Best Wines to Buy that Go Perfectly with Pie!

What exactly are the Best Wines to Buy, that go perfectly with Holiday Pie?!. Believe it or not, there’s a lot to be thankful for, and this year’s holiday celebration is no exception! But specifically? How about the GRAND OPENING of THE PIE ADDICT – Home Pie Bakery & Catering? It’s been a long time in coming and finally after much procrastination and peer pressure from friends and family, we’re finally here! And since the Holidays tend to be great excuses to have a sparkling glass of wine to go along with those wonderfully delicious meals, why not have a slice of pie as well?
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Starting a Bakery, Delivery and Catering Business

Starting a Bakery, Delivery and Catering Business is No Joke! It’s been some time since I made my last post to the Pie Addict blog, now aptly named – THE PIE LAB, and for good reason! I have FINALLY, after so many years of pondering a move like this, made the precarious leap into starting my own business. And, for such a monumental undertaking, I chose to open up my pie bakery delivery and catering service during arguably, THE BUSIEST PIE SEASON of the year – the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays. Trial by fire doesn’t even begin to describe the challenges ahead. Read More

A Peanut Butter Pie Recipe or Two Just For You! (Actually How about 17!)

A Peanut Butter Pie Recipe or Two Just For You! Who DOESN’T like peanut butter?! I myself grew up on PBJ sandwiches and to this day, they remain my favorite go-to snack/lunch item, even as an adult. The really cool thing about peanut butter though, is that there are so many other ways for you to enjoy that creamy nutty flavor. And although I’d love to dive into the multitude of ways you can use peanut butter in recipes, today I’m going to share the many different and creative ways you can use peanut butter in pie!
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Lessons Learned When Making Cherry Hand Pies

I don’t know about you and in ‘your neck of the woods’ but up here in the Pacific Northwest, cherries have been coming in like gangbusters! I can’t count the number of friends that have approached me with offers to take pounds of cherries off their hands. I hated having to turn many of them away, simply because I didn’t want to waste any, given my time constraints. In the end however, I did manage to take several pounds of cherries from a friend, all so I could try my hand at baking homemade cherry hand pies! Read More

How to Store Cherries

How to Store Cherries. Had a friend ask me the other day if I wanted some cherries from their cherry tree to make a pie? I wasn’t planning on making a pie anytime soon (I had just finished a blackberry not two days before with the family), but I also found it difficult to refuse such a generous offer?! ABSOLUTELY! Problem was, since I wasn’t immediately planning on making a pie, I should probably look at storing them for a little while so they don’t go bad? Question was, how? Read More

How to Roll Pie Crust the Right Way [VIDEO]

How to Roll Pie Crust. It was a quiet start to what was usually a busy and hectic Saturday morning. My daughter’s leg was in cast (long story – remind me to tell you about it sometime – basically a soccer game injury!) and so we had no early morning soccer games to attend. The wife was up and out and about, helping feed a friend’s cat on the other side of town, and my second oldest child, had an early morning shift down at Target. Besides my ‘WOOKIE’ (dog) sprawled out and snoring in the closet, the house was eerily quiet. Just the way I liked it! Read More

My Pie Baking Extraordinaire Mom Amazes at Office Farewell Party

My Pie Baking Extraordinaire Mom Amazes at Office Farewell Party. If you don’t already know, my pie baking mentor and wonderfully-talented mother, will be relocating (permanently) to my neck of the woods, up from the great state of Texas. Today, in fact, was her last day on the job. But the staff there had one final request of her. To see if she could bring into the office, some of her delicious homemade pie recipes for a ‘send-off’ none would soon forget. How could she refuse?! Read More

A Busy Week of Making Pies

Last week was one of the busiest weeks I’ve ever had as an aspiring pie baker and making pies, but boy was it fun! From baking multiple pie recipes, which for me, was a first, for a graduation party – to putting on a pie baking competition for my daughter’s soccer team at their team dinner, I knew way before hand that the week would silly crazy!

