It's a Pie Thing

Pie Lovers United in Ypsilanti, Michigan on Saturday, September 1, 2007!

If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, first you must create the universe. 

-- E.O. Wilson

If there is a sensory pleasure better than wrapping your mouth around sweet, warm fruit swaddled in a crisp pastry crust, it hasn't been invented yet.  And if there is a gesture than conveys more caring than  a freshly baked pie in front of an expectant table of family and friends, it can't compete.  Human history's greatest psycho-social achievement is simply: pie.

Pie is as individual as the person who bakes it. Are you a shortening, oil, lard or all-butter crust person? I have switched from Grandma's Crisco crust to my all-butter recipe.

The choice you make says something about you. Do you prefer sweet or tart or savory? A gooey nut, custard base or fruit filling?  Fruit fresh  from the vine, bush or tree please. 

Is meringue on top a good choice or whipped cream or naked as the day it was born? Anything on top is an excellent choice.  Would you bring a store-bought pie to Thanksgiving dinner or rather be burned at the stake than allow such blasphemy?  Store-bought pie is Blasphemy - why do you even ask?

There's something about pie that inspires. It represents something more than the actual sum of its ingredients. There are purple mountain's majesty and spacious skies and amber waves of grain playing in the background when you're eating it.  And somehow, even though it seems like 90% of what we eat now is processed food, there is something absolutely primal about pie for many of us.  Our attachment to what it represents still has the power to conjure a sense that if there is pie, everything is in its place and all is right with the world. 

Pie is about developing the light touch and thoughtful care that make it amazing.

Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs

It's about the celebration of the moment when berries or peaches or apples or pumpkins are at their ripest profusion.

Peel and stone 10 large, fragrant peaches and cut into thick slices

It's about the finale at the end of a long day when you're sitting with the people closest to you and the candles on the dinner table are burning low.

Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then at 350 for 35 minutes

It's about hot buttery crust shattering at just the right moment to reveal warm, juicy fruit.

Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes before cutting 

Finally, it's about giving and receiving the gifts of an abundant universe. 

Dollop generously with whipped cream before serving

At an event where 80 strangers get together to make, share and celebrate pie, it's clear there is something that ties us together with a common thread. Could it be the belief that a community is only as good as its pie? More basic even than Democrat or Republican, Coke or Pepsi, save or spend, vegetarian or omnivore - there is something we do agree on. And that something is a world where pie is essential. 

We can all agree that pie is cause for celebration and celebration is cause for pie. There is no finer expression of ourselves as the bakers, farmers, and eaters that make up our community than pie enough for everyone to have their fill. When there is pie, there is a world and way of life we want to sustain and we can make sure that there is a place at the table for everyone. 

Pie is a crowning achievement of what comes out of our kitchens and it signals our intent to share and appreciate what's best in life.  September 1st this year, a moment when pie lovers united, was a beautiful night of consuming and being consumed by one of the greatest of all human achievements: PIE! 

From the Sustainable Table blog

From the Eating Liberally blog

Get your pie t-shirts


Ode to Pie

Pie, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. 

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height 

My fork can reach, when the taste is out of sight

Oh the Fruit, the Cream, and the ideal Crust!

I love thee to the level of every day's most

Urgent need, for savory and sweet.

I love thee freely, as some worship Meat, 

I love thee purely, as we shun the ersatz.

I love with a passion all handmade tarts,

Real butter, ripe fruits, and rolling pins.

Simple tools create the sublime experience

Of bliss as fork doth bring to mouth smiles, joy, dreams.

Should crisp pastry encase sweet fruity brilliance,

I shall but love thee better with ice cream.

Copyright 2011 - The Farmer's Marketer