samedi 22 juillet 2006

Today I am going over to visit Alain's parents, Jacques and Josée for lunch. Alain is gone for a week for work. I proudly announced that I would bring a dessert. Jacques said "Oh no, don't worry, you don't have to..." which now that I think about it, could have been French for "Oh god please no spare us!!!!!!"
As the cooking urge doesn't strike me very often, when it does hit, I figure I just have to run with it because there is no tellng when it may come back again.

So I found a recipe off the internet for "The Best All-American Apple Pie Recipe". Okay, that will work. American apple pies are different than French ones because 1) they are covered with a top crust and 2) lots and lots of cinnamon, which the French seem to generally regard with suspicion and mistrust.
I went to the nearest Intermarché to find the ingredients for my apple pie. And promptly spent about half an hour gazing stupidly at the sugar/flour section. What the heck is Cornstarch in French? In fact, now that I think about it, what the heck is cornstarch? I could have asked someone for help, but wasn't sure exactly what to say. "You know, 'cornstarch'? 'Cornstarch'? Oh heck, I don't know how you call in French, it's uh, white, I think, and powdery... No, not flour!" After giving up baking powder and cornstarch as lost causes, I wandered over to the spice section in seach of nutmeg.
Oh drat, what is nutmeg? I was hoping it would be the same name. Don't know why I thought that. Conversation with myself..

Me: Self, what does nutmeg look like?
Self: I don't know, a sort-of brownish powdery thing right?
Me: Yeah, I guess you are right. It has been a really long time since we made an apple pie. What does nutmeg look like in it's natural state?
Self: Beats me. I figured it grew in those little spice bottles.
Me: Well, here is brownish nut thing. That could be it. What does a Meg look like?
Self: Don't know, but we especially should know this don't you think?!
Me: Well, considering we wouldn't know it by taste or smell, I think we should just give up.

Turns out, when I checked it out online later, the bottle I thought it was, mouscade, was right. Oh well.

So considering I had no idea whether the flour was pastry flour or bleached all-purpose flour, there was no way I was finding baking powder, cream cheese, or cider vinegar, I gave up the idea of making my own crust and decided to buy a ready-made. There are two kinds- feuillette (flaky) and brisée. No idea what brisée is, but knew I didn't want the flaky one, so I bought two of the brisée and hoped for the best. I was just hoping it wasn't some sort of pizza crust or the like.

Considered the rest of my recipe for the filling-
Raisins? Who the heck puts raisins in an apple pie? That is just plain un-American. Out with the raisins.
Lemon juice? No way.
Cornstarch? Nope, don't have that either.
Nutmeg? Nope.
Brown sugar? Well, the sugar has a hint of brown color, that will have to do.

Came home determined to find a different American Apple Pie recipe, one without the above ingredients.
Finally found one that sounded about my level, Easy Apple Pie. Yeah, here we go.

Get all prepared to start measuring things out and realize-
Hey wait a minute. This is an American recipe. Which means that all the measurements are in the wacked-out English system of which, I have no measuring cups or spoons. Darn. Hmm, well I can convert the measurements into metric.
Here all the recipes are given in weight and soup spoon/coffee spoon, which I hope are the rough equivalents of table and tea spoons.
So I convert the cups into mL but have only Alain's protein shaker thing that has the mL marked on the side.
" 'Between 1/3 and 2/3 of a cup of sugar'?! Oh thanks for being really precise there!!!"

So I set off, peeling and cutting my apples- one recipe said 6, other said 8, I bought seven, cut up five and needed about 3. Whenever peeling, cutting, and general cooking skills were being passed out, I must have missed them because by the fifth apple my hand was killing me and I was ready to chuck them all out the window.

So I finally get the sugary cinnamony nutmeg-less apple mixture into the two pie crusts in the teeny tiny pan, shove it into our toaster oven and wait. After about two minutes the crust is brown, by ten it is starting to burn. Drat. I think it is supposed to cook only from the bottom right? Well, not an option with our toaster oven. I just hope the bottom crust is cooked and not a gooey mess still.

When I told Alain I was fixing an apple pie for his parents, he said
"Please try not to poison them. We might still need them..."
We shall see. Maybe I will buy some vanilla ice cream, cover the re-heated apple pie in that, and hope for the best.

3 commentaires:

themikestand a dit…

It looks....



I hope you found the "crème glacée" section in the Intermarché. And no, I don't know what cornstarch is in french, but I hope your apples weren't too runny. That's the only use for cornstach in that recipe.

Probably best not to ask why you only have access to a toaster oven, eh?

Ed/Sue Smith a dit…

I will buy you a set of measuring cups and spoons for a post-wedding gift! And it would be easier to wait until you have an oven.

Starman a dit…

cornstarch = fécule de maïs
You caan find that and a lot more at:

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