The Graduation Party

pie baking
Graduation Party Pies

A friend of mine’s daughter was graduating from high school and her mother (A friend I used to work with decades ago), thought it would be great to cater in homemade pies. Who better, I’m sure she thought, than to bring in, yours truly, to put together some delicious pie dishes?

pie recipes
Graduation Party Pies

Without skipping a beat, I excitedly accepted the challenge! I had never yet, made any serious number of pies, for a fairly large event, using 4 different pie recipes. This would not only test my ‘organizational’ skills but also push the limits of my meager sized home kitchen.

The pie recipes requested for the graduation party were – an Oreo Cookies & Cream Pie, A Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, A Triple Berry Pie and an Cranberry Apple Crumble.

making pies
Strawberry Rhubarb

I first made sure I had plenty of time carved out for the ‘day before’ and the ‘day of’ the Graduation Party, as well as enough space in the fridge and around the kitchen for pies, ingredients and other pandemonium! Did I already mention I was working with an infinitely small kitchen?!

I then decided I would make two of the pies the day before and the other two, the morning of. In the end though, I actually ended up making THREE of the pies the day before and the Cranberry Apple Crumble the day of, which impressed even me!

I had never made this many pies before, especially with so much variation in the recipes, but I felt both honored and happy for the opportunity. The opportunity to not just apply what I have learned to such a monumental task, but also in being able to share my talent and skill with others, who absolutely enjoyed them! It was also a great chance to contribute to a special moment, where good food is often one of the more important focal points to having a successful event.

The Team Dinner & Making Pies

The end of the week is when things REALLY got moving, with the Idaho State Soccer Cup Championships. And, like they’ve been doing throughout the season, planned to have a Team Dinner the night before the competition kicked off. The only difference this time being, is that I was tasked by the Team Manager, to liven things up a bit with a ‘Pie Baking Competition’ between the girls.

Pie Baking
Soccer Team Dinner & Pie Baking Competition

I first came up with four relatively simple pie recipes using either fresh or frozen fruits. In this case, a peach pie, a blueberry pie, a raspberry pie and a blackberry pie. Of course the girls wouldn’t be required to make their own crust (even though many of them were fully capable of doing), so we found some pre-made pie dough at the store to boht simply and speed things up a bit. After all, they still had to get some rest later on to be able to compete in the state championship matches, right?

Pie baking
Soccer Team Dinner & Pie Baking Competition

The other trick with coming up with the recipes was to make sure that each had a relatively short prep and bake time. It was a little tougher than I realized, but I managed to wrangle the perfect foursome together for the night’s competition!

making pies
Soccer Team Dinner & Pie Baking Competition

We had the girls draw recipes out of a hat until we had four equal sized teams, give and take, then gave their ‘designated team captains’ the recipe and set them off!

making pies
Soccer Team Dinner & Pie Baking Competition

Ingredients were all piled up in various spots around the the kitchen.

I presided over the competition, only offering verbal assistance, ONLY if they asked for it. Let’s just say I was able to stay relatively mum throughout and just sit back and enjoy the mad scramble to bake the best pie.

Nice thing about doing something like this for competitive athletes? It doesn’t matter what they’re doing. EVERYTHING they do, be it playing sports or baking, is an all-out competition!

making pies
Soccer Team Dinner & Pie Baking Competition

The event was one of the best we’ve done for the girls. I walked around the kitchen, skillfully avoiding busy ‘little bakers’ as they ran to and fro, making pies and marveling at the creativity some of the teams took upon themselves to go above and beyond what the recipe called for.

making pies
Soccer Team Dinner & Pie Baking Competition

As each team finished their prep and placed their ‘projects’ into the ovens, anticipation and excitement steadily built, as pies browned and juices bubbled up. The smell in the kitchen was sensational!

pie baking competition
Soccer Team Dinner & Pie Baking Competition

So, the IDEA was, for the parents to each take slices and then to judge what team had the best tasting pie. None of that happened. In fact, before any of us knew it, the girls had taken the pies out of the oven and then quickly proceeded to dive into one another’s pies themselves, anxious and eager to see how their teammates did.

making pies
Soccer Team Dinner & Pie Baking Competition

The parents got the ‘scraps’ or whatever was leftover from whatever the girls hadn’t completely polished off in their first pass! They were like hungry little locusts, descending upon the kitchen in numbers and literally, in the blink of an eye, devouring pie pan after pie pan. It was both a wonderful and hilarious sight!

