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Pie.

by Lauren | Celiac Teen on August 31, 2011

I’ve written this post in my head about ten times. The type of post you think of repeatedly, somehow hoping that it materializes all typed up, with photos at opportune breaks. Every time, it hasn’t happened. Some other pie has come into my life, or a loss for words has washed over me.

I haven’t baked an outrageous amount this summer, but I have baked a lot of pie. I’ve shared a lot of pie. This summer has been about pie. Be it that gorgeous raspberry pie made with the perfectly ripe raspberries, or the peanut butter pie made to remember a man I never knew. The latter was the one that kicked me in the gut (not the pie itself, but the reason why thousands of us made it). I made it for family, using saved images on my phone to read the recipe, in my grandma’s cottage. In the place which was the epitome of family to me. I guesstimated some parts, compensating with as much love as I had. It was a great pie. When it was gone, all I wanted was for it to still be here – for Mikey to still be here. I hugged everyone tighter, longer that day. And have done so every day since.

When I made my next pie, news came of another death. Another man taken too young. Another widow, shattered. More travel, more baking. Another man. This time, it was expected. That doesn’t make it easy. All it does is provide the knowledge that he lived a long, full life. That he met all of his grandchildren, and many of his great-grandchildren.

Pie has been my way to share memories. It’s always been something filled with stories of family. When I think of pie, I think of love. I think of giving. It celebrates the seasons. It celebrates life, love and gathering. Like life, it’s brilliant when messy. In fact, it’s often better. When my sweet cousin asked me what I’d make if I could only bake one thing for the rest of my life? The answer was pie. The answer has always been pie. It’s ingrained in me.

My great-grandmothers, the brilliant women I’ve never met, would throw pies together. A couple, every Sunday. No recipes, just a decided understanding of what to do and how to work a wood oven. I learned how to make pie crust beside my aunt and my cousin. This summer, I made two pies in the spot where I first learned. Standing at the crooked counter in grandma’s cottage, emotions surged through me. The first pie was that one for Mikey, the second was one of this summer’s great discoveries. Raspberry blueberry peach pie. The best pie I’ve ever made? I don’t doubt it.

I also shared pie with friends. One of the best parts about Canada is the diversity of cultures. That meant that one of my friends, who has lived from here to Europe and the Middle East, had never made pie. In fact, she’d only tried two kinds before – one just a few weeks prior to baking with me. After only tasting apple and coconut cream pie, I knew that I had to share a summer celebration pie. If you’ve grown up with pie as I have, you likely know the type. The freshest produce, singing with its sweet summer flavour, thrown into a pie. We had raspberries, blueberries and peaches in my kitchen, so that was the pie we made. Perfection. Watching her enjoy it was almost as good as the pie itself. But that pie would be hard to beat. I’m excited to share more pies in the future, and enjoy more of her favourite treats as well.

I don’t know how to adequately convey the importance of pie in my life. It’s shaped who I am. Not in terms of calories and pounds, but with memories and how I tackle the world. I’m quiet, honest. I’m simple and sometimes messy. I don’t reveal all of my secrets at first glance, but the odd bits, like this space, are out there for anyone to see. I stay in my comfort zone a lot, between two carefully crafted crusts. But if the ball is dropped or you really get to know me, I lay it all out.

They sometimes say that people are like icebergs, with only ten percent of who we are able to be seen. The problem I have with that is that it portrays people as being cold, without compassion. Pie, on the other hand can be warm or cold and is always meant to share. Each pie we make teaches us something. Some decisions in life are big flops, just like the odd pie. Most though, are beautiful in their own way. Some drip with garnet juices, others are tinged with browns around the edges, but every pie is special in its own way. Even if just for the lesson it left, it shapes how you make the next one, as each memory and experience affects how we live.

If I had a recipe for most of these pies, I’d share. The peanut butter pie is over at Jennie’s site (I just made sure the chocolate cookies were gluten-free ones). While you’re there, go leave her some love.

My go-to gluten-free pie crust is here. The crusts are a little bit more tricky than the below filling, but that’s half the fun. Pie crust is one of my favourite things to make.

For the raspberry blueberry peach pie, I threw together a cup or so of raspberries, a cup or so of blueberries, a couple of sliced, skinned peaches, a cup of sugar, a tablespoon or two of cornstarch, some lemon juice and vanilla. All tossed together, allowed to sit for ten minutes. Dumped into a prepared pie crust, dotted with butter and then sealed with a top crust, which was scored to let the steam out. Brushed with a little milk and sprinkled with some sugar. With a baking sheet on the rack below the pie, I baked at 425 for 15 minutes, then turned down to 350 for 45 minutes or longer, until done.

I know, it’s not a specific recipe. It’s a pie recipe. Room to wiggle, room to play, and room to forge your own path and memories.

Now it’s your turn. What does pie mean to you? And what is your favourite type of pie? I’d love to know.

xoxo
Lauren

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Nisrine M. August 31, 2011 at 6:34 pm

It looks delicious, Lauren. I haven’t had pie in a long time, probably since xmas.

Nadine August 31, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Thanks for sharing your pie. I’m gonna go make some now that I’m full of warm fuzzies. You’re awesome.

