What I love the most about baking is the precision of the process. How important it is to measure, to have the right ingredients, to know the temperature of the food or the oven, to understand what happens when you emulsify certain combinations of ingredients. I always feel a little like a scientist in a lab when I’m baking. Every new recipe is like an experiment, and it fun to try again if something fails, because I know, with practice, I can likely fix it.
For Thanksgiving next week, I’m in charge of the apple pie. I’ve been working with this recipe I spotted on Cup of Jo over the summer, making just a few adjustments to suit my taste. I nailed the bottom crust, the filling, even the apple cider caramel reduction. A beautiful top crust, however, eludes me. This one worked, but I couldn’t help but immediately start calculating how to improve it. I want a thicker ruffled edge and thinner disks that cut more evenly and didn’t shrink away from the edge.
The taste was amazing and we’ve enjoyed it for breakfast over the last few days–I like pie for breakfast more than dessert–but I really want to nail down a beautiful crust. We have a friendsgiving to attend this weekend, so I have another opportunity to practice before the real deal, next week. I’ll probably revisit this topic in a few days after I’ve had another go at it, and to talk a bit more about how I changed the crust recipe and the filling. Until then, here’s to practice makes perfect.