I’m tickled to have Ami Weaver with us, an award-winning, romance-writing, pie-baking, picture-taking finalist for the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart in the category series category. She writes around wrangling four kids, three cats, and one (very supportive) hubby. She lives in Michigan with her family.
First of all, thank you for having me! I’m very excited to be here. This is one of my first times blogging so bear with me.
When Abigail put out a call for Golden Heart bloggers, I jumped at the chance. Then, I realized I had a problem. <cough>Idon’tactuallycook<cough>
My husband does, and thank God for it. I can, I just–don’t. BUT I bake.
When I am stressed, I bake. My kids love this. My husband eyes me when I drag out the (holy fabulous Kitchen Aid–OMG do I love that thing–see pic below!) mixer and wisely leaves me alone. Usually I bake cookies, cakes, cupcakes or brownies. (Not all on the same day.)
Today, stressed about what to write I decided to bake a pie. This is problematic. I’ve only had a couple pies actually turn out. (Who knew you were supposed to peel the apples for an apple pie??? Not me apparently!) Annnnd there was the cherry pie disaster from last year. I spent way too much money on fresh cherries and way too much time pitting them. All. By. Hand. Three different times.
Really. I guess I should mention I’m a bit stubborn.
My hands were purple for days. And every single pie was total soup. It didn’t seem to matter how much cornstarch or tapioca I used, the result was the same. When I used what the recipe called for, it was a mess.
Before I threw away the last one, I scooped some into bowls and gave everyone a spoon. Tasted fabulous, looked–well, not fabulous.
So, I decided to attempt another one! (When my husband saw the box of tapioca on the counter, he said “Oh, no. Not agian.” Hee.) How hard can it be? I’m going for strawberry rhubarb. I haven’t had one in years. The recipe I’m using as base is from here: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. I use this site often.
Soooo, without further ado, here we go:
So, to start you’ll need:
1 pound rhubarb
1 pound strawberries
2 tbs quick-cook tapioca
approx 1 tbs flour–I added a little extra hoping to avoid a repeat of the cherry soup pie
1 c white sugar–I think you can adjust for taste–I want a little sweeter
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (I eyeballed it, probably went over)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
I added about 1/2 tsp lemon zest for kicks
2 tbs unsalted butter, cut into small squares
This is where I confess I’m cheating. I’m using pie dough I had in the freezer, made by my friend Jeanette. Me + pie crust=epic fail. I’ve never been able to make one from scratch and I wasn’t going to try today!
So, cut the rhubarb into 1/2 inch pieces. I hulled and cut the strawberries in half lengthwise.
Next I mixed the dry stuff together and zested the lemon. (I like to zest.)
I used a cup of sugar. I’m not sure how sweet the berries are, not being in season here, and rhubarb is tart.
Juiced the lemon! (I like to juice, too!)
Then mixed all of it (including the juice) into the strawberry/rhubarb bowl.
Then it was time to roll out my cheater pie crust. Tricky, but I wrestled it into submission and put it in the pie pan. (Confession–I don’t know how big my pie plate is!) Then I poured the strawberry mixture into the pan. I put the butter chunks around on top. At this stage my previous pies looked good, too. I’m a little nervous!
Rolled out the top and ran out of time, so no lattice. (At this point, my husband is standing behind me with the kids’ dinner plates.) I draped it on and pinched it down (mostly) and put it in the fridge while the oven pre-heated to 400. (As an aside, here, the reason there’s so much produce is because the produce drawer under the pie is my husband’s ‘beer drawer’. But I digress.)
Finally, the oven was ready. (Pie was in fridge about 15 minutes.)
I brushed the pie with the milk and sugar suggested by Joyofbaking, put it on a cookie sheet (a lesson I learned the hard way) and into the oven it went.
I checked it after 35 minutes. It was browned and bubbly so I took it out. Here it is!
Yummy! I wish you could smell it. It smells divine.
Well, I don’t know yet if it’s soupy. I don’t know what it tastes like. I do know I’m not stressed anymore. And really, if we have to eat it with a spoon (with Cool Whip, of course), so be it. Life’s too short to freak because something isn’t perfect.
What do you do when you are stressed? Also, any pie tips? I’d love to hear them!
Thanks for letting me visit!