Last week, after 18 hours of travel had turned into 20 from a two hour delay spent on the tarmac, after my pack had begun to dig so aggressively into my chest that I question whether I have received permanent nerve damage below my collarbones, after the unsettling realization that my days would be no longer be spent strolling the streets of Barcelona or Florence began to move its way into my mind; I stepped out of the arrival gates of JFK airport and spotted my mother jumping up and down, waving, over a sea of other passengers amidst reunions; and as I weaved my way through this buzzing crowd, moving closer to my mom whom i had not seen in 5 months, I started to realize the necessity that is returning home.
Sometimes I have a spotty memory, or more so selective, in that I can remember so clearly an interaction I had with someone years ago, but not what I ate for dinner last night or where I was three days ago. Part of that has just been a symptom of not clearly knowing what day of the week it is, because your only indication of time is loosely counting down the days until you move onto your next destination. Returning to a place where everything I'm surrounded by is familiar and holds countless clear memories of my many years living in this Brooklyn house and in this ever-changing neighborhood. So when I try to remember where I was four days ago, or last week, or two weeks ago I struggle to accept the images I conjure up in my mind. I still have so much I haven't put up here, and definitely more so than anything else my posts on the beautiful and very different places I have been to this past month that I will eventually upload will be more so for the purpose of jogging my memory than anything else.
For now I am simply taking it slow. Jet lag and a lack of formal daily plans to trek across an entire city and battle herds of tourists, has me up at 6:30 sharp nearly every morning. And as a result my parents' kitchen is not only always in a state of creation but the oven is getting little resting time between, pies, scones, a few attempts at babka, and my first attempts at a sourdough starter (I have been intently reading the Tartine Bread book). Within 12 hours of being home (we arrived late at night and of course were up at the crack of dawn), we were already doing our Saturday shopping at the grand army plaza farmers market, me picking out punnets of strawberries to, naturally, make a pie. The only obvious way to welcome myself back into my home and kitchen. So here I have posted below my recipe for a Strawberry Pie flavored with rosewater and cardamom spice. Which we enjoyed together in my back garden, post fish tacos and getting attacked by mosquitos as the sun went down.
Strawberry Pie with Rosewater & Cardamom
things you'll need
double portion of Perfect Pie Dough
two mixing bowls
for the filling
3 1/2 cup of strawberries (hulled & quartered)
1 small baking apple
juice of a lemon
1/4 cup of white sugar plus 2 tbsp
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp of ground arrowroot
1/4 tsp of ground cardamom
2 tbsp of rosewater
large pinch of salt
crack of pepper
dash of Angostura bitters
egg wash (1 egg with dash of milk or water)
sugar for finishing
what to do
first, preheat the oven to 425˚F/220˚C. Roll out your pie dough and line a buttered pie pan. next take your washed, hulled, and quartered strawberries, sprinkle the 2 tbsp of sugar over them and set them aside for 20 minutes to macerate. then peel and grate your apple, adding the lemon juice to it then setting aside for later. in another bowl prepare your spice mixture. combine the rest of the sugar, spices, arrowroot, and bitters, and toss to combine.
second, once the strawberries have macerated in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, discarding excess liquid that has built up at the bottom of your bowl, add the strawberries to the bowl with the spice mixture. then pour over your rosewater, add the grated apple and lemon juice, and toss it all to combine. sprinkle one tsp of flour and one of white sugar over the base of your pie plate to soak up the juices and pour the filling into the pie plate. I decided to give the top of my pie a mismatched lattice and played around with some braided edges (that needed some work), but you can essentially top it however you like, leaving some space for juices and steam to escape. then chill the pie in the freezer for about 5 minutes to firm up. brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
lastly, bake the pie on a pie tray in the middle rack of the oven. bake at 425˚F for 20-25 minutes, then turn 180 degrees and lower the temperature to 375˚F/190˚C. bake for another 30-35 minutes, check occasionally to make sure it isn't burning. you can turn down the temperature slightly but aim for 1 hr total baking time. it should be golden brown. and the bubbling of the fruit should subside. let cool for a least 1 hr before serving.