Friday, January 2, 2009

The Pie

Since my sister in law is holding out on me with her pie wisdom, I had to come up with a different pie recipe. I decided to use the one I found in this cook book:

It has a basic pie crust recipe that uses butter. Cathy, the SIL, says the best crusts are made with lard. She grew up on a farm in southeastern Ohio, and her pie crusts are the BEST in my opinion, so she probably is right, but I wasn't interested in going out to find lard. So I went with butter.

It also has a recipe for an apple pie that I decided to use, with one modification and that is I didn't use the orange flavoring. I like oranges, but didn't want it in the pie.

Here is the pie before baking:

Here is the pie after baking:

And the pie after being eaten:

And it was delish. I think it could be flakier, but it had good flavor. The apples were just red delicious, with some experiementing I could find that blend of apples for the right tartness. But it is a hit! Bob says I am hired.

Here is what I see as the fundamental differences between baking and cooking: chemistry. With baking, the recipe is everything. Someone has done the work to figure out the right amount of this and that and how long to cook it etc. If you don't follow that recipe, you are probably doomed. With cooking, you can improvise all over the place and while you may not get exactly what the recipe described as the end result, you still get something edible and good. You would think that baking by the recipe would be some how comforting, it is not. What if you don't use unbleached flour? I don't need the pressure from an activity that is in theory supposed to be enjoyable.

Oh well, I will make more pies and will get better at it with practice, as with most things.


Audubon Ron said...

Looks pretty good to me.

Dproudmama said...

Wow...congratulations. I cannot believe this may be a first with all the great food you make. Try braeburn apples. It really depends on how firm a pie apple you want to bite into and how sweet you want it to be. Palate, palate, palate. And those of us who have had heart experiences get palpatations just hearing the word lard!

Oz said...

Beautiful pie! My husband is the pie baker in our house. I stick to cookies, brownies, and bread. He swears by a mix of butter and shortening in his crust, and adds a little lemon juice to make it flakier.

mkosboth said...

Oz: thanks for the feedback. My SIL finally coughed up her recipe and she uses vinegar in her crust, probably like your husband uses lemon juice.

Chip said...

Hey... A)Northwest Ohio and B) I the "Eeew, no gross animal stuff please" person swear by the lard crust too.

Granny Smith apples cored and peeled on a hand crank corer/peeler are used exclusively.

Chip said...

Oh, and the observation about Cooking v Baking... totally agree. Which is often why my cookies are odd and why my chili is great, most of the time, unless I mess about too much.