I hate my oven.
It runs hot and temperamental, as if my childless husband and I were gifted a teenager in the form of a major appliance.
Last night, after watching some mouth watering Food Network pie contest show, Aaron and I were in the mood for pie. Since moving last year from Oklahoma to Virginia, we left all of our well known restaurants behind. There are no Marie Calendar’s here, with their wonderful pies available, or their fantastic Sunday brunches that first started my love for quiche. So instead we dragged out a frozen pie shell from the freezer (months ago I made a mushroom tart that would have been wonderful if I hadn’t tried to substitute marscarpone for goat cheese, so we had an extra shell) and used a jar of pecan pie mix to make our own treat.
I know, I really need to learn to make things from scratch, but it was after 8pm and I’m essentially a lazy person. We heated the pie mix up, added our own eggs and butter, and soon we had a very nice pix filling. Pouring it into the shell was a bit difficult, but our teamwork paid off and it was filled to the very exact brim. It was beautiful, we were very proud of our microwaving, mixing and pouring skills.
We live in an apartment, we have a crappy apartment oven. It runs hot, but it’s not consistent. The directions on the jar said to cook the pie from between 72-95 mins. Knowing our oven is quick to go nuclear, we went with the 72 min option. All seemed well, the aroma of pecan pie filled the house and had our little dog Emmy pulling out her starving orphan eyes routine.
Now here is where my inexperience shows. I should have checked on the pie, but sadly Aaron and I were to absorbed in our computers. Aaron was playing his usual Left For Dead, and I was creating this blog… time flew. The kitchen timer went off and I dutifully trudged to the kitchen, aware that the pie would be way to hot to eat for some time… isn’t that always a disappointment? Opening the oven I could see right off that the top was just a little too brown. In the past year I have learned not to cry over to crisp toppings, but it’s always a blow.
I pulled the pie out of Hades oven, and although it was much darker than a pecan pie should be, it looked edible. But of course the insides were not the firm jellyness it should have been. But it was mostly there, and a trip back into the oven at this point wasn’t going to be much help. After 20 mins or so we tried the pie, and except for a few slightly burnt pecans and having to use a spoon to eat the slice properly, it was pretty good.
Obviously next time I need to check it more often, use tin foil when the top looks like it’s getting burnt. In the past we’ve tried cooking things at slightly lower temperatures but that didn’t help much. I can’t wait for the oven to die. It’s already part way there, one of the burners has to be jiggled in order for it to heat up. But I can’t completely blame the oven, I just need to make peace with it and try to make up for its shortcomings on my end of the baking experience.
Back to the books part of this blog, I’m currently reading two books- one is my Book Swim selection, Relentless by Dean Koontz, and the other is Blue Bloods: Masquerade by Melissa De La Cruz. Blue Bloods is a bit like the show (not the books) Gossip Girl with fangs, and Relentless is Koontz as I like him best, first person pov, cute and abnormally smart kid, and loyal and supernatural dog. It’s no Odd Thomas book, but it’s yards better than a lot of his other books. More on these books later. I’ll be sure to try to figure out how to add pictures to this blog to make it prettier!