Now that I live in Utah, my craft nights with my lady friends in California have been curtailed, which has been tragic. But this weekend, Leslie and I decided to circumvent the geographic obstacle with a pie-making date on Skype. We have both been greatly enamored of the author Joyce Maynard for the last year, and were inspired by her book Labor Day to make pies. In the book, the smoldering convict lothario bakes a peach pie for his agoraphobic lady love (played by Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin in the movie version) on a steamy summer day.
In addition to being one of my favorite writers whom I have had the great privilege to hear live in person on one occasion, Joyce Maynard is apparently something of a pie expert, and if you troll the internet you can find tons of videos of her explaining in very laissez faire terms how to make a pie. (This one is particularly adorable.) We watched a few videos and then used a recipe we found online for peach pie.
I went to the farmers market on Sunday morning and the nice Mormon kid at the peach stand handpicked three pounds of perfectly-pie-ripe peaches for me. As a side note, I am consistently impressed and happy with how nice people are here. It makes you want to be nice back. It’s nice.
Then I got over myself and went to the regular grocery store to buy non-organic, good old fashioned Crisco and minute tapioca. These, Joyce emphasized, are non-negotiatble essentials.
Did I mention that this was my first pie ever? It was both terrifying and simple to make pie. Like many things in the kitchen, it required one hundred percent focus—no allowance to get distracted by technology or impulsive multitasking. When you make pie, you are making pie, that’s it.
Maybe not pretty, but I think this crust turned out pretty great. Jon diplomatically told me that “some pies have a thicker crust” but then agreed to eat at least half of it if I would make fresh whipped cream, which I am always happy to do because fresh whipped cream is my raison d’être.
Although my mom said my flourish on top made it look like a boob. Bummer.