Tag Archives: baking

Baking power

2 Feb

Baking was an activity I really sunk my teeth into in high school. The idea of making something mouth-watering — okay edible, at the very least — from scratch appealed to  both the diner and the giver in me. I looked forward to our weekly baking class; whenever I experimented on a new recipe, I’d save a slice or two for my Home Ec teacher to critique. For some time, culinary websites became a staple in my browser. I drooled over Kitchen-Aid displays in shopping malls, and invested in some baking paraphernalia. The empty pans, grins and positive feedback I brought back from taste tests among friends and family were like feathers in my imaginary toque blanche.

Fast forward to 2010. Once upon a chill-out session in my organization’s tambayan (local term for bailiwick), I resolved to bake an apple pie as requested by some orgmates. My org committee head never let me forget that promise, and today I set out to fulfill it. I grabbed a recipe online, shopped for some ingredients, rolled up my sleeves and got to work.

Because I only had one available mixing bowl, I decided to do the crumb topping first to scrimp on dishwashing.  “Using a pastry cutter,” said the instructions, mix together 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar and butter until evenly distributed and crumbly in texture.” I followed it to the letter, but ended up with something that resembled  cupcake batter (so much for the crumbly texture). I set it aside, hoping additional flour would do the trick.

The crust was next. Onto the bowl went some flour, oil, milk, sugar and salt. According to the recipe, I was supposed to “pat [the] mixture into a 9 inch pie pan, spreading the dough evenly over the bottom and up sides.” I eyed my premature crust’s crumbly consistency and wondered how it was supposed to look like dough. Pfft.

The making of the apple filling went smoothly, so I returned to the topping-turned-batter. What little flour I could add helped some, but the butter still overpowered the mixture. I gave the pie-that-was-yet-to-be its final touches and flashed a send-off smile before surrendering it to the oven. 15 minutes later, I checked the pie and took a whiff of nutmeg, cinnamon, and stewing apples. “Sherap,” as Travis Kraft would say. The next 30 minutes came and went — the smell of burnt crust sent me rushing back to the kitchen. OH CRAP.

I took a sliver and a bite out of it. Apple pie? Not quite. Apple crumble, more likely. My mother said it was good (like all mothers are wont to do), but I wasn’t so sure. Then I remembered the people I had promised to bake for. Would this little monster of a pie have any takers?