Tuesday, April 14, 2009
My middle name is NOT Julia Child
I was all excited to post today about fulfilling one of my resolutions to successfully make a lemon meringue pie. It was Easter last year when my first attempt failed miserably and I had lemon soup (to which my amazing brother and husband still slurped it up for me).
I was boosted by the fact that last week I mastered rice pudding, another one of my cooking failures. For you fans of rice pudding, the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook has a simple no fail stovetop method that produces rich creamy delicious pudding.
SOOOOOOOO...last night I decided that I was going to re-make the pie because my dad and his girlfriend are coming over for dinner tonight before the Brewers Game. My pie crust went much smoother this year due to the fact that I now own this awesome food processor. I rolled it out and baked it. Woohoo things are going great!
Then I start on the filling. I set microwave timers for each part of the process so as to follow the recipe to a T. My eggs temper beautifully and i can tell that the filling is definitely thicker than last time. NO runny soup here! The smell of lemons fills the air of our kitchen. Ok that last line was for drama - it really didn't smell like lemons - it smelled like paint because Nate was working on the pantry doors and offering encouragement as I whisked and stirred.
The filling definitely resembled a pudding as I poured it into the baked pie crust. I put it in the fridge, watched a movie and then checked it. IT DID NOT SET. Granted, this is an improvement over last year's soup. At least I have pudding this year. We have not eaten it yet. I don't expect to come home to work to some magically set pie.
While I stewed at Martha, I read Bittman's great post on TV cooks vs home cooks. I emailed this to my mom lamenting about the pie. She suggested looking at a different recipe to see if the ingredients are off or something. So I looked up the recipe on Martha's website and LORD ALMIGHTY. I should have done this after last year's mishap and all would not be lost. It turns out other people also had the same issues and the trick is that you have to boil the filling for much longer than indicated and you have to make sure it gets to a certain temperature. WHERE WAS THIS INFORMATION IN THE RECIPE? It did not exist.
Lesson: READ THE COMMENTS after recipes if available!
In other cooking failures, I also retried making bread last night. If you want a picture of how loaf #2 turned out, look here. That's right folks, absolutely nothing different about the visual results of loaf #2 compared to loaf #1. Breamachine: 2, Amy: 0. Nate and I may be eating Lean Cuisines from now on.
Photo: Courtesy of Associated Press, via Bitten