| September is prime time for pie-making. Local berries include
blackberries, blueberries, huckleberries, mulberries, raspberries, salal,
cornelian cherries, crabapples, and many more obscure ones. Berries
aside, there are larger fruits such as apples, plums, peaches, pears, figs, and
tart, aromatic quinces.
| Thousands of people pick wild blackberries, and most of us know
of other available fresh fruit sources. Who hasn't seen fruit trees
where unharvested crops rot on lawns or sidewalks? Right now more than
three dozen kinds of edible fruits are thriving and ready for picking in
Seattle. The main exceptions are mountain dwelling berries (PHOTO ABOVE)--and they are
worth a long drive and a hike. In any case, getting tasty fresh fruit is
easy, whether you like to find or buy fruit in the city, visit u-pick farms, or
do wild foraging.
| Making pie crusts can be exasperating. Here is an easy way to
make flavorful, flaky crusts. Mix 2 cups of flour and 1 teaspoon of salt, then
add 2/3 cup of extra light olive oil. Moisten this dough bit by bit, with some
5 to 7 tablespoons of cold water. Work it into a ball and let it stand a
few minutes. Slice it in two, take the larger piece and mold it with your
hands into the pie plate. Flatten the other piece into a pancake-like circle for
the top. You can use pastry boards, waxpaper, tuperware, rolling pins,
etc., or can get by without such things. Experiment. Most fruit pies
bubble over the edge of the plate, so if oven cleanliness is an issue, put
foil underneath the plates to catch the drippings.
|(originally published in The Seattle Weekly, September 1996)