I went and done did it again. The other day I was given a recipe for a 2 ingredient dough. I part plain yoghurt, 1 part self-raising flour. You could be forgiven to think that it is so simple that it would be impossible to stuff it up. Wrong! I managed to do just that.
I used vanilla yoghurt for what had originally been destined to be a pizza dough. Now what any sensible person would do under such circumstances, one would think, is to google an alternative use for the dough. Did I do that? No. I decided to wing it.
In winging it, I totally forgot what happened the last time I winged a recipe. That was a three ingredient recipe. I did not read the instructions. I winged it. Simplified the process. The end result? Burnt sugar in the oven, on the oven racks, on the oven trays – a mess on the floor. Took me hours to clean. I even left myself a note in the cook book.
Which brings me back to the vanilla flavoured pizza dough. It was a shame to waste it. I even discussed its possible uses with TRH (The Retired Husband). He suggested making a fruit pie of some sort. Good idea! I didn’t need a recipe for that. Not once did my mind flit back to that disaster from last year.
I rolled the dough to size and manoeuvred it into a pie dish. (Side note: at this point I had no idea just how much this dough would rise..) There was enough left to even make a lid for said pie. The filling was a can of pie apple and blueberries I had in the freezer. Thinking that a bit plain, I decided to add dollops of ricotta cheese on the top before stretching the lid to fit. It was a little lumpy and torn, but heck, that would let the steam out. After all, they cut holes into them for that very reason. Mine was just more rustic and creative. I finished it off with an egg wash and a sprinkling of raw sugar.
Popping it into the oven, I cranked it up to 180 deg C and set the timer for 45 minutes. It was a big pie. The house was starting to smell pretty good. But there was a burnt edge to it. On opening the oven door, I noticed that the dough had risen beautifully. In fact, so beautifully that the filling was overflowing and dripping sugary sweetness onto the bottom of the oven. Oven racks and trays fell victim along the way. Oven walls were splattered with boiling globs of sugar.
The pie looked done so I turned the oven off and left it in there to cool down. We had some for supper. The crust was thick. The filling was nice. And the lid was golden and crunchy. We ate the lid with the filling. The crust – well, I think the neighbour’s dogs are in for a treat.
I could not face the thought of cleaning the mess so I left it for today. That may have been a mistake. OK, I admit it. It was a mistake. By morning it had congealed and crusted on. The floor of the oven had limpet mine like huge globs of black, burnt sugar adhering to it.
Today, I spent all afternoon cleaning the oven. Stripped of its racks and trays, I managed to scrub the walls, door and bottom clean. The trays and racks are soaking overnight. The worst offenders are in the laundry tub soaking in boiling water and dishwasher detergent. The crusty bits on the lesser of the two evils have been covered with a paste of bicarbonate of soda. Tomorrow I will pour vinegar over them. And scrub them all clean. I do not use chemical cleaners, preferring not to poison myself and the family. Except with my cooking…
I would happily discard this streak of stubborn, pigheaded, winging I-can -do-it-ness. It would save me hours and hours of scrubbing the victims of my mistakes in an effort to get them clean again!
© Raili Tanska
Written in response to Lady Calen’s Exercise 18
Slow and deep ….
(a reminder to me from me)