Thursday, November 27, 2008

Pies are squared

Tomorrow's meal should be excellent, though I certainly reserve the right to totally screw it up between now and then. Today I did as many of the advance things as possible, in hopes that tomorrow morning won't be totally crazy. (Ha!) I went ahead and made the dough for rolls, since it wants to chill in the fridge anyhow, though I'll have to shape them tomorrow. I'm not crazy about the wine I ended up using in the wine jelly, so that might be a flop, but the custard to go with it is just now off the stove and cooling, and that will be outstanding. I've never bothered with green bean casserole before - I love green beans, but I usually just saute them with some shallots and garlic (in the wok for thanksgiving - it's really the only pan the right size for a serious mess of beans). This year I'm branching out. I saw an episode of Good Eats in which Alton made a version of the ubiquitous holiday dish using actual real food. And it looked really GOOD. Which wasn't something I expected from green bean casserole. So I had to try it. It's looking pretty good in my fridge right now, all sexy in its cast iron skillet, just waiting for some last minute oven time.

One of today's tasks was the bourbon pecan tart. I'd actually decided against making it, because Dave's mom is bringing two pies, but I really like it, and neither of the pies is pecan, much less pecan with bourbon. I tried something new this time, using bourbon as the liquid in the crust - it certainly made a nice smelling and easy to work with crust, tomorrow will tell about the taste. It probably won't matter, since the filling is pretty intense, but  it was fun. I did find myself doing pie math though. Seriously. π r2, quite literally. The recipe is for a 9" tart pan, and I only own an 11" tart pan, so I needed to figure out the amount to increase the filling. Turns out, in case you ever find yourself in a similar situation, to increase a tart from 9" to 11" (assuming the same height), you need one and a half times the filling. I'm bad enough at remembering to straight double or halve things, so I'm sort of impressed that it turned out so well. I really should just recopy the thing with the right measurements for the 11" pan. It's not like I'm going to get another tart pan, well, ever really.

But yeah, thanks geometry. Way to help out with the holiday dinner!

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