I fancy myself a baker. (Amateur that is.) If I'm asked if I can cook I reply: "I bake."
I love the methodical focus involved. The consistent gratification I get from mixing butter and sugar together to form a sandy heaven. The way the darkest vanilla extract seems to lighten the mood. The fact that when I bake, my mind goes still and all the day's chaos is sifted away.
I bake cookies, cupcakes and cakes. Tarts, bread and muffins. But oddly, never a pie. Until now.
Good thing because there seems to be a pie uprising afoot. Seattle has recently been dotted with such shops as Capitol Hill's High Five Pies and Fremont's Pie. Kate Winslet goes from housewife to business woman by selling her homemade pies in HBO's Mildred Pierce. And the domestic goddess of them all, Martha Stewart, has recently unveiled a collection of her favorite pie and tart recipes. All signs point to a trend. All signs point to pie.
Flipping through my new copy of Martha Stewart's Pies & Tarts, I instantly landed on a Pear-Raspberry Heart Pie. (Yes, it was quite possibly the heart cut-outs that gave me the security of my tried and true sugar cookies.) I repeated my baking mantra, "If you can read, you can bake," and I begin the dough.
The dough was prepped, the pears were peeled, the pie was chilled and a few hours later emerged a golden brown pie, bubbly with sweetness and shiny with sugar.
I have converted.
While I'll never shun the cake, not leave behind my beloved cupcakes or neglect my cookie dough, I am excited by the fillings that lay ahead. The summer fruits that are just starting to grow and the crust designs I'll most likely be sketching out in my Moleskin.
Yes, I love pie.
(Images: Martha Stewart)