Fruit pie has always been one of my favorite desserts. It’s one of the first desserts I took the time to learn to make well when I started needing to cook for myself. And yet I went without it for almost two years.
The problem with fruit pie is that when you cut into it, the filling pours out, so there’s no way to make sure that the 1/8 of the pie crust that you serve someone has almost exactly 1/8 of the filling. With something as high carb as fruit pie, this means that there’s too much uncertainty as to the carb total to feed it to a small child with diabetes. I didn’t want to thicken up the filling, because I don’t like pie fillings that are gelatinous or starchy. For this reason, I did not make any fruit pie, and so did not eat any fruit pie, for almost two years after my daughter’s diagnosis with diabetes. There were times when it seemed like I was crying because I wanted fruit pie, although of course I was really crying about diabetes in many ways.
Then, instead of making a birthday cake for myself, I tried to make individual blueberry pies in canning jars, following an idea in King Arthur Flour’s blog. They were good, but they somehow didn’t qualify as fruit pie. I think that the shape and the filling to topping ratio were just off a bit. Also, the filling and crust were cooked separately. The carb counting was OK, though, which was encouraging.
Then, about a month ago I remembered that I had mini pie pans in the cabinet. They make about 1/4 of an 8″ pie. I made apple pies with these, and gave my child with diabetes half of one. This was OK, I can split something in half and eye how much of the escaped filling goes with it. Now, I can make fruit pie occasionally. I found myself in tears again that night after the rest of the family was in bed. I had fought one more little piece of normal away from diabetes, and it was one that was important to me.
Before I could make fruit pie, I needed several things. I needed the idea of making small pies so that the carb counting was reasonable. Also, I needed the confidence to tackle a food with such a high carb total. This experience reinforces my belief that there is no real food that my child cannot eat if I put enough thought and effort into it.