My return to baking this past weekend led me down the treacherous pie path. Some may remember my problems with pie, more specifically pie crusts, in the past. As well as my eventual triumph. However, it has been quite some time since I've made pastry dough and although I was pretty sure I was going to screw it up, what remained to be seen was how badly.
The answer... not too badly.
I made one batch of pastry dough (six pie crusts) and two pies. The dough seemed a bit more wet than I remember, and the bottom didn't seem to crisp up as much as I think it should, but that might have been a result of the fillings or, more likely, that I got a little trigger happy with the water. I also forgot to add salt, which apparently is not noticeable to anyone but me (or I have very polite friends and family).
For my first "new" recipe in quite some time, I decided on something I wanted to do a while ago but never got a chance; turning the Oatmeal Pie into an Maple Oatmeal Pie. And with the bottle of maple syrup wasting away in my fridge, it seemed like a perfect opportunity. Truly I wasn't breaking any new ground, corn syrup to maple syrup is a 1:1 substitution, but it was new enough to get me excited. My only tincey incey wincey hesitation was that I was going to use No. 1 Medium/Grade A Syrup rather than No. 2 Amber/Grade B. I knew it would still turn out, but was concerned with what the flavours would be like.
The answer is simply that this pie may not be suitable for those under the age of 14 or who have a predisposition to hyperactivity after eating sweets. It tasted of maple, but it was the super sweet side of table maple syrup, not the more robust flavour you get from the darker syrups. I'd say it was sweeter than my typical pecan pie, but probably not that much sweeter than a commercial pie. The combination of maple and oats is a proven one, and the oats help to lessen the intensity of the sweetness, but they could only do so much. It was at this moment that I became painfully aware that there was no salt in my pie crust; as just the slightest hint of it would have done wonders to balance the flavours further.
However, I appeared to be the only one who cared. Everyone else really enjoyed the pie. Not that I didn't, I thought it tasted great, just sweet, but I'm my own worst critic. Next time (and there will be a next time) I'm picking up some Grade B syrup.
Oh and you have probably noticed from these terrible pictures (sorry about that) how completely and utterly horrible my pie crust looks. I was super lazy and didn’t roll it out to a 9” pie plate size. Instead I took a chance trying to get a thicker bottom crust, which left me no overhang to make the crust look prettier (or as pretty as my pies ever look).
Don’t believe me? Here’s the apple crumble pie I made the next day as comparison.
See, not bad right? My friend even told me it looked like a "real pie".
What’a guy :).
Maple Oatmeal Pie
Adapted from me1 9" unbaked pie crust*
3/4 cup packed golden yellow/light brown sugar (165g)
3/4 Maple Syrup (Originally used No. 1 Medium/Grade A syrup, next time will try with No. 2 Amber/Grade B)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (113g)
2 large eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup quick cooking oats
*Note: I now make my pie crusts with butter flavoured shortening
Set a rack at the bottom 1/3 of the oven and preheat to 325F have ready an unbaked 9” pie crust.
In a large bowl add brown sugar, butter, and eggs and whisk until completely combined and fluffy.
Add maple syrup, vanilla and salt and whisk until completely combined.
Add oats and mixe until completely combined.
Pour filling into prepared pie crust and place in bottom 1/3 of the oven to bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until all but the middle is set (about a 2 to 3 inch circle) and filling is bubbling.
Allow pie to cool completely on rack before serving. Can be stored at room temperature.