posted on Nov, 19 2017 @ 10:22 PM
We made some spectacular pies today. Better than I ever thought I could make!
Flaky crust (even on the bottom). Perfectly done...frozen first, then par-baked while ingredients prepped, then ingredients added (which was FAR more
than just dumping stuff into the crust...had to deal with making various emulsions, zests and all manner of other techniques just to get the
ingredients ready). Plus, when working with pies, everything is a rush because all of it (the crust ingredients) must stay chilled throughout the
process until the final bake.
I mean to tell you all, this was no easy day by a long shot!!!
At one point, one of the students (also a Chef) remarked..."So the notion you can just whip up a simple pie on Thanksgiving day is really a
misnomer then, right??" That got a hearty laugh from just about everyone in the kitchen, most of whom were dragging ass by this point (myself
We cooked down razor thin sliced apples and made roses out of them, to top the tarts. We made Frangipane for ingredients in other pies, we "blind"
baked, did lattice and braids for pie tops, "sheeted" butter in flour...cut, baked, roasted, chopped, mixed (all by hand), melted, reduced, candied,
whipped, kneaded, docked, leavened, used different dough's for multiple things...and I've probably only touched upon not even half of all the stuff we
had to do.
Almost stunningly, we also had to cook lunch, amidst all of this!! Now this may seem like a trivial point, but the lunch had to be served at a
specific time, so lunch was a constant time consumer of even the last available second. Veal lasagna with handmade spinach noodles and a spinach
salad with a strawberry vinaigrette dressing. Oh, and fresh cooked bread too. It was absolutely relentless!! Some of the other instructor Chefs
there, one in particular, was absolutely unflinchable. I swear, someone could have thrown a live hand grenade at this woman with the pin pulled and
she wouldn't have missed a beat!
Perfection was all that was asked...and only that which would be accepted.
Oh, and lunch was even pretty damn good too!! (albeit a little hard to enjoy, when you know all the other stuff you still had to worry about going on
in the meantime). Lunch was served right in the middle of the last 2/3rds of the session, right when all the pies were in process. It was an
intentional distraction, devised to throw off your tempo, to make you relax or become complacent about something, to forget a detail...to make you
make a mistake.
I looked right down the main bore of the culinary world today. It really was pretty cool.
And, we just made a few pies!!