Pastry Hubris

2 minute read

On Sunday I’ll be attending a Pre-Thanksgiving meal down south. My contribution will be dessert and I’ve decided that dessert will be a pie.

I’m not a big fan of desserts myself. Give me a tea, a port or a cheese course (or, hell, all three) at the end of a meal and I’m a happy gal. Therefore I don’t often bake but when I do things normally turn out pretty well. It’s hard to fail entirely when you have a decent head about you in the kitchen.

And that, I think, is where I went wrong tonight.

Prior to showing up to the event on Sunday I decided to try out the pie recipe and get some friends to guinea pig it tomorrow evening. Which means the pie must be cooked tonight. No problem. I’ll just whip it up. It’s just a pie, after all. I’ve done it a dozen times.

Mom’s pie crusts are made with Crisco and turn out beautifully Every. Single. Time. They’re awesome. Ain’t no one makin’ no pie crust like my mom and the first person who says otherwise is lookin’ fer a whuppin’.

I, however, can’t bring myself to use Crisco. 100% hydrogenated vegetable oil? 100% transfats? No thank you. Instead I went to my friendly local Whole Foods and picked up a friendly local substitute. Expeller-pressed. Organic. Conscience? Appeased. Pie-on, bro.

Now I’m making a pie crust using an unfamiliar substitute for a major ingredient. How else can I stack the deck against myself? Oh, I know! I’ll pretend I remember how to do this and won’t look up a recipe! Flour, fat, salt, sugar, water. How frickin’ hard can it be, right? Just kind put them together in a more or less OK proportion and all will be well, right?

Wrong.

Far too much fat and too little water later I have something which resembles pie crust. Sure, it’s all crumbly. Sure, I have to piece it together in the pan before blind baking it. But it looks like a pie crust and that’s all that matters, right?

Oy. This stuff isn’t vile but it’s certainly not the taste sensation of the year. I’ve since added the filling and top, managing to get that to the oven with crossed fingers. Maybe the finished product will make up for the crust. Maybe it’ll all be OK.

Uh huh. And maybe I’ll be the subject of a mass exodus of winged primates out of my nether regions.

Ah, well. I’m committed now. Either it’ll work out or it won’t. Regardless, there’ll be no doubt that my guinea pigs will have something on which to comment tomorrow evening.

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