I grew up watching my mom make homemade pies from scratch. I was always a quiet observer, but she would tell me stories of how she learned to make pie and fill me in on the step by step tips on making it a pie to remember. She also taught me to always have something homemade baking in the oven for when guests come over. Something that was a staple of our Irish culture. For all these reasons baking has always been both nostalgic and therapeutic for me. I thought I'd pass on a few tips and how-to's so others can try their hand at one of these delicious pies.
Step 1: Pick your fruit!
For this post I am showing a mixed berry pie (strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries), and a cherry pie (probably my favorite kind of pie next to strawberry rhubarb...). There are so many fruits that make delicious pies though, and much of the prep for the fruit is the same. So your first step, is pick your fruit...or fruit combo!!!
Make sure you wash and cut up fruit that is larger (some will need their seeds removed). For apple pies, a peeler will be your best friend! You want the fruit small enough to cook down nicely, but not so small that it turns into total saucy liquid (unless you like that...).
Step 2: Add a Little Lemon
Lemon really helps to balance out the sweet and tart. You only need one lemon for a bowl of fruit, but feel free to experiment. The sweeter the fruit, the more the lemon.
Step 3: Sugar and Flour your fruit!
Just a 1/2 cup of sugar and flour goes a long way. Feel free to choose the flour and sugar that works best for your nutritional needs, but I use your basic organic flour and organic cane sugar. Alternative flours and sugars (like coconut or rice, etc.) may call for some experimentation before you serve your pie to others...
The fruit really only requires a light coating of the flour/sugar combo. It's best to mix with your CLEAN hands to not only get the best coverage, but also to make sure you aren't smashing all the fruit (again avoiding that overly saucy/liquid pie effect).
Step 4: Prep Y our Crust
I bet you expected me to make my crust from scratch... My mom always did, but we recently discovered these refrigerator section Pillsbury pie crusts, and they are honestly just as good, and cut about half the time out of your pie making...worth it!
There are 2 crusts per package, so you can either make 2 pies or make a lattice top crust with the second crust. Make sure you take some time to shape the crust and pinch the edges...pictured is IN PROGRESS...it takes some careful hand and a little bit of time to make sure it looks like your picture perfect pie crust.
Get your cutting board clean and clear. And if you plan to make a criss cross lattice top, take some time to cut your strips and set them aside.
Step 5: Fill Those Pies!
This part is pretty self-explanatory. Remember that your fruit will bake down a little bit. This is different than the idea of a cake that will rise, you can really fill your pie to your liking and not worry about overflowing...unless you make a mountain of fruit, but hey, you do you!.
Step 6: A Little Butter Goes a Long Way
Adding a little bit of butter will help develop the sauce that your fruit naturally begins to make in the oven, and never hurts with developing the flavor!
Step 7: Topping Your Pie
The lattice crust top is one of my favorites, and is most classic for pie topping. Get those strips you cut earlier, and lay one layer at a time going in opposite ways, with even spacing. You want to be able to see some berries poking through.
Note: You will need to go back in with your CLEAN hands and pinch/mold the lattice strips into the foundation of the crust. You may need to trim some of the excess crust and lattice to make it look picture perfect.
An optional addition to your lattice is to add a cinnamon sugar mix to the top. Make sure it is mixed before you sprinkle it on so that the crust is not too heavy in either taste.
Here is what the lattice top with the cinnamon sugar looks like. Not only does it taste good, but it definitely adds to the aesthetic of a tasty looking pie!
As an alternative topping you can make a cobbler style crumble. This is simply butter, flour, sugar, cinnamon, and oats. You will need to soften the butter just a little, and use your hands to work the mixture into a crumble! This adds a lot of taste to your pie, and just depends on what you like. So you might experiment with both to decide which you like more.
Step 8: Put Those Pies in the Oven
I usually heat at 350-375, and bake for approximately 35-45 minutes. This again may be a matter of preference. I like to check my pies to see how the fruit is baking. You want to start to see some softness and sauce forming within the fruit. Otherwise, you can check to make sure the crust is browning enough to look cooked. You don't want a raw dough for crust!
Once your pie is out, let it cool a little bit, and then comes the fun part.
Step 9; Enjoy your Pie!
Sharing is optional : )
Curated and written by: Katie Simkins