Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pies and dyes

Our dearly beloved grandparents were coming over for the nationally-so-called "mother's day weekend" and I decided to make a Key Lime Pie for my grandmother. Being a good learner (it has taken me 17 years to get some left-brain, but give me a break) I decided to make a trial first and then a final.

The hardships began with the crust, which had to be pre-baked. I stuck it in the oven (nicely rolled out, perfectly fluted, etc) and checked on it 5 min. later only to find that butter crusts don't enjoy holding their shape in high temperatures. I re-made the crust with a fork, and tried to stick it to the edge of the pie-pan, but when it finally cooked hard....it was still not above the edge. *sigh*
I used bottled "calamansi" juice, and followed the recipe otherwise, but the juice already had sweetness in it...and I used a *bit* too much coloring.....which made my creation a little too reflective of alien slime and not so much of limes.
However, my first-time meringue turned out *perfect* (which is no small accomplishment for ME at least).
In a right-brain flair, I scrawled a big letter on my meringue to represent whom it was for....which I had to then TELL my mother and sister (who did not seem to be able to recognize it...grrr).
Because it was a test, I allowed the mortals who inhabit my house to try a piece....and when it was cut...it was not only alien slime.....but alien juice as well. We quickly placed it in the fridge to see if cooling it would induce it to congeal. Using already-sweet juice also ruined it, because it was WAY to sweet and rather sickening.
Having now ruined my first batch, I made an effort to get REAL key limes to make it not-so-sickly-sweet and more like the real thing. After many dire predictions of failure....I found the rather expensive green balls with great promise.

After another unsuccessful crust episode, I spent 5 minutes slowly dropping mili-teaspoons of coloring into the filling in hopes that it would not be too green again....and the effort payed off.

It tasted rather interesting....and it didn't goo...although it did "drip" water somehow. I managed to make two perfect meringues, two awful crusts, one good filling and one alien-slime filling. I have decided not to venture int Key-Lime territory for a while.


rm said...

that is QUITE the epic tale. glad it turned out well in the end, though!

Anonymous said...

and said grandmother was delighted - to the tune of 3 or 4 slices!