I’m back—well rested and well fed and ready to begin the new year!
Thank you all for responding to each other and I’ll try to catch up with the questions that have remained unanswered as soon as possible.
Here are some Hope highlights from our lovely vacation (for me vacation means getting to cook and bake special things as well as rest).
The hornet's (paper wasp's) nest is just outside our back door but high enough above to keep them and us safe from each other. I can almost forgive them their sting when i observe the splendid home they built for themselves!
Be sure to try the Primo Focaccia which has been posted on the blog many months ago. I think it is my top favorite bread. Since I couldn't bear to throw out any of the fed starter i used all 160 grams and increased everything else by 1.185 times.
The surprise of our vacation extravaganzas was this 11 year old cherry pie! i found cherries in the back of the top shelf of my freezer that were dated 1996. Because I had frozen them with 50 grams of sugar in a ball canning jar, they were still amazingly red and turgid as opposed to flat and withered.
I made the full amount of flaky cream cheese pastry designed for a two crust pie so that i could roll the bottom crust (400 grams/14 ounces) to 15 inches and have this beautiful substantial border. I added any trimming scraps to the remaining 224 grams/about 8 ounces and rolled it into a 13 inch long rectangle for the strips. i was able to cut 14 strips.I used a foil ring right from the beginning of baking which is responsible for the even browning of the edges and lattice.
As you can see from the photo, the crust was perfectly browned and flaky--you'll have to take my word for it that it was also marvelously tender and flavorful. And the cherries tasted wonderful! Note I'm not recommending freezing anything for this long a time. My freezer is close to 0 degrees F. and since we are usually here just on weekends doesn't get opened as often as it would if I were here every day. All this contributed to the cherries' survival! I'm just reporting this as a fascinating factoid!