JULIA: CONSTANT INSPIRATION
(my impromptu julia shrine)
I rented, "Baking with Julia," a 6-episode series on different baked goods, put on by PBS in the 80s. Julia bakes with different people, oohing and and tasting with her comrades, devouring bites with great relish and enthusiasm. I love that after cooking for all those years, undoubtedly she knows what's going on with each different item (she's written tomes about baguettes, cakes and pastry, no less!), yet she's still delighted and impressed with a slight variation on method. For example, during the tart and pie episode, Julia exclaims, "that's rather pretty. i LIKE that" at her guest's way of crimping the pie dough. She's awesome. You think she knows it all by that stage in her life, but she's still so honestly thrilled with learning more, it seems her capacity and generosity were endless.
If you find yourself at your local library, perusing the tired-looking dvds and chance upon this gem, I highly recommend zipping home with it, munching on a snack plate of hummus, crackers and carrots (brain food must be robust!) and taking a few notes. I learned a lot about crust/filling technique. I am still such a novice in this area and long to improve my skills.
- these ladies believe in a combination of butter and shortening (I'm not into shortening-- are you?)
- they like to chill the dough after it's been placed into the pan for at least 20 minutes (decreases shrinkage)
- some fruit fillings, such as nectarine/blueberry combo, get sauteed for a few minutes before being baked
- they don't use any sugar, none at all, in the crusts! sacre bleu! I like a little.
Do you know any serious pie lore/philosophies you would like to share?