Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Yesterday, as I was tying my apron around my waist, I commented to John that I loved baking pies. He responded, "The world loves the fact that you love baking pies, hon."


I DO love baking pie. There's something about having my hands full of flour, the smell when it's baking in the oven, the way pie looks, but most importantly....the way it tastes.


I volunteered to make a fresh strawberry pie for Terese and Greg's Fourth of July barbecue yesterday, and as I assembled the ingredients, I realized that it has been far too long since I whipped out one of these babies.

I make my piecrust in a decidedly non-high-tech method. As in using just a bowl, a fork, and a rolling pin. That's all. I have a food processor and use it for other stuff but I just can't bring myself to make piecrust in it. A machine can't possibly tell you when you've added just enough ice water or whether you need to sprinkle in a bit more flour, and the experience would be much less satisfying in general. I feel the same way about making bread - my hands just have to be all floury and sticky or I'm not happy.

And then, when the crust is finished baking, I have to cool it outside if at all possible. I love looking out my kitchen window and seeing a pie out there.

I know, I know.......You're wondering if that's a precarious spot to place a pie. If it's windy at all outside, I don't set it on the deck railing but instead put it on our patio table. I haven't sent a pie overboard from our deck yet, and I wouldn't want to, either.

Yesterday, since I was being kind of putzy, I needed to speed the cooling process along, so the crust ended up in the freezer for a bit.

Then the strawberries.....mmmmm.......

I have yet to figure out how to arrange strawberries perfectly in this pie. Mine always end up all jumbled up and messy-looking, but nobody complains. All it needs now is a big old blob of whipped cream.


Leslie at SugarAndSpiceADK. said...


annie said...

That is a really nice looking crust, Julia. Do you use butter, lard or a mixture of both in your recipe?

Tricia said...

Do you use some kind of syrup on the strawberries? It looks wonderful. You have lucky friends!

Julia Oleinik said...

Annie - when I can, I use lard but used shortening for this crust.
Tricia - I made this pie for a party where there may have been diabetics there, so I used a recipe which called for sugar free strawberry jello. It's made using less water than usual so it sets up more firm. My usual strawberry pie recipe calls for unflavored gelatin and sugar and mushed strawberries poured over the fresh berries.

Kelly said...

Lovely, Julia!

Isn't it amazing how many people can't make a piecrust and think you are a kitchen wizard because you can? I always tell these people there's a reason for that old expression, "Easy as pie" but they don't believe me. By hand is the only way for piecrust, but I use a pastry cutter (that half-circle thing with the wires)to cut in the fat before stirring in the water with the trusty fork.

Our family signature Square Deep Dish Peach Pies are just around the corner...and by the way, the corners are the best part, which is why we make them square. Also because it's mathematically correct: Pi(r)2

Julia Oleinik said...

Oh. my. gosh.

Square deep dish peach pi(r)2!

Well, thanks a lot Kelly. Now I can't think of anything else for the day......drool...

Kelly said...

Sorry about that, Julia. I notice today's post moves from the sublime to the serious. Very nice segue.

Here's a calorie guilt-free stress relieving activity for those concerned about adipose tissue accumulation from pie consumption: www.zentangle.com. Don't know how to post links in the comment section here so you'll have to type the address or search for "Zentangle" in Google.