As I hinted in my last post, I went a little rogue this week. I jumped toward the end of the cookbook in order to find the perfect pie to make for my niece’s “Pretty in Pink” themed 3rd birthday party. Lulu’s Lemonade Pies seemed quite fitting. Not only are they pink in color, but they are covered in pink jelly beans. What child wouldn’t love that? My sister also happens to call my niece Lulu after the title character from The Little Lulu Show (based on the comic strip), who is a mischievous, curly-haired girl. Trust me, this is the perfect nickname for my niece, who is almost an exact replica of me as a child.
I also went off-book this week out of laziness/necessity/practicality. The recipe technically makes 8 individual mini pies (for which I actually bought 5 inch glass dishes… commitment), but I wasn’t about to drag a bunch of glassware around on a series of trains on the Friday of a holiday weekend in NYC in temperatures and humidity I imagine rival those in Hell. Instead, I decided to make one pie and crossed my fingers that it would cook properly. So professional.
What’s Inside: Honey, eggs, lemon juice (this is basically a lemon custard)
1) The recipe tells you to “crimp [the edge of the pie crust] with a fork.” I did this and it looked pretty good, but once it was baked, you couldn’t really tell it was ever crimped. I say do what you want to the crust edge because I wish I’d done something a bit fancier.
2) The recipe says to add 1-3 drops of red food coloring to make the pie pink. I would be more generous with that. I ultimately had a peach-colored pie, which I think is a common problem when trying to achieve pink. Or so I tell myself.
3) If you decide to do one pie like I did, you’ll need to let your pie cook for about 55 minutes, which is 25 more minutes than the recipe calls for. I’ve made custard pie before and find that you always need to cook longer than noted. I just check periodically until the jiggle isn’t super jiggly anymore (in technical terms).
4) Luckily, the pie traveled pretty well on it’s journey from home to work to Grand Central to Connecticut. But I wasn’t about to tempt fate by putting the whipped cream and decorations on long before it was being consumed. So what’s the “pro tip”? Well, I recommend not being tipsy when you prepare your pie mid-party. And also not whipping your cream in a shallow bowl. My cousin helped me get the ingredients together and then her husband held a paper towel shield around the bowl as I used the hand mixer in hopes that the cream wouldn’t fly everywhere. This invention was not successful. We did salvage some delicious whipped cream, though, and I proceeded to do the worst piping and decorating job of all time. I was trying to imitate the picture from the book from memory. Oops.
Let’s see how close I got…
What Baking Can Do: Make my family happy! Here’s Sammi (my mini me) enjoying a tiny piece of pie because she was so full from consuming hot dogs and a gargantuan slice of ice cream cake.
This hasn’t been my favorite pie thus far, but my sister assured me that she and her kids went to town on it the day after the party. I think my niece and nephew were more excited about the extra bag of jelly beans I left them, but let’s go with her version.