Easy as Pie is such a misleading, conflicted simile.
Have you ever tried to bake one, a pie I mean, not a simile? Oh, sure it looks easy. Go on, get your cookbook out and look up any pie crust recipe – it’s just simple ingredients, the plainest of things, stuff you already have in your pantry; flour, shortening, salt, and a little water, maybe a little ice.
Do not be deceived by the rudimentary nature of pie crust components.
You will need the persistence of a bear after honey and a degree in alchemy topped off with the fineness of a Mstislav Rostropovich to pull it off. You will need timing as honed as a NASCAR driver’s, a touch as fleeting and tender as a sleeping baby’s smile and the luck and optimism of a novice gambler on his first trip to the craps table. A flaky crust is often determined by the no more than the smallest of circumstances, the degree at which the wrist is flexed in the sprinkling of the ice water, tablespoon by tedious tablespoon, the delicacy of the fingers as they form the dough into a ball, the variation in relative humidity on any given day over which you have no iota of control, at all.
Then when you have finally succeeded in preparing and rolling out a crust of such exceeding delicacy that it will crumble, winningly, at the first touch of a fork you are faced with the seemingly impossible task of gingerly lifting it up and into the pie plate without letting it either slither away or crack in the most awkward of places. After that, into the oven it goes, where it must be baked to a perfect golden brownness without a hint of scorch or untoward breakage.
And let’s imagine that you manage to persevere successfully through the trials of crust making and baking and are ready now to attempt the filling and let us further imagine, just for the sake of this story, that you have rashly decided that this incredible crust you have created deserves to be filled with the most ambrosial of cream fillings topped with a perfect meringue.
Oh, foolish, foolish you. Every step that’s gone before is child’s play, as care less as turning a sprinkler on and dancing in it’s rain compared to the pitfalls and perils of Meringue.
Pie is decidedly and with out the slighted indication of any doubt, not easy to make, not easy peasy at all.
But to eat, ah and ummm, my friend, that’s quite another story. There is nothing easier in the world than to slip your fork smoothly through the fluffy, sweet, caramel crunch, the certain yumminess of a glamorously browned meringue, down through the silken luxuriousness of a cool creamy Key Lime filling until the fork meets the ever so slight resistance of the crust, pausing the smallest part of a moment on it way to the unyielding hardness of the plate and then spearing that sinful first bite into the mouth. Sumptuousness must always be devoured slowly, savoring every nuanced bite, every complex texture, every slivery bit of flavor.
Ummm, ummm …. Easy as Pie.
Written for of the Weekly Challenge.
- A lemon chess pie recipe for a blue-ribbon surprise (hamptonroads.com)
- The Secret’s Out… My Tomato Pie Recipe! (sandlapperseries.com)
- How to Make Flaky Piecrusts (williams-sonoma.com)
- Fig and Grape Pie (piewithsparkles.com)