Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I'm In The Mood For . . . Pie

But then, what's new? I'm always in the mood for pie. It was Jennifer Jo's post today over at Mama's Minutia that got me thinking about a post I wrote a couple of months ago and then (apparently) forgot about.

When I first started pie baking, I had a terrible (TERRIBLE!) time baking an empty pie shell. You know, when you make a pie like Lemon Meringue or Banana Cream or an ice cream pie or one that requires the filling to be cooked separately and then poured into a baked pie shell?

My shells would always either form a huge bubble in the middle resembling Mount Vesuvius or the sides would crumple and fall down to the bottom of the pie plate. But I finally read enough tips on how to keep mishaps like that from happening and I no longer have to bake two or three or more shells to get one that is presentable.

Here's a sure-fire way of making a perfect baked empty pie shell.

Heat your oven to 425 degrees. Place one of your oven racks in the lower third of the oven.

Prepare your single crust and place it in a pie plate. (I've found that a glass pie plate is best as opposed to a metal one. Don't know why, but I've had this proven over and over.) When you crimp the edge, make sure your crimping comes up over the top lip of the pie plate and kind of "hangs on." Next take a table fork and prick the bottom and sides of the crust. This enables any steam to escape and keeps the crust from bubbling up.

Then take a piece of foil and place it shiny side down over the prepared crust molding the foil flat across the bottom and up the sides of the crust.

Take about two cups of any dried bean and spread them evenly over the foil on the crust in the bottom of the plate. (I have been using the same two cups of baby lima beans for y-e-a-r-s now.)

Place prepared crust (with foil and beans) in oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and lift off the foil with beans in it.

Turn your oven down to 375 degrees, place pie crust in plate back in the oven (without foil and beans) and continue baking about 10 minutes more or until the pastry looks golden brown. (Often times the bottom of the crust will start to get too brown before the sides so watch carefully.)

Remove pie plate from oven and cool on a wire rack and proceed with filling of your choice. Banana Cream sounds good to me right now. How 'bout you?


Sue said...

I'm pretty sure ANY pie you make would be delicious! I really stink at crimping the edges--my pies are hideous......but I make a MEAN apple pie (or so I've been told!)
What's YOUR best pie??

dr momi said...

And don't I have bananas just ready for a pie...sure sounds good to me! Thanks for all the tips.

Leigh said...

What a fantastic tip! Thank you Mama Pea! My empty baked shells are notorious for shrinking on me in the oven. Banana cream sounds good, I'll take a piece please. :)

Sparkless said...

Thanks for the tip. I'll make sure to tell the husband because I've long given up ever making a decent pie crust.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip on the crust Mama Pea! Will try that next time:)

Jenyfer Matthews said...

LOL - I was just wondering how the dry beans would fare in the oven and you answered that question in the very next sentence.

I've never had much trouble with baking empty pie shells but don't ask me what the quality of the crust actually is!

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

I never make cream pies. I wonder why? I do love a good coconut cream. Well now I have to make a cream pie too now! Especially since I need to try your tip:)

Mama Pea said...

Sue - When you spoke of making an apple pie the other day, my mouth watered so badly I had to drop everything and make one yesterday. Used apples from one of our trees and, boy howdy!, it is a yummy tasting pie!

What's my best pie? I suppose that's in the eye (taster?) of the beholder. Daughter would say pumpkin, hubby would say blueberry, I adore Banana Cream. And cherry. When I was baking for the restaurant the best seller was Raspberry-Cranberry closely followed by Chocolate Velvet.

dr momi - I, too, have bananas on the counter that should be used for Banana Cream pie or Banana Bread!

Leigh - You like Banana Cream, too? Sounds as if I'd better bake up one!!

Sparkless - A decent pie crust is NOT an easy thing to do. Encourage your hubby to keep making them!

Mama Pea said...

Stephanie - Hope it works for you!

Jen - Methinks those beans of mine are WELL DRIED by now!

Jane - Yes, you do absolutely have to get in the kitchen and whip up a Coconut Cream pie! You go, Girl.

Dirt Lover said...

Great tip. I had never heard of crimping the edge so it sort of hangs on. Makes perfect sense! I'll remember this when I make pies next time.

Rebecca Shockley said...

I am too-but muffins will have to do for today-orange cranberry muffins-wish i had a camera to show you what a mess baby made after his sister left a perfectly good muffin on the coffee table and since brother can pull his-self up now,my poor red area rug looks like I made patty cake on it! but very good directions that I can come back and don't have to hold these secrets in my head,cus any secrets I tell these days stay a secret forever and katelynn commented on these beautiful holiday pot holders I hung in the kitchen she says"you know gramma ,those are my favorite color" at least that comment was more age appropriate than the one she made about her boobs not being big enough-oh lord her poor mother-NOT ME for certain this one is all hers

Susan said...

Great tip! I have NEVER been able to successfully blind bake a pie shell. You have given them the strength to try again. And I just happen to have a single pastry in the freezer. I'm thinking frozen chocolate peanut butter -- what do you think?

Mama Pea said...

Lori - The crimped edge never seems to stay right where I put it, but I do think at least the effort helps keep it standing up straight!

judy - Mmmm, orange cranberry muffins sound just right for this time of year.

Susan - I think a frozen chocolate peanut butter pie would make the barn guys think they've died and gone to heaven!

Karen L. said...

Well, looks like all that talk about you being a pieceofpieaholic sent you over the edge. As for me, I am off to have yet another cookie.

Mama Pea said...

Karen L. - I'm beginning to think we're both hopeless. ;o]