For the first time, I have made a pie completely from scratch. It was a spiced plum pie with a butter pie crust.
I thought that the crust was my greatest obstacle as I had never made one before. I didn’t have a pastry cutter so I made do with a fork and a potato masher. 😄
It wasn’t pretty, but the dough came together and I kept it in the fridge overnight. This kept it nice and cold, but, unfortunately, made it very painful to roll out into a 13″ circle. Yes, painful. I’ve had wrist problems in my left hand recently, so this was not one of my more stellar moments.
Then, I came to realize that my true obstacle was cutting, peeling, AND PITTING about 12 plums. I went through half the plums before finally finding some sort of a system. The procedure was eventually to cut up the plum in all of the wedges I needed. Then, I went about finding the one wedge that could slip out the easiest. After that, I set upon ripping out the other wedges until I was left with the pit on the final wedge, which I cut out. This took about an hour total. This would not have been so bad, except that I hadn’t started until 10:30p. (note: don’t help your father with paperwork before making pie when it’s already getting late.)
After the agony of preparing the plums, the spices and sugar for the filling was a nice, easy change of pace. But since it was fairly easy, I was done pretty quickly. (well, it would have been much faster if I didn’t need to go to the downstairs apartment to borrow cardamom. I was so sure I had some, but I couldn’t find it. I guess I was hallucinating.)
I put my pie crust in the pie pan, filled it with the plums and spices and sugar, and popped it into the oven that had been preheating for a very, very long time.
I accidently tented my pie with foil from the get-go. I didn’t read the instructions well enough. After 20 minutes, I finally realized to take the foil tent off. The foil stayed off for about 30 minutes, before I finally put it back.
All the while, it smelled lovely. And the baking finished at around 2am.
Fifteen hours later, the pie was finally cut into (it was one of three pies for our 4th of July BBQ) and lasted about ten minutes before it was whittled down to just one small slice. The crust was good. Asano-mama said it was flakier than the crust on her pies, and a friend of mine who really had not been subjected to my food experiments yet was also suitably pleased with the crust.
The plums were more tart than I expected them to be. (Thank goodness for vanilla ice cream and all things a la mode.) But I was fairly happy with my pie. I think I might like to mix the plums with something else like apples or pears or strawberries next time – something to balance the tartness. The same friend who was pleased with the crust commented that my plum pie reminded him of rhubarb. I can see that.
The verdict? It was a good way to spend some time and the results were better than good.
The pie crust recipe – http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/BUTTER-PIE-CRUST-236477
The spiced plum pie recipe – http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/SPICED-PLUM-PIE-232397
And just for fun, here’s a photo of Asano-mama in the middle of destroying killing pitting cherries for her cherry pie. ^_~