In the end, the entire exercise was an utter and complete success! The girls had a blast and the team camaraderie that was reinforced was priceless. In fact, several days afterwards, some of the girls wanted the recipes we used so that they could make pie on their own, back home!

Who knew making pies could be so fulfilling?! Well…I did, but now, so do many many others!

Best Pie Recipes for the Week of May 6th

Best Pie Recipes for the Week of May 6th! Happy Friday everyone! I hope everyone is starting off the day and has at least SOME idea of what they’re going to do over the weekend? Not sure how it is in your part of the country (or world), but here in the southern part of Idaho, its a bit cool, a little windy, but all good. We needed a few days break after the heat we’ve been getting for the past week. And, if you don’t have concrete plans for the weekend, or are just ‘playing it by ear’ so-to-speak, I’ve got a great round-up of the Best Pie Recipes I’ve managed to come across this past week. Take a peek, see what peeks your interest, and please return and comment how it turned out!

best pie recipes
Mini No-Bake Key Lime Pie in a Jar by Inspired by Charm

Best Pie Recipes for the Week of May 6th

strawberry slab pieA Simple Strawberry Slab Pie
Transform store-bought pie dough into a dessert stunner with this fast and versatile recipe for Simple Strawberry Slab Pie. Simple? With all those fancy flowers and fluted edges? You bet! Because here’s the secret to the easiest-ever Strawberry Slab Pie…
key lime pieMini No-Bake Key Lime Pie in a Jar
This recipe for Mini No-Bake Key Lime Pie in a Jar just might be one of the cutest summer desserts ever. With their rich key lime flavor, graham cracker crust, and whipped cream garnish, these little pies will hit the spot after a mid-week dinner or at any summer celebration.
milk pieRuffled Milk Pie
A type of galatopita (“pie made with milk,” aka a baked custard pie), this is more striking in appearance than most due to wound and rumpled sheets of pastry, which also provide texture and crunch. It’s so pretty and oh so simple with just 7 ingredients.
blueberry crumbleBlueberry Crumb Cheesecake Pie
This Blueberry Crumb Cheesecake Pie is made with a layer of cheesecake, blueberry pie filling and crumb topping! It’s a fun combination of cheesecake and pie that’s great for summer!
chocolate silk pieChocolate Silk Pie
Chocolate Silk Pie, a real old fashioned recipe for a creamy chocolate custard pie topped with mounds of fresh vanilla whipped cream.
key lime pie barsKey Lime Pie Bars
Key lime pie is a wonderful summertime dessert. Not only is it easy to put together, but the zesty and creamy filling is completely satisfying with every bite, thanks to its combination of sweet and tart flavors. These Key Lime Pie Bars are a little bit easier to make than a traditional key lime pie and are the perfect option for a summer treat when you’re entertaining.
key lime pieKey Lime Pie
this summer classic has a creamy smooth, tart filling and a sweet graham cracker crust. Use fresh key limes and plenty of zest for the best flavor!
buttermilk blueberry pieBlueberry Buttermilk Pie
If you’re a non-believer, first understand that eating buttermilk pie is nothing like drinking plain buttermilk, any more than enjoying a well made vinaigrette is like drinking plain vinegar. Buttermilk pie is a triumph of a one-time kitchen staple elevated by association with the right company. You get the slight tang and richness of the buttermilk which, with the help of eggs, sugar, and vanilla, turn it into one of the best custards you’ve ever tried.
bourbon chocolate pecan pieBourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie
Like the famous Race Day Pie made with walnuts, bourbon and chocolate, this one is easy, especially if you use a frozen pie crust. And with just a couple tablespoons of Bourbon, you'd be surprised how much of this flavor comes through.
coconut cream pieCoconut Cream Pie
Coconut Cream Pie is a classic. This creamy, dreamy coconut cream pie recipe will quickly become a family favorite! A perfectly flaky and delicious pie crust filled with rich, creamy coconut custard layered with mile high whipped cream and topped with toasted coconut. Now, what in the world could be wrong with that?

