Jan 8, 2011

Baking binge of dooooom! (and the best pie crust recipe ever)

The baking bug bit yesterday. The final tally: two loaves of bread, a blueberry pie, four cookies, two pastries and a kitchen strewn with bowls, spoons, baking pans and cookie sheets. Oh, yeah, and two happy crafty pirates. Let's start with the two loaves:

Close-up of made-up bread

If you read along with my captions on Flickr, you'll know that I got a copy of the book The Bread Baker's Apprentice for Christmas (and I love its scholarly obsessiveness; now, if only I could find an equivalent book for making Asian-style noodles, or pasta in general...). This bread is emphatically not made using the formulas in that book. I started to browse it yesterday and quickly realized I would get sucked into trying to absorb all the important but technically-not-essential-for-making-edible-bread details if I attempted to use it for immediate baking purposes. So rather than fail to make bread because I was too busy reading about bread, I basically glanced at the recipes on the back of the flour package and kinda-sorta-but-not-really followed them/made something up.

The result was a little flat, but it's definitely better than not getting to eat bread that night. ;)

Made-up bread

And now I have an admission, and a rather reluctant one, but I share it with you for the sake of all those out there who have done what I did: I made pie crust dough mumblemumble ago and then left it languishing, wrapped in plastic, in the fridge until it (for shame!) got a very very few telltale specks of mold on it.

Now, I am not advising that you do what I did. However, I will tell you what I did, and since I am sitting here now typing this post, clearly I did not die from it. ;) This is what I, horror of horrors, did yesterday: I cut off all the outside bits of the pie crust dough, rolled it out, and baked it anyway. With some questionable also-languishing blueberries that I combined with the juice of one questionable and languishing Kaffir lime. The result was probably far better than I deserve for disrespecting my ingredients.

Blueberry pie

That, folks, is my first double-crust pie ever. I used a star-shaped cookie cutter to cut out part of the top crust. Conveniently, this made star-shaped leftover bits for me to bake with my mangled but unbelievably good jam pastries.

What's that you say? There are only three cookies and I said there were four? Hmm, wonder where the fourth one went ... ;)

Breakfast this morning? PIE! The best blueberry pie I have ever eaten. I share with you now the God of All Pie Crust Recipes, courtesy of Smitten Kitchen. Try it at your peril — it may provoke incurable urges to conquer pie-crust-based recipes you have never tried before, and you may never again want to eat pie crust from any other recipe. (At least, it was that good for me. Just the leftover bits with a bit of jam smeared inside them were so good I swear to you I teared up.)

So now I'm a-gonna go have me some dinner, and for dessert? You guessed it.

Blueberry pie slice
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