up with this note and a pie–for me! Awesome!
The pie was delicious–my son let me have a bite of his. It was a peanut butter chocolate pie.
That chocolate part in the center–that’s melted HERSHEY bar, y’all. It’s a refrigerated pie, and that chocolate hardens into a delicious contrast for the gooey peanut butter stuff. Yum.
The best thing of all about this thank you pie? It was my friend’s first pie EVER. She’d never made any pie at all before. You’d never know it though, because that pie was delicious. But now, she’s the sort of person who makes delicious pies. Who knew?