Pie is magic. Undeniably. No matter how many pies I make, I marvel each and every time at how so few ingredients can make up something so much greater than the sum of their parts. Flour, butter, sugar, salt, fruit, sugar. Magic. And even beyond this amalgamation of single ingredients, there is the impossibly improbable meeting of crust and fruit filling. Fruit gets folded in, tucked to bed, between two sheets of crust and together they spend some time in the oven.
What happens in that oven? I don't know! But I do know how good it tastes, and I'm hoping you do, too. In a great pie, the fruit becomes enriched with the melted butter and flour of the upper crust. The bottom crust softens ever so slightly under the gooey thickened juices of perfectly ripe fruit. A great pie is a study in textures: crisp, almost chewy, syrupy, soft, crunchy. The same ingredients, the same components, act differently in different parts of the pie; crust in the center is distinct from the crimped edge and fruit floating amongst its brethren is a different creature than the thickened juices that bubble out of the vents.
This weekend, a particularly delicious apple-rhubarb pie made me pause. I realized that yoga, like pie, has so few ingredients. When you go to the gym, there are the shoes, the treadmill, the weights, the machines (a different one for every muscle), the balls, the bands, etc. At Pilates, the reformer reigns supreme, but there are the balls and the mats and the springs, and hoops and loops, and, and, and. All of the physical activities I've participated in have come with paraphernalia. Except for yoga. A mat. A body. Magic. And heck, you don't even really need a mat! You're the crust, you're the fruit, you're everything you need for total transformation.
All-Butter Pie Crust
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1-2 tablespoons sugar
large pinch salt
2 sticks (8 oz.) butter, large dice
Place flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment. Freeze bowl with dry ingredients for 20 mins. Freeze diced butter in a separate bowl.
Turn stand mixer on at lowest speed, add butter (all at once is fine) and continue to mix until butter is incorporated but remains in pieces that resemble broken walnuts. Add water, starting with 4-6 tablespoons and adding more until the dough JUST holds together. Dump contents onto counter. Work gingerly to bring crust together, cut in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour (and up to 48 hours) before rolling out to make pie. Work with dough cold from the fridge and in a cold, or cool, kitchen.