Zapple Pie

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It’s not Apple Pie: It’s Zapple Pie.

Yes, my friends. It’s time to talk about mock apple pie, made from zucchini and a few other ingredients that aid the trickery. Unless you actually make one yourself, you will probably not believe me when I say how good it is. But I and my taste-testers will tell you: it is really, really, really good. This Crumb-Topped Zapple Pie recipe can be found in Ken Haedrich’s book Pie, like most of the others discussed on this blog.

I made two of these back-to-back in late August/early September when mi querida amiga Linda gave me six zucchini from her prolific garden, two of which were actual giants. I’m a person that likes zucchini a lot of ways, but after making that first pie, it was like, oh, clearly this is 100% the best way to use zucchini. Let’s not mess around with zucchini bread and other such distractions anymore.

What does it take to make a Zapple Pie? Take a look.

Because this pie is so unusual, so delectable, and made with such a common ingredient, I feel it will be well worth our collective time to go into the process in a more step-by-step fashion than I typically would. Sound good? Sounds good.

Peel the zucchini and cut into thin, but not paper-thin, pieces (Cut rounds, then quarter them if a large zucchini, or in half for a medium zucchini.) You’ll start with six cups of raw zuke pieces.

Not previously pictured, but here is another key secret ingredient. Little bit of apple juice concentrate + Little bit of apple cider vinegar goes a long way in making zucchinis taste like apples, as it turns out.

Sugar, spices, and appley things simmer with the zucchini in a stockpot prior to baking. A cornstarch and lemon juice mixture is added towards the end to thicken and brighten up the mixture.

Like most of Ken’s crumb-topped pies, this pie is baked for half an hour with nothing on top, and the crumbs are added about halfway through the total baking time. Personally, one of my favorite aspects of this pie is the use of pecans in the crumb topping. This truly elevates the flavor and texture of the entire pie, in my opinion. Genius move.

In checking for doneness, you’ll see thick juicy bubbles around the edge of the pie when it’s done, just like you would expect of any classic fruit pie.

I was happy to be able to share these pies with Linda (the zucchini-giver) and her family and Levi’s grandparents and aunt. We’ve also been having backyard church some Sunday nights with a handful of friends, a real joy. Distanced and all that, you know the drill (Pippa and her cousin “baby Luke” don’t distance, because a. They stink at it and b. We are in each others’ bubbles.) But boy oh boy, it is GOOD to sit eight feet apart from physical people and physically drink the wine and eat the bread together.

And sometimes, afterwards, physically eat mystery pie together.

Pippa: “Whhaaaaat’s in it?” She loves being in on trickery.

Bonus completely irrelevant photo that no one will be mad about: Pippa and her beloved babies. I hope she never stops calling anyone that is even slightly younger than her “baby ___________”.

Left to right: Baby Pippa, Baby Margaret, Baby Dolly, Baby Lucy, Baby Lydia. #babysquad

Will you try making a Zapple Pie? Don’t forget to let me know. I very badly want to hear your reaction and whether you found it as entirely delightful as I did. ❤

Let the Record Show

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I had a real moment this weekend. A moment of serious pie déjà vu.

I was working on a Triple-Layer Pumpkin-Chocolate Pie, a pie which, in my own words, “I’m really excited to make because I’ve been eyeing this recipe forever and never actually made!” Well, look. I hate to say this, but sometimes pies begin to blur together in my mind. I’d checked the Pie Gallery page of this website multiple times, saw no hint of the Triple-Layer, and thought I was in the clear. But then, the aforementioned déjà vu hit too strongly when I was photographing the pie with its top sour cream layer and I did a more careful search through old blog posts. Come to find, the Thanksgiving pies of 2013 never made it to the gallery!! I laughed out loud when I saw the image below…

…Because I’d just finished taking these photos.

By the way, I don’t mean to complain. There was clearly meant to be a 2020 version of this pie; I was happy to make it again, share it with some lovely family friends, taste it again myself (since I had no recollection of the taste from 2013. Weird right.) Plus you guys would never have gotten these sweet Pippa/Process Pics.

She is getting PRETTY good with a rolling pin, I will not lie. And check out this nifty pie rolling mat! Another embarrassing confession-from-a-pie-maker to add to the list in this post; I’ve never even seen one of these baking mats or surmised their existence. What a fantastic invention. And what fantastic bedhead.

