Monday, March 13, 2017

π  Day March 14th = Pie Day at work!

So, Beast and I set out to make a unique pie today for the feast tomorrow in celebration of π day!

We made a Sour Cream Rum Raisin Pie...a twist on the old Norwegian favorite I grew up with.

First I prepared the dough for the crust, made it into a disc and refrigerated it overnight.  I used my friend, Amy, the pie aficionado's recipe,with butter instead of shortening, and pastry flour instead of APF, and the dough rolled out like silk:
1.5 cups pastry flour
.5 cup unsalted butter
1/2 tsp kosher salt
and a few Tbsp ice cold water
I mix mine in the food processor, pulsing the flour and salt before adding the diced butter and pulsing again before adding the water.  How much water is a few Tbsp?  Well, that depends how humid the weather is.  This time I think it worked out to about 4 Tbsp, but I was eyeballing it, adding about a Tbsp at a time then pulsing the dough until it started to come together then I transferred it onto plastic wrap, shaped it into a disc and refrigerated it overnight. 
I think this recipe is enough for a two crust pie, but I only made one with it...rolled it out larger than my pie plate, then trimmed the edges to about 1.25" past the edge and crimped the edges.  I then took the remainder of the pie crust that had been cut off and basted it with heavy cream and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar for pastry leftover treats.  I messed that up...I should have basted with melted butter, it would have been even more buttery!  

I poked holes in the dough and then baked the pie crust with beans on parchment in the crust to keep the crust from puffing up.  Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes.  I know it's not the most gorgeous crust, but it's got a rustic feel to it...lesson learned, don't buy the pie plates with the handles...your pie crusts always turn out funky shapes!

Next I prepped the filling:

2 cups sour cream
1.5 cups sugar
3 egg yolks (from large eggs)
1.5 cups raisins soaked in rum (you should really soak them all day or overnight but I only soaked mine a couple hours before making the filling)
3 Tbsp pastry flour
Mixed all this together in a Wolf Gourmet sauce pan and heated over medium until it was heated through and a nice thick consistency.  This does not take very long, maybe 10 minutes with stirring occasionally once the ingredients are well mixed.
Then I turned it down to simmer while I made the meringue:
3 egg whites (from large eggs)
1/2 tsp cream of tartar - don't skip this part
3/4 cup sugar

I had reserved my egg whites from the filling and kept them in the fridge while I was doing everything up to this point, and I had pre-chilled my mixing bowl and whisk in the freezer so the tools would be nice and cold when I whisked the egg white mixture for the meringue.  I do this when making whipped cream as well- it works great!
Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until they form soft peaks (about 4 minutes) then turn up the speed to high and add the sugar about 1 tbsp at at time and whisk until stiff peaks form (about 3 more minutes).
Here's what the peaks look like when stiff, very stiff!


Next pour the custard mixture into the pie crust then top with the meringue and into the oven it goes at 350°F for 15 minutes

Let it rest on a rack for one hour, then refrigerate at least four hours before serving with some fresh coffee!  The rustic crust shape doesn't look so bad after all, does it?  Can't wait to see how it tastes!
Happy π  Day!