After oodles of years relying on pre-made Pillsbury pie crust dough I decided to make it from scratch. Isn't it about time? My kitchen philosophy is fairly well-balanced. I'm no--oh gosh, I can't think of her name, the woman who saves time by making everything with pre-made, processed canned goods and cookie dough--Sandra Lee. Yep, that's her. But I do uphold some standards in the kitchen.
Totally scorn her approach to time-saving measures, but I'm okay with using Pillsbury pie dough. Perhaps because my mother does it, and she declares that it's almost as good as homemade. So if Mama says... The other bit is that making pie dough from scratch always sort of scared me. Now, I didn't really do it completely from scratch like Beth Howard says to do in Making Piece, which I'll review soon.
But when I read the ingredients in Gesine Bullock-Prado's hand pie dough (milk and sweetened condensed milk) I was sold. Her new cookbook is Pie it Forward: Pies, Tortes, Galettes & Other Pastries Reinvented. And she uses a food processor to construct her pie dough. Since I need every opportunity to build my Cuisineart skillz, I was all for trying it out and luckily met with success.
Actually another seasonal event had some role in which recipe I chose, the Berry Hand Pies: The availability of strawberries. Strawberry season arrived at the end of April in east Tennessee and Scott's strawberry booths appeared in parking lots throughout the region. My friends and I who love the strawberries kept each other apprised of where those vendors appeared and whether there were workers selling pints, quarts, and bushels.
Once we pulled into the parking lot of our neighborhood farmer's co-op, Elsa selected which strawberry quarts she wanted. At home I weighed how many we needed according to the 170 g requirement from Bullock-Prado's recipe: just 10. So the rest of the recipe was totally awesome. Read these ingredients and see for yourself: sugar, lemon & lemon zest, finely chopped fresh rosemary, sea salt, and fresh raspberries. The filling's taste was simultaneously zingy and savory.
Elsa wanted to help roll the dough, but I let her brush the egg wash. That seemed more appropriate for her skill level in the kitchen. There was plenty of leftover dough to nibble, for both of us. Yum.
Each recipe is everso tempting due to Tina Rupp's photography. Her change of vantage point and the mixture of close up and distant perspective offer readers a variety of images resulting in a dynamism that keeps us interested in seeing what treat our "sweety pie" will delight us with next. The real shame is that there aren't photos for every recipe.
And that's my big criticism for this cookbook, and every cookbook. I know including photos for each recipe drives the cost up. But I'm also more likely to try a recipe if I can see it. If if looks like something I'd like to eat, then I'll try it. I'm that way with desserts in restaurants. I love when they push the dessert truck out for show and tell. It helped with decision making.
And that's the question: Which recipe is next? Which pie dough will I attempt? Shall I try a sweet or savory pie? Oh my gosh. I cannot decide.
By the way, according to the new FTC regulations, I received a review copy of this book from the publisher, Stewart, Tabori, & Chang, but received no other form of compensation.