June 3, 2008

Portrait of An Artist As A Baker

Pity party officially OVER. Time for The Dish madcap hilarity and hi-jinxity!

I am quite the serious artist. I work mainly in sculpture. Oh, I’ll dabble in watercolor, but my first love is in the primitive desire to mold something out of some resistive medium. Take pie dough, for example. Yesterday, while making The Birthday Pie (so incredibly boring), I found myself with a lump of leftover dough. Instinctively, my hands began to shape the pliable Pillsbury into life. Because it was the Spousal Unit’s birthday, I had the brilliant inspiration, nay, the GENIUS idea to sculpt a bust of his likeness. Slowly, deliberately, his countenance came to life in my talented hands. I was struck with angst occasionally (much like Michelangelo during the David phase), but ultimately the brilliance burst forth! It’s an incredible likeness. I used cake decoration for the eyes and hair, but that was my only concession to anything but the raw power of the dough. The candy eyes capture the depth of his soul perfectly!

Behold….”Man on His Birthday”

Birthday Pie – “Apple Caramel Filling in a Pillsbury Pastry Adorned by Afro-American Dancers”


Pie pastry for two crusts – I’m sure you have a good recipe. If not, Google – there’s about 2 bazillion recipes out there. Me? I used refrigerated Pillsbury dough because I’m cranky AND lazy. Actually – don’t judge! It’s not bad! Especially if you have the need to sculpture!

About 6 cups golden delicious apples, cored, peeled and sliced
1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup caramel ice cream topping

Milk for brushing top crust
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Place the sliced apples into a large bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice. Toss gently.
3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir into apples
4. Stir in the heavy whipping cream and vanilla. Stir gently to coat apples.
5. Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat in a large heavy sauté pan. Add apples and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the caramel sauce. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally for 6 more minutes or until apples are a bit tender.
6. Fit bottom crust into deep dish 9” pie pan. Turn cooked apples into shell. Top with other pastry crust – seal and crimp. Slash steam vents, brush with a little milk and sprinkle turbinado sugar/cinnamon mixture over top.
7. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove pie and cover edges of pie with strips of foil to prevent burning, lower heat to 350, and return to oven for 45 minutes. Remove foil during last 7-8 minutes of baking.
8. Cool on rack for at least half an hour before serving.

Since it was a birthday, it was necessary to decorate. I just love these two jiving hip-hoppers. I got them to decorate a cake I made a few years ago for an old man turning 72. Of course, it made no sense, which heightened my pleasure at watching his reaction!

It was almost as good as putting a Rabbi on top of a toddler’s bunny cake!

You can find the most awesome decorations at Pretty Party Place!!!!

This is how it always ends up, doesn't it?


RecipeGirl said...

Oh my gosh... this post made me LOL!

The dessert looks yummy- decor and all :)

Deborah said...

I am laughing! And this pie looks great - and there's nothing wrong with using Pillsbury pie dough!

Lisa said...

You are too funny! The pie looks delicious. I use Pillsbury all the time and no one can ever tell.

Peter M said...

LOL, LOL, LOL...2 figurines doing the "bone dance" on your tart!

Bellini Valli said...

Can you see my ear to ear grin. Good food and good times were had by all:D

Jeff said...

That pie looks awesome. Heck looks a lot better than if I attempted to make my own dough. If I attempted that the picture would just be a splattered pie on the wall.

p.s. I was dying of laughter reading this post.

Heather said...

Hahahaha they're having sex on your birthday pie!

The blond head guy looked kind of like Alton Brown. He has a very hairy chest, y'know. Rowr!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Sounds like you had a good time then, huh?

Veronica said...

I love the last pie photo-you are funny!! Happy B-day to the spousal unit!

Leah said...

I've never laughed so hard while reading a blog before, what a scream! You kill me!

I use Pillsbury pie crusts all the time for quiche and pot pies...I'm lazy too!

Julie said...

That is just way too funny

Prudy said...

Hilarious! Your "boring" pie looks awfully good with those juices coming over the sides.

Emiline said...

WOW! Look at them go! There's something about pie that just turns people on.

The resemblance of the pie sculpture to your husband is amazing.
Your art skills astound me. I demand more pie sculpture!

Catherine Wilkinson said...

thanks! it was actually pretty tasty!

yes, that dough has saved me many times

I know! Sometimes, I even prefer it!

go to your room right now for that kind of talk!!!

oh yes, it was a fun time...especially when I showed my sculpture to the spousal unit!

nah...pie is very easy! You can do it!

I really tried to capture the zaniness...but I'm afraid it looks like a police sketch

ok...don't get any ideas!

Thanks! I'll pass along your regards! (You actually met him at Gilroy!)

I don't want to "kill" you! Stick around! Thanks, I think.

and kinda tragic, when you think about it.

it WAS pretty good, actually. I gave my Dad half of it!

LOVE the new photo!
Yes, I am quite the artistic one...maybe I'll branch out to meringue art!

Jenny said...

I love this Catherine! Hilarious!
I use that pie dough all the time!

toontz said...

They say that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Looks like you upped the ante! Beautiful pie!

Catherine Wilkinson said...

I know! What's wrong with Pillsbury, I want to know??? It's perfect playdough!

Let's not talk about men's stomachs, ok??? And thanks for the compliment! It was pretty darn good!

Haley said...

We would like to feature this recipe on our blog. Please email haleyglasco@gmail.com if interested. Thanks :)



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"The Dish" by Catherine Wilkinson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.