Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pie Pandemonium

Well, the blueberry pie is gone and, unfortunately, so is gram's quiet, relaxed state.  Things are a mess here once again.  Gram is back to moaning and sobbing and being hysterical.  It seems like every time I think that things are calm enough to sneak away to the pool for a few minutes, she starts up again.  I can't win. 

Luckily things haven't been all bad.  On Saturday I got to ride out to my friend Alyssa's roommate's grad party out in Marathon, NY.  We got lost, argued with the GPS, but the good company, margaritas, and cake made it all worth it.  On Sunday I got to sleep in a little, go for a run and do a little yard Zumba with Alyssa, and do my laundry.  My younger sister also came home for a few days.  This afternoon, after all the Hospice people left, we got to have a little girls' time at the pool.  Tonight, we're planning on some wine in the hot tub and a fire.  We're just trying for a little normalcy here.

Yesterday, my grandfather said to me with a sad look in his eye, "that pie's just about gone already, isn't it?"  That is his subtle way of saying, "Hannah, make me another pie."  My family really misses my grandma's pies, and they have been disappearing at an unprecedented rate (about one pie every three days).  I personally don't even really like fruit pies.  My raisin-hating roommate last semester always said, "Don't put fruit in my dessert."  Well, I sort of agree, but for the opposite reason.  Don't put dessert in my fruit.  I love pure, raw fruit.  I think added a ton of butter and sugar to it ruins it.  

I was getting kind of sick of blueberry pie, so I decided to switch it up a bit.  We still have to use up the frozen blackberries before they come into season again, so I thought I'd mix those with some of the peaches that are practically overflowing in our fruit basket.  I present to you:

Peach Blackberry Pie w/ Crumb Topping:

One-Crust Pie Shell:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup + 1 Tbs vegetable shortening
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbs cold water

For step by step photos, see this post.  Sift together flour and salt, cut in shortening until it forms small peas.  Sprinkle water over top.  Mix together with your hands, form into a ball.  Roll out on a well floured surface, fold it in half, then in half again.  Transfer to pie plate and unfold.

My grandmother always fluted the edges of her pies with a fork, so I decided to carry on her mark.

Ingredients for Filling:
3-4 cups frozen blackberries (mostly thawed, drained)
1 cup sliced and skinned fresh peaches
7/8 cup granulated sugar
5 Tbs all-purpose flour
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs butter

Gently mix together all ingredients except butter.  Pour into pie shell and dot with butter.
Make crumb topping: equal parts brown sugar and flour, with enough butter cut in to form small peas throughout.
VERY generously cover pie with topping.
Bake at 425°F for 25-35 minutes, until filling is bubbly and the crumb topping and pie shell are golden brown.

For not loving pie, this one is certainly amazing.  I fell in love with this pie.  The filling is not overly sweet, and the crumb topping adds just the correct amount of sugar and lightly crunchy texture.  After an hour at the pool, delicious pie and wine in my belly, and being surrounded by friends, I will go to sleep one happy girl tonight.

Here's hoping you're finding your sunshine too.
Love and cookies,

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