Friday, 16 November 2007

realising her cooking schedule was a wee bit optimistic.

I'm afraid my weekend went horribly awry and the cooking didn't make it past Friday afternoon. In that time I managed to make the Pear and Custard pie from the dentist's magazine, and my first ever pav from the leftover eggwhites.

The pie was merely good, and left me feeling a bit sick, and I guess there's a reason why pear pies are not as famous as apple ones. The dentist and I are not quite even I'm afraid. However, it was worthwhile for two reasons: the pastry was excellent - the first I didn't have to do a patch up job on - and the custard was amazing. These parts of the recipe are worth keeping for other uses.

I randomly made the pav when I found I had 4 leftover eggwhites from the custard, which turns out to be just the right amount for a pav. I was a bit nervous because they're supposed to be a bit pernickety but it turned out freakin' awesome - the best pav I've ever had (although I must admit they're not my favourite dessert). I used the recipe from Stephanie Alexander's big stripey bible, so I should've known it would be perfect. I'm not giving the recipe here, because if you don't have that book a. I'm surprised you're still reading, and b. go and put it on your Christmas list NOW!

Vanilla Pastry
450g plain flour
120g icing sugar, sieved
225g cold butter, coarsely chopped
Seeds of one vanilla bean

Combine all ingredients with a pinch of salt until they resemble breadcrumbs. The recipe recommends a food processor, but not having one, I used my fingertips and handheld beaters. Add 3-4tbspns of cold water, pulse or mix until mixture just comes together. On a floured surface, form a disc, cover with gladwrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

When you're ready to use this, roll it out to 3mm thick and line a buttered pie pan. Fill it with pre-roasted fruit and bake at 180 for 20 minutes or until golden. It will make a fairly large pie with a lid.

Vanilla Custard
450ml regular cream
50ml Poire William or dessert wine
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
4 egg yoks
85g caster sugar

Combine cream, liquor and vanilla in a saucepan and bring just to the boil over meedium heat. Remove from heat, and let it cool for a while. Meanwhile, whisk yolks and sugar together until pale and then whisk into cream mixture. Return to heat and stir for 4-5 mins until thick enough to coat back of a spoon. If you're being fancy you could strain it here, but I didn't bother and I don't think it was necessary.

I used a random pear liquor we had in the cupboard (which has been decanted so I've no idea what it is). I couldn't taste it specifically in the finished custard (it wasn't alcohol-y or pear-flavoured), but I think it probably did help it taste warm and rich, so I wouldn't skip it.


Elsie said...

Wow Em, your pav does look excellent. I've had two attempts here, the 2nd much better than the first but still not anywhere near what I'd call good. I was however pleased with the topping which included berries and star fruit. Very cool, thanks Andrew for the idea :)

m∃ said...

Oh how excellent a decoration are star fruit? But i think kiwi is obligatory for a pav!

Do you have the big stripey book? Would you like me to email you the recipe? If it came out perfect for me it must be pretty foolproof!

Margie said...

That's the pav recipe I use too - I've made at least ten of them and it's never failed me yet (touch wood).

I just always top mine with a bunch of sliced strawberries and passionfruit pulp all random and piled up.