It was almost thrilling.
Naturally, I ate far too many, and once I had hoovered a full-sized bunny cooky, I turned to Rick. "Now I am regretful. Why on earth did you let me eat so many samples of pie?" I said woefully and accusingly. "You know how I cannot eat during the day, and you know how I get when I eat too many sweets."
Jared said, "Wow, Mom. You ate that stuff like you were stoned."
But, in my defense...pie. So much PIE.
I know you understand.
Jared and I both love pie, so we've decided to do this post together (as in, he emails me his when he is done). We're going to attempt to identify our Top 5 Favourite Pies, chat about each as necessary, then turn it over to you in Comments. Jared would like to stipulate that pizza and cheesecake and Boston Creme Pie do not count. Basically, we are talking about pie. I think we all know what a pie is.
(When I received his part of the post, I chuckled. When you see it, you'll know why.)
Let's do it.
Nance's Top 5 Favourite Pies
1. Lemon Meringue
1. Lemon Meringue pie is probably my favourite pie because it was rare that I got it. My mom made pies often, but Lemon Meringue only showed up around Easter, and then later, when my older sister Patti* asked for it. The one drawback of this pie is the meringue. I hate meringue. But if you put whipped cream on a lemon pie, it's Too Much. If you have plain lemon pie, it seems sad. I think meringue looks pretty, so after I admire it, I just peel it off and give it to whomever likes meringue. Lemon Meringue pie is tangy, smooth, and sunshiny. Hands down, it is The Best Pie! *perceived favourite child, and this is one reason why!
2. Cherry pie is a classic. It's one of the few pies that is truly wonderful with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It's also a fairly common pie, so it's almost always available should you need A Pie Fix. Even if you have to buy a can of Thank You cherry pie filling to bake your own when you crave pie, it's still a decent pie. Cherry pie is happy and innocent and like a hug from a friend.
3. Strawberry pie is so wonderful. I can be put off by the bloody-looking ones, but I make a killer strawberry pie of my own. With a layer of cream cheese (whipped with a little bit of sugar) spread on the bottom crust and topped with my own natural glaze, that pie is a slice of summertime. Strawberry pie, because it's made with whole berries, makes each bite a burst of flavor. This is a pie that makes me feel like I'm being bad because it's so darn good, but somehow virtuous because look, it's really just fresh fruit!
4. Pecan pie is sin on a plate. It's rich, sweet, buttery, and I can't eat anywhere near a grownup-sized piece, or I feel like my teeth are on edge and my stomach is crystallizing like rock candy. Pecan pie is always the first pie to disappear at any of our family's functions. I made one pecan pie in my life. It was terrific, but it contained almost no ingredients that I ever used again. I think I still have that bottle of Karo....
5. Rhubarb pie is something my grandma always made, along with other weird, old-timey pies like elderberry and ground cherry and something called a milk pie. I'm crazy about rhubarb pie, with its sweet and sour taste. Lots of people can't take rhubarb straight-up in a pie, and they insist upon mucking it up by adding strawberries. Forget that! I'm a rhubarb purist. Did you know that rhubarb is also called "pie plant"? That's all you need to know! Save the strawberries for their own pie.
Getting full? Save some room. Here comes Jared.
Let's get one thing straight right now: Pie is the pinnacle of human dessert achievement. If you do not like pie, I suggest you go eat a bowl of hair, as you are a dummy and do not deserve delicious things.
Now that that is out of the way, let’s talk a little about what makes a good pie. It cannot be too wet. The crust must hold up. It must be flaky, yet firm with good flavor, and flavor that says “Look, I know that this isn’t about me. But, since something has to accompany this delicious filling, I am here. I will not disappoint you”. The following, in order, are the greatest and best pies that one could ever eat. In order of dominance:
Jared's Top 5 Favorite Pies
3. Lemon Meringue
4. Strawberry Rhubarb
5. Key Lime
1. Pecan pie. It is basically flawless. A textural tour de force, pecan pie manages to successfully balance the “crunchy, soft, crunchy” sandwich element of pie that is tough to do with other pies. Crispy, sticky, caramel goodness on top. A rich, sugary, center, and a nice, firm crust. The only thing better than pecan pie for dessert with a cup of coffee? Pecan pie for breakfast with a cup of coffee and the Sunday newspaper on the front porch on a crisp fall day. Basically, pecan pie would be uncomfortable if it knew how I felt about it.
2. Cherry. A good cherry pie should be a bit bitter, with a nice, sweet finish. The cherries had better not be mushy, either, or you can take that shit back, and dump it in the toilet. Because you are a pie failure. I would recommend eating a nice cherry pie slightly warmed, with a scoop of nice vanilla ice cream. And not that Vanilla Bean bullshit. Straight Vanilla will be fine. Who do you think you are, putting fancy ice cream on your pie? Get out of my face with your pretentious ice cream habits. The proper ratio of pie to ice cream should be 2.5:1. Otherwise, you’re doing it wrong and spoiling your pie.
3. Lemon Meringue. My birthday was this past Thursday the 28th. So, on Saturday, my Grammy, Mom, Dad, Brother, Sister, and I all convened at the Dept. for a birthday dinner. It was a great time. I made my sister try a bite of the Lemon Meringue. She resisted, but as she is young and doesn’t know shit, I insisted and she obliged. She barely got it in her mouth, shook her head, and went out to spit it out in the bushes. I was appalled. The meringue was spongy, sugary. The lemon was just enough of a custard to make it feel like velvet, and I was in heaven. I ate it ice cold, holding each refreshingly lemony bite in my mouth for a spell, moving it over the fronts and backs of all of my teeth so that each one got to share the deliciousness. By the time I had swallowed a bite, I had another one loaded up. Even the gorging at the family dinner table could not have prevented me from relishing this treat. You know the very first cocktail of the weekend after a hard week at work? That “AAAHHHH” feeling? That’s how every bite felt.
4. Bacon pie.(Kidding. But this should be a thing.) Strawberry Rhubarb. No pie better executes balance like this one. Rhubarb is tart and biting and toothsome, the strawberry soft, delicate, sweet, and delightful. Know what ruins Strawberry Rhubarb pie? Nothing. That’s what. If a big dog licked my StrawBharb pie, I wouldn’t get mad. I would applaud the dog’s good taste. (“Good for you, dog. You know what is up. But do it again, and I will take you outside and leave you there. Forever.”)Resist the urge to go a la mode with this pie. It is better by itself. It would be analogous to putting ketchup on a T-Bone. Also, if you do that, keep that secret to yourself, because it will make me hate you.
5. Key Lime pie. It makes me feel very Floridian. But not in the ugly Conservative Republican Florida Way. In the “I am refreshed because I am eating this delicious breezy treat” kind of way. I had this for the first time EVER a couple weeks ago, and my life is forever altered. It was a brisk day that felt like early fall or very early spring in Northeast Ohio. There were pie samples at the local Pie Haven. I said “Self, go get one of those, and give it hell.” So I did just that. Wow. A little whipped cream topping sitting on the throne of green wonder greeted my tastebuds with a “hey…get ready for this shit” and then….BOOM! Key lime explosion. There is no going back. Graham cracker crust was the vehicle for this treat, and it was the perfect accompaniment. Go have one now. (Also, fuck key lime yogurt. It is crap. It does not do the Key Lime pie justice. It is thus dead to me forever.)
What are you waiting for? Talk about your favorite pies in Comments.
cheery pie image here
talking pie image here