Wednesday, November 24, 2010

sometimes i fail

I hate pie crust. I have always hated it. Today was the first (and quite possibly the last) time I made "real" pie crust. The kind you roll out, and crimp the edges, and bake.

When my mom and I "invented" vegan cheesecake back in the day- I opted for a shortbread crust instead of the usual graham cracker one. Which is very tasty, and it really helped set my recipe apart. Plus, you just pat it in the pan- no rolling out.

When I discovered the Juniors Cheesecake Cookbook a few years ago- and saw that it had a spongecake crust- I couldn't wait to try it out. Now, I always use a spongecake crust for cheesecake.

This year, I made the pumpkin pie(s) for Thanksgiving. (my mom usually does it.) So I thought I'd actually follow a recipe. I used the one in the Joy of Cooking. For the crust I used the Pate Brisee (double butter crust) with the regular old pumpkin pie.

I rolled it out, placed it in the pan, made it look all pretty. Carefully set the foil inside, filled it up with rice, baked it, and well... It did not hold it's pretty edges. So I tried the next one.But I got lazy, and opted out of the foil/rice combo. "It didn't really do anything, anyway. I thought." Yeah...

When I took it out of the oven, the sides had given up and slid down into the bottom of the pan. It gave up on itself. FAIL. So I gave up on it.

So I filled the first somewhat successful crust with the filling and stuck it in the oven. Meanwhile, I gave Danny permission to dig in and try the failed crust. Tastes great, (phew!)...just looks awful. I tasted it too- and it is goooood! After the timer went off, I checked on the pie. Middle still too wiggly, crust burned. Nice. I pulled it out and gave up again.

Proof that sometimes I fail at dessert. Miserably, I might add.

I stopped following directions, and decided to follow my instincts. I rolled out some more crust, patted it into my springform pan, & stuck it in the oven. Baked it for a bit, then poured in the filling.

And waited.

It's past midnight- and it's beautiful. *Photos to come, with other Thanksgiving Day stuff.

I love springform pans. They give you a perfectly round shape- and with the ability to take your creation completely out of the pan, you can display your dessert on a pretty cake plate. Plus, no burned crust to worry about.

Yes, I know that practice makes perfect- I have learned that with many, many hideous looking, (but great tasting desserts) over the years. But pie crust is not something I want to perfect. Not when I can take a shortcut and only use springform pans to bake my pies in.

My favorite springform pan of all time is the La Forme. I got mine at Williams-Sonoma when I worked there over 8 years ago, and my pan is still going strong. Now I just need another one for the holidays (hint, hint) when I always have to make 2 of everything.

I really wanted to try this recipe for pumpkin pie- but I didn't have a sugar pumpkin to roast, and I was not going out in the snow today to see if any stores still had them. That's another thing I hate- cooking your own pumpkin. But the blogger says it's well worth the trouble- maybe next year!

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