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Thursday, October 30, 2008

 

pie :: a crust to be proud of


the last time i made a pie it did not turn out so well. it *looked* good, but the crust was sub-par. it was tough. chewy. i was bummed.

then all this happened and i thought i was meant to make pie! and i was excited. but then the class got cancelled. and i haven't made a pie since. until this past tuesday night. i went to a class on pie making that was awesome. i mean, it was at a community colleges, so it wasn't any great shakes in terms of the kitchen. it was all fine, but nothing to write home about. the part that was awesome is that i totally learned how to make a good crust! and it was easy!

now, the whole way thru the process i kept looking at the instructor sideways in a sort of "okay, i'll do what you say, but. . . " and she was kind. and patient and had a die-hard "don't worry, it's fine" approach that i guess you only get after years of baking professionally. she bakes over 30 pies ever Thanksgiving. dude. that's a lotta pie.

so, i did all the things she said to do. all of which i had done before. cold butter. cold water. only add enough water so that the dough just holds together. then she dumped all about and began to do what i can only describe as delicate Kneading. really? kneading? aren't you supposed to be all gentle and like, barely handle the stuff so that it doesn't get all tough? apparently not.

next she launched into some speech about the butter making steamy pockets in the dough, which gives the flakeyness. ok. that's nice, but really, kneading?

she told me to finish it, then wrap it and put in in the fridge. done.

oh, i forgot to mention that i arrived about 45 minutes late after having gone to the wrong campus, having my car not start (at which time i called hubby and cried and babbled incoherently things like, "my one night out" "i'm such an idiot" "i never get out of the freaking house and then now this") and having to drive to the right place IN THE SNOW. yes, we had a freak snow storm.

so, everyone else is chopping apples for the filling and i'm just getting going. okay, so my dough is chilling. after my dough chills for maybe 10 minutes, she takes everyone else's out so they can begin rolling. and she takes mine out with them. now i'm freaking out because it hasn't chilled long enough AND i'm not ready to roll it out as i've only just begun to work on the apples.

when it comes time to roll i ask, "is it cold enough?" her reply, "oh yeah, it'll be fine." this lady is unflappable in the face of my freak-outs.

when i rolled out the dough and it seemed like there wouldn't be enough to do a double crust she was all, "no problem, we can make that work."

i began to realize that i needed this woman around at all times.

"the car won't start and i'm stuck with both the kids in the parking lot of the post office!"
"aw, no problem. it'll be fine!"

"the kids both have fevers and it's been days now. what is going on?"
"hey, no worries, it'll be a-o-kay."

"what if mccain gets elected?"
"we can patch that up, no problem!"

now, i was not at all convinced that this pie would taste any better than the last one and knew i would not be until i tasted it.

the class ended and we all took our pies out in the snowy weather to walk to our cars. ooooh...nice warm apple pie in the car. i could not wait to get home, but i had to drive slowly because it was snowing sideways and out my windshield it looked like going light speed in the millenium falcon.

i got home. threw off my coat, grabbed a knife and plate and fork, poured me a glass of cold soy milk and sat down. i couldn't believe my buds. i did it. my pie crust was SO yummy! it was not perfect, of course, but it was damm good. and i was proud. so proud that i'm giving you some pictures.i know it's not rocket science, but good pie crust has always eluded me. now, i only home i can do it on my own!

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1 Comments:

Blogger Jacque said...

Congratulations! Sounds like your class and teacher rocked. I'm so glad it all worked out and the whole evening didn't end up down the toilet, lol.

October 31, 2008 at 10:35 AM  

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