By the by, the reason this pie was up for (re)consideration was when I asked the recipients for favorite pie fillings, the response was “chocolate, pumpkin, and macaroni and cheese”. Even I could not figure out how to combine all three of those, but the first two? YES.

This may be a good recipe to consider if you’re thinking of making something new and a bit different for your Thanksgiving this year. I always find most families have some pumpkin people and some chocolate people. And maybe some pumpkin-chocolate people. Make everyone happy. Reach out if you’d like the recipe.

The chocolate layer of the pie is the same cheesecake-y pumpkin filling shown above, just with melted chocolate added.

The striking profile you see below is achieved with multiple rounds of baking. The crust is partially pre-baked, the chocolate-pumpkin layer is baked alone for twenty minutes, then the plain pumpkin layer goes on top of that. It’s time consuming, but not too much trouble; just a lot of time all added up! The sour cream layer is poured on top of the cooled pie, which is then chilled for at least three hours before eating.

Moving on. Following the discovery of my startling omission, I was compelled to give the Pie Gallery a fresh update. It took a bit longer than I’m comfortable admitting and was probably the 567th most important thing on my to-do list last night, but it was rewarding in its own way. A few minor numbering errors were corrected and the Triple-Layer’s photo was added to spot 116, along with the Jellied Cranberry-Pecan Pie (117) that had been made at the same time. I also took the opportunity to add in the Mocha Ricotta Mousse Pie with Warm Mocha Sauce that my cousin Daniel and I collaborated on in the summer of 2019. It’s currently taking a high place of honor in spot #150 – the halfway mark of this project! Unfortunately for Dan (and for myself come to think of it) I have a feeling I’m yet missing one to two pies and that number may shift. It would be very, very cute, and very good for my storyline if the pie with Pippa’s name emblazoned on it (currently in spot #149) ends up being Pie 150. P.S. I know I care WAAAAAAAY more about any of this than I could ever imagine you would, dear reader. If you’ve already got the gallery page open in another tab and are trying to make sense of my ramblings…well, you’re my hero.

In conclusion, a few things you should know about the Mocha Ricotta Mousse Pie.

1) It was incredible.

2) It was actually fairly simple to make.

3) My cousin Dan has a fake celebrity chef/Instagram persona named “Chef Gusto” who wears a tall white hat, a fake mustache, and speaks with what can only loosely be called a French accent. So as you might guess, cooking with him is quite hilarious. If you want a good laugh and you’re reading this post within the week it was published, click here to view Chef Gusto’s Instagram Story from July 2019; he made it temporarily public for the enjoyment of Peace of Pie readers! Thanks Dan. Can’t wait for you to “teach me how” to make another pie sometime.

Below: serving suggestion for coffee lovers: Mocha Pie, Mocha Sauce, Espresso…what else could you want?

See you all in October. ❤

Mini Cheesecake Pies for the Kids

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This is the exact thing that these pies are called in my ultimate pie guide to life (Pie by Ken Haedrich, if you’re a new reader…and if so, welcome!) But friends, I am here to tell you: these are not just for the kids.

However, I do highly suggest this as a recipe to make (in part or full, depending on their age) with your kids, if you’re looking for delicious family bonding activities. Here’s what your mini cheesecake pies will look like this if you let a pair of enthusiastic two-year-olds decorate them.

We whipped up these delightful little concoctions over the past weekend, during a short vacation with my cousin’s family to the mountain town of Big Bear Lake, California. The recipe calls for individual store-bought graham cracker crusts. And, I can’t*. So I brought along the jumbo muffin tin and made my own. Grease the muffin tin well and they’ll slide out just fine. I wasn’t sure, but I tested it for you all and you’ve got the green light.

*See multiple other Peace of Pie posts where I enumerate the merits of homemade graham cracker crusts.

Here are some things I learned while making these pies.

  1. If you forget to pack brown sugar, you can make a fine graham cracker crust with regular sugar. It’s something I hadn’t done before. Brown sugar is much nicer because it’s a bit damper and stickier, which helps bind the crumbs together. But it isn’t essential.
  2. If you forget to bring an electric mixer, you can enlist someone with strong arms to whip the filling together. The hardest part is the cream cheese, even if softened. I do suggest using an electric mixer if you’re not at a remote cabin with limited options, this is definitely a last resort tip.

