A post that isn’t just me sharing my music releases? Gasp! But in all seriousness, if you follow this blog many apologies for the radio silence this year. I’ve just been really busy with other things, mainly my music releases, which take up a lot more time to actually produce to streamable quality, and that doesn’t even include working with my album artist on designs and sniz. I’ve pretty much converted to being more of a Spotify person than a YouTube person, though I do still post on YouTube here and there – but if you want to see more activity for me, Crystal Dennis on any online music store, and bam there you go XD
But I didn’t want to talk about music this post. If you’ve followed this blog, you’ll know that I’m also into baking. Probably just as much as making music – I got into it last year and am deep diving even further into more techniques, growing my baking skills and confidence. This year, as a family Christmas gift, we got a new oven because ours was really on the low side as far as temperature control goes – using this new one, I’m just like wow! Such a world of difference, really even baking and all of the recipes that I’ve tried and thought I failed at, I want to retry and see if they’ll turn out better now that I have a far more powerful oven.
This Thanksgiving, I was on pie duty. I had practiced making an apple pie earlier this month, and it didn’t come out too hot. But I did that on purpose, so I would know what to do, what to fix, and how to tweak it, and doing that totally paid off because this time the apple pie came out great. The other pie I did was pumpkin, and did a little spin on it – I watch a lot of YouTube videos for baking, and one of them showed to use a gram cracker crust for the pumpkin pie. That helped me save tons of time on that pie, and I only had to make the pumpkin custard. I was super nervous, because I made them on Tuesday, and we were saving them until Thursday so I wasn’t able to try them until yesterday.
But I was worried for nothing! Both of them came out great. The only thing was I didn’t chop enough apples, so the apple pie didn’t get filled the entire way. But me and my Mom chopped an apple into a flower bloom pattern, drizzled the left over sauce from my pre-cooking of the apples, and sprinkled some cinnamon sugar on the top. I like to use a shortbread crust for the apple pie, because I started really enjoying shortbread after trying a recipe (it’s such a versatile dough!) and bam I got my apple pie recipe. I’ve seen some people say not to pre-cook the apples, that you don’t have to blind bake the crust: But I tried not blind baking the crust the first go of apple pie, and the crust came out all mushy and gross. Now I feel like with my new oven, that may not be the case, but honestly I just like the product you get from blind baking the crust – the exact texture and consistency I want from my crust, and same goes for pre-cooking the apples. I’m wondering now though, should I pre-cook all fruit for fruit pies? I’m more of a custard pie person, so getting into fruit pie baking is super fun.
I’ve gotten into pie baking in general honestly. Before I was like meh, cake is better than pie. But after making some homemade pies, I see a world of difference between homemade and store bought. I’m really excited to explore pie making, and perfect my technique with it.
One huuuuge tip I can give to beginning fruit pie makers, is cut more fruit than you think you’ll need. I cut four apples, and thought because I cut huge apples, that I’d only need three. I forgot that apples shrink when you pre-cook them, so I probably should have chopped up five, or even six if I wanted to do the design I did on top. But this was a really happy accident, because I love the design me and my Mom came up with to improvise filling the crust fully. And, it really isn’t’ that bad: there’s just a gap between the edge of the crust and the filling. Like I said, next time I’ll chop way more apples than I need! I have tons of apples left over, so perhaps I’ll make another one.
And with that, my holiday baking season is here, yay! Summer was a huge bummer, because I love baking and it was far too hot to do so. But now that the season is here, I’m all ready and prepped to bake up a storm! So far on my list are candies (I bought special candy melts that I’ve tested and are fab) gingerbread, cookies, more pies…ugh I love holiday baking so much, can’t wait to get going!
I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving, and have a great holiday season!