Monday, March 24, 2014
The proof is in the crust!
The coconut cream pie crust is baking as I write. The lemon meringue pie crust is cooling on top of 12 cans of dog food (one of the more unique cooling racks to be found in a kitchen!) How do I know which is which? Because the coconut cream has coconut extract and coconut oil in the crust. The lemon meringue has a hint of lemon extract and a little lemon rind in the crust. 63 years it took me to figure out that if you flavor the crust, the pie will have a richer flavor as well. The vodka in the crust doesn't hurt, either. But here's the deal. I have made pie crust for more years than most people care to admit. I have tried a variety of recipes. I have tried a variety of techniques. I now have the recipe down. I now have the technique down. And yet, every time I make a crust it turns out differently. Some roll beautifully. Some have to be pieced together like a patchwork quilt. Some seem amazing dry. Some are moist beyond belief. And the recipe is the same. The technique is the same. It amazes me. But regardless, it ends up in the pie plate, and holds the most flavorful of custards, fruits, creams, and even ice creams at times. You see, the crust is truly the supporting player when it comes to pie. Most people even eschew eating it, doting on the innards. Egotistically, I believe my pie crust deserves an award for best supporting structure. Even though it goes in the plate in a variety of ways, it always seems to come out tasty and even flaky at times. The tough part is getting the people to eat it. Apparently, they've been burned by tasteless tart crusts. More's the pity. Judge not the pie by its filling. Judge it instead in its entirety. Sort of like the humans you meet. Don't give up on part of them just because parts of others have left a bad taste in your mouth! When it comes to life, go for the gusto. Eat the crust! And know you are loved!