A slice of pie that felt like a hug

 

Today was one of those days, where my sensitivity to everything around me is through the roof. When everything I am doing seems wrong or not enough. When I see the cup half empty, rather than half full.

I made a new Tagine recipe, one of my favorite ones. Yet I had no desire to dip a piece of bread in the both and taste it as I usually do. I took pictures of the tagine, but they were not colorful enough in my judgment.

It is 4:18 pm. Like an ant I am going through the kitchen cabinets, the pantry closet, refrigerator and even the freezer, searching for something deviously sweet, but in vain. I had a cereal bar, then a handful of pecans, then a square of dark chocolate then an apple. All that, did not satisfy my craving?! I thought in my mind.

Searched in my refrigerator again, hopefully I can find a caramel flan hidden behind the yoghurts, but what I found was a bag of fresh prunes, and giant plastic box of peaches. I thought about making a fruit pie, but on a second thought I decided that if I have to make it myself, I don’t want it.

As much as I love to cook, there are days where I lack inspiration; or in other words, I get lazy! I even leered at the leftover of a chocolate doughnut that was left in the microwave for days. My three years old probably played with it for a while before deciding to abandon it. Enough! I thought in my mind, throwing the dried out donut in the trash. I put the empty Dunkin Donut’s box on top of it and I pushed it down with force, making sure it is deep in the trash can, where it won’t tempt me anymore.

Food cravings can be pure torture. I sat down for a few minutes, and then I got up and went to the kitchen again. This time, I started setting eggs, fruits, flour, almonds and baking pans on my kitchen counter. My husband watching football in the living room and watching me at the same time commented: ”try not to take out all the dishes and pots we have, again”. I did not appreciate the comment, but I was not ready to argue about the dishes once more. What he does not know is that very often, I don’t know what I am going to make. I decide only after I get started. That is why I layout all my options on the kitchen counter.

I played Frank Sinatra on my phone, attached it to my waist and put my ear buds on. I must get myself in the right mood for baking, and there is nothing that fixes me better than music.

I grinded almonds on “let’s face the music and dance”, combined the ingredients in a large bowl and worked the dough on “I get a kick out of you”. Then I sliced the fruits on “Strangers in the night”. I spread the dough over parchment paper on “For once in my life” and I arranged the fruits over the dough on “Young at heart”!

Soon enough, my pie was ready. I cut a good portion, placed it on one of my nicest plates and eat it mindfully. I can’t recall the last time I enjoyed a fruit pie this much. That slice of pie felt like a hug. I bet it released a good dose of oxytocin in my body!

The almonds pie crust is so flavorful and earthy. It melts in your mouth like a graham cracker. It’s barely sweet so it doesn’t overwhelm the natural sweetness of the fruits; and it’s very easy to cut it into nice and beautiful pieces. Here is the recipe, try it.

Ingredients:

1 ¼ Cups self-rising flour+ ½ Tablespoon

½ Cup almonds grinded to the size of granulated sugar + 2 Tablespoons

 1 Stick of butter at room temperature

¼ Cup granulated sugar

1 Egg

1 Teaspoon cinnamon powder+1 Teaspoon

2 Tablespoons orange flower water

½ Teaspoon clover buds powder

1 Pinch of salt

1 Tablespoon cold water (optional)

2 Small-medium sized peaches

4 Medium sized prunes

1 Tablespoon lemon peel (peel of 1 lemon)

5 Table spoons natural honey

1 Tablespoon water

Preparation:

Set the oven on the Bake option, and let it preheat to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine 2 cups self-rising flour, 1 cup grinded almonds, butter, granulated sugar, egg, cinnamon powder, orange flower water clover buds powder, pinch of salt and a tablespoon of cold water. Work the dough for 3 minutes. Roll it into a ball, cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest for 5 minutes while cutting the fruits.

Wash and pat dry the fruits. Cut them in half then cut each half into thin slices.

Place a sheet of parchment paper on your work surface. Sprinkle over it with the remaining ½ tablespoon flour. Weigh down the top side of the parchment paper with something heavy to hold it steady.

Place the dough on the parchment paper and spread it with the roller to 4 millimeters in thickness.

Carefully, lift the parchment paper from the sides and transfer it to the baking pan (in the picture above, I used an 11 by 14 inches baking pan).

Arrange the fruit slices over the dough, sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of grinded almonds, and the remaining 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

Place the pie in the preheated oven, on the middle rack, for 15 to 20 minutes.

In a small saucepan, combine the lemon peel, honey and water. Boil for 4 to 5 minutes.

After you take the pie out of the oven, drizzle over it with the honey and lemon syrup. Serve alone with hot tea or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

 

About Nora Kornheisl

Food Writer & Recipe Developer, Wife and Mother of two children.

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