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Pie season!

Let’s hope it’s not as dry as it looks in this photo. There’s juice down in there.

This is prime pie season — one of the best times of the year for cooking.

My apples this week came from a roadside produce stand on U.S. 601 in Davie County. They said the apples came from Cana, Virginia, which is almost certainly true, because that’s an apple and trucking center. I also bought the pumpkin at the same roadside stand. It probably came from North Carolina, South Carolina, or Georgia on one of the produce trucks that run back and forth from this area to Florida, feeding many of the roadside produce stands.

Don’t even think of using a store-bought pie crust! Pie crusts are easy to make. I have used olive oil for years. You might think that olive oil would have too strong a flavor for pie crust, but I have never tasted olives along with the apples. I find that about 2 and 1/3 cups of unbleached flour makes a generous crust. For that much flour, half a cup of olive oil is not quite enough, and 2/3 cup is too much. I’ve found that it’s definitely possible to use too much oil and not enough water or milk in the crust. The crust will come out powdery rather than flakey. So I usually add half a cup of oil to the flour, then mix and add more until it looks right. One to two tablespoons of water or milk (or soy milk) is about right.

This is prime pumpkin-shopping time. I scorn the bright orange pumpkins with the ugly shapes. I only buy what I call “pink pumpkins,” the segmented pumpkins. Pumpkins are magical, so only a Cinderella fairy-tale pumpkin is proper. Making a pie with canned pumpkin in a store-bought crust is a crime for which you’ll lose your cooking license. It’s all about doing everything from scratch…

Ready for the oven

Guess who’s next…

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