A Partridge In A Pear Tree – A Traumatic Evening

21 Dec

I love Christmas. One of my most favourite things about Christmas is the cooking…particularly gingerbread. While browsing around various cooking blogs I stumbled upon the blog not martha with the most wonderful ‘Partridge In A Pear Tree Gingerbread’.

I believe I showed the picture of it to just about everyone who set foot inside my house these past few days (some multiple times). I was determined to make it, the template was provided to I figured it wouldn’t be too difficult. Well I was most certainly wrong.

I made the gingerbread (I used a different recipe which I love very much).

Then I used the templates provided to cut out the shapes…it was relatively straight forward.

It was after baking them that my problems started occuring. To begin with, I’d made one of the main templates very thin and the other a fair amount thicker (I was too lazy to measure how thick they were). So the thin one cooked very quickly and maintained its shape while the thicker one spread out a bit more and the slot got a little wonky. I managed to save the one that was too thick by adjusting it while it was still hot. After they both cooled I figured I’d give it a go at piecing them together, see how it was going to work. While trying to force the unequally thick pieces together (not a smart idea), the thin and delicate one snapped in half … opps! It was a bit frustrating, however I realised at that point in time that the slots on both sections of the tree were inaccurate (when fitted together they didn’t match neatly at the bottom, one was actually far too short meaning the bases of the tree pieces didn’t align). Initially I thought it was something I had done wrong, and then looking back at the templates and fitting them together I realised they must have been wrong, so I altered the slot size to fit and proceeded to make a new tree piece.

After I had successfully remade the tree piece I tried again to fit them together. The gingerbread must have been too thick because I had major issues getting them together. In order for them to slot together I had to shave off tiny shavings and gingerbread from inside the slots…again being impatient to get the thing finished I was hasty and caused another breakage (this would have been a prime time for expletives).

There was no way I was remaking it this time, so I decided to do some repare work with some royal icing. The repare job was slightly dodgey, but after a lot of strategic icing placement it succeeded.

Decorating the tree with pears and leaves was fun, and hassel free….yay!

However when it came to assembling the whole deal I had a few problems. Even after altering the template lenghts I had issues with the height. And the differing widths of the gingerbread came back to haunt me. Finally I got it all together and used excess amounts of royal icing to help hold the whole lot together (I ended up gluing it with icing to a dinner plate to hold it in place). I left it overnight for the icing to do its magic and hold it all together (I supported it with drink bottles) and when I came to check on it in the morning it was miraculously stable.

Overall it was pretty tedious to get it right…and exceptionally traumatic (the sound of breaking gingerbread gave me minor heart palpitations). But I’m glad I did it, and even though my final product is stuck to a dinner plate and a little patchy, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Not to mention I had the lovely company of Blair while I cooked (she was my photographer) and the soothing tones of Sufjan Stevens Christmas music….delightful!

And here’s my final product.

My parting advice to you. If you try this at home, arm yourself with a good ruler, some patience and a punching bag.

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2 Responses to “A Partridge In A Pear Tree – A Traumatic Evening”

  1. Bec Matheson December 22, 2009 at 8:28 am #

    This is cool. I will come and eat it. Beats a Gingerbread house.

  2. ana December 27, 2009 at 3:02 pm #

    RAD!

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