In the interest of killing two recipes with one meal, I decided to make the flaky pastry (p80) myself. Looking at the recipe, I thought "holy crap, that's got a whole block of butter in it", but, other than deciding I better not make a habit of home-made pastry, I didn't think much more of it. I simply picked up a block of butter on my way home from work, and set out to make pastry for the first time.
Which was a mildly tramatic experience. In fact, the whole pie was a bit of a nightmare. What was it I said yesterday about being ok if I follow a recipe? Well, I'm glad I put in that qualifier: except for the 'Robyn moments'. Read on and you'll see what I mean.
I grabbed my scales and weighed the remaining butter to see just how much more than 200g I'd used. Amazingly, there was exactly 300g left. So I did use only 200g, just not in quite the way I was supposed to.
Bypassing 'Robyn moment' #1 with a shrug, I rolled out my pastry to line the tin. The recipe states a 20cm tin, so I used my adjustable tin, which is 20cm wide, and adjusted it to a square. No worries. I greased the tin and lined it with the first layer of pastry. The filling was fairly simple: onion, mixed vege, bacon and eggs. There was supposed to be chutney too, but in 'Robyn moment' #2 I forgot about it until the top layer of pastry was on. Oh well.
I reached into the oven and pulled out the tinfoil I had lining the bottom of the oven, burning myself in the process. Luckily there was another sheet of foil in there, since, even after the egg was too solid to leak out, a steady drip of melted butter continued to escape from the bottom of the tin while the pie was cooking, smoking up the oven/kitchen/house and setting off the smoke alarm.
But after 40 minutes my pie was finally cooked. And, astonishingly, it looked good and was perfectly edible. The pastry was very rich and buttery, and nice and crispy on the top, if a little soggy on the bottom. I found the onion was a bit crunchy still; if I make this again, I'll probably cook the onions a little before putting them in. I had a second piece of pie for lunch today, and it was even nicer cold than hot out of the oven.
Cleanup was interesting: the dribbled butter had got into the warming drawer and all over my muffin pans, plus, in 'Robyn moment' #4, I'd taken my butter-dribbly tin out of the oven and put it on the stovetop. Meaning that I had butter all over one of my elements, which is less than ideal. Then there was the tin itself: When the pie had cooled, I removed it from the tin - and discovered the two halves of my tin were glued together with cooked egg and conjealed butter. Separating them was a bit of a mission but I got it done eventually.
So all in all, a bit disastrous. But I'm a 'glass half-full' person, so I'm counting the silver linings:
- My culinary contortions did eventually result in a perfectly good bacon and egg pie.
- I now know that my smoke alarm works.
- I learnt a valuable lesson about my adjustable tin.
- I used up my bacon!