But sometimes it can when making your first pie. A home cook worth his or her salt understands the most basic of recipes can sometimes be the trickiest. Take pie crust. If you make the pastry right the first time, it’s probably because you got lucky. Or you had a good coach.
Making an excellent pie crust–– one that is flaky, one that is crispy––is easy once you get the hang of it. But it may be difficult for first-timers because success is determined by nuance, which also makes it difficult to pen in a recipe.
Lucy is no stranger to pastry nuance. My daughter-in-law and co-owner of Rose’s Fine Food in Detroit lives by two crust credos:
#1 Warmth of any kind is death to pastry dough. #2 Don’t over knead; your fingers must know when you’re done–when it’s not too wet and not too dry– and to leave the dough alone.
Making perfect pie crust insists upon experience dependent on repetition, touch, and focus. “Don’t fool around and get distracted,” Lucy warns, as I gather stray dishes and place them in the sink, then check my iPhone and stick it into the charger. Got it. .
The rewards of crust confidence can’t be underestimated, and not only when creating desserts. Imagine chicken pot pie with homemade crust, or a savory paté en croute; imagine biting into one of Michigan’s beloved pasties encased in a homemade pastry. Here’s a fun link I discovered on the Saveur site with some of the most interesting savory pies I’ve seen.
Lucy’s recipe for this Cranberry Pie with Bourbon and Walnuts is made with Westwind flour that is milled in Michigan. This is the flour they use to create some of their most savory concoctions at the diner.
“Freshly milled, organic flour has way more flavor,” Lucy tells me. “It has the whole germ, the wheat wasn’t sprayed with chemicals, and Lee and Linda are great people who deserve supporting.”
“I ate another apple pie and ice cream; that’s practically all I ate all the way across the country. I knew it was nutritious and it was delicious, of course.”(Jack Kerouac, On the Road)
Memorial Day picnics, graduation parties, weddings, showers and anniversaries. In the coming weeks you may be called upon to create a celebratory dish or two. Pound cakes are wonderful spring and summer desserts as the center hole of a bundt or fluted cake pan creates an ideal “vase” to insert fresh seasonal flowers or herbs. This cake (which … Full recipe post »
So you want to write a book? Maybe you’ve already written one. If so, I’d love to trade notes! If you are toying with the idea of writing your first book––be it a novel, cookbook, memoir, book of poetry or dummy guide–be prepared to have your cage rattled and buckshots pummelled across your backside; in short, be prepared to bleed. At … Full recipe post »
Taste buds prickle; wanderlust triggered. An Argentine barbecue (asado)
enticed me to Patagonia. A friend gave me a vial of ground sumac berries--4 months later I was
waking at dawn to the "Call To Prayer" in Turkey. Porcini to Tuscany, and so on. Read more about my chronicles of
trips and favorite associated recipes. Browse my travel recipes...
Here are ideas gleaned from others that speak to me;
where I highlight projects that bring friends, neighborhoods, and communities together. For me,
complimentary food makes the project and event more fun. Browse my projects and related recipes...