Here are a couple of recent projects, the designer cherry pie from the PPB and the strawberry trifle from RHC.
The trifle had a lot of little steps, but was light, elegant and delicious. The chiboust is lovely and pairs so nicely with genoise. The only note I have is that next time I’ll increase the strawberries a bit (just my taste, I like fruit in desserts).
The pie I have made before, this was with the last of my frozen sour cherries. Will have to wait until July for more.
Flour Girl, Loopy, Bill and Anne, thanks so much for the kind words!
Loopy, my grandmother taught me to make pie crusts when I was a girl, and while I’ve updated the crust recipe with Rose’s amazing cream cheese crust, I still use her method of fluting the edge. It’s a two-step process, first fold the crust over on itself to form the edge, then pinch the crust together, pushing in from both sides, to create the bump. fold-pinch-pinch, fold-pinch-pinch, etc. I always chill (in the freezer, if there’s room) the pie plate so that I have a little extra time to fuss with it before the crust starts to soften.
The other thing about this pie is that I made the components separately and then combined them, rather than baking them all together. The crust and leaves were blind baked until completely done and golden. The cherries were cooked on the stovetop and poured into the moisture-proofed crust, and I was even able to moisture-proof the underside of the leaves so they would stay crisp longer. Looking forward to the fruits of summer and pie season.
I assume you fold under—so the folded part is touching the rim of the pan, is that correct? And you don’t fold it all and then pinch it all first and then pinch it all? You fold a bit and pinch a bit?
How do you moisture-proof your crusts without making them have a sort of chewy layer?
I do fold it under in one section, then pinch the bumps into it, then continue on. Not sure that it makes a difference, though, whether you do that or fold it all under and then pinch.
The Pie/Pastry Bible has lots of info on fluting crusts and on the various ways to moisure-proof crusts, but this one was brushed with egg white. I have never been able to detect any effect on texture from moisture proofing with either egg white or preserves. I haven’t tried chocolate yet, but imagine that might add a little extra crunch to the crust. The layers for all of these methods are very thin, I think that’s key to keeping them un-noticeable.
Liza, the pie was for Easter and the Trifle was for a gathering of friends.
Dar, I would have loved to try the spun sugar, I’ve enjoyed making other caramel and nougatine pieces in the past. But I had other last minute food to attend to for that evening, and it was a bit humid, so I wasn’t sure about how far ahead I would be able to make the spun sugar. Does it last very long before it melts or evaporates? I was thinking that making it last minute might mean that my kitchen (and me) would be a sticky mess when people arrived. Also wasn’t sure about how to serve- do you remove it before serving? Or try to cut it?
Since you have made caramel before this would be taking it to the next enjoyable step. The recipe that I used, before RHC came out, calls for 17oz. of castor sugar and 2 level teaspoonfuls of corn syrup.(Patisserie by Aaron Maree). I spin the sugar with 2 forks over lightly oiled foil for long strands or over the top of my Panettone for a thicker, shorter dome covering of strands. Make sure that the caramel cools a little before trying to form the strands, this will get you strands not tears. It is very humid here in the South so I prepare it a few hours before taking it to the party. Never have made it for my own party, because it does take some work and clean up. I have buttered the outside of my Kitchen Aid metal bowl and made a cage with the spun sugar. Looked ok but was pretty thick. That had to be broken and not cut.
As far as serving, you can try cutting and or braking up the pieces placing the broken pieces on the plates along side your dessert.
You might want to do a practice run to see how much melt or evaporation you would get in your area. If you want a wow factor, give it a try.