A valid question you could ask at this point if you’d like is, “Did you actually participate in the making of these pies at all, Jess?” Let’s just say it was a team effort, with myself, Levi, Pippa, and her buddy Jack all equally contributing to the creative process.

Here is the most aesthetically appealing photo you’ll find in this post. Pies prior to the toddler decorating party, with a delightfully colorful berry plate in waiting.

Next, an onslaught of cute photos of Pippa and Jack doing what they do best: pretending to decorate with berries while actually scarfing down berries. Okay, Pippa was a way worse offender here than Jack. While Jack was placing a blueberry directly into the center of each pie (with enough force to make the filling squish up towards the ceiling), Pippa was promising to “decorate” with each new berry while literally popping 3/4 of them into her mouth. SO many fakeouts.

The recipe contains numerous other suggestions for how to decorate these pies: Caramel-Nut, Candy Fantasy, Choco-Mallow. Anyone else starting to think about Cheesecake Factory? We kept it simple and fresh this time. What’s your favorite berry to pair with cheesecake? I’m a raspberry girl myself.

My pie-lovin’ heart was super happy to see these cute kiddos each enjoy half of one of the cheesecake pies they had “made themselves”. For those doing math at home, the four adults had no problem polishing off the other five mini pies later that evening. Like I said – not just for the kids.

What will you top your mini cheesecake pies with? Do you have a kid in your life who would love to bake and/or eat these? Lemme know because you know I loooove those sweet comments. And, happy fall to my fellow Northern Hemisphereans. Is it me or does a change in season feel especially good this year?

Dynamic Duos

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Once upon a time, there were two babies named Pippa and Milo. They were the best of friends.

When Milo read books, Pippa read books. When Pippa cuddled her baby, Milo cuddled his baby. When Milo said, “Time to eat!” Pippa said, “I’m all in.”

Pippa and Milo both like sweet treats. Pippa’s mama is a pie baker, and Milo’s parents have an ice cream maker. When their families stay together, decadence ensues.

Here’s Milo blessing the pie pastry for this Fancy Chocolate Chess Pie.

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Milo’s dad doesn’t bake pies too often, but he has made two kinds of pie, one of which happens to be Chocolate Chess. This isn’t as coincidental as it sounds – Milo’s family lives in Virginia, and Chess Pie was born and bred in the South. The other pie Milo’s dad can make is a PB & J pie. Pippa’s mama thinks it is a very unfortunate omission that there is no recipe for a PB & J pie in her cookbook, and might just have to try making one soon anyway.

Here is a picture of many egg yolks that put the Fancy in this Chocolate Chess Pie.

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Pippa’s mama couldn’t remember if she had made this pie before. She thought she hadn’t, until just now, when she was browsing the “Chess” tag on her own website and stumbled upon a post from 2013. Now she remembers that this was Pie #99 in her gallery and she can’t count it again. Too bad, cause this would have been a fiiiine looking image for the pie gallery. But y’know, no real regrets. It was delish again, seven years later, eaten with different folks.

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Milo’s mama used a Salt and Straw Ice Cream Starter Kit (link here but it looks pretty much unavailable anymore which is sad and disappointing news for all of us) to make absolutely delicious Freckled Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream. The two decadent desserts were enjoyed side by side one evening; a slice of pie followed by a bowl of ice cream. Don’t worry, Pippa and Milo got to taste-test the ice cream at lunch the next day.

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P.S. Pippa’s mama now owns an ice cream maker also. She’s written about her love for Salt and Straw Ice Cream before. If S&S ever starts selling Honey Lavender Starter Kits, you all know what she wants for her birthday for the rest of her life.

The End.

You’re Sure to Fall in Love with Old Cape Cod (and this Gluten Free Pie Crust)

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That’s what the song says, minus my little parenthetical addition.

And, sure enough, we did.

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If you would have told me last year that I, my husband, and my two-year-old would drive to Cape Cod from California in the summer of 2020, much head-scratching would have ensued. 2020. No one saw it coming.

For a week, we created a friend/spiritual family pod in this gorgeous Brewster, Massachusetts home. It was exactly what our souls needed.

