Monday, August 10, 2009

Peach and Crème Fraîche pie...NOT

I was *finger-pinch* this close to making this pie. Would have had to make my own crème fraîche, but I've done it before and I was ready and willing. EXCEPT...I forgot it has to sit for 24 hours while it actually becomes crème fraîche. And I didn't start it early enough. Couldn't find it at the store. Plan-B? Call mr. while I'm at the grocery store and ask him to go through my Firefox bookmarks for "Recipes to Try" while I look around at the produce to see what looks good and is local. So...Cherry Crumble Pie it is.

Aaaaand, as mr. said, calling an audible might not have been the best choice in this situation. Not that Cherry Crumble Pie was bad. It was delicious. It was also, just...odd.

Things started out on a good note: fresh cherries combined with sugar, brandy (YUM so far!), and...tapioca.

I don't have a lot of experience with tapioca--I've eaten it a couple of times, but never made it myself--but I went along with it. Then, as I started to make the pie dough, things started to go awry. I ran out of pastry flour a while back. I thought I would buy some at the local Roller Mills when I was in that neck of the woods last week. And they were having a sale! Alas, they no longer sell pastry flour. So I bought some at Whole Foods. Opened it, ready to use it, realized it's WHOLE GRAIN pastry flour. It looked great. When the dough was all together, it tasted great--sort of nutty with an interesting texture. Not so great in the rolling out and moving to the pan phase. Very ungreat. Disastrous. Had to start over with all-purpose flour. I like the idea of the whole grain pastry flour, I just don't think I'll be able to use it for pie crust.

Then things were okay for a bit--this crumble topping is one of the better ones I've made, the sliced almonds make it very crunchy and yummy.

Baking seemed to go okay. Although the instructions say to bake for 30 minutes at 425 and then reduce heat to 400 and bake for another 25 minutes "until filling is bubbling thickly and topping is brown and crisp". Well...that happened for me after the first 30 minutes. I baked for another 5 minutes and left it at that.

And then...after cooling...I cut into it.

A lake of liquid. Whatever the tapioca was supposed to do (I assume it was there as some kind of thickening agent) it didn't accomplish.

I just don't know about this one. It tasted very good. The cherries stayed firm, which can sometimes be a challenge with fruit desserts. I'm not so sure cherries and cinnamon-y, streusel-y topping are my favorite combination in the world. For me, that combination is reserved for apples or pears. Maybe I'm being narrow-minded. It was unbelievably messy to serve. Not that that's a reason not to make it. Sometimes the biggest messes are the most delicious desserts. And, the pie crust seemed superfluous. It seems like you could make the same dessert without the crust, call it "Cherry Crumble" or "Cherry Crisp" and you're good to go.

It did give me an opportunity to use my new cream whipper. A perfect gift from my incredibly generous friends Miriam and Dave.

TGIP Rating--Cherry Crumble Pie--Not one of my favorites. There's nothing really WRONG with it. It just didn't tickle my fancy. And I need to order pastry flour from here.

Next up: This week I really will make Peach and Crème Fraîche Pie.


Piper Scott said...

I am very frustrated with stores these days and what appears to be a moving away from traditional baking products. Our local Vons does not carry Rye flour nor Pastry flour. They do have Cake flour though. But alas, I got my own grinder and said to heck with all of them.

April Fossen said...

Yeah, I do spend a lot of time going from store to store to find the right ingredients. I need to get myself a grinder.

Miriam Latour said...

Where are you, Trader Joe's?

Bruce Almighty said...

Best part of this blog was the highlighted "Calling an audible" which took you to a link explaining what it was. Thats awesome!

Zack Phifer said...

You may want to try a mixture of wheat and cake/pastry flour. The wheat is probably too substantial to hold together for rolling and transfering.

Every "cheat" on creme fraiche? Something about buttermilk or using sour cream.....

April Fossen said...

Thanks Bruce. I hoped somebody would appreciate that.

Zack, my plan was to make my own creme fraiche, using cream and sour cream. You leave it at room temperature for 24 hours so it can become creme fraiche. Planning ahead next time.