Wait! Can we just pretend it’s not the first of June already? I mean, oh my god, I haven’t even had time to post about the things I made last May yet. So just humor me for a second and pretend it’s yesterday for a few minutes…
So. May. Man, I’ve been busy! Doing lots of boring and uninteresting things that frankly aren’t even worth mentioning here on the blog. Like writing yet another chapter of my thesis. Seriously guys, by the time I’ve finished this thang, I’ll have put in enough work for a freaking Ph.D!
I just can’t WAIT till it’s done! It’s driving me crazy…
Fun (ironic?) side note: I wrote two-thirds of my Bachelor’s thesis in three (THREE!) days. Apparently, life has a cruel sense of humor sometimes…
Anyway, let’s talk about food, shall we? Food always makes everything better… Last May was all about pie crusts. More specifically: I tested a few different pie fats – butter, lard and shortening – and see which one I liked best!
So prepare for pie! And pie crusts…
1. Soft-Baked Zingy Raspberry Jam Cookies with Homemade Raspberry Sugar
Okay, okay, so May wasn’t ALL about pie. I also made these cookies. They were yum! Gorgeously crunchy on the outside thanks to a generous coating of granulated sugar and deliciously soft on the inside. And hey, there’s raspberry jam in the dough, which gives these cookies a springy, zingy flavor! And have you seen that homemade raspberry sugar? Sparkly… This is a great recipe to make with kids!
2. All-Shortening Pie Crust
Let me just put it out there: out of all the pie fats I’ve tested, I liked butter the best. Because, um, butter! This particular all-shortening pie crust tasted fine, but when the Rocking Rebel and I tasted it a second time a few days later (a new batch!), we noticed it can have a weird aftertaste. Plus, transfat. Butter is not only more delicious, it is also healthier than shortening! Who would have thought…
But then again, if shortening is all you happen to have on hand, go for it. And go ahead and crimp those edges! All-shortening pie crusts bake up beautifully!
3. Classic American Apple Pie
Just a little heads up: this is a bad recipe. This was my first ever attempt at making an American apple pie. Of course, I’d made apple pie before, but that was always the Dutch version, which is very different. This American apple pie looked great, but it turned out that underneath that gorgeously golden, flaky top crust, there was a soupy mess. The filling tasted delicious though, so if you know how to prevent a soupy pie, let me know and I will give this recipe a go again!
4. Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
These muffins are deeelish! But if you’re not a fan of banana, these are not for you. These have maximum banana flavor. In fact, I think next time I’ll make these, I’m going to throw in a little more chocolate chips. Wait, no, scratch that, I’m going to throw in a little more chocolate chunks! With a peanut butter drizzle on top, perhaps?
5. French Silk Pie
Make this now. Go. Now. This pie is delicious. Just make an all-butter crust instead of an all-shortening crust. It will be even better. Or just skip the crust altogether, whip up this glorious chocolatey filling and eat it with a spoon straight out of the bowl. Sure, you could take a few extra minutes and serve it in a glass, but you’re not going to want to wait! It’s too tempting… And chocolatey… And fluffy…
Go make this now!
6. Cherry Pie
Once I figured out which of the three pie fats I tested I liked best, I made this killer pie with it. This cherry pie has a flaky all-butter crust and a tart cherry filling. If you like a sweet pie filling, make sure to add a lot more sugar! And maybe a little more corn starch to make the juices a bit thicker…
7. All-Butter Pie Crust
Yum, yum, yum! After extensive testing, I came to the conclusion that butter is, indeed, the best pie fat out there. It has awesome flavor, it gives the crust a deliciously flaky texture and it’s readily available. Go butter!
8. How to Render Lard For Pie Crusts
Ugh… Tedious, time-consuming, confusing and difficult. Don’t try this at home…
9. All-Lard Pie Crust
What to say about the all-lard pie crust. It tasted great. It had a delicious, crumbly texture, a lot more delicate than the all-butter crust. But rendering lard? I won’t be doing that again!
Seriously, for me, making an all-lard pie crust is just waaaay to inconvenient, because they don’t sell leaf lard in my area, so I’d have to render lard at home every time I want to make it. But hey, you might love rendering lard! Or maybe you can buy leaf lard at your local supermarket. In that case, give this crust a go!
That’s it for now, guys! But I’ll be back later this week with an updated version of my flour buttercream recipe!