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Jenny
11-05-2009, 01:18 PM
Jenny, you always amaze me with your knowledge of international cuisine :cheer:

Oh stop, don't stop ...:shuffle:

I just find food and our relationship to it fascinating, and no matter how much you learn, there always seems to be more. I've learned a ton here at FSU!

:rollin:

LordCirque
11-05-2009, 11:05 PM
Made an amazing tart in class yesterday. Sweet Tart Dough, Pernod Pastry Cream Filling, Pear, Blackberry, and Kiwi topping. And even after having the pastry cream on for 8+ hours between adding it at school and bringing it home, the crust was still crispy! :cheer2:

Jenny
11-06-2009, 01:46 PM
LC, I'm still having trouble with the bottoms of my pies being dense - the sides are perfectly flaky, so I don't think it's the recipe but rather the method. I've been using old aluminum pie pans, plan to buy a couple of teflon ones, but could that be it? I'm also pre-baking the crusts, then filling and baking on a rack on a cookie sheet, then cooling on same.

Anyone have any ideas? I have Michel Roux's Pastry book, but I guess he never has that problem so it's not addressed. :shuffle:

skaternum
11-06-2009, 06:26 PM
LC, I'm still having trouble with the bottoms of my pies being dense - the sides are perfectly flaky,

Me too. I use glass pie pans. I would go so far as to say that sometimes the bottom is underdone, while the sides are perfect. If you get any hints that don't show up in posts here, would you pass them along please?

LordCirque
11-06-2009, 10:59 PM
It could be a few different things. I'd say make sure you're rolling your dough evenly and not letting it get too warm. I'd also increase the size of the fat, and make sure they are even. For a flaky pie dough you want large pieces of fat and be able to see it in the dough. Not HUGE but not very small either. I'm pretty sure that's the rule anyway, flakey is large pieces of fat, mealy is small.

I'll take a look through my textbook and lecture notes to see if I can find anything else. But I'd probably say something is happening to the fat in the mixing method and the larger pieces could be ending up on the sides or just simply too small.

Is the recipe for the dough from a reliable source? That could be the problem as well.

BTW, someone in the old thread asked me for a recipe for Chocolate Flourless Cake but I don't remember who it was. PM me or post here and I'll send it over.

Jenny
11-12-2009, 04:12 PM
I've been doing some studying in my cookbook collection, and plan to tackle pastry crust again this weekend. I'm determined to make an apple pie for my family's Christmas dinner, so I need to do a few practice runs to get it right :)

Meanwhile, I made the most delicious risotto last night and wanted to share. Contrary to what some people seem to think, risotto is actually quite easy. We've been making it for years, so I decided to experiment a bit.

First I steamed swiss chard leaves in the risotto pot over a bit of chicken broth and then set them aside (wanted to preserve all the goodness, so thus same pot). Then I softened the stems/ribs with onions in butter and then followed the usual recipe - added the risotto, then white wine, then the process of adding chicken broth to cook it. Just before the end, I added the leaves back in, along with some powdered sumac (tart Middle Eastern spice - you can easily do a little lemon zest instead) and pepper (no salt). I finished it with grated romano, if for no other reason than we are out of parmesan. Bonus is that I used the swiss chard with the pink stems, so the whole thing came out a lovely deep pink, dotted with the dark green leaves.

Hubby declared it a winner, and I plan to enjoy the leftovers for lunch. The carb content (bad Jenny) is offset by the high nutrition value of the greens (good Jenny).

skaternum
11-12-2009, 05:19 PM
Mmm, Jenny, that sounds delicious. And pretty! Yay for pretty pink food.:cheer2:

mkats
11-12-2009, 08:02 PM
I love the beautiful colors of swiss chard. :swoon: The yellow ones are pretty, too.

The Village Idiot
11-12-2009, 08:56 PM
Saw this yesterday and thought this thread might find it interesting:

http://video.ap.org/?t=By%20Section/U.S.&p=&f=AP&g=1110dv_wh_pastry_essay

Of course, I have no idea how that keeps the crust from being dried out and overdone if it's twice baked.

Jenny
11-16-2009, 02:11 PM
Pastry update: I consulted the Book of Old Tarts and got quite a few good tips, and the results are promising.

* After chilling the dough then rolling it into the pie pan, chill the pan for 30 minutes to set it and keep it from shrinking.

* During the pre-bake, brush a beaten egg on the bottom to seal it and prevent leakage from wet ingredients (and thus soggy pie crust).

* Pre-heat a baking sheet while pre-heating the oven - this way, the pie plate goes directly onto a warmed surface, rather than your oven trying to heat through two cold barriers (baking sheet and pie plate) to get to the bottom crust.

* Once removed from the oven, put the pie plate on a cooling rack (or I just set mine on the grate of my gas stove) so that air can circulate fully around it.

The crust was perfectly flaky - including on the bottom!

At the same time, I tried a new recipe, this one with the addition of an egg (from Michel Roux''s Pastry). Not sure I like that, so the next step for me will be back to Bettina's recipe (Earth to Table), but using Elizabeth Hodder's method from the Book of Old Tarts. I also need to try Julia's recipe.

Thanksgiving next week will be the first attempt at an entirely homemade apple pie (yes we're Canadian, but we'll celebrate anything if it involves lots of food and drink :)), so that by the time I have my family for Christmas Eve dinner, I'll be able to offer my own pie along with the roast beef etc etc.

LordCirque
11-17-2009, 07:27 PM
Anyone here ever worked with fresh Pumpkin? I'm thinking of trying to hunt down a whole Pumpkin to make a Chocolate & Pumpkin Pastry Cream to fill Profiterales with. A play on Pumpkin Pie.

I was told a tbsp of whole pumpkin per one cup of milk. And to cut it, seed, and then roast or boil.

Anyone here had success with it fresh? If so, how'd you do it?

Jenny
11-17-2009, 07:43 PM
We just did a buttercup squash on Sunday, which is another winter squash like pumpkin, and consulted Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking.

She suggests cutting it in half, taking out the seeds and strings, then applying a light layer of oil and roasting it cut side down. She recommends 375 for 30 minutes, but noted that it works at other temperatures too if you are cooking something else at the same time. It's done when it starts to cave in - then you scoop out the flesh, mash with a little butter, and it's ready for whatever recipe you want (soups, pies, etc).

neptune
11-17-2009, 09:47 PM
Anyone here ever worked with fresh Pumpkin? I'm thinking of trying to hunt down a whole Pumpkin to make a Chocolate & Pumpkin Pastry Cream to fill Profiterales with. A play on Pumpkin Pie.

I was told a tbsp of whole pumpkin per one cup of milk. And to cut it, seed, and then roast or boil.

Anyone here had success with it fresh? If so, how'd you do it?

LordCirque, I've baked fresh pumpkin quite a few times, but I think pie pumpkins are getting a little harder to find as November progresses (maybe I'm wrong, though). Anyway, if you're trying to make a dessert, my recommendation is to use canned pumpkin. Fresh pumpkin is interesting but tastes incredibly bland. If you wanted to make pumpkin soup, fresh pumpkin would most likely work well. But I would skip it for a dessert. In fact, I hope to make some pumpkin pie next week, and I'm planning to use canned.

And canned is a lot faster. :) Hope this helps.

mkats
12-03-2009, 07:00 AM
I have developed a great loving for lacinato kale recently. :swoon:

Japanfan
12-03-2009, 09:26 AM
Seeking recipes for savory pies or cheesecakes - i.e. a non-sweet pumpkin pie/cheesecake or a cheese based pie/cheesecake. I've seen some recipes with blue cheeses but am not really fond of those.