Imagine an old farmhouse with your grandmother sitting on the front porch. Its dinner time and there is pie cooling in the windowsill behind her. It’s definitely a thing of the past! the world has evolved. Homemakers are becoming a thing of the past. Our grandmothers and mothers used to stay at home and cook home cooked meals every day. Pies were a specialty item and every mother in the neighborhood competed for the best pie! Things have changed now that you can just go to the store and buy a ready to go pie. Making pie is actually a pretty complicated process. There are ten tips that will help make your pie making experience much easier.
Cold:Ice Cold
Pie crust dough works best cold. Refrigerate everything including your flour and mixing bowls. Use as cold of butter as possible without it being frozen. This also helps when baking to help keep the crust from shrinking and all of the inside of your pie going everywhere.
Glass is Best
It’s really tempting to purchase those tin pie pans that make clean up as easy as tossing it into the garbage can. However, those don’t heat pies very evenly and tend to burn the bottom of your pie. Cheap pyrex glass pie pans are all it takes to have delicious, evenly heated pie.
Butter, Butter, Butter
Shortening can be a cheaper alternate as well as margarine. However, it is essential to use real butter in your crust! This helps make it workable so that you don’t have a tough crust or struggle with laying your crust out.
Pit, Slice and Peel
Make sure when your making your filling that every fruit involved is pitted, sliced or peeled. There is nothing worse than a decadent, delicious pie with peach fuzz on it. I’ve found that when choosing fruit for my pies, that it is cheaper and less work to use frozen fruit. If you thaw it in the fridge and drain the extra liquid off of it it will not make your pie soggy.
Get your Husband Involved!
Cutting butter into the dry ingredients when making a pie crust is one of the worst jobs on the planet! Your arm will feel like its going to fall off and your core muscles are sore for days! Don’t let this happen to you! Ask your husband to split the work with you! Two minutes a piece would be all it would take and you would have a delicious pie crust ready to be put in the pan. After a couple hours of chilling of course!
Do you want flaky?
If flaky pie crust is the type you like to eat then this is where you enter shortening. Shortening is the best option instead of butter in order to make your pie crust a little flakier. This is perfect for more dinner-type pies such as chicken pot pie.
There is always a place for Hot
Apples are difficult to get the perfect texture and taste. One way to do so is to soak the apples you choose for your pie in hot water. There are a couple ways to build filling. One way is to pre-cook your filling before baking the pie. Or you can just use fresh fruit in your pie. It really comes down to personal preference however, pre-cooking your filling does reduce some of the apple taste which makes your pie a little sweeter. However, pre-cooking does make your pie filling quite a bit thicker and helps your pie retain its shape better when cutting.
The Power of Cornstarch
Fruit pectin is easy to use as a filling because it congeals the filling quickly and easily. However, keep that for the filling in a cupcake and use cornstarch. Cornstarch gives a better taste because it isn’t so fake tasting. Using cornstarch leaves the fruit taste up to the fruit and doesn’t add any artificial fruit taste to your pie.
Let it Cool, Cold:Ice Cold
When it’s finally time to dig in, don’t be tempted to do so before the pie has completely cooled. The problem is that it will ruin the filling. Which will result in a half eaten pie with filling spread all over the pan! That’s not very pretty or decadent! So despite the fact that it will be really tempting to eat it right away, hold yourself back!