Sunday, August 10, 2014

Melissa: A half-hearted Challenge 4 and a quadruple-hearted Challenge 5!

Hey everyone!  Long time, no post, it feels!  I definitely slacked off for Challenge #4: "Foreign Foods" and made a very sad, very boring "chocolate soup" that I accidentally cooked an egg in.  I won't bore you with the stories of my pain and agony caused by that "chocolate soup", but I will leave you with this picture (if you look closely, you can see the little bits of egg yolk floating at the top! Yuck!)

So, in order to compensate for my gross failure at Challenge #4, I decided to participate in Challenge #5... four times.
Yes, four.  Not because I was trying to up Jenni Cole Miller and her three awesome pies, but because the occasion actually arose to bake four whole pies.

First, I decided to make a buttered apple pie from Amelia Simmons' 1790's cookbook, "American Cookery", because there is an orchard right by my house with the most delightful apples and nothing is better than a hot apple pie.  The recipe goes like this:
A buttered apple Pie.
Pare, quarter and core tart apples, lay in paste No. 3, cover with the same; bake half an hour, when drawn, gently raise the top crust, add sugar, butter, cinnamon, mace, wine or rose-water q: s:

Instead of using Simmons' crust recipe I just made up some of Hannah Glasse's Puff Paste, which is my go-to pie crust recipe because pie crust is just one of those things that needs to be constant and strong in your life.

I really liked this recipe because it called for adding all of the extras after the initial baking, which made a delightful buttery soupy pie that didn't have mushy apples.  I would definitely recommend it!  Instead of using white wine, we used my friend's homemade hard cider, which was amazing.  It was apple on apple deliciousness.

After putting the crust on, I posed for a picture.  I love my pies :)

After taking the top crust off and filling the pie.  This little number went back in the oven for about ten minutes so everything would melt together into epic deliciousness.

My friends and I then decided that we would take a trip to the local historic village and park to have a picnic all dressed out, which definitely required food.  I began with the intention to make a meat pie, since I had promised I'd make one for my beau for this challenge, but I didn't plan on the other two, they just sort of... happened.  My dear friend Amy is a vegetarian and I wanted to make her an original dish that was originally vegetarian instead of making something with tofu or eggplant instead of meat.  So, back to Hannah Glasse I went.  I found two of her recipes, one for a beef steak pie and one for an onion pye.  Perfect!  Two pies for the challenge, one of which was perfectly vegetarian.

I made the beef steak pie to the recipe except I used stew cuts of beef instead of hunks of steak (for ease of eating) and used beef broth instead of water.  The onion pye was made almost exactly to the recipe (even down to the point of grating my own nutmeg) with the omission of eggs, because I'm not a fan of those :)  All in all it took one medium onion, two Idaho potatoes, and four small apples to make that pie.

But wait!  What were we to eat for dessert?  I had my eye on this recipe for a long time, and was just waiting for an opportunity to make it... Frederick Nutt's Chocolate Tart!

Now I know that the challenge technically said pies, but our modern term for pie does not necessarily mean that there is a top and a bottom crust, so I just went with it.  I followed the recipe completely!  If I was to make it again I would use some sugar and cream of tartar in the meringue to make it more appetizing.  It looked like browned snow on the top of the tart, and since it's mostly for looks anyway, it's probably best to actually make it look good.

All of the pies were served at our historic picnic today, and a get-together with good friends and good food can never go wrong.  All of the pies got top marks!  I'm so proud of my creations.  PIE!!

The Challenge: #5 Pie!

The Recipe: Two from Hannah Glasse's "The Art of Cookery", one from Frederick Nutt's "The Imperial and Royal Cook", and one from Amelia Simmons' "American Cookery"

The Date/Year and Region: Late 18th-early 19th century America

How Did You Make It: Lots and lots of work!

Time to Complete: I would say that each pie took about 2 hours, start to finish.  I made the first pie all in one fell swoop, but for the last three I made the crust the night before and kept it in the fridge so that I didn't go crazy with making insane amounts of crusts and pie at the same time.

Total Cost:  Oh dear, there is no way of knowing.  The first pie might have cost around $10 for all of the ingredients?  For the last three I went to a giant international market called Jungle Jim's (if you are anywhere close to Southwest Ohio, and you are a foodie, seriously go there.  You will thank me later) where I picked up various ingredients for various projects and then stopped by the apple orchard again to get produce for the pies there... I would say each pie probably cost around $10, but who really knows?

How Successful Was It?: All of the pies ended up tasting great!  The apple pie was delightful, I definitely think I will make that recipe again.  The onion pie was extremely oniony!  The onion seeped into the apples and potatoes and really you couldn't taste anything else.  I loved the seasoning, though.  I think I might use that to season the beef steak pie when I make that again.  It also should have baked longer at a lower temperature because I think that was definitely one of those pies where everything should be a little mushy.  The beef steak pie was very simple but excellent, and my beau was so happy to have finally received his promised meat pie!  I think I might season it with something more than pepper and salt next time.  And the chocolate tart, despite the lumpy meringue, was absolutely delicious!  The filling was nice and custardy and chocolatey.  It was the perfect end to a perfect meal.

How Accurate Is It?: With all of my modifications to the original recipes, I think I kept in the spirit of the past.  The things I changed were minor or necessary changes due to what was available to me and my personal tastes.  I don't think I would have liked the dishes as much without my modifications.  I'd rate them pretty high on the accuracy scale, if I do say so myself!

So, there they are, my four dear pies.  All delicious and lovely in their own right!  I can't wait to see what everyone creates for our next challenge!  Happy eating and happy cooking, dear friends!

1 comment:

  1. This was so incredibly good! Thank you so much for the Veggie option!