Posts in category 'cooking'

  • The Spectacular Pie Failure

    Well, it had to happen eventually. For the first time ever, in the history of my pie baking experience, I had a complete, utter, total, truly spectacular pie failure. Well, they say a picture says a thousand words:

    Pie Failure

    Frankly, I’m at a loss for words. Obviously, I pulled it out well before it was “done”. But it’s clear the crust simply melted in the oven… honestly, I’ve never seen anything like it.

    Now I’m trying to figure out what I did wrong, and while it’s very possible I just measured the fat wrong, I’m actually wondering if it was how I decided to use the food processor this time ‘round. In the past, I’ve just used it to cut the fat into the dough, and it’s worked quite well for that purpose. But this time, I decided to add the water to the dough and bring it together in the processor, as well. As a result, my only guess is that the result was the fat getting over-processed into the dough

    But the real killer is I spent, literally, two or three hours last night preparing dough, and then another hour and a half peeling and slicing apples today, and that doesn’t count all the rolling effort and so forth. Am I choked? Yeah… just a little. And I’ll be damned if I’m gonna bake another pie any time soon…

  • Oww

    Well, I didn’t get much writing done over the weekend (big surprise, there), but I did do a fair bit of cooking yesterday, oddly enough. As of late, Lenore and I have been, shall we say… incredibly lazy. Consequently, little food has been cooked in our domicile, but I made up for that, yesterday, with a fit of cookery which involved the creation of:

    1. A loaf of rather dense bread.
    2. Ridiculously delicious scalloped potatos.
    3. Home-made pumpkin pie (well, I used canned pumpkin, but still…)
    4. Very sore arms, as a result of all the kneeding, rolling, and so forth.

    Anyway, the bread was inspired by my stumbling across The Fresh Loaf, which is a fantastic website on breadmaking. It has lessons, recipes, a forum… tons of information. Definitely worth a look if you’re into baking, at all. As for my bread, I think I screwed up a few things:

    1. Overworked the dough.
    2. Didn’t score the dough before the final rise.
    3. Didn’t wait long enough for the final rise to complete.

    However, I did use a poolish, which resulted in some really nice flavour development. Hopefully future bread experiments will produce better results.

    As for the potatos and pie, I signed up for a trial membership to Cooking Illustrated, which is a really fantastic cooking magazine and website that is affiliated with America’s Test Kitchen. Their approach is to choose interesting food items and then experiment with different recipes and techniques, documenting as they go, and scoring the various things they try out. The result is excellent recipes while imparting some wonderful information about the science behind cooking (as they tend to investigate why certain techniques work while others don’t).

    Incidentally, the pie and potatos were both assisted by my finally relenting and buying a nice, 11-cup food processor, which means I didn’t have to manually slice potatos or cut butter into my pie dough. ‘course, now I have to justify it’s rather exhorbitant price by actually using the damn thing…