What’s this again?
Hmmm, but very savoury-looking. Like chicken pie only.
So, do you like it?
You knew that your ~RM50 (S$20.10) was not spent in vain when they didn’t spit out the snack that you had so arduously prepared.
It was my first non-mathematical attempt at a pi(e). Certainly more fun than deriving 3.142 despite the exhausting preparation (I had to peel and cube 9 apples plus 1 pear), endless mixing/rolling of the pastry and washing.
They say that confidence is half the battle. Usually, in my baking battles, confidence comes in form of a recipe from the ever dependable Fatboybakes.
His apple pie recipe was of course, well-written and easily understood. But I felt rather adventurous that day and decided to make some alterations. So, here’s what I did:
1) Added a pear to the filling.
2) Replaced clove powder with some ground cardamom seeds.
3) Added some leftover chopped walnuts from the previous bake.
4) Used brown instead of castor sugar.
I like my filling fine and soft. So, I coarsely chopped the cooked filling before covering it with a layer of pastry. Oh yeah, the pastry. Custard powder definitely gave it a pleasantly sweet aroma. The main problem I had with my pastry was the texture. Perhaps it was my mixing technique, but I had to use 4 egg yolks instead of 1, in binding the mixture to form a decent dough. Definitely need more practice in that area. Anyone wants me to stir their dough?
The best part of the whole pie-ing process was the assembly. I used egg rings as moulds instead of a pie dish. No particular technical reason for the substitution, really. Just thought that it would be fun, in a creative sort of way. And that had resulted in a relatively (much) thicker skin with respect to the height of the rings. Say the rings were 2.40 centimetres tall, the skin was about 0.50 centimetres thick! That’s about 20.83% of the rings’ height. And since there was no way of stretching it further without breaking the dough, I had to live with the thick skin. Perhaps I should stick to conventional baking dishes the next time.
As I waited for the pies to bake, ideas for the next project started running in my head. Chocolate with banana, pecan/walnut with peanut butter, etc etc. A hummingbird pie, anyone? Or how about a savoury crust with sardine sambal filling? I like!
In the last few minutes before the pies were taken out of the oven, I could already smell the wonderful combination of butter and custard from the living room. Damn, I should have added cinnamon and some drops of vanilla extract as well, for the extra kick.
Despite the distasteful appearance, I thought my virginal pies had an edge with the inclusion of cardamom, complete with a slight spiciness. And that kind of grew on me with every bite. Most of my friends enjoyed that taste too, so I guess the approach was right. I liked the subtle sweetness of the brown sugar as well. The thickness of the crust was way beyond optimum but thankfully, tasted rich. It would have been better had I served it with some ice cream and fresh fruits. Would have because I was already late for my next appointment.
Oh, I made a special pie for myself and had it for breakfast the next day (an aptly Monday). What’s so special about it, you might ask.
5) Included a happy ingredient
3 tablespoons of cognac.
Thanks Fatboybakes, for the inspiration and recipe. You rawk!
Click here for Fatboybakes’ original apple pie recipe.
And here to check out his creations, including some excellent pies.