So today, we are going to make some pie.
When I first moved back to the Northeast Kingdom, I met a new friend who had also experienced profound grief. A few years prior, she had lost her son when he died just a few weeks before his due date. She told me, “Grief is like a soup. Some people slurp it all down quickly and some people eat it bite by bite, but you have to eat it.”
I have carried that analogy with me…but instead, I think of grief as pie.
Because: Pie > Soup.
There are layers to it. Different colors and textures and flavors as you go. It’s a shitty pie. The kind you buy in a sad, semi-dilapidated grocery store with no one working at the bakery and cracks in the floors. It tastes bad. It’s filled with stuff that is probably not good for you. You have to eat it.
Well, this pie is not Sorrow Pie. This pie is Get Yourself Together pie. This is the pie I make with my kids to feel connected and happy and industrious. This is the kind of pie you can proudly bring to neighborhood potlucks and finally impress your father with. This is the kind of pie you can eat in one sitting and only feel a little bit bad. Stop buying pie at sad grocery stores. You’re an adult. You probably do your own taxes and mow your lawn and push babies out of your lady bits. You should know how to make pie.
You can do this. Make this pie.
Get Yourself Together Maple Pumpkin Pie
1 Sugar/Pie Pumpkin
1/2 cup Pure Maple Syrup
1.5 cups Whole Milk
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ginger
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Cloves
Butter Pie Crust
1.5 cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter
3-5 Tbsp Cold Water
Pie Crust: In a food processor, process the flour and salt. Cube butter and pulse into dry ingredients until it forms a cornmeal like consistency. Add water one Tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together, soft and pliable, but not sticky. Trust me, you can do this. Roll it out between two pieces of plastic wrap and press into pie pan. Trim and crimp the edges. Yes. You’re being an adult.
Pumpkin Custard: Cut your pumpkin in half and scoop out the guts. Deal with it. Place, cut side down, on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees until soft (approx 45 min). Let cool.
Scoop pumpkin into the food processor. Add in the syrup, spices and eggs. Puree until smooth. Add in milk. Puree. (If you are doubling this recipe, only puree the pumpkin and mix the rest of the ingredients in in a large bowl. Don’t be like me and make a soupy mess because you’re impatient.). Pour custard mixture into butter pie shell. Don’t you DARE use a store-bought crust, I didn’t raise you like that.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until set in the middle. Cool. Slice and enjoy. You’re an adult.