Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Lessons in Pie Making

I have eaten a lot of pie, like a loooot of pie over the past week. Between Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving and pie-eating contests, all of the pie has been made and consumed. This was the first year I attempted to make pie crust from scratch and in retrospect, it could have gone better. Here are the key lessons I learned about making pies.

1. Start Early- Pies take time, love and attention. Starting to bake pies at 9 o'clock at night is not a good idea. You have to make the dough, let the dough set, then roll out the dough, let the dough set. Then bake the crust for a bit before adding the filling. And THEN you have to actually bake the pie. This puts you at roughly midnight and chances are you forgot something in the process.

2. Line Your Pan- This was the first time I used pie weights. The idea is, when you pre-bake the crust to make it nice and golden, the weights prevent the crust from bubbling. The first pie I made, I just put the weights directly in the pan. The weights are durable and reusable but they also will bake slightly into the crust if you don't put foil under them. I learned this the hard way as my weights baked into the crust.

3. Don't Turn Your Crust Upside Down- Based on #2, my way of getting the pie weights out of the pie crust was to dump them into a bowl. This was great until some of the pie weights got stuck and knowing they were hot, I continued to try and shake them loose. Wrong plan. The entire pie crust fell out of the pan, folded on itself and landed in a buttery mess, pie weights and all. There was definitely a scream. Definitely a yell of horror and definitely a scramble to put the crust back together and burn my fingers to get the rest of the weights out. 

4. Triple Quadruple Check- This rule applies to checking for pie weights in your crust and reading the recipes. I realized when I finished at about midnight that I had forgotten a key ingredient to pumpkin pie. The milk. This isn't like forgetting vanilla, it's the main wet ingredient. Again, this elicited a yell and maybe some swearing. Okay, definitely some swearing. 

5. Get a Poker Face- Yes, I was worried I left a pie weight in the pecan pie. I'm waiting for someone to crack a tooth. Dear lord, please don't crack a tooth. I will never, ever live this down. Emily the blogger my butt! And maybe they won't notice the pumpkin pie tastes strange. Maybe I can pretend I need a picture and pre-taste the pie. They won't care that one slice is missing. Which is worse: hearing about how you couldn't wait to eat the pie or hearing about how you forgot the milk for the rest of your life?!

6. Have a Backup Plan- You can bet your B that I packed extra butter and pumpkin in case the taste test in #5 failed. I can't be responsible for a lack of dessert at THANKSGIVING!! Another great backup plan would have been to a) have all the real ingredients for pumpkin pie before 9pm and b) have store-bought crusts as back-ups in the first place.

Why is it so much more stressful to bake for family? I bake for strangers and the interwebs all the time but I just can't fake it for the fam. I think I just get stressed and then I mess up and then my stress is validated by messing something up. It's a vicious cycle. Of pie doom, vicious cycle of pie doooom.


  1. I feel like there needs to be another rule in here: #7 Have a friend to text when you are freaking out about all of the above at midnight...

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