Last night I made a peach pie. It wasn’t the best-planned of baking adventures, leaving me stranded at midnight with hot pie; this is often how my endeavours turn out, badly plotted and with a less than impressive musical score. With this particular pie, the timer went off while I was in the shower. The shower. I ask you, who decides to have a shower with five minutes to go on the pie timer? Me, apparently.
(And before you get all high-and-mighty on my showering time, that gave me one minute to get ready, leaving me well within 4-minute-showering rules. I’m environmentally conscious. Yep.)
This is a last hurrah.
A last hurrah to gusts of freezing winds and blasting flurries of sudden hail.
A last hurrah to thick socks and boots and leggings.
A last hurrah to snuggles with fluffies (blankets) and warming hot chocolate.
A last hurrah to winter in all its glory.
“In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me lay an invincible summer”
Writer’s block is not fun.
I have plenty of other ways to procrastinate, I don’t have to blog.
Some options include:
Sow seeds (in life and in the ground).
Organise possibility of being a lead tenant for Youth For Christ next year.
Organise possibly extending my trip to Perth so I can hang out with Peace Tree. (and visit Georgia and Dave?)
Study for my quiz tomorrow.
Make more chocolate muffins for September Camp.
Upload my study questions for Sep Camp.
Go for a walk. Or a run. Or do some yoga. Or some other kind of physical exercise to not. stress. out. Because I have this essay I keep procrastinating from doing.
So yeah, I wrote up a complete running sheet for the last few days before camp. I have an illness. I have lists upon lists and I HAVEN’T STARTED MY ESSAY YET (Mum and Dad, just forget you read that, yeah?)
It’s ok, I planned time to write the essay. It’s gonna happen. I haven’t got a back up plan so it HAS to happen (hopefully with little to no effort on my part.)
Besides, I have apple pie to calm my nerves.
Technically, it’s apple and pear pie. I got fruit from the farmer’s market on the weekend because it’s almost not apple and pear season anymore and I wanted pie. I love pie.
And thanks to Pam’s Pie Tutorial courtesy of The Pioneer Woman (thank you, Ree!) I made a perfect pie. I’m not kidding. It tastes amazing, it was perfectly cooked, it looks incredible and it’s just as good cold as hot.
I know. I’ve already had more than I need.
Apple and Pear Pie (two crust)
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
Pam says that pie making is not a recipe, it’s an approach. It’s about the technique. So while this is a recipe, it’s a very loose one. Play around. Enjoy. Make pie.
2 1/2 cups flour (plain or pastry)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
250g butter, cold, cut into chunks
1/4 cup ice water
about 6 cups (8 pieces of fruit) fruit, peeled and chopped (if needed)
1/2 cup (more if needed) sugar
2 tbsp cornflour or other thickener
juice of one lemon
2 tsp cinnamon
pinch ground cloves
pinch nutmeg (more than cloves)
Pulse 2 cups flour, salt and sugar in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until it looks like breadcrumbs (alternatively, whisk together dry ingredients and use fingertips to rub in butter.) Pulse in 1/2 cup flour (just) and place in a bowl or on your counter. Sprinkle water over, knead in and form into two discs.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees Celsius.
Stir together fruit, lemon juice, thickener and spices. Make sure all the fruit pieces are even and that the mixture coats each piece.
Now, to roll out the dough, take two pieces of parchment paper (or baking paper) and place a dough disk in between them. Roll out to fit your pie pan (this recipe makes enough for one two crust nine inch pie). Place one rolled out disc into the bottom of your pie dish and prick all over with a fork.
Place the fruit in the dish and dot with butter (about four or five tablespoons). Cover with the other half of the dough, rolled out. Crimp the edges however you like and slit the top a few times. (You may choose, as I did, to decorate the top with the scraps of dough left over.) Brush with a beaten egg or some heavy cream.
Bake at 250º for about half an hour, until nicely browned on top. Cover with foil to stop browning and lower heat to 200 degrees for anywhere from 1/2 hour to 40 minutes – apples will need longer, berries will need less.
Let rest for about ten to twenty minutes on the counter before you eat with heavy cream or ice cream.
