Sunday, May 30, 2010

The ruse is over! I actually made pie.

Yes! I finally did it.

My inspiration? The Ratty. What on God's green Earth is that, you ask? It's our affectionate name for our main dining hall here on campus. While having lunch there one day I saw that one of the oversized wicker fruit baskets was overflowing with lovely, plump red  d'Anjou pears.

So I was hit with a brilliant idea, like in one of those Windows 7 commercials: I must make a pie! Then without hesitation, I broke Ratty protocol and took quite a handful (and bagful...) of pears. But I had to, look at them!

Pear pie, c'était mon idée!

I then started my search for a recipe, or at least some inspiration, but I was a little disheartened when I couldn't find much out there. I suppose it's not the most popular type of pie... almost everyone I talked to echoed back... "pear  pie?", but I was determined. Eventually, I found what I was looking for. Some reading through allrecipes  got me some ideas on how to  prepare the pears  for the pie (pretty much how I would prep apples) . And for whatever reason I could not find the pie crust recipe I've used in the past, so I turned to Tastespotting, which led me to Slow Like Honey's wonderful "perfected" pie crust.

And like any perfect pie crust, its essential ingredient was butter, cold butter.

I had some butter in my freezer and decided to cut it up while frozen to make sure I could get the dough together without it warming up too much. It felt (and looked) like I was chipping away at an ice block...

I haven't ever ventured to try shortening in a crust (or in a cookie, for that matter), and I don't know if I ever will. Butter is king.

And then, after  mixing, kneading, rolling (with a Nalgene... not the easiest thing to do) and then  peeling, slicing and assembling... the pie was ready for the oven. Of course, it would not have been possible without the help of my lovely assistant:

Yes, my suite has a cardboard cutout of Princess Leia. Don't be jealous.

And so after some time in my dorm's janky oven...

Pie!... its crust golden like a Tatooine sunset,  with steam rising as from the swamps of Dagobah. (Oh yes, I just went there.)

Overall, the pie was well received. I kept hearing how much it tasted like apple pie. Not a bad thing! Had the pears been riper (I couldn't wait any longer), it might have tasted more distinctly like a pear  pie, but either way, it was pie!

And it was about time.


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