Forget your perfect offering

Posted: July 20th, 2009 | Author: adi | Filed under: Uncategorized | 6 Comments »
Imperfection can still be delicious

Imperfection can still be delicious

Nothing is perfect. I want it to be, sometimes I feel it HAS to be, but nothing I’ve made, ever, is truly perfect.

I owed my mom and sister a pie. They called me last week asking if I would make a blueberry pie but I was over my friend’s house and even baking can’t lure me away from hot tubbin’ with the bestie. I promised a rain check and today, I made good.

I started off with the same crust recipe we’ve been using for years. Lacking a decent pastry cutter I used the two knives method* and cut 3/4 cup butter into 2 cups of flour in a chilled mixing bowl, and added enough ice-cold water (using a fork to fluff, not stir) to create a dough, then wrapped it in plastic wrap and refrigerated it for an hour. At the end of the hour I threw together five cups of blueberries, 3/4 cup sugar, two tablespoons of cornstarch and two of flour, and then rolled out the dough. I filled the bottom crust, dotted with chunks of butter, and rolled out the top crust and sliced to make a lattice.

Knives Akimbo!

Knives Akimbo!

Napping

Napping

Such potential

Such potential

An egg wash later I baked the pie at 400 for about forty minutes, until the bottom looked golden and the top, well….

Here’s where the “nothing is perfect” comes in. I had neglected two things–to drain some of the liquid off the berries because they were frozen, not fresh, and to see if we had aluminum foil. The liquid is self-explanatory–my pie is a *bit* wet, and as for the aluminum foil, well. Usually I wrap the edges of a pie in foil because they cook more quickly than the rest of the pie, but ALAS we’re out. The recipe, also, was flawed. The filling has too strong a flour taste. Next time I will be trying tapioca instead of flour.

But overall, it’s tasty. The familial consensus is tasty. The nibbles I made from the leftover crust–brushed with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar–are delicious, flaky, and golden. I’m just sad that all the potential this pie had–wild blueberries, the never-fail crust–turned into something less than perfect. And yes, everything is less than perfect.

But the next pie, well. Tomorrow I’m stocking up on aluminum foil.

*Mostly I stab the butter a lot to amuse myself and then get to work scissoring the butter knives until the butter is similar to coarse meal.


6 Comments on “Forget your perfect offering”

  1. 1 Natalie said at 8:28 pm on July 21st, 2009:

    Adi, it looks lovely and delicious. There is no such thing as “perfect”, and I personally think that evenly pale tan crusts lack personality.

    Re: that floury taste. I have used tapioca as a thickener for most pies for years. Of course, you do need to be careful not to use *too* much or it gets over-jelled. One of my favorites cookbooks, “Fields of Greens”, has a recipe for blueberry peach pie that calls for pre-cooking the fruit to thicken and get rid of the floury taste. We should try it and see how that works, don’t you think?

  2. 2 adi said at 9:18 pm on July 21st, 2009:

    You know, I was thinking of making a sort of roux next time, but cooking the berries would probably solve my liquid problem, also. HMM!

    Thanks for the tips =)

  3. 3 leah said at 10:32 am on July 22nd, 2009:

    inspiring! i am so scared to make pie crust / dough. you have NO idea. took me three tries to make decent biscuits! but yours looks delectable. saw a cool technique in aug Bon Ap mag where you roll out the dough, cut small circles (1in?) and layer them on top rather than the lattice. intriguing….but the lattice is sooo purdy.

  4. 4 Johanna said at 1:29 pm on July 22nd, 2009:

    I made a berry pie once. well, actually twice. Once I used fresh mixed berries, because I’d just gotten hold of some blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. It was watery to a degree that cannot be named – especially since I made it without a recipe.
    The second time, I used frozen blueberries, which worked well, except we used WAY too much orange zest and there was still the goo issue. I’m terrified of lattice-top pies. When I was a kid and we had to make those construction-paper woven placemats, I always missed a step and came up with a mess. So, Jesse will be doing the lattices for me, I think! :)

  5. 5 Alyssa said at 4:55 pm on July 26th, 2009:

    Some of the most delicious things I have ever made have been hideous(look at the fritatta), so I tend to ignore first impressions. Looks good to me!

  6. 6 susan said at 7:32 pm on August 12th, 2009:

    The piecrust scraps were PERFECT!


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