An Experiment in the Oven
It’s is in the oven. An experiment. I put it in 5 minutes ago and I wonder what will it turn out to be…a hit or a miss. I’ve made both. You would think I might take a hiatus from creating recipes for a time but on my counter today, from two generous friends, are fruits I’ve not ever paired together…sweet green seedless grapes from Chimacum, which is not too far from where I live, and a variety of flavorful apples from Eastern Washington which is quite a ways. This is how to create a recipe…or atleast how I’m doing it today.
I make pies a plenty with apples, either alone or paired with quince, cranberries, pears, walnuts and such. In season, I have made lots of Concord grape pies over the years. When fruits show up that ripen in the same time window, I figure that if I throw them into a rolled out pie shell with some sweetener and seasoning, and top with a vented crust, it might work.
Green and Red like the Ho-Ho-Ho-lidays
The green and red fruit combination of grapes and apples in the bowl looks like festive winter ho-ho-ho-lidays. I should take a picture but I’m having too much fun to stop.
Sweetener? This might be a first but I ignored the little voice two days ago that said to buy sugar when I was at the store, and now I’m out of granulated white sugar. Brown sugar will do.
Seasoning? A little salt, some cinnamon, cardamom, and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
Thickener? Those grapes are juicy so I use a generous amount of quick cooking tapioca. Mix to combine and set aside.
Dough made earlier today–the new gluten-free recipe I created for Pie Camp which uses off-the-shelf gluten-free AP flour–is set out on the counter. I make gluten-free dough when I am creating recipes so I can test and taste. I have no idea why I know to make one today as I’m not creating pies right now. Really? Ha!
I roll out the dough and lay it in the pan, and then roll the top dough. It waits on the counter while I give the filling another turn around in the bowl with a big wooden spoon. Then I pour the giddy gaudy green and red trimmed filling into the waiting pie shell and dot it with some butter. (Those who know me well, know that I forget the dotting at least 95% of the time!) I carefully place the second dough on top. Trim, fold, and flute the edges, and cut a vent in the middle. Now, into the preheated oven it goes.
Wipe the counters, sip some water, and sit down to write this blog on my laptop which lives on the prep table near my ovens.
Halfway through the Bake
We’re halfway through the bake now….I think since I forgot to set a timer. (Really?? And you write cookbooks?) I pull my creation out to see how it is browning. Nicely! I place it on the stove top, and close the oven to keep the heat inside. Then I brush the top crust with egg wash and give a sprinkle of Demerara sugar. Bake into the oven it goes for…maybe 20 minutes. That sounds about right.
And now we wait.
My music choice has a percussion section that sounds like tribal drums. I want to dance.
I peek through the window. Hmmmm, the color is still good but I think it needs to bake longer so I loosely cover the top with a piece of vented foil.
The timer goes off and at the same time the music shifts to something soothing.
I take a deep breath, open the oven, and pull the pie. I want to see a little more bubbling coming through the vent so back in it goes. Another few minutes…enough for the song to finish. I remember kneading bread to music, gauging the keand time by the songs my hands worked in rhythm to.
The song finishes. I pull the pie. It’s beautifully golden. Will I hear a sizzle-whump? YES!
And now, it’s time to rest, both me and the pie. I’ll let it cool and see what I have created in the morning when I cut into it.
The Morning After
It looks good.
I cut into it. Still looks good.
I plate it.
I take a few pictures and get out the fork.
P.S. Some will be set aside to share, of course, with the kind friends who shared their bounty with me.