Tag Archives: almond

Here comes the Sun Pie

13 Feb

Sadly, there was no pie night tonight; instead, there was a pie day! I have been hired by The People’s Supermarket as a part-time pie cook and had my first paid day today. Today I went for all-waste use (waste being slightly squishy vegetables and bruised fruit) and today only spent ¦3.10 for three pies and a crumble, and that was only for flour and sugar. I went in with no prior idea of what to make and let the ingredients guide me. We had a whole lot of potatoes with eyes, button mushrooms, oranges and apples, and a variety of single vegetables. From this I (and a volunteer assistant Fan from Paris, who is the best potato slicer I’ve ever seen) decided to do a potato and mushroom layer pie with cream and a potato and stray vegetable pie (with occasional mushrooms).

What’s inside Pie #1?

The veg: potatoes, button mushrooms, onions (proportions to your taste, but enough to fill a casserole dish)

The flavor: s+p, milk, veg stock, chives, rosemary, grated mild cheddar

The method: Peel and slice the potatoes and mushrooms lengthwise while caramelizing the onions (roughly chopped). Lay it all down in a buttered pan in layers: potato base, mushrooms, seasoning, cheese, onion, repeat. Remember to add enough chives, pepper, and especially salt – since you can’t really taste it before it’s cooked, it has to be perfectly seasoned! End on a potato layer. Pour milk and stock over so there’s enough to steam the ingredients but not boil them. Bake covered at 200°C for 30 minutes. If it’s too dry, add more milk. Cover with a crust (I did a shortcrust lattice this time, but a complete cover would probably have worked better) and bake uncovered for a further 20-30 minutes.

What’s inside Pie #2?

The veg: potatoes, one broccoli, onions, one zucchini/courgette, whatever mushrooms are left over from the other pie (not too many)

The flavor: s+p, chives, rosemary, veg stock, grated mild cheddar

The method: Steam broccoli in stock for about five minutes. Slice all vegetables as above. Layer as above. Pour in stock and bake as above; cover with crust and… you get it, right?

Other notes: I used about 7 large potatoes, five button mushrooms, and two onions total to make these pies. Together they made ten individual servings, seven of which were sold!

Results: Fabulously savory. I’m not a big fan of mushrooms so the first one didn’t taste so good to me, but everyone else loved it. (Having big black chunks in a veg pie kind of throws me off.) I did put a little too much liquid in it though – perhaps it would have been beneficial to parboil the potatoes just a wee bit before they went a-roasting. The vegetable one was better, with a nice variety of flavors. I have never understood why people eat broccoli with cheese, but today I finally understood (although in the interest of time, cleaning, and health I wouldn’t do it to plain steamed broccoli). Both of these were not quite squishy enough for me – I do like to cook everything down to a mush – but today’s goal was to have the vegetables visible in their original shapes and colors, and I thought a layer pie accomplished this quite well. It also might have been nice to add something green and leafy like parsley right at the end.

Here Comes the Suuuuun Pie… everybody’s happy…

Today I baked a pie that, like Lee’s sun-flavored lollipops for scav, looks and tastes like sunshine. I mean, don’t call a judge on me, but I thought it was pretty amazing. We had like 15 clementines and blood oranges that were starting to get rot on the skin, which makes them unfit for sale but perfectly good to eat. Once again I took inspiration from said person and thought the only way to improve such delightful creatures would be to caramelize them. So I set about making some syrup (110 mL water, 225g sugar, two pinches of cinnamon, stir continually until thick) and toasting some almonds and mixed that sticky mess all together with the orange wedges. I blind-baked a crust for the bottom, let it cool, and put the mixture evenly across. I then laid strips of sweetened shortcrust in a sunburst pattern and ended up with this:

Ok, maybe it’s not as glorious as the lollipops, but I still tried. I also used the rest of the mixture (there were 15 clementines, after all) to make some crumbles, which all sold.

(Also, I ate dinner at Ciao Bella. It was glorious. I think the qualifications to work there are to have two or more of the following: balding pate, mustache, paunch, age, and the idea that Italian food is the greatest on earth and you have chosen more than wisely by coming to their restaurant. The latter of which is so true.)

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