Friday, November 16, 2012

This is why you make practice pies

Tonight was my first time trying a gluten-free crust, in anticipation of Thanksgiving. Secret ingredient: cream cheese. Having never made a cream cheese crust, I didn't realize that you just sort of smoosh it into the pie dish instead of actually trying to roll it out. After rolling and separating it from the well-floured counter with a butter knife, it disintegrated as I tried to transport it to the pie tin. There was cursing. I was delighted when I finally looked it up, though; you just smoosh that puppy right into the tin! Pie crusts always crack on me and stress me the hell out, but the cream cheese crust was fun like playdoh to work with. For maybe the third time in the 50+ pies I've cooked in my life, I had a perfect edge:

The brown flecks are almond meal, which really added to the flavor of the crust.

I picked 10 persimmons from my tree, sliced them, blanched them in brown sugar water, and then coated them with lemon juice. I added a jar of the plum mint jam I'd made back in July, plus some gluten free flour to thicken it up.

Since the dough was way too soft to cut lattice out of, and since I didn't have much left, I smooshed a heart out for the top.

Critical error: basing the cook temperature and time on the pie filling, not on the experimental pie crust. D'oh.

This burned after just 30 minutes!! It was the 375 that killed us; my gut told me that it was too high and I ignored my gut.

However, the heart is delicious and the bottom crust was pretty good so it's probably a gluten-free winner. It just needs to be cooked "low and slow" (as they say on BBQ Pitmasters, which I have been inexplicably addicted to this week).

As for the filling, it's good but not amazing. It's my first time cooking with persimmons and the texture of them turned out nicely, so it's not a fail in any way. Just not the best pie filling. I think persimmons will lend themselves better to being totally covered or contained in something, and the flavor should continue to get better as they ripen; right now they're pleasant but fairly bland. Also, I should research the thickening capabilities of gluten-free flour, as it was fairly runny. I doubt 20 more minutes in the oven would have fixed that.

Lessons learned: 

1) Make this gluten free pie crust for Thanksgiving. Save time and stress by not rolling the damn thing out and instead smooshing away. Cook at 300 or 325; check frequently.

2) Make a pie filling I have mastered for Thanksgiving, probably pumpkin (which should match the crust's temperature and - fingers crossed - cook time).

3) Even when you burn a pie that has a just okay filling, it's still pretty delicious.

p.s. I did most of this in my Diana Ross wig.

1 comment:

whitney r said...

lol . i love you. and that pie you made was DELICIOUS <3