This pie recipe has gone through several iterations, refining it for maximal citrus flavor. It is not to be taken lightly, as it employs many more difficult aspects of cooking science. I highly recommend attempting it, only if you are well-versed in baking, or pies in general. And by this, I do not mean eating pies. You may eat as many chocolate cream tarts as you like, it does not make you proficient at baking.
several glass bowls of varying sizes
standing or hand held mixer/ whisk and considerable endurance
microplane or cheese grater
fork or pastry cutter
silicone spatula (for scraping)
For the crust:
1 1/3 c flour
1/4 c. butter flavored vegetable shortening (You may use lard if you can find it, but for most, it can be quite difficult. However, this is the ideal element.)
1/4 c. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp of ice cold water
For the filling:
6 very large eggs
1 c corn starch
1 c. water
1 1/3 c. sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp butter
1 c. lemon juice (I highly recommend Mayer lemons)
1-2 Tbsp zest (You may use the zest from the lemons, or add in some more interesting zest from another citrus relative, if you wish. Buddha’s Hand has a lovely floral note.)
cream of tartar and extra sugar (for the egg whites)
I know this seems strange, but separate your eggs, placing the whites into a large bowl in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 425°
Mix flour and salt for the crust in a bowl, forming a small well in the center.
Cut the shortening and butter into small cubes, keeping them as cold as possible.
Place these into the well, and then incorporate flour with fork or pastry cutter until mixture resembles the texture of peas. Do not use your hands as the heat from them will melt the shortening, causing the pastry to be “heavy”, not light and flaky.
Once mixture is the right texture, add the ice water and combine with a fork. It may appear as if it needs more water, it does not. Quickly gather the dough into a ball and flatten into a 4-inch-wide disk. Wrap this in plastic, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
Remove dough disk from refrigerator. If stiff and very cold, let stand until dough is cool but malleable.
Using a floured rolling pin, roll the disk on a lightly floured surface from the center out in each direction, forming a 12-inch circle. Please recall that if it falls to pieces, this means that the pastry will be flaky. If you wish it to hold together more, simply work it more, however, this increases its chewiness.
To transfer the dough, carefully roll it around the rolling pin, lift and unroll dough, centering it in an ungreased pie plate. (Or you can fold dough in quarters, then place dough point in center of the pie pan and unfold, whatever is easiest for you.)
Prick the dough all around with a fork. Bake for about 15 to 18 minutes, or until light golden brown. Cool before filling.
Gather your filling ingredients and begin by whisking the yolks in a small bowl. Set these aside.
In the saucepan, combine your water, sugar, 2/3 c. corn starch, and salt. Heat this on medium until comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute or until it thickens into a translucent sludge.
Ladle by ladle, add ½ of filling mixture to the bowl of egg yolks, whisking it furiously as you do so.
Once incorporated, add this egg mixture back into the pot of remaining filling mixture. This is called tempering, and prevents the eggs from cooking, and turning into egg chunks
Add the lemon juice, zest, butter
Heat this on low heat for another 3 minutes more. If this mixture is too runny (not the texture of a thick pudding) then you may need to play with chemistry a bit more. I advise taking a tablespoon or two of corn starch and making a rue in a cup, with as little water as possible. Add this to the pie filling mixture, stirring constantly, and heat until it begins to thicken. Immediately remove from heat and stir until it is cool.
Add this to your cooled pie shell and set aside
In your icy bowl, or in the bowl of your standing mixer, beat the egg whites, adding spoons of sugar and pinches of cream of tartar as you go, until they form stiff peaks. What does this mean? Try turning the bowl upside down. If it falls out, it is not a stiff peak. However, you cannot magically make this happen. If you have been at this for several minutes, and the peaks simply refuse to rise, add a bit more sugar, and if this doesn’t work, resign yourself to a flat but tasty meringue.
Shovel this atop your pie, being careful not to smash it down. Picture a fluffy cloud. Use the back side of the spoon to create the little points by allowing the meringue to stick and pulling upward.
