I don’t know how your family works, but it is not unusual for me to receive in the mail an envelope from my parents chock-full of magazine articles. I truly think my mother finds no pleasure greater than that of rrrrrrrrripping pages out of her favorite periodicals to slap a stamp on and send my way. Last week I received one of these envelopes, addressed to “Kyler Bowling Enterprises” and filled with pages from a Country Living Magazine (really, Mom?) article on the perfect pie crust.
The interesting thing about this crust vs. the crusts I’ve been making is that it calls for 7-Up instead of vodka or water. The “chefs” at Country Living Magazine did much testing and felt that the bubbles in 7-Up created the flakiest crust. Worth a try.
So, I know what crust recipe I’m going to use, now I need to choose a filling to put inside of said pie crust. The article had five different State Fair Award-Winning fillings, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong with one of those. The one that sounded the best to me was the Orange-Buttermilk Chess pie. I had talked about Chess pies with my mom, but had not actually made one, so I settled on that and made my grocery list.
Friday morning I got up and around, and took a look at the recipe so I could get the crust started. And THEN I noticed that the instructions for the crust said that it should chill for 8 hours. Ain’t nobody got time for that. So, I ran to the store and got everything I needed, came back, and got started, with the intention of chilling the crust for no more than 3 hours.
This recipe calls for the use of a food processor to cut the butter into the flour. I was kind of stoked to not have to do this the old-fashioned way, which hurts the palm of my hand (first world problems), but quickly realized that it’s just a really quick way to have to clean out all the nooks and crannies of your food processor.
I grabbed my chilled 7-Up from the fridge, and, tablespoon by tablespoon, slowly stirred it in until I had sort of a dough-like consistency (it was a little dry, but I had hit my max number of allowed tablespoons), then patted it into discs to go in the fridge.
I don’t remember what I did while the crust chilled. Likely there was a nap and some Candy Crush involved. I think I also worked on some KC Local Week stuff, which is a really kick-ass project my friend Karie has put together that we’ve been helping with. But mostly naps. I set a timer for three hours, I do remember that.
When the timer went off, I rolled my ass off the couch and pulled it out of the fridge.
The recipe suggested rolling the dough out on parchment paper to avoid having to use too much flour, thus toughening the crust. I’m not sure why I hadn’t thought of this before. I’m a big fan of east solutions that make cleanup super easy. It worked well, despite the fact that my first crust (the recipe made two discs) was total crap and cracked, ripped, and generally sucked. I finally decided to scrap it by cutting it up, sprinkling with cinnamon sugar, and making pie crust cookies. While those were in the oven, I pulled the second crust out (luckily I was making a single-crust pie) and tried again. This time things went more smoothly, and I was able to actually get the crust into the pie pan. Edges tucked and crimped, and back into the fridge for the recommended 30-60 minutes.
While the crust chilled I got started on the filling, which consisted of mixing dry ingredients, then wet ingredients, then mixing them together.
Mixed and poured into the crust:
This beauty baked for 55 minutes (about five minutes longer than the recipe called for) and made my house smell like an ORANGE GROVE. We had to head out of the house as soon as it came out of the oven, but when we got back late Friday night we cut tiny slices (we had eaten a really big dinner) and enjoyed them.
– It quickly became clear that this was ScottyTris’ favorite pie of all the pies, because within a day he asked me to make another one to take with us to Chicago this weekend. He was also not totally agreeable to sharing the pie with others but relented enough to let the Fahrenholz/Johnsons each enjoy a piece.
– The pie crust turned out really well. The 7-Up did make it light and flaky, and also added a really nice sweetness without being too much.
-The texture of the filling is interesting – the cornmeal sort of rises to the top and creates a top layer that is a little crispy and chewy, while the eggs and buttermilk make a soft custard layer below. This was the main reason I had avoided this type of pie – I’m not a big fan of the curdled egg custard type texture – but the juxtaposition of the chewy cornmeal top against the creamy custard layer was nice.
– The orange flavor was WONDERFUL. I love citrus. LOVE. and this tasted like an orange dream. It had a little bit of the bite of tartness that an orange has, but also that sort of sugary sweet orange candy flavor. YUM. This pie will definitely grace my oven again!
Tomorrow we leave for a quick trip to my hometown of Chicago so ScottyTris can OWN the Chicago Triathlon (no Oprah puns intended). So, there won’t be a pie this weekend, but I am hoping to find a lovely pie shop in the Windy City so we can still eat pie. I really would like to go to Sweet Sensations, another one of the bakeries featured in Teeny’s book, but I map quested that shit and it’s WAY up at the north end of the city, nowhere near where we’ll be all weekend. A good second option is the Hoosier Mama Pie Company, which is a bit of a trek from our hotel, but not nearly as far as Sweet Sensations.