Wednesday, September 2, 2009

cracked pumpkin pies?

Last time, the last time I will speak of things that we produce here that I am very pleased with. A few weeks ago, I boasted about the infrequency of overbaked goods, the next morning we burnt up an oven full of eclairs. Yesterday, I mentioned about our florentines. Wasn't but two hours after I posted it, I went upstairs, florentines looked terrible. I think we have some funny sugar. I've been buying up sugar, because of rumblings of nationwide shortages, causing drastic price increases. The other day they cooked some simple syrup. Simple syrup a mixture of granulated sugar, water and cream of tartar. Joe called me over to the stove and questioned the color of the syrup. It was as dark as honey. So I'm suspicious of the sugar in the ugly florentines. Gonna try again with a different brand of sugar.

Busy day yesterday. A lady called mid morning, claimed the pumpkin donuts this year are better than last years. I'm puzzled, the last pumpkin donut she could have possibly tasted from here was December 24th. Pretty good memory. We mixed a batch of pumpkin pie filling yesterday as well. We will bake it today. It seems all bakers prefer to let pumpkin pie mix sit overnite, in the fridge, before baking. Our mix in particular works much better that way. Although I don't have much to compare it to. We've been making the same pumpkin pie recipe since my dad bought the bakery. I'm hesitant to talk about the success we have with it. I'll probably go upstairs and see some ugly pumpkin pies.

I'm really pretty proud of our pumpkin pies. We use only fresh broken eggs, not powdered or frozen. We use quite a bit of honey. If the mix sits overnight like I mentioned, the pies really have a nice shine. All that honey comes to the top as they cool. We use half evaporated milk and half fresh whole milk, no milk powder. This is the truth. I've been here, at Bennison's for thirty four Thanksgiving seasons. I'd be surprised if I've seen a half a dozen pumpkin pies crack in that time. Cracked pumpkin pies is something a lot of bakers battle. If I hear of that occurring, I immediately suggest trying fresh broken eggs, two and a half pounds for every number ten can of pumpkin.

A lot of old bakers believe that you need to "Age" canned pumpkin from one season to the next. Salesmen come in and when I ask about pumpkin, they reply "I have last years crop for x amount, and I have this years crop for this amount". Not sure I agree with the whole aging pumpkin thing. My dad always bought a year ahead. I guess maybe I'm just not old enough to think like that yet.

Gotta get upstairs and get started here. Got a lot of stuff to get ready for the market tonight. Weather is gorgeous, gonna be a big day.


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