baking project

The pie maker

(OK, now I can’t stop thinking of Pushing Daisies.) As you may know if you’ve been following my tweets, one of my new hobbies is baking pies. It started last November when I decided to try and make one of my favorite Thanksgiving must-haves, pumpkin pie, for our family get-together.

I enjoyed it so much that I decided to start making one pie a month. My favorite part is the crust: forming it, rolling it out, fluting the edges. Most of the recipes I’ve used are from Cook’s Illustrated, whose master recipe for pie crust includes a couple of tablespoons of vodka. Apparently it keeps the dough moist and helps the texture better than water only. That reminds me that the fillings for the pecan and cherry recipes I’ve made use bourbon. (Hmm, is there some reason I keep coming back to these?)

So here’s where we are so far:

  • November: Pumpkin
  • December: Cherry (I also made this for Thom’s folks over Christmas)
  • January: Lemon meringue
  • February: Pecan
  • March: Apple-cranberry
  • April: Cherry (yes, again; I had leftover frozen cherries, so why not?)

They have been mostly successes, though the lemon filling of the lemon meringue pie didn’t quite set up completely. Still they taste good, as far as I can tell. I made the most recent pie as presents to give to my family at our Easter get-together last weekend. Two skills combined: pie-making and gift-wrapping!

Sweet Cherry Pie

Sweet Cherry Pie

At Michaels I found these cupcake boxes which are actually the perfect size for one-fourth of a pie. (¼π, har har.) The plain cake boxes they had are a little tall, presumably for layered cakes.

If anyone has suggestions for pies to make, let me know! I’m also open to making savory pies, so at some point maybe I’ll try something like a meat pie. Check out the adventures in pie-making in my Flickr set. I don’t know about you, but I’m hungry now!

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