Diane Duane Profile picture
16 Oct, 22 tweets, 7 min read
Status report, Baking-While-You-Write dep’t: These three Bramleys weigh 1100g (that biggest one is nearly half a kilo all by itself. I FEEL AN APPLE PIE COMING ON. 😃
Apples like these mean that half-measures will not be sufficient. Meaning: I GOT LARD OUT TO DEFROST. This is going to be one of those *serious pie crusts.* :)
...Step one: apples sliced on the mandoline and put down in acidulated water while I make the pie crust and watch the evening news / aka “the How F*cked Are We Tonight Show”.
Now: pie crust. 3:1 ratio, roughly: 1.5 c all purpose flour / 0.5 c lard: a tbs of butter to change up the materials chemistry a little (the butter adds a smidgen of steam to the equation): 4-5 tbs of water (with lemon juice) (and a bit more if necessary) to bring it together.
...I do this in the Cuisinart / Magimix. The only caution if you do this is to be careful not to overwork it. Add the liquid a tablespoon or so at a time between 15-30 sec pulses until the dough gathers. Then: 30-60 minutes to rest in the fridge.
...The other caution is to mind the sharp bits of the blade when washing it. :) This is a new Cuisinart blade, and it just collected from me what we refer to around here as “steel fee”: i.e. every new sharp in the house seems to get each user once. (shrug) Just the way it goes.
...So now I get to spend half an hour or so waiting for the dough to rest. This I will spend (a) wrestling with a new 3D set that’s already giving me grief and (b) watching this evening’s Star Trek episode, which of course, like all the rest of TOS, was Never Political. (snicker)
...Right. So the apples are draining and it’s time to consider the spicery. Tonight this involves normal granulated/white sugar, demerara sugar (light brown), soft dark brown sugar, ground ginger, ground cinnamon and ground cloves: and in the mortar, blade mace...
...and long pepper (Piper longum). Those get ground up and added to the others, along with about 1.5 T of cornstarch that will help the juices released during cooking stay more or less where they are. Finally, berry allspice (in the grinder up top, by itself) will go in too.
...So now to business with the crust. Dough separated 2/3 (for the bottom crust) to 1/3 (for the top). The pie dish is a prezzie from Katie, Séan and Ruadraigh McGrath (yes, *that* Katie McGrath: the family were our nearish neighbors when we were living on that side of Wicklow.)
...Bottom crust in place. It is possible to get very scenic with the layering of the apples, but (a) these are indeed a bit on the old/fragile side and (b) I couldn’t be bothered right now. First layer in...
..and first layer of seasoning.
Layer 2.
Butter and seasoning.
Final layer.
Butter and seasoning.
...You will notice that I didn’t trim the crust. This is because I expect this pie to ooze like crazy (and there’s already a pan positioned in the preheating oven to catch the drips).
That bottom crust gets folded in; the top crust will be pinched to it to seal.
Et voilà.
...Pierced for venting because this seems a sensible approach for any pie from which catastrophic collapse during baking is expected. (It’s fairly tall, and those apples really are a bit on the old side and are going to give up a lot of their water.)
...Right. Timer should go shortly. Catastrophic collapse (why am I hearing this in Spock's voice all of a sudden?) "--catastrophic collapse in four, three, two, one--"
(SFX: SHAKE/RATTLE/HUM, camera SHAKE, crew LURCH from side to side and fall out of their chairs--)
And so: pie. (@scalzi) ...Dripped as expected, but the oven remains clean. ...I’ll wait half an hour or so to let it stabilize and then cut a slice.
12 hours after completion: an (ungarnished, unvarnished...) slice of the pie.
And now that @p_morwood is about to eat it, it gets some yogurt on top.

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More from @dduane

2 Oct
Status report: In progress: homemade rillettes. In the bowl: cubed pork belly and pork shoulder (thank you @JWButchers!), garlic, sea salt, pepper, juniper berries, allspice berries, thyme, and whiskey to marinate overnight. (Recipe’s here: davidlebovitz.com/pork-rillettes… ) Image
..So the #rillettes have had their overnight marination in the herbs/spices and whiskey. (I suppose if I was being more French-aligned on this I’d have used a brandy or cognac, but if you saw what the local grocery was charging for brandy, you’d have gone for whiskey too.)
Now comes the stage where the pork belly gets rendered down a bit before its cooking with the rest of the meat starts. The recipe suggests that one should press out the fat along the way with a spoon, but I don’t have the patience for that right now. Using the potato masher. Image
Read 12 tweets
30 Sep
Status report: Turns out the thing that was supposed to be delivered yesterday will be delivered today. So, waiting for that. (But also #AmWriting [with some pleasure] in a universe where the factchecking of countries' leaders is routinely handled by deities...) Image
(eyeing that image) ...Hmm. I have better cameras now; I really should try that again, and this time adjust the virtual lens's focal length. (Now that I *can...*) 😃
...So I'd better get rid of some of these other cameras first, no need for them here... Image
Read 9 tweets
26 Sep
Status report, Graphic Arts Dep't: So now, in this image... Image
it's time to find out why the big "diamond" in the replica Scepter With Cross is behaving like this (the white "paper" has been added for diagnostic purposes)... Image
...when it's supposed to be acting more like this. Image
Read 4 tweets
22 Sep
Status report: Ok, this morning's revisitation of concept art of kings standing around in wheat fields. The wheat'll take some days to sort out, but first that tunic has to go; it's not as dForce-responsive as it's cracked up to be. Spent yesterday afternoon trying to spoof it. Image
Items created for use with the dForce animation simulator are meant to drape naturally when you simulate them. Sometimes this doesn't happen. So you can try to get the effect by tilting a figure into a position it won't hold in the actual composition, *then* simulating. (MORE)
...And (a) it refuses to work with this clothing item -- not well enough to please me, anyway -- and (b) something else that's been annoying me: the belt on that tunic is crap. And bad accessories will ruin a look exactly the way good ones can lift it. (MORE)
Read 6 tweets
21 Sep
I don't know about anybody else, but I *YEARN* to see the old TEE logo on the noses of a fleet of shiny new state-of-the-art stock. That beautiful old cream-red-and-silver livery...? Image
(for a bit more info about these: retours.eu/en/14-design-t…)
Read 4 tweets
21 Sep
Meanwhile, in the Overnight Rendering dep't: A test render, prepping for a concept-art piece from TALES OF THE FIVE #3: THE LIBRARIAN. Just throwing all the necessary elements into frame to see how they get along. Initial verdict: not too badly, but much fine-tuning is needed. Image
...Bought some wheat over the weekend (some high-res [in foreground], some lower [making up most of the BG]). Getting them to play nicely together will be the challenge. Atmospheric haze not working too badly. Ground needs an under-layer to get rid of that apparent transparency.
Small blessings, though: since the vegetation and Freelorn are the only things in the scene, the machine isn't kicking up too much of a stink about the large number of objects (normally one would use multiple incidences of the same object. I'm still learning how to do that.) Image
Read 5 tweets

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