Thursday, July 30, 2009

Nectarine and Plum Hand Pie Critique

Hand Pies01

I know it sounds a little unconventional, but I only had nectarines and plums. I even squeezed a bit of orange in the mix and added a smidge of nutmeg. I love the idea of these hand pies, but my first try, although I'm pleased with how they look, are a little on the dry side. I need to add a bit less flour next time. I know why I did that. I am notorious for making reeeaaaalllyyy juicy apple pies. No matter what kind of apple I use, it turns out like soup, so it is natural that I would want to try to avoid that. I guess that nectarines don't yield as much liquid.

The process of making these is a bit time consuming. You have to let the crust chill for 30 minutes 3 different times, but I used the freezer for a shorter amount of time and they seemed fine. I might make the pies a little larger next time and rolled a little thinner as well. The amount of fruit to crust was too small. I want to figure out how to make them hold a bit more fruit. Maybe I'll try a different shape.

Hand Pies02

I am really happy with how they look, after all, presentation is important! I am very pleased with how the leaf looks and I sprinkled a little sugar and cinnamon. With just a little tweaking, these will be delicious!

I also tried my hand at making marshmallow fondant today. I was determined to find a way around buying it from the store. I just like being able to create my own and I plan on only using it sparingly, so I can make it only when I need it. This recipe was recommended by some Flickr bakers and I just had the best experience with it! It took hardly any time and costs next to nothing. It took 2 seconds to clean up and made great tasting fondant! I have nothing to compare it to, and I am only cutting out flowers, not covering a whole cake, but I think that I can safely say that it is a great product. There was no cracking and as long as you keep your surface lightly sugared, there is no sticking either. The recipe calls for mini marshmallows, but I used the regular sized - 16 for a half batch.

The third thing I tried today is this recipe for sugar cookies. I added orange zest and the juice from a piece of orange and they taste delicious. I really like the flavor and they were just moist enough. This is a 5 star recipe from AllRecipes and everyone raves about it. I will continue to use it.

I remember seeing Martha make a wedding favor of stacked sugar cookies in graded sizes. I want to try my hand at these. I think that they would make a pretty "wedding cake" shape. I'll post the results tomorrow after I ice them. I can't wait! I'll get to use my fondant flowers, too! Oh the possibilities... a tree out of stars, a square cake, maybe a snowman!

One more thing. I also gave another idea a try and I am pretty happy with the results. No pictures yet, but I'll describe. I thought, "What if I use cookie dough like clay and decorate a base cookie with ornaments?" I took a base cookie (unbaked) and placed another small flat flower cut out in the middle. I topped it off with a tiny ball in the center. I used the handle of a paintbrush to push in on the center. It attached everything together. Then I textured with dots. The patterns stayed well when it baked... better than I thought! I'll have to play some more!

1 comment:

apples said...

Your new direction seems to make you happy...makes me want to bake, but mostly eat!!
Great job!