How My AllRecipes Blackberry Pie Turned Out…

Right on the heels of my cherry pie over the weekend, I was anxious to try a relatively simple Blackberry Pie recipe I came across on AllRecipes.com by Michelle Verdiere. I eat a lot of apple pie but blackberry is my favorite and I’ve been itching at finding the perfect blackberry pie recipe for me. So how did this one turn out?

Ingredients

100_2762
As I said, the ingredients to this dish are straightforward and relatively meager:

  • 4 cups fresh blackberries (I used frozen blackberries from the local grocer)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie (I made my own – Buttery, flaky pie crust)
  • 2 tablespoons milk (I substituted for an egg wash)

Short and sweet. perfect for my first attempt at my first Blackberry Pie.

Let’s Talk About The Process…

I went and grabbed a few bags of frozen blackberries (image above) at the local grocery store instead of the fresh ones. I had been wanting to try using frozen fruit (especially since I’d like to bake a peach pie soon and have no patience to wait for Summer for fresh peaches). Plus I had read somewhere that frozen fruit could be just as good, if not BETTER than fresh fruit, so frozen fruit it was. I need 4 cups of blackberries and wasn’t for sure how many bags I needed so I got four bags. Turns out 2 bags of this particular brand, covered my 4 cups so I had frozen blackberries for another day! SCORE!

I’d become pretty adept at whipping together Annalise’s Foolproof Flaky Pie Crust so I hurried along and got that put together and in the fridge to set.

Next, I followed the recipe to the letter – Here is the video to the AllRecipes.com Blackberry Pie

blackberry pie

Please note, that instead of washing the crust with milk, I used an egg wash. Why? Again, I saw this as another opportunity to try using and egg wash, which I had never done before. It turned out to be a life changing gamble and one that I will probably continue to use from here on out!

blackberry pie

I baked the pie as specified – 15 min at 425 degrees, then bring it down to 375 20-25 min (I opted for 25).

I could smell the pie bubbling up that blackberry aroma from every room in the house. It was marvelous!

When the timer went off, I promptly removed the lightly-browned blackberry pie from the over and set it on the cooling rack for devouring…er..sampling later.

blackberry pie

Results?

Not bad for my first attempt but I could definitely do better. No, strike that! I definitely WILL do better next time around, but don’t get me wrong, this pie has some serious promise!

blackberry pie

The egg wash on the crust was a brilliant move, and like I said, an addition I will make to every pie recipe I make from here on out (if it makes sense, of course). The egg wash helped ‘flake’ up the crust even more than it had before and it was so freakin’ delicious, don’t even get me started.

The pie was very juicy when I first cut into it, not that I’m complaining. It was a little on the ‘cloudy’ side, most likely from the flour in the mixture, so not sure if that’s normal or not. The blackberries were soft, juicy and tart, which when mixed with the sweetened juice created a wonderful taste.

The crust on the bottom (which I had egg washed as well per the video…), was also very good, although it was softer than usual which meant I could of baked it a little longer. The top crust edges were well-browned but the middle of the pie was lighter. Again, I could of probably baked it for a little longer. Ten minutes more maybe? I will try this the next time around. Not sure why it was that soft, though my first guess was that maybe I had it ‘thicker’ than what was in the original recipe?

The AllRecipes.com Blackberry Pie recipe was delicious. Again, there are a couple things I will change when I do it again, but this is definitely a recipe I will continue to fall back on in the future. Two big thumbs up for me!

A Simple Pie Crust Recipe for You to Start Out With

We were buried! At least under a foot of heavy, fresh-fallen snow. Boise’s first heavy snow of the Winter (isn’t it still technically Fall?) had come, and in dramatic fashion.

walkway

Highways were shutdown, schools were closed, and kids were ecstatic. The temperatures outside were an ear nipping 15 degrees, and I had no desire to brave Winter’s fury today. What better day to bake I thought! But what, was the question!

