Monday, December 01, 2003

Pies and Things 

We must remember that a really great pecan pie depends on the freshest ingredients. That includes syrup. After many years of testing syrups, we have decided that Karo clear syrup makes the best tasting pecan pie, but it works best fresh.

A local baker's supply shop is now open on Saturdays, making it possible to visit and shop there. I'm very pleased to note that they have a number of the cake molds we've been planning on acquiring for the Cracked Cauldron at exceptionally reasonable prices, plus a few we haven't seen before that we absolutely must get. Unfortunately, they seem rather skimpy on bread pans and pie tins. Most likely, we will be using lots and lots of aluminum foil pie tins for selling whole pies, but for those by-the-slice pies, we want better presentation tins. Pretty ones.

We made a few gallettes (pies made without the support of a tin) and made the interesting discovery that the filling must be more solid. The recipes we were working from had very moist fillings, and the pies made from them came out limp and runny. By adjusting the liquids and increasing the fruits, we made lovely gallettes. We can be more creative with the appearance of the crust - dagging the edges, crenellating them, and making them into lovely shapes. Some of the pies were shaped like swans and turkeys, and these were a smash hit at Thanksgiving, when we baked 40 of them for a local Soup Kitchen. We made smaller, individual sized ones to give out with the sandwiches on Sandwich Saturday, and the eyes of the people who got them made the extra effort worth it.

These will definitely be a part of the Cracked Cauldron menu.

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