As I continue my journey through SUGAR BUTTER FLOUR: THE WAITRESS PIE BOOK, this week’s pie is from page 114, “Old Joe’s Slice of Heaven Pie.” She’s a beauty. Follow along to enjoy pictures and my random and deep thoughts while baking.
First, I should confess I made this pie without a net (hairnet) because I forgot it. My sources report there is only one slice left of Pie 2.0, which had to travel almost 400 miles to be eaten. No complaints of stray hairs have come to my attention. None. Zero. Nada. Zilch. Still have shoulders up and breath held until I receive confirmed hair-free consumption of that last piece, though.
Now I shall geek out on pie math.
Let’s say a pie is made of 3 layers: crust, filling, and topping. If we let these 3 layers sum to 4 parts (so they are not 1:1:1), I may compare them quantitatively to my previous pie experiences. My own pie recipes often have these layers in 1:2:1 or even 1:3:0 ratios. In my “Butter Sugar Flour” cookbook, many of the pie designs are in a 1:1:2 ratio. The crust is well planned and not always thin. The topping is often (intended to be) twice the volume of the filling. And that topping can be glorious (see Pie 1.0).
I made Pie 2.0 for my best friend. He likes coconut. I do not. I always taste it, though, to see whether my opinion has changed but it never does. Dislike of coconut comes in two varieties: don’t like the texture vs don’t like the taste. During the concoction of Pie 2.0, I tested both. The custard called for a tiny hit of coconut extract. So I tasted the creamy custard before I dumped in the pile o’ coconut. Yuck. And then I put a few flakes o’ coconut on my tongue, let my teeth have at it, and had to spit it in the trash. Yuck. But, whatev. Best friend declared disgust (and didn’t try) Pie 1.0 because he so despises lemon. So, there’s that.
For Pie 2.0 the pie shell is made from crushed Nilla wafers. Good so far.
The custard is cooked in a pan with a whisk while pouring in a thin and steady stream of hot milk. Then it is pushed through a fine mesh sieve (to remove something lumpy, I guess). I searched my kitchen for something sieve-like and found two candidates. One is my bacon splatter cover and I didn’t want the custard to taste like bacon (though that would be better than tasting like coconut) so I used my flour sifter instead. This step seemed silly since I was going to add loads of coconut.
The custard must cool to room temperature and then refrigerate. It is so temperamental it needs a wax paper shield to stop it from skinning. Ick. In this picture you can see I forgot to add the coconut. I had to uncover, dump, stir, recover. Exhausting is the baking process. ‘Specially without a net.
In making the topping, I learned the difference between whipped cream and butter cream frosting: about 12 seconds. They are both made from whipping heavy cream, but I should have stopped before I did, because I watched the cream turned nice and fluffy (“whipped”) right before it turned buttery (whoops). Oh well. I wasn’t going to eat it. And the next step insisted I cover the mound with tons of coconut, so nobody noticed.
I’ve already planned Pie 3.0. Purchased the delicious ingredients and, since I will help eat it, I’ll even wear a hairnet. It’ll be chocolate and pretty if I don’t mess it up. Stay tuned.