It is midnight and I am baking pie. Two pies, in fact. I worked eleven-hour days yesterday and today -- hard, stressful days. Today is my dear husband's birthday, and I had wanted to have time to celebrate it with him. Tomorrow, I have to be at work at 8:30 AM to chair a meeting that I am still not quite ready for. I'm really tired and my back hurts. So why am I up at midnight baking pies?
Well, a friend phoned a couple of nights ago to invite us to dinner. This is a new friend, a wonderful person, and he likes pie. So without really thinking it through, I happily accepted the invitation, and chirped, "I'll bring pie." No, actually, what I said was, "I'll bring SOME PIES." Plural.
I am not a novice pie maker. I like to bake pies for friends, and I have a fairly large repertoire of pie recipes that are pretty dependable. I have a great recipe for pie crust from my Mom, printed out neatly in her tiny printing twenty-five years ago or so: Never Fail Pie Crust.
Late last night I made the pie crust recipe and divided it into six balls, some for tonight's pies, and the rest to be frozen for later. After work (imagining that I was going to leave a little earlier than usual), I had planned to go by the Okanagan fruit truck and buy some nice ripe peaches and this-year's apples. Then I was going to take Rob out for a birthday dinner, and then come home and make the pies.
Well, nothing went as planned. I had a tough day at work, and despite my best efforts, didn't manage to get out of there until 7:30. The fruit truck had, of course, closed down for the day. We did go for a nice dinner, and then I went to the grocery store and bought peaches, which were not nearly as ripe as I would have liked, and apples.
The skins would not slip off the underripe peaches, and so they took a very long time to peel. The pie crust was impossible to handle. It cracked and crumbled when I rolled it out, and completely fell apart when I tried to lift it into the pie plate. I don't think in all my years of making pies I have ever had such a badly behaved pie crust. I don't know why -- new climate perhaps? Or maybe I did something a little differently than usual (it seemed extra wet and heavy when I made it last night). Well, I patched it together, which seemed to take forever, and finally got the pies into the oven. The last pie, an apple cheddar one, just came out a few minutes ago, and it looks and smells great. But I have my doubts about the peach pie. I think the peaches might still be a bit undercooked, but I had to take it out as it had been in the oven much longer than the recipe called for and the crusts were getting too brown.
Oh well. I will be bringing SOME PIES. It will be fun to have dinner with new friends, and the bonus is, I'll be forced to leave work early tomorrow because we're invited for 5:30.