Friday, August 18, 2006

Lattice-Crust Peach Pie (Page 762)

  • Date: Monday, August 14, 2006 - 9pm
  • Location: Palo Alto, CA
  • Kitchen: Emilee and Brian's Apartment
  • Fellow Chef: Emilee
  • Dining Companion: Brian
  • Recipe Rating: B+

Emilee and I picked this one because Brian loves pie and we were interested in the lard crust. It was quite good. We found some wonderfully ripe, flavorful peaches, so the filling had an excellent flavor. The consistency of the filling was also quite nice -- a little firmer than most fruit pies, but not in a bad, gelatinous way. The lard also succeeded in making the crust extremely flaky. Emilee was skeptical that the lard flavor would be overpowering, but in fact it was very subtle except right around the rim of the pie, where the crust is the thickest. Brian pointed out that in that area there was a slightly bad flavor to the crust. My only other complaint: after the specified cooking time had elapsed, the bottom crust was still a little undercooked towards the center. It would have been a good idea to cover the edges of the pie with foil and bake it longer. Overall though, it was a pretty good pie.

Making pie always reminds me of being young and watching/helping my mom cook. I must have been 8 or 9 when my mom started teaching me to make pie. I really only made lemon meringue pies back then (one of my dad's favorites!) but I made a lot of them... The first time I made pate brisee at culinary school the chef walked by, paused for a minute to observe my technique, and then said, "Well, you've made pies before." I replied, "One or two!" It made me very proud of my mother for teaching me well! My technique has evolved slilghtly since I was 8 (my mother is firmly in the vegetable shortening school, whereas I have transitioned to the butter school of thought), but I still think of my mother's tips whenever I make a pie. And in my mind making pie is still a group activity -- a time to bond with another woman in your life. So making this pie with Emilee was perfect! I actually have been making very slow progress on the pie section of The Book. I think it reflects, at least in part, the lack of women in my life. Making pie alone seems strangely sad to me in a way that cooking or baking alone usually does not. Maybe I should branch out and start trying to talk the guys in to making pie with me! Come to think of it, Mike and I made chess pie together in the fall and had a lot of fun...

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