Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Following a Four Year Old (My Little One's First Post)

Recently, my oldest has been full of dessert ideas.  Almost every day on the way home from school, she talks about something.  Usually it's what kind of cake she wants for her August.  Guess she's going to be a planner just like me.  She's also been throwing out cake ideas for other events she knows we have coming up.  My grandfather is turning 85 in June, and we are all flying out for his birthday.  If it were up to her, his cake would be a layer of cookies, a layer of chocolate, a layer of strawberry, sprinkles and more cookies.  We'll see what we can do...

Yesterday, however, she got set on one idea that she wanted to make when we got home.  This is 100% her idea, executed exactly the way she wanted...with a little guidance by me.  It wasn't something I had ever heard of before, and I'm not sure where the idea came from, but since I'm always up to experiment...and I was super excited that she was being so creative...we came home and cooked...a Sweet Tea Pie.

What's a sweet tea pie you ask?  A four year olds first creation.  I have to admit that the idea sounded pretty good.  After all, we do live in the south.  Who doesn't love a good glass of sweet tea?  For that matter, who doesn't like pie?!?  Win, win.  First we made the crust.
She insisted on doing everything herself.  So here she is cutting the butter for the pie crust into cubes.  I'm still working on getting her to hold the knife better...which is why I don't let her use a "real" one yet.
She even rolled the dough out herself.  I loved seeing how focused she was.  Definitely took her work seriously!

For the "sweet tea" part, I fell back on a trusty recipe I have for an earl gray custard.  Since black tea would probably have been a little strong for her taste, I used plan ole Lipton instead.  What better way to get sweet tea flavor than to use the tea you make sweet tea with!  Here's that recipe:

Lipton Tea Custard - adapted from Martha Stewart
1 c heavy cream
1 c milk
2 T Lipton tea (about 1 large tea bag)
4 egg yolks
1/2 c sugar
pinch salt

1 - Heat cream and milk in a saucepan over medium heat until simmering.  Add tea, stir and remove from heat.  Cover and let steep for 30 mins.  Remove tea bag, squeezing out the juices.  Re-measure the remaining liquid and add more cream if needed so you have 2 cups.  Return cream and milk to the saucepan and place back over medium heat.
2 - In a small bowl, whisk together yolks, sugar and salt.  Once milk is steaming, slowly whisk into egg mixture.  Pour entire mixture back into saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Strain into a bowl and put into the refrigerator to chill.

Once the pie shell had been blind baked and cooled, she got to work on filling it.
All good pies need berries!  She selected blueberries and strawberries for this creation.  She filled her pie shell with custard and topped it with the berries she cut.  There were also a few peanuts thrown in there since ever good pastry chef knows you need a little crunch. 
I must say I was impressed with her skills right out of the gate.  If she keeps up this way I may loose my job to her by the time she's five!

We put her pie in the refrigerator to finish setting up.  She was super excited to enjoy it for dessert after dinner!  The look on her face was priceless when she brought out her final project to show everyone.  I wish I had a picture of it, but I had a baby attached to me at the time...and missed it...oh well, next time!

In the end, it was a pretty good little pie.  With a few tweaks here and there, I think we may have stumbled onto the next great pie flavor.  What do you think?

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