Thursday, September 26, 2013

Give Me an N!! Give Me an S!! What Does That Spell? Confusion - 70's Rangetoppers vs 80's Rangetop Saucepans

I found yet another find the other day and decided that I should do an exposé to clear up any possible misconceptions out there in Corningware-Land.  It has to do with the saucepans; more specifically, the round saucepans with handles that are shaped like the Visions saucepans.

There are 2 types of round Corningware saucepans.

Rangetoppers, (all one word) with aluminum clad bottoms, and regular ones that do not (have an aluminum clad bottom that is) called RangeTop (minus the "pers")

You would think that it would be fairly straight forward, but it's not.  The problem is that not all Rangetoppers have a "Clad" bottom.  (sigh)   My assumption is that the exposed aluminum was blackening after being run through the dishwasher as well as rubbing off when abraded by certain cleaning methods.  Thus, Corning's answer was to "embed" the aluminum in the bottom.  These are fairly rare, as I think this was shortly before the line was discontinued, but they ARE out there.  There is no way to differentiate these pieces from regular saucepans by looking at the bottom, cause the white pyroceram conceals the aluminum.

This is my 1 1/2 quart (N-1 1/2-B) with the exposed aluminum bottom. Which is what I made the Tomato & Bechamel sauces in awhile back.

This is my recent find, a 2 1/2 quart Rangetopper (N-2 1/2-B) with the aluminum embedded under the pyroceram glass.

This is where knowing your codes comes in handy.  ALL Rangetoppers are marked under the handle with an "N-standard #-B".  They will also say "Not for Microwave Use", regardless of what the bottom looks like.  True, microwave browners contain "metal" as well, but Tin Oxide (tin rust) reacts a little different in the microwave than raw Aluminum does.

The Rangetop Saucepans, on the other hand, were produced AFTER the Metric switch over.  These are designated with an "S-decimal #-B" because they are in Liters and not in the Standard Quart measurements that had been used previously.

This is my mothers S-1.5-B in Shadow Iris.  Meaning it is a regular non-Aluminum containing saucepan that is 1.5 liters as opposed to 1 1/2 quarts.

The model numbers for these pans are found in the same location as those of the Visions line.  Being, embossed on the top of the handle.

Now I would say that the "S" stands for "saucepan", and that may be true, since V was used for Visions, F was used for French White and W was used for the Wheat pattern.  That would not explain why an "N" was chosen for the Rangetoppers though.  I assume that "R" was out of the question because it looks too similar to a "P" and "A" for aluminum was already taken by the post-1972 main product line.  Why not "T"?  or RT, since Corning chose K & KA for their Flat Ground bottom Cookmate line.  Then again, K & KA are not derived from "Cookmate" either...  So who knows how they came up with this stuff.
Oh, incidentally, though I do not have one, I have seen them in the thrift stores on occasion, though they are usually in a pattern that I do not collect like Country Cornflower or Spice of Life.  The S-2.5-B or 2.5 liter saucepan has a lug handle opposite the long handle so you can move the saucepan with both hands.

(Photo Courtesy of eBay)

I should clarify that this information regarding S & N model numbers has nothing to do with the Menu-ettes; being the 1 pint (P-81-B), 2 1/2 cup with pour spout (P-89-B), & 1 1/2 pint (P-82-B) saucepans as well as the 6 1/2 inch skillet (P-83-B).  The Menu-ettes never switched from their original "P" designation just like the Petite Dishes (P-41 & P-43), even after 1972 when the larger pieces had their model numbers converted to "A".

Gratuitous picture of Rangetopper Saucepans (This is how the instruction materials suggest storing them, instead of placing one pot down inside the other.)

Now, if I could just find the 1 quart (N-1-B) and a 5 quart (N-5-B) and maybe the 10 inch skillet (N-10-B)  The search continues.......

Where is your Corningware??

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Cooking With my Favorites - A Teapot Full of Hollandaise

It's time for another installment of "Cooking with my Favorites", and yes, it's all about the P-17 double boiler insert again.  :-)   Maybe I should refer to it as a Bain Marie this time...   Either way, it really is one of the most handy pieces to have in your collection.

Then again, so is the little mini 3 cup teapot; especially in this case.

Today it's all about France... or at least my sauce is all about France.   It's one of the infamous "mother" sauces of classic French cuisine.  Hollandaise, to be exact.  It's surprisingly easy to do and proof positive that not only does Corningware do Italian in a big way, it can also conquer the most fastidious French Cuisine with ease.

Sauce Hollandaise

4 large Egg Yolks
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Sugar
Pinch of Cayenne
1 TB Lemon Juice, divided
12-14 TB unsalted Butter

Corningware 2 1/2 quart Saucepan (P-2 1/2-B)
Corningware Double Boiler Insert (P-17-B)
optional - Corningware 3 cup Teapot (P-103)

Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a simmer in the 2 1/2 quart saucepan (P-2 1/2-B).

Meanwhile, combine Egg Yolks, Salt, Sugar, and Cayenne in the Double Boiler Insert (P-17-B).

Whisk until well combined and the mixture becomes pale.

Whisk in 1 tsp of the Lemon Juice.

Slice up the butter into 1 TB chunks, so you are ready to finish the sauce.

That means have 2 TB in reserve, just in case you need 14 TB instead of 12....  It happens sometimes.

When the water in the 2 1/2 quart saucepan (P-2 1/2-B) begins to simmer, place the P-17-B double boiler insert over the simmering water.

Whisk continuously until the mixture begins to thicken.

