I made Karen DeMasco's Butterscotch Cream Pie for Thanksgiving (recipe here). I made my own cookies for the crust, bought vanilla beans, candied pecans for the top. I made the pudding and stuck my head inside the pot to lick the remnants out. I grew slightly resentful of the pie and how long it was taking. I accidentally over whipped the cream for the top, prompting Paul to say that it didn't matter how it looked as long as it tasted good. Uh, no. A pie like this has to look as good as it tastes. I took it to dinner.
Let me tell you-- it was so good that our friend announced that she didn't actually care how long it took because it was worth every little bite and frankly, she would not feel bad if she asked me to make another one. And it was better than it looked, so I was wrong.
So we tracked down the book: The Craft Of Baking: Cakes, Cookies and Other Sweets for Inventing Your Own
It's beautiful and well written and very instructional, which I love. She talks techniques and isn't that so important when you're trying something new? Just like sewing. DeMasco provides frameworks to improvise, talks about baking in soup cans, and goes into candy making which is both terrifying and exhilarating. Jellies!
These are black raspberry flavoured, and they are delicious. I have a horrible track record with candy and these came out first go. The recipe calls for 1tsp of Vitamin C powder (a large bottle was 8 dollars-- not cheap, but hey! Vitamins! I got Country Life Brand from New Seasons) and Pomona's Pectin/powdered pectin. I think you could also skip the C powder. The rest of the ingredients you probably have, especially if you have frozen fruit in the freezer.
So, yes, another dessert book which is not good news for me and my jeans. BUT, it is unlike any baking/dessert book that I have and I've already put brioche and honeycomb brittle on my must try list. Incidentally the other two big desserts I brought to dinner were a Raspberry and Pear Pandowdy from the Rustic Fruits book and Pumpkin bread from the Grand Central one. We are three for three on the good books front. They would make fantastic gifts, too, along with Molly's Book which has made the rounds through all my friends-- unless, of course, you want to be the person who always shows up with the fabulous desserts that nobody else has the recipes for. In that case, keep these under your hat.