I haven’t been blogging lately because I haven’t been cooking as much. I decided G. and I need to make a real effort to clean out our freezers, so I’ve been thawing a lot of the food we put up over the summer (and in a few cases, the summer before). Food stays a long time in the freezer, but it begins to lose texture and taste, and so we need to use it or lose it.
For dinner last night, I took a big tray of eggplant Parmesan out of the freezer. I plunked it on the counter.
“What’s that?” G. asked.
“Eggplant Parmesan,” I said. “I’m going to let it thaw a bit, and then put it in the oven. Like a big frozen lasagne.”
“Excellent,” he said.
And it was pretty good.
The cooking I have been doing has been baking. G. and I are hosting a pie party in a couple of weeks. Each household is bringing a pie, and we are going to taste them, vote on our favorites and then swap slices.
In anticipation, I have been working on making pie crust. I’m using Cook’s Illustrated’s “foolproof” recipe, but I am debating pre-baking. The first time I didn’t. This time, I baked it for 10 minutes and then added the pie filling. G. says he likes that better because the crust is fluffier.
But it still doesn’t look pretty because the crust shrinks if I cut it to fit the pie plate before baking, and if I pre-bake and then cut it, it starts to crumble. And G. wants a double crust, which I’m pretty sure you can’t pre-bake. So, I’m still working on it. But here is the pie crust recipe, if you want to try it. The crust is really good, regardless of whether you pre-bake or not.
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons ice water
2 tablespoons vodka
Put the flour, sugar and salt into a food processor. Cut the butter into small chunks and add it to the bowl. Add the shortening. Pulse in the food processor until you have a fine meal. Add the water and vodka and knead until a firm dough forms.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it sit for 10 minutes. Roll it out.
If you want to pre-bake, try doing it at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.