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On the Thursday evening, we dressed up in the nicest things we’d brought, planned an extra special dinner menu (although, wait, that was every night…) and had a “backyard party” of sorts. We ate outside (you’ll see the bottle o’ bug spray in an upcoming photo, mixed in with the prettier things on the table!) To elevate the night further, the presence of a pie was certainly required. And, with our friend Jonny in mind, it needed to be a gluten-free pie.

In the past, when preparing desserts for friends who aren’t able to eat gluten, I’ve tended to go towards pies with meringue shells (made with no flour – mainly egg whites!) or veer away from serving pie at all. Even for this occasion, my original plan was to make a recipe from Ken Haedrich’s Pie cookbook, Black Forest Mini Angel Pies. Those would have been fantastic, except after I acquired all of the ingredients, including a whole bottle of cream of tartar, I had a forehead-slapping realization that I was 3,000+ miles from my KitchenAid. Meringue, which requires a hefty amount of high-speed whipping, was out of the question.

It was high, high time to try a gluten free pastry recipe, one that wouldn’t be just a passable shell for a pie filling, but delicious in its own right. Easy to work with and roll out was another quality on my wish list.

Et voila: Gluten Free on a Shoestring has a recipe for an extra-flaky pie pastry made with sour cream (I substituted Greek yogurt) that “rolls out beautifully” – their words, but I totally, totally agree. Helen, always prepared, had brought along some Cup4Cup gluten free flour, which happened to be one of the brands recommended in the linked recipe.

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Here’s a slightly misleading photo in which I am rolling the pie crust with a bottle of Cape Cod vodka, not because I was trying to set up a clever photo to tell you I used vodka in the crust (I STILL have not tried this, to my great shame as a pie experimentess), but because it was the closest thing to a rolling pin in the vicinity. The crust rolled out even more easily than my standard gluten-y go-tos.

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Remember all those cherries I bought thinking I was making Black Forest mini pies? Oh yeah, me too. Throw those in the filling FOR SURE. Peaches and I think maybe one nectarine too. It’s August, I don’t remember July details anymore.

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We’ll circle back to see how the pie turned out shortly. Let’s take a look at what else is happening meanwhile at our celebratory Thursday evening, alongside a large pitcher of this Watermelon Mint Lemonade.

My life doesn’t always look it’s straight out of Food and Wine magazine, but when it does…I ain’t complaining. Thank you Levi for these UNREAL oysters, pictured topped with herb butter before being grilled to perfection.

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As the writer of Ecclesiastes says, “I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them.” I have noticed it too, how good it is to gather around a table.

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That pie though. It’s really just showing off here with its beautiful peekaboo crust, as if to prove how easy this pastry is to work with. We all thoroughly enjoyed it, part and parcel. And I think it was particularly special for Jonny, who doesn’t get to eat pie pastry as often as, say, I do.

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And behold: there was homemade whipped cream to be eaten with our pie. Remember though, AirBnBs don’t have stand mixers. So, what did we do? The cream was poured in a cold metal bowl and passed around the table for each person to take a turn at beating until his or her arm grew tired.

This, my friends, is dedication to the art of eating pie.

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Photo credit for almost all of these photos goes to NOT ME. Helen and her 4-year-old daughter Bella in particular get lots of credit. The portraits of myself, Pippa, and the table in the back garden are all Bella’s work. The close-ups of my gorgeous friends Maggie and José are Helen’s photos. She also captured the cuteness below.

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I have a lot more summer pie stories coming your way. Let’s just say, if your garden is growing massive zucchini right now, but you prefer the taste of apple pie, send me a message. Yes, you heard that correctly. ❤

EDIT: It now appears that 4-year-old Bella the budding photographer also took the pictures of Maggie and José. Gotta give credit where credit is due. She is obviously going to be famous someday.

Strawberry Birthday Pie

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My sweet strawberry-blond, blue-eyed, thumb-sucking girl turned TWO this summer!

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For her first birthday, I made her a blueberry pie.

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In her second year of life, I would have to say that her love of blueberries (though still very strong) has been surpassed by her love of strawberries, which she pronounces “SHTRAWBERRIESSSSS,” with both hands up in the air. Sometimes we eat giant California strawberries together, cut them in half, and eat them with the juice dripping down our faces, just like in one of Pippa’s favorite books. I knew that her second birthday needed to be her strawberry birthday.

