“Despite my changing tastes and desire to get away from using processed foods, pie crust is an exception. I don’t make pie often, so it truly is a treat. Shortening just makes better, more tender and flaky pie crust in my opinion. I have used lard a time or two but I still prefer Crisco shortening.”
From Simply Delicious, pg. 69
As I prepare to make somewhere north of 75 individual dessert-sized pies this weekend, I find myself reflecting on what it is about pie that draws people to dessert.
Pie has been around as long as anyone can remember and is a beloved American dessert. Who hasn’t heard the phrase “as American as apple pie”?
Sweet Pies/Savory Pies
We tend to first think of sweet filled pies when referring to pie, but there are also pot pies, meat pies, shepherd’s pie, and tomato pies to name a few. The list expands further if you include tarts and galettes which are basically fancy pies.
Fruit pies, such as I will be making for sale are relatively easy to produce. Make the crust, add filling and bake. Of course the detail is what makes it so delicious. A flaky tender-crisp crust, filling that is not too sweet and not too tart, edges crimped just so.
Cream or custard pies require a bit more expertise to ensure the filling is smooth and, if topped with meringue, that it does not shrink and weep.
Why Do We Love Pie?
Could it be the memories associated with pie that makes them so delectable? Visions of our mothers or grandmothers setting a hot-from-the-oven pie on the table after a groaning board meal. When we all say “oh, I don’t have room for dessert, but since you have pie, I’ll take just a small slice”, then finish off a large piece just because it is too good to stop eating.
So as I bake blackberry, cherry and peach mini-pies this weekend, I’ll be planning for the next round of pies.
And maybe a savory one for supper.
By the way, my thoughts about pie crust have not changed.