Since I do not have a starting point, a logical progression or an established action plan for this blog, I am just going to go ahead and start with a random item I was working on today.
I was thinking about apple pie and what it is about it that I (and others) like. There's the crust, which has to be flaky and crisp (and stay that way for at least a full day; that is the difference between a dough that was properly made and baked and one that was not). There is also the apple part of course. It doesn't matter whether it is a par-cooked filling or not (raw) before the pie is baked, in the end what matters is a pronounced cooked (baked?) apple flavor and apple pieces that hold their shape and stay in place when you cut the pie. There's also the spices used, most commonly cinnamon, and then, as if it was necessary, clove, nutmeg, allspice, sometimes even ginger. But let's face it, cinnamon is at the top of the list. And a warm slice of pie needs some whipped cream. The real kind, not the aerosol.
With these elements, how can you make a dessert that embodies all of those factors? What I came up with was this:
A French macaron (crisp) filled with apple butter (very concentrated apple flavor), a quenelle of slightly sweetened whipped creme fraiche and heavy cream, and a pipette filled with a sweet and intensely flavored Vietnamese cinnamon infusion. How do you eat it? You take the macaron and spoon some of the cream on it, drizzle a few drops of the infusion and take a bite. There is also a rectangle of Granny Smith apple skin powder. The fern is simply a stencil, airbrushed with black cocoa butter.
But this does make me also think that re-interpretations are personal, especially when it comes to foods that people expect to be a certain way. Apple pie is apple pie, and many people have the same idea as to what makes it good or not good to eat. So when you take the usual comfort elements of food and you shake them up, you might not make apple pie lover's very happy.
Which is great. Haven't there been enough great apple pies made?