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I loved getting to use my vintage strawberry pie for this 100% strawberry pie. (I have the apple pie plate, too. One day I’ll make the recipes as written on the dishes and let you all know how they turn out.)

I’ll never forget the first time I made Ken Haedrich’s All-Strawberry Pie. It was 10 summers ago, in upstate New York, a couple nights before my friends Colton and Emily got married. I leaked strawberry juice all over the tiny oven at the family cottage, and we ate pie and danced on the boathouse roof overlooking Cayuga Lake. One for the ages.

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I put a little birdie cutout on my Baby Bird’s pie. I knew I would be decorating the birthday breakfast table with some backyard bird figurines that she hadn’t seen before, and that we’d do a Sunday School lesson with her cousins that morning about the parable of the mustard seed, which grows into a tree big enough for the birds of the heavens to rest in.

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Top crust sprinkled with sugar and milk, just like the recipe says!

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Pippa’s second birthday was a day of delicious treats, including tapioca crepes for breakfast in our own backyard, made by my friend Isabella of @bellas_tapiokery. You may remember reading about her in a previous post, Beet Treats. She’s available for some small, private events…just sayin’, peeps in Ventura/Los Angeles county area!!

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Pip Pip Hooray! We’ve used this banner now for Pippa’s Welcome to the World party (age 1 month), her 1st birthday party, and her 2nd birthday party. It’s made of map-printed paper and makes me smile every time, thinking about how big and wonderful of a world she is part of.

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A couple more drool-worthy crepe photos. Thanks Bella!

#runnyeggsforpresident

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This one was unreal. Dulce de leche (homemade by MOI) with fresh peach and grated coconut on a beet tapioca. Hello.

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And, back to the strawberry pie. Pippa was able to share part of her birthday celebrations with her big cousins Fletcher and Fallon, who were turning 13 a few days later. They weren’t quite two themselves when they were the cutest tiny wedding attendants in my wedding. Oh, time. ❤

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Dear readers, today I am wishing you sweet summer celebrations, patience, kindness, and enjoyment of simple, good gifts. Talk to you in August.

Christmas in July

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Hello friends!

I’m writing to you today from the state of Virginia, where current temps and humidity are combining to make it feel like 108 degrees or so. Swampy is a word I’d use to describe the feeling upon departing from any air conditioned building. That being said, super happy to be here, and also looking forward to going to another swampy state (Georgia) in a few days. Just remember, fellow Northern Hemisphereans, it’s winter somewhere. Somewhere like Australia.

Flashback to….December 2015, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The hottest Christmas day I will probably ever experience. We were staying at our friends Nathan and Nicole’s house and it was so fun to share a warm back patio “Summer Supper” (a reference to one of P’s favorite books) in lieu of the more cozy indoor meal I typically associate with the Christmas season!

Nic is a fellow pie maker and owner of the Ken Haedrich pie tome. As part of the *many* delicious menu items she had planned for the Christmas meal, we baked not one, but two of Ken’s pies. Below left: Pennsylvania Dutch Apple Sour Cream Pie, and right, Black Bottom Peanut Butter Cloud Pie. Far right, Nic’s cute daughter Indianna. (Between us collectively, three babies have arrived in our families since this photo was taken. Goes to highlight how far back this story got stuck in the pie history bottleneck. It’s been added to its rightful position as Pie #138 in the Pie Gallery!)

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Here’s a little close-up of our starlet:

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And then, a slideshow of Christmas morning pie and luncheon preparations for your viewing enjoyment:

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Captions for several of the photos in the above slideshow:

  • Black Bottom. A fancy term for, spread some chocolate in the bottom of that pie crust please.
  • When you’re baking in Australia from an American cookbook…you gotta break out that kitchen scale!
  • California walnuts (for the Apple Pie) and Australia peanuts (for the Peanut Butter Pie), aww, it’s a metaphor for friendship!
  • Note to self (or Levi if he’s reading this), one of those fancy nut choppers might be a necessary Gelineau kitchen tool…
  • If you’re wondering where the “Cloud” in Black Bottom Peanut Butter Cloud Pie comes in, just pause the slideshow for a moment on the image the peanut butter filling pouring lazily from the mixing bowl. Light as a cloud, my friends, light as a cloud.
  • Graham crackers? Australians have never heard of ’em. Try some good old Arnott’s Shredded Wheatmeal biscuits in your next homemade graham cracker crust! (This particular pie calls for peanuts in the crust in addition to in LITERALLY EVERY OTHER PART OF THE PIE. 10/10 would recommend to your favorite peanut lover.)
  • Wait a second…those pictures are not of pie! But, goodness me, doesn’t all of that food look divine? I’m just over here trying to show that Nic is the next Donna Hay. Only my Australian friends will get that but it’s totally fine.

