Why Dogs and Food?

Why Dogs and Food?

It's simple. Write about what you love. And what is better than dogs and food? If you are anything like me - and millions of other people - you will relate to and understand the unwavering love I have for my dogs and my passion for cooking - and eating - great food. I hope you will enjoy reading about my day to day experiences with good food and a couple of very special dogs.

Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Three-Hour Pumpkin Pie

"Pumpkin pie if rightly made, is a thing of beauty and a joy - while it lasts.....
The House Mother

Brian and I were headed to Green Valley Arizona to spend Thanksgiving with a couple of dear friends. I was to bring homemade dinner rolls and pumpkin pie. Easy enough. Wrong. When the bake control on my oven broke right before Thanksgiving, I had to come up with Plan B. Bringing a store-bought pie or rolls was out of the question. After all, I am the friend who loves to cook.

So I had an idea.

I would bake the pumpkin pie on the outdoor gas grill. Yes, that would work! I have made some wonderful roasts and skillet corn bread on the grill so why not pumpkin pie.

Working up until the day before Thanksgiving when we had a seven-hour drive ahead of us to get to Green Valley, I decided to cut corners and use store-bought dough for the pie crust. I sent Brian to the store with a list of ingredients, specifically listing the Pillsbury pie dough.

He brought home frozen pie crusts. Not what I wanted.

And when I saw the condition of the crusts – all hard and cracked and falling apart, I sent him back to the store to return them for the soft pie dough. By this time, it was late evening and my pie filling was prepared and ready to be poured in the dough. Brian kindly went back to the store, returned with a few other items but sans the pie dough! Oh, no! The store must have been out of pie dough!

"I returned the crusts and forgot to exchange them for the pie dough!" Brian confessed. I was too tired to make it from scratch since I was already making bread dough for the rolls. I opted to get up early the next morning to get the pie dough.

Next morning, as planned, off to the store I went for the dough. No problem. I got it. When I got home all I had to do was light the grill on one side, get the temperature to 350 degrees, roll out the dough into the pie plate and pour in the pumpkin filling. I placed the uncooked pie on the unlit side of the grill so as not to burn the crust and closed the lid.

An hour later, the pie was not even close to done. After an hour and half - still not done. Two hours later - same thing! At about noon - after two and half hours of baking time - I was losing patience. We still had the long drive ahead of us and we were supposed to get to Green Valley in time for dinner. I took the pie out and packed it up - done or not done. It had to do.

Meanwhile, I had made the dough for the dinner rolls, placed little raw dough balls into a cupcake pan and covered them with plastic wrap – to be cooked in Arizona.

Off we went to Arizona.

Forgetting that there is an hour time difference between California and Arizona, we arrived around 8:00 PM. With unbaked rolls in the back seat, all puffy because the dough had risen high during our trip, I started unpacking the car. Lo and behold, when I went to lift a couple bottle of wine out of the back seat, I dropped the wine on top of the rolls and just like that, they deflated. Oh, man. I had an under-baked pumpkin pie and a bunch of gooey, deflated, uncooked rolls. So much for the gourmet cook.

The next day on Thanksgiving, I tried to resurrect the rolls and baked them anyway. They were not very good. And the pie – well - the marathon pie had to be baked for about a half an hour more - this time in a regular oven.

Who would have guessed that everyone would love the pie! But I bet they would have enjoyed a store-bought pie just as much and it may have saved me a lot of anxiety.


Susan Campisi said...

Oh man. That sounds like an episode out of Top Chef. Stressful! I'm impressed with your creativity and commitment to bringing home-baked goodies to your friends. I would've given up at the get-go and brought store-bought pie. I bought a pumpkin pie from Whole Foods while I was sick and it was not good at all. I'm sure yours was far, far better than anything store-bought!

Cafe Observer said...

You know 3hours for a good pie doesn't sound too long. However, your photo still looks like a Sara Lee instead of a Lizzy Wagner.

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