Terror for a food editor comes in the form of a phone call or e-mail. Whether it begins timidly, as in “I think there’s a mistake in one of your recipes,” or launches swiftly into an irate tirade, “Don’t you proof these recipes?” your body wastes no time jumping into action. Your stomach grinds your innards like a food processor, while your hands quiver like a barely-set panna cotta.
I went through the agony late last week when, thanks to a reader’s call, I learned of a mistake in the latest Gourmet Holiday Special Edition. And of all the recipes for it to occur in, my luck would have it appear in one of the most popular ones: Caramel Pumpkin Pie.
How did this happen? It’s a story of food styling trumping convenience, the space limitations of print media, my passion for making recipes as user-friendly as possible, and simple human error.
Did you notice how high the fluted crust is on the gorgeous pie above? That’s because it’s baked in a 10-inch metal quiche pan with 2-inch high sides. Do you have one of those in your kitchen? Me neither! The food stylist and art director knew the pan would make a stunner of a pie, but for many of us that pan is the “Oh, sh*!” part of the recipe. If you don’t have it, and there’s no alternative, you’ll turn the page. Continue reading