Hi everyone. Ye old rare and feisty at your service once again. I'm still working far afield from my home but hope to remedy that soon by making my place of work, home!
Meanwhile, apple pie. Years back when it was my habit to tackle different genres of cooking, I undertook to find the perfect pie crust recipe. I bought pre-made, I tried every recipe in my 5 roses cookbook, Viennese pastry, etc.. Finally I tried the recipe
on the back of the Tenderflake lard box and that, coupled with a little practical knowledge about handling pie dough landed me squarely (IMNSHO) in the land of holy cats, the perfect pie crust recipe.
So, perfect crust recipe in hand, I wanted then to figure out how to make pies that stood up. Unfortunately this effort didn't take as, let's call it an obsession. More simply, I just am moved from time to time to making a pie with said crust and that always
brings on a renewed interest in seeing if I can make a pie that doesn't slither all over the place when cut. I should add, when I speak of cutting a pie and having it slither all asunder, the when is crucial. We likes our pies fresh and warm so that the ice
cream goes native. So I speak of cutting a pie that holds up when warm/hot.
Now when it comes to fruit pies, it's a fact that strawberries and rhubarb absolutely rule but it's apple pie that one needs to perfect first. A couple of years ago, I went walking near my shop and at the edge of a field, I came upon this old apple tree
long abandoned and heavy with small but serviceable fruit. I don't know what type of apples, a mac of some sort. About half the size of supermarket apples, they were tart and sweet at the same time. So I picked a bushel of these apples. I made apple sauce,
apple butter and of course, a couple of apple pies. Now in remembering the pies, nothing really stands out. One was eaten, the other went into the freezer bound in tin foil.
Last month, I took to raiding the freezer and I came across that pie. I really shouldn't say I came across it, I saw it every single time I opened the freezer but chose to ignore it, until last month that is. It has been in the freezer for over 2 years now
with the tinfoil half tore off. I really didn't hold much hope for its turning out well but I thought, nothing to lose. So I thawed it out and baked it up.
That first bite was reserved, a little hesitant but wouldn't ya know it, the pie was fabulous. Two years, poorly stored and it was if I made it yesterday and it held up beautifully.
Ok so I'm home again and I'm thinking about how much I enjoyed that pie. So I set out to duplicate it. I made up some dough, went to the supermarket and got some Granny Smith and some Braeburn apples. Somewhere along the way I got to thinking about a recipe
I'd read about making a caramel apple pie and so I thought, instead of adding sugar I'll use a can of Eagle Brand Dulce de Leche to sweeten the pie, and that's just what I did. The result? Well, not so hot. The pie when cut, held up perfectly but the binder
was grainy and mildly unpleasant on the tongue. The taste is fabulous, the sweetness perfect and the caramel flavour comes through very pleasantly. However, that grainy deal...
Ps, my binder was the Dulce de Leche, a tbsp. of corn starch and two tbsp. of lemon juice.
So that's my bi annual cooking tale. Do you think it possible the lemon juice curdled the dulce de leche? hmmm