Saturday, March 12, 2011
Blog for Pie
The sun shone for about two hours last Saturday. The flow of rays onto the kitchen counter was strong enough to melt butter and keep the French press warm. I was rooted there and to justify standing in one spot absorbing vitamin D – justification being the saving oil for souls who think worth is measured by what they do, among other complex cravings and addictions – demanded pie. The answer to many moral questions. We still have several freezer bags full of blackberries that Anita picked in Washington last summer. Blackberry banana vanilla soy milk smoothies have had their place this winter, but it’s been a long time since we’ve had a lip-staining blackberry pie. I wasted thirty minutes looking for a recipe that didn’t call for tapioca. No sense making Denis feel sicker than he did with fisheyes. Couldn’t find anything, but with shameless audacity I thought adding 2 T. of cornstarch to a cup of sugar and 5 cups of blackberries would be just perfect.
The pie looked gorgeous when I took it out of the oven. But it wasn’t perfect. Why couldn’t it be? Why is nothing ever perfect? Why does my eye always settle on that little flaw – the dot of wall paint left on the white ceiling, the stain on the floor where I dropped India ink, the scratch I put in the car when the train gate dropped on the trunk, and na-nah, na-nah, na, na. It wasn’t just the decorative leaves and berries I’d made for the top crust that now looked like flying-bird dropping poop; it was the juice leaking along the edge and flowing onto the catch pan below. Turns out 2 T. of corn starch isn’t nearly enough. Nor was the sugar. I cut the first piece and poured ¾ cup of juice out of the pie remaining in the pan and dumped more sugar on each piece.. Denis loves soupy anything from lasagna to pie, so, happy, happy Denis. Sweet Denis. I admit my crust is a ten, a thing I can’t help or really claim. It’s like Kristi Yamaguchi doing a sit-spin, just nothing to it. But happy Margie, I did stand in the sun for thirty minutes and you can hardly go wrong with that even if you don’t get the thickening right.