Pie Fail = Just Another Opportunity

how to fix runny pie

boysenberry lake

On the eve of a lot of pie baking I gift you with a story of failure turned into success as a reminder that perfection is it’s own kind of hell.  Yeah, I know.  You get to a point in life where you say to yourself, really?  When will the “opportunities” stop.  Believe me, don’t ever wish for that.  This disgusting looking pie was an attempt to make my mom something to serve her flagging appetite.  The last pie I ever baked for her.  It’s an example of what happens when you are completely distracted.  And yet the disaster turned out to be a pretty great save. Unfortunately I was also too distracted to take a picture of the tasty turnaround but I’ll tell you about it.

As you can see I made a boysenberry lake.  I’ve make many pies from frozen berries but my mistake this time was in not letting the starch cook long enough to do its thickening magic.  I had a bottom crust rolled out in a metal pan left over from a pie class I taught and instead of moving it to a pyrex pan I lazily left it where it was.  As you can see from the fabulously raw bottom of the pie, this turned out to be a mistake.  And yet these were farmers’ market boysenberries that I carefully froze for later use.  My favorite berry for my favorite pie.  After gazing at the failed pie and tearing up over the fact that this would be my mom’s last pie I started to ask myself how I could resurrect those berries and that crust.  The top crust was good.  I knew that if I brought the filling up to boiling temperature the starch would thicken those lovely juices.  So crumble?  Pandowdy?  A pandowdy is when the crust is cut into pieces and laid over the filling.  I realized that if I just turned the pie upside down the good top crust would now be a fine bottom crust and the torn pieces of raw horrible formerly bottom crust would now have an opportunity to cook to a golden brown.  I had no idea what the texture would be like but I figured how bad could it be?

pie fail becomes success

sad raw bottom crust given new chance as top crust

All that white gluey dough cooked to a gorgeous deep golden brown.  The juices concentrated and thickened, the exposed berries became leathery and sweet.  It was a fine pie-ish thing.  Most importantly mom loved the little half inch piece I spooned into her mouth with a vanilla ice cream chaser.


6 thoughts on “Pie Fail = Just Another Opportunity

  1. Not having had my mom for a long time, emotions are still raw like your crust and my mantra (taken from the movie, Steel Magnolias) is that “No one cries alone in my presence resulted in a few sweet memories and tears. What a sweet and educational subject for your sweet moment with your mom.
    Pie Camp Rocks!!

    • So lovely to hear from you Dorothy! I love that sentence “emotions are still raw like your pie crust”. Steel Magnolias always a font of wisdom.

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