Every now and then I get it into my head I must stop consuming so much sugar. This time, it’s a self-inflicted punishment for extremely poor handling of finances (although, to be fair, there isn’t much to handle when you live on the welfare) (not that I’m not grateful). Personally, I think the sugar addiction is the worst of them all, it’s much harder to kick than smoking. The result is invariably something like this:
So; I decided to bake something. My first ever cheesecake had been a brilliant success (Baileys cheesecake with strawberry jelly topping, mm-mm!), so I was feeling particularly ambitious. What happened was the
EXPLODING SUGAR OVERDOSE PIE
Oh yes, you read right. I wanted something so sweet it would quench my sugar cravings! The plan, it was full of awesomeness: sweet pie crust with coffee/cocoa filling and meringue on top! The pie crust was easy enough as I pretty much followed instructions:
3 dl baking flour 0.5 dl sugar 125 g butter ~2 teaspoons vanilla sugar a pinch of salt 2 tablespoons water
Mix the dry ingredients, drop the butter in — not melted! — and make a mash of it all until it resembles dough. I just used my clean little paws, which is probably the easiest thing to do. At this point I forgot to add the water. You probably shouldn’t, although my crust was fine.
Your tall pie tin/plate/bowl/thing should be oiled by now, as the next thing you do is pat the dough onto the sides about 4 cm high, and use the rest to make the bottom. It should look fairly solid! Then mold and fold a baking sheet on the dough and weigh it down with uncooked rice or pasta (you can still use them later), so that the pie crush will retail its shape. I think.
Preheat oven to 200°C and pre-bake the crust for about 15 minutes.
Let the crust cool while you make the filling:
50 g butter, melted 4 dl powdered sugar 2ish tablespoons cocoa powder 4ish tablespoons of strong coffee
Mix until even, fill the pie.
The meringue topping was also a first ever, so I almost followed instructions.
4 egg whites 3 dl sugar (red colouring, because pink is teh best) (Some cafe au lait, because why not?)
Pro tip: when separating the yolk from the egg whites, use three bowls: one for pouring the egg white in, which after each egg you transfer to the mixing bowl, and one for the yolks, which you can use later for cooking. Why? Because if you accidentally drop a yolk in the egg whites, you get to start over! Whisk the egg whites until foamy. The egg is ready when it no longer falls out when you turn the bowl upside down. I might advice some caution at this experiment. Because I whisk by hand, which takes some effort, I add a small pinch of salt in the egg whites before whisking. I read this tip online, so I don’t know if it’s true, but apparently it makes the whites foam faster. When the foam is foamy, add the sugar a little bit at the time. Add any flavouring or colour at this point. I made mine pink, and since I was drinking coffee at the time, I thought it might be a good idea to add some. I didn’t notice any difference in taste, though, so possibly black coffee would have worked better!
Pour the meringue mix in the pie on top of the mocha mix in the pie. The oven should be about 150°C at this point, and 10-15 minutes should be enough to harden the meringue. Note, that meringue is liquidy until it cools! However, I didn’t think mine was done at this time, so I lowered the temp to 100°C and left it in for another 20 minutes or so… At this point it’s worth noting, that I have a cake tin with removable sides, which is dead handy. And I returned the pie to the oven without the pie tin sides. Stupid!
The resulting disaster:
(If that oven looks already filthy, it’s because I live in a shared flat!) The pie crust had more time to absorb liquid from the filling and the topping, so, without the support of the tin sides, a part of it crumbled like a broken dam. What followed was a flood of mocha topping at the bottom of the oven and, as I lifted the pie out, everywhere else. You’ll note that the tin has a groove on the perimeter, which I had to attempt to empty so I could move the pie without further mess. I used a small spoon at tried to decorate the top with the liquid mocha, but it didn’t turn out so pretty.
The photo is a bit yellow — the pie is actually a rather nice pink, except for the brown mess on top. The taste, however, exceeded expectations! It’s sweet. Really sweet. Really, really, really sweet. You could probably eat the pie and survive for two months on the sheer sugary madness. Not recommended for small children or those of weak constitution. Or any common sense regarding health.
But oh, the cleaning!
What an infernal, sticky mess! This was, however, a great opportunity to scrub the oven, which I’ve intentionally avoided for as long as I’ve lived here. The greasy mess at the bottom wasn’t my mess! I used a ladle to remove most of the mocha and pieces of pie crust. I’ve also learned my TV cleaning tips, so I started with that foul, stinky substance vinegar. I poured a generous amount in the bottom of the (cool!) oven and on the oven door, let it stand for a bit and removed, as best I could, the now even more liquidy and terribly smelly mess with use of newspaper pages (why waste perfectly good kitchen roll/TP or destroy a kitchen cloth?). The used up pages went straight into a garbage bag. As the oven was more or less empty of sticky stuff, I used a dish rag and some general cleaning liquid to make it nice and clean. I could have continued with the vinegar, but that shit stinks to high heaven! Yuck. The result was a clean oven which smelled pretty bad. I solved the problem by opening the kitchen window, adding a bowl of water and lemon juice in the oven and heated it up again. As the water evaporated, it removed the rest of the stink.