I am testing pies this week. (Yes, I know, poor me.
Taking one for the team again.) Today was key lime tart
and strawberry-rhubarb crumble pie.
All day I made dough and fillings. The tart dough and
filling for the key lime came together in an instant, with enough
leftovers to make a second small tart--luckily, as it turned
The strawberry-rhubarb pie, on the other hand, was a multi-hour
affair. First the pie dough. Then the fruit filling.
Then the crumble. Then the lattice. In the end, I
used a pound of butter, 4 and 1/2 cups of flour, and more sugar
than I care to recall. All this in a 9" pie pan. When I
slid the heavy, elaborate confection into the oven, I breathed a
huge sigh of relief. "That's the hard part done," I thought.
"Smooth sailing from here!"
50 minutes later, things were
looking golden-brown and luscious. It was time to remove the
pie to the cooling rack. To pick up the pie pan I grabbed a
spatula in one hand and a dish cloth in the other. Couldn't
find the long spatula, so I took the short one. I've done it
a million times, and the cooling rack was two feet away. No
"Wouldn't it be horrible," I thought with amusement, "if the pie
fell while traveling those two feet? But honestly, what are
Slowly I turned, the pie balanced between the dish cloth and the
spatula. I lowered it toward the rack. The spatula
wobbled. "If the pie fell," I observed, "it would start
just like that. Not that it will!"
I steadied the spatula. I thought I did, anyway. In
slow motion, the pie balanced, and overbalanced. Balanced,
and overbalanced. Paralyzed, I watched as it slid off the far
end of the spatula. I had time to think, "Maybe it will land
pan side down..."
It did not.
Pie-mageddon!. . . pie-pocalypse!! I shrieked once and
stood there, frozen above an 8-foot zone of strawberry-rhubarb
pectinaceous destruction. A long moment passed, and then
Husby came to my rescue with the bench scraper and the compost bin.
10 minutes later, the 4-hour, 4-pound pie was food for crows.
Even the Titanic did not founder more decisively
I think you know the rest of the story.Later that evening, we ate
the key lime tarts with our friends, and they were very fine
indeed. Afterwards, we played a couple rounds of Jenga.
On my last turn, I gently eased a block out and placed it on
top of the tower. "It's wobbly," I thought, "but no
biggie, it'll hold..."