“PIE SHOULDN’T BE PERFECT,” declared an article on making fruit pie that I’d saved from a Bon Appetit magazine.
Aviva and I could not have agreed more. While we learned a few things from the article (the butter in the crust should be in unevenly sized pieces) wondered over some pieces of advice (a pie should bake for an hour and a half at 350 degrees?) and rejected others (really, the crust does not need that much butter!), the philosophy expressed in that simple line is what really struck home.
WE ARE NOT perfectionists, we realized — and glad of it.
Being an imperfectionist (my new word) means you are content with “good enough,” and not devastated by minor failures in the kitchen or other areas of life.
The Bon Appetit article detailed a finished pie’s characteristics: “The filling will spill out, bits of crust will collapse, and it’s only natural for the fruit to shrink as it bakes, leaving a little gap beneath the top crust.”
And these “imperfections” not only don’t matter, but actually add to the pleasure of making and eating pie.
“That’s the trouble with cake,” Aviva noted (she has a strong preference for pie over cake). “It’s too perfect.”
Just as the article had predicted, my pie had not yet set properly when we served it to friends a couple hours after taking it from the oven (the article advised waiting at least four hours, and added that pie was even better the day after it was baked. But warm-from-the-oven pie is sooooo good!)
We carved out some fairly sloppy slices and ladled them into mismatched bowls with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. We used spoons instead of forks.
No one complained. It was a perfectly delicious imperfect pie and we were all happy.