Month: October 2015

baked plum and grape pie

italian plum, concord grape and apple gin pie 

This pie has been many years in the making. Back in 2010, I checked out David Lebovitz’s newest cookbook, Ready for Dessert, from my local library, eager to learn about making pastry and ice cream. It was then, I think, that I really discovered that baking requires a lot of work. (It would be many more years before I figured out that it is very much worth the extra effort.) I’m not sure I made a single recipe from that book; I was intimidated by the names alone. Profiteroles. Crème Brûlée. Gâteau Victoire. Ingredients I hadn’t yet discovered, like black currants and anise. And Concord grapes. There was a recipe for a Concord grape pie in the book, which I dreamed of making for my little brother (who was, and still is, a huge fan of all things grape flavored). This was, however, before I discovered farmers markets, and the extent of my shopping skills involved picking out the most exotic produce from Whole Foods. Concord grapes could not be found. The recipe had so many …

gluten free pie crust ready for baking

easy as pie gluten-free pie crust

It must be fall, because all I want to do is bake. I never used to think that making pie was easy. You have to work quickly so everything stays cold, and there are just so many steps between crust and filling, making and baking. And those intricate, beautiful, lattice-woven crusts? No, thank you. The saying easy as pie actually refers to eating pie, not making it (same goes for “piece of cake” apparently). But over the years, I have discovered there’s a real peace in making pie. Once you have your routine figured out, there’s something pleasurable to the process. It’s almost as if time slows down, even if you’re moving quickly. The tactility — blending butter cubes into flour, rolling out the dough, flipping it into a pie pan — is almost like digging your fingers down into the sand on a beach, or making mud pies as a kid. Making pies, for me, started as a way to process (or put off, depending on how you look at it) emotions and to, …

sweet peppers in season

the first of fall

Just like that, it’s October. It seemed like summer was just swept out from underneath me. In a whirlwind three months — from late April through early August — we planned our wedding, got married, and had our honeymoon (surprisingly, it was our first full vacation together). We left Washington at the beginning of August when the breeze was still soft and warm and the sun’s last light didn’t fade until 10 p.m. (or later). Then we spent 10 days in hot, humid Hawaii. When we got home, it was fall already. We’ve been slow to get back into the swing of things, riding the euphoria of being newlyweds. The wedding and the honeymoon are over, but there’s still plenty on our to-do lists. Thank you notes, announcements, ordering pictures and the mind-boggling demanding process of changing a name. This is my favorite time of year. It is so full. Of nostalgia and potential; one season overlapping with the next. Early fall is so abundant in all things that it feels decadent, almost sinful. Though …