A Piece of Pie

As regular readers of this blog, you probably noticed that I hardly if ever make a pie. I can make cake, brownies, cookies and bars, however pies are my downfall. Pies are well... for a lack of better word for it difficult and temperamental, for me anyway.
Like many other bakers out there, I'm addicted to reading Cooks Illustrated Magazine, few months back I got a article which promises a fool proof flaky crust with the secret ingredient of vodka! but of course like in any other case just when I was looking for that particular recipe, I couldn't find it. It's actually a sign that I have waaaayy too much magazines (but I can't help myself). Greatest thing about the Internet is I can google anything. My googling led me to Smitten Kitchen, she has tried CI's version of foolproof pie crust. A problem though, I don't have shortening handy and don't want to go out and buy some just for this. Tossing aside from what I've learned in many baking shows that I've watch both foreign and local, saying that shortening is crucial for that flaky crust. I looked for the all butter pie crust which is also found at SK. I'm so glad that I was able to read both post regarding the CI pie crust and the all butter pie crust. She has pictures of step by step on how it suppose to look, it gave me courage to give it a try.

Not wanting to print out yet another recipe, I'm trying to be more eco-friendly. I look at my baking book collection, I might have something there. The first thing that I checked was Rose's Pie and Pastry Bible, it's no brainer thing with a book that thick I bet it has all kinds of pie crust. It also has this intriguing cream cheese crust. I would have loved to tried those had I have cream cheese handy, so that's for another time. My next problem came is what about the filling, I don't want to make just an ordinary apple pie, but it has to have apples in it cause I've got a bunch of granny smiths waiting to be used. Out of the corner of my eye, a little cute book with a gorgeous cover calling me. It's the Rustic Fruit Dessert by Cory Scheirber. I got it last Christmas during one of my impulse buy mode. It's just so cute, it's small and compact but it's full of information and almost every recipe has a picture so I don't have to guess what it's suppose to look like. To be honest the cover alone made me want to stop by the market grab some fruits and start making pie. Little did I know...it would take months and months till I get the courage to try it.

Last week being Chinese New Year, I wanted to make something new and special. Although I must admit the whole time I was making this, I kept asking myself why? why? WHY???
Hehehe...I know I'm having panic attack

I started out early just in case I suck at this, I can make something else. The recipe in a book yields a lot! It's good for 2 double crusted pie or 4 open faced pie. I wouldn't say that making a crust is a breeze though rolling it out was fun. I'm actually not sure if I cut the butter in the flour enough or not because the outcome of my dough is white with bits of butter in it. I seemed fine however the outcome is less desirable. The crust was a bit though, might have baked it too much but then the book said that bake it for 45 minutes until brown and cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes more until the fruits are bubbling. I though it was a typo or something, being this was my first time actually making a dignified looking pie, I followed the recipe to the dot. Now I don't know how to rectify that problem. I still have 2 crust left and I want to make it perfectly, well...not actually perfect but I want to improve on it. Help! Another question is how can I get that golden crust all over? I brushed mine with some milk before baking it, read it somewhere, not sure if it actually helped or not.
For the filling, the recipe called for blackberries and apples, but I didn't have it handy but I've got some frozen wild Maine berries, they are so tiny and cute! As I was mixing the apples and blueberries, everything turned blue! Uh oh...Oh well, I hope they taste good.
All in all I'd say pie making is a challenge for me but not impossible to do. Though I need a lot of improvement and help.


I'm a nine to five pencil pusher who loves to play with flour and paper during my free time. Dreams of going to Europe and eat croissants and make pastries all day long!


  1. Great "initiation!" I like the crust recipe from Tartine, of course. It's only got the 3 basic ingredients + salt, and not hard to make at all in my experience.
    I think the blue looks great. Adding a little bit more acid to the filling (lemon juice perhaps) will turn it a little redder, I believe.

  2. I think it looks great! I love the lattice top!

  3. thanks for the encouraging words :)