The Good, the Bad & the Ugly…or the Truth About Cooking

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Maple Pumpkin Pie...pretty, but not very tasty

This weekend I planned to cook up a storm – I have two upcoming pie baking classes to teach and a deadline for a magazine article at the end of the month.  I had the ingredients, a plan, and actually the time I needed, so what could go wrong?  Well, let me tell you.

The first order of business was a maple pumpkin pie that I thought would be a great seasonal addition to my pie class.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get my hands on any fresh sugar pumpkins, so I used an old trick of draining canned pumpkin puree to remove excess water and intensify the pumpkin flavor.  I made the dough, the decorative leaves for the topping and it was beautiful.  See the pictures?  The only problem was that it tasted terrible.  The filling didn’t set up the way it should have and as a result it did unfortunate things to the crust. 

The pie ended up in the garbage, but it was not a total loss.  It reinforced a belief that I always had about pumpkin pie but have never actually tested….it should be baked in a shallow pie dish.  To allow the filling to properly set up without over cooking the crust, you shouldn’t use a deep dish pie plate.

On Sunday, I decided to give it another try and although this pie was not nearly as attractive, it hit the mark I was looking for.  I ditched the first recipe and worked off a tried and true recipe that I had from my grandmother with a few twists.  The result was a properly set up pie with a good crust and a filling with the depth of flavor I was hoping for.

The truth is that not everything you attempt will turn out great.  Some of it will be downright awful, but that is where our greatest opportunities for growth as cooks come from.  What didn’t work in the recipe?  Was it a particular flavor, the technique?  What can you change to make it better?

This time it only took me two tries to get what I was looking for, but honestly sometimes it takes multiple failures before I achieve the desired result.  There are many dishes that I try that don’t make it to this blog, because I decide they still need more work before I am ready to share, or sometimes because they just aren’t  “pretty” enough.

The next time a dish fails to live up to your expectations, don’t give up on it, just keep on trying.


Related Posts with Thumbnails

Leave a Reply