Today, for the first time, I will make… a PIE.

I don’t things like pudding pies really count, given that that’s just mix the milk with the instant pudding mix and tossing the whole thing into a graham cracker pie crust and refrigerating.  No, this is gonna involve baking and everything. …True, I’m using prepackaged pumpkin pie filling and a frozen crust, but the first step in all of this is to learn the basic moves.  Once I’m confident that I can make these things, then I can start in on making them from scratch.  Man must walk before he can bake, and all that.

UPDATE: So far, so good. Behold! The uncooked pie.


FURTHER UPDATE: Just how clean should the fork tines be, anyway? I’ve had it in for an extra ten minutes and it’s still not quite done, I think.

SECOND TO LAST UPDATE: Well, I think that it’s done. I guess we’ll know when I eat some tonight.


19 thoughts on “Today, for the first time, I will make… a PIE.”

  1. Happy 0.14* Day! You are on the path to enlightenment. And, best of luck to you. My paternal grandfather made Mom present an acceptable Pie Offering before he would let Dad marry her. Surely not a requirement for all families, but I’ve never seen Pie *harm* a relationship.
    *3.14 T-3 days. It works in my head…

  2. I sought out and asked for lessons from a scratch-piemaker .. she was a little confused by this but eventually agreed.
    When you get to scratch-crust, there are many things you need to know.
    *Really* cheap vodka. The kind with no particular flavor. Use that instead of water, because *science*, it evaporates out of the crust faster’n water, leaving it flaky.
    Efficient mixing. The gluten molecules will form longer and longer chains, so the more you work the dough, the tougher the crust. Mix fast *and* thoroughly.
    Roll the dough on parchment rather than on your counter or tabletop, and *leave it on the parchment* to transfer it into the pan. It adds tensile strength to the dough, preventing tearing, which lets you get thinner crusts.
    If working with a fruit pie, especially apples, sprinkle some corn or tapioca starch (I find the latter is a little gummy but has less of a flavor) under the top layer of fruit – this will soak up extra water from the apples, and leave you with more of a stew than a soup.

    1. Amen to all of them. Especially the “efficient mixing.”
      Just like biscuit dough; just do it, get it done already, don’t overthink (or overdo) it, and then leave it be….

      1. this was the really hard part for me since I started with yeast breads & kneading. Even today I favor the ease of a boughten crust.

  3. Did you check the use by date? Come on Moe, make a season appropriate pie. Might I suggest Shepherd’s Pie?

    If we must stick with a fruit pie, the strawberries are just now available in Florida and there’s always frozen fruits to try. Maybe a banana pie (you do cook the pudding… right?), or a Key Lime Pie.

    OK, enough criticism, pumpkin pie is my number one, hands down favorite, all time bestest pie and yours look neat and the right color. Good luck, hope it’s delicious (i’very been known to bake a pumpkin pie just to smell it bake)


      1. Heh, you’re giving me flashbacks to Tom Lehrer:

        “There must have been a reason, cows were out of season”

    1. I got some refrigerated pie crusts, actually. One is for the cherry pie I’ll be making next, but the other is for meat pies or turnovers.

      1. leftover smoked brisket works well in turnovers – being from Texas I don’t actually sauce the brisket when it’s cooked fresh, but a little sauce mixed in with the meat, maybe some cheddar, is pretty darn tasty in a turnover or fried pie.

          1. It’s going to be similar whether it’s a turnover or fried pie – you start with a round piece of dough, and put a dollop of whatever’s filling it in the middle, and fold it in half, and crimp with a fork to seal – if it’s fruit you cut a few holes to release steam for turnovers, for fried pies not so much.

            Turnovers use pie dough, fried pies usually use something more bready, with yeast so it rises a bit. You can cheat and just use the really cheap big biscuits and roll them out flat, but it can’t be the layered ones. When you fry them, they’re pan-fried in shortening or lard. I’d go with a fairly sweet bbq sauce, tomato based rather than mustard.

            Pulled pork works about the same, and you could probably stuff some slaw in there if you like that sort of thing, but I’ve never tried that.

  4. do not forget to “drop” the pie a couple of times to get all of the air bubbles out of it.
    Next, you should try biscuits. (Cut them straight down and straight up. No twisting….)

    1. I just got the best biscuit recipe off the food network that is completely fool-proof and only requires 3 ingredients edited down to my version: buttermilk, butter, and self-rising flour. They rival the best I ever had while in college and grad school in the South, and they turn out perfect every time. The key is cold dough, minimally handled, and a hot pan and oven…heaven! Even my Dad said we could just skip dinner and eat all the biscuits.

  5. Am in a mood to share.

    Deep Dish Southern Pecan Pie

    In a small bowl, mix together, to remove any lumps in the flour:
    1 cup white sugar and 4 Tbsp. flour

    Mixing by hand, beat 4 eggs
    1 cup white Karo syrup
    4 Tbsp. butter, chopped into little pieces plus 1+ TBS chopped into little pieces
    The sugar/flour mixture

    Stir in 1 cup whole pecan halves. NB: add these later for mini tarts.
    Pour into deep-dish pie shell, preferably freshly made by YOU.
    (You can divide into 2 pie shells, but it is better in the deep dish),
    Cook at 300-325 degrees until almost firm, about 1 hour.

    When the crust is slightly brown, wrap the edges of the pie crust with foil to keep from burning.

    Serve warm…or room temp. Great either way.

  6. There’s always the “build a protective ring of aluminum foil around the edges, if needed to keep the edges from burning while cooking the middle” trick.

    For me, pies are too much trouble. I can get decent ones at the local grocery store, and can get really good ones at a local diner/bakery for special occasions. Quiches, though, are easy with store-bought crusts, and tasty.

  7. First, you don’t poke a custard pie with a fork, you gently jiggle the oven rack when it looks done, and it is done when the custard is ‘set’ in the middle. And, yes, a pumpkin pie is a custard, as the eggs define the filling consistency. This looks like a respectable first attempt, but about 15 minutes too long, which is why the crust got so dark. The pie shouldn’t need a foil ring, just less time, for the crust to be just right. Now, to rescue your cherry pie attempt….
    If the filling is store bought, it doesn’t really need further cooking; it’s already cooked. But, the crust will need to be done so it’s not raw on the bottom, and brown around the edges. I would put it in the oven for 15-20 minutes to pre-bake, with foil or another pie pan set inside it (filled with a cup or so of dried beans or rice to weight down the crust) and then put in the filling and bake for the rest of the recommended time. You only really need to get the filling really heated through for this, not cook it again. If you are doing filling from scratch, email me, and I can help you turn out a masterpiece!

Comments are closed.