Saturday, May 18, 2013

52 weeks of baking: 20 - maple cream pie

Let me forward this by stating, this pie was a bit of a failure. But only a bit and mostly just cosmetically. I was in the mood for pie so I went to my go-to, Smitten Kitchen, and found this recipe for Nutmeg Maple Cream Pie. It had simple ingredients and featured the best pie crust recipe ever (seriously, get with this pie crust. It's stupid easy and stupid delish).

I had a helper this week. My handsome husband has had most of the week off so he was home to play in the kitchen. This is where we went wrong. Both of us in the kitchen is fun, it's how we usually make dinner, but fun = you don't have your baking game face on. We tend to giggle and throw spatulas at each other, not the best environment for serious cooking.

Our downfall was when we were reducing the maple syrup. Brendon was stirring it and I was grinding nutmeg and definitely not paying attention and we waited a little too long and it started caramelizing. So when I added the cold cream, BOOM, all that maple syrup just jumped up and went quickly from liquid to stringy bits to a big ball of caramelized maple syrup (thinking back now, I bet it would have been yummy) floating in half and half. Not quite the smooth mixture we were looking for. I thought it was done for, but I took our hunk of maple and melted it down into another pot while warming the cream and then mixed the two together. And it worked! A tad more toasty than it ought to have been, but it worked.

Our next mistake, well, my mistake, was forgetting that our oven apparently runs a little hot and not setting it 25 degrees lower. So we had a little burn-age on the top of our pie. The top and edges were festively blackened (the crust maaaay have been par-baked a bit too long too, oops. Also, ugliest pie crust everrrr, finishing edges is not my thing apparently). 

I got this pastry blender for my birthday! Welcome to my life pastry blender, I love you.

Par-bakin' with beans! Now thanks to this pie and Amazon, I have real ceramic pie weights!

Did you know what an actual... nut of nutmeg looks like? It's so neat! I had no idea!

Even screwing up as much as we did, this pie tastes amazing. The ugliest pie I've ever made, yes, but it is freaking delicious. I can't imagine how good it would be without the errors. And yes, it has liver spots. SO APPETIZING. On the real though, it is GOOD. We had three pieces last night.

Also, one of the many perks of having Brendon in the kitchen? Someone to help document! Too bad his pictures always come out like this:

Quality photography, y'all. And yes, that's a miller lite. BOOZIN' AND BAKIN'. JK, it was an ingredient in the dinner I was making. But I'm not saying we didn't finish it off. 

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