|The pie in progress|
So Pies have always seemed like a really daunting task. Particularly with the whole concept of the crust and watching so many people fail at pies.
Well my first attempt at pies was last Christmas when I could not find any tourtiere in the stores and I really wanted to have one for Christmas. I figure I may as well try. They turned out pretty well with little problems (except for an over water meat mixture which destroyed the base of the pie when you went to lift it - still tasted amazing). (I will say that I had made cornmeal pie crust for mincemeat pie before but that is far more forgiving than regular pastry dough).
Then sometime in the spring I decided that I wanted to roast chickens. Yes, most of my adventures start with the simple desire to give something a whirl and with the thought of "well if it is terrible there is always take out..." (The best of my adventures usually start with a what the heck attitude!). Anyways roasting fresh whole chickens makes the entire house smell amazing but then I was left with two whole chickens. This lead to the foray into making Curried Chicken pot pie with puff pastry. Again with the that can't be that hard attitude I made the puff pastry from scratch and honestly after reading a lot on it - it wasn't that hard! I rocked it my first time. Then came Thanksgiving and a baking and bread making day with my best friend Serina (love my adventures with this girl!). We rocked pumpkin pie entirely from scratch (OK I didn't roast or puree my own pumpkin but we did everything else!).
Fast forward to this Christmas - on my baking list again Tourtiere, Mincemeat pie, and butter tarts. So I stock up on Crisco when it came on sale thinking this has to be the good stuff for making my pie crusts. Turns out I was terribly TERRIBLY wrong. I followed the recipe on the box despite having the complete instinct that the recipe seemed way off - but I figured it is just different because I'm using shortening versus Lard. Well let me tell you after 5 attempts to roll out the dough and only one minor barely a success crust I was frustrated as all hell. I figured I knew what the problem was (the recipe...) so I took some time and started again using plain, no name, old fashion lard. The pie crusts were FANTASTIC. But at the end of all my baking I still had tons of dough left.
This lead to the idea for the Key Lime Pie which is the Husbands favourite pie! I was worried about rolling out the dough - making it too thin or to think - I've never really been sure how thick it should bee and then how to gauge the thickness. So I rolled out this dough until I could see a difference in the colour. (I have black quartz counter tops and the dough was ever so slightly translucent). I then put the dough into my amazing Pie Pan, docked the dough, loaded it down with beads and popped it into the oven. I made a second crust as a back up that was slightly thicker. Now, this is where I should point out that - really you should read the recipe the ENTIRE way through.. I had felt like I was forgetting something and after some thinking and then the wise decision to read again I realized I had forgotten to put parchment paper under the beans. I grab the crust out of the oven and start to take the beans out (some had started to bake into the crust) and manage to get some parchment down and throw the crust back in the oven.
The key-lime part of the pie was incredibly easy. I followed the recipe from the Joy of Cooking cookbook. The only difference is I used regular lime juice as I have not been able to find Key Lime juice anywhere in the city (nor has anyone ever heard of the difference) and on the night I was making the pie I just wasn't in the mood to go find, buy and juice actual key limes. This was a more proof of concept (...that I can cook a pie). The pie itself is pretty good - the curst is super thin and flaky. I even used my cake decorating skills and piped on the whip cream topping!
Notes for next time - stop being lazy - read the entire recipe, buy the key limes and try a meringue topping!
|The Finished Product!|