Remove the Double Boiler Insert (P-17-B) from the simmering water and place on a pot holder.
Reduce the flame on the 2 1/2 quart Saucepan (P-2 1/2-B) to Low.

Begin adding the butter, 1 TB at a time, whisking well after each addition, until it has melted completely into the Egg Yolk mixture before adding the next chunk.

After you have added about 6 TB of the Butter, move the Double Boiler Insert (P-17-B) back over the water in the 2 1/2 quart saucepan (P-2 1/2-B) and continue adding the remaining butter, 1 TB at a time, whisking constantly.

When you have incorporated the last of the butter, whisk in the remaining 2 tsp Lemon Juice to finish the Hollandaise.

In order to keep the Hollandaise warm, I suggest moving it to the 3 Cup Teapot (P-103).  As a bonus, it allows for easier pouring of the sauce as well.

Place the 3 cup Teapot (P-103) down into the warm water in the 2 1/2 quart Saucepan (P-2 1/2-B)

If there will be a long wait before use, insert a whisk (to mix the sauce later) and cover with the lid to hold the warmth in.

And just what do you do with Hollandaise?

A plate full of Eggs Benedict, of course. (though some roasted asparagus would have been nice too)

If, by some strange happenstance, you actually have Hollandaise left over (yeah, right) you can move it to a ramekin and cover on the surface with plastic wrap before storing in the refrigerator.

This stuff makes an AWESOME replacement for Mayonnaise on your sandwich or Butter on your toast.   I'm Just Sayin'

Where is your Corningware??

P.S.  Don't forget to enter the "Sidekickin' it Old School" giveaway...  Entries must be received before Sept. 30, 11:59 PDT 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Singing Happy Birthday, off Key - Key Lime Pie in a P-309

I make no bones about it, I love pie.  LOVE it!  So anytime one of my family members asks for birthday pie, instead of cake, I get all kinds of happy.  I enjoy making pie, not to mention eating pie.  So it's a win win situation all around.

This year, my mother requested a traditional Key Lime pie.  This tends to be somewhat on the difficult side, since Key Limes are seasonal, unlike the standard Persian variety.  It is VERY important when making Key Lime pie, to use KEY limes.  They are much more tart, without the astringent bitterness found in the standard Persian lime.  Yes, very important to use the proper lime.

As luck would have it, there is a brand of bottled Key lime juice on the market that you can use in a pinch. (and I have had to use it on more than one occasion)

You still have to use lime zest from a Persian Lime, but it's OK, it's all good. If you really want a treat, get yourself a Makrut (kaffir) lime and use the zest from that for an exotic spin on the Key Lime pie. (do not attempt to use the juice from a Kaffir Lime though, there isn't much and it's not all that tasty)

Since it's my mother's pie, I decided to go ahead and use one of my Corningware Pie plate (P-309) simply because I like the clean white look of the pie plate.

It just looks more classy to me than the normal clear glass pie dishes and I refuse to use metal pie plates.  Granted, I was raised on glass pie plates, cause mom and grandma wanted to SEE the bottom crust to make sure is was brown enough before removing the pie from the oven.  Key Lime pie, though, is usually entails a cookie crust, so this becomes a non-issue for the opacity of a Corningware Pie plate.  :-)

Key Lime Pie

8 oz Vanilla Wafers, crushed
2 TB Sugar
Pinch of Salt
Zest of 1/2 a Persian Lime or 3 Key Limes (they are significantly smaller)
4 TB Unsalted Butter, melted

3 large Egg Yolks
Zest of 1/2 Persian Lime or 3 Key Limes
Pinch of Salt
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2/3 cup Key Lime Juice

Corningware 9 1/2 inch Pie Plate (P-309)
Pyrex #443 Cinderella Bowl (it will make pouring the filling into the crust a little easier)

Preheat the oven to 400F degrees.

Place the Vanilla Wafers in a Zip-lock Bag, and crush with a rolling pin, then move to a bowl.

You can use a food processor for this, but I like to leave mine fairly coarse, cause I like a little crunch in my crust.

Add Sugar, Salt and Lime Zest.

Mix with a fork to incorporate it well.

Drizzle with melted Butter and stir with a fork to coat the crumbs....

When the mixture will clump when squeezed, you have mixed enough.

Pour the crumb mixture into the Corningware Pie Plate (P-309)

Press the crumb mixture down over the bottom and up the sides of the plate. (you can use a glass if you choose)

Toss the Pie Plate (P-309) into the oven and bake for 10 minutes (Just until the edges begin to brown).

When you remove the crust from the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350F degrees.Place the Egg Yolks in the clean bowl.

Whisk until pale.
Add Lime Zest and whisk again.

Slowly add the Sweetened Condense Milk, whisking constantly, then continue whisking for about 3 minutes to ensure everything is well combined.

Again, whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the Key Lime juice.

Continue whisking until everything is combined, then stop (the acidity of the Key Lime juice will begin to "set" the Egg Yolks) and immediately pour the filling into the warm cookie crust.

Smooth the top slightly with a spatula.

Place in the oven for 10 minutes to ensure the Egg Yolks are cooked.

(It doesn't take long, between the acid in the Lime Juice and the Heat from the oven, the Egg Yolks will be completely "cooked")
Remove the pie from the oven and cool to room temperature before chilling for at least 2 hours (you can freeze the pie if you like)
Cut a big slice and sing Happy Birthday to your Mamma!

Where is your Corningware??

P.S.  Don't forget to enter the "Sidekickin' it Old School" giveaway...  Entries must be received before Sept. 30, 11:59 PDT