Other bits and pieces:

  • Nic and I have been talking pie for many years now, and she has even shared a savory pie recipe on this blog before, in the post linked here: A Recipe from Nic.
  • Here’s the story of my first Pennsylvania Dutch Apple Sour Cream Apple Pie: Pie and Music

Sending love to each one of you out there having a hot, cool, chilly, or any kind of beautiful July day. ❤

Peach Berry Pie

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We’re on the road. After three months spent almost solely in our California home, we are on the move. Typically, you’ll find us at various airports over the summer. This year, our trusty Toyota Highlander is getting us from all our point As to point Bs.

The 2020 Gelineau Family Road Trip is brought to you by lots of prayer, Peppa Pig paraphernalia, cucumber facial wipes, Pippa’s portable potty, and a bottle of hand sanitizer in every car door. We have listened to the Daniel Tiger Song “A Tiger Family Trip” at least 65 times.

I’ve logged a few new states, which is exciting for me as someone who keeps a world map with places-visited pins on my mantel. Colorado, Missouri, Kansas. At one point we drove 99 miles past my cell phone, which is a story for another time, but I got it back that same night. Wonder of wonders.

We spent two nights in Kansas City, Spotted: An “Uncle Teo” in his native habitat. (That’s what Pippa calls our friend Matt, of Dragonfruit Sea Creature Angel Pie fame.)

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Matt grew up in Kansas City, but doesn’t live there anymore. It felt both surreal and comforting to be together at his childhood home. Anyone else having this problem, where you can’t remember the last time you actually hung out in person with your friends because you’ve been Zooming too much?

As it turns out, Pippa doesn’t love back to back car travel days, so we took a short breather in KC. On the morning of our rest day, Matt said to me, in a way both offhanded and carefully considered, “One thing we could today, if you wanted, is make pie. There’s definitely everything you need to make a pie here.”

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After considering the fruit available to me, I chose blackberries, a mixture of blueberries (some larger and fresh, and some smaller Wyman’s frozen wild blueberries), and a few peaches. Then we had a lesson in lattice-weaving. My pie lattice technique (first learned from Ken Haedrich) doesn’t involve meticulous spacing or measuring, but it certainly gets the job done.

Typically I’ll sculpt leftover pie crust around the pie edges to make a ridge, especially for a single-crust pie or a pie with a crumb topping. Sensing that we didn’t need much extra pastry on this one, I cut around the pie plate with a knife, bound the edges together by pressing them with a fork, and donated the extra pastry to Pippa, who, at the time, wanted to use it as play-dough.

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In the afternoon we got a brief, Covid-19 Era tour of Kansas City. A few snapshots below. (The internet is not kind these days, but I know you are, my readers. ❤ I’ll say it anyway, just to be clear…we are not dismissing what is happening around us and though the pictures don’t show us wearing masks, we are always masked when it is required and/or when we are walking even remotely near fellow humans. Please trust that in all of our travels we are being as prudent as we know how.)

First stop: Levi’s first and not last E & T (espresso and tonic) experience. So impressed with Thou Mayest. Yes, that is tajín on the rim.

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Then, a stop at the imposingly beautiful World War I memorial. I never knew Kansas City had such a skyline.

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Boulevard Brewing was a fun destination; I’ve been a fan of their Tank 7 Saison for some years now. We tried several brews including the following “Test Beer”. My jaw dropped open when I read the description. Read along with me carefully now.

“Peach Berry Pie Berliner Weisse – Bursting with peach, blueberry & blackberry over a light graham cracker crust” Wait what?!

Okay yeah it’s not a perfect match (no graham cracker crust for my pie) but still. Spooky.

