Dunedin, NZ

Dunedin, NZ

Some, I imagine, are thinking deep, life-changing-they-hope thoughts on this first day of a crisp new calendar.  And then there’s me…. consumed, instead, with smallish questions about… well… pie.  And not even a deep-dish pie, at that…

But questions, nevertheless, beginning with…

What is it about pie that makes me associate it with holidays and other special occasions … or any other time when company can be counted upon to help with consumption?

Which led to a second, that I pondered with the taste of pumpkin chess pie still on my tongue…specifically…

Whether pie and guests always go hand-in-hand… and if so… Which comes first?:

Expected guests, then pie.

Or Pie, then unexpected guests.  

Which naturally, of course, now causes me to layer on two related ones, that I’ll count as numbers three and four:

…If I were to bake a “just because” pie, would unexpected company come calling… just because..?

…And… what if I were to have a pie on-hand everyday… might I be surprised by a stream of lovely unexpected visits from friends and family…

if not everyday…

then at least…more often than not…

or more often than now?

These are silly, questions, really… but the nature of their answers are not…I think… shall we say…”easy-as-pie.”  Or per chance, they are… if one is willing to take a chance and up their pie-baking game…

Well, then, no time like the present… and seeing as how this is the day for New Year’s Resolutions…what could be more delicious fun (and fattening) then if I were to resolve to bake more pies this year?

Such wonderful communion and conversation two or more could enjoy over a lovely piece of pie.  Perhaps accompanied with a cup of hot tea.

It’s food for thought… and the soul.  Pie and tea.  Such piety.

IMG_1428Pumpkin Chess Pie

1 1/3 cups sugar
6 Tbsp butter, softened
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp evaporated milk (or half-and-half)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 tsp self-rising cornmeal mix
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves

1 9″ unbaked pastry shell

Preheat oven to 350.  Bake for 45 to 50 minutes – until knife inserted near pie center comes out clean.

Cream sugar and butter in mixing blow with electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add remaining pie filling ingredients and beat well until blended.  Pour into pastry shell and bake.  Pie will continue to set as it cools.  Best served warm with a dollop of whipped cream.