Friday, October 21, 2011

Experiment in Pie

From December 2007. Hey, it's new to you, right? :-)

Last night I made an apple pie. I don't bake a lot, and this recipe looked inspiringly easy. I had the ingredients on hand. I had what might be considered free time before I started dinner. I enlisted the kids and got started almost gleefully.

New recipes should always--at least in my kitchen--be considered doubtful affairs. There will inevitably be dismaying discoveries and necessary coping strategies. This was no exception. On the down side, the quantities in the recipe somehow were wrong for my store-bought pie crust in its little aluminum pan. I ended up using only two thirds of the filling, with a sticky mess on the kitchen island when I overfilled the pie pan, and leftover crust dough after I rolled out the top crust.

This top crust broke up before I managed to place it, so at least it vented itself, but fluting the edges was a mess because the liquid from the filling kept oozing through the cracks before I finally threw it in the oven. It continued to ooze, onto the cookie sheet as it baked, where it quickly blackened and smoked and filled the kitchen with the smell of scorched maple syrup (from which my husband was blessedly spared by being on the road), and probably ruined the cookie sheet.

The crust turned golden about a third of the way through the baking time given by the recipe. The recipe did not mention anything about covering the crust to prevent overbrowning. It did say that the filling should be bubbly in the center at the same time that the crust was ready. No bubbling. So I moved the pie to the lowest rack and "shielded" it with a miniature version of pie, using a little casserole dish and the leftover filling and crust. Then I turned the exhaust fan to "high," opened a window to air the place out, and removed the pie with 20 minutes of cooking time supposedly left to go.

Thanks to the oozing filling in its sticky glory, the aluminum pie plate was baked onto the nonstick cookie sheet. I had to remove it with a plastic spatula, and in the process I almost folded the pie in half. I finally managed to get it on a wire rack to cool.


Jason came home and had two slices after his dinner. He said it was the best apple pie he ever tasted.

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