Friday, July 10, 2015

π have returned

once upon a time, a few years ago, we went to china for our honeymoon. we came home and I started teaching at a second school. then, a year later, we went to california. we came home and I started teaching at a third school. and now? now it's summer once again! how on earth did that happen?!

i took all these photos, even videos, from our eating adventures in china to share with you but...

and i have managed to feed us both these last few years, some pretty tasty things even, but...

lo, here we are.

in a few weeks, we are off to Japan. meanwhile, my mom is here visiting and I have some spare time. the school year has finished and I am enjoying my well deserved time off. next year, I'll be at one school full-time and the mister will also have a full-time teaching gig. we are looking forward to our futures. our very near future includes a pie. it's in the oven right now.

it's a red currant pie. and there's a funny story to go with it.

we spent the fourth of july weekend at my in-law's house. I made my grammie's macaroni salad, watermelon, blueberry, and feta salad, peach pie, and some spreads for the apero. we also tried to teach the swiss family how to eat corn on the cob. my husband was successful. here, corn is pig food so it's not really something regularly on the menu. I was happy to take advantage of my father-in-law's grill and have some corn on the cob. it wasn't as fresh as what we used to have when I was a kid--my mom grew corn in the garden--but it was still tasty.

My in-laws took us to a chalet not so far from their house for the view and for some traditional mountain food. we had meringue for dessert, but I saw pie on the menu. raisinée pie. mmmm, I said, I love raisinée. raisinée, or vin cuit as it is also called, is yummo. In the fall, the folks of the villages get together and boil down the fall fruits (grapes! apples! pears!) on a huge fire in a cauldron until they become a thick paste--like molasses thick. then you mix it with double cream and make a pie. and how! my belle-mère said she had some that I could have. Joy! I wanted to share it with my mumsie! 

In the morning, my belle-mère asked if I wanted the raisinée. Yes please! So she gave me a bucket and asked me to follow her outside. I was confused. How could we get raisinée outside? and why did I need a bucket? You see, my mother-in-law led me to the raisinets bush. My husband fell over with laughter. raisinée and raisinets, to me, sound practically identical. Silly french. I explained to the mister that raisinets are chocolate covered raisins, not red berries on a bush. 

And that is how I got these gems:

Red currants.

And so today I made a red current pie. I got a recipe from my belle-sœur's boyfriend's mom.
pie crust of choice--blind bake at 225º for 15 minutes
400 g raisinets
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
120 g sugar
packet of vanilla sugar (that's a thing here)

 the swiss germans add a layer of ground almonds under the meringue, but the mister thinks it's "too heavy" that way. I guess they do that for all fruit pies. he prefers his fruit pies to be pure. I like the idea of the almonds. the mister instructed me to "make snow from the egg whites (soft peaks) and then add the sugar. keep beating until it's thick and gooey. then add the berries, put it in the crust, and bake at 175 for 45 minutes.  and that's that! it gets all fluffy and puffy. 

the pie itself is gorgeous... but be warned: these suckers are TART. this is not a pie for the weak and weary. I think next time, I'll use raspberries for the pie and turn those raisinettes into jam.  

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