MAKE: 100 Pies; The First 10
A little while ago I decided to make myself a little goal. It was inspired by a person I follow on Instagram who had also given herself this goal. The goal was to make 100 different types of pie. A lofty, maybe slightly ridiculous goal, but a delicious goal nonetheless. At this point on October 7th 2018, I have made 10 different types of pie. I started this goal about a year ago before I even had this blog. The majority of my pies (8 out of 10 of them) have been made in the last few months.
For every pie I use the exact same pie crust recipe. It is my favourite, and my trusty sidekick especially when I am choosing to make a new kind of pie. I use the Basic Pie Crust from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. This cookbook has been rewritten with numerous versions and updates since it was originally published in 1896 and it is my favourite recipe book and guide book for everything in the kitchen.
Of my first 10 pies, some of them I have followed a recipe and some I have just made up on the spot. Pie is really very easy to make. The crust is flour, salt, cold butter, and ice cold water. And the filling can be as easy as some cut up fruit mixed with a bit of sugar and flour like my Fall Plum Pie, or have a little bit more complex of a filling like Pumpkin Pie or Pecan Pie. The choice is yours and it really is your own adventure.
Before I delve into my first 10, people have asked if I plan on making savoury pies in the future. The answer is yes! But so far I have only played around with sweet pies. Stay tuned for another round of my next 10 pies to come out around December. Now, let’s bring out the pie!
Pie 1. Apple Pie
A classic, apple pie is a must for any new pie maker. This is one of the tastiest pies to eat for all seasons. And luckily apples are usually pretty reasonable to buy all seasons as well. When I make apple pie I always try to use a softer apple like a Braeburn because they break down a bit more with the heat of the oven. I also tend to add a little bit of sugar, some lemon juice as it brings out the flavour of the apple, and the most important ingredient, cinnamon. Ironically, I burnt my first pie of my 100 Pies goal. Luckily it wasn’t too badly burnt and still tasted pretty good. Since then, I have gotten a lot better at watching my pies to make sure they don’t burn in the oven.
Pie 2. Pear Apple Crumble Top Pie
I apologize for the not so great photo as this was early in my 100 Pies goal and for some reason I took only this single photo of the pie. I remember this pie being really delicious as I had sliced some pears and apples together and mixed the filling with some sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Then I did a vanilla cookie wafer topping where I crumbled up the vanilla wafer cookies with some butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
Pie 3. Apple Tayberry Pie
Tayberries are a berry that is like a blackberry and raspberry put together into the most delicious sweet, tart, and juicy berry you could find. These were on sale at our local grocer this summer so I bought a bunch and decided to use them in a berry themed pie. My grandma has made blackberry apple pies before and so I thought I would try that but with a tayberry instead. So for this pie I used soft apples and sliced them thinly, and gently mixed the tayberries and apples together with some sugar so as not to bruise or squish the berries. I don’t often do classic full pie tops, but I thought I would try it out with this pie. It turned out really well with a bright red colour perfect for summer.
Pie 4. Summer Cherry Pie
I had never had a cherry pie up until I made this one and I think it is one of my new favourites. The cherries stayed juicy and fleshy once they were cooked and it was a super delicious summer pie. For the filling I pitted and halved the cherries and mixed it with a bit of sugar and that was it! A super easy filling to put together. Perfect for sharing at a BBQ or when you have company visiting.
Pie 5. August Peach Pie
I grew up on peach pie. There has been a peach tree in the front yard of my mom’s house for as long as I can remember. August was always full of boxes of fresh peaches on the floor, batches of home canned peaches cooling on the counter, and hot peach crisps and peach pies straight from the oven. I love peach pie. This year my mom graciously brought a box of peaches from her tree to me in Victoria. Naturally, I made pie. For this peach pie I used a bit of sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg (my favourite spices if you haven’t noticed already). I used only about a 1/4 cup of sugar with this filling so the pie was still had some tartness which was really nice. For the flower patterned top, I have some tiny cookies cutters that I used to cut the shapes out of the pie dough. It is very easy to do and adds up to a rather fancy looking pie.
Pie 6. Peach Apple Pie
I made my 6th and 7th pie while I was at my boyfriend’s family cabin over the Labour Day long weekend. My boyfriend and I teamed up to make both pies for dessert one night. For both of our pies we made a vegan crust with vegetable margarine. It was my first time making vegan pie and I was really happy with how they turned out. This peach apple pie was meant to be a peach pie but we were low on peaches and they weren’t super ripe so I made the executive decision to add some apples that would also help to sweeten it up. Apples are a wonderful fruit to combine with others to make the filling go a little further.
Pie 7. Blueberry Pie
This was also my first time making a blueberry pie. And this pie was the second pie (also vegan) we made while at my boyfriend’s family cabin. When I was growing up, my neighbor had the best blueberry bushes. Every summer he would make a huge deep dish blueberry pie and invite my family over to eat it. It is one of my favourite summer memories. For my blueberry pie, I gently mixed the blueberries with sugar and flour. I chose to leave this pie open faced because that is how my neighbour always made it, and so we could see all the lovely blueberries in the centre of the pie. Blueberry pie is great on its own, but is really top notch with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.
Pie 8. Fall Plum Pie
My boyfriend and I were at the farmers market one weekend in September and I saw so many lovely prune plums at the market stalls. I got 3 lbs (which was a ton for my 8 inch pie dish) and it made a huge heaping plum pie that was super delicious. For the filling, I pitted and quartered the plums and mixed in a bit of sugar and flour with it. I was considering adding a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg, but totally forgot so it was left with no spices. The pie was so juicy and full of sweet and tart flavours, it has become my favourite pie yet. I left this pie open faced because I like the look of larger pieces of fruit in pies, and I found some sweet little cookies cutters at a store which I used to cut out leaves from the pie dough. I had never made a plum pie before and I am looking forward to making another one next fall. My mom and I were recently talking about this pie and she suggested adding ginger which would give it a bit of heat and spice and I think I will try it in my next variation.
Pie 9. Classic Pumpkin Pie
It is the time of Thanksgiving. I actually made this pumpkin pie around the 3rd week of September as I was really feeling the fall vibes. I had never made pumpkin pie before and I was pretty happy with how it turned out. I used a recipe in my Fannie Farmer Cookbook for this one and it made about twice the amount of filling that I needed, so I quickly made some mini pies with leftover pie dough fitted into a muffin tin to try to use of the rest of the filling. Next time I will half the filling recipe for my pie shell. When placing pieces of pie dough on top of the pumpkin pie for decoration, I quickly realized as I experimented with the mini pies, that the pieces of pie dough sunk to the bottom of the uncooked pumpkin pie filling. So for my main pie, I waited until about halfway through the baking time before gently placing the decorative dough shapes on top. Next time I think I will also mix my filling a bit better so that I don’t have the different colouration in the pie dish.
Pie 10. Pecan Pie
For my most recent pie, I used a pecan pie recipe in the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. I would like to report that this time, the filling recipe was perfect for my pie shell. However, in the beginning I halved it, and then I had to make another half recipe to fill up the shell. This is one of the quickest pies I have ever made as it only needs about 35-40 minutes total in the oven and the filling is really quick to put together. This is a perfect pie to serve as a substitute for the classic pumpkin at Thanksgiving dinner, or a great pie to eat in the afternoon with a cup of coffee and good conversation.
My first 10! Not to be confused with my top 10. That will come after I have made all 100 and I still have quite a long way to go. Stay tuned for my next slot of pies coming at you in mid December. Until then, eat pie and be merry!
Wishing you a lovely Thanksgiving weekend.