Measurement and Conversion Chart for Rhubarb Stalks

At the time of writing up this guide, my experience at making pie recipes using Rhubarb stalks was limited to one single solitary Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. It turns out, not surprisingly, that rhubarb pie recipes are quite common and frequently requested. The challenge with this, that I quickly discovered, is understanding how many rhubarb stalks I needed for a cup of chopped rhubarb. So I put together this handy guide on HOW TO MEASURE RHUBARB to help me (and YOU) out, when baking up that next rhubarb pie recipe!

Before we get to the guide, I would encourage you to first review this VERY SHORT list of 7 tips and tricks to be aware of when handling Rhubarb – on what varieties to buy, as well as how to cook, bake and freeze this sweet-tart vegetable – Chaitlane

Measurement and Conversion Chart for Rhubarb Stalks

rhubarb stalks

1 pound of rhubarb = 3 cups chopped rhubarb
rhubarb stalks

3 cups chopped rhubarb = 2 cups cooked rhubarb
how to measure rhubarb

15 medium stalks of rhubarb = 6 cups chopped rhubarb
(approximately)

No more guessing how many rhubarb stalks you’ll need for your next recipe, when you’re at the supermarket or accepting a most gracious gift from a friend as I have been able to do at times!

And, if you DON’T already have a reliable kitchen scale, I have had great luck with the Ozeri Digital Scale. I knew nothing about Kitchen Scales so had went to Amazon and look at a few, ultimately selecting the Ozeri, which was HIGHLY rated.

Ozeri ZK14-S Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale

kitchen scaleOzeri ZK14-S Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale
Weighs up to 11.24 lbs (5100 grams)

Automatic Unit Button instantly converts between 5 units of measurements (g, lbs, lbs:oz, oz, ml) and displays results on an easy-to-read LCD screen

Precision Tare Button calculates the net weight of your ingredients by automatically subtracting the weight of any bowl or container.

Boise’s New Lunch Spot The Funky Taco

The Funky Taco. I don’t know if this will become a weekly or b-weekly feature here on the Pie Addict, but carving out a day to visit and eat at some of Boise’s awesome lunch hangouts is pretty fun?! This week, my foodie associate, Nathan and I, as well as several others took a walk down the block to Boise’s ‘food row’ on 8th street downtown and visited The Funky Taco!

At the direction of Nathan, We arrived at The Funky Taco, on the corner of 8th and Bannock at 11:30am sharp. This was all by design! The place was mostly empty, as the workplace lunch crowds and local high school students had not yet brought Holy Hell into the area yet. This strategy proved to be a spot on. Within minutes of us ordering and receiving our food, the place was packed to the walls with the ordering line winding its way outside.

The Funky Taco
The Funky Taco – 801 W Bannock St., Boise, Idaho 83702

The Funky Taco prides itself on using locally grown products and an emphasis on Asian, Indian, Mexican, and Americana ethnic flavor. If you take a peek at the menu here, you’ll get what I mean.

For this first inaugural trip for me, I chose the Chicken Roja tacos. You get two good-size tacos in every dish, and having had tacos at other spots around town, these are quite large in size. So if you, like I almost did, assume that TWO TACOS IS NOT ENOUGH, think again. It should be plenty.

