I’m freaking out a little..okay, like maybe a LOT. I still can’t really believe it. Here’s the thing…I made a pie, and I baked it in the barbecue, and it turned out DELICIOUS! This is no minor miracle, folks. Seriously. I have tried and failed to make a good pie many times over many years. Not once have I ever produced a crust that even lived up to a mediocre standard, but more than once I’ve ended up in tears over a pile of sticky-but-still-crumbly dough. I love pie SO much, but over the years and failures, I’ve gotten increasingly more intimidated by pie crust and that don’t-overwork-the-dough/don’t-add-too-much-water paradox.
This time I followed Heidi/101 Cookbook‘s recipe from this post and (at Heidi’s direction,) Chez Pim‘s instructions for assembling the dough. When rolling out the dough, I was absolutely convinced that I had done something horribly wrong and would have to throw the whole thing out because the dough was one cohesive, moist mass that bore no resemblance to the dry pile of crumbs I’ve tried to work with in the past. A taste test has, however, proven otherwise. This crust is truly “short” with that flakey, melty texture I’ve coveted for so long.
This time, I also changed up my equipment by baking the pie in a cast iron skillet instead of a glass pie pan. My inspiration for that trick came from one of my favorite kids’ books Boomtown by Sonia Levitin and Cat Bowman Smith in which a little girl starts a bakery by baking pies in her woodstove with a cast iron skillet. (I love LOVE this book for many reasons, but mostly because every time I read it, I think ‘if she can do it so can I.’) I also brought in my newish Lodge cast iron pizza pan and put it under the skillet on top of a couple fire bricks. In the past, I’d had issues with the outside edges of the crust burning before the middle was done, so I thought the pizza pan would shield the rim somewhat from the heat, and it did. I baked the pie for over an hour until it was totally bubbling over to be sure that there weren’t any hard chunks of rhubarb left in the middle. I checked on it quite a few times but never felt like it was in imminent danger of burning.
I don’t actually have a recipe for this particular pie. Honestly, I didn’t expect much, and I really didn’t think it would be blog-worthy. The filling is rhubarb-strawberry-raspberry, using frozen berries from last summer and a brown sugar/turbinado/cane sugar mix with a little white flour to thicken it up. I would have added orange zest/juice if I had some, but I didn’t.
Anyway, if I can recreate this moment, I think there will be many a pie in my future. I am so excited. (Obviously because I keep blabbing on and on here.)
About the giveaway…
The two winners chosen at random are…#76 Margaret and #64 Diane. Congratulations! I will be contacting you shortly.
Thanks so much to everyone who participated. What fun it’s been! I’ve given each entry at least a passing glance, but there are definitely some recipes in the mix that I want to try. If you haven’t done so yet, I’d encourage you to browse the comments on this post for culinary inspiration.
The coupon code for my Etsy shop, Red Onion Woodworks, is still in effect through Wednesday, so for 10% off your whole order enter “TWOYEARS” at checkout.
Thanks, everyone, for your support. Hope you have a great week!