Just because you're on a diet doesn't mean you can't have pie — it's Pi Day, after all! If you're worried about having a day's worth of calories in just one slice, don't be. From sweet to savory — and even a pie shake — there's a lightened-up recipe for all your favorites.
Sometimes I wonder why homemade pie crust has a reputation for being so difficult to make. I'm often surprised to discover friends who are otherwise proficient in the kitchen, yet continue to shy away from the process, and dismiss any recipe involving a homemade crust outright.
I'd wager that much of the problem is rooted in the excess of admonitions advising against potential missteps. Truth be told, it's actually a rather simple process, and has less to do with skill, but instead requires a certain (small) degree of patience. In a nutshell, if you can keep the butter cold, and resist overworking the dough (which really has more to do with doing less) it ought to be a relatively painless process.
Want to get on the family's good side this turkey day? Then bake a pie! Sweet, buttery, and comforting, these pastries are a wonderful closing statement to an all-out meal. While it isn't too late to bake up your favorite recipe, pie can be a delicate balance of art and science. So to help you get started, we enlisted Tim Nugent, pastry whiz at San Francisco's Scala's Bistro and Top Chef: Just Desserts season one contestant. His tips for maximum pie finesse here.
If you've never made a pie before, I highly recommend you start with key lime pie. It's virtually effortless to make and the resulting pie is always a delicious crowd-pleaser. The crust is a mixture of crushed graham crackers, sugar, and butter — all you do is press it into the pie pan. The filling is simply sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, and fresh-squeezed lime juice. Since key limes are hard to come by in California, I make this pie with regular limes. It turns out refreshing, tart, and absolutely divine every time. Learn how it's done after the jump.
Feeling uninspired by these dessert suggestions? Then here's another idea for you: caramel cream pie! This amazing dessert is everything you could want in a pie. It's creamy and rich, but thanks to the crispy caramelized rice topping, crunchy, too. The crust is a graham cracker and hazelnut mixture, so the most complex part of this pie is making the caramel pudding. However, if you follow the exact instructions in the recipe, it will turn out absolutely perfect. To serve at a party, make the pie a day in advance. Ready for the technique? Read more.
Since both my mother and my grandmother are avid pie-makers, I've grown up eating a fair share of buttery, crust-covered, fruit-filled desserts in many different shapes and flavors. From galettes to fried pies to traditional berry and peach, for me pie beats out cake any day of the week. So I'm loving that pie is generating some sweet buzz at restaurants and bakeries as well as weddings (goodbye, cupcake tower, hello, pie bar). The rustic, down-home dessert is having a "moment," so now's the time to have some fun with it! Whether it's just for your family or it's for wedding favors, I've rounded up some new ways to bake, package, and display pies. So, dig in!
The cupcake craze seems to be reaching its peak, but there's a new trendy dessert poised to take its place — pie. The most traditional of baked goods has been enjoying a resurgence lately, with 12 million more slices sold last year than the year before.
With pie's popularity on the rise, chances are you'll be seeing the new bakeries pop up with over-the-top latticed creations ready to compete with those ubiquitous cupcakes. If you need a sugar fix, which baked good is better for you — a slice of pie (typically 1/8 of a nine-inch pie, or about three ounces) or a cupcake with frosting?
The wonderful folks at SusieCakes recently sent the Sugar offices an assortment of scrumptious holiday pies. While some staff members marveled over how delicious the pies looked, I paid attention to how the pies were packed. If you're transporting a homemade pie this holiday season, here's what you should do:
- Start by baking the pie in a disposable aluminum pie pan. This way you won't have to remember to get the pan at the end of the party.
- Pick up a pie box from a local bakery or the baking department of your regular grocery store.
- Place the box on a large sheet of parchment paper. With a pencil, trace the shape of the box onto the parchment paper. Cut down to size leaving a two-inch border on one edge.
The easiest way to make pie dough is with the help of a food processor. First you pulse the flour with salt, then you add the cold butter (or shortening), and finally, you finish with icy cold water. In a few quick minutes the dough comes together. Although pie dough can be made by hand or with a pastry cutter, I think the food processor technique is the best. Is this how you make pie dough?
With Fall on its way, I wanted to started baking again and start experimenting with pies and tarts. I noticed on a lot of the recipes, they call to cook the crust before hand and to ensure it doesn't bubble to place tin foil over the crust and fill it with beans or pie weights or pie weight chain. I was just wondering if there are any bakers out there that have a preference and why?
When I make a pie, I normally use dried beans, then I toss the beans after using them. It might be more environmentally friendly to purchase weights, like the ones shown here from Williams-Sonoma ($13.50), but I don't make pies often enough to need them. What do you use? Please share your pie-baking tips with us below!
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