The Funky Taco – Chicken Roja Tacos

The Chicken Roja tacos had charcoal’d chicken thigh (I can still smell the charcoal’d aroma on me, hours after having eaten) ,house roja, char’d pep/onion, arugula, ballard feta and garnished with two thin slices of radish.

The chicken dominated the taste buds right off the bat and the ballard feta, for me anyways, added a great after taste, mixed with everything else.

Thank goodness there were others at the table, which meant there was conversation, because otherwise, I would have shoveled these tacos down in no time. I guess there is SOME purpose to conversation right?

The portion size was just right, so you didn’t have to shuffle back to the office in a ‘food coma’ and curl up under your desk for a good ‘post-lunch’ power nap.

I must admit I could have easily woof’d down a couple more, but there is some truth to EATING IN MODERATION, so I’m glad I didn’t order a couple to go (as I was so very close to doing).

Last Piece of Advice

WHEN, you get to The Funky Taco, be sure to arrive before the lunch time rush. The weather is the best in the country right now and the downtown Boise lunch scene is as vibrant as ever. We got there at 1130AM which was near PERFECT! The crowds hit shortly after and I felt sorry for those 20 deep in line, so plan accordingly.

We had lingered a little longer at our table after eating than we should have and were asked to leave (politely, mind you) as the capacity was near bursting. No harm no foul, they’re a new and popular food spot, and we were in the way of greatness!

The Funky Taco – www.thefunkytaco.com

EASY PIE RECIPES FEATURED THE WEEK OF APRIL 29TH!

Easy Pie Recipes Featured This Week. Ever wonder just how many different ways there are to make and bake a pie? Probably just as many ways as their are cake and cookie recipes right? Only I think that pies can WOW and SURPRISE you in more ways than most. Here, I have a few great examples!

PIE RECIPES FOR THE WEEK:

pie recipesRhubarb Raspberry Crumble
Watch and learn [VIDEO] how to make this super easy and quick Rhubarb Raspberry Crumble. These individual servings crumble are made with rhubarb and raspberries (however, feel free to use strawberries or any berries in season) topped with a blend of butter, brown sugar, flour, and grated orange zest. If you are a rhubarb lover or aren’t a rhubarb convert, this simple dessert will sure win you over.
pie recipeKey Lime Pie Coconut Macadamia Crust
Luscious, creamy, tart, sweet, potent, toasty, and nutty, just a few ways to describe this Key Lime Pie recipe! The sweet & salty coconut-macadamia crust combined with the bright, tangy lime make for a dangerously tempting Key Lime Pie!
pie recipeMargarita Pie
Let's put this into perspective? A Graham cracker crust with a little cayenne mixed in. Not spicy but just enough to add a little somethin' somethin'. Tequila and orange liqueur (because margarita) and a salt rim on the pie plate as well, because why not.
pie recipeStrawberry Rhubarb Crisp
Strawberry and rhubarb are an irresistible combo in the spring and early summer. Both sweet and tart with a crisp, buttery topping, it's perfect for dessert or (dare we say) breakfast.
pie recipePaloma Pie
Inspired by the classic Paloma cocktail, this dessert has a tangy grapefruit-tequila curd filling, nestled into a crunchy saltine cracker crust.

Here are the websites featured above:
Simply Recipes – https://www.simplyrecipes.com/
Pie Girl Bakes – https://piegirlbakes.com/
The Gold Lining Girl – https://thegoldlininggirl.com/
Dessert Magazine – https://dessertsmagazine.com/
Baking a Moment – https://bakingamoment.com/

For more Recipes featured on the Pie Addict head over to our Pie Recipe Index!

Vietnamese Pho (Pronounced “fuh”) at Pho Nouveau

Vietnamese Pho. I may not have tried a great many dishes in my lifetime, but I am certainly open to trying new dishes should the opportunity present itself. So today, a couple co-workers and myself, ventured a couple blocks over to the Vietnamese Bistro, Pho Nouveau. Although both co-workers had been there before, this was my first time, not only eating at the establishment but eating Vietnamese food. Thankfully, I had my co-worker, Lisa, who is Vietnamese, help ‘school’ and guide me through this most delicious meal!

