Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tell-A-Tale (Part 47): iPie

What’s this again?

Apple pie.

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.


ah yan ♥ said...

i jz couldn't stop smiling while i was reading this~

Nic~ u rock too!

Precious Pea said...

Waaaahhh!!!! Nice attempt!! Always wanted to bake an apple pie but never got around to do it.

Selba said...

Yummm.... look so yummy..... good job, Nic!

My mom is baking pastry right now in the oven and it's almost done... So, while looking your pies now, it's like the yummy tempting aroma from the pastry comes from your pies, hehehe...

What a cute face on the pie :)

Camemberu said...

So cute!~!!

Bravo, man! Pie is tough! The dough is a real challenge. I must check out FBB's pie recipes soon...

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

we got to think of another apt name for your apple pie dish..

Rarebeet said...

I like my food homemade and rustic. Your pies look adorable! Made with love mahhh. The best ingredient hor?

p.s// they do look like curry puffs :-)

fatboybakes said...

i think them pies look gorgeous. i am almost envious.

J2Kfm said...

eh the overhead shot made the pies looked like abalones! hahahah ....
or scallops.

ai wei said...

would love to try it out. it is super super super easy to bake this??? i am stupid enough on new recipe. >__<

UnkaLeong said...

We your friends, no? How come never get to sample? Hahahah. I kid bro, I kid. Agree with paprika, anything made with heart will taste fine.

So bila dapat sample? *drums fingers on table*

Babe_KL said...

your pies looked perfectly baked wid even colours! can i have a smiley one please...

Xiu Long Bao said...

Ehhhh, never tell me ya got this happy-face-pie on monday. I think I need that as well after my jabs.

So did the smiley face cure the zombified mood?

Ciki said...

aww, u make it sound


as 3.141592



Faye fly said...

wat a liitle cute pie ah !!!! ^^

minchow said...

Those are some FINE looking pies. I tend to do savoury more than sweet for pies but when it has been baked with such mathematical precision (20.83% of the rings' height? Someone bring the calculator!), it's science and not just a teatime snack right??

Paranoid Android said...

I am always so envious of others who can bake, and your cutie pie looks great!

Rebecca Saw said...

Put 'em in a PLASTIC bag and pass to me can ah on Mon? ;p

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Awww, nobody would spit YOUR pie out, sweetiepie.

HairyBerry said...

ah yan, awww, glad u liked the post! thanks for the compliment! :)

precious pea, thanks! :) do try making an apple pie la. ozzie apples are so fresh and juicy!!! ohh, strawberries also.

selba, thanks! :) haha, i'm sure yr mum's pastry's very good. all this pastry talk is making me hungry..haha

camemberu, haha, pie's really tough. i agree. thanks for the encouragement. :) do check out fbb's recipes and post ya!

joe, omg!!!!! no!!!! not another name...HAHAHAHAHA!

paprika, hahaha, love - best ingredient eh? ok la, hafta agree on that..haha! yeah, the pies do look like curry puffs. none of my friends thought those were sweet pies..haha!

fatboybakes, THANK YOU AGAIN!!! :) you are such an inspiration la. and thanks for the compliment. will definitely send u some when i've improved my pies!

j2kfm, abalone? omg, now THAT's new! hahaha! i'll trade my pies of abalones, definitely..haha

ai wei, aiyoh, yr cakes are fabulous la. i cant make a sponge cake! do try out the recipe ya! :)

HairyBerry said...

unkaleong, haha, i need to improvise la, before presenting them to you guys, my foodie friends..cos u all are makan pros..hehe...i will work harder! :)

babe_kl, thanks for the compliment!!! i used choi yin (kampung chicken) egg as the glaze. :) oooh, the smiley one is with cognac. hope to share it with u when i've improvised my pies! :)

xiu long bao, well, u seem to have found a new "island" of "creamery" today. looks like u wont be needing my cognac pie la..haha! smiley face made me high..haha!

cumi & ciki, haha, actually, lotsa science involved in the 3.142. i had quite a tough time with the dough...must work harder!

faye fly, awwwww, glad u liked the pies! :)

550ml jar of faith, yr comment reminded me of that song by emiliana torrini. love in the science of time. looks like science is the new bake, eh? now, i need test tubes and a scale (pssst, i still dun have one..haha!)

paranoid android, me just a beginner la. but i must say that baking is a stress reliever. and bonus is when friends actually like it! thanks for the compliment on the pie! :)

thenomadgourmand, yerrrrrr, how come u remember that tragic story? hahahhaha! can, can. next time when i've improved my pie, i send some to ya! :)

lyrical lemongrass, heheheh. so sweet la u. actually, it's true. u never spit out my bakes, no matter how bad they taste. sweety sweet pie, you. :)