Wednesday, November 26, 2008

easy as pie

Well, last night's pie attempt was not as successful as yesterday afternoon's pie adventure. We did pumpkin and coconut cream (well really a coconut custard). Something went a bit haywire with our crusts and it made for a not-as-delicious situation. But never fear, we've since recovered and have one tasty (but not beautiful) pumpkin pie. The coconut one (which Nate is pretty sure he would be the only major fan of) is good enough for him. However, I am not happy with it so I will not post the recipe (why waste the time of my dear reader(s)?) Our pumpkin recipe is very similar to the Libby's recipe, except we used fresh pumpkin. The pie that still holds some promise though is the Apple and Tart Cherry pie. We decided to just make the filling and refrigerate it. We have the pastry dough already made and chilling in the fridge. We'll bring both components to my mom's house and assemble and bake tomorrow. I'll keep you posted!

As far as making ahead of time, etc., there are many opinions out there. From my research it seems a pie such as pecan and Hershey could be made a couple of days in advance. You always run the risk of a soggy crust, but it is a slight risk and when you are running out of time you do what you've got to do. Let the pies come to room temp and then wrap them and hope the edges of the crusts don't crumble on your 300 mile journey North. If crumbles do occur, its okay. You can either cover it up with whipped cream or realize no one will care because you made them a homemade pie and they are just overwhelmed with joy and will not notice such a blunder.

The baked custard pies should also be fine for a couple of days. We figured by making them last night they would be consumed in less than two days. These pies also should come to room temp (so they sat out unattended last night until Nate got up before the crack of dawn this morning) and then wrapped loosely in foil (because they might get a bit dewy if they can't breathe so much) and stored in the fridge. Then let them come to room temp before you serve them.

With fruit-filled, double-crust pies (like the soon-to-be apple-cherry pie) you can actually assemble the pie and then freeze it (unbaked). You'd put the pie uncovered in your freezer until it is rock hard, then you would double-wrap it with plastic and then a layer of foil for good measure. (Make sure your pie is in a Pyrex pie plate because it can handle extreme so-very-cold-to-so-very-hot temp changes). It will keep in the freezer for at least 2 weeks, but some argue it will last even longer without ill effects. When you are ready to cook it, preheat your oven, then remove the pie from the freezer and toss the plastic and foil wraps. Cook it at the same temp and for the same amount of time as if it weren't frozen. At the end of the cook time (mind you I haven't tried this, I've only read a lot about it), reduce your oven temp significantly, cover the top with foil, and bake about 20-25 more minutes. This will ensure the crust does not burn, the inside is cooked through, and all your pie eaters will be very, very happy you chose to make a pie 2 weeks ago.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everybody. I'll post the pie outcome later. Oh, and did I mention Nate is doing a Rocky Road ice cream pie as well? That makes for 6 (which is the exact same number of pie plates we own...)

Gobble Gobble!


Brittany Owens said...

Holy cow woman, you know your pies! I consider myself a good cook, but not a good baker. I am going to attempt an apple with Honeycrisp apples, and a pumpkin cheesecake pie. Not adventurous I know, but my baking skills need help. Thanks for all the info though. Have a good Gobble, Gobble day.

H. said...

Wow Pie Guru! Thanks for the info. I will definitely refer back as necessary. And it's nice to know I don't have to stress all on Thanksgiving!