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In the evening, we ate pie and ice cream on the back deck and ogled at/conversed with several barred owls. Whatever else is going on, there is always wonder and inspiration to be found in Creation.

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Make Mine Apple

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“Make Mine Apple” is the title of the Apple Section of Ken Haedrich’s cookbook Pie, the compendium I’ve been slowly inching my way through over the past ten years. As you can imagine, this is an important part of the book (Apple has got to be the most common answer for “Type of Pie” if you’re playing Family Feud, right?!) While I’m only roughly halfway through making every single pie in the cookbook (152/300), I’ve now made 18/25 of the pies under the heading “Make Mine Apple”. And P.S. there are some scary ones in this section that are yet to come. (Hint: Ketchup.)

To really hammer this point home, here’s a throwback link to a post from 2012 where I talk about how I’m running out of apple pie recipes (!)

All that being said, I’m not sure why it took me so long to get around to baking this very NOT scary Cooked-Fruit Apple Pie. Relatively simple, classic flavors, easy to acquire ingredients. This is a lovely pie that could truly only have few enemies.

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Some people don’t like raisins, I suppose. That could be where a person could take issue with this pie. Pippa, on the other hand (my number one pie taste tester): big fan of the raisin. Big, big fan.

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So here’s the pie-nerdy part of this post. This recipe is instructive in a specific technique. Picture a slice of double-crust apple pie in your mind’s eye. If you’ve eaten a respectable number of apple pie slices in your day, you’ll probably agree that the slice of pie you’ve pictured has somewhat of a gap between the top crust and the pile of cooked apples in the filling. That’s because apples shrink as they cook down, leaving an empty space behind. Nothing mind-blowing here. Now, the Cooked-Fruit Apple Pie is different. The apples are cooked until they begin to shrink before the pie is assembled and baked, resulting in a snug top crust.

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Among other titles, my friend Sara is a potter. Isn’t this a beautiful pie plate?

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In the photo below, you can witness the aforementioned “snug top crust” effect. And some peekin’ raisins.

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Ohhhh, here we go! I get to show you all my new favorite thing!!!

A couple posts back I told you that I finally got proper pie-slice-dispersing packages and here they are in their glory. I am absolutely loving owning these. I feel a little sheepish it took me this long to stock something like this at my house, but also, not really surprised. I’m a huge under-buyer (a term from one of my favorite podcasters, Gretchen Rubin, click here to take a quiz that will classify you as an under-buyer or an over-buyer). Also, I avoid (not entirely successfully, but with good effort) purchasing one-time use kitchen items. Thirdly, (and what a blessing this is!) I’ve pretty much always been able to fill my house with pie-eating people at a moment’s notice. Since dinner parties have been put on pause for now, I was forced into rethinking how to safely share the pies I bake with as many other folks as possible. Anyway, aren’t they fun? I think what I like the most about them is how they make each slice truly look like a shiny little gift.

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As we move into this summer, I’m wishing each of you peace, resolve, openheartedness, and perhaps even a few moments of glee such as the one pictured below.

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May is Almost Over

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You won’t catch me doing this again, but this time, the clock got me.

I resolved to post twice a month this year. I don’t know if you’ve been counting, but you have probably at least noticed (if you’ve been following my blog escapades for a few years) that my Peace of Pie presence has increased this year (Yay for goals!)

It’s May 31st, 9:12 pm aka my normal bedtime and it also happens to be my 32nd birthday. I had such a busy week and thought, I’ve got nothing much going on on Sunday after church and Levi won’t be working, I could totally write my second May post on the 31st.

Umm…my day got FILLED with flowers, surprise doorstep visits and cards and gifts, a virtual G + T (It was real, but I shared it with my best friend virtually, in case anyone was confused), phone calls and messages, ice cream, sushi…I am NOT complaining!

So here is my briefer than anticipated post (pictures follow without commentary) about an Oatmeal Raisin Pie with a Tender Cream Cheese Crust, because…May is almost over. If you add questions to the comments, I’ll explain more in June. 😉 For example, you could ask: Is this like a pecan pie with oats? A: Yes. Or, Is this basically the best oatmeal raisin cookie you’ve ever had? A: Yes. Are you responsible for your daughter’s love of ice cream? A: Again, Yes.

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