Thursday, August 23, 2007

Easy as Pie

I spent 4 hours today making, baking, and freezing peach pies and peach crisps. (These are my favorite recipes.) Blanching the peaches in boiling water, shocking them in ice water, peeling them, de-pitting the peaches, and slicing the peaches is a lot of work. Adding the sugar, the tapioca/flour, and then the cinnamon and nutmeg (the secret) adds to the work. And that’s just the filling. Then I gotta make the crust—making the dough in my Cuisinart is the easy part. Chilling it, rolling it, and placing it in the pan without ripping it, is the hard part. I should’ve taken a picture of my kitchen today after I was done. I had three stations set-up—all in disarray by the end. Hallie added to the tornado-like mess when she decided to roll out the pastry scraps with her baby rolling pin. She managed to get flour everywhere, even into the keypad of the cordless phone. And then of course because it’s a butter pastry, it eventually melted and so Hallie left butter glops to clean up as well. Thanks sweetey.

So where did the phrase ‘easy as pie’ come from? True, anyone with a few brain cells who can read a recipe can make a pie, but it takes a long time and it is very messy. I think this phrase is misleading—pie easy? Yes. But it’s also messy, time consuming, and tiresome. Now eating the pie, that’s a different phrase. ‘Heavenly as pie’ or ‘sinful as pie’ all describe the eating. But as for the work, I’m changing the phrase to ‘as messy as pie’. At least now my freezer is filled with crisps and pies to last me through the winter. Happy tummy, aching feet.


Ilene said...

What, you can successfully freeze pies? And crisps? Why don't I know these things?

I appreciate your post, very educational. The problem I have is I want to eat the pie rather than bake it... all 12 of them (or whatever amount you made).

abelnap said...

Haven't I told you where "easy as pie" comes from. THink about our beloved forebears. Pie was one of the easiet things they could make AND it must have almost always come out right. Chicken--had to wring the neck, pluch the feathers, gut it, clean it, bleck! Let's not even talk about beef--and pork? I've done that myself in Mexico--trust me, pie waas easier. OK, let's look at baked goods. Biscuits--also easy so we could have had the phrase "easy as biscuits" but come on? Who took biscuits to impress the neighbors at the Sunday pot luck? Nope, let's go fancier. In fact, how about your favorite--cake? Easy right? Not with whole wheat or low grade flour. Not without a lovely scale or at least measuring cups to measure accurately. Not without baking powder and/or soda in some cases. Not with an oven--or worse a plain fireplace--fueled by wood. Granted pies are cooked in the same oven, BUT are not as tempramental with temperature changes. Let's face it, you can make mistakes with pies and they still are lovely. Cakes are delicate. So, there you go. My treatise on easy as pie. You're ahead of me because I've only had two boxes of peaches this year which is pitiful! I just have no time for GF pie making (those crusts are really hard to get in the plate without breaking--good thing there is no gluten and I can just mushit around as much as I want to)!

Paul said...

Thanks for all of the hard work. The first of these peach pies is nearly consumed.

Looking forward to peaches and cream tomorrow morning. That is a childhood favorite I will never tire of.

The winter doesn't look quite as bleak with a freezer full of "sunshine" waiting to be thawed.

Ilene said...

Cynthia, you would be so proud. Our stake is doing some kind of fruit order and so I ordered 20 lbs. of golden something-or-other peaches (only $16)! Anyway, I was inspired by you so we shall see what kind of delectables hit my freezer! Any tips?

I also ordered a ton of apples. I think I will make my first applesauce and apple butter batches.

Just call me Molly, Molly Mormon, that is.

cyn the win said...

I think crisps will be easier and may freeze better than pies. I made ina's crisp recipe (the link is in the blog) minus the raspberries) and then divided the peaches into two 9" cake pans and then divided the crisp topping as well. It was a perfect division. I'm going to go buy more 9" cake pans (pie pans are too shallow) or disposable square pans and make more. Way faster than pies.

you can also make peach topping for waffles, ice cream, etc. and freeze that. You could can it too, but that's too much work for me. (My freezer is huge.) I just simmered peach slices with sugar and nutmeg and cornstarch until they were thick. cool and freeze. yummy.

the YW went crazy for the peach topping on their waffles (with lots of cream as well) at our leadership brunch on saturday. the skinniest girls ate the most. that's what i'm talking about!

cyn the win said...

Ilene--this has nothing to do with being a molly mormon and everything to do with being a food snob.

mom2qtboys said...

Okay I'm with you all the way on this one-because there is no way you can buy peaches for anything in the winter-I tried that once as a naive college girl and blech. I already picked peaches from a local orchard once(8 bucks a bushel) and will go again this week.I only wish I had room to freeze the whole pie, crisp etc but our freezer is so full of sour cherries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries(almost all of which we picked ourselves) and other stuff that I don't have the room. I have found that when I make pies, crisps or cobblers from frozen fruit that it works best to just use the fruit before it thaws and add a little extra thickener(tapioca, cornstarch etc)when making the filling that the fruit will be folded into. I've never actually tried just freezing the pie filling so thanks for the tips! I was just reading about that this morning though because I have 36 lbs of apples I bought at a produce auction and I was thinking of trying the frozen pie filling thing.I'm going to do applesauce and dried apples too. I think I could have been a farmer's wife as long as we could have been vegetarians because I would rather do all this stuff than have to process any kind of meats like your friend said.

Ilene said...

Hey, you need to send me that peach pie recipe. I am too lazy to sign up for a membership to view it. Where do you buy tapioca? By the gelatin or cornstarch?

Nicole, color me impressed. I am so behind in the food freezing process. The only things in my freezer are bananas, hamburger patties, corn dogs and some chicken. Oh, a bag of frozen french fries. I stink at planning ahead. You girls need to keep telling me what you are doing so I can copy. There's that whole unambitious trait coming through.


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