Easy as Pie

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The only things as easy as pie might be such things as climbing a rock face when you have arms that resemble toothpicks, sitting down in a day to write a novel, or walking barefoot across the Sahara desert. Okay, so these comparisons might be a wee bit dramatic, but making a darn good, flaky crust, delicious filling, sit at a table until you scarf down the last bite kinda pie is hard. And I haven’t even mentioned the word “pretty” yet.

You know what I’m talking about, those moments in your kitchen when you hunker down with a glass of sweet tea and fuzzy socks, pouring over cookbooks and blogs online and any inkling of memory of your grandma making a pie that you can extract from your mind. You sit there and sip the tea and a little bubble of confidence begins to build up in you. You see pictures of perfectly baked pies with acorn and leaf cutouts tastefully set atop smooth, pumpkin pie surfaces, photos of latticed apple pies that make you wish that you were in the photo to eat every last bit. And you think to yourself “I can do this”. Especially when every blog and website caption in relation to making pies says that there is an ‘easy version that tastes just as delicious’ or ‘pie for beginners’.

Maybe you haven’t done this. Maybe it is just me that sits open-mouthed in front of the computer screen, envisioning how my own perfect pies will look when they come out of the oven. Funny story: life rarely happens the way you think it will. It is like this with pies and in every other aspect of existence. Example: my brother’s birthday this year.

My brother loves pecan pie. In this characteristic, and in the way that he can guzzle a gallon of sweet tea within a day or eat 27 ribs in one sitting, he is a Southern boy at heart. When he came home for Christmas we met him at the airport with a gallon of sweet tea and then let him gorge himself on pecan pie once he got home. I wanted to make his birthday extra special so I told him I’d make whatever kind of pie or cake that he wanted. Despite my offer to try making ANY dessert in the world, he picked pecan pie.

At first, I was excited. Over the summer I made two pecan pies in two days (both were eaten by my brother) and they were everything I could’ve dreamed of as a novice pie-maker. Here’s a picture of one of them.

I know, it’s a little bit “rustic” looking to put it nicely, but it tasted good. I was so proud of this being the first pie I ever made.

Fast forward to my brother’s birthday. You might be saying to yourself, what could’ve gone wrong if she made two pies in two days over the summer?

Let’s just say I made a monster. A big, scary, grow-in-the-oven, pecan pie monster. My mom gave me a new recipe for pecan pie that a country artist came out with. The author of the recipe writes that the pecan pie is one any Southern girl should know how to make so I took that as an indication that it would be authentic, delicious, and contain every chewy, brown sugar and buttery morsel of goodness that a pecan pie should. Instead, it turned out to be more of a meringue substance. And as usual, I failed to read the instructions when they clearly said that the filling was made for an “extra-large pie tin or two pies” so I proceeded to put the entire batch of filling into my normal-sized pie crust.

Here’s a before, during, and after picture of my pie:

Before! See how beautifully decorated it is?

Houston, we have a problem.

So, that’s the saga of my im-pie-ssible pecan pie attempt. After these pictures were taken, my mom and dad took me out to get frozen yogurt, which was much needed. The next morning when my brother woke up, he took a glance at the pie, proclaimed it “awesome” and proceeded to eat half of it for breakfast. So even though pies may be temperamental and difficult at times, it really is the thought that counts, at least in my brother’s eyes (it also my help that he is a super-athletic nineteen year old male which means he has a crazy amazing metabolism right now). Nevertheless, although I’m tentative about pie, I still have dreams of creating a perfectly baked crust with impeccable filling and maybe even some fancy decorations on top. They say you should aim for the moon, right?If you stuck around this long, thanks for reading about my pie failure! After making this pie, I ripped up the recipe that my mom had printed out for me (with her permission, of course) and vowed to stick with the true-blue, original pecan pie recipe that served me so well this summer.

I hope you have a happy pi day and have the chance to eat some pie!!! I myself will not be making any (blame it on the fact that it’s almost spring break and I have hardly anything in my fridge or pantry).

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5 responses »

  1. From one pie lover and baker to another- I love your perspective! I agree- pie is rarely as easy as pie! You are right, however, it is the thought that counts- and even pie gone bad- still usually tastes pretty darn good! Take care!

  2. Pingback: Cool Whip Pie « Dig Into Books

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