Friday, July 13, 2007

Out of the Kitchen

Hot days make for a paucity of pie-baking, so what we need is a special pie to beat the heat.

Feeling cooler already. . .

Friday, July 6, 2007

Sounds Good To Me

Here’s a boring piece of information: I’m not really a visual sort of person. You know those quizzes that determine the type of learning style you have? I always find myself securely in the auditory category. (Find out your own style here) And that parlor game where you have to decide which of your senses you’d give up if you had a choice? Well, taste, as you might imagine, would probably be the first sense I’d preserve. Sight, however, would fall quickly, right after smell. (And no, I’m not interested in that claptrap of how you need to have smell in order to have taste. This is a game, remember? And besides, I’m the Queen and I set the rules.)

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the visual. I do ... although you might not know if from my…er… home decorating efforts. Or even from my wardrobe, although I’ve learned to avoid mixing animal prints. And while I’m lucky to have a movie-star handsome husband, I’d still let him bake my biscuits even if the movie star he most resembled was Wallace Shawn. As I get older (shudder) it seems that appearances are of less importance to me. I suppose this is all wise and good and perhaps one of the (few) benefits that age brings to the table.

This is a roundabout explanation of why you’ll never see a gaudy flag cake or splashy red, white, and blue tart at my 4th of July festivities.

Fireworks Display

I’d rather have something taste good than look good, and with those elaborately-decorated confections, appearance always seems to trump taste. And besides, some of my very favorite foods are incredibly ugly: the chunky gray blob that is baba ghanoush; a plain dark slab of liver pate; the wart-laden skin of a squash. Or maybe I just harbor affection for the frumpy and the forlorn.

Anyway, here’s the pie I served up at our Independence Day celebration.

AR Pie Finished View

Appearance-wise it’s certainly no dog, but it doesn’t invoke the patriotic fervor of a Yankee Doodle sundae or firecracker Jigglers. The pie does, however, taste really, really good. It’s filled with tart apricots that become meltingly soft and juicy during baking and a splash of raspberries for extra flavor.

Those raspberries served another purpose, too: adding a beautiful, rosy glow to the interior of the pie. So there, you visual types: the raspberries are a little gift from the Queen of Tarts. A little bit of looking good never hurt anything, I guess.

Kenny Eating Pie

Apricot Raspberry Pie
Adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook

Pastry for a double crust pie
1/3 c. cornstarch
½ t. salt
1 ½ c. sugar
1 ¾ pounds apricots (I used about 16 small apricots), pitted and sliced into ½ inch wedges
6 oz. raspberries
1 egg, yolk and white separated
1 T. sugar

Place baking on sheet on oven rack and heat oven to 450.
Roll out half of pastry to fill plate. Whisk egg white and brush over bottom and sides of pastry. Refrigerate. Mix remaining egg white back into yolk and reserve.
Mix together cornstarch, salt, and sugar in bowl. Add apricots and stir well. Gently stir in raspberries. Spoon filling into pie shell. Roll top pastry and cover filling. Crimp edges. Lightly brush top of crust with egg mixture and sprinkle with 1 T. sugar. Cut several slits into crust for venting. Bake pie on hot pie sheet for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 and continue to bake 45 minutes more, until crust is brown and filling is bubbling. Cool several hours before serving.

Apricot Raspberry Pie