Fingerprints and Pineapple Cream Pie

I’m gonna go ahead and show you today’s pie, Pineapple Cream Pie, before something crazy happens to that meringue. Right now, it looks just right. The meringue made an interesting design and behaved properly by becoming toasty brown in the oven set at 350 degrees.

But we shall see…

Making this pie was more of a process that I thought. I found the recipe on the internet–always a gamble. Even more risky was the fact that the original baker was unnamed, and while I’ve used anonymous recipes before, I always have a curious feeling about it–did they NOT put their name because it turned out really bad? So far, that has not been the case.

I chose this pie because I had crushed pineapple. We’re having company over tonight to watch a movie, which we do about once a month. One of the rules we have for ourselves is not to spend a bunch of money. We already have the movie, and we just make snacks out of what we have around. So Pineapple Cream Pie it is.

I prepared a homemade crust (again, had the stuff–didn’t wanna buy anything), and was reminded once again how I love the feel of that dough in my hands. It is a predictable recipe, so I can count on it feeling exactly the same way between my fingers each time. My fingerprints are all over it, but then they are gone again with kneading.

The filling is made on the stove top. It has crushed pineapple, butter (a whole big yummy stick of it), sugar, 3 egg yolks, cornstarch, and milk. Well, I set the kitchen timer to make sure that my crust had time to cool on the rack–30 minutes. I was thinking I’d have time to kill–wrong! Man, did I stir that filling. And stir. And stir. My sweet husband stirred for a while. I stirred some more. Definitely more than 30 minutes to thicken it up. Custard pies are funny that way–they’re runny…runny….runny….then SUDDENLY, hurry up and get it off the stove before it burns.

I poured the filling into the crust, which was plenty cool by now, and I had a bit left over.

So I ate it.

Warm, sweet, and delicious it was. Licking it off that wooden spoon gave me something to do while I whipped egg whites. And whipped. And whipped. And whipped. Until it was meringue. I spread the meringue carefully on top–all the way to the edges so it wouldn’t shrink up like some kind of awkward pastry beret on my pie. Then into the oven it went–me watching carefully to be sure it didn’t burn.

All the while, my 7-year-old (almost 8, sniff) was working on painting a bird house he’d built. It was a Christmas gift from my mother that we were just getting around to. I love it, because there are no screens. No noises (except for little boy noises). Just imagination and creativity. Perfect.

I complimented him from time to time, admiring his work. He asked me, “Mama, do you think I’m an artist?”

“Yes. Yes, you definitely are an artist.”

I want him to remember–to know–that if an artist is what he wants to be, an artist is what he is. Or at least that I believed he could be one.Fingerprints in dough go away with kneading.

The impressions we make on those we love make a lasting imprint.

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