Sewing A Button On A Custard Pie

buttonthumb.JPGSewing a button on a custard pie sounds like something that is both difficult and ultimately pointless - and of course, that's the whole point of the saying. but what if the button was edible..?

button1.JPGSo I set about creating an edible button. I melted some sugar in a pan, allowing it to brown a little for extra flavour - making caramel.

Melted sugar is really hot (although it never looks it) - if you try this yourself, you need to be really careful.

button2.JPGNextly, I spooned a few small blobs of the caramel onto a very lightly oiled tray and left it to cool until firm but still flexible - then I poked holes into each one.

The result was a hard caramel button.

I also made some caramel threads - this is a bit tricky to do and I don't have a photo (because it takes two hands). the caramel must just have cooled to the point where it drips off the spoon like honey - at this stage, the drip will draw out a thread of sugar that cools almost instantly - if you do it right, you can pull on the thread and it will draw out more from the spoon, creating quite a long tangle of sugar strands.


So I put the button on the custard pie - actually, it's a slice of baked cheesecake, but that's near enough. Obviously, I couldn't actually sew it on using the sugar threads, because they are too brittle, but I'm still calling this mission accomplished!



This article used to live in a section of this site I called 'contrarious' - where I actually try to do things that popular sayings imply impossible. I invited suggestions for cliches, idioms and stock phrases that might suit. One contribution was "it's like sewing a button on a custard pie".

I found this charming right from the start, but it took me a while to think up a way to deal with it.