Friday, 10 April 2015

American Pieday

At this point I suspect that this blog is at least eighty percent pie.

It may not have escaped your notice that March the Fourteenth, Two thousand and fifteen was American* PiDay.

So, of course, we baked an American pie.
Alas, this pie was made to take to friends, so the girls didn't get a nibble of it.
Naturally, therefore, we had to make another one.

Pecan** Pie

Note that as this is an American pie it uses American cup measurement rather than imperial or metric.
If you are baking it with the kids I recommend you make them do the conversion and call it their maths for the day.
Or buy a set of measuring cups: that works too.


One packet of ready rolled pastry***
One cup of soft golden muscovado sugar, or whatever sugar you have in, I am not the sugar-police
Three cups of golden and maple syrups in whatever proportion you prefer (or just use the golden syrup on its own)
Two tablespoons dark**** rum
A quarter-cup of softened butter
Three large free-range***** eggs
One teaspoon pure vanilla extract extracted from actual vanilla
A tiny pinch of salt
A largish bag of pecans, or one small bag of pecans and one small bag of salted pecans (bliss).

Roll out the pastry, put it in a lined (trust me on this) pie tin, trim it, put it in the fridge and get o with the fun part.

Put the sugar, syrup and butter in a larger-than-you-think-you-need saucepan.
Add the rum.
Admonish Small Cook for carelessly splashing the rum over the counter, pointing out that this is Mummy's good rum.
 Endeavour to explain how the rum can be good when rum is alcoholic and you said only yesterday that alcohol is bad for you.
Try not to sound like Homer Simpson.
Discover, to great relief, that Smallest Cook has started snapping her teeth at both Small and Desperate-For-A-Distraction Cook.
Interrogate Smallest Cook on this matter: learn that rum is for pirates and crocodiles eat pirates and  that is why she is now a crocodile.

"Honey-Child, fetch Momma's shotgun, there's a 'gator in the house".

Note, with some dismay, that neither child points out the difference between crocodiles and alligators.
Resolve to focus on Natural History in the near future.

Put saucepan on stove turn on heat and stir the whole boiling lot until it is boiling a whole lot.

Boil for another minute.
Allow Small and Smallest cooks to take turns stirring the mass of boiling sugars.
Take photographs, possibly as evidence for social services.

Allow the syrupy mess to cool.

Meanwhile smash the nuts into itty bitty pieces with the end of a rolling pin.
Turn on the oven to a low pie heat (around 180 celsius for us)
Put an oven tray on the bottom shelf.
Make sure it's on you don't particularly care for.
Pour the broken nuts into the pie-case.
If using the salted pecans make sure you combine the two kinds of nuts thoroughly.

Beat the eggs.
Stir the eggs, salt and vanilla into the cooled syrup.
If the syrup isn't cool wait till it is: you are not making scrambled eggs right now.
Do not check the temperature of the syrup with your fingers.
Do not use Smallest Cook's fingers either.
No matter what she says.

Pour the egg-and-syrup mixture over the nuts.

Put the pie into the oven for approximately fifty minutes.

While you are waiting wash everything before the syrup mixture has time to turn to glue.

Take out the pie when it is golden and lovely and pecan pie-like.
Failing that, take it out when it starts to burn.

Try to clean the burned-on syrup splashes off the oven tray.
I told you not to use a good one.

Allow pie to cool.

Serve with whipped cream or good vanilla ice cream.

Try to scrape the kids off the ceiling in time for their bath.

*I specify American, as PiDay derives it's name from the date: 3/14/15.
Since for many of us it would be 14/3/15 the phenomenon is less than global.
Fortunately, as the wonderful Vi Hart has pointed out, every day is Tau day so the rest of us can celebrate that, instead, I suggest doing so by baking something round such as, for example, a pie.

**Pronounced Picon, or possibly even P'Con as though it were some sort of comestible Vulcan or something.

***The first time we did this made it properly, with a proper dessert pastry, the second time we were in a hurry so we cheated.
It's what the original recipe said anyway.

****Move away from the Bacardi.
And the Malibu.
I mean, seriously?!
Actually, if you were making a coconut pie...

Watch this space.

*****I am totally the egg-police.

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