What to Make. What to Bake

I’d been chomping at the bit, eager to start making my own pie crust for weeks now, ever since Betty Crocker hung me out to dry, and today was looking better and better as a day for experimentation.

I had been gathering up pie crust recipes from around the Web and more specifically, Pinterest, over the last several weeks, so I already had a ready supply of ideas from which to start from. The choices and flavors were many, but as ‘venturesome’ as I felt this day, I still wanted to start out slow and steady with a recipe relatively simple even for me. Chance behold, I knew exactly the one I wanted to start with!

Lo and behold, Annalise’s Foolproof Flaky Pie Crust!

Nothing revolutionary by any stretch but Annalise’s recipe was simple, full of buttery flavor and quick to put together. Perfect for my first attempt at making homemade pie crust.

Pie Crust Ingredients and Process

Not being the venturesome sort, I stuck to Annalise’s recipe to a ‘T’, not deviating or trying to get cure and creative one bit. This was both a fun project but an educational one as well and I loved every bit of it. My 9yr old daughter also took great interest, engaging with the process at every turn…

‘It doesn’t look like dough, Dad?’

‘It looks like a lot of flour and nothing else Dad?’

dough1

‘Shouldn’t it be coming together in a clump like dough is supposed to Dad?’

pie-prep

‘Oh, wait, its starting to come together Dad!’

pie-baking02

‘Wow, it looks like pie crust dough you got at the store Dad?’

I made two iterations of Annalise’s Foolproof Flaky Pie Crust, as the recipe had an ‘optional’ sugar component in it that I tried once, but didn’t care for it, so I made the pie crust again without it and loved it.

Once complete, I wrapped up the dough and stuffed it in the fridge for a couple hours.
cherry-pie02

Since the ‘objective’ of today’s pie baking adventure was more about the ‘pie crust’ than anything else, I figured I’d just make my standard apple pie, since I knew that recipe and process literally by heart. But, since I’d only baked my mom’s cherry pie once, and the fact that the Oregon red tart cherries were on sale at the local grocer (which was unusual but highly welcomed), I decided I’d kill two birds with one stone (sorry for the pun…) and make this a worthwhile experiment.

I took my dough out of the fridge and let it sit for about 20 min to soften a bit while I prepped my cherries – which involved thickening the juice a bit with a mix of sugar and starch and heating the mixture of cherries and juice with some nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla.

Once the dough was rolled out, the cherry mixture was poured in and the top of the pie crust gently set on top.

cherry-pie

All set and ready to roll, I threw it in the oven for a sizzling quick 45 min.

pie-baking

Results?

cherry-pie2
Absolutely delish! The pie crust was fantastic. The flavor was good, with a hint of butter as was the consistency and the cherries, both tart and smothered in a sweetened juice. I was extremely please with the results. I didn’t glaze the top of the crust with egg wash as mentioned in the recipe, though I plan to do that in the next pie baking run.

Annalise’s Foolproof Flaky Pie Crust was a great success in more ways than one. It was the perfect pie crust for me to ‘get my feet wet’ and help me build the confidence and belief in myself that I was capable of putting together my own pie crust mix. And, although her pie crust will be a springboard to more ambitious pie crust projects, this recipe was so easy that it will more than likely become the ‘standard’ pie crust for the majority of my projects!

Thanks Annalise!

cherry pie

A List of Pies You Need to Have on Your Thanksgiving Table

Just the other day, while browsing through a plethora of fantastic looking images of pies on Pinterest, I came across a peach cobbler to die for. Then I went and did the foolish thing of running to the local grocer to pick up a handful of peaches so that I could run home to try my hand at the recipe. Doh! No peaches here in late October. Fall is upon us and Thanksgiving is a hop, skip and a jump away, so what pie or pies are you planning on baking for the holiday?

