This week, I made a pecan pie for The Baker Down The Street. I’m not sure why, but my pecan pie makes her toes curl. I don’t think my recipe is terribly exotic or convoluted; maybe it’s just the allure of food made by other people. 🙂
So, I spent a fair bit of the morning in the kitchen, doing battle with my dreaded nemesis, pie crust. I struggle with it, I do. Someday, I will get around to requesting lessons from one of my more pie-talented associates. Until then, I struggle on in a sisyphean fashion, flour dusted across my hands, arms and chest. My problems come in rolling the dough. No matter what I do, it seems like the crust wants to split and crack as I roll it out. I trim bits of dough from the edge and use it to fill and spackle the fissures, but that works poorly at best. And then, when the pie crust is rolled suitably thin and patched repeatedly, the canonical process instructs the baker to place a rolling pin on the edge of the dough and roll it up on the pin, so you can try to unroll it on top of your pie pan. Typically, this is the stage where my pie dough crumbles and fractures into multiple pieces, causing many tears and/or much cursing.
Today, I had just gotten to that stage when I had a flash of inspiration. As I stood at the floured board, I saw it across the kitchen, the proper tool for the job, leaning against the wall like Excaliber waiting for her knight. A bread peel, forsooth! I dusted it with flour, and delicately slid it under my pie dough, picking it up in one, flat, intact piece. Success! And just as important, I managed to gracefully slide the dough off the peel and centered on the pie pan!
I’m a far cry from considering my pie crust woes to be a thing of the past, but I feel as though I’ve taken a significant step forward.