The Pleasures of Home

it’s a grey day lashing rain in London and I have pie on the mind:

Most often I bake fresh open-faced peach or berry pies. It’s a seasonal thing for me- July and August are pie season. I’m picking up a few tricks- I use a few tablespoons of minit tapioca to thicken the filling and as little refined sugar as possible. Arrowroot can contrast nicely with sweeter fruits, so sometimes I use that instead. But above all I like to use fruit that’s so ripe it already smells good.

Baking fruit pie in England is a little different. Here, I more often make tarts. That’s partially because I live alone and don’t have access to/can’t afford large quantities of fresh fruit. But I also think that a pretty tart gets more appreciation here than a deep dish pie. Moreover, a lot of “pies” here are actually savoury dinners!

There are of course millions of recipes for both, what with the current baking craze sweeping the country. If I wanted I could find peaches and blueberries, but they are often frozen or tinned and stewed. Some baking aisles have a fine selection of ready to make coulis-type fillings, but this takes all the joy out of baking! Instead, I have tried local plums and now that it’s October, apples. I’ve tried and loved clafoutis and rustic tarts.

But I want pie. And so here is a pie PERFECT for England and it calls for just one imported lemon. It’s unassuming, good hot or cold, has a splendid soft texture and yet it satisfies all my cravings.

Of course, it was so good I went and north-americanized it! After doubling the filling, it filled a deep-dish and took a full hour to set. Now go on…

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