11 Pies You Need on Your Thanksgiving Table This Year

Caitlin M. O’Shaughnessy published an article yesterday on CHOW titled – 11 Pies You Need on Your Thanksgiving Table This Year, which is what got me thinking ahead for Thanksgiving. Normally, I’d be counting down the days for my mother to visit and bake up her coveted apple pie delight! But not so this Thanksgiving. This Thanksgiving, any pie baking would be done by yours truly, and I welcome the challenge.

So what to bake is the question? I have long practiced at perfecting my mother’s apple pie over the preceding months that I am most comfortable baking that, but like any baker, I am also eager to dive into more varied and complex pie dishes. A multi-fruit pie? Something more creamy? Maybe a chocolate pie? How about a lattice crust? Oh the ideas and challenges are endless!

Caitlin does call out some recognizable favorites that automatically get front row seating on my list of ideas – Apple pie, pumpkin pie and a long-time family favorite sweet potato pie! But the Pear Rosemary Pie with Cheddar Crust is a veritable unknown to my palette as is the Cranberry pie and both look stunning and delicious!

Which Pie(s) Do you Plan to bake for Thanksgiving?

Decisions, decisions, and decisions…..

If you had to pick two pies to make, and not pies on the ‘usual’ list but something new and potentially challenging, which two would you tackle and why!

I Pledge To Make and Bake All Pie From This Day Forward

Since starting this blog I have made a lot of pledges to myself, from learning how to bake this and how to bake that, but one of the more tougher of my pledges has been that from hence forth, I vow to NOT buy any more pie from the grocery store! But first, let me elaborate further…

THEN…

In the past, when I had a craving for pie [which for me, was like every week], I would either run to my local Marie Callendar’s restaurant and pick up a pre-made berry pie OR to my local Albertson’s Grocery store to pick up either a frozen berry or blackberry deep dish pie or, and they just recently started doing this, a ‘half pie’ in the bakery section. Quick and easy, I would have my pie and the ‘pie fix’ would be, well….fixed!

No more! I will not purchase anymore store-bought pies.

If I am to become the PIE BAKER I yearn to be, I must dedicate myself to learning and mastering this art. Having quick and unfettered access to ready made pie does not help me.

NOW…

If I want pie, I MUST make it and bake it myself! However, there is one small caveat I will make to this pledge:

  • I WILL NOT purchase pie from the store.
  • I WILL MAKE AND BAKE all my pies myself.
  • I will ONLY purchase pie at a bakery or restaurant if the purpose of the purchase is to taste and sample pie for review on PIEADDICT.com.

Have you made similar pledges? Or for that matter, any pledges since undertaking your baking adventures? I find that setting goals and objectives like this help to motivate and keep me on track despite the difficulty I see ahead trying to walk [or more like RUN] past the bakery section at the store. But if I am to truly become the pie baker I very much would like to be sacrifices must be made right? 🙂

What Did You Go and Do That For Betty Crocker?

Betty Crocker pie crust has been a stable, tasty, fixture in my family kitchen since before I could remember. What I can recall however, is always seeing the signature Betty Crocker pie crust box sitting tall on the kitchen counter, waiting, in powdery, delicious anticipation for its fellowship – Cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and vanilla to join in the upcoming pie adventure! Well, all that was blown away when I stumbled, accidentally, onto Betty Crocker’s BIG CHANGE!

PIE CRUST DREAMIN’

I’ve really just started on the path toward learning how to craft my own signature pie crust. Not only because I’d like to become a true pie making connoisseur, and not have to rely on store-bought pie crust, but because I’d really like to ‘OWN’ the pie I crafted, from the hot-bubbly filling and up through the flaky, buttery crust. So this latest ‘misstep’ from Betty Crocker might just be the writing on the wall for me.

BETTY CROCKER CHANGED THEIR CRUST

Betty Crocker pie crust 'original'
I had no intention of baking of pie today. Just a quick run up to the corner Albertson’s grocery store to retrieve something to drink for the house is all I had been tasked with. Funny how things always never seem to go as planned when you make that fateful turn into the ‘baking aisle.’