First off, if you could ignore all the construction work being done on the business next door, once you walk into Pho Nouveau, tha ambiance of the restaurant was great. It was both airy and cozy, with big windows looking out at the downtown Boise lunch traffic, and an assortment of tables and booths. The menus in particular catching my attention. They spared NO EXPENSE making an impression with those! Best menus I’ve seen in a while.

Speaking of which, although my main goal on this particular visit was to try Pho, I could see, judging by the assortment of items on the menu that another lunch time trip would be warranted. There were 3 or 4 other dishes that I would absolutely have to have, that I saw on the menu.

What is Vietnamese Pho?

Taking the best description I could find, for Vietnamese Pho straight from the Pho Nouveau menu:

Hearty, delicious, meal-in-a-bowl, Vietnamese noodle soup features a ginger & star anise infused broth & thin rice noodles. Topped with onions. Served with fresh basil, cilantro, bean sprouts, jalapeño & lime.

You could order this with a variety of ‘additionals’ such as chicken, beef, tofu, beef brisket, meatball, beef shank or shrimp.

I think I had made the comment during lunch that this would be the healthiest thing (relatively speaking) that I would probably eat this week. Much of the Pho seemed composed of carrots and leafy greens, with the rice noodles piled on, but hidden beneath the ‘foliage’ that floated atop the soup.

I think the thing that struck me, almost immediately is how FRESH it tasted. And maybe its just me because of all the not-so-healthy things I eat (actually, I’m not THAT bad…but anyways…), but since it seemed to have very little seasoning in it, you really got the full blast of freshness from it, fresh veggies, rice noodles, the whole bowl.

Lisa and my other co-worker, Nathan, helped instruct me on the various types of chop sticks and the variety of ways to wield them, with each having their own preference. I ‘managed’ just fine, but by the end of the meal, had fallen back onto familiar ground with my handy fork and ‘shoveling’ the rest of the bowl of Pho down my ‘bottomless chute!’

Do Try Vietnamese Pho at Pho Nouveau

I think in a town like Boise (which is growing in leaps and bounds), we are fortunate to have access to, not only such a diverse range of foods, but a diverse AND authentic range of foods.

Pho Nouveau has a great and intimate, downtown layout and a great assortment of dishes on the menu (Pho Nouveau lunch menu). So, if you are ever in downtown Boise, and looking for something different for lunch or dinner, I would encourage you to try it out. And just remember, if you do, to return back here with a full report and let me know in the comments below!

And lastly, in closing, since we did have a birthday for a co-worker in the office today, I took the opportunity to make her a Strawberries and Cream Pie with a graham cracker crust. Turned out to be a most helpful afternoon boost after a most delicious lunch time meal!

strawberries and cream pie
Strawberries and cream pie

Pies to Make This Week! Pie Recipe Round-up.

Pies to Make This Week. The weather in my neck of the woods is finally hitting its stride with forecasts stating we’ll be in the low 80s today. I think its safe to say it, but WINTER IS OVER!! LOL! So, with that, here is another round-up of great PIE RECIPES from talented Bakers around the Web that should inspire you to come up with ideas for Pies to Make. As always, take time to try one of these out, then come on back and let me know the results in the comments below! Enjoy!

