Commit to baking a pie each week. A kitchen habit established for a few Summer months accomplishes the following: happy family members, tasty and healthy (if you adjust sugar amounts) desserts on a regular basis, a handy surprise for last-minute vistors, a comforting practice for you to look forward to, and the inevitable title of Expert Pie Baker. After all, it doesn't take 10,000 hours of experience to become the best pie maker on the block.
To guide you, a few simple rules of the Academy Crust, and everything in between:
- Frozen butter is your friend, as it keeps dough flaky. You can even grate it into dry ingredients to avoid a mess.
- Kneading the dough is a good thing, making it supple and easier to handle.
- Wax paper is a no-no! Instead, use Saran Wrap for storing or rolling out dough.
- Prepared dough can rest for two days in the fridge or else rolled immediately, filled and shoved in the oven right away. The most discerning baker will neither know nor care.
- Bake pie in glass pie dish on floor of oven for crust worth devouring.
- Picking fruits? Juicy, ripe, local are the key concepts.
- Pies do not like to be stored in the refrigerator. Lay a piece of wax paper on top of pie and leave at room temperature. It will stay good for for up to 3 days, although sure to be devoured in less.
So many choices are exactly why pie is never boring and much more interesting than cake. Summer pie, Winter pie, tomato pie, even four-and-twenty blackbirds pie! Crostatas vs. crumbles vs. double crusts? What’s complicated here? All are great. Try each and let your children vote. Include your children early and often on important family decisions. Lattice vs. open vs. closed tops? Same as above. Healthy, hearty dinner and dessert conversations will ensue. No one will be on the iPhones when pie is on the table. A difficult discussion coming up? Serve pie to help the medicine go down more easily.
P.S. There's nothing like sharing a piece of pie with your sweetheart. Two forks plus one slice = love at first bite. Want to seduce a certain someone? Bake them a pie. Serve with a seductive wink. Searching for a heavenly Summertime treat? Start the day with a piece of leftover fruit pie and hot coffee. Rinse pie plate & repeat.