In praise of enamel bakeware
|I ate all the pies. And I'd do it again!|
I bought the first one when we were in Knees, Trowbridge's funny little family-owned department store. Knees sells all sorts of things you might need, from clothes dyes to suitcases, pest control products to rugs, and some you possibly didn't think you could get any more, like blacking for your grate and Vim. (Seriously, everywhere else sells Cif/Jif nowadays, but Knees has Vim.) Yes, I could probably get lots of the stuff cheaper elsewhere, but it's central and I can't drive, plus I like browsing round Knees because it's like stepping back in time and I like to support independent shops in my town centre. It's one of those places where the shop assistants actually look at you, and give you a genuine smile and are properly helpful. Step back in time indeed.
So, there on a rack was all sorts of enamel bakeware. I loved the look. The tin mugs made me think of camping trips, although i've never been camping. I really wasn't sure I'd get much use out of it (after all, I already had a ceramic equivalent), but bought myself a pie dish anyway.
Ever have a problem with soggy-bottomed pies? I always found it tricky getting the bottoms of things to cook. Not with my enamel pie dish. You grease the dish before putting the pastry in, and it comes out cleanly, with a perfectly-cooked bottom. I bought two pie dishes and realised I only needed one of each size, so gave the other to a workmate who also makes his pies in ceramic dishes and finds the bottoms stay soggy. He too finds the enamel dishes much better.
That's the best bit from a cookery point of view. From a cleanery point of view, the dishes are also ace. Grot just wipes off. You see the very crusty dish in the top photo? That crust is cooked on bechamel sauce and cheesy breadcrumbs from a squash gratin. It's set solid. After a short soak, the stuff came off easily with a bit of rubbing with a washing up sponge.
|See? All clean again!|