Pies Plate Blog
May 17th, 2013
When it comes to restaurants in Ottawa IL, you can be sure that you will find many that will compete for your favorite.
A couple weekends a month, my parents would [...]
May 15th, 2013
If you like fajitas, tacos, and chimichangas: tortillas filled with chicken, rice, refried beans and olive mixture that are then rolled, fried and topped with a piquant avocado mix, sour [...]
May 14th, 2013
For my wedding, I wanted to go all out and have a giant carnival-themed wedding. I rented a ferris wheel, had carnival games, and even ended the night with fireworks. [...]
Welcome, welcome—do come inside! Put on an apron, tie back your hair, and wash your hands. I’m so glad you’re interested in learning to bake pie!
There are a few important things to remember as you bake pie:
Start small. You won’t be able to go from a novice baker to a pie-off champion in a week, or even a month. Your first attempt at a pastry crust will probably fail miserably, and don’t get me started on getting it into your pie plate or tin. That took me something like half an hour my first time.
Pies take practice. People have been making pies since 9500 BC, and we’ve come a long way since the Egyptians put honey in galettes and Greek sailors made themselves meat pies for the road (or, rather, the sea).
Here are a few pieces of equipment you will absolutely need to make pie:
Your own clean hands:
Your hands must be very clean while making pie. Sometimes, your hands—and I can’t emphasize enough that they should be clean—are the best things for mixing a pastry crust. They’re certainly the best for pressing crumb crust and mixing streusel toppings.
A pastry cutter:
Knead your dough with ease once you purchase a sturdy pastry cutter. This little gadget, which has metal strips attached to a handle, will break down shortening, butter, and other fats so you have smooth dough without hurting your hands.
This will help you to roll out a nice, big circle of pastry dough. You can use a large glass drinking tumbler, but it’s bad for your wrists and it makes unattractive lines in the crust. Whether you use a traditional pin (handles) or a French-style rolling pin (one continuous cylinder that tapers at both ends), you’ll have a better time with a proper rolling pin.
A year ago, I’d have said that this was just a fun thing, but I got one for Christmas and it makes your pie-making life so much easier. It’s easier to flip a pastry crust into the pie tin when the crust is on a mat, and many mats come with circles that show you how much you have to roll out your dough to cover your pie plate.
Whether it’s thick glass, glazed ceramic, or metal, even disposable foil, you will need something to put the pie in. Standard pie plates are 9” in diameter.
Pie-making is messy. Keep your area and you clothes clean. Make it as plain or as fun as you like.
It won’t always work the first time. Be patient with yourself and your pie.
The following may not be essential to making pie, but they will make the experience (as well as the finished product) more fun:
Silicone pie-edge cover:
You can put a little foil over the edge of the crust if you are afraid of it over-browning or burning. There are easily rollable silicone guards you can buy as well.
This is a pottery bird used as a steam vent on a pie with a full top crust. It’s not remotely necessary, but it’s a wonderfully adorable conversation piece.
Rotary crimped pastry cutter:
Different than the usual pastry cutter described above, this tool looks like a small pizza cutter with crimped edges. These are very useful for making lattice-top crusts; the edges do not need the crinkly look, but it looks nice.