Thanksgiving can feel like a drudgery for the cook no matter how fearless she/he is. Luckily, every Thanksgiving, our dear friends Joy & Terry, host the event. I usually bring a salad or vegetable side dish. This year I’m bringing a pie as I stocked the freezer with pie fillings from fruit of the summer and fall bounty.
I have this book to thank for my pre-planning this year.I met Kate McDermott the author of The Art of the Pie, in June 2012 when I went to a food blogging conference in Seattle. She was a lovely and humble woman who sat next to me, told me about her story and food blog, Art of the Pie. I have followed her baking career since our meeting and feel so privileged to have met her and so happy to own her beautiful cookbook. Thanksgiving is all about the pie when it comes to dessert. I took a tip from Kate’s book on page 155 on Pre-Cooking and Freezing Apple Pie filling. Partially cook the apple pie filling, allow it to cool, then place plastic wrap on the bottom of a pie plate, the pour the filling inside.Wrap up the filling in the pie plate then place in the freezer. Once frozen, you can remove the plate and wrap the filling more securely with aluminum foil if you wish.When you are ready for a pie, make the crust and pop in the filling. The filling can be partially thawed and then you would bake it an additional 10-15 minutes at the lower temperature. I was so happy to have discovered this I froze peach, peach-blueberry and cherry pie fillings from the summer harvest to have ready for the next party.I generally have issues with managing the dough. I made Kate’s Traditional Art of the Pie Butter and Shortening Dough, which has worked well for me in the past. My problem is the timing of chilling the dough, then rolling it out. For today’s pie I chilled it overnight, sat it out for an hour, but it was still a chore to roll it out. One crust rolled out well but the other did not.
One thing about Kate’s book, is that she is not perfect, nor does she profess to be. She admits that baking can be troublesome and she talks about how to to roll with it.
I scrambled around in my pie box where I store items and found some cookie cutters. This was my opportunity as a baker to make a signature crust. Patty’s Points:
1. The crust rolls out best for me, when chilled after one hour. It is more pliable.
2. I loved making the filling in advance, completely separate from making the crust. This works for me until I have managed making and rolling out the crust with great skill.
3. It takes practice to make pie crust as it is more art and skill than anything.
4. Make the pie crust topping your own. Be creative.
Happy Thanksgiving – Enjoy your family and friends during this American Holiday.