like so many others, I got a little bored when life stopped. I’ve always been very into cooking so when I got to the farm I became the defacto chef and cooked dinner almost every night. I’ve never been into baking tho, too time consuming, too precise and too intimidating tbh.
then came The Great Canadian Baking Show. it’s one of those fun reality competition shows where everyone is nice to each other and the contestants even help each other out when they can. I loved it. and it made me hungry. and thus my baking obsession was born.
I started with this extremely “rustic” chicken pot pie. as you can see, it’s not pretty. I had never really worked with pie dough. the recipe I was using was a random one I googled and I couldn’t get it to roll out properly. you can see the liberal amounts of “fuck it” that I applied to the finishing touches. the filling was delicious but the crust texture and taste was meh.
my next attempt was a little better, but still vv “rustic.” this time I managed to roll the dough out a bit better, but it was still quite wonky so I added a crumble topping. it was pretty yum. frozen rhubarb from last year made a decent but not super thrilling filling.
after posting that one on Twitter I was visited by an angel, you may know her as Peyton Alexander aka @PacificParamour. she hooked me up with this recipe. THIS. CHANGED. EVERYTHING. my next attempt (filled with last year’s frozen strawberries and rhubarb) looked like an actual pie and the crust was soooo flaky and soooo yum!
and then suddenly the rhubarb in the garden was ready to start picking and I turned into a pie making fiend! the fresh rhubarb was tastier, moister and easier to cook into a creamy but firm pie filling. I also discovered the joy of brushing the top crust with egg and then sprinkling it with coarse sugar. SO YUM OMG!!!! I even used the crust trimmings to make these lil hand pies, both closed like calzones and open like mini pies.
one thing I didn’t love was the waste and extra work of trimming the pie crust, plus the crust is sooooo yum I wanted more of it on the pie! so instead of trimming it to fit the pan, I started rolling the two layers of dough together to make a nice big ring of crust around the outer edge. I was extremely pleased with the results. this is the final form of pie imo. (THE FLAKY CRONCH OMG.)
so in the last few months I made waaaayyyyy too many pies and experimented with lots of different fillings, I made apple pies, mixed berry pies, apricot pies and even mule dear pies. I made them in cast iron frying pans, metal pie pans and ceramic pie pans. my thoughts on pan types is that the cast iron pans are best for savoury pies cuz they are deeper so you can cram more meat and veg in there. I prefer the ceramic pie pan for the fruit pies because the thick pan gets the most even bake on the crust and it’s shallow enough that the pastry isn’t overwhelmed by the sweet filling. I’ve been making fruit pies in ceramic pie pans exclusively lately but unfortunately we’ve been eating them before I remember to take pictures lol.
I will leave you with a picture of an epic mule dear pie. I brushed the top with egg yolk beaten with fresh garden herbs that I had pulverized w a mortar and pestle and then I sprinkled coarse Himalayan pink salt on top.
that’s it for this week! let me know if you guys would like to know about how I made the fillings for all the pies…
love ya, stay safe, eat pastry