Thursday, November 6, 2008
Dad's birthday dinner OR the Night of Feared Mush, Part 2: Jenny's Apple Pie (with golden raisins)
As I worried over my lasagna for Dad's birthday dinner, Jenny prepared the apple pie and developed doubts of her own -- which doesn't often happen when she makes pies. In fact, Jenny's pie-making process is usually accompanied by squeals of excitement rather than cries of "Oh no! Why aren't you bubbling?!"
When I started taking pictures of her mushy apples, I think she got a little nervous. Before I go any further, let it be known to the food blogosphere that this apple pie is certainly not her best work. But it was still damn good.
Here's what went wrong: The Red Delicious apples cooked more quickly than the Honeycrisp*, resulting in half a pan of mushy apples and the other perfectly done. The crust was all wrong -- I don't know why, I don't know how. The science of pie crust boggles my mind a bit, but all I know is that she said it was wrong, so I took her word for it. And when all was said and done and popped in the oven, it didn't bubble. Which I guess it's supposed to...again, I'm no baker. I'm writing this based on Jenny's cries of despair as she peeked through the oven window every ten minutes.
That's why I stay away from baking. At least when I was making the lasagna and worrying over mushy, watery layers, I always knew that in the end, it would probably still taste good. Maybe it wouldn't be lasagna, but if disaster had struck that night, I could've rescued the sauce and made some sort of pasta dish. I don't think I could rescue an apple pie. I wouldn't even know where to begin. I think my biggest fear when it comes to baking is that nothing will go as planned and I'd end up with something pasty that tastes like flour.
Oh, and then there's this:
I definitely can't do that. Intricacy like that takes patience, skill, and a love for all things pie. Which is why she's the baker and I am not.
In the end, the feared mushy apple pie with an all-wrong crust didn't happen that night -- despite the fact that we later realized my mom's measuring spoons weren't labeled clearly, resulting in the less-than-perfect crust and the no bubbling.
Whaaaat? A pie baked with incorrect measurements that still turned out delicious? Perhaps I was all wrong about these baking fears...
But then again, I don't think I can compete with this.
(Note: Many of these photos were taken by the Great J. the Baker Herself.)
*EDIT: Per Jenny's comment. She used Granny Smith apples, NOT Honey Crisp. My sincerest apologies for the confusion!!