Pies to Make
Tequila Lime Pie from ‘Completely Delicious’

Pies To Make

pie recipeButterfinger Pie

This decadent Butterfinger Pie is made with a Butterfinger cookie crust and a Butterfinger cream cheese filling. The BEST Butterfinger Pie you apparently will EVER have! Do we have any reason to doubt!

pie recipeCoconut Key Lime Pie

This coconut key lime pie brings sweet tropical flavors to your classic key lime pie recipe. With a chewy, crunchy coconut graham cracker crust, the filling is tart, creamy and delicious. Perfect for spring and summer.
pie recipeChocolate & Salted Caramel Pie

This Chocolate & Salted Caramel Pie is absolutely sinful! A delicious no-bake Oreo crust filled with a gooey layer of EASY homemade salted caramel topped with a silky chocolate ganache.
pie recipeLemon Chess Pie

A super simple, classic southern pie, this Lemon Chess Pie recipe doesn’t get much easier, and it’s a sweet-tooths’ dream! This Lemon Chess Pie recipe produces a sweet, tangy, creamy, lemon-kissed, mind-blowing dessert! A springtime variation on a classic Chess Pie.
pie recipeTequila Lime Pie

This light and creamy tequila-spiked lime pie with a macadamia nut cookie crust is unique and delicious!
pie recipeBourbon Banana Cream Pie

Bourbon Banana Cream Pie is dreamy. It’s your classic banana cream pie spiked with bourbon. This pie has a traditional blind baked crust, with a bourbon vanilla cream filling, fresh bananas and homemade whipped cream.

We know there are so many pie recipes around that just taking a moment to sit down and choose one can be a daunting task. This is why these periodic pie round-ups can be so useful to you and your baking plans, especially over the weekend. So, please continue to check back often, as pie recipes and other baking ideas are constantly being shared!

Here are the websites of the talented Bakers featured above:
I Am Baker – https://iambaker.net/
A Classic Twist – https://aclassictwist.com/
Something Swanky – https://www.somethingswanky.com/
The Gold Lining Girl – https://thegoldlininggirl.com/
Completely Delicious – https://www.completelydelicious.com/
Beyond Frosting – https://beyondfrosting.com/

For more Recipes featured on the Pie Addict head over to our Recipe Index!

A Visit to Mamma Toledo’s The Pie Hole! In Phoenix, Arizona

Had the opportunity to visit Mamma Toledo’s The Pie Hole while down in Phoenix, Arizona for my daughter’s soccer tournament. I make every attempt when I’m traveling for work or pleasure (or my daughter’s sports for that matter, since this seems to be happening a lot more in recent years…), to discover what PIE SHOP is most popular or highly rated in a given area and visit with them. Well, despite there being various other pie shops in the area, after some inquiries with locals, it seemed to me that Mamma Toledo’s The Pie Hole was THE place to go for great pie. ‘Nuff said!

Mamma Toledo’s The Pie Hole
Mamma Toledo’s The Pie Hole

Can I make a ‘related yet un-related comment’ before I begin? I absolutely Love Google Maps. I’m old enough to remember the days of pulling out a paper map and spreading it the width of the front of the car, only to stare it at it, perplexed, as you tried to make sense of the spaghetti-like highways and roads. I don’t know how we ever found anything! Google Maps is a Godsend! Anyways, I digress!

Mamma Toledo’s The Pie Hole

Once we found Mamma Toledo’s The Pie Hole, in an unassuming strip mall in Phoenix suburbia, I wasted no time barreling out of the cool confines of our compact, out into the already HOT, mid-morning Arizona sun, and into the small, but lively decorated Mamma Toledo’s!

First that I noticed was their immaculate and colorful board of menu items, with not only a long list of fruit and cream pies but lunch and breakfast as well. See the menu for yourself here!

Mamma Toledo's The Pie Hole!
Mamma Toledo’s The Pie Hole!

Next, was the display case, a huge love of mine when I walk into a pie shop!

They had a great assortment of fruit and cream pies ready to go, either whole or by the slice.

The wife and I quickly made our decision for a slice of the ‘BROWN SUGAR PEACH PIE’ and hastily took our seats and dove in. They also had ice cream on-hand for a little ‘a la mode’ but we opted for just the pie on first visit.

It was wonderful.

