Sunday, April 22, 2012

Chess Pie, Or Sandy is Living the Dream and We Are All Consumed with Jealousy

A few weeks ago, my friend Sandy retired from work. Since then, she has kept the rest of us drooling with jealousy with a steady stream of, "Oh, it's ten in the morning, but I'm still wearing my pajamas and watching 'Today'," or "I made myself pancakes with berries for breakfast, and later I might have a bagel, too," or "I went to the farmer's market today, and then I went to a museum," messages.

The things that I do on a Saturday or a Sunday are the things that Sandy does every day now.

Sandy deserves these things, after a lifetime of work and wise planning, but that doesn't mean that I'm not consumed with jealousy. Sandy is living the dream, and this week, when she posted that she was trying out this chess pie recipe, I thought, "I've never made a chess pie, either. Maybe I will this weekend... on one of my two free days. I'm so jealous of Sandy."

If you've never had a chess pie (I never had until I moved south), it's kind of like a creme brulee in a pie shell. There's baked custard with a crunchy top shell, and it tastes kind of creamy and sweet. Looking at the recipe, it seemed kind of straightforward (mix everything together and dump it into a pie shell), and Sandy's came out delicious looking. Maybe mine could, too?

Following the directions, I lined my pie pan with store bought, unbaked crust:

unbaked pie crust

I probably could have dressed up the edges a little, but I'm not good at that so I don't really even try any more. I know that sounds like giving up, but I feel worse when I try to do it and it has a tiny flaw than I do when I just go, "screw it" and fold the edges however they happen to fold.

After I mixed up the rest of the ingredients, I poured them into the crust:

unbaked chess pie

and then baked for an hour. When it was done, the top was all brown, crunchy, and puffed up:

baked chess pie

but I had been told that it would shrink as it cooled.

Unfortunately, mine shrank too much:

chess pie slice

I'm not sure why the middle collapsed so far, but there's no arguing that it did. It tastes fine, exactly the way that it should.

The only thing I can think of is that I need to let it cook a few minutes longer.

And also that I need to win the lottery, so that I can retire.

1 comment:

Sandy said...

Aw. Maybe it only falls in the middle if you bake it on a weekend. Sorry, booboo.