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PIE Love

In a writing workshop conducted in IIT-B on Saturday, we were asked to write about our favourite food memory. What I couldn't conjure then, I shall write here today. My earliest pie memory is from reciting nursery rhymes from childhood. A porcelain bowl with dripping dark chocolate over sugar glazed green apples later baked with a caramelised crust, hot from the oven had my mouth watering many years ago when I saw it in a movie on Pies titled Waitress. Years later, I tried recreating it in my home with a not-so-same effect other than enjoying the bitter chocolate in my mouth. Each new pie recipe inspired me to go through Crawford Market on Friday evenings looking through fresh fruit stalls. The mounds and colourful assortments of juicy, ripe peaches and apples sent a surge of happiness through me. I started imagining baking pies in my head like Jenna did. Unlike her, I did not have names for my pie but I did imagine colours and fruits of all kinds in mine. Vanilla and Pineapple fragrance became my own after I started spending my weekends baking with these two ingredients aplenty. I remember my first cupcakes- frost-free wheat base sugarless with strawberry syrup, six of them. I gave one each to my friends who exclaimed they liked the deviation. I baked another batch next weekend and somehow got distracted by a phone call to find them burnt. That dampened my spirits but I managed to salvage the base and garnished it with a chocolate spread with almonds topped over them. That was a good save because the burnt crust gave a distinct flavouring to the cupcakes. 

Since then, 2013, to be precise, I have been experimenting with cupcakes, tarts and the occasional cakes but I never made a pie all by myself. Then, one day in 2014, I visited Yazdani Bakery in Fort located next door to People's Book House. As soon as I stepped in, a warm, honeyed apple fragrance wafted over their kitchen through the serving tables. I took one closest to the kitchen and revelled in that warmth for a good five minutes before I asked for their apple pie. That gooey, caramel brown crust with hot tea transported me to heaven. I was stuffed by the time I finished eating two slices which burst into a sugary delight in my mouth. I love how the slightly spicy flavour hits the tongue first, then followed by that ultra sweet smashed apple pulp with a fresh crunch of the crust. Oh, I could sing pie ballads all day long. That Bakery just adoringly smells of apple pies and ginger biscuits! I can't get enough of their olive bread as well. Mad as I was about pies, I never got around to baking it on my own. I assisted a friend, who is a culinary genius among us all and she made me do trivial kitchen jobs like whipping cream, mashing fruit pulp and glazing dry fruits which is I proclaim, hard work and very important too. We ended up baking one of the most delicious homemade pies I had ever laid my eyes on. It was vanilla custard with blackberry filling topped with crushed walnuts. The yellow crust with smooth custard glazed blackberries melted softly on our tongues and disappeared within no time. I was truly sorry to have devoured that perfection of a pie within a few minutes after a slaved kitchen performance for over two hours. But such are food tales. Especially, when they emerge from food enthusiasts.

Eating a pie is like savouring a book on a sultry summer afternoon when you think you can't possibly eat anything hot and then a pie slice shows up on your plate. I love brownies and tarts too, but a pie infinitely more than these two. The nicest pies are usually those that are made from simple ingredients and visually attack our senses even before we have tasted them. Oh, and how does one know if a pie is delectable just from sight? By the colour of its crust, of course! The deepest shade of ochre and caramel honey ensures the best-cooked pies ever. Here's a picture from one of my earliest pie adventures on the internet. It's a Berry Pie and a yummy one at that. To Pies and the wonderful world, they take me into!


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