The Design Aesthetic

This week, the assignment is a design challenge; we have been tasked with “mak[ing] a pie of your choice with a focus on the decoration, shape, and overall presentation of the final product.” First off, obligatory ‘Challenge Accepted!’ Second, what in the world does that mean?

To help us understand this, we were shown two demonstrations in class. One for a nifty Spinach pie which displays the filling beautifully (found here) and another step-by-step on how to create a woven lattice crust (such as this). Further tasked with coming up with an idea as well as a list of ingredients by the end of class, I decided to go ahead with the Fish Pie idea I had been knocking around in my head over the weekend.

What makes this pie a worthy contender for accomplishing this week’s goal? First, the base concept is a Fish Pie…shaped like a fish. It will be a free-standing pie with a baked fish filling as well as a fish-like exterior (see here for an example of a creative free-standing pie). Essentially, something similar to this:


Another technique the pie will employ is the use of scales in the top crust, made with pastry. The scales will look similar to those in the following picture:


Furthermore, extra details such as the eye and fin will be created by shaped pastry added to the pie proper. Striations in the tail will be added by the liberal application of a fork. The pie will be erected through the help of a cardboard and aluminum mold, and be presented in all its free-standing glory!

Further considerations that were made but not implemented are as follows: The use of food coloring (specifically black) to make the outlines more vivid so they could ‘pop!’ This was struck down as black might be an unappetizing color. The idea that was suggested instead was to coat the parts that I wanted to make distinct in something like sugar water, so further browning would achieved.

Another idea I haven’t completely thrown out yet is to create a braided border around the top and bottom crusts. While it doesn’t lend specifically to the fish-themed pie, it does add to the overall beauty of the final product as it is something more pleasing to see than a simple line and more technically intricate. The major consideration for the implementation of this idea is time. (See braid example below)


It will be a difficult task to bake the Fish-shaped Fish Pie, but I am excited to take on this endeavor. Hopefully, the use of a no-rolling pin crust as well as a three-stage crust process serves to aid in making this endeavor a reality. Tune in over the weekend to see the final product! Hopefully, it looks something like this:



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