Tuesday, June 21, 2016

HFF 2.13: Pie

The Historical Food Fortnightly Icon

The Challenge: Make a pie.

The Recipe: Apple Pie from Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management (different receipt from last time).
1233. INGREDIENTS – Puff-paste No. 1205 or 1206, apples; to every lb. of unpared apples allow 2 oz. of moist sugar, 1/2 teaspoonful of finely-minced lemon-peel, 1 tablespoonful of lemon-juice. 
Mode.—Make 1/2 lb. of puff-paste by either of the above-named recipes, place a border of it round the edge of a pie-dish, and fill it with apples pared, cored, and cut into slices; sweeten with moist sugar, add the lemon-peel and juice, and 2 or 3 tablespoonfuls of water; cover with crust, cut it evenly round close to the edge of the pie-dish, and bake in a hot oven from 1/2 to 3/4 hour, or rather longer, should the pie be very large. When it is three-parts done, take it out of the oven, put the white of an egg on a plate, and, with the blade of a knife, whisk it to a froth; brush the pie over with this, then sprinkle upon it some sifted sugar, and then a few drops of water. Put the pie back into the oven, and finish baking, and be particularly careful that it does not catch or burn, which it is very liable to do after the crust is iced. If made with a plain crust, the icing may be omitted. 
Note.—Many things are suggested for the flavouring of apple pie; some say 2 or 3 tablespoonfuls of beer, others the same quantity of sherry, which very much improve the taste; whilst the old-fashioned addition of a few cloves is, by many persons, preferred to anything else, as also a few slices of quince.

The Date/Year and Region: British, 1861

How Did You Make It: I used the #1206 puff paste receipt (as in the turn-overs two challenge past): made a paste of 1/2 lb of flour and 1/2 cup water, and rolled it out 3 times with 2 oz lard and 4 oz butter.  For the filling, I sliced (but did not peel) 2 lbs of apples, then added 4 oz sugar, 1 tsp lemon peel, 2 tablespoons lemon-juice, and a dozen cloves.  I understood the instructions to not call for a bottom crust; instead I lined the sides of the pan with paste, added the filling, and then covered the top.  Baked 40 min at 350F, opted not to brush with egg white.

Time to Complete: Just over an hour.

Total Cost: Ingredients on hand.

How Successful Was It?:  Good, if unlovely.  It was spicier than the last apple pie I made for HFF, with the cloves and lemon peel adding a bit of excitement.  I'd be interested to experiment with the optional sherry as well.  I meant to bake it at 400F, but forgot to change the oven temperature. Nonetheless, I found it sufficiently cooked, and the soldiers seemed to like it.  

How Accurate Is It?: As before, I didn't use heirloom baking apples, and so likely got a sweeter pie; the egg-white-and-sugar finish would have been a nice touch, but the receipt suggests it is not mandatory. 

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