I'm going to shake up the Holiday Happenings around here today and bring you a breath of Summer. Where Women Cook
is creating a book called PIEOGRAPHY: Where Pie Meets Biography, The Story of Your Life in a Pie
. As part of that publication, they're conducting a contest. So here I give you an Auto-Pieography:
My life is one that exists in layers: wife, veterinarian,...Autism mom. Nothing about it is simple, but things blend together into a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Sometimes sweet, sometimes sour, but always something to come back for more of, while never being what I thought my life would be. Bomb Pops, for me, bring back memories of lazy Summer afternoons making castles in the air and planning for the future. Fall was just around the corner, but Summer held sway for just a little longer.
Those dreams and fancies carried me through college and graduate school, and into a career filled with equal parts humor and tender moments. I met a Marine and “red, white and blue” took on a whole new meaning. There have been twists and turns – unemployment, crazy hours, crises of various types - nothing is ever what we planned when we started out.
Now I'm a married, a full-time professional with two beautiful daughters who are on the Autism spectrum. No part of my childhood daydreaming included that. For me, it's not soccer practice and piano lessons – it's therapists and evaluations. Watching other moms with their children tends to make me melancholy – I love my girls, but I'm sad for what they've been dealt. Like the nostalgic sighs brought on by remembering childhood August days, I try to let go of the “might-have-beens” and make my daughters' childhoods what they should be: A little sweet, a little tart – and leave them wishing there was a little more of it. The way I wish their baby curls would stay.
So enjoy this little taste of summers-that-were – a sweet, tart, red, white and blue tribute to living the Unexpected Life.
(If you don't want or need this crust to be gluten-free, omit the xanthan gum, and use 1/4 c. almond flour and 3/4 c. AP flour)
1/4 c. almond flour
1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp white rice flour
2 Tbsp sweet rice flour
1/4 c. potato starch
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 c. unsalted butter at room temp.
1-2 drops almond extract
1 egg yolk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine flours, sugar, zest, salt, and xanthan gum in a bowl. Cut in butter until well combined. At almond extract and toss lightly. Beat the egg yolk with 1 Tbsp water and add to flour mixture. Toss to combine. Add additional water a little at a time until dough can be formed into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
Roll out between two sheets of wax paper dusted with cornstarch. Line a 9" pie plate and crimp edges of dough.
Prick dough with fork.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until edges start to turn golden. Cool completely.
1/2 c. blueberries
3/4 c. tart cherries (frozen is fine)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 Tbsp butter
a few drops of blue food coloring, if desired
1-1/2 c. fresh blueberries
Place 1/2 c. blueberries and cherries in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until berries swell and burst. Mash berries and cherries or use a stick blender to break them up, then drain through a sieve, pressing solids to get most of the liquid. Rinse saucepan. Measure 1/2 c. of the resulting juice and return to saucepan.
Add lemon juice and zest. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and sugar. Cook over low heat, stirring, until mixture boils and thickens. Set aside and stir in butter and food coloring if desired. Allow to cool till just barely warm. Stir in 1-1/2 c. blueberries and pour into pie shell.
Refrigerate until ready for the next layer.
1/2 c. combined lemon and lime juice (about the juice of 1 large lemon and 2 small limes)
1 Tbsp lime zest
1 Tbsp lemon zest
2 egg yolks
3/4 c. sugar
1 1/4 tsp unflavored gelatin powder
2 Tbsp cold water
1 c. heavy cream
a drop of green food coloring, if desired
Bloom gelatin powder in the cold water. Set aside. Meanwhile, in the top of a double boiler, whisk together lemon and lime juice, both zests, egg, egg yolks, and sugar.
Cook and whisk until mixture thickens and becomes pudding-like. Remove from heat. Stir a small amount of hot egg mixture into gelatin and whisk to dissolve. Return all the gelatin/egg mixture to the rest of the egg mixture. Stir in a drop of green food coloring, if desired. (I overshot this in the photo, so my curd is greener than I intended. Go for a pale lemon/lime color). Chill, stirring occasionally, until cool. Whip the cream until it holds its shape. Stir a small amount of cream into the egg mixture to lighten, then fold in the remaining cream.
Spread the mousse gently on top of the blueberry layer and return to the refrigerator.
1/2 c. raspberries
3/4 c. tart cherries
2 Tbsp c. lime juice
2 tsp lime zest
1-1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 Tbsp butter
1-1/2 c. fresh raspberries
Combine 1/2 c. raspberries and cherries in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until raspberries break up and cherries soften. Mash fruit or use a stick blender to break it down. Strain through a sieve, pressing with a spoon to obtain liquid. Rinse saucepan. Measure 1/2 c. of the strained juice and return to saucepan. Ad lime juice and zest. Combine sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl, then stir into juices. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Cool to room temperature. Stir in remaining 1-1/2 c. raspberries. Carefully spoon over the mouse mixture and return to refrigerator 4 hours or overnight.
Serve with whipped cream, if desired. My husband preferred it all by itself.
And enjoy this little taste of Summer, hope, and sunshine.