Summer conjures up freshly baked fruit and berry pies. We all flock to that table at gatherings or state fairs. In Vermont, one may see a roadside stand selling pies in that tin-punched pie safe, a jar of change nearby, yes, it’s the honor system here in these parts, and a small spiral notebook for the notation of your purchase – for inventory purposes, of course.
The history of pie goes way back. Egyptians and Greeks set the stage, mainly with aromatic meat preparations. Pie made its way to America via the English settlers, frugal fillings with a virtually non-edible crust acting as a means to just hold the filling together. Thankfully, pie preparation evolved.
Seasonally, pie has secured a spot in kitchens throughout the year. Summer, of course, being top on the list, as sweet berries ripen under our sunny blue skies. It begins with plump heart-shaped strawberries – the lattice pie you remember, at times, complemented with tart rhubarb – a dollop of freshly whipped cream seductively melting, forming that pool of sweet cream around your slice. Red raspberries usher in July with their unique mouth-watering taste sensation. A nice variation on “the cream pie” is featured below. It’s a beauty, and the mile-high meringue will get lots of oohs and aahs. Luscious blueberries in typical blue cardboard pint baskets are showing their colors right about now. Blueberry pie – remember when it made its way to the dinner table - Mom, Aunt, or Grandma slowly walking in from the kitchen – two potholders – pie in hand – the man of the house ready with the ice cream scoop? Sentimental September, we save what may be the best for last, presents us with THE apple – a plethora of color, variety, taste, size. We thank Johnny Appleseed. The perfect pie apple, you ask? It’s a matter of preference, and we like to mix them up a bit. Don’t forget the cheddar; we’d be insulted.
We could go on and on about pie. Check back often, as we’re sure that pie will make an appearance in our blog again. There’s so much pie territory we’ve left unmentioned.
Raspberry Cream Pie
2 cups fresh raspberries
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup sugar
½ cup whole milk
3 tablespoons flour
2 egg yolks
Prepared 9-inch pie crust or shell, or homemade using your favorite recipe
3 egg whites
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
4 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Mix the first 6 ingredients in a blender. Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell. Bake at 375F for 35-40 minutes or until center of pie is set. Remove from oven and set aside to cool while you make meringue. Whip all meringue ingredients until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue over pie and bake at 400F for 8-10 minutes until meringue is golden.