Two Turkeys Making Pies

Happy Thanksgiving!

Last night, in preparation for Thanksgiving dinner at Jenn’s, I conned Mom into helping me make pies to take along. Clearly we would be making the Nelson Family Secret Butterscotch Pie, and then supplementing with another favorite — apple.

I die over butterscotch pie. And this isn’t any store-bought-jello-butterscotch-pudding rendition. This is the Real McCoy.

The crust is the real difference, though. And though I’ve made this pie a handful of times, I’ve never gotten the crust as flaky as when Mom does it.

So, in her infinite mommy wisdom, she decided to supervise as I did the work. Here’s how it went.

We spent a soppy afternoon shopping for furniture for Mom and Dad’s family room at the stores around North/Clybourn, and on our way home we stopped at Jewel to pick up these ingredients:

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First we tackled the crust:

We made enough for three crusts by combining three cups of flour (carefully measured through dip-level-pour method)…

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…a (generous) cup of Crisco…

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(mmmm…)

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…and one teaspoon of salt.

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Then we cut it together until the fat resembled small peas. Mmmm.

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Then we drizzled about a third of a cup of water into the mix while mixing it around with a fork, and then separated it into three pastry discs.

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Then it was time to roll one out. (We wrapped the other two in cling wrap and put them in the refrigerator.)

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Rolling it out proved not to be so simple, given that I don’t own a pastry cloth. Or a cloth cover for the rolling pin. So we had some issues with sticking. (And to tell the complete truth, our first one was too small, so we set it aside and used it for the top crust of the apple pie we made later.)

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We loaded the pie plate, careful not to stretch the pastry…

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and then trimmed the edge and did what you technically call “doot doot”. (I named this technique when I was 3.)

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Then pricked it…

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…and stuck it in the over for around 15 minutes at 400 degrees, or until it was lightly brown.

Now on to the filling.

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We measured 2 cups of milk and preheated it in the microwave…

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…and browned 4 tablespoons of butter lightly.

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Then we packed a cup of brown sugar…

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…and separated 3 eggs, putting the yolks into the warm milk, and the whites into a clean bowl to whip. (Note: Mom emphasized no fat or cat spit or germs or anything can go near the whites or they won’t whip up.)

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Then we dumped the brown sugar on top of the browned butter, then dumped one-third cup of flour on top…

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…and mixed it together over low heat.

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Next we slowly added the milk and egg mixture, stirring to keep things smooth. (I turned the spatula over to Mom and headed for the egg whites.)

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We beat them until frothy, then added 1/3 cup sugar, and continued beating until it formed stiff peaks.

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Meanwhile the pudding had thickened and come to a boil…

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So we turned off the heat and finished it with a teaspoon of vanilla…

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…put it in the pie shell…and a completed the process with a big lick from the cook.

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Then we added a pinch of salt and a splash of vanilla to the whites and spooned them on top of the pudding, careful to seal them to the crust to help prevent the meringue from shrinking. 

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We baked it for about 15 minutes at 342 degrees, until delicately browned.

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Phew. We were hot. But we forged ahead with the apple pie.

I was in charge of slicing Granny Smith apples. I am quite proud of my paring knife skills. (Too bad I don’t own a peeler or food processor, as I have now developed arthritis.)

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So I sliced, and sliced, and sliced, peeled, and snacked. And then added a mixture of 2/3 cup sugar, a teaspoon of cinnamon and two tablespoons of flour.

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We dumped the into an uncooked pie crust, topped them with a bit of butter…

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…and unfolded the top crust on top.

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Mom sealed it down, trimmed the edge, and gave it the ole “doot doot.”

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And after carefully protecting the edges, I made a self-portrait with the initial “K” in honor of our Thanksgiving hosts, and loaded it in the over for about 35 minutes at 375. At that point we removed the foil and continued baking for another 15 minutes.

Fortunately we had some apples and crust left over, which we baked and snarfed at about 11:00.

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Mandy said,

    Mmmm! The recipe for Aunt’s yummy butterscotch pie!! of course, i probably need a bit more help than the directions listed here, but hey, it’s a start!! Thanks!!

  2. 2

    Pastor Tom said,

    Collette copied Mim’s recipes which she may never make but she loves to whore/d
    recipes (my clever pun – thank you).
    She was pulling her hair out watching the Andover Turkeys make pies in their
    fashionable sweaters without apron; Collette cannot eat without an apron.

    Collette also made a comment on the previous coat blog –
    you know her – she has a comment on everything.


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