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Delicious Request Pie

13 Nov

Tonight I made a pie.  I have made this pie before.  And before that.  And then only once before that.  This pie is popular in our house.  Especially with Ian.  After I made it the first time he said that I would make it again.  It didn’t really sounds like a request, more of an order actually.  But henceforth it shall be known as super delicious request pie.  And commence pictures for ya’ll to drool over!

The pie basically included chicken, mushrooms, green beans, all smothered in a deliciously creamy mustard sauce.  Dammit, I want to eat it all over again!  Which is good, because we’re having it for leftovers tomorrow.  Yeeeah!

Look at the beautiful golden crust!

The next picture is of the crust.  This is the first time that I have been able to get it properly puffy and golden.  The trick is to let your pie filling cool (not totally cold, but not piping hot) before you place the pasty over top, otherwise you’ll find that your pastry ends up getting soggy and the heat will make the various puffy layers stick together.  I also used an egg wash this time, instead of a milk wash.  It gave the crust a better golden brown and added lovely crispy bits (mmm…).  Alas, I do not own a pastry brush though, even though I thought I did, so I had to improvise with my finger brush.

Awe! It even has little leaves on it - how quaint!

We had boiled potatoes with herbs and smashed carrots with our pie.  The carrots were meant to be just plain, but I was using old wonky carrots and they didn’t look so pretty once I cut them up.  The solution to that problem is always to roughly mash them.  I also added some thyme and olive oil…  which is known to make anything taste great!

Oh jeez, it looks SO delicious!

And then it was gone.  I have a feeling I’ll be making this pie again.  And again.  And again…

Yeah, that's right. Leaves and all!

If you want the recipe let me know and I’ll attempt to type up my manic kitchen process that ends in this result.  It is loosely based on three other pie recipes, so I am sure I can figure something coherent out.

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Nomsgiving

9 Oct

Gobble, gobble, gobble…

As you (may) know, I am Canadian.  And/but as you may (not) know, I love Thanksgiving.  It is definitely one of my favourite weekends of the entire year, so even though I live in the UK, I still make a point of celebrating Thanksgiving… usually through the medium of turkey and always through the medium pumpkin pie.

[Side note: There is a really great open letter to pumpkin flavoured seasonal treats over on McSweeny’s.]

I make pumpkin pie using my mother’s recipe, which *gasp* doesn’t actually require pumpkin!  You can generally substitute squash for pumpkin, if there is none readily available and it tastes just as good (gosh mum, I hope your okay with me spilling your recipe secrets all over the interwebs).  However, earlier this year I discovered a UK company that imports foodstuff from North America so I splurged and bought some Libby’s pumpkin for my annual pie.  It’s not because I’m anti-squash… I did that last year and it worked great, but if you can get your hands on some Libby’s it come pre-cooked and pre-mashed (which, to be fair, isn’t that hard… but I’m waaay lazy).

I will now tempt your taste buds with pictures of my baking masterpiece.  I am still not the best pastry baker, but I plan to rectify this by baking lots more pastry based dessert – because practice makes perfect!  So you can excuse my uneven edges and undercooked base in this instance.  You can track my pastry progress as I post more baking adventures.  Unless it never progresses…

Pumpkin pie... it's all glossy and shiny and oozy and delicious looking!

Yeah, it's cracked on top, so what?  Want to fight about it?

It totally looks like Pacman.  Mmm...  Pacnom.

You look so good slice of pie.  I want to eat you all over again.  Or maybe your pie sibling...

Where did it go?  In my belly!

This year, in addition to pumpkin pie I also baked an apple torte.  [Edit: The apples for this fabulous torte were kindly given to us by Ian’s work colleague Peter, who has apples coming out of his ears – previous apples received have been used to make apple/stawberry crumble and apple/rhubarb crisp.]  It is a wonderfully Autumnal dessert (and yes, a dessert can be Autumnal).  If you have never had it before, it is basically a loose and crumbly pastry base, a sweet and creamy cheese filling, topped with cinnamon sugared sliced apples, and toasted almonds.  Droooool…

What a gorgeous looking apple torte!

I totally didn't burn the top of the torte... it's just enhanced golden brown.

It shall henceforth be known as Pactorte.

Delicious layars of pastry, cheese, apple, and almonds.

It would appear that we both thoroughly enjoyed that torte.

I think pumpkin pie and apple torte are great desserts for people who whole-heartedly love delicious desserts, but may not have the sweetest of the sweet tooths.  They have great complex flavours, wonderful rich textures, and best of all they go great with a cuppa!

I also went all out and cooked a proper Thanksgiving dinner including: turkey, mashed tateys, turnip, carrots, brussel sprouts, gravy, aaand cranberry jelly!  I realise this is what most proper English housewives makes each and every Sunday for dinner (minus the cranberry jelly), but I am so totally not there yet (and really have no desire to be, sorry husband).  But I digress, suffice it to say, following this exemplary example of my culinary skills, I had one very happy man in the house (and I don’t look too upset about the whole meal either), I just hope he doesn’t get too used to it!

They should have sent a poet.

I know the way to his heart.

I know the way to my own heart!

I would say that this year’s Nomsgiving was a great success.  To further prove my point, while I was adding the photos to this post, Ian got up to get himself seconds of pumpkin pie.  I have an official convert in the house.  And me?  I am already excited for the next turkey based holiday meal…