Sunday, October 12, 2008

pie quest

it all started with a favor.

JB asked me to take a picture of a homemade pie for a promotional piece that JB is creating for a play. so i went in search for a pie...and alas, almost all of the ones i found looked pretty. too pretty....not at all homemade. then i got the idea to just make the pie so that way it could be styled/made in such a way to fit with the theme of the play.

then the adventure began.

i took about a week to gather all of the ingredients (i.e., ca grown peaches, organic pastry flour...which was a bad idea btw..but more on that later, plugra butter, an appropriate pie dish that could look like it was from the 50s, and some pre-made pie crust as backup) at various stores. the plan was to make the pie on saturday as i wanted to have all morning to make the pie and then take afternoon shots.

well, the best laid plans....it didn't go too well. first up, i woke up really late on saturday. after 12pm which mean i had lost a lot of time and precious daylight. crapola. which means i was trying to rush through the pie making process ...and i think almost everyone knows that a rushed mindset is just a really bad idea when trying to make a pie. but i rolled up my sleeves and got to it.

cleaning and slicing the peaches



stewing them


making the crust...which didn't turn out very well....particularly for the recipe (from the 1930s) i was using. i think the pastry flour had something to do with it and the quantities of butter...i have used this recipe before with unbleached white flour and it turned out ok...but this time i used organic unbleached white pastry flour. i remember thinking that the measurements might be off because my 1930s recipe called for "cups" rather than ounces...which as we all know in baking...it is all about the weight. i didn't have time to experiment further with the dough as i was racing against the sun.



so i only used my "from scratch" crust for the bottom shell. while the bottom shell was baking in the oven, i went to the fridge to get the pre-made crust and was thanking the gods that i bought the pre-made crust as back-up. it is good to be prepared sometimes. i used the pre-made dough to for the lattice top. JB had asked for a "juicy" pie....so i thought a lattice would do nicely.


i kept telling myself that "it has to look good enough for you to photograph...you don't have to eat it"....which was almost enough to make me cry as this was over a couple hours into the process at this point. once everything was assembled i put it into the oven for the final bake....


and feeling pretty frustrated as i watched the clock and realized i would have very little sunlight time for my shots.

when it came out of the oven, i rushed around to different parts of my apartment trying all of these different kind of shots.....and also tried not to get burned (super duper hot pie) or damage the pie in the process. the crust...i discovered is quite fragile.

it wasn't until i took about over a hundred pie shots in various rooms and over 5 hours into this whole pie quest that i realized that i could just take more shots tomorrow (i.e., sunday morning).



talk about being goal-oriented. there i was yelling at myself "must make pie NOW! take shots NOW!"... when taking shots on sunday morning was also very acceptable. realizing this helped me relax a bit. so how did it taste? it tasted ok....not great. i have definitely made better. i think the adage about pie making is very true....that it takes a lot of time, love, and patience to make a good pie. those qualities were definitely not there on saturday.

No comments: