Tea and homemade pumpkin pie — even after the holidays are over, these are two of my favorite things. A pie pumpkin we bought back around last Halloween (talk about procrastinating!) sat uncut on the counter taunting us. “Bake me into a pie!” it kept saying. (Did I mention it was a talking pumpkin? They’re very rare and a bit bossy.) Finally, hubby took up the challenge.
We bought some ready-made crusts and a few other ingredients not already in the pantry, and the fun began. Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to take photos of the process. Too bad, since hubby looks so cute in his apron (it’s a manly shade of blue and made of denim-weight material — not a frilly cotton one). He quickly set to work reading the directions (amazing!) and actually following them (even more amazing!).
I did my part by staying out of the kitchen during all of this. He called me to come have a look at the filling before pouring it into the pie crusts. It was as fine as any store-bought canned filling I’ve seen, maybe even better. There was so much from just that one small pumpkin that we were able to make two pies (admittedly, the pie crusts were rather shallow).
Hubby was just as attentive during the baking. He checked the pies every so often to see if bubbles were forming on the surface and then opened the oven to pop any that were. The resulting pies were a beautiful sight to behold. Truly, they deserved to be served with one of the most special teas we have: a full-leaf Ceylon black tea, so fragrant, so rich-tasting that it makes any food taste gourmet. In this case, though, the pies, which were already of gourmet status, would be on equal footing taste-wise with this tea.
Time to put the tea kettle on and boil some water while the pies cool on the counter. A pinch of tea per six ounces of water goes into the teapot. I listen carefully for the kettle lid to start its little dance as the water bubbles upon reaching a boil. Then, the pour of water into teapot, all pre-warmed and with the dry tea in it. Now the wait.
Tick — tick — tick. Pie is cooling. Tea is steeping. Patience holds our hearts steady for their reward.
Finally, it’s time for the “golden pour” of perfect Ceylon tea “liquor” from the teapot into the waiting teacups. We pour the tea. We slice the pie. A dollop of whipped cream per slice. Now is the moment of truth. Is the pie just pretty on the outside, or does the beauty go through to that filling? Chomp!
Ah, yes, yes! Scrumptious! Now a sip of tea, it’s smoky burnt taste a perfect complement. Now another bite of pie. Tea. Pie. Tea. Pie. Darn, all gone too soon. No fears. There’s always tomorrow and another tea moment. After all, there are two pies. Maybe we’ll have some English Breakfast, a strong hearty tea deserving of milk and sweetener, or a delicate green tea to lend its grassy flair to the feast.
Whichever we choose, it will be another perfect tea moment. Enjoy!
A.C.’s always cooking something up on her blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill!
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