Broken hearts are messy. As is this (Broken) Heart Pie. In my mind my submission for Pietopia’s friendly competition which asks “what does your life taste like, in a pie?” was a bit more elegant, a bit more pulled together. But I guess that’s the thing about a broken heart in a dusty kitchen. Things aren’t always going to come out the way you had hoped. And that’s okay. Just like I will be.
So, “what does my life taste like, in a pie?”
Red fruits, lots of them; rich and luscious and sweet and syrupy. Candied nuts. Ginger. Cinnamon. Molasses. Warm flavors. All things ripe and sweet and full of color and bursting with love. For as much as my heart is very much broken, it is still bursting with love. Both for the person who broke it, and for myself. I’ve never been in such a humbled position.
So, the creation. I decided to cut myself some slack and not make homemade ginger molasses cookies, as I’m not in my apartment with my arsenal of tools. I picked up a box of Ginger Cookies with Sliced Almonds from Pamela’s Products. They’re very moist and gluten and dairy free, so all I had to do was crush them, mix them with about 3 Tbsp of melted unsalted butter, press into a pie plate and bake for a bit. I should have bought two boxes, to make a fuller crust, or gotten off my tush and made a pie crust as I have dozens for times before. But again, dusty. So the crust only covers the bottom and slightly up the sides.
I guess this is more like a (Broken) Heart Cobbler. Same difference.
The recipe for the filling is below, and I suggest your favorite sweet crust – using a ginger snap or molasses cookie seems to suit these fruits perfectly. And because of the cookies I used this pie was gluten-free. And had I used Earth Balance instead of the butter in the crust, it’d be dairy-free too.
While I only had a small bite of the final product, I can promise you this pie (cobbler, whatever), is very luscious, very sweet, and almost sanguine. The cast* gobbled it down after our run-through tonight and seemed pleased, saying they were fortified with the fruit and nut combination, and it disappeared quickly.
I didn’t tell them the name: (Broken) Heart Pie.
- 3 cups fresh cherries, pitted
- 1 1/2 cup fresh, sliced strawberries
- 1 cup fresh raspberries, whole
- 1/2 cup dried, unsweetened cherries
- 1/2 cup candied almonds (I used sweet cinnamon almonds roasted from Whole Foods, but here’s a solid recipe from Food.com).
- 1/2 cup sugar, honey or some form of sweetener
- 4 Tbsp cornstarch, tapioca starch or arrowroot
- 1 pie crust of choice
- Prepare whichever pie crust you prefer, and blind-bake it (bake it without anything in it) until done. Remove from heat while you prepare the filling.
- Place the pitted cherries in a large, preferably non-stick pot or dutch oven. Bring to medium heat and allow some of the cherry juices to reduce, around five minutes.
- Add the raspberries and strawberries, and continue to cook until the mixture first bubbles with juice, and then begins to reduce, about 8 minutes. You want the mixture to still have some juice, but not so much that it’s overwhelming the fruit.
- Remove from heat.
- Whisk together the sugar and starch, and pour over fruit. Mix thoroughly until incorporated (if you’re using honey, add that first and mix in, and then the starch).
- Return to low heat and continue stirring gently until the mixture thickens.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- When almost cool, stir in dried cherries and almonds.
- Fill crust.
- Set in the refrigerator until completely chilled before serving.
*Shameless plug: I’m performing in Enchanted April at the Hampton Theater Company, running from May 26th to June 12th in Quogue, New York. If you’re near the Hamptons, please come check it out. It’s a darling show with a lot of heart, and some really challenging and fulfilling moments for me onstage. And I’ll be selling garden shortbread cookies at the concessions.