17 August 2009

Portland Pie-Off 2009: The Aftermath

Brown Butter n' Bourbon Peach Pie

Squash Solution Pie

Cursive Type Writer Ingredients Card

Yesterday was entirely too exciting. There were around 70 pies to be judged and I was on pins and needles the entire time. When it came time to announce the winners I was nearly in need of an oxygen tank and a scotch.Kevin held my hand and fed me pickles during the really tense moments- I really owe him a card or some flowers. But, the first category announced was for Best Stone Fruit Pie, and I was the winner! My adoring fans (my dad) really gave me a big cheer, and I think the ribbon ceremony was better for it. Really though- I had a lot of friends show up and give me support and I want to thank them for making the day so much fun and making me feel so damn special!

My savory pie, The Squash Solution, did not win anything. I had never made a savory pie before, let alone a savory custard pie, and I didn't actually have a recipe, and it wasn't very good. I was talking to my aunt who is a talented and sensible chef yesterday morning and I was like "MY PIE IS ALL WET! THE SQUASH IS LEAKING ALL THIS DAMN WATER! WHAT DO I DO?" and she was like "MOP IT! MOP IT WITH TOWELS! PUT A STACK OF TOWLES ON TOP AND THEN PUT A BOOK ON IT!" I followed her advice (the mopping part, not the book pressing funny-guy idea), and it really did take care of the water issue. However, next time I will properly purge my squash with salt in advance. I only got to taste it after the voting and it didn't have enough salt and had too much fucking squash in it! So that was kind of embarrassing. So, it looked pretty but was not really a solution for my squash problem after all. The lessons learned: Do not rush when baking. Do not experiment with something you have never attempted before and then allow your delusional self to believe you might win something for it. Do experiment with ingredients you have at hand, but maybe do some research about them and practice once or twice before attaching your name to them.

Brown Butter and Bourbon Peach Pie

One Double Pie Crust* (modified for lattice top)
*Recipe adapted from Bakers Illustrated

3 cups AP flour
10 T frozen butter
7 T chilled lard
1/2 t salt
1 T sugar
10 T ice water mixed with 1 T vodka

5 Large, ripe but firm peaches
1 stick of Danish butter
1/2 cup bourbon (I used Corner Creek)
2/3 cup white sugar
5 T potato starch
1 t salt
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 t grated nutmeg

Put flour, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the lard, and then shave frozen butter into the mix (or add finely chopped frozen butter bits, but back sure you don't warm them with your hands as you cut them up). Slowly add in ice cold water+vodka until the dough comes together and is shaggy but not too wet. Split into two lumps, wrap in plastic and chill for an hour.

Roll out half the pie dough for the bottom of the pie. Gently place in pie pan, leaving extra dough overhanging the edge of the pan. Refrigerate. Meanwhile, create lattice top for pie and place in freezer. (Tutorial coming soon!)

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Boil a large pot of water, and once boiling put peaches in for 2 minutes to loosen their skins. After 2 minutes plunge peaches into an ice bath to prevent further cooking. Skin the peaches, cut into sixths, and place in a large mixing bowl. Squeeze 1/2 lemon over them (look out for seeds!), pour the 1/2 cup of bourbon on top, stir, and then set aside.
In a large skillet with the flame set low, start melting the stick of butter. When it is completely melted, increase heat to medium or medium high. Whisk the butter as it starts to brown. You are trying to get all those milk solids nice and toasty! I took my brown butter to a dark chocolaty brown, and then I rested the pan in an ice bath to prevent burning. Pour butter over the peaches and stir. Take about half of the peaches out of the bowl and put into the skillet you used for the butter. Put this pan back on the stove and turn the heat to high. Give those peaches a little color, and then return to the mixing bowl. Add the potato starch one tablespoon at a time. Stir well and pour into the chilled pie crust. Attach the lattice top, spritz with water and sprinkle some lovely sugar on top. Put in the oven and immediately reduce temperature to 425 degrees. Bake for a half hour at this temp, and then give the pie a half turn and reduce temp. to 350 degrees. Bake for another half hour until brown and bubbly. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and a shot of bourbon.


MuffinCastle said...

I love you and your pies!!!

lacyunderpants said...

holy YAY!!!

Ali and Evan said...

Your pie was lovely. I felt honored to "judge it." Congrats! Hi to Kevin.