Place this in the oven at 375 for about 12 minutes, or until the meringue has become a toasty brown at all its highest points.
Cool before serving
This pie is tart, and very lemony. I suggest plating with a sprig of mint, and pairing it with gin. It is excellent as a breakfast dish, minus the gin, of course.
In this image, you can see that I have made the pies smaller. It is identically the same recipe, doubled, and rather than bake the pie shells in a pie pan, I have merely made them in a greased cupcake tin, paying careful attention to their condition, as they baked.
The trouble with recipes for barbecue are twofold: Firstly, this method of cooking can be somewhat religious in temperament. That is to say, every person has their technique, their recipe, their secret, and these are guarded both jealously and passionately. Seldom do humans try other recipes, or cultural trends, preferring either vinegar based sauces, sweet, spicy. Secondly, it has no real measurements, as all of these depend upon your tastes and the size of the cut of meat. I will, however, attempt to give you an estimate of what you will need based upon the amount of meat I’ve recommended.
This will happen in two phases, over the course of two days.
Large pressure cooker (If your cut of meat is large and unwieldy, then you will have to cook in batches. However, you can also do this in a crockpot, for an additional several hours, if you cannot find a pressure cooker.)
A large, deep, roasting pan
7-10 lbs boneless pork shoulder or butt (You might imagine I have a human analogue to this, and I do, as the taste of human meat does lend itself well to this recipe. I would use, probably, an entire upper leg, deboned. However, you would most definitely prefer pork, as it will stay juicy and sweet.)
Golden brown sugar (A large bag)
Korean red chili powder (Get a very large bag. Not for this recipe, but for daily life. It’s one of the best condiments, particularly if you like smoky flavors. It is not very spicy, unless you eat large amounts – or so I am told by humans. I am not susceptible to capsaicin.)
Turkish fermented chili paste (This may be difficult for you to find, and you can substitute with Korean red chili paste, but I highly recommend you attempt to source it. Go to ethnic grocers catering to Middle Eastern or Indian cuisine. Look for the red jars. If it has the word “Gaziantep” on the label, it is Turkish.)
Distilled white vinegar
Sweet white wine
Kosher Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Create your dry rub (Remember, this is to preference, so as you combine to my recommendations, please do taste it and see if it is to your liking.)
Even amounts of brown sugar and Korean chili powder. Approximately 1 cup each, but it can be more, depending upon your taste and the size of your pork cut
Add each of the following in increments of 1 tsp, until you’ve achieved a flavor you like – smoked paprika, celery seed, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt, pepper,
Once the rub tastes sweet, smoky, and spicy, it is finished.
Remove your pork from its packaging and pat dry
Place it in your baking pan and coat thoroughly in the dry rub on all sides. You can do this by patting it with the powder mixture, or by rolling it around in it, but the general idea is to have a bright red piece of raw meat, completely coated in the spices.
Cover the pan with foil and store in the refrigerator overnight.
Remove from the pan and grill on medium heat until medium well (This will probably take a couple of hours)
Remove from the grill and slice off any blackened bits, being cautious to only remove the darkened crust, while leaving as much meat as possible.. If you skip this step, your final product will be bitter and somewhat acrid. Do not worry about the dry rub being scraped off. By this time it has soaked into the meat.
Create your sauce:
Combine the wine, mustard, vinegar (in splashes here or there),Turkish paste, a little sugar, some Korean chili powder, paprika, onion and garlic powders, celery seed and cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Ideally you want 3 cups of yield or so, at the approximate texture of a ketchup or barbecue sauce. It should be smoky, but tangy.
Cut your pork into chunks and set in your pressure cooker. Pour the sauce in, and bring to high pressure. Cook for 45 minutes.
Shred the meat into the sauce.
Serve on a roll with a pickle. It should be tangy, sweet, smoky, and spicy, all in one. If it isn’t the most delicious thing you’ve eaten in a while, then you have done something terribly wrong.
