Adventures in pie-making; or, starting the domestication of Julie

I don’t pretend to be a domestic goddess.  In fact, I pretend to be neither domestic or a goddess.

Yesterday I decided to whip me up some pie dough.  Some high-bush blueberries were given to me and they were begging (begging!) to be put into a pie.

I’m on a mission to domesticate myself.  After all, if a dog can be domesticated, and a dog licks itself in the middle of the kitchen, I can be domesticated too.  And I haven’t licked myself in the kitchen for a few months now.  (Actually, I prefer to lick spatulas, especially when making cookies.)

Apparently the aesthetics of the pie have not detracted from the eating of it.

Everyone should know how to cook and bake.  There was a time I was reasonably decent at both, but university turned me into a KD and pizza aficionado.  Now that I’m graduated (and broke) and looking to morph into an adult, I’m trying to channel my inner Martha Stewart.

I found me a pack of lard, located a pie dough recipe, and proceeded to turn the kitchen into a disaster zone.

In the past, I’ve made pie dough under the guidance of my mom.  My dough turned out pretty good then, so I figured it was time to graduate to making pie dough on my own.

I crumbled the dough with my hands to ensure the right texture. I used milk instead of water.  I used local eggs with yolks so big, your cholesterol shoots up instantly after eating them.

As I mixed everything together, I thought the dough felt a little too wet, so I added more flour.  Then a little more flour.

I ate some dough (because this is what I do when I cook or bake) and noticed it tasted like it came from McDonalds.  The recipe called for 2 teaspoons of salt.  The recipe was wrong.  Not doing this again.  Ever.

However, except for the saltiness of it, the dough was fine and dandy until I began rolling it out.

Now, if you’ve ever made pie dough, you’d know that dough is, well, supposed to stay together.

If you had been in my kitchen yesterday, you’d know that my dough, well, didn’t stay together.  Or on the counter.

After rolling it out, I would lift it, only to have half the dough left behind on the counter and the floor.

The crust didn’t look so bad for my Teen Burger quiche (called thus because it had bacon, onions, and tomato in it.)   It did, however, look atrocious when I finally tackled my blueberry pie.

Instead of laying the crust atop the berries, I had to put enough pieces on top of the pie to cover it.  I slicked it down as best as I could with some milk, but it still was one fugly looking pie.

I won’t be winning any awards with my blueberry pie, but I must say, it didn’t taste too yucky despite the large amount of salt in the dough (who the heck puts that much salt in DOUGH besides McDonalds?)

I learned several lessons:

  • Pie dough needs little salt unless you’re serving it at a fast-food establishment.
  • Blueberry pie DOES need coma-inducing amounts of sugar.
  • Too much flour makes your dough fall apart.
  • No matter how fugly your pie, you’ll still eat it.

I was hoping to give a pie or two away, but now I’m just debating what to do with the last three lumps of dough that are now in the fridge.  I’m thinking of making some coconut cream pie or chocolate pie, simply so NO ONE can see the pie looks like a 4-year-old made it.

So I won’t be going into the baking business anytime soon, but at least I’m not licking myself in the kitchen.


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Gordon Swimemar – who started a couple of popular (and still running) restaurants in his day (in Garlands Crossing outside Windsor) – he told me the number one rule of baking is you can never add too much sugar. (he didnt mention salt but it sounds like youve got salt figured out now)

  2. harpmando says:

    The Moon must be in just the right spot for pie making, you know how the moon bewitches some people? Well I have got the call of the pie moon as well. I just have to make an apple pie later today. Hail the great moon pie god in the sky.

    The secret of good pastry making is cold hands. Before you crumble it all together stick your hands in some cold water. Leave the pastry in the fridge for at least an hour it has to be chilled before rolling it out. Once in the disk, chill again for at least 20mins, before blind baking. Trust me never fails.

    take care


  3. Maggie says:

    The pie looks great, and blueberries are my current obsession (I made a batch of jam and one of syrup yesterday), with more to do today. I am still working on my pastry skills and use my Mum’s recipe (calls for shortening), and has underlining on the part that says to use ice water in the recipe (put a bunch if ice cubes in a bowl, add a little water and measure the water from there into the dough as I mix it. Works really well, and holds together great, although in heat and humidity I’ve also been known to chicken out and get pre-made shells from the freezer section at the grocery store. :o)

    1. Author says:

      I hear you! I like Pillsbury pie shells in a pinch… they’re pretty close to the real thing!

      You know, it’s really neat how everyone makes pies a bit different. My mom SWEARS by milk instead of water. I may have to try a few things, though, before I become Queen of Pastry. My next project: making bread. Nom, nom, nom.

  4. Author says:

    Thanks, I’ll give it a try! I only had my pie chilled for half an hour before I started using it. And my hands weren’t cold, either!

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