Thursday, May 8, 2014

Rye Bread and Pineapple Pie

Caraway Deli Onion Rye
3 loaves of Caraway Deli Onion Rye
Been absent for a few days. Monday we took a drive down to Sioux Falls, so the day was gone between the drive and all. I did get to shop at TJ Maxx for the first time in 3 years, so I was really happy! Meanwhile, I had continued with the progress toward finalizing the seed starter from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice", and the creation of the next stage; the Barm. All this was described in the last couple of blog posts. Then, Tuesday morning I mixed up the first part of the sponge for the rye bread recipe I wanted to try. It called for using a cup of the "Barm" I had created (I divided up the rest into 1-cup amounts and froze then in zip-top bags) and adding in some rye flour and water, with the addition of 2 sauteed onions. 

Yesterday, finally, I made the bread. A few things worked differently than the book described. The dough did not pass the "windowpane test" after the 5 minutes of kneading. I had to knead for at least 5 more minutes. Then, it was just cool in the house yesterday, so the rising times went far over what was implied in the book. No problem; I just let it go and kept on with other things. Then once the bread was ready to bake, the recipe instructed baking for 20 minutes, turn the pans and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature was between 185 and 195 degrees. Well - after the initial 20 minutes the bread was already at 203 degrees! 

Caraway Deli Onion Rye
Caraway Deli Onion Rye

Thank goodness I checked! I waited until the bread cooled before slicing, but it was the most wonderfully flavored rye bread I have ever had. The onion comes through just subtly and the crumb is soft and tender with a chewy crust. I just loved it, and now that the Barm is safely in the freezer, I can make more at any time.

Then, as I was testing recipes for another cooking demonstration scheduled for the end of June, I ended up with most of a fresh pineapple leftover. I have made Fresh Pineapple Pie for years and years past, but have not made it in the last 8 years or so, as I seemed to develop an allergic reaction to pineapple. It has been this long since I actually ate anything pineapple, so when I ate the fruit and veggie salad I had use the pineapple for the other day I found I no longer had a reaction. I decided to use the rest of the pineapple and make this pie again, so while the bread was in its varying rising stages I worked on the pie. The pastry was made early and refrigerated. Later on I came back to mix the fruit with its thickeners and then got the pie assembled. 
Fresh Pineapple Pie with Lattice Top Crust
Fresh Pineapple Pie with Lattice Top Crust

I first started making this pie when I lived in Guatemala back in the 1970s. Pineapples were plentiful there and always sweet and delicious. Prior to going to Guatemala, the only pineapple I ever ate was from a can. At age 20, I had no idea you could eat it raw! When offered raw pineapple the first time it was a complete revelation. Then i had to learn to tackle cutting up a raw pineapple myself. Got that down. Then I started making this pie. Yum. so, here is the recipe for my most wonderful Fresh Pineapple Pie:

Fresh Pineapple Pie with Lattice Top Crust
Fresh Pineapple Pie with Lattice Top Crust

Fresh Pineapple Pie

makes one 9 1/2 or 10-inch pie

pastry for a double crust 10-inch pie
5 1/2 cups fresh pineapple, in small chunks
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon or lime zest
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
1 tablespoon butter

In a large bowl, combine the pineapple. sugar, tapioca, salt, lemon zest and juice. Mix well and let stand for at least 15 minutes. 

Heat the oven to 400 degrees (375 on Convection). Roll half the pastry dough to 1/8 inch and fit into a 9 1/2- or 10-inch pie plate, allowing 1-inch of dough to hang over the edge of the plate. Roll out the second piece of pastry. If using a solid top crust, cut it to just the width of the top of the pie plate and leave this until you have poured the filling into the bottom crust. If you will be making a lattice top, first cut the rolled pastry into strips of about 1/2- to 3/4-inch width, as shown below. 

Pour the pineapple mixture into the pastry lined plate. Level it evenly. Dot the top with about 1 tablespoon of butter, divided in small dabs all over. If using a solid crust, set the crust over the top of the fruit. Moisten the edge of the bottom crust and flip the 1-inch overhang up over the edge of the top crust. Press to seal and crimp the edges all around. Prick the top of the pastry with a fork of a knife to vent for steam. 

If you are making a lattice crust, first lay strips of the pastry in one direction over the top of the fruit so that they are about as far apart as the strips are wide (photo 2 in the series above, shown with an apple pie). Next, flip back every other one of these strips to just past half way. Lay one strip across the others. Bring back the flipped sections to cover this first piece across (photo 3 above). Now flip back the alternate strips, so they are laying back over that first perpendicular strip (photo 4 above). Set another perpendicular strip across, about the same distance away from the last one as it is wide. Repeat, returning the flipped-back strips (photo 5 above).

Once you have made the lattice, working from the center out to one end, begin again from the center in the opposite direction, lifting every other strip back, setting another perpendicular strip (photo 1 below) Continue this process until the entire lattice is finished (photos 2 and 3 below). Have a cup of water handy and lift each of the edges of the lattice strips, moistening the place where each will rest and press the strips back into place. Now, bring the bottom crust overhang up and over the edges of the lattice (photo 4 below). Crimp the edges all around and you have a finished lattice top.

Set the pie into the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, until the crust is nicely browned and the filling is bubbling all around the edges.

My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website and Marketplace, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I am also on a spiritual journey and hope you will join me at my new blog, An Eagle Flies.