Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Adventures in Baking.

So.  I read a book in which one of the main characters makes blue ribbon pies for the county fair.  Suddenly, I have the urge to dig out the pie recipes, and attempt to recreate the flavors, textures, and neighborhood mom envy.

I break out the book:
Note the title: The "Perfect" Pie.  Because if I use this recipe, and follow it as I should, my pies will be the talk of the town.  Is this the equivalent of buying the makeup that Jennifer Garner models, in the hopes that I'll sprout amazing skin and perfect dimples?  Probably.

Not one to do anything at half tilt, I quaintly pick out 3 recipes that remind me of my childhood.  Apple pie, Kentucky Bourbon Chess Pie, and Pecan Pie.  I imagine amazing pies popping out of the oven, seemingly on their own accord and with the help of the faeries.... and neighbors drifting over, following their noses to the bliss.

I research pie crust.  Lard, butter, pastry flour, cornmeal.....  I research pre-baked, partially baked.... fillings, pie shields, cooling times, blind baking, custard, etc....... If you're not familiar with me, I LOVE to research.  Last summer it was the Tudors, this fall it was the fall of Rome, and it appears that this spring is baking.

So.  First up--- I had apples and everything else in the house to make apple pie.  The research paid off!!!
Apple Pie.  Martha would be proud.
The boys helped me crank the apple peeler/corer/slicer, and we had a blue ribbon winning pie in no time flat!  The crust, I decided, should be 1/2 lard and 1/2 butter fat.  The flakiness was superb!  I juiced a fresh lemon, and grated fresh nutmeg and cinnamon in the filling.  Green apples for the tart, Gala for the body.

I thought about inviting Jennifer and Martha over to enjoy a piece with me, but the boys had other ideas. The neighbors never had a chance.

Next up--- Good old fashioned Kentucky bourbon Chess pie.  It just came out of the oven, and smells divine.  I did a cornmeal crust, and made the custard with love.  :)  Why the pies?  Possibly I'm going through a mid life crisis.  I have been nesting quite extensively lately, a la redecorating, organizing, cooking ridiculously expensive dinners for myself and the two little boys who would be happier with hot dogs.  But they eat it and smile, God love 'em.

My quote for the day?

"Well fed, flat broke."  I've been spending all my disposable income at the local grocery store.  :P


  1. That pie is gorgeous !!!!!
    Wish I was a judge.