Saturday, May 31, 2014

Friday night pie-ence

Friday nights tend to be one of the most productive times of the week for me. It probably has to do with being able to relax and stop thing about to-do lists and just focus on making figures or writing R scripts, or thinking through problems.

Last night, however, instead of my usual Friday night science, I baked pies for an backyard chicken fry-up one of the other grad students in my department is hosting.

As I was baking, I couldn't help but think of geology analogies for my pies (which I like to think of as "pie-ence":

My pastry recipe (handed down from my mother) makes three pies. The top one is lemon meringue and on the bottom are blueberry and apple pies. 

Putting the top on this apple pie made me think about karst topography, which form when limestone (or other soluble rocks) dissolves, leaving space for sinkholes and caves. As the top of the pie is set on the apples, it takes the shape of the apple slices and the spaces between them. On the right is one sinkhole that filled up with pie filling from below.

This is the first time I've made blueberry pie, and I have no idea what it will be like on the inside. I'm hopeful that it's not too runny. If you think that looks like a blueberry-sized hole, you are correct. I pulled one out (through a steam vent) to see how it tasted. That hole is like an exploratory well- it gives a sample in a single location, but not enough information by itself to really know for sure what the consistency of the entire pie filling is. We won't know that until we slice it open. Then the cross-section (piece of pie), will reveal what's there.

I've made lemon meringue pie before, and while it always tastes great, the meringue usually separates from the lemon filling. I tried something different this time to prevent that (once again, I won't know if it worked until the pie is cut). Usually I chill the filling before adding the meringue, but this time the lemon was still hot, and hopefully some "contact metamorphism" happened to cook the base of the meringue and seal it to the lemon. 

1 comment:

  1. hit the nail on the head in my opinion. Separation of Igneous and Metamorphic rock. Both events can occur all depends on the matrix of both and the cooling down process of both. looks Good.....can I have a slice ?