08 August 2010

Another capital city

I'm famous, yo!

Well, not really. But I did wake up to an email from Jodi saying that my mouse cake was included in Ms. Humble's Science Cookie Roundup #6!! Win! Plus, Mr. P even commented on the Pocky whiskers! Double win!

Ahem. Moving on. (Haha! Get it? "Moving" on? Oh dear.)

It's almost impressive how quickly I accumulate stuff. When I moved to Boston two years ago, I brought just a suitcase, a duffel, and a backpack (full of things, obviously). Well, I have a few more things now.

XOXO to all our science vendors for the shipping boxes! The Great Wall of Science Nerdery could not have been achieved without you.

Becca and I packed all these, plus my bike, into a Scion xB, and embarked on the ZipCar Fiasco to End All ZipCar Fiascos. That is, Becca drove me and my stuff from Boston to DC, then drove back to Boston last weekend! Have I mentioned that Becca is amazing, and my hero forever and ever?

Moral of this story: I need to learn to drive! Really.

Well, so I moved to Washington, DC -- the 4th capital city in my life, after Seoul, Madison, and Boston -- but couldn't move into my flat yet because it's sublet for the summer. My friend Ben and his flatmates very generously let me crash in their living room this week, but I need to get myself installed in Georgetown before my classes start on Monday. Luckily one of the subletters moved out this morning, so I can stay in her room until my room opens up... after my first final exam at the end of the month. Less than ideal, but I'll live.

By all accounts, once classes start I won't have time to do much of anything besides study my tail off, so I decided to bake something for Ben and his flatmates during my last week of freedom.

Adapted from Not So Humble Pie.

Ben's flatmate Liz has a book called Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking by Michael Ruhlman, which analyzes the simple ratios of key ingredients in recipes. According to the pie section, I had just enough flour left over from my last visit here, so I made a pie.

1 c. almonds
1 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
a pinch of salt
3/4 c. unsalted butter
3 egg yolks
18 oz. raspberry jam
1 Tbsp. milk

Chop the almonds into a fine powder and combine with the powdered sugar. (Or use a food processor, if you have access to one.) In a medium bowl, combine the almond mixture with flour, cinnamon, cloves, lemon zest, and salt.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and beat in 2 egg yolks, then add the almond/flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Wrap about 1/3 of the dough in plastic and chill in the fridge. Press the rest of the dough into a 9" cake pan (I don't have a tart pan), creating an even layer on the bottom and sides. Fill the pie with jam.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled dough and cut into strips using a sharp knife. Lay the dough strips into a lattice on the pie. Note that this dough is quite delicate, so handle with care. Press the strips into the edge of the crust, trimming any excess.

Chill pie in the freezer for 20 min. and preheat the oven to 350°F.

Whisk together the remaining egg yolk with the milk and brush the crust and lattice with the egg wash. Bake until the crust has browned and the jam is bubbling, 45-55 min.

Cool on a wire rack. If desired, serve with a dusting of powdered sugar.

I was also inspired to make some ham-and-mozzarella hand pies for dinner that night.

I'll do a post on those when I next get a chance to make them properly, as I was short on time and counter space this time around. I miss my lovely big kitchen in Boston.

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