I don’t know what it is but I LOVE to browse down this aisle. Through the cake and brownie mix, flours, sugars and starches, seasonings, kitchen pans, dishes and utensils and past the pie crust…..wait. Up on the top shelf, where my lifelong familiar once stood, was a new Betty Crocker pie crust mix.

The box had a more modern look and feel to it, a little more trendier with a sharp looking photograph emblazoned across it. I re-confirmed that I was indeed still looking at a Betty Crocker product, and that this had indeed ‘replaced’ the old-school, packaged pie crust I had been accustomed to for so many years. This was the NEW Betty Crocker look, and according to the packaging, they had retained the ‘original’ pie crust recipe and merely just updated the branding. Hmm….

Curiosity got the better of me, as I tossed a box into my shopping cart and spirited myself away toward the produce section. Me and Granny Smith needed to talk!

SOMETHING WAS AMISS…

Disaster!! What has Betty Crocker done?! This was NOT the pie crust I had grown up with. In fact, it wasn’t even close. I should’ve known this fact, when I glanced at the instructions on the box and noticed an ever so slight ‘change’ in the process of mixing this crust. Nothing extravagant, but a slight variation in the amount of water I was to add to the mixture.

After rolling out the dough, it seemed ‘stickier’ than normal. A pinch of flour sprinkled across it, seemed to do the trick, but then once flattened and ready to roll-up, it began to fragment. I quickly ‘balled’ it back up and rolled it out again. Same result. I made do, and got the dough situated in my 9″ dish. In went the sliced Granny Smith’s, sugar, cinnammon, butter, vanilla and nutmeg. On to the next ball of dough, whcih after being flattened had the same disastrous results. WHAT THE HELL?!

Again, I ‘managed’ to cover the pie adequately, though not ‘pretty’ by any stretch. In fact it was down right horrible [hence, no photos], and I almost wanted to scrap the whole thing right then and there.

There were some leftover scraps of dough on the counter mat, which I tasted. [Side note – ever since I was a kid, my mother used to set aside a small bunch of pie crust dough, leftover after she had shaped the edges of the crust, for me. Don’t ask me why I liked the taste of it, but I did, and to this day, I often sample the raw dough just after finishing the pie. Anyways…]

It did NOT taste like the Betty Crocker pie crust my taste buds had grown so accustomed to over the years. And I should know! This immediately concerned me, since the finished pie was now baking away. Too late to scrap [my pie addiction now seizing control of my faculties…] I thought. Let’s play this out and see what happens.

THE RESULTS

The pie was done. It’s wonderful, warming aroma filling the kitchen and adjoining rooms of the house with sweet, vanilla/cinnamon/Granny Smith deliciousness! Hmm…maybe this whole ‘something is wrong’ feeling was just me striving for perfection as I always try to do when baking pie and THINKING Betty Crocker had pulled a fast one?

But when scooped out a warm slice, my suspicions rang true. The pie crust WAS different. Flakier but also with a different taste, Betty Crocker in one fell swoop took me to a new low. A pie crust mix that really started me on this ‘addiction’ had changed, and not for the better. Maybe that’s too harsh? Maybe the new pie crust mix tasted great but my childhood love and admiration for the ‘original’ mix wouldn’t let me ‘accept’ anything that could possibly taste better?

Regardless, the Betty Crocker pie crust I had grown to know and love was gone [replaced by this IMPOSTER!!! just kidding…], and now I faced the hard decision of learning to accept the new Betty Crocker, or finally make that move toward seriously learning to craft my own signature pie crust.

Curious…
How many of you, make your own crust or have a favorite store-bought pie crust you use?

Fresh or Frozen Fruit. Which is Better?

