Aside from the odd bout of 80-degree weather this weekend, fall is in full swing. Obviously, in such fashion, long weekends spent at home mean Downton Abbey marathons with your mother, modeling men's suit-jackets in front of your male relatives, reading quality detective fiction novels, putting off all semblances of academic work, and ordering mountains upon mountains of chai lattes and pumpkin-spiced coffees.
At least, that's primarily how I spent my long weekend.
Fall break always seems to line up perfectly with Yusra's birthday, and this year was no different. My baby sister turned 17 yesterday, and for the occasion had me bake her a birthday pie. Yes, pie. Of the pumpkin variety, too, to be precise. Last year, I baked a rather delicious pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, and Yusra told me then and there that for her 17th birthday, she wanted another one. Of course, I promised, thinking at the time that she'd forget about it and I'd end up baking a carrot cake or something of the sort [leaving my 16-layer-cake days behind me for now].
And yet, eleven months later, she hadn't forgotten, and on Saturday I found myself waking up to a countertop covered in allspice, cinnamon, and ginger powders, fresh nutmeg, a box of flour, cold sticks of butter, and a stand-mixer waiting to be put to use.
This year's pumpkin pie is a variation on last year's epic success, combined with a tantalizing recipe for pumpkin-streusel pie found at Go Lightly Gourmet. The end result is a tall, creamy, subtly-spiced pumpkin filling in a flaky crust, topped with a pecan and brown sugar streusel topping.
Yusra was pretty satisfied.
I always very much love baking pies, though I'm not quite as keen on pumpkin pies as Yusra is. Of course, I enjoy them for their seasonal perfection and spiciness, but I'm not in love with them or anything. Nevertheless, I found myself reaching for a second slice even before I was done with the one on my plate when it came to this one. The cream cheese in the filling gives it a beautiful texture, and the streusel on top is a perfect addition. Strange that it doesn't make an appearance on many pumpkin pies...
As for me, I'm back at the apartment for my lat day of break. Four days at home was lovely after a week of midterms and paper-writing, but alas, back into the fray. So, naturally, I've spent my day reading more fiction novels, cooking stew, and thinking about working on a looming philosophy paper.
I mean, it's the thought that counts, right? Right. I'm going to go with it. Academic productivity at its finest.
In other news, I hear that MattMatt has baked me a belated pumpkin and cream cheese birthday cake. I have to say, though pumpkin pie isn't high on my list of saliva-inducing desserts, Matt's cake certainly is. I anticipate a rather delicious evening.
Who ever said twentieth birthdays couldn't stretch on for two weeks? ...and involve four separate cakes?
I confidently stand by the sentiment that birthday calories do not count.
...I mean, I have to maintain the integrity of my voracity.