Pies for the Fair: Part 1

Pies for the Clallam Co FairEvery year I’ve thought of entering the Clallam County Fair but have never quite gotten around to it…until now.

On Friday night, I looked at the fair website. Deadline for pie entry: Monday 3PM.

I decided to go for it. This was the year!

Saturday, I spent the day gatheringthe ingredientsand headed to the Port Angeles Farmer’s Market for fruit.

Blueberries and late season rhubarb looked great. I bought enough for pies, added them to my basket and headed home.

Monday was two days away and I wanted the pies to be as fresh as possible so decided to wait until Sunday night to make the pies.

On Sunday morning Lady and I walked to my favorite blackberry spot. I had picked there the previous week and knew there would be plenty of really ripe berries. I knew it would be easy pickin’. When I got there  I couldn’t believe it  had been hacked back severely.

Oh no!

Who would cut down “my” blackberry patch!

After getting over the shock, I sized up the situation. There were enough for a pie but the picking was not going to be as easy as it had been; the ripe ones were high and scant. Ever faithful and patient Lady, found a spot to stretch out nearby while I picked a bucketful.

Getting the workspace ready was next. I love seeing clean counters and an orderly space just waiting to be creatively…messed up!

Around 10:30PM there were disks of dough chilling in the fridge. It was at this point that I realized this this was going to prove to be one heck of a late night project.

I started playing favorite music that has meaning to me, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, CSN&Y, Carol King…

At 11:35PM, two pies in the oven; blackberry and blueberry.

Time for a tea break.

Never sit down if you want to keep going. Right? There was a serious moment when I thought that baking the remaining ones in the morning would be okay…or, that maybe two pies were enough. A hot bath and bed sounded really good.

Maybe it has something to do with all the do do do do do’s in the chorus but when CSN&Y Suite Judy Blue Eyes started playing, I got my second wind.

12:49AM: Blueberry and blackberry out of the oven and cooling on the counter.

Really going for it now.

Cut up rhubarb
make filling
roll out bottom crust
put filling in
roll out top crust
cover fruit

Okay, three pies would be enough. Yes?
Yes.

NO!

One more, something inside me said Kate, make one more pie.”

Reaching for two jars of home-canned Montmorency cherries I took a deep breath, asked the patron saint of pie bakers (is there one?) to stand by me. My friend Roger Downey gave those cherries to me and I had been saving them for something really special. This was it…sour cherry pie.

At 2:58AM 4 pies cooling on the counter:
blackberry
blueberry
rhubarb
sour cherry pie

Taken one last look at them, I headed to bed. I think I was asleep as soon as my head touched the pillow.

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Comments

  1. Kate/Massachusetts says

    St. Honoré is the Patron Saint of Baking! I learned that one today! St. Honoratus is the Patron Saint of Bakers…I wonder if they are one and the same!

    I am going to gather ingredients this weekend and try an apple pie using your crust recipe and Gravensteins. My mother was a wonderful pie maker and she always used lard. Unfortunately, she didn’t teach any of us her tricks. I wish I had learned early! Thank you for all your great information!

    • says

      Hi Kate-
      I wonder if Honoré and Honoratus were the same, too; the first looks like a French spelling and the later a Latin.

      My grandmother was the pie baker in our family. Wonderful pies she made. But, alas, she did not share her recipes with us. At today’s pie baking class students made three beautiful Gravenstein pies. What wonderful pies those apples make!

      Thanks for checking in and would love to hear how your pie turns out.

  2. Quilcene swimmer says

    Okay, you blinded-by-blue-ribbons winner, where are the photos of these fair masterpiece pies?

    Where is the big smile on the master baker’s face?

    Bravo girlie for moving forward and showing your talents to the good people of Clallam.

    You’ve always been a winner in my eyes and you always will be—pies and beyond!

    • says

      Sorry it took me while to get a photo up but you can see a photo now. I’m going to pick up my ribbons today and will post a big smile photo of me with them soon!

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