The Blue Period

In order to feel a shred of normalcy, during this hectic time of moving, anticipation, excitement, nostalgia and change – I need to bake. I also HAVE to bake, with the pie contest tasting coming up tomorrow, I’ve been a one-woman pie factory. Making pies and moving out – they kind of go together, if you stretch your imagination and logical approach to packing.

In between getting ready for our year in India and Turkey, we are seeing lots of friends, giving away our tables, chairs (and pretty much all of our thrift-store furniture), digging through three years of old notes, photos, secret hiding places (that’s where my pink wig went!), running an endless list of errands and feeling kinda sick and crazy. Never have I saved up for something and looked forward to it for so long – this 9 month trip to a land that has whispered my name since I was 16, carried the hope around on my back that I’d just get to spend real time there . . . Is now bellowing at us to hurry up this moving business and get on the damn plane.
India, I am so ready.

Not before we dine with friends and celebrate – with blueberry tarts, as requested by Dave…

1 c flour
1/2 c veg butter (Earth Balance is my preference)
1/3 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp cold water

To assemble:
First, make the crust (I like to do this a day before the pie is served, much easier to get it out of the way) – cream the butter and sugar together in a mixer, add flour, cinnamon and salt and gradually incorporate cold flour until rough pie dough forms. Stop mixing and gather barely holding together dough into large ball on top of plastic wrap. Shape into a large disc, wrap up in plastic and chill for at least 2 hours. After two hours, roll out on floured surface. Poke about 5 fork marks in the crust. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie or tart pans, place rolled dough into shell – folding over edges for double-thick sides. Wrap tightly in plastic and freeze until day of serving pie.

Preheat oven to 375 – bake frozen pie shells for 12 – 13 minutes, and allow to cool on wire rack or windowsill.

Vegan Pastry Cream:
1/2 cup unbleached flour
2 cups soymilk
1 tsp cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt 1/2 tsp. vanilla Whisk ingredients over medium heat until creamy consistency is made--about 8 minutes. Refrigerate until cool.

Toss 4 cups fresh blueberries in a little Agave nectar.
Once crusts are cooled, fill with 1 large spoonful (about 1/3 cup) of pastry cream and top with as many berries or other fruits you like as you can fit.
Eat with your hands on the patio, with a peach Belini or Daiquiri in your hand, after a dinner from the bbq with all of your pals.

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