August 23, 2014

Civil War Peach Pie for the Historical Food Fortnightly: Challenges 5 and 6

I knew that pie baking was one of the challenges. I was dreading it. But as it came and went I felt secure in not doing it.
 

I'll do the next one, I convinced myself. Besides, why would anyone want to see my pie when there were REAL pies out there to drool over.

The truth is, the thought of making a pie is frightening. Terrifying. I don't make pies.

I look upon every pie recipe with incredulity. Every time I see a pie at a bake sale I assure myself that it's in a store bought crust. Sometimes when I'm sleeping, I dream of pie filling dripping down the walls like blood in a horror movie.

It all started with the first pie I ever made. My mom and I were bored. We decided we'd make a pie as practice for one that we wanted to make for Christmas.

We bought all of the ingredients and started in earnest. Barely following the recipe, we plopped all sorts of things in there we thought would be good. Flour flew as we rolled out our crust and rerolled our crust and mangled our crust back together. We put frankenpie in the oven, shrugged at each other, and set the temperature to whatever we thought sounded good. The smell of cinnamon and apples wafted to us for about an hour before we went to check on it.

The oven door creaked open. We peered in at our creation together.

It was beautiful! And it tasted like rainbows and fluffy clouds.

 So we tried to make it again for Christmas and instead of rainbow-cloud pie, we ended up with swamp pie. We gave up. I tried making other pies over the years since the first one and they've never turned out. If it wasn't burnt crust, it was mushy crust, or watery filling. I've gave up making pies but I'm not upset about it.

I am now convinced that the person who made up the saying of "easy as pie" was being sarcastic. There are even whole forums dedicated to pie troubleshooting. It's not me. It's pie.

But wait, you say. You've seen me with a million pies you say? Oh yes. 

That's all been a lot of sleight of hand, smoke and mirrors. I've held pies, I've made pie filling, I've helped make pies. But most of the time, I watch other people make pies. People are only too happy to make pies. 


I know what you are going to say. But what about the book?


Completely ghostwritten. In fact, I didn't even read it. :) 

 

The Challenge: Pies and In season Fruits and Vegetables

The Recipe: 




The Date/Year and Region:
1856, Philadelphia


How Did You Make It: 


Ingredients:

Crust:
- 1/2 Pound Butter
- 2 1/2 cups Flour

Filling:

-Peaches, peeled, pitted and diced
-Sugar

Instructions

Cut the cold  butter into cubes and add to the flour, rub the pieces of butter though your fingers until entirely flaky. Divide the dough in half.  Roll out one half of the dough on a floured surface using a floured rolling pin. Place the dough in the pie tin. Fill the pie crust with the peaches and add sugar to taste. Roll out the second crust and cover the pie. Crimp the edges together and put some holes in the top crust. Bake for 10 minutes in an oven preheated to 450. Turn the temperature down to 350 and bake until golden brown, around 45 minutes. 

Time to Complete:
About 1 hour.

Total Cost:
About $3.00

How Successful Was It?:
The crust was delicious. I definitely did not add enough sugar to the peaches. I was being conservative as I had never made it before.  I wish I had added some spices and more sugar to the filling and  a little sugar to the crust but was trying to keep as accurate as the recipe said. 

P.S. I'm fairly sure this pie only turned out because of spite. :)

6 comments :

  1. I think you did a good job. :) this was an enjoyable read. Now I wish I had made a post about my first (and last) attempt at making hardtack...

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    Replies
    1. It took Andy and I awhile to get it. Recipes don't really work, you just have to know what it is supposed to feel like. I would have loved to have seen photos of your hardtack though.

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  2. Mmmm... looks so good. Pie is tricky, but I didn't get as fancy as you did (didn't put a crust layer over the blueberries). I didn't know you had a book either!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I'm not sure why pie has a reputation for being easy. It's only easy after the 300th pie, I guess. :)

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  3. I made my own pie crust for the first time for the pies challenge. It came out much better than a store-bought crust. I made my grandmother's recipe and only used the bottom crust on my pies.

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  4. It looks great though. I was almost certain I should have waited to for the "things you are afraid to cook" challenge.

    ReplyDelete

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