Who doesn't love pie? I do, and I have had to learn to make them at home since the advent of my dairy allergy. Impossible to eat one out. Pie without butter? Is it any good? Yes. Yes it is. This recipe represents the best of three different recipes and many years of hosting, preparing, feasting. I culled two techniques from the venerable Rose Levy Berenbaum, a crust I love from Amy Traverso and a meringue topping from David Leite. I'll share the full recipe below along with some other terrific tips I've picked up along the way. Won't you join me? Pull up a fork!
Apple Pies for a birthday girl
One Pumpkin Pie to Rule Them All
Pie Nation, Pie Boxes and more
- Crust Dust: If you're making a fruit pie, this tip from Pie it Forward is worth the book. Gesine Bullock-Prado makes beautiful pies and some of her best tips can be yours. A soggy bottom is not a good thing. Not in most situations and certainly not in pies.
- If you're taking a pie to someone's house, the Pie Box is essential!
Large enough to accommodate an Emile Henry pie dish
- Check out Pie Nation if you need a little inspiration, or understanding.
There are some rules I'd say are non-negotiable.
- Make sure the fats are cold, and stay cold.
- Work quickly, calmly and with authority. If the fats get warm then pop it back into the fridge
- Always let the dough rest before rolling it out. But wait - Dorie Greenspan doyenne of Parisienne food says maybe not? Leite's Culinaria's Renaee Schettler Rossi asks "WWDD"? What Would Dorie Do?
Hm. Seems we have been given permission to ignore some of the rules. I'M IN!
Unified Pie Theory
So here's my unified theory of pie. It's okay to break rules and pick the best parts of various recipes.
My favorite crust at the moment is from Amy Traverso's Apple Lover's Cookbook. The Double Crust pie is a winner. To that, I add Rose Levy Beranbaum's Pie & Pastry Bible. I use the cooked custard technique as well as her terrific technique of crushed gingersnaps to line the bottom of the pie. It helps prevent the dreaded soggy bottom, much like the Crust Dust above for fruit pies. If you can enjoy nuts add pecans to the gingersnaps. 4 (2") gingersnaps and 1/4 C pecan halves. I just use 6 Snappy Gingersnaps.
Also, cooking the pumpkin puree and spices, blending in the food processor makes for a smooth, rich filling.
Finally, I loved the addition of a meringue topping and all who enjoyed it agreed. I have Leite's Culinaria to thank for that inspiration. Pumpkin Meringue Pie. And if you need some pie crimping ideas, say no more.