Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Harry Potter 7 part 2 is coming out tomorrow and I'm going to see the midnight showing at the drive in with some friends...

They are playing part 1 at about 9:30, and then part 2 at midnight with the rest of the country. This is awesome but poses some problems. First, we have to get to the drive in at like 7pm 5:30pm to make sure we get a good spot. Second, we'll get hungry.

So, Ashley and I came up with the idea of a Harry Potter picnic to abate our hunger and help us to get psyched for the show. Ashley is making butterbeer and cauldron cakes, Janelle is making licorice wands and some other candy, Taylor is making pumpkin juice and cockroach clusters and I agreed to make treacle tarts. For those of you who are less nerdy than I...

Treacle tart is featured in the Harry Potter books, and is known to be Harry's favourite food. He is often depicted as eating the dessert during various Hogwarts feasts, and the aroma of the dessert features prominently in "the most powerful love potion in the world" for Harry in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince which gives off the combined smell of each individual's favorite scents.

I was under the impression that "treacle" was some made up fruit or something (it's not) and was prepared to make some tiny pies and call them treacle tarts, but upon further investigation I found out that treacle is not only a real thing but there are actually real treacle tarts. So, naturally, instead of finding a trusted recipe, I went on a Harry Potter recipe fan site and decided, yes... this is the recipe I will use...

Very legit/ detailed recipe
Here is a chronicle of my progress... Simple recipe... this will take no longer than 45 minutes-- tops! Start time 6:38pm.

Directions: to make one 9" pie crust, mix half a bag of
the mix and 2 tsp and 2 tbs of cold water.
First of all... Betty Crocker, could you be any more vague and then immediately oddly specific. How much of the mix should I use? Oh, about half a bag... How much water should I use? Well first put in 2 tsp. of cold water and then put in 2 tbs of cold water. Really? Couldn't have found a more concise way to say that? I'm surprised the water for the second set of directions isn't listed as "1/4 cup of cold water, plus 1/2 cup of cold water."

You can't quite see this because of the label,
but the molasses bottle was full when I started
and I used an entire 1/2 a bottle.
Holy cow that's a lot of molasses.

So at this point, I've greased my tiny muffin pans. Then rolled out my dough. Next direction... "line each cup of the miniature muffin pan with pastry rolled as thinly as possible." Oh crap, how do I do that? Well, luckily for me, I found a tiny goblet in my cabinet with a diameter that looked right so I used it to make tiny little perfect circles.

Mini Hufflepuff cup
Christmas cookie pie crusts

I'm not particularly proud of this but I read "line each cup of the miniature muffin pan with pastry rolled as thinly as possible." as "line each cup of the miniature muffin pan with pastry rolled as thinly as possible!!!!" So I accepted the challenge of the author and rolled each tiny circle into a flatter, slightly less tiny circle and then shoved it into the tiny muffin cup.

Challenge accepted


At 7:40, an hour after I started, the crust was finally put into the muffin cups. I also decided to sprinkle sugar on the crust because, what else could you add to 1/2 a bottle of molasses other than more sugar?

All crusted-up
Since Betty Crocker was so oddly specific in their ingredients, I'd also like them to be as specific about the quantities of the pie crust... This box makes two 9" pie crusts or 24 tiny pie crusts and a respectably sized snake.

Sidebar part 2... Respectable snake next to a spoon for scale
 Moving on...

As I, indefatigable, continue to make this treacle filling for these joke tarts, I happen upon the thought that this is the hardest I have ever worked cooking something that I'm not positive will actually taste good... after all, molasses? Personally, I'm kind of "Eh" about it.

So I "warm" the molasses in a saucepan for about a minute (thank you other not-so-specific directions) on low heat until it gets more... liquid-y... for lack of a better term... and then I add the ground ginger, which is as expensive as ground gold, and the plain breadcrumbs.

Quick side-note, the recipe on the back of the plain breadcrumbs is for "Italian meatloaf." I would think that the first step for making Italian meatloaf would be to purchase Italian seasoned breadcrumbs. No? Just me?

So I'm stirring and marveling at the fact that this tart filling is not a liquid... It looked less like ground beef in real life. Promise. I also think, wow, this is a lot of treacle filling.

It was a lot of treacle filling. This is what I had left over after I filled up 24 of the mini-muffin cups AND fed some to the snake. How many mini-muffin pies did the author of this treacle tart recipe want me to fill? 100? How many mini-muffin pans can one person own?

It should also be known that at this point, it is now 8:10, One and a half hours after I began the task of making treacle tarts.

It should also be known that 15-20 minutes in the oven, really means almost 30. Making the total time it took to make these buggers come to 2 hours.

Finished treacle tarts
Poor, poor house elves. Harry and Ron alone could probably polish off those babies... not to mention the rest of the Hogwarts student body.

Cutest little guy I've ever seen.
I was slightly concerned about them sticking to the pan and all of my effort being for naught, but thanks to my copious margarine greasing of every single cup and spraying the top of the pan so the crust wouldn't stick, they popped right out.

Will they be Gabby's favorite food as well as Harry's?

I'll let you know tomorrow.

EDIT: These will not be my favorite food, but they were better than I thought they'd be... odd texture, very molasses filled. I'm glad I tried them for HP7P2, but I don't expect them to be a repeat :)


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