Happy Pi(e) Day!

It’s no secret if you look through my recipe archives that pie is my favorite dessert. I didn’t even realize it myself until I started this blog! Pie has the best parts of any treat–flaky, crispy, delicious crust (perfectly good on its own sprinkled with cinnamon sugar); juicy, fruity filling (or chocolate or custard or chicken or vegetables or potatoes). Pie is totally healthy for you (see: fruit, vegetables) and perfectly acceptable as breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

In case you’re looking for a pie treat today or this weekend, check these out:

Coconut Custard Pie Perfect right now, no fresh fruit needed, and super fast and easy to make.
Filled, baked, puffed

Apple Pie The classic, courtesy of The Hoosier Mama Book of Pie.
Perfection, if I say so myself

Plum Chutney Crumble Pie It’s like plum chutney and pie had the most delicious baby.
Plum crumble pie

Rhubarb Pie We’re so close to making this again! Melt, snow, melt!
Rhubarb pie

Sour Cherry Pie My all-time favorite. I need to make one this weekend with the cherries I canned.
Cherry pie, cheater's lattice

Sour Cherry Crostata Still one of my favorites, but my oh my, how my photography has improved in two years!
Sour cherry crostata

Pie crust Can’t make pie without it!
Butter-lard pie crust

And you can’t make my favorite pie crust without lard!
Rendered and cooled leaf lard

Choose Your Own Adventure: Cherry Invasion!

Congratulations! You’ve had a successful day at the farmer’s market without stepping on one small child, errant dog, or hipster photographer with multi-camera setup. You have vegetables and fruit and cheese and bread enough to stuff yourself and any lucky friends silly for the rest of the week. And joy! Sour cherries, your favorite summer treat, are finally in season.

So many cherries

Now you stand staring at four quarts overflowing on your counter as they plot to take over the rest of your kitchen. You decide to…

  • Stay the known course. You have a favorite sour cherry crostata for a reason. Go to page 34.
  • Throw down the gauntlet. There’s no better time to put your pie-crust-making skills to the test than with near-90s temps (and nearly as high humidity levels). Go to page 22.
  • Go outside and enjoy a pretty pink drink. Summer is too short to spend too long in the kitchen anyways. Go to page 41.
  • Question your  sanity and life choices. Admit subservience to your cherry overlords and enlist your ever-expanding liquor shelf to make something boozy that requires zero effort (even if it does take a few weeks to get results). Go to page 65.

Well-coordinated Continue reading

We be jammin’

Sincerest apologies to Bob Marley, I just had the title of this post stuck in my head and it needed an outlet before it would leave me alone.

Cherry Cardamom Rosewater Jam

The past two years, I’ve been vaguely interested in learning how to can…stuff. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to make, all the recipes I ever saw for jam prompted the response “Want some sugar with that sugar?” Eesh. I’m not a huge sweets person to begin with and while I do get cravings for a good PB&J or want something to stir into yogurt, I inevitably end up with about 3/4 of a jar of jam sitting in my fridge for god-knows how long before I throw it out (I do keep the jars though). It seems like such a waste. And I’ve never been a pickle fan, though I have learned to like a little bit of pickle relish on a burger. So what on earth would I can that wouldn’t go to waste? Continue reading

Can she make a cherry pie Billy Boy, Billy Boy?

Strawberries are the first fruit that can make me do a “happy clap” at the markets and it’s no wonder why. While the greens of spring are undoubtedly welcome after a grey winter, the first red strawberries mean summer is really and truly here, and other colors, other flavors will follow soon. The first real, sweet fruit of the season is heaven, but after gorging on no less than 4 quarts over the course of a few weeks, I’m ready for the next sign of summer, my hands-down favorite: sour cherries.

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Continue reading