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A Sad Thanksgiving

I was supposed to have made cannoli for our November Daring Baker’s challenge, but haven’t quite gotten around to it.  Instead, I’ve spent the past several days readying our house for Thanksgiving, making last minute recipe choices, and going over the prep with my husband who has to be the best person to have around when it comes to cooking on big occasions.  He chopped and sliced all Wednesday evening while I made pies — one of which turned out wonderfully, and the other, not so much. It was a recipe I’ve enjoyed before, with pastry that always comes out perfectly flaky.  Unfortunately, this time it didn’t and I haven’t quite figured out why.  Was it the pastry flour I used instead of all-purpose even though the recipe suggests that either is fine?  Perhaps it was the European butter with its higher fat content.  Can there be too much fat in pie pastry?  Actually, I’d say it was most likely my fault making a whole batch in my not-quite-big-enough Cuisinart instead of the half batch I normally make.  Suffice it to say that at some point, the cold shortening chunks don’t quite make for a flaky crust; they cause it to drip from the edge of the pie dish when one attempts to blind-bake it, pooling in the pan, burning, and then smoking.

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