Tuesday, September 18, 2007

3.14 (Reprise)

Xingyi class last night was great, but the problem with a good kung fu class is, it leaves me sleepless. So I tossed and turned all night. Today I lost a whole day looking for a bug in Hibernate code I still haven't found. But after dinner, as I sat with my youngest on my lap and listened to the Moody Blues anthology Time Traveller, I realized it was a good time to have another go at pie.

Ames bought me a new pie plate, so I washed it out and started.

After some contemplation, I have decided my mistakes last time were two-fold:

  1. I made the pastry too dry. The Tenderflake Perfect Pastry recipe calls for one egg, 2 tsp. vinegar, and water to make it up to a Cup. But then the recipe says to use "only enough liquid to make dough cling together." Well, I learned my lesson last time, so now I realized "only enough liquid to make dough cling together" is code for "all of it."

  2. I used whole-wheat flour. That might actually be all right, but I thought I'd try again with the white stuff.

So this time I followed the recipe again, but used white flour and all the liquid. Oh, and I used lard too. I've only got 1/2 pound of lard left, so I'll have to join the Great Unwashed and use shortening next time. But today, I use lard.

After blending and mixing, I cut the pastry into six pieces. I kept two for the pie and put the rest in the freezer.

Last time I made apple pie. Tonight I made my second-favourite: cherry. Only rhubarb pie is better than cherry. I would have made rhubarb, but rhubarb is not indigenous to the South; and every person I know who's tried growing it here has met with unmitigated failure. So rather than pay more than $2.50 a pound for what every northerner knows is a weed, I cheated and opened two tins of cherry pie filling.

I rolled out the pastry, lined my new pie plate with it, and dumped the two tins of cherry pie filling into it:

Then I rolled out a lid and laid it gently atop my new pie

I've never figured out how to crimp the edges of the pie properly, so I just run around the perimeter with three fingers and make those little triangles in the pastry. Here's a close-up of my amateur attempts at crimpage:

Finally, I sliced a few slits into the lid to allow for venting and put it in the oven.

You know the drill: 15 minutes at 425F and then 30 at 350F.

Well, it certainly looks better than the last attempt, but it did bleed a little.

Haven't tasted it yet. I suppose tomorrow for breakfast is as good a time as any.


Michelle said...

Huzzah for breakfast pie! (and lunch pie and dinner pie for that matter). You've made me hungry, it looks so tasty - must go find a snack.

Ames said...

A man who can bake; what else could a woman want.

Trev said...

Cherry pie tasty - Ludo still hungry!

"...amateur attempts at crimpage:"

Are there professionals in our wide world who practice the fine art of crimpage?

clumsy ox said...

Huh. I assume a pastry chef would be considered a professional crimper.

Maybe not.

Michelle said...

It sounds like he can bake, grill, AND fry - you've got yourself a keeper, Amy!

clumsy ox said...

Grilling is the pinnacle of masculine cooking talent. All other male cooking is really disguised grilling. Men who bake envision the oven racks as grill grates; men who fry think of the fryer as a really wet grill. A man's ability to cook in any non-grilling way is entirely dependent on his ability to convince himself that what he's doing is actually grilling.

That may be why men despise vegetarians: no man content to permanently not grill can be entirely normal.

It's vaguely Freudian, really.

Stace' said...

That's funny!!!!

Shan said...

Bro, you've got the liquid right, you've got the crimping (which by the way looks great), you've got the freezing of fat and flour, you've got the Real Lard....you are almost there. Now you just have to get some cake and pastry flour. Ye Olde All-purpose just doesn't cut it anymore...for flakiness, you gotta get the cake and pastry. (Watch you don't accidentally grab the self-rising though.)

Two weeks from now is your ideal time to try it...CDN Thanksgiving, right. Don't forget.

clumsy ox said...

You know, I actually mixed cake flour and the ol' all-purpose for this experiment, and it was definitely a step above what I had anticipated.

If it weren't for this association in my mind between pie and autumn, I could probably get my pie skills to the "acceptable" level. But since I can't abide the thought of baking pie except from September to January, I end up going through a few attempts every September to get back in practice.

My ultimate goal, of course, is a decent tourtiere. I've pulled it off once, and I've been trying to improve on it ever since, with no success.