The holidays are approaching and that means it’s time to break out the rolling pin,
because it is officially pie season!
Ever since I read the book Julie and Julia, where the main character cooks her way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I wanted to cook my way through a cookbook too. We’re talking, make every recipe regardless of the ingredients, time involved or if I would like it or not. Back in 2013, I finally did it! I baked my entire way through A Year of Pies by Ashley English. Yes, that was 60 pies in 52 weeks! Needless to say I was quite a fan among friends and family that year since I pretty much always had pie in the refrigerator and was always willing to share!
Prior to starting my pie project I had could probably count the number of times I made pie from scratch on one hand. I figured this would be a great way to perfect pie making. I have to say while I definitely learned a lot, I still have a long ways to go before I consider myself a pie expert! Here are a few tips I learned along the way:
1. Always make sure your butter is super cold. I cut it into small pieces and then put it on a plate in the freezer for at least 10 minutes. This will ensure tiny flakes of butter are distributed throughout the dough, which makes your crust flaky.
2. Make sure you don’t over mix, over knead or over roll the pie dough. Over handling it will cause the crust to be tough once baked.
3. I use a standing mixer with the paddle attachment to make my pie dough, versus the food processor, like so many use. I saw this trick here and once I tried it, I’ve never gone back.
4. Even if your crust shrinks, pie cracks or doesn’t turn out as you hoped for, it will still most likely taste good and no one but you will care. I made these mistakes a countless number of times throughout the year and you know what? Everyone still loved them and it was only me who cared they didn’t look pretty! Plus, a good covering of whipped cream can usually fix most of these problems 🙂
I hope the next time you see a pie recipe either on here or somewhere else, you give it a try! Pie making is a great baking skill to keep in your back pocket!
Here is just a sample of pie photos from the year: