After suffering through a sugar coma, I am now recouperated enough to post on what I learned yesterday. But first, a word about the party:
First, thanks to everyone who came and brought pie. Koodoos to Leo for being the only other person besides myself to actually bake a pie. There were games of RoboRally and Star Wars Trival Pursuit (a game involving pie pieces!). I think we all sufficiently demonstrated our geekiness.
Now onto the pie! The pie crust was flaky but hard. This means that it had large amounts of air pockets but it was still very stiff and hard to cut (yet surprisingly easy to chew). Anyway, I accredit this to the large amounts of additional water I had to add to allow the flour to bind and the extra bit of kneading required which produced gluten (desired stuff in breads and pizza dough). I will continue to search for a better/easier pie crust recipe. In the mean time, my advice would be to stick to frozen, pre-made pie shells.
As for the filling, my mom's fluff pie came out great. Since it is made mostly for a packaged lemon Jell-O mix, I won't post its recipe here. But I WILL post the pecan pie recipe which, aside from the crust, turned out yummy as ever.
Oh, and a quick note about pizza: We used our pizza stone for the first time yesterday. It prevented the pizza from coming out soggy on the underside but its tricky business. You can't build your pizza on the stone since it needs to heat up with the oven. Instead, you need to build your pizza on a peel. This is what we learned: USE LOTS OF CORN MEAL. Really. It prevents the pizza from sticking to the peel because it doesn't easily soak up water the way flour does. So, once you've stretched the dough to your satisfaction, switch to the corn meal and be generous!
• pie crust
• eggs (5)
• brown sugar
• corn syrup
• unsalted butter
• vanilla extract
• pecans (2 cups)
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Glaze the crust of 1 unbaked pie shell with 1 egg yolk. Dock (perforate) the bottom of the pie shell with a fork and blind-bake for 15 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.
Whisk in a large bowl:
1 cup packed brown sugar
¾ cup corn syrup
5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla
½ tsp table salt
Stir in 2 cups pecans.
Pour the filling into the baked pie shell and bake until the edges of the filling are firm and the center is still slightly wobbly, approximately 35-45 minutes.
Let the pie cool for at least 1 ½ hours before serving. The pie can be stored for up to 2 days in a refrigerator but should be brought back up to room temperature or warmed in a 275°F oven for 15 minutes before serving.