I'm a glutton for punishment. Today we had our pioneer day celebration at church and one activity was a pie contest. I don't really know what possessed me to attempt a pie. Stupidity? Denial? Momentary lapse of judgment?
I thought with the help of Alton Brown I could surely make a delicious pie. After all, every other recipe of his has been an absolute success.
But, I forgot that pies and I don't get along.
I can, and have, ruined every single pie I have participated in making. I've ruined them from scratch, ruined pre-packaged crusts, graham cracker crusts; it doesn't matter. Two Thanksgivings ago, I ruined the Mrs. Smith's pies we bought from the store! All I did was check on them in the oven. And somehow, they ended up burned.
It has been requested that I never attempt pie baking ever again.
But, this time I came armed with Alton Brown and an absolute no fail pie crust. I've managed to not screw up this particular pie crust recipe. Naturally, that means the filling for my pie was going to be a complete and utter failure. And, thanks to the humidity, my lemon meringue pie was pudding by the time we got to the church. It was beyond awful. We ended up throwing it away.
On the bright side, I also made Paula Dean's Coleslaw and it was an amazing success. I'm not a coleslaw person but I even liked this. The other coleslaws on the buffet table weren't touched til mine was gone! I changed the recipe up a bit by substituting zucchini for the carrot and red onion for the green.
And because I'm a complete glutton for punishment, I decided to try to make another pie to use of the rest of the pie crust dough. Rolling out pie crust in humidity is not fun. I do not know how southern bakers do it and keep a smile on their faces!
This time, I returned to allrecipes and picked the most highly rated apple pie I could find. Surely with nearly 1500 reviews all with five stars, even I could do it. I read the reviews and added 1/4 t cinnamon and 1 t vanilla to the syrup and used a crumb topping instead of lattice because I was out of crust. I cooked it at 425 for 10 minutes, then 350 for 30 minutes.
And...drumroll...it WORKED! I made a pie that was edible. To be truthful, it was more than just edible. It was absolutely the best apple pie I've *ever* had. The filling didn't ooze out. the crust was tender and flakey. And D asked for seconds. Heck, the kids asked for seconds, too!
I think with my small changes, I may just enter this pie in to the fair in October!