Tag Archives: pie

Saturday at the Peach Festival


4 gifts under $50, fuck you GOOP

Macallan Scotch.  Tasty.  Not too personal, but still leaves a warm feeling in the gut.  Passes the booze snob test.  Generally speaking, the older the scotch, the pricier the bottle. A homemade apple pie is work intensive and that’s why it is a meaningful gift.  Cookies, eh.  Taking the time to peel apples and kneed dough demonstrates true love and generosity.   Even though the ingredients aren’t expensive, I like that a pie is a substantial baked good gift that can feed a whole family.Pink Himalayan Sea Salt is high in trace minerals and is super pretty too.   You can cook or serve on these Pink Himalayan Sea Salt blocks.  A pink salt block is an original gift for culinary have-it-alls and surprisingly affordable. Ya’ll know I heart some paper, including these Fringe Studio stationery sets.  Find them for half price at the high-end department store outlets.  Cute quality cards please almost any lady (and inclined gent) from 8 to 80 years old. 

Fill Up the Box at the Panetteria

For Valentine’s Day, I fulfilled a fantasy.  It’s not what you are thinking pervs.  No sticking your dick in the cannoli. I went to this Italian bakery I’ve been meaning to try.  On the rare occasion I hit up a bakery, I typically restrain myself to one selection.  How miserably boring is that?Just once, I wanted to fill a whole bakery box full of assorted delectable pastries.So I did just that, and it was fucking fantastic.  Once in awhile, go full out and fill the whole box.  I’m certainly not suggesting you fill your pie hole with pie everyday, but occasionally, nothing beats a sticky bun. I’m still lit up with childlike joy from my mini-splurge.  This week take an afternoon delight.  Enjoy a baked good or your comfort equivalent.  Support a local business, maybe something authentic from the old country.  Enjoy the experience wholeheartedly and without remorse.  

on pies

Over the last few years I’ve baked pies from scratch.  Like quilting, it is easy to understand why preparing dough by hand could easily become a lost art for the amateur baker.  If a holiday pie is on the menu, instead of store bought, consider wowing the crowd by bringing a homemade pie. 

After creating several decent-but-mediocre pies, I’ve learned a few tricks that have dramatically improved my results.  A self-proclaimed baking neophyte, I humbly offer you the following advice based on personal trial and error.  Going against popular modern instruction (including Martha), I declare the food processor the foe of flaky crust.  Cut the fat into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter and a little effort.  Most beginner pie makers overwork the dough which results in a shortbread-like crust consistency.  Since switching to the cutter from the processor, the previously illusive flaky texture is now literally within my grasp.  The recipe for pie crust only requires 3-5 simple ingredients:  3 cups flour +  1 cup butter and/or shortening (I use 1/2 cup of each) + as little ice cold water as possible (1/8-1/4 of a cup) , a pinch of salt and a skosh of sugar (about 2 tbsps). Cut abut half the water into the dough with the pastry cutter and reserve the other half to dribble on as needed once the crumbly dough is transferred to the location where you plan to roll it.  Add water conservatively, keeping in mind the fat should hold it together.  It took me quite awhile to get comfortable with the relative dryness of the dough.   Immediately after forming the dough into a mound, use a greased fondant roller to roll an 1/8 inch thin round.  Form into a shape that generously exceeds the diameter of your intended pie pan.  Not sure?  Turn the pan upside down and use a knife to cut around it, leaving yourself at least a 3 inches all the way around the circumference.  For the lattice, cut strips from the remaining dough.  Some strips should exceed the diameter of the pie pan.  Refrigerate the crust after it’s rolled and formed rather than chilling the dough and then trying to roll it.   If you choose apple filling, I learned you really don’t have to pre-cook the apples as is generally recommended.  As for type of apple, the cheap and ubiquitous organic Granny Smith works great.  Peel and thinly slice the apples.  In a large bowl, bathe the sliced apples in sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice.  Let the mixtures stand for a half hour and then use a slotted spoon to transfer the filling into the pie. 

Weave a lattice with strips of dough you cut while rolling out the pie.  Dot the top with butter.  Use a foil lined catch pan in the likely event the pie juice simmers over.  Try the lowest rack of the oven for a crispier bottom crust.