Still fine-tuning my blackberry pie recipe, adapted from this one. Made a single crust pie for our July 4 celebration, full of plump, juicy, tangy, just-picked tayberries. Way more delicious than blackberries, in my opinion. I’m a big fan of fresh, non-sugary pies, so I really want to perfect this one recipe. It’s almost there, but not quite. I love the crust, but the consistency is still slightly off.
As you know, I’m not a baker, and am beginning to think that I need to have three or four recipes in my repertoire that I can trot out when necessary, kind of like the people who don’t cook but have a specialty or two they’re known for at potlucks and such. Yes, that’s my attitude toward baked goods. I’d much rather have someone else deal with their flaky, sugary, fragile, fussy, sensitive, hard to transport little bodies. And I’m fortunate enough to have several friends who are passionate about baking, so it always works out.
In true non-baker fashion, even as delicious and fresh as the pie was, I quickly grew a bit bored of the proceedings and the stickiness and the tedious dough rolling, and my attention shifted. I had used the time-honored trick of dried beans to keep the crust flat while baking the empty shell, and the home economist in me thought hm, these beans shouldn’t go to waste; I wonder if they would still cook up after baking them at 400 degrees for 5 minutes.
And sure enough, they did. I soaked the previously pie-shelled anasazi beans (hey, I don’t keep cheap beans around!) and cooked them late at night, when the weather was cooler, then threw together an impromptu bean salad with errant vegetables and other refrigerator specialties for lunch.
I tossed the beans with my homemade basil oil and my Hungarian chili and garlic vinegar, a roasted red pepper, some toasted pine nuts, and a big handful of fresh celery with its leaves. A glob of homemade sundried tomato mustard and some freshly ground pepper spiced it up a bit, and I served it with tiny romaine lettuce leaves from a cultivar that makes little round heads. Yep, a leftovers special, but oh wow, did it taste good.
And it gave me fortitude to scrub the berry goo and flour off the counters and walls. So see — I can bake!