Saturday, December 6, 2008

Pie Crash

I'm ordinarily pretty good with pies, which has made me really lazy.

The problem is, even a totally mediocre homemade pie is pretty good.

When I first started making pies I was obsessed with all the details. I kept a stainless steel bowl, a pastry blender and a sack of flour in the freezer. If everything is icy cold, it makes for a flaky crust. I would even run my hands under freezing cold water to make them cold before I touched the dough.

But then I realized that every time I slipped, the pie was still pretty damn good. So I got lazy. Through the years I got really lazy.

I started using whole wheat flour, salted butter, a food processor, and room temperature flour.

I reached the end of that sorry road yesterday.

This pie sucked.

I made two of them, and they were both terrible. Rolling out the dough was working with a dried dirty rag. It wouldn't cooperate. Then the pie wouldn't set. Then, when it was done, it tasted like crap. Mushy soft filling and a crust harder and thinner than a piece of Melba toast.

Where did I go wrong? Here are some possibilities:

1. Canned pumpkin? Okay, I'm sure you can make a great pie with canned pumpkin, or so I hear. The problem is, I switched to the can without thinking about it. I used the same old recipe I've been using all this time with roasted pumpkin. Canned pumpkin is more watery than roasted pumpkin. Euw, this filling was mushy and soft. I like a dense pumpkin pie that bears no resemblance to baby food.

2. Got too healthy? I love using white whole wheat flour and Sucanat, which is a really unprocessed version of sugar (Sugar Cane Natural, get it?) But maybe I went overboard. (Although I did the same exact thing at Thanksgiving, and my pies came out great, so wtf?)

3. Too warm? Maybe I didn't chill the ice water for long enough. Didn't chill the flour. Might not have even had super cold butter. And was it salted butter?

4. Lazy Lazy Lazy? This part i know. I Just cut every corner possible.

Never again. From now on I will shower my pies with love and care.

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