Pie on Pi (Five Fruit Pie)

Because I’m incredibly original, I give you pie. On March 14th. Which is 3.14, which is also known as pi. Complex stuff.

pie-pi

I have a thing for pie. I love pecan pie, cherry pie, strawberry rhubarb pie, and my Grandma D’s pumpkin pie. (Well really any pie she wants to make, I’ll love. But that’s one of her best.) I love pie so much E and I served it at our wedding. I don’t mean that in an offhanded way. We skipped wedding cake all together and bought 30 some pies from our favorite little pie shop in Wisconsin: the Norske Nook. (Note: I’m not endorsing their food – that’s kind of a mixed bag. But their pies are phenomenal!) It was amazing. I think I had like three pieces of pie that night.

I think most everyone loved having something a little different to choose from and I know people really got into trying the different flavors. E definitely was on board with the pie decision.

If you’re wondering, it’s strawberry rhubarb pie. Now wonder no more. If E has a grin this big, it’s because he’s eating strawberry rhubarb pie.


Five Fruit Pie

Overall: four-star

See? The grin isn't quite as substantial for this pie. It's still there - there is rhubarb and strawberries - but those damn blueberries and raspberries got in the way!

See? The grin isn’t quite as substantial for this pie. It’s still there – there is rhubarb and strawberries – but those damn blueberries and raspberries got in the way!

A great recipe for the indecisive. It has a mixture of berries, rhubarb and apples. The berries kind of all blend together and you can’t pick out a distinct flavor, the rhubarb gives it all a tartness, and the apples are a nice crunch. All together, tasty! (Recipe here, from Taste of Home Magazine.)

Ease to Prepare: three-star

DSCF2152This really is a very easy pie to make, but it’s still pie. I think this is one of those items that really separate the novice bakers from the true experts. The crust is always hard to master and getting the thickness of the filling right is always tough. This recipe makes it a little easier for you because you mix the filling with tapioca. The tapioca will absorb any rouge juice from the frozen fruits and keep your pie from being a soggy mess. Speaking of that, I love that you can make such a complex flavored dessert using frozen fruits. Everything but the apples were frozen in my recipe. Such a great way to get a taste of spring, even if Mother Nature doesn’t want to show her cards just yet. The most difficult part of this recipe is the lattice. I have yet to master the lattice-work of a pie. My lattices break, are too thick/thin/short/fat/bossy/snooty/or shy. They don’t look as pretty as the picture in the magazine, but they still taste great. So, even if your pies aren’t blue ribbon, I promise they’ll still be tasty with a little ice cream on the side.

Instructions: three-star

The instructions are brief and to the point. I wish there was a photo or two related to the preparation of the recipe, but it’s not the end of the world. I appreciate that this recipe can use fresh or frozen fruit – the adaptability is helpful. In fact, I would say this recipe could be even more flexible. It’s a good “use what you have” sort of recipe. If you had blackberries or frozen cherries on hand, those would work just as well! My main frustration with this recipe has to do with the editor’s note and the placement of it in the recipe. In both the print and online version, the note is way at the bottom of the recipe. I didn’t notice it – especially since there is no asterisk noting the presence of the footnote – and so I missed the editor’s advice. The note says to measure your frozen fruits and then let them thaw and drain in a colander. It turned out ok (tapioca to the rescue), but why not include that footnote right in the body of the recipe instructions or immediately following the ingredient list?

DSCF2154

Also, a reminder, make sure you use instant or quick cooking tapioca. When I first started making pies I used regular tapioca and it didn’t have enough liquid or time to cook down. So when you eat your pie you end up with little pebbles laced throughout the pie. It’s not a good sign if your pie crunches.

Food: five-star

This is a crowd pleaser. I think everyone has a favorite pie, and this one is darn close to just taking the top five favorites and throwing them into a blender together. The rhubarb is in there for my tart-loving husband, the apples are in there for the traditionalist, and the berries are in there for the sweet lovers like me.

Clean up: three-star

No more clean up than your average pie. Lots of flour on the countertops, and a couple bowls, but that’s about it. Always make sure you bake your pies on an old cookie sheet or tin foil. That way if it overflows you won’t have a mess in your oven to clean up.

DSCF2157

Cost: one dollar

I was having a hard time rating this part, but I landed on one dollar. Here’s why: This recipe is either a “clean out your freezer” recipe, or a “go buy lots of ingredients” recipe. I had lots of frozen berries that were nearly gone and needed to be used up. So this was a great way to make use of them. But if you didn’t have anything on hand you’d be left having to buy lots of frozen (or fresh I suppose) berries – of which, the remainder would have to be stashed in the freezer – to potentially get freezer burnt and go unused – when you’re done with this recipe. Instead, I’d recommend saving this recipe until you have a few leftover fruits/berries that you need to use up.

DSCF2164

Runny, but not nearly as bad as it could have been if it didn’t call for tapioca.


Did you, or do you hope to, have any strange foods or out of the box ideas for your wedding? Any other wedding pie people out there? What’s your favorite pie? Can you pick just one?!

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