It’s officially pie season! As the head of the household baking department, you are in charge of the essential task of baking the perfect holiday pie. No pressure!
Pies are a source of stress in kitchens everywhere: Will my homemade pie look good? Will it taste good? Will the guests approve?
The first step is removing the anxiety of the word “perfect” out of our baking vocabulary. The real “perfect pie” is one that is made using quality ingredients, quality bakeware and a good recipe.
Every pie is a chance to improve, and a pie made with love is the best pie of all. But let’s get realistic: How can we make a holiday pie that is delicious, visually-pleasing, and above all, stress free?
- Your pie doesn’t have to be (literally) perfect
The idea of the perfect pie is one that guests enjoy, and it doesn’t have to look like it’s out of a magazine. A rustic pie is normal, and shows that it’s homemade. Don’t have time for lattice? Don’t worry about it. Top your pie with a good batch of whole vanilla bean ice cream or rich whipped cream.
- Add quality ingredients
It’s the inside that counts! Going with Pecan? Make sure you choose the largest and freshest nuts available. If you’re making pumpkin pie, or a fruit pie, choose your produce with care and again, always go with fresh ingredients where available.
- Focus on the crust
The filling is important, but attention to the crust is crucial. Think cold: pre-chill everything from the butter to the flour. Work quickly so butter remains firm. If additional water is needed, add slowly and carefully and again, handle the dough as little as possible.
- Bake smart
Preheat your oven so the pie begins baking immediately. Be sure to bake completely; long enough for your crust to turn golden brown. For fruit pies, use pans below the pie to catch drips, and always adhere to the recipe’s exact instructions. No two pie recipes are the same!
- Store your pie according to standards
Give your pie time to cool; at least 20 minutes so the ingredients can set properly. Use a cooling rack if at all possible. Except for exclusively refrigerated pies, store pies at room temperature.
With these tips, you are ready to make a delicious holiday pie! Tell us, what is your biggest concern in the holiday pie-making process?