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Monday, January 28, 2008


Daring Bakers january challenge :: lemon meringue pie!

well, i did it! (sort of) i completed my first challenge with the Daring Bakers. and it was hard! i've never been very good with the pie crust. so, when i learned the challenge was lemon meringue pie, i was a little afraid to try it given my past with crust-making debacles. but, given that i was supposed to have done the december challenge (yule log) and had to post-pone my first assignment, i felt i had to take it on. and i did! But, it didn't come out so well.

i ended up making 2 crusts--the second marginally better than the first and i'm sti
ll not sure what i am doing wrong. i watched some videos online. the best one i found was the epicurious one. helpful! (you can find video demos of almost anything you need here.) but still, i came out with touch, chewy crust. looked good, tasted fine, but the texture, not so good. i'm disappointed. i really want to be able to do a good pie crust, but i feel like i'll never get good at it until someone who really knows how to make a good crust can show me. i did all the things you are supposed to do. cold ingredients, cold bowl, cold utensils, work quickly. don't over mix. maybe i did over mix? maybe it didn't chill long enough. who knows. pie crust is a big fat mystery to me right now. but i will get good at it one day!

if that wasn't enough, the pie turned out soggy. it was fine and then it became sad. weepy and watery. i'm not sure what that was about, but clearly i've never made a LMP before. and may never again! it tasted pretty good! but the texture of the whole thing was just. . . off.

as usual, my son was there with me making his pie right along side. he was quite serious (for a 3-and-a-half-year-old) about the whole thing. "mommy, i really think it needs a liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitle more salt." his pie something with black beans. i don't know. i'll have to ask him what it's called. half the fun of baking is having him there with me, for sure.

well, it's a bummer about the pie, but I'm not discouraged! i'll be looking forward to the next challenge in February. given the whole valentine thing, i hope it's something chocolatey!

addendum - wednesday, january 30th

as lis and slush pointed, it doesn't look soggy, but that's because i took these photos right away. about an hour later it was seriously weepy. poor pie.

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Blogger slush said...

Your pie looks perfect! You would never know it was soggy or soupy! Mine looked like I dumped a cup of water in the pan.

Good work, sorry it didnt turn out. Heres to next month!

January 28, 2008 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger Nemmie said...

Welcome to the Daring Bakers! Your pie looks fabulous, I'm jealous :)

January 28, 2008 at 1:45 PM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

Aw, your son's pie is too cute!!!! Here's to some CHOCOLATE next month!!!!

January 28, 2008 at 2:18 PM  
Blogger Big Boys Oven said...

like the way you work with the pie ... so nice!

January 28, 2008 at 2:21 PM  
Blogger Nikki57 said...

It looks good to me. Your son making a pie with you is the best though!

January 28, 2008 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger Lis said...

'kay a few things...

I'm with ya on pie crusts.. I can't get them right either. Although this one didn't give me too much of a problem, but it really was more like shortbread than true pie crust.

I fakkin love the plate with the froggy!!

Had you not mentioned the soggy pie, I never would have guessed it by the photos - they are gorgeous!

And finally.. Your son's pie has got to be the cutest thing I've EVER seen. heee! Now.. I'm just dyin' to know.. how'd it taste? *grin*


January 29, 2008 at 9:18 PM  
Blogger The Baker & The Curry Maker said...

It looks great! I'm sorry you felt it was a little off. Your sons looks good too haha.

January 30, 2008 at 1:21 AM  
Anonymous Tracy said...

You pie looks great! I have so much trouble with pie crust too!

January 30, 2008 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger Deborah said...

It sure does look perfect!

January 30, 2008 at 1:53 PM  
Blogger Gabi said...

Welcome to the DBs! Your pie is beautiful- I'm sorry you had some problems. One thing I learned from my Gran about pie crusts is to leave them "shaggy" until you roll them. That means they are not overmixed or too wet. A pile of sandy looking pie crust crumbs on a lightly floured surface will roll into one beautiful pie crust, just make sure you have cold hands, cold rolling pin & cold counter too ;)

January 30, 2008 at 5:51 PM  
Blogger Fruit tart said...

Your pie looks great, even if you weren't thrilled!

January 31, 2008 at 12:10 PM  
Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Kate I think you've made a very good move joining this group. I get so much out of these challenges, recipes I would never have picked on my own. For whatever reason, pie crust is one of those mystery things. Somebody showing you might only intensify the mystery but you can try that. Just do keep trying; one day it will happen. And I'd suggest keep trying it with that 3 year old however old he is and willing to be a helper. I love cooking with my grown sons today.
Your pie looks lovely.

January 31, 2008 at 5:16 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Welcome! (I'm hoping for chocolate too!)

January 31, 2008 at 9:38 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

perhaps your pie was the sort that needed to be gobbled down quickly! :)

February 1, 2008 at 12:18 AM  
Blogger Sheltie Girl said...

You did a lovely job on your lemon meringue pie. I'm sorry that your filling turned out to be runny.

Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

February 3, 2008 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger amanda. said...

Congratulations on your first challenge! (It was mine as well!) Your pie looks delicious!

February 3, 2008 at 10:31 PM  
Blogger Claire said...

Welcome to the group! Glad you (and your son!) joined it. The pie looks wonderful. I hope the sogginess didn't take away from the taste.

February 11, 2008 at 9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Grandmother and Mother could make beautiful pie crust. It was flaky and would brown nicely. I have had trouble. Each time I take it on, I think to myself, the ingredients are simple! I can do this! Not so much. I believe it takes 30 years of practice to perfect pie crust. Keep trying! We need people who can keep this artform and tradition going.

March 22, 2008 at 7:22 AM  

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