What to do with a bag full of ripe nectarines:
1) Eat them. And then poop them out
2) Make nectarine jam. This tastes amazing and you can share it with your friends.
3) Stew them. And then eat them.
4) Make a nectarine brown butter buckle (what an awesome name!) just because it sounds awesome.
5) Saute them in butter and brown sugar, finish with lime juice and serve with crepes.
6) Make a nectarine galette because it’s easy and delicious.
7) Bake them with honey, orange, a cinnamon quill and cardamom pods; deglaze with rum and serve with marscapone.
8) Make a nectarine, marscapone and gingersnap tart to take to the new neighbours.
Unfortunately I did none of these things. Well, that’s a lie. I ate a couple. But my housemates made jam and stewed the rest, and next time I get a bagfull of nectarines I will be sure to snag some for one or all of the above recipes. Because they sound amazing.
P.S. I got some of the recipes from Gourmet Traveller.
P.P.S. I’m not going to bother apologising for missing my post a day commitment; I’m not doing it because I can’t be bothered, I’m doing it because our internet’s down. I know how committed I am.
It’s the first recipe for pie that I’m posting so it gets the awesome label of simply pie. It was pretty good, actually – well, that and the company. I come from a big family so I’m used to having people around the house. I was house sitting this past week and while it was lovely to have some alone time and just veg out, I like to be around people. So when the family got back, I made pie. And salad. And we had wine and cheeses and a beautiful evening.
It’s one of those things you can cut into hefty wedges and take to uni for lunch, or just as equally dress up with salad for dinner (as we did.) You could have it for breakfast; those eggs really do wonders. I can also envisage this pie being a hit at picnics, alongside a potato salad, punch, gingham patterned tablecloth serving as a picnic blanket and a beautiful sunny day.
To make this pie, you will need a fluted removable bottom tart pan, which is the most awesome name for a kitchen utensil I think I’ve ever heard – well, that and mandolin, because it sounds like something you should be making music with, and instead you’re making fuel for the making of the music…
And so. To pie.
Egg and Spring Onion Pie
You could make this pie with leeks or onions or shallots instead of spring onions. You could add bacon, if you aren’t vegetarian, or several different herbs. I would suggest using a different dough; mine was very crumbly and stuck to the pan, although I imagine you could rectify the crumbliness at least by adding more butter or water. I’m imagining a sour cream based one and my taste buds are moaning at me because I didn’t think of it earlier. You probably also don’t really need a lid, so if you don’t want to use one, don’t stress too much. I’d just make sure the eggs are on top.
Take a bowl. Place 1 2/3 cups of sifted (if you like – I generally don’t bother:) plain flour and 250g chopped cool butter in. Rub the butter in with your fingers until it’s dough-like, then gather into a ball. If it’s too crumbly (as I mentioned, mine was) add some iced water until it gathers properly. Rest in the fridge for about 20min.
Roll out 2/3 of the dough in between two sheets of baking paper, and carefully put into that tart pan, gently pressing into the edges. Trim the edges, leaving about 1cm overhanging to account for shrinkage. Place into the freezer for 20mins to rest the dough. Roll the rest of the dough in between the sheets to about a 22cm (or however big your tart pan is) circle, and place in the fridge. This will be your lid.
Take off the outer leaves of a large bunch of spring onions and finely chop. Melt 60g of butter in a large frying pan and add the onion. Cook until wilted and translucent. Take off heat.
Finely chop a small bunch of parsley (I used curly leaf because that’s what we had in the garden. I’m sure it doesn’t matter which you use.) and scatter in the bottom of the tart shell. Add half the spring onions. Crack 9 eggs in. I pierced the yolks and swirled it around a bit because I like the marbled effect, but you could just as easily not, or even whisk them and pour them in. Scatter the remaining spring onions over the top of the eggs. Place the lid carefully on top and crimp the edges together with your fingers, breaking off the excess. Whisk one egg lightly and brush over the lid; make some slits in the lid with a sharp knife and place in a pre-heated 180ºC oven for about 35mins. Serve with salad and white wine, or something equally amazing.