Culinary Adventures with Maggie and Suzanne

Where cheesiness is next to godliness

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pie Weekend, Day 3

So you remember how we had a little impromptu party on Saturday night of Pie Weekend?


Fast forward to Sunday morning with a very tired me who does not want to get out of bed or deal with the toilet that somehow broke during the night's festivities or continue to make pie.

But we continued to make pie anyway.

We started the morning off with another quiche - Tomato, Spinach and Dill Quiche with a Potato Crust, to be specific.

One might ask, "Who in her right mind shreds potatoes when they come pre-shredded in the freezer section?" I would answer, "I do," but I don't think I fit the right-mind criterion. I forgot that shredded potatoes often turn odd colors and make the grater nasty and gross. Note to self for future makings of this quiche: frozen hash browns for the crust. Definitely.

Other than that, the making of this quiche was nice, and the eating of this quiche was even nicer.

The next pie was a doozy. It sounds like something that might be just my most favorite thing ever. Espresso Chocolate Pie. Say it out loud. Espresso Chocolate Pie. Sounds amazing, right? If you click on that link, you will see that it also looks amazing.

It had the potential to be amazing. But it's reality was that it was a pain in the ass.

The crust was easy - basic graham cracker crust. The ganache was easy - basic chocolate ganache - smooth and rich. Then I got to the espresso layer. Essentially, one might look at this recipe and go, "Hey, that's just a layer of coffee-infused cheesecake pudding," which is what I'm going to use if I ever have the heart to try to make this pie again. Because when I made it according to the recipe, it would not set. It would not even thicken. I tried to add extra cornstarch and more whipping cream and whipped it into quite a frenzy, but it stayed the exact same texture. It was quite a marvel. Physicists all over the world would be baffled by the phenomenon that occurred in my kitchen that day. If Sheldon Cooper had been present (and, you know, a real person), it would have given him pause.

I gave up and poured it on top of the ganache layer, which by this time, had had ample time to cool and harden, and hoped against hope that it would set if I froze the pie.


Two days later - still runny.

We ate it anyway. The crust and the ganache layer were delicious. The rest of it was delicious, too (because come on - how could it not be?), but I had to eat it with a spoon.

While that pie was in the freezer not freezing or setting, we started the Blueberry Pie. Disheartened as I was by the previous endeavor, I was looking forward to this one the most. Berry pies, particularly blueberry, are my favorite. I used the crust from this recipe and even did the lattice work (pretty but troublesome unless the dough is perfect). I was pleased with the result and, yes, it was my favorite pie of the weekend.

We were going to make another savory meal (Goat cheese pie pockets - stay tuned, as I'm sure I will need to make these at some point in the future), but we were so tired by that time that we were at the end. Maggie had a brilliant idea to use the leftover pie dough from the blueberry pie - spread it with cream cheese and a little pickapepper sauce and bake it. Between that and the rest of the quiche from the morning, we pretty much gorged ourselves into a glorious food coma that caused us to sprawl and loll about in front of the tv.

We were in mid-loll when Tammy, Matt, and Michelle came to visit. Danielle joined us later. They pretty much finished off the pies that were ready, and I even had some to send as care packages.

What I learned this day:

1. There's no shame in frozen potatoes.
2. There's also no shame in reading a recipe, deciding "I know an easier way to do that," and going with that easier way (which, by the way, will set within the hour).
3. I know that I'm tired when I can't even be inspired to create something with goat cheese.

All in all, a successful weekend! Major events to look for in the year ahead:

* Cookie weekend, ending with a BYOT (bring your own tin) party where friends can sample and take home their favorites (late October/early November)
* Soup week (probably mid-January)
* ABC weekend (one food for every letter in the order but also sometimes together) or Casserole week (sometime in the spring)
* Cocktails and Crudites, ending with a cocktail party (yes, you must dress for it) at which we showcase our favorites from the weekend (next summer)

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