Tag Archives: blueberry pi shawl

Birthday Pi…

may be even better than birthday cake. No calories!

half pi done

It’s my birthday later this week, and I wanted to have this shawl finished to wear. Done! I’ve decided I’m not a fan of knitting with laceweight yarn, but the result is so lovely. The pattern is the EZ 100th Anniversary Gull Wings half circle (Rav link). I knit this on Hiya Hiya sharps, size 4. Loved the pointiness. Didn’t like the slipperiness; not enough control for this loose knitter. But I was afraid to change needles in the middle of the project, for fear of changing gauge. When I went to bind off, I used a larger needle anyway, so I went back to my Lantern Moon ebony in a size 6. Just enough texture to keep the slipperiness at bay.

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I did most of the binding off at Waterfront Park the other night, which is like Portland’s living room. (Some would say that Pioneer Courthouse Square is Portland’s living room, but I like the view from this one better.) The Portland Symphony plays a free concert to open the symphony season, and it always ends with the 1812 Overture and fireworks. A lovely evening.

sunset glow

It’s a party!

waterfront park

But I digress. Here’s the shawl, just off the needles. Kind of scrunchy and unimpressive.

scrunchy pi

I wet blocked it on my ancient cardboard cutting board in the back yard. The radius is 26 inches, so the diameter is 52. Heh, math.

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It was so warm out, the shawl kept drying out before I was done. I couldn’t find a spray bottle, and the sprayer on my iron doesn’t work. So I turned the hose on it after I finished pinning it out. Gently. With the spray nozzle. Pointed up in the air.

more pi

It dried really quickly! I gave the rest of the yarn (47 grams out of 100) to my friend Claudia; she doesn’t mind knitting with laceweight and the color is great for her. Now I’m finishing my 3 year sock.

3 yr sock

I took that picture yesterday, and now I’m down to the end. Do I graft the toe, or do I finish with my usual “run the yarn through the needles and pull tight because I’m too lazy to look up kitchener stitch”? If I kitchener, I’d have to undo the first one and do that, too; I want them to match. It might be a good exercise, though. What do you think?

Pie, pie, pie, pi

I’ve been trying to get this pie right for a while; this is the third attempt. Hat tip to Elizabeth at Savory Salty Sweet for the blueberry cream pie in a gingersnap crust that inspired this raspberry adaptation.

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Raspberry Cream Pie in a Chocolate Cookie Crust

Cookie Crust
9 ounces chocolate cookies (I used Newman’s Organic Alphabet cookies. 7 oz package is a little skimpy; you’ll want more. What I really wanted was chocolate graham crackers, but I can’t find them anywhere)
4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, with rack in the middle position.
Process cookies in a food processor until they are pulverized into small crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a medium bowl and combine with the melted butter while stirring with a spatula. Stir until crumbs start to cling together.
Pour the crumb mixture into a 9-inch pie pan. Using a spoon or your fingers, press the crumbs into the pan, evenly covering the bottom and sides of the pan. Bake the crust for 8 minutes. Remove crust from oven and set aside to cool slightly.

Pastry Cream
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 cups milk
3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan set over medium low heat, whisk together cornstarch, sugar, and pinch of salt. Slowly pour in milk while steadily whisking, making sure the cornstarch mixture does not clump up. Whisk in the egg yolks. Slowly whisk the mixture for 7 to 8 minutes, until it becomes quite thick. Remove from the heat and immediately whisk in vanilla. Pour the custard into the baked gingersnap crust. Place in refrigerator to start cooling while you glaze the berries.

Glazed raspberries (Makes the red really pop, and helps keep berries perky)
3 cups fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons apricot jam

For optional chocolate drizzle
Some may call this gilding the lily, but it’s pretty and delicious, too!
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted (30 seconds at a time in microwave, stirring each time. It will still be pretty thick when melted, but do your best!)

Don’t rinse the berries; they’ll get all weepy. Thin apricot jam with water, and brush on raspberries with a pastry brush. Pile raspberries on top of custard. Using a fork, drizzle chocolate over all. Place pie in refrigerator for at least 3 hours, until custard has set and pie is thoroughly chilled.

Serves 6 to 8 people.

Here’s the history of these pies, so you know what not to do.

Version 1: I rinsed the berries, and they were very sloppy! I used Trader Joe’s Low Fat Cat Cookies because I couldn’t find chocolate graham crackers, and couldn’t get them to crush down enough. It was tasty, but the crust was too coarse in texture.

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Version 2: I tried a graham cracker crust with a chocolate ganache lining under the pastry cream. It tasted great, but was a big sloppy mess under there because the ganache didn’t firm up the way I wanted. I had put it in the freezer to firm up, but it probably melted again when I put in the warm pastry cream, and didn’t have enough time to become solid again before I needed to serve it.

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Back to the original chocolate cookie idea for version 3, as seen above! I made all the mistakes so you don’t have to. It’s good, but my favorite is still the original blueberry cream pie in the gingersnap crust. I just love blueberries.

blueberrypie

And here’s the progress on my Blueberry Half Pi shawl. I’m on row 124. 20 more rows of easy-peasy gull wing lace, and then on to the hearts border. It’s hard to really see what it will look like when it’s all scrunched up on the needles like this, but I’m hoping it blocks into a big half circle of gossamer beauty.

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What’s on your needles?