To celebrate the glorious occasion of 3.14159265358979323846… I baked a pie.
Now, I must admit. I am pretty darn good at baking pies. I use a super secret Martha Stewart Pate' Brisee for my crust. It works like a charm. Some people use crisco for their crust. I use plain B-U-T-T-E-R. I blend it with a pastry blender until you can see small chunks of butter intermingled with the flour. I'm pretty anxious to get the pie crust started, but it's important to let the dough linger in the refrigerator for about an hour. The hardened dough is easier to roll out.
Yesterday, I made a pear and apple pie. It was my very own creation. I know that pears (and apple for that matter) are not in season, but I have to eat fruit. For the filling, I just cut two pears into chunks and one apple. I sprinkled lemon juice over the mixture, some brown sugar, cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg. I didn't measure, so I don't really have the exact recipe. Anyway, recipes come in many different forms. Part of the fun is to experiment with different ingredients.
Then I sprinkled my creation with a tad of corn starch. This is a secret I got from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything. This really helps the pie filling thicken up a little so it's not so juicy.
This is the very first time I have baked a pie in an iron skillet. I was very hesitant, but my finished product was absolute perfection. At 350 degrees for 45 minutes, the pie had a delicate crust. The butter melted to form a flaky, deliciously textured bed for the pears and apple. Each bite produced a smile on our faces. Paired with vanilla ice cream, this pie was a great end to the day.
I'm so lucky that we have another slice to enjoy tonight!