October slipped through the kitchen door, arriving unannounced and without invitation. The Italian prune plums have exhausted themselves playing back-to-back performances in in Marian Burros’ plum torte. Now it’s simply a matter of weeks before Pie-mageddon sucks the life out of every retail driven baker.
As clear as a cello windowed 10” x 10” x 2”½” pie box, I know that lurking behind every sugar cookie ghost is an empty pie shell begging for attention. Spooky Halloween sprinkles do nothing to distract from the fact that October is followed in rapid succession by a series of weeks lost in a blur of flour, butter, sugar, and burn cream.
Recently, a weighty, corrugated box arrived at my doorstep. Nestled beneath a mountain of neon yellow paper shred, I unearthed an impressive collection of cast iron bakeware, courtesy of LODGE. As promised in the accompanying literature, this very well may be the last bakeware I ever have to purchase.
Setting aside the stately loaf-pan for a lazy Sunday in January, I turned my attention to the generous baker’s skillet. Lining the pan with whole wheat pie pastry, a mix of local apples and the very last of the fresh blueberries, a wide lattice sprawled across the behemoth pie.
Cast iron and I originally bonded over a mutual love for fried chicken, but cast iron is equally comfortable sharing the oven with baked goods. More importantly, one of cast iron’s best baking features is affording a perfectly baked bottom crust. I have enough to worry about without Mary Berry weighing in on the integrity of my pie crust.
My new bakeware pan yielded enough pie to feed a rather large gathering, if in fact, we were gathering. Since circling a table with a large group is more 2019 than 2020 (and fearfully 2021 as well) I will continue cutting sliver after sliver, making my way through the maple-y fruit, dotting the crust with whipped cream or ice cream or yogurt. I’m anxious to take my brand new cast iron loaf pan out for a spin, but that feels like a commitment better suited to a season sans pumpkins, turkeys, or gingerbread. Short term planning seems more prudent at this juncture, standing at the crossroads of Holiday 2020, facing chaos in all directions.
Professional Pie-isms & Seasonal Sarcasm