My mission is to get through Great Pies and Tarts before I leave Berea. I've decided to leave out the recipes that don't sound particularly appetizing to me. There are 34 different crust variations and 109 fillings to conquer, so I am also being selective because I don't want to be making pie twice a day. And who likes mincemeat anyways. I haven't included the savory tarts because... well, if we get to them we get to them.
Next, I've decided not to follow the Julie & Julia (the book) regime - starting at the beginning of the book and working my way through in order. I prefer a more organic approach, and some of the ingredients won't be available until the end of the summer, etc. I'm gonna bake what sounds good at the time.
As far as a rating system goes, I think I'll go with "Pie-lettes" (Pushing Daisies reference, from the pie-lette eisode). *Ratings will be based on presentation, taste, and amount of work versus amount of eating pleasure.
One pie-lette = Totally Underwhelming
Two pie-lettes = Tasty But Not The Most Exciting
Three pie-lettes = Good, But There Are Things I'd Change
Four pie-lettes = Almost The Best Thing Ever
Five pie-lettes = I Ate The Whole Thing Because I Didn't Want To Share, It Was Amazing
Pie-In-Action - Pie #1
My first pie was the cleverly named Key Lime Pie with a twist.
This is an adaptation of the traditional Key Lime Pie, which I'll get to at a later date. Mostly, the difference is that it has coconut. I made a key lime curd, folded-in homemade whipped cream, and piped the filling into the shell with a gallon-sized plastic bag with a corner cut off. The crust is a basic pie crust to which I added lime zest and coconut before baking. Then, I put the pie in the freezer to set, and worked on the garnish - toasted fresh coconut (I recommend you shave it with a non-serrated vegetable peeler because I now have serrated cuts all over my hand) and more key lime zest (also recommend using a zester vs a grater). And voila!
Rating: *** Pie-letts
It was a lovely ratio of tart/sweet, the consistency was light and creamy, and the friendly test group of three all enjoyed it. It was somewhat involved - i.e. lots of zesting, juicing - but overall prep time and effort was reasonable. I would work on the crust being lighter, and perhaps more flavorful. Otherwise, I'd definitely make it again, and I agree with the author that piping the filling in makes for better presentation.