Let's eat!

Hi. My name's Carol, and I love food. No, you don't understand. I love food. If I were on the Titanic, I'd be in the galley (kitchen) eating up the chocolate pudding and the roasted quail. I go to most events, activities and parties just for the food. The company and the conversation are secondary. Here, I'll try to document everything that goes into my mouth. Aren't we excited? Oh, hey, are you gonna eat that?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Not so Perfect Pumpkin Pie



It all started with my husband's innocent, "You should make pumpkin pie with all the roasted pumpkin puree you worked so hard on. Not just pumpkin bread." He wasn't completely serious. But, after worrying about the difficulty of making the dough, I took him seriously.

I'd never made pie before. I always thought it was harder to make than cookies, cakes, and quick breads.

But I'd rolled out sugar and gingerbread man dough before. So making dough wasn't foreign to me.

What convinced me finally to do it was finding this supposedly easy recipe for Perfect Pumpkin Pie from Foods of Our Lives. She emphasizes fresh pumpkin over canned. That's point #1. Her pumpkin filling didn't have a million exotic ingredients. I even had a can of evaporated milk leftover from a previous baking project, score #2. And I liked the simplicity and vinegar quirk of her Grandma's Pie Crust. No sugar in the dough for the crust either. Interesting.



Still worrying I'd mess up the crust real badly — mostly in not being able to roll it out without tearing it apart — I forged ahead, adding a few notes from an old Martha Stewart Thanksgiving special and mental notes from decades upon decades of watching cooking shows, mostly about keeping the dough cold, keeping even the flour cold beforehand, cutting up the butter into cold little cubes, brushing the dough edges with egg wash, stuff like that.

Let me tell you, the only way to learn anything, especially baking pies is to do it once. I ran into a few problems they never tell you about, certainly never brought up in this recipe.

The recipe doesn't say anything about keeping the dough chilled before rolling it out and the dough in the pie pan chilling in the freezer while making the filling. It doesn't mention that four tablespoons of cold water isn't enough to pull the dough together at first crack. How long it took to cut the butter cubes into the flour mixture until it all turned into a coarse sand (ow! my arm!), and how important it is to put the filled pie pan on top of a baking sheet in case of spillage.

The recipe certainly didn't warn you that when you go to pull the foil off the 30-minute baked pie, that it could take off pieces of half-baked dough edges. Or, that the edges would continue to bake until it burned if you didn't line them with foil toward the second half of the baking process. Or!, that baking the pie filling off enough until it wasn't jiggling like jello took a lot longer than 30 more minutes.

Don't put your finger in the middle of the pie to test for doneness either. Leaves a mark.



Otherwise, voila! My first not so perfect pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Very homemade.

(I have the other half of the dough in the freezer to make pumpkin pie for Christmas next month. This time I know what to expect.)