Sometime around Thanksgiving I made the mistake of commenting that I didn't think making a pie would be that hard. A character on Parenthood (great show!) was whining about how she had messed up the pie, and I rolled my eyes. In the age of the internet, I feel it's almost impossible to fail at making something well the first time. Just read enough food blogs, use a trusted recipe and you'll be fine! Well EC did not let my arrogance slip by unnoticed. She challenged me to make my first pie (crust included) from scratch.
The challenge was not time sensitive. Between the lemon bars I made for her birthday and the constant creation of cake balls every weekend in December, I had a bit of culinary fatigue. But one night the other week I was supposed to babysit and the plans were expectantly canceled. I had an entire evening free to make a pie! So I went to HEB, gathered supplies and came home to get started.
This is the kitchen that awaited me. I love this picture because it says so much about our apartment. Exhibit 1, Olivia being a pain. I put rubber bands around the cabinet knobs to keep her from constantly batting open the doors. She thinks, "oo! Rubber bands to play with!" Exhibit 2, EC's coffee mug, that never gets put away because it is constantly in use. Exhibit 3, empty bottle of wine. Anyway, I couldn't start with a messy kitchen, so I got to work tidying.
Ahh, that is much better.
Here are the ingredients I used, except I didn't actually use cornstarch. This was a mistake.
I tried to find a pastry cutter at the store but after a good five minutes of searching the kitchen tools aisle I came up empty. I went with two knives, which worked...
I peeled and cut a lot of apples. That peel ring was the longest I could manage.
At this point I was very excited, because the crust really looked like pie. I had high hopes that this would pan out perfectly. I substituted my Sigg bottle for a rolling pin. Necessity and invention and what not.
Final result: Picture-perfect pie!
In the end, EC gave me full marks for presentation, the crust was definitely the strongest part. For my filling I went with the Better Homes New Cookbook recipe, which did not call for a combining agent like cornstarch or tapioca. And in the end, that was my one mistake. The filling, while tasty, was very watery and impaired my "perfect" pie. Overall, I'm proud of my attempt, but I suppose there is certain finesse that comes with experience in pastry making.
Final grade: B+