This year I followed through on my long-time intention to find out about the many National (fill-in-the-blank-with-an ingredient or dish) Day which occur throughout the year. Intention? Perhaps not, since I did not act up on it for a long time. But then, I did! Early in January I looked up resources on these declared days, and wrote some onto my calendar.
National Pie Day caught my eye at once, and yet it still slipped up on me! Writing it down on my editorial calendar is Step 1; but looking at that calendar and making a plan is Step 2, and there, I fell down. When I saw my friends’ posts for #NationalPieDay on twitter this afternoon, I first despaired, and then rallied. “I Can Do This! I can Up and Make a Pie, by golly!” I said to myself, and that is what I did. Here’s how it went:
First decision: Which Pie? A “decide on a kind and then go to the store” pie? Or a pie made from whatever I could find on hand at home?
We went with B. On hand in the fruit department (Savory is grand, but not for me for National Pie Day) I had 2 apples, 1 pear, and about 6 fuyu persimmons. Therefore, I chose an alphabetical-order name for the pie (Apple Pear and Persimmon Pie) and got busy with baking.
I pulled out butter and flour and sugar and salt and water and made piecrust dough for a double-crust pie. Then I turned-to on the fruit, halving, peeling, trimming away unwonderful spots and sections, chopping, and tossing the fruit chunks in a mixture of sugar, flour, nutmeg and salt; tumbling them into the piecrust; adding dabs of butter, and covering all that goodness with a sheet of piecrust dough.
I put my Pie Day Pie in the oven at 425 degrees to start, for 15 minutes, and then reduced the temp to 375, for 40 to to 55 minutes more, until the crust turned a handsome brown, and my pie was juicy and bubbling.
This is a template for fall fruit pies and winter pies, the ones made with chunks or slices of firm, sturdy, even crunchy fruit. Sugar and a little spice for accent and juice creation, and some flour or cornstarch or tapioca for thickening the juices just a bit; with dabs of butter to help said juices be luscious and velvety-rich and fine.
I’d never baked persimmons in chunks for a pie before, and hoped they would keep their signature flame color; but in fact they faded a bit, in color and flavor, becoming more like their pear-partners in this pie than taking over as I dreamed they might. Still good — great in fact; and I’m hoping to try this again while they are still n the marketplace. When mashed to a puree, they keep color and flavor handsomely in pies and cookies, so I am intrigued by this difference in how they bake up depending on their shapes.
We had some warm, and it will definitely be breakfast tomorrow, even though it will no longer be National Pie Day. That’s all right — we don’t need A DAY to make me make a pie. I’m here for the fun of it, and learning as I go. More knowledge of persimmons in cooking; a new piecrust recipe which turned out to be sticky and messy and needed lots of flour and firming and folding to get it to roll out well. But we got it — and had whipped cream in the house, so that added a fancy touch to our Pie Day Pie Party!
Did you make pie for National Pie Day? If so, show me in the comments, or share it with me on Instagram (@nanciemc@pix) and on Twitter (@nanciestable).
Next time I’ll add more spices —- nutmeg alone was great but I think cloves, allspice, and cardamom would make a lovely addition here.
Happy Baking! Happy National Pie Day! and all the best to you in this still-pretty-New Year~
- Piecrust dough for one double-crust fruit pie, homemade or storebought
- 2 red delicious apples
- 1 anjou pear
- 3 fuyu persimmons
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into bits
- Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Roll out piecrust; or if using prepared piecrust, fit it gently into pie pan.
- Place in fridge whiie you prepare the fruit
- Cut apples in half lengthwise, peel and core
- Cut pears in half lengthwise, peel and core.
- Core and peel persimmons
- Chop all three fruits into bite-sized chunks and combine them in a large bowl.
- Combine sugar, flour, nutmeg, and salt in a small bowl; toss and mix well.
- Sprinkle sugar mixture over fruit chunks and toss gently.
- Pour into piecrust, add butter bits all over the top.
- Carefully fit second piecrust over the fruit, tucking and placing with care --- don't stretch or yank!
- Crimp edges of piecrust, sealing top and bottom crusts together.
- Fold down the two pie-crusts at their edges, and press to seal them up.
- Crimp, or push flat agains pan and press in design using back of a fork; seal them together.
- Bale at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes.
- Lower heat to 350 and bake on until golden brown all over, done in the bottom center (if you can see; if not, don't worry), and bubbly with juices.
- Remove and set aside to cool on a wire tack.
- Serve hot or warm or a room temperature