Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pie Crust Perfection

This Father's Day, I am thinking about one trait that I inherited from my father: a love of crust. Put just about anything edible in a good, flaky pastry crust, and we will eat it. Does it really get much better than golden, buttery layers that shatter under the gentle pressure of one's fork? I have my own definition of crazy: people who eat the pie, and then LEAVE THE CRUST BEHIND. When it's a truly good crust, this is nothing short of a travesty.

I experienced crust perfection today at the Volunteer Park Cafe. Stopping in for a late lunch, Michael ordered a chicken salad baguette, while I decided on the quiche of the day. Hey, it was salmon - salmon and crust! - how could I resist? The first bite was a mixture of silky smooth egg filling that melted in the mouth, a little salty tang from the salmon (my one complaint would be that the quiche could have used more salmon, but perhaps they kept it a little sparse to keep the price at the regular daily quiche level), and tender, flaky crust. I couldn't resist breaking off a piece of the extra thick edge of the crust, savoring a bite of pure buttery goodness.

But how does Volunteer Park Cafe do it? Crust is notoriously finicky, and while I would say that my mom is a masterful pie baker, I have to admit that the Cafe's crust beats hers, hands down (sorry, Mums). At home, I've managed to turn out some fabulous pie crusts, and some not so fabulous ones, but none quite compare with this.

I guess I'll just have to go back to Volunteer Park for more.

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