Side note – I had ordered two slices of the Brown Sugar Peach, but they only served and charged us for one. I went back to the counter to explain that we needed two slices and proceeded to pay for the second slice, to which Tonya Saidi, who runs and manages Mamma Toledo’s, told me to not worry about paying for the second slice. Great pies AND friendly customer service!

But we weren’t quite done.

I purchased a Mamma Toledo’s shirt, which I ALWAYS do when visiting a pie shop and grabbed a 9″ lattice, Mixed Berry pie to take back to the hotel to a tired and beat, yet ravenous group of 13yr old soccer playing girls. They had done well, so I figured I’d add a bit of pie to their dessert! THEY LOVED IT!!

Mamma Toledo’s The Pie Hole
Mamma Toledo’s The Pie Hole

I had heard so much about Mamma Toledo’s The Pie Hole upon arriving into Phoenix, that I knew we had to make the trip, and I’m glad we did.

Great service, and wonderful looking shop and delicious pies, Mamma Toledo’s The Pie Hole met and exceeded my expectations! Thank you for a wonderful experience!

Mamma Toledo's The Pie Hole
Mamma Toledo’s The Pie Hole

A Quick & Easy Pie For The Office? Dutch Apple Pie

Dutch Apple Pie is perhaps one of the quickest and easiest pies to make, when you’re pressed for time, want something slightly different than a double crust apple pie, and uses ingredients that most have on-hand.

I knew this workplace ‘get-together/Birthday celebration’ was going down at least a week ago, and still I procrastinated. How many of you can relate? You know there’s a date, where you’ve committed to baking and bring something in, and well, life happens, and next thing you know that date has crept up on you and now you’re in panic mode?! Yes, the struggle is indeed very REAL!

I had toyed with various ideas of what I wanted to make, but once it became the ‘night before’ the event, all that crap went out the window, and now we just had to put something, ANYTHING together.

The initial plan was to make a crumble, since I really wanted to practice my ‘CRUMBLE GAME’ a little more. Couldn’t settle on one to tackle, but since I had some Granny Smith Apples on-hand, whatever I ended up deciding upon would definitely have apples in it!

Found a quick and easy recipe for Dutch Apple Pie by Joy over at Genius Kitchen, that was almost too perfect for me and my current dilemma. It used apples (which I had on-hand) and pretty much every ingredient it asked for I also had plenty of it already in the pantry. No-brainer, especially since I was pressed for time… OH CRAP?! It’s already 9pm…UGH! Gotta get to baking!

One Hour, 30 Minutes Later…

dutch apple pie
Dutch Apple Pie

The recipe listed on Genius Kitchen states that it should only take you an hour to make, however, since I rarely buy pre-made pie shells anymore, I opted to quickly make my own crust – the recipe to which could be found here!

Dutch Apple Pie

I prepared my pie crust, in literally no-time and got them in the fridge and chilling while I prepped everything else.

The apples I had peeled, cored and sliced in a few minutes using my handy-dandy Starfrit Pro-Apple Peeler and Calphalon Easy Grip Apple Corer Slicer!

I tossed these with both brown and white sugars, lemon juice, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg and set aside.

The crumble topping took just about the same amount of time, working the mixture of flour, sugars, and butter until coarsely crumbled with my pastry blender. Side note – I LOVE working ingredients in by hand. Just makes me feel more ‘involved’ and engaged with whatever I’m making. Yes, I know, I’m strange…but I’m OWNING IT!

With my pie pastry adequately chilled, I rolled out the bottom crust into the pie pan, scooped up my seasoned and sugared apples into the shell, topped with my crumble and baked for 50-55min.

DING! House smelling good, pie ever so slightly bubbling up through the crumbled topping, I knew it was ready for its cool down!

dutch apple pie
Dutch Apple Pie

As of this writing, we had not yet had the opportunity to dive in and taste as the work celebration wasn’t scheduled until later the next day. So fingers crossed, everything turned out well. If the smell is any indication, the office is definitely in for a sweet and delicious treat!