Kimberly September 1, 2011 at 6:07 am

Pie is one of those things I have missed the most. Pie crust was always my forte. It was easy to make and i seemed to have a real knack for it. It was comforting to make and yummy to eat. I was gluten free more than a year before i got up the courage to try my hand at gf pie. I tried several different crust recipes and failed so miserably that I gave up…. until this summer. Last Thanksgiving (that’s end of November here in the US) I was trying to come up with a cookie recipe when i ended up with something i thought would be great for pie crust instead. I was too busy at the time and set it aside to use later. Unfortunately, now that i was finally ready, I couldn’t find my notes on it anywhere! So i just dumped things into a bowl until it ‘looked right’ and it was really really good. It wasn’t the prettiest pie ever but it was so good my husband and I ate it right out of the pie plate! LOL A photo of it at the end of this post here: http://smolderingwickdesigns.blogspot.com/2011/08/shirt-progress-and-pie.html

Amethystar7 September 1, 2011 at 8:10 am

My mom made butter tarts that I loved. With substitutes, I made gluten free butter tarts and it was a success!

Thank you for sharing the recipe. I look forward to making GF pumpkin pie. It s one of my favorite pies.

Alessa September 1, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Beautiful post. Even though, having grown up in Europe, I’m not a pie girl, I totally get what you mean. :) I really should make some pie this weekend…

kellypea September 2, 2011 at 11:47 am

Wonderful post, beautiful words, memories. You’re a gift, Lauren, to those of us who look forward to quiet thoughtfulness. I love my three grown boys, but you make me wonder how my life might have been different with a daughter. Especially one who loves pie! This one looks mighty tasty.

Gabby September 2, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Hello!
Just found your blog and I’m really impressed! Looks like a delicious recipe! Have to try it soon.
Have a great weekend!

A Canadian Foodie September 2, 2011 at 9:48 pm

What a beautifully written post, Lauren. Thank you. And you are right. A pie says it all. There is so much more inside of a pie than just the pie. So much more XO

Jessica September 5, 2011 at 10:35 pm

I totally feel you on the pie shaping your life. Girl, I’m pretty sure pie is the reason I made it through statistics in collage.
P.S. I need this particular pie in my life! Beautiful!

Michelle September 7, 2011 at 5:59 am

I haven’t made pie in years and at that time I was eating gluten. I plan to spend time this winter making gluten-free pie. I’ve missed your blog posts over the summer. Hope you had a great holiday.

Amanda September 8, 2011 at 6:49 am

What a beautiful post. Just wonderful.

I honestly haven’t baked that many pies in my life; I’m more of a cake person. My absolute favorite, though, is rhubarb pie. Earthy, tangy, gorgeous color. It means spring, cool weather, longer days, a new beginning. I agree, you really can’t go wrong with pie.

MikeVFMk September 10, 2011 at 10:43 am

Lauren, this is beautiful. The post, the pie, the words. Thanks for sharing pie. My favourite? Berry. Or Pumpkin in the fall.

Colleen September 10, 2011 at 8:08 pm

Was just diagnosed with celiac this week, I knew i would need a pie crust recipe, so I am thrilled, almost to tears reading this post. I have only made pies in the last few years, but they are a crucial holiday staple in my family, and I can’t imagine giving it up. Thanks so much for sharing!

Julie September 10, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Wow, this just says it all! Great timing to come across this while still full of all the marvelous pies we shared this afternoon – I’m still swooning over yours, which was just the epitome of everything I love in a pie: tender crust, bubbling fruit in season – I adore all dark, sticky berries in a pie, and also peaches – but best of all, a combination of berries and stone fruits. Plums are pretty fab, too!

Kathy September 13, 2011 at 11:16 am

I love pie. I prefer pie to cake. My all time favorite is pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie means gatherings of family or friends at events such as Thanksgiving or Christmas. Although I could eat it quite happily year round. I’ve got a pretty easy pumpkin pie recipe on my cooking blog: http://chronicinthekitchen.wordpress.com/2010/10/30/no-bake-low-fat-pumpkin-pie/

Shannon September 13, 2011 at 11:27 am

This pie looks soo good! :)

Winnie September 14, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Such a beautiful pie Lauren. I really don’t have a relationship to pie, but you make me with I did. xoxo

Jen @ keepitsimplefoods September 16, 2011 at 6:39 am

Mmm…this pie looks good! Love that you used the pie symbol in the crust!

Y September 25, 2011 at 8:57 am

Oh please let every summer be about pie, and good memories!

Rachel M October 2, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Your recipes look amazing! I can’t believe they’re gluten-free! Love your photography, too!
I’m just a 18-year-old cook, too. =)

Michelle March 23, 2012 at 8:14 pm

I love pie! It’s my all-time favorite dessert. However, I mostly like fruit pies. I’m not so much into cream pies, as they are a bit too sweet for me.

My favorite pie is Strawberry Rhubarb. Second-favorite is pie with cherries from my mother’s cherry tree in Kansas. They are sour, but with the right combination of sugar, cinnamon and flour they become soooo delicious!

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