Pies for sale

I’ll take pie and ice cream over cake and ice cream any day of the week and here’s why.

Pie has more personality and way more power.

I courted my husband with pie. He was getting over a bad break-up and living in a dusty upper flat in a bad neighborhood. He made a lovely veal scallopini but didn’t bake.

My first pie was apple. An old standby, I can make an apple pie anywhere in anyone’s kitchen. He was appropriately amazed.

Things started to heat up so I rustled up a cherry pie, weaving the top crust ever so nice and giving it a nice egg wash with sprinkled sugar. It was shiny and lovely.

On the Wednesday of our romance (you know, that day on week-long road trips when the charm is gone but you’re stranded several days from home?), I hadn’t heard from him for a while. The phone was oddly silent.

Was it possible that he was reconciling with his former girlfriend? Just like that, poof, he was gone? Oh no, not yet.

I did what I would do only in an emergency. I consulted a cookbook. This pie had to be exceptional. Powerful. Bring him back from the brink. Have him forego whatever charms he thought the old chick had in favor of me and my pie.

Lemon Meringue.

Is there anything more beautiful, more voluptuous, or more compelling than a lemon meringue pie? No cake, seven layers or a hundred, with chocolate frosting and a quart of ice cream straight from the creamery can compete.

This weekend I made a blueberry apple pie with wild blueberries picked fresh from their little bushes in the forest. I sorted through the bowl of berries to take out the tiny leaves and the wee sticks and make sure each berry was a good enough berry.

The pie was a work of art. Golden brown crust, deep purple filling, the berries layered and orderly as if they’d been placed there one by one. Sweet but tart with a tiny crunch of apple, smothered by a scoop of about to melt vanilla ice cream.

In our small town, the ladies at the Methodist Church have a pie sale on the 4th of July. The line forms before the parade is over. This year there were only eighty pies. Last to go are the custard and mincemeat pies so it’s important to be early for the raspberry, apple, pecan or chocolate.

The Methodist ladies are smart. They know that pies should be limited and special. They know the power of a fine pie. So do I.