Crispy on the Outside

When it comes to baked dishes, and I’m swooning about lasagna, shepherds pie, chicken pie, beef bourguignonne, I’m typically more excited about using my fork to chip off the cripsy burnt bits around the sides of the pan than to use said utensil to eat what’s on my plate. I’ll wait until everyone has served themselves before doing a scoop around the upper sides of pan collecting all the crusty bits (and I’m especially partial to cheesy ones) that most people leave for the washer-upper to battle with. It’s really a rather grotesque habit- and I promise that if you ever come over for dinner I won’t do it, at least not in front of you anyway. Perhaps you’ll be kind enough to settle for something grilled?

The thing is though, I recently came across the Edge Brownie pan and one would think that I, coveter of kitchen gadgets and crispy edges alike would think of this as the greatest creation of the modern culinary world. Alas, I don’t. Now, lasagna baked with all edges would be my idea of perfection- and I’m contemplating buying one just to test it out for this use alone, but who likes the corner part of a brownie? Personally, I always cut the chewy overcooked edges off. Have I been causing offense to others in discarding the edges to the rubbish? Is it just me who thinks that it’s the middle of the brownie batch- the gooey, not quite cooked through section, where the top layer is the most cracked is the best part?

Perhaps it’s the English in me that was bought up eating stodgy sweets- steamed puddings, sticky toffee puddings, Queen of puddings, Bakewell puddings, bread and butter puddings, Christmas puddings. There is, it would seem very good reasoning behind us brits calling desserts: pud? Oh glorious tummy bulging filling puddings baptized in thick, free flowing, pleasantly yellow custard. When I was at school I would wait to see what was on for pudding before deciding whether or not to eat lunch. This was part due to the fact that puddings were the only good thing my school kitchen seemed capable of churning out without an objectionable name and equally objectionable taste and part due to my fondness for stodgy puds. But when sweets are on the table I’ve never had the same inclination to scrape around the sides of the pan. I see no appeal in consuming burnt sugar. When it comes to sweet things I plunge my spoon/knife/fork straight into the middle of the pan- not ignoring the crispy toppings, just the unpalatable corners.

So, as far as I’m concerned these culinary gadget designers need to come up with something edgeless but thanks for the new lasagna pan. And for those who want to sample some great savoury cripsy edges try here or here.

2 Responses to “Crispy on the Outside”

  1. 1 superluckykitchen February 22, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    they make a lasagna pan as well. i kid you not

  2. 2 Anna Helm February 23, 2008 at 9:16 am

    really?! Now this I have to see.

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