Saturday, July 23, 2011

Random Recipe Challenge - Oil Pie Crust and Japanese Fruit Pie

I was excited about Dom's challenge (you know Dom, of Belleau Kitchen) to find a random recipe from my favorite cookbook.  I happen to think that my favorite cookbook, In the Kitchen with AWA kicks culinary butt. It is a collection of recipes put together by American ex-pats in Malawi during the late 90's. Those women knew how to cook.

Imagine my complete and utter lack of enthusiasm when my husband (the random recipe flipper) opened the book to a pie crust recipe. Pie crust. Not even a pie. Just the crust. I really, really wished at that moment that Dom was not so strict on the "no bloody cheating" or that I was not a ridiculous goody-two-shoes who would feel bad about bloody cheating.

So, I made the stupid crust. I have tried dozens of recipes from this book. They have all been good. Except this one. Here is my attempt at rolling out the crust. also tasted ridiculously salty. (That might be because the salt in Malawi is not always salty; the recipe may have been adjusted for that.)

Oil Pie Crust from In the Kitchen with AWA
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup milk

1. Sift together flour and salt.
2. Pour oil and milk into a measuring cup but do not stir. Pour into flour mixture all at once and stir with a fork until blended.
3. Divide into 2 balls and roll out on a well-floured board.
4. Bake at 475F until browned.
5. Makes two crusts

What was I supposed to do with this mess? It wouldn't roll out into a crust no matter how I tried. I decided to just press it into the bottom of an 11x9 cake pan and pour filling over it. Thus ends the challenge portion of the recipe. Epic fail. Never make again. Don't know why I bothered typing it up because you shouldn't try it. Seriously, save yourself.

I did go ahead and make a filling, which is not part of the challenge. (What was I supposed to do, bake the crust and eat it plain? Not this crust, for sure.) The pie filling I chose to use was sure to be a success because the contributor was one of my mom's friends - I knew she would not let me down. As I suspected, it was brilliant.

Japanese Fruit Pie from In the Kitchen with AWA
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, well beaten
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup chopped dried fruit
2 tbsp vinegar

1. Melt margarine and add sugar and eggs, blended well. Add coconut, nuts, raisins, and vinegar.
2. Pour mixture into 2 unbaked pie shells. Bake at 350F for 40 to 45 minutes.

This is the finished "bar", since I couldn't exactly use my trust traditionally.

Are you ready for your mouth to water? Here is a slice.

It was so good. The texture was that of a traditional pecan or Derby pie, but the fruit and coconut added a richness that reminded me of old fashioned Southern ambrosia. I can imagine that it would be completely sinful if you added a crushed chocolate cookie crust.

My failure, then, was not so bitter since I had pie filling to make me feel better. However, I am hopeful that the next challenge will see me victorious.

I cannot post without adding a word about what is happening in the Horn of Africa. Those of us participating in this challenge are outrageously lucky. We are among the few people in the world who can open a cookbook and find in our cabinets or buy in our stores whatever ingredients we want. There are ten million people in the Horn of Africa who cannot even imagine that. All they want is enough food to keep their children alive another day. If you have even five dollars to donate to the cause, I urge you to do so. There is no good reason for anyone is this world to have to die for lack of something to eat. If you are concerned about where your money is going I can tell you that I lived for years within driving distance of one of the largest refugee camps in the world and, based on that experience, I trust UNHCR, UNICEF, SOS Children's Villages, World Vision International, and The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, among a few others, with my money.

Thank you for your time and better luck for me with the next challenge:)


  1. looks like you did a great job with the challenge!

  2. oh dear...! I do love a kitchen disaster but i'm so sorry it happened to you during my challenge... well done for sticking to the rules though, i'm very proud of you, even though it did make me chuckle... although the final result looks stunning!... thanks so much for taking part again! xxx

  3. aw, it's ok you were so brave to go ahead with the challenge despite the disaster! the final pie looks yum though, so i don't think it was that bad a disaster!

  4. dont know if my previous comment got published ): anyway i'll type it again just in case.

    you're so brave to go on with the challenge despite the disaster! and you know what, the end results actually look really good, so congrats (:


Thanks for your comments!