Friday, July 15, 2011

When Pie Is Named Peculiarly

For many years now, I've been somewhat of a pie queen. I often feel as though pie is the most diverse dessert and I love playing with it and changing it. It all started a long long time ago when I found a recipe for Maple Pumpkin Pie. Being newish to the country, and certainly new to the concept of Thanksgiving, it combined two things that I had almost never used before... pumpkin and maple syrup. I only make this pie on Thanksgiving and many who have tried it have agreed that it is a wonderful wonderful pie. The main reason I don't make it more is because I feel as though I would turn into a rabid pie maker, stealing the gooey deliciousness and hiding in the bathroom cabinet, attacking anyone who tried to steal my precious with a fork. And thus, pie has become part of my repertoire and a standard answer to "What can you bring for dinner?". So, when it was planned for me to head over to my friend Mary's house to make a dent in her fantastic wine collection, I figured I should definitely bring dessert.

About two years or so ago, the love of pie sent me a little overboard and I ended up making several pies a week for a month or two. It was during this time that I also starting coming up with my own combinations, and how I happened upon this particular one. Back then, I was living in Atlanta and, even though there isn't a single peach tree in that city that I could find, peaches were the most beloved of fruits. Combined with blueberries, the two are a winning pair. The sweet and silky peach takes the edge off the tang of the blueberries, and results in a fantastic texture combination. I usually shy away from anything in a box, but vanilla pudding works wonders here. It's sweetness rounds out the dish, and the colors that result are how this pudding got it's name. If you weren't in a pudding mood, you could also top this pie with a cobbler or a crumble. Having recently watched the movie "Waitress", I decided my tribute should be to name the pie after what it is reminiscent of visually, rather what is actually in it. Rest in peace, Adrienne Shelly.

Vanilla Bruise Pie

Use frozen blueberries and peaches if they aren't in season, fresh if they are. If you're using fresh, you should probably knock about ten minutes off the cooking time, or at least keep an eye on the pie more closely. The times listed are for frozen.

1 Portion of Pie Pastry (Recipe here)
2 Cups Peaches
1 Cup Blueberries
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Package Instant Vanilla Pudding

Make the pie pastry shell and part bake it in a pie dish at 350F for twenty minutes. I often tuck a sheet of foil tightly against the pastry and cover it with dry beans to help it along.

After the pastry is part baked, layer the peaches along the bottom of the dish, then scatter the blueberries over that. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together and sprinkle over the top layer.

Bake at 350F for about 40 minutes, until the juice from the blueberries looks as though it is starting to bubble. Take out of the oven and set aside to cool completely.

Make up the vanilla pudding, using 1/2 Cup less milk than directed. Usually this will mean you are using 2 1/2 Cups of milk.
Let the pudding set.

Making sure the pie is cool, spoon the pudding over the pie, using a spatula or the back of a spoon to make sure it is spread through easily. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve. You could also sprinkle some crushed cinnamon graham crackers over the top just before serving for texture, but I've never tried that. It seems like it would work well, though.

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