I ended up not making the radish dish, due to time, but I will and you'll here about it. It's really simple, I've made it before, but it is so damn good. That's because anything cooked in duck fat is good. I did make an apple pie, poached some pears, and made bacon toffee. The end result was interesting.
The pears came out fine. I used some leftover syrup I had from the last batch of poached pears I made for a brunch last week. Even the kids liked them. One kid, Caleb, the child of my co-worker Miranda, touched one, but didn't eat it, prompting a, "Don't touch it if aren't going to eat it," speech from some adult. Grubby kid hands all up on the food...
My bacon toffee is still in its beta testing stages. I couldn't find my thermometer, so this left me guessing when to pull it from the heat. This means I need to go buy a) a candy thermometer, b) a regular thermometer. Due to this lack of precision, the candy didn't get hard like a Skor bar, instead it was more like a soft toffee. The flavor was there, and bacon is just fucking good, so I see where it's going, but it wasn't right. Next time. This will be something that I keep up my sleeve for a long time. I mean, it's bacon toffee?! I envision a summer day with some vanilla ice cream mixed with broken pieces of bacon toffee, or a nice salad with bacon toffee in lieu of bacon... Yum.
My pie... Oh, my pie. It was so beautiful, it was a shame that it was eaten before it fully cooled. You can chose which lesson should be learned here:
a) don't stay up so late drinking, that way you can wake up before noon to make pie for evening meal.b) make pie/crust day beforec) hold out longer than two hours before caving for hungry partygoersd) don't worry about, have another drink
Regardless of lessons, it was a good pie, it just never set up all the way. It was still pretty warm when I finally cut into it. The crust, which is from a recipe that I have been working with for several years, turned out the way I wanted for the first time in a while. Sometimes it gets too warm too fast, which makes it so hard to work with. This year, I employed a more regulatory system to control the temperature of the dough. It made a few trip back in the fridge as other things were worked on. I used honey crisp apples, which are a nice blend of sweet and tart, and keep their shape as they cook. It was moderately disappointing to watch it ooze when I removed the first slice...
The success with the crust makes me want to make another pie soon. I like making pies. It's the only baking I ever do, so it's nice to feel good about doing it. Baking is scary to me for some reason. I guess that comes down to practice and familiarity. I don't eat many sweets anymore, so that means I rarely make them, which is no excuse not to gain practice making them for others. Most people like baked goods. I know when I have high quality baked goods versus just so-so baked goods, but overall I'm indifferent. Except for pie. I like pie. Pie can also be savory, and that gives it extra bonus points. Its all about that pastry. Thats the hard part, especially in Austin, Texas. When it's eighty degrees on Thanksgiving, one must be careful when handling their pastry. Until next time.