Crust 3.14

November 17, 2011 at 09:35 | Posted in Desserts, Pies | Leave a comment
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Truth be known I tend to buy my pie crusts since this is kind of involved, but it does work. This entry is also brought to you entirely via the WordPress app. We’ll see how that goes.

Delicate, flaky, flavorful pie crust. One that is intact enough to support and hug its filling, but light enough dissolve when eaten.

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Noms.

Soggy, tough, doughy, and ick pie crust.

Not noms.

With a bit of practice, and a bit of knowledge, most people can achieve a good pie crust. Not all people, but most.

The enemy of a perfect crust is gluten, aided and abetted by it’s sidekick water. Gluten is found in wheat and other grains, and it is formed when the flour is mixed with water. Gluten formation with bread is a good thing. With pie crust, not so good. Water makes it possible for gluten to exist, much like without the Joker there would be no Batman.

Were Batman a chemical reaction some are allergic to.

The friends of a perfect crust are vodka and lard or vegetable shortening.

I prefer shortening because I have a thing with the term lard.

I know that combining vodka and shortening sounds like a hazing ritual for a fraternity, but trust me, they are key to preventing the formation of gluten and making sure your pie crust is a delicious piece of Gotham City. Or Heaven.

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Some science:
Vodka, a liquid, and depending on your brand, tends to be about 60% water and 40% alcohol. The moisture of the water and alcohol together make the dough workable, but the alcohol boils off in the baking process, stopping the formation of gluten, and allowing your crust to be the best it’s ever been. It turns out that having liquor on hand while cooking is not just to mix it at Thanksgiving.

Who knew?

Experiment with flavored vodkas. Making a Lemon Pie? Use Lemon vodka. Making a Chicken Pot Pie? Peppar or Ginger could be the way to go.

This advice coming from a self-proclaimed terrible baker may not be what you call “credible” but it’s a well-known secret. If that’s possible.

Get in the kitchen and make me a… Part 2

November 10, 2011 at 14:27 | Posted in Desserts, FAIL, Pies | 1 Comment
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So here it is finally. The pie slide show. Sorry I’m a little late.

I mentioned in a previous entry that I made this pie because I was thinking about my Grandma. She recently fell and broke her hip into 3 pieces. She’s had surgery and is now in physical therapy.

Here's a picture of Grandma with my mom when she was small.

I think she’s having a rough time with it. She doesn’t really want to do the physical therapy. They’re trying to make her build up her upper body strength.

Anyway! The pie. My mom has a good recipe for egg custard, but I always misplace it. If I searched my email long enough I might find it but I just used the one from here. My grandma is important to me and even though I can’t be with her while she’s doing this, I am thinking about her and praying for her recovery.

The pie didn’t turn out very well. It was OKAY but not amazing. I should have asked my mom for the recipe. For shame Nikki.

Yum

October 22, 2011 at 21:13 | Posted in Pies, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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November’s issue! Doesn’t that look amazing? There’s a recipe for Apple Cider Cream Pie.

Wow.

It was kismet

September 9, 2011 at 12:12 | Posted in Desserts, Experiments, Pies | 4 Comments
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Lemon curd is amazing. It is, by and far, my favorite curd.

It’s tart. It’s yellow. It’s curd-tastic.

This particular batch of lemon curd came to be last weekend. Using this recipe, I preconceived what I would bless with this lemon curd, but as many concepts go, it didn’t work out. I was trying to make lemon financiers. That experiment didn’t turn out so well (failure) and I had a lot of lemon curd leftover.

Artsy filter shot of the final product: 24 bite sized lemon meringue pies. Born on 9/8/11.

For the duration of its life, lemon curd patiently lived in my refrigerator, awaiting a time when it could follow its fortune as a filling.

That day was today.

It may have been happenstance that my tryst with financiers had failed, but a rendezvous with lemon curd was meant to be, as the filling for a lemon meringue pie. I was setting up in the kitchen when it came to me! To do something different, I decided to use the mini-muffin pan and mini-cupcake papers to bake many bite sized pies. Oooooo. Fancy.

I pressed the crust, dolloped the lemon curd to its destiny and scaled the stiff peaks of meringue.

There may have been some kind of providence associated with this pint of lemon curd. That any destination this particular batch arrived, was to have a disastrous end. The meringues fell. I’m not sure if this was because I didn’t let the pies cool long enough before putting them in the refrigerator or if I didn’t let the meringues cook long enough. Either way, they are perfectly preserved in pictures.

Fortunately for me look doesn’t always equal taste. Despite the deflation of the meringue, in my opinion, the pies are still del.icio.us.

All for what? For tasty little snacks.

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