Saturday, January 10, 2009

Lemon Cream Pie

I guess I shouldn't have watched Waitress. Because the actual story slipped past me, and all I noticed, were the pies and how she made them. This seeming miracle of crust and filling. I wondered about it. Why didn't I make pies? I mean, I made cakes, I made puddings, but no pies. Maybe pies were essentially an American thing. Twin Peaks. That pie song in the movie Michael. And of course, Waitress with the famous chocolate strawberry pie.

That's when I decided I would google a lemon pie recipe and make it. Just like that. Naive as I was, I thought it'd be a piece of cake.

Well there were recipes in abundance of course. That's what the Internet is for. So I picked one (lemon angel pie with a meringue crust) and trotted off to the stores to get supplies, the first essential supply being, a pie plate. We didn't make pies so we had nothing suitable.

Well I gathered all the ingredients (it called for heavy cream,and there was not heavy cream, so I got double cream instead) and came back home all set to begin.


Did I already say I was naive?

The first reverse was the pie plate. Intent on getting exactly what the recipe asked for, I forgot that our oven was a teeny tiny one. The pie plate wouldn't fit. So I transferred the fixings for the meringue pie crust to one of Mum's corning ware containers. Cos, as she pointed out, Corning Ware is microwaveable.

The recipe called for 250 Celsius. It probably meant 250 Farenheit. Anyway, I followed the recipe and burned the crust.

Luckily, since the there was so much crust I had enough for another try. This time, I would be using the pie plate. Who cared if the oven door wouldn't close all through? Maybe I could stand there for an hour or so and force it shut.

Anyway, I plunked in the pie plate with the raw meringue and waited for it to heat. No, too much heat must be escaping for the temperature refused to go beyond tepid. In the midst of trying to make the filling, there I was, leaning up against the oven, trying to warm up the pie crust.

This went on for about half an hour and then I noticed that I had failed to switch on the oven.


I amended that, wondering what else could go wrong....and placed the glass bowl on this iron thing above the boiling water in the pan (no, we didn't have a double boiler and I had to improvise). Well, wouldn't you know, I heard a crack. And then another crack. The beautiful glass bowl was all but shattered and the filling seeped into the water underneath.

I called to Mum who was playing Spider Solitaire to tell her I had cracked her bowl. Mum, being Mum, took it philosophically. She told me, it had been a free gift for something or other anyway. As the family baker though, that had been my favourite bowl. This pie was getting more and more expensive. Why oh why did I have to embark on this freak?

A quick check in the oven and I noticed that the crust was actually beginning to brown, the slight aperture at the top of the oven notwithstanding. OK, I would need to make some more filling. Thank goodness we had one lemon left. (Here I thought briefly of that house in Perth with the lemon tree - all it would take, would be to step out into the garden to get an apronful of lemons...if I wore aprons, that is).

So I set to zesting and squeezing the second lemon (a small one, but hopefully it would give me what I wanted) and making some more filling. This time I was careful to place the filling in a saucepan which I placed over that iron thingy over the boiling water. OK, I would have to stir it from time to time (the recipe said constantly I said bollocks to that).

Now it was time to beat up the cream. Now the recipe didn't call for whipping cream. It should have. Or I should have used my common sense to remember that whipped cream only comes from whipping cream.

So I whipped the double cream and it turned to butter. Yeah, just like that. And it being a lemon cream pie, I would have to coat the crust with my whipped cream, and the add the filling, and top it off with cream.

Tired by now of all the foul-ups, bleeps and blunders, that's exactly what I did. Who cared if my cream was buttery. I removed the pie crust from the oven, placed some aluminium foil over the top and weighed it down with sherry glasses full of water. (We didn't have anything that could do for pie weights).

In the meantime, Mum had moved from the computer to the TV. It was time for the penultimate episode of Intan. Actually I think it's the penultimate episode cos the grandmother died, which I think signals an ending, and all those holding out against her marriage to Rado, had come around. No more loose ends, so to speak. Mum gave me a disgusted look and asked me when I had become an expert on Intan. I just gave her a superior smile and turned back to my disaster of a lemon cream (or rather butter) pie.

Once I figured it had sufficiently cooled and been weighed down, I coated it with cream, added the filling and coated it with cream some more. It looked OK but the family eyed it askance and declined a piece when I offered.

Maybe I'll stick to cakes.


Jenn said...

Mum's just pronounced the official verdict on the pie - she says there is something wrong with it. The crust is rubbery and what is that white stuff? Cream? I ventured...and she fixed me with a stern look. I'd better take a look at that recipe.

Daphne said...

hahaha! this is so funny jenn, i hope you took a picture of your first ever pie creation and compared it to the internet pic (if there was one). for posterity, you know...

Jenn said...

Hey Daphne, no I didn't take no pictures. Firstly, I left my camera in KL. Secondly, I don't think I want any evidence of my lemon "butter" pie. I am going to try and offload it on Chubs and his colleagues. I really need new dustbins...