Monday, August 3, 2009

My Pie Week

For the past few weeks, I have been daydreaming about making my own pie - Peach Mango Pie specifically. This is a deep-fried pie filled with luscious creamy cubed Philippine Mangoes and Peaches. Since mangoes are abundant back home as apples are here in the US, Jollibee ( most popular Filipino owned fast food chain ) probably made use of what's most available. It's what they offer since Mickey D's have the apple pie on their menu. The Peach Mango Pie is my favorite, I even bought some in California last Feb.

Being here in the US, I have been a trying hard DIY girl on almost everything I think is possible to accomplish most especially in the kitchen. So after a few weeks of research I decided to make my own Peach Mango Pie. But I warned myself mentally that I may not achieve the exact same thing that Jollibee sells. One thing is certain though, I know it will be a fun and fulfilling journey.

The Fruit
Number one on the list is the Mango, since I got here the closest thing that I ever had to our mangoes are the Ataulfo from Mexico and they're $1.25 ea ( what the F*!) Meijer price. It was definitely impractical to use them for my experiment. But I found those Apple-Mango kind ( as we call them back home, they're not sour even if they're not ripe ) on the same isle and on sale 2 for a buck, I thought they will hold well since they will be cooked with the canned sliced Peaches.

The Filling
I followed a Pineapple Filling recipe for this one and it was really nice. I had so much fun eating them and decided to give some to my 90 y.o. neighbor. And she found them very nice too. My second batch - baked not fried, I added some almond extract to see how they turned out. And the taste was a little bit different, I liked the plain mango and peach combo better.

The Crust
I was tempted to buy a rolled pie crust for this project but I remembered my pie crust recipe from FoodNetwork in my "untested" folder file. I decided to try if it would work well for my recipe. They were nice compared to the store brought kind but my second batch was flaky and less buttery. But I made a wonderful discovery from Paula Deen's recipes, she used ready made biscuits for her fried apple pies. And so, I bought some and used them for my first batch.

Ready-Made Biscuits
They are good when you consume it right away but they get soggy from the oil if you dont. The taste was wonderful and you can get a lot of ideas if you use Paula's method. I used buttermilk kind for my first batch.

Pineapple Pie
I was also nostalgic for commercially made Pineapple Pie you can find in most local bakeries back home so I made one too. They're the too commercially-tasting pies you ever tasted in your life but they were good. They reminded me of one summer that I stayed with a relative that owned a bakeshop. It was the most delicious vacation ever, having freshly baked bread everyday was the best ever. I guess that is how I fell in love with the smell of freshly baked goodies.

My Pineapple Pie creation's timing was impeccable since we were having potluck for a pilgrimage to Mama Mary's Shrine for the weekend. I brought the 9" pie for dessert and they were giving compliments of how good it was. I felt like hitting the jackpot, and was pleased with how my experiment turned out.

Pie Crust recipe 2
This I got from Smitten Kitchen, she noted in her blog that she loves butter flavor more than the the flakiness. And having tasted the flaky crust recipe , it made me decide to go for recipe 2. It will be my mainstay pie crust recipe from now on. The aroma is simply divine.

My Style

Peach Mango Pie filling
1 canned sliced peaches in light syrup, cubed
1 large ripe mango, cubed
Procedure is the same with Pineapple Filling
I omitted the lemon ingredient

For Baked
Form dough into a log, then flatten it. Cut into desired shape fill and brush with water on the sides and seal with fork twines.

Bake 375F, for 20 mins or until brown. Cooking time varies with each oven.

For Fried
Follow Paula's method, she even has a video you can watch.

Pie Crust recipe 2 is for a 8" dish but I was able to roll the dough thin enough to fit in an 9" dish. I was under time constraint so I only refrigerated recipe 2 for 30mins prior to rolling it. Pineapple Pie filling was made of (1 of each) 20oz. canned crushed pineapple and diced, there's a little extra. I used the 375F for the temperature to bake my pie.

Taste Review
My Peach Mango Pie is the closest you can get to having the aunthentic Jollibee pie. The filling is a little tart but I like it the way it is without the Almond Extract since I experimented with it too. I think the variety of mango that I was using also played the big factor, Philippine mangoes are incomparable especially the ones from Cebu - fragrant , creamy and they simply melt in your mouth. Probably next time I will try to make the filling with mango puree or juice. And although the pie should be fried the baked ones are my choice - less fat.

As for the Pineapple Pie, its a little tart too but it is perfect with Pie Crust Recipe 2. Tartness never really bothers me, I enjoy bites of sourness in my tastebuds. Although I was craving for the commercially tasting one, I was happy with how it turned out.

This experience surely satisfied my cravings. But for me I can tell you they were wrong about the expression "easy as pie", making pies is not all easy - especially if its double crust. But I guess after your first attempt you can say that line. It's very challenging but it can be very rewarding as well. I'm happy for my pie week, just think of the different recipes that I can make in the future. Sweet!