Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pie Goeth Before a Fall

I don't claim to be a great cook, but I do admit that sometimes I get a little cocky. I'll go beyond the bounds of a recipe, substitute freely, and throw things together in a slapdash manner.

Sometimes that works. Sometimes that works brilliantly.

And sometimes -- well, sometimes it ends up in disaster.

Take the pumpkin pie I made this evening. (Please!)

The Renaissance Man had toyed with the idea of making another sample of his excellent pumpkin pie to take to the Farm at Christmas, but he eventually decided that one pie (the pecan pie I made) would be enough.

Still, I had already baked a pumpkin and stashed it in his refrigerator, so we needed to make the pie sooner rather than later.

And here's where the troubles began. First, this pumpkin was likely not a true pie pumpkin as the flesh was more yellow than orange. Next, I hadn't baked it fully, so it didn't puree well.

Finally, when he invited me over this evening to make the pie, I jumped in and took charge of the project. BAD move.

In pureeing the pumpkin, I used the whole can of evaporated milk instead of 2/3 of it, and it sloshed all over since there was too much liquid in the food processor. Even then, the pumpkin didn't end up in a smooth puree: instead, we had chunks and shreds throughout the batter (see top of pie).

We baked it anyway, and it still tasted okay, though not as rich and lushly spiced as his pie. Mine still tasted strongly of squash, even under a blanket of homemade whipped cream.

So I hereby declare to you, Dear Readers, that I am suitably humbled and chagrined at my dismal showing on the dessert front today, and I bow to the superior care that the Renaissance Man takes in making his pie. (He will demur and tell you that he's only done it once, and you probably can't count that because he has yet to replicate the "experiment," but I firmly believe that he would still show me up.)

For a guy who claims not to know how to cook, he really does very well, and I'm happy to share the kitchen spotlight with him.

Don't worry, I won't let this stop me from cooking and experimenting.

But I hope that at least for a little while, I can set aside my pride when I cook.

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