Friday, June 17, 2016

Midweek Roundup: "Incredibly Amazing!"

Photo by Phing
My Baking Mania

Phing, our newest baker, made this as her first pie.  Ever.  (Phing is our newest Alpha Baker, which explains why she's never made a pie before).  Pie crust has always "scared [her] off," Now that she has a pie under her belt (probably both figuratively and literally), she's sorry that she has let Rose's Pie and Pastry Bible linger on her shelf for so long.  Although Phing swears she's a total novice, her photos make it look like she knows exactly what she's doing, which speaks either to Rose's skill as a teacher or Phing's natural baking ability (or both).  At any rate, she loved the filling and loved the crust--combined, they are "incredibly amazing!"

Rosa made a few changes in the recipe, but the basic idea is the same.  She used an 8-inch pie plate, which gave her more filling, omitted the plum puree, decreased the sugar, and added kirsch and almond extract.  Instead of making the lattice, she cut out designs in the top crust, and then studded the top with decorative pastry flowers.  The finished product looks quite stunning!  And she would definitely make it again.

Vicki, on the advice of the checkout person at Trader Joe's, used a mixture of Bing cherries and Rainier cherries, as well as plums for the puree.  She loved this three-fruit pie (not counting the lemon zest) so much that she couldn't endure the recommended three-hour wait, and tucked into the pie after it was out of the oven for only one and one half hours.  "The flavor is amazing.  The crust flaky.  If ever there was a perfect sweet cherry pie recipe, this is it."

Rachel thought "this was the perfect recipe for the season in [her] part of the world," because cherries were suddenly available everywhere.  I have to say I was thrilled to read this because I've assigned so many recipes in the wrong season that I was happy to get one right.  Rachel definitely got this recipe right--it turned out to be "truly a delicious pie.  Juicy without being runny, with lots of cherry flavor enhanced by the lemon zest and vanilla, set off by a flaky, savory crust."

This pie may have been a turning point for Jen, who was one of the most pie-averse of the Alpha Bakers when we started this project.  In fact, what she "love[d] most about this pie is the pie crust!"  She thinks she might be "finally getting the hang of pie dough.  That would be exciting."  But not only did she love the crust, she also thought the filling was pretty "yummy" and Mark appreciated that the cherries were still "toothsome."  You can tell she's getting hooked on pastry because she's talking about getting a "pastry crimper for even prettier lattice tops."  Once you start buying equipment, there's no stopping you.

To Aimee, one of the "great things" about pie is that they have separate components, and, after making each component, you still have to "assemble it, bake it, and cool it."  I'll admit I was a little confused by this--why is a long, drawn-out process a "great thing"?  But she explained (with the caveat that it's not so great if you want a piece of pie right now):  "I worked on the crust Sunday, made the filling Monday, assembled the pie on Tuesday morning, baked it when I got home from work, and ate some Tuesday night with ice cream.  Perfect!"  Now I get it--a long but basically simple process, and you always know that the final result is going to be a delicious piece of pie.  And it was delicious, too--"this pie was a success!"

Next week:  On to another of Rose's specialties--her fantastic cheessecakes, this one with mango puree.  I know that some of you already have your stash of mangoes, whether canned or fresh, and are ready to go.  Everybody else--start looking around for mangoes!


  1. Congratulations Phing! Very proud of you. Everyone's pies look so delicious it makes me a bit sad there's none left in my house. Nice Round Up Marie. We Guess I better get cracking on the mango hunt.....

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  3. Thanks, Vicki, Marie and everyone :) Rose is a great teacher - just proven that her given instruction can guide even a novice to bake nice pies. I have none left as well but ordered more cherries to make some more. Still couldn't get any mangoes - been to little india twice :-(