Today is National Eat What You Want Day — when humans concerned about their waistlines must schedule a day to cheat on their diets. I would point out the humor in this prearranged lapse in discipline — since the entire point of discipline is to be disciplined — but I won’t. So eat what you want. I certainly do. Though, you are bound by the confines of law and order.
It is also the publication date of my journal, such as it is. I thought I would celebrate by doing something different.
If you have been following my work, or if you are a new reader, it will become clear that I never eat the skin. I am not entirely happy with the idea of eating a fried meat-sack, since that is really the best preparation of the integument. Neither do I much go in for sweets, but I will never be accused of being myopic. I have decided to branch out, to expand my horizons.
And so, I offer up this treat, a savory dessert.
Baking pan with inset wire rack
Two medium saucepans
Mixer (Hand held or standing, whisk or electric)
Ice cream making kit for a KitchenAid standing mixer (optional)
1-2 lbs pork back fat with skin (As may be obvious, I do not use pork. Instead I choose a specimen with a particularly high body fat index, and a fairly wide torso. I have adjusted the recipe to fit your tastes, however,this ingredient may be difficult for you to find in a normal grocery store. If you go up to the butchery counter and ask them if they have any sitting around, you will probably be in luck. Asian grocers, specialty butchers, and even farm-to-table place may have it.)
Cinnamon (You may use pre-ground spices, for expediency, but fresh is best)
1 pint heavy whipping cream
Chocolate ice cream (I will not include the instructions for making your own ice cream. If you have the standing mixer and the attachment, it comes with a recipe guide. Simply make up a batch of your favorite ice cream and freeze over night.)
1 package raspberries
Chambord (Raspberry liqueur. Optional, but a very good option)
Make your ice cream the night before. If not making your own, skip this step and purchase a dark chocolate, organic variety. We want to keep the savory-sweet profile, so less sugar is better.
Preheat the oven to 200.
Cut your pork into thin strips, about two inches wide, and carefully remove the subcutaneous fat. The best way is to lay the pork skin-side down, and resting the knife flat, slide it across the strip away from yourself, as if scraping or shaving. Remove as much fat as you can, as it will interfere with the crispiness of the skin. Set fat aside.
Cut the skin strips into 2-3 inch segments. Lay these on top of the baking rack, and put into the oven. The low temperature will dry out the skin over the course of the next few hours. When the skin is completely dried out, Remove and set aside to cool completely.
Take the fat you have set aside and render in your frying pan by cooking at a low temp for a couple hours, while your skin is drying out. (I mean the pork skin of course. If your skin is drying out, please indulge in a moment of moisturizing at this time.)
Inmedium saucepan, combine raspberries, 1 cup white sugar, and 1/2 cup Chambord (Or juice or water) and allow to cook down to a syrup. Strain the seeds from this when it is liquefied, and set aside.
When the skin is close to being fully cooled, combine 2 cups brown sugar, cinnamon, and cardamon to taste in your dredging bowl, with just a pinch of sea salt.
Heat your rendered fat or lard in your pan until it is perfect frying temperature, and spits a bit.
Using tongs, drop the skin pieces into the oil and fry until they puff up and get crispy. Immediately remove, give a cautious shake, and then dredge in the sugar spice mixture. Set aside to cool.
Whip your cream until it is perfect whipped cream texture, adding a sprinkle of sugar here and sea salt there. We want this whipped cream to be savory, not sweet, so only add the sugar to bring out the cream, not to mask it. It should taste something like salted butter.
In a small saucepan, heat one cup of white sugar and 1 teaspoon of sea salt on medium heat, stirring constantly. The sugar should begin to melt and turn a light golden brown. When it is completely liquefied, it is finished. Remove immediately or it will harden.
To serve, scoop a small amount of the ice cream into a bowl or cup, add a generous stripe of raspberry sauce. Another scoop of ice cream. A dollop of your savory whipped topping. Drizzle all over with salted caramel. Stack the chicharrones atop like a cookie, or serve in a separate dish for dipping.
If you are so inclined, you may now find my published diary, entitled The Creature’s Cookbook, online, or via the Tapas Media app. I do hope you will enjoy.