Saturday, August 11, 2007

Re Cap-a-Pie

So I last spoke to you before mixing my pie crust. That went well.

Wednesday morning I went to Bread & Cup for breakfast and had their cinnamon roll and granola with a double of their French press coffee. It was all very good. Wednesday night after work I went again with Karen. She had the heirloom tomato dish, green, yellow, and red tomatoes with slices of mozzarella and olive oil, and I had the vegetarian sandwich, carmelized onions, carrots, roasted squash, and hummus in half of a ciabatta loaf, a glass of Starling Castle Riesling, and their bread pudding. The carrots weren't very functional, as they kept falling out of the sandwich with hummus on them. The roasted squash was pretty bland yet interesting. I can't really recommend the vegetarian sandwich, but it looks as though they will always have excellent seasonal vegetarian options, like the heirloom tomato dish. I liked the riesling; it had a nice bouquet and was on the right side of the sweet/dry line for me (sweetish, yah). I really liked their bread pudding. I think it was a banana rum; which didn't matter too much because it didn't taste strongly of either, but they chocolate sauce was great and it was served nice and warm. Wonderful.

This took me to my pie baking responsibilities. I first made the rhubarb custard pie, as it didn't require my meringue skills yet. The recipe wasn't that complicated, but it required me to open my 400 degree oven twice. First to pour my cream and egg mixture over the rhubarb that had been cooking for 20 minutes, and second to sprinkle sugar on the top of the pie 10 minutes before the end of the cooking. I didn't like this part of the recipe, but it really turned out quite well.

This brought me to my rhubarb-orange custard pie. I first rolled out the pie crust, not knowing how long it would take to assemble the meringue/rhubarb custard mixture. Then I set to work on my egg whites. If you've never whipped egg whites to stiff peaks, I suggest trying it. It doesn't take a small amount of work, but to see at hand the miracles of food science is pretty neat. After 7 to ten minutes of whipping, I had reached a stiffness I felt would stand up to folding with the rhubarb egg yolk mixture. My problem with this recipe was that they had the pie baking at 400 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes. I should have known better, but this was way too hot for some delicate egg whites. I turned the oven down about ten minutes into the baking because I was smelling that wonderful flame kissed marshmallow aroma. So it didn't look great , but the orange juice concentrate added a nice tartness to the pie, and I'm looking forward to perfecting this recipe.

Those that came to enjoy my offerings were Katie, Karen, and Wendy. Not as many as I was hoping, but in this case, it was quality and not quantity.



At August 11, 2007 5:27 PM, Blogger Wishydig said...

I admire your desire to share your epicuriosity with other people.

And especially your willingness to include others along the way as you strive for perfection.

Your risks have paid off well.

At August 11, 2007 6:30 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Thank you.

At August 15, 2007 9:30 PM, Blogger Randomness said...

hey i enjoyed your pie creations too!

At August 20, 2007 9:09 AM, Blogger Curly Sue said...

That all sounds so good. I'd read this entry much earlier, but I haven't been cooking lately. When I'm disturbed in my surroundings, I can't cook. But this begins to inspire me to start cooking again.

At August 20, 2007 12:03 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

I know what you mean Curly Sue. I have to have a very clean kitchen before I start to make my cooking messes. And just because there is room for another person in my kitchen doesn't mean they belong there.


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