This whole pie project is really starting to get interesting. Pie #6 - Creamy Green Grape with a Lattice Crust - was interesting, unusual, tasty, and a little bit of a challenge/learning experience with the lattice crust bit. It had to cool for a minimum of 4 hours before cutting-in, so I waited until I got home from work Saturday night to eagerly test the results. As I was pulling into my slightly overgrown driveway, I noticed our local cab driver parked nearby, and I decided to enlist his help in the tasting. As I was delivering the morsel to his dimly-lit vehicle (scared the crap out of him, by the way) I heard "I want some damn pie!!!" hollered from my neighbors' front porch... All-in-all, test subjects 1 and 2 (Ed and Heather) managed to re-enforce the late night community-building strength of Pah, and gave me a good belly chuckle not once but twice in one evening. I consider that a win.
With no further ado...
Creamy Green Grape Pie.
Bumba wanted to help with this one so we sifted the crust's dry ingredients into a bowl and got to mixin'.
The flaky pie crust recipe (made flakier by the use of butter *and* shortening) requires minimal smushing of the dough in order to maintain its glutenous flaky fibers when baked.
The fats need to be cut-in to the dry ingredients until the mix resembles coarse crumbs, and then 5-6 TBSPs of ice water are added by the TBSP from the outer sides and then lightly mixed in using a fork and pushing the outsides into the middle. All of this effort is to eliminate beating or over-mixing the dough. Once it's all holding together, the dough must be lightly formed into two balls, scored on the sides with the bakers' hands to relax the gluten, padded into disks, and then refrigerated at least 30 minutes before rolling it out.
The photos of the rolled crust are proof that I need more work on distinguishing 13" circles from broken-edged hexagons, so let's skip to the lattice part. To weave the lattice portion of the crust, lay down 6 strips of dough, turn the pie 90 degrees, pull-back strips 2,4/1,3/4,6 etc. slightly more than half way, and then individually place each additional strip, alternating between the 2,4/1,3/4,6 strips. I never would have come up with that myself. Then you pinch the edges together, trim the excess to a 1/4 inch overhang, and paint with egg white before baking.
I've started covering the whole dang thing with foil for the first 2/3 of the baking time, and then removing the foil and browning for the remaining 1/3 baking time. I tried the whole "cover the edges with strips of foil" thing, and was burning the pie crust every time. I think I've almost got it figured out now...
It came out looking great!
Rating: *****Pielettes *(My first 5 star!)
This pie gets an automatic star for being so weird-sounding, and another for the flaky lattice crust. I had my doubts about using shortening, but man... it totally made a difference. The crust was light and flaky and even TASTY (gasp)! Although it required annoying things like, oh, ROLLING, the lattice part was fairly easy and aesthetically worth it in my book. As for the filling... I wouldn't have thought of using grapes in a pie but they are good! The creamy part (comprised of heavy cream, sugar and vanilla) baked into this awesome cobbler-y consistency that I loved, and the grapes held their form and firmness, creating an all-together pleasing texture. My new signature cobbler is gonna be green grape (maybe with some kiwi!) after this because the tartness was delightful. Heather and Ed both really liked the pie, and my Black Feather Focus Group, while somewhat bemused by the oddity of it, seemed to like it as well. And I loved it. Turns out I totally overlooked the fact that I was supposed to garnish it with almonds, which I am sure would have been great, and I think with a dollop of freshly whipped cream this would totally knock anyone's socks off. Five pielettes, yo!