the Baby pie

These days each time Matt and I sit down to dinner we wonder if it will be the last one with just the two of us.

That last supper mentality was never as present as it was on Tuesday night. We were able to spend the late afternoon and whole evening together (usually reserved for practice) and had a delicious meal in the works. With a large pot of homemade tomato sauce simmering away for later use, Matt was also making a killer bouillabaisse (simplified from this recipe). My contribution was pie, which I decided to double and in fact make two pies since I found convincing evidence that freezing a fruit pie was feasible and perhaps a down right good idea.

We decided on a cherry pie – sweet cherries to be exact – since they were the most abundant fruit in our freezer. I began to look through recipe suggestions and settled on one from Smitten Kitchen. I wouldn’t say I’ve made many pies, but I probably make anywhere from 3-4 a year. That seems like a pretty low number, or perhaps a high one depending on which side of the fence you stand. Either way, I think I’ve made my share of pies… but I’m easily swayed when it comes to a consistent crust recipe. I often reach for a new one and give it a try, only to forget the results of the effort within a week. If I was smart I would keep track of the crusts and slowly make my own perfect, perhaps even secret recipe.

Dinner was incredible. We sat eating and talking and conversation once again turned to the last supper. We pondered if we would ever eat like we were again, what five meals we would choose if they were our last… and in the back of our minds we thought about the pie baking in the oven for dessert.

The timer went off, and it was time to pull it out of the oven, only it didn’t look done. Not only did it not look done… it didn’t look good. The milk I brushed on top to brown it up seemed to do the opposite, and the recipe which called for an abundant amount of butter (usually at least a sign that it will taste good) seemed to bubble out of the crust. We decided to see if a few more minutes would fix it and then pulled it out and after cooling, each tested a piece. It was definitely the worst pie crust I’ve ever made, and therefore the worst pie.

If this was anywhere close to the actual last supper, meaning the last night we spent before the baby was born, there was no way this would be the last pie I baked. It would turn in to that story (who am I kidding – it already has) where I say something like “the day before you were born I baked the worst pie of my life” and only build the scene surrounding the baby’s arrival. Call me crazy, but I knew I had no other choice but to make a new pie. (I know, I am crazy). I burst back into the kitchen to redeem myself, pulling out my mom’s recipe for crust and pulling together a new peach cherry pie as quickly as I could. While this crust was frustratingly crumbly, as I’ve found crust often is, it came together and went in to the oven. Maybe that’s just what pie crust is like? I vowed to find out and search for that perfect crust, taking notes along the way and all. Around an hour later, I pulled out the second pie of the evening, the one you see above, redemption in hand.

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  • A. Steph - Great pie story – and great “last supper” story (you still have a few hours to make that a true statement….). You had a good pie-making teacher since your mom made the best pies ever, and from a young age too. Your cousins in TX continue the same tradition.
    Steph

  • Kevin - I haven’t ever frozen a pie, but I have had good results with freezing the fruit filling in a pie tin and then moving it to a freezer bag afterwards. There was what looked like a excellent pie crust in the November or December of Food and Wine (At least I think that was the one…)

  • Shayna Gehl - Pie crusts are my arch enemy! I’ve gone through 4 in a day before! :( Your pie looks incredible! one lucky baby on the way!

  • Melody Martin - Glad it worked out! Nothing makes me feel worse than a cooking (or baking) failure).

  • Ryan Boyd - If you have any more problems with pies or crusts Mary, just direct those scoundrels my way and I will handle it…no questions asked. I’m serious.

  • Mary Dougherty - i know! they are out to get us… I’m determined to find a good recipe to stick with + I’ll let you know when I do :)

  • Sarah Frances Boyd - Mary – I’m so proud of you, first of all your blog is fixed, but MOST of all you are about to have your baby and are still happy and rockin’ the piecrusts! #can’twaittomeetmynieceornewphew

  • Megan Zaranek - I had the same experience with a flourless chocolate cake. I’ve made my ghiradelli recipe many times and it NEVER fails. for some reason I tried a random recipe off the internet and was bringing it to a friend of a friend’s parent’s house for dinner. I baked it then we went for a run so I popped it in the fridge to chill (maybe prematurely but I don’t think it would have made any difference). we came back with about 20 minutes till needing to leave for dinner and it was a mess. the top was over cooked and bottom was totally raw. I still don’t know what happened. so I sent my friends to dinner and whipped up a speedy chocolate mousse with homemade raspberry whipped cream. I think it was a big save. totally caught me off guard. and I was only a little late for dinner. :)