The cover of this past Sunday’s issue of Parade magazine had a headline that read In Pie We Trust and featured a gorgeous photograph of an apple pie with fall leaf cutouts for a top crust. The issue included a great article titled “Oh My! Pie!” Author Pascale Le Draoulec described the fascinating culinary history of pie and its national significance, and offered photographic slices of twelve mouthwatering pie varieties—from cherry (my favorite) to Mississippi mud to Hoosier.
Le Draoulec also shared this statistic: “1 in 5 Americans have eaten an entire pie by themselves.”
I’ve known a few people who have done that. In fact, I’ve baked the pie (apple, pecan, chocolate, coconut cream) that’s been devoured.
I love baking pie. The other day, when I was feeling particularly stressed and full of yearning I pulled out the rolling pin and baked a fruit pie. The buttery scent of bubbling fruit filled the house, greeting everyone as they returned home from a busy day.
The pie was an experiment, made from ingredients on hand: blueberries, blackberries, mulberries, and a tart chopped Granny Smith apple for contrast. I drizzled maple syrup over the fruit, dotted it with butter and sprinkled the top crust with a cinnamon-nutmeg laced sugar. My husband crowed about the deep, mildly sweet flavor.
Except for the grocery store apple, the rest of the fruit was handpicked this summer: the blueberries and blackberries from a favorite farm, and the mulberries from one of several trees in our backyard. Working with these ingredients reminded me of several special afternoons…
And made me look forward to making pumpkin, apple, and cranberry walnut pie later this Thanksgiving month.
Like Le Draoulec says, “pie makes people happy. Just saying it aloud draws a smile as wide as a barn door. There’s something profoundly familiar about pie….And [p]ie will always take us home again.”
This post is for you, Mom, who taught me to love reading, to love cooking, to love reading about cooking, and most of all to love the process of creating and communicating—through food and words.