Thursday, 10 September 2009

When in doubt, make pie.

In my usual bleary-eyed early(ish) morning email and blog checking I suddenly noticed that it had been ten days since I'd posted. Ten days! How on earth had that happened? Then I mentally tracked back across those hours and it gradually became clear. What a ten days it has been.

There's been a flurry of strange happenings around here lately and as a result the last week or so has disappeared never to be seen again.

First, Sniff decided that since the tiny bird clearly wasn't impressive enough, he needed to try harder. Enter the rat. Yes, I did say rat. Now, it was a small one, but still twice the size of a mouse, and Sniff conveniently herded it into the study, the smallest, most full, room of the house. Great stuff Sniff, thanks for that. Cue a frantic hour and a half of trying to chase, maneuver, and encourage said rodent out of the place. The relief of its final exit was brief as I returned to absolute carnage. Books off shelves, fabric from my stash on the floor and a broken bobbin case. It was not a good afternoon.

Then after that debarcle came the big stuff, about jobs and all sorts. Followed
by stressing over some teaching.

So, what did I do to ease these troubled times? I did the only thing I could. I made pie. On the first of September it was as if the god of weather himself had flicked the switch and made it autumn. The air was chilly, the leaves beginning to crisp and fall, the afternoon light slightly weaker. Great! I thought, now I can get back to pies and sausage and mash, and roasts. Then came the curve ball, it suddenly got warm again. Talk about messing with my seasonal excitement.

So I made the pastry, and it sat in the fridge and went unused, until I couldn't stand it any more. I needed pie, I needed hot fruity bubbling pastry-enclosed reassurance on a plate, covered in cream. I needed something homely and comforting to remind me that despite the rats of this world things are indeed very good.

Now, my only issue with this little pie (well, galette really as I was trying to cut down pastry consumption) is the filling wasn't quite as bubbling and fruity as I expected. Probably by fault as I just adapted the filling of something else. However, when we had it the second day it was much better. Weird, but good of course!

My real delight came from the pastry. I wanted something a bit different
, and my experiment worked perfectly. I can't wait to make it again, this time to use with a proper pie filled with British apples.

As a result, I recommend you try the pastry, but use with your own filling recipe, just to make sure. I used 2 cups of blueberries (with some raspberries to make up the amount) 2 tbsp of cornflour and a dash of lemon juice and it just wasn't quite right. In fact it was very much "alright" and next time I'll be back to good ole apple pie, and no messin'

Cinnamon pastry (makes enough for one 8" galette, but could easily be doubled.)

3oz cold butter, cut into small cubes/chunks
6oz plain flour
1 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
1.4 tsp cinnamon

In a medium bowl, place the flour, cinnamon and sugar and mix. Rub the cold butter with your fingertips so that it resembles coarse breadcrumbs (I used my new pastry blender, and I'm so in love!) The slowly add a little milk at a time until the pastry just comes together - I make it so it still seems a little dry.

Wrap in clingfilm and leave in the fridge for at least an hour before using.

Alternatively you can make it in a food processor, but I'm afraid I don't have one, hence the hand instructions.

oh, oh, oh, how could I almost forgot, I won an award! Thank you Liz! So, in the next post you'll get seven things you might not know about me...(and I promise it won't take as long this time around!)


Jumbleberry Orchard said...

Ah I totally agree with what you said about the weather - talk about teasing us with the prospect of crisp leaves, scarves and roast dinners!

Anyway, the pie looks amazing and I may well borrow the pastry recipe in the coming days :-)

Liz said...

Cats and their presents! One of ours is currently obsessed with frogs (we have a garden pond) and doesn't seem to understand we don't actually want them in the house. I could just eat a piece of that pie so will definitely be giving the pastry recipe a try.

Siri said...

Such a good post title. Then again, you know I'm always a sucker for a good pie.

Cucinista said...

Oh, but the pictures are beautiful! I'll have to try the pastry sometime -- looks very good. And it's also apple season...

Aoife said...

Time does fly in blogland. I find that when something is either too big or too small it's difficult to know whether to blog. I like your maxim - if in doubt make pie!

Rosy said...

Ew ew! I remember living up in Crouch End and there were a family of rats who used to parade up and down the patio in broad daylight right in front of us! Too horrifying for words. Feeling for you!! The pie sounds amazing though - I know what you mean about the weather! I'm considering making my first stew of the autumn x

the twins said...

your pie looks great!