It’s National Pie Day – maybe not a super well-known holiday where you are, but in our house . . . . it’s huge. The kids look forward to it for weeks. Why? Well . . . because sometimes you just need a reason to celebrate.
One year – maybe ten or twelve years ago – the mid-winter blues were about to get us down. It was cold and wet, some bug had been running through the house, and me and the kids had been mostly housebound since Christmas. We were all in a true FUNK. Feeling the need the to celebrate something, I was going to make up a holiday. But then I came across a website like one of these: Holiday Insights or Brownielocks . It turned out that National Pie Day was only 2 days away. So I got the kids brainstorming ways to eat pie. We planned pie for every meal. I can’t remember exactly which pies we had that first year, but since then we’ve had all kinds of sweet pies, Frito pie, shepherd’s pie, pot pie, pizza pie and I’m sure a few that we made up along the way. We had such a great time, planning, anticipating, and celebrating National Pie Day that a new tradition was born in the Burt home. And we were able to shed the shadow that hung over our home. We talked about that day for days to come. Sometimes we really just need a reason to celebrate – even if it’s something completely frivolous. We just need to have fun!! And so we still take a midwinter break each year and celebrate National Pie Day. It’s today and it’s not too late for you to celebrate :-).
We all love real pies – double crust, lots of fresh fruit, you know the kind (like the one in the picture above) – but they are time consuming and sometimes overwhelming. The recipe I would like to share with you is so easy you that you can have a fruit pie in 20 minutes with almost no planning at all. It’s what I call “Pie in a Bowl.” We had some for breakfast this morning 🙂
Prepare your pie filling. We used fresh apples this morning, but you can use frozen berries or even canned pie filling. Ladies – I am all about natural and homemade, but there is a time for setting aside “perfection” and aiming for what is doable so you can enjoy the celebration. I’ll give you two easy recipes for pie filling but please feel free to buy a can and celebrate :-). (For the record a can of cherry pie filling mixed with a carton of fresh blueberries is delicious).
Stove Top Apple Pie Filling:
Wash, core, and chop your apples – about 5 (peeling is way overrated and you throw away lots of fiber) – right into a skillet. There were about 10 apples in the picture.
Slice 1/4-1/2 cup of butter into your apples. Stir fry the apples on mediumish heat until soft – maybe 5-10 minutes.
While that is cooking, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and roll out a pastry crust – store bought, homemade – it doesn’t matter. Roll it right onto a baking sheet or stone ware pan. I sprinkled with cinnamon/sugar since I was pairing it with apples. You can cut it now into strips for “crusties” or circles for “crookies” – my kids terms for crust pieces and crust cookies. Since I doubled my apples, I used 2 crusts.
Place these pans in the oven for about 10 minutes. I cook them in the same oven and switch them about half-way through. They need to be lightly brown around the edges. While they are baking, finish your pie filling.
- 1 cup sugar (I used less this morning for not-so-sweet breakfast)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- dash nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons flour
Add the above mixture to your cooked apples along with:
- 1/4 cup water
Cook on medium heat and watch this magical caramel sauce appear right in your pan to coat your apples. Stir it well while your mouth waters. Oh. So. Yummy. Add a few walnuts if you love them and turn it off.
Remove your just barely browned crust from the oven and cool slightly. Spoon that caramelly apple goodness into a bowl and top with a crustie or a crookie and dive in. If you have kids or husband home, there won’t be leftovers so get a generous serving the first time ;-). Best enjoyed with a hot, fresh cup of coffee.
I don’t have pictures of berry pie filling, but we’ve eaten it on many occasions and it is super easy. Here is the recipe . . .
In a medium sauce pan add the following:
- 4 cups cherries or berries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup sugar (up to a 1/2 cup more if the fruit is tart, maybe less for sweet cherries)
- 2 tablespoons minute tapioca
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup water.
Heat on low until the berries begin to release their juices. You can cover the pot if your berries are frozen. Remove the cover and increase the heat to medium. Stir often and allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes. As it cooks, the tapioca will swell and become clear to thicken the juices. I add a 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract for tart cherries or a teaspoon of lemon juice for sweet cherries. When the tapioca is clear and your filling is thick, then it is ready to serve with your crusties or crookies.
Don’t forget the power of a celebration when you are in a funk. And today is a great day to celebrate . . .
This recipe is shared with the folks at the Weekend Pot Luck – so000 many great recipes there. Check it out 🙂