When out picking up supplies and ingredients for your next pie baking venture, which do you prefer? Fresh or frozen fruit? Is one better than the other? Do you have a preference? Which one has worked better for you in the past? Here are some facts that may or may not sway you one way or the other.

I know in discussing recipes with my mother, that she often tells me she uses frozen fruit for many of her dishes. I had never used frozen fruit, always believing that picking my fruits from the grocery produce shelves was always the ‘fresher’ choice. Plus the fact that I love walking through the grocery aisles, looking at and taking in the fine aromas of all those wonderful and colorful fruits of all shapes and sizes. Mom used to tell me that the frozen ones were better. I balked, and stood my ground. Nonsense! Items in the freezer lose their flavor and are bland I stammered! Little did I realize…

FROZEN

Pros – Frozen fruits and veggies are even more healthful than some of the fresh produce sold in supermarkets, according to Gene Lester, Ph.D., a plant physiologist at the USDA Agricultural Research Center in Weslaco, Texas. And why is this? Fruits and vegetables chosen for freezing tend to be processed at their peak ripeness, a time when, as a general rule, they are most nutrient-packed.

While the first step of freezing vegetables—blanching them in hot water or steam to kill bacteria and arrest the action of food-degrading enzymes—causes some water-soluble nutrients like vitamin C and the B vitamins to break down or leach out, the subsequent flash-freeze locks the produce in a relatively nutrient-rich state. In effect ‘freezing’ any change or degradation.

Cons – On the downside, frozen fruits sometimes contain added sugar, which means they won’t be as healthy as their unadulterated, fresh counterparts.

FRESH

Pros – Freshly-picked fruits straight from the farm or even your own garden are of the highest quality and should be your first choice, even over frozen.

Cons – Fruits and vegetables destined to be shipped to fresh-produce aisles around the country typically are picked before they are ripe, which gives them less time to develop a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals. Outward signs of ripening may still occur, but these fruits and vegetables will never have the same nutritive value as if they had been allowed to fully ripen on the vine (as FREEZING allows). In addition, during the long haul from farm to fork, fresh fruits and vegetables are exposed to lots of heat and light, which degrade some nutrients, especially delicate vitamins like C and the B vitamin thiamin.

Also note, that produce bought from the supermarket is full of color and crunch, with many stores even using fine mist sprays to give a ‘just picked’ look. This is referred to as ‘supermarket theater’ that helps convince shoppers to pay a premium for food they believe is not only better than frozen but tastier and full of flavor. The reality is however, that these fruits may well have been held in storage for weeks maybe, before even being situated in the grocer produce section.

SOME GOOD RULES OF THUMB

When fruits are in-season, buy them fresh and ripe, preferably straight from the farm (farmer’s market, perhaps) or pick from your own garden (or a neighbor’s backyard fruit tree…JUST KIDDING! Get permission first, of course)

Off-season? Frozen fruits will give you a higher concentration of nutrients and will most likely be even fresher and tastier than those you find on grocery shelves.

Choose packages marked with a USDA “U.S. Fancy” shield, which designates produce of the best size, shape and color

Bake and eat soon after purchase.

GOT ANYTHING TO ADD?


What has worked for you? Everyone has a preference or another ‘side’ to the fresh or frozen debate. Nothing is written in stone and I would love to hear what everyone else typically uses and why?

The Ultimate Pie Pilgrimage: Visiting 70+ Best Pie Makers in America

Anyone ever taken a Pie Pilgrimage? Much like a beer pub crawl, only that we venture onto the open road to visit and sample some of the best pies America has to offer.

I just returned from a family vacation several weeks ago, and although we did have the opportunity to eat a lot of great food, as we made our way up the California coast, I alas, was not able to partake in any pie. None whatsoever. So it dawned on me, why not make my next trip a pie pilgrimage? In fact, why not make it a yearly event, to make my way around the country sampling the best in American pie, as listed in many of the popular food and news publications online and off?

Please keep in mind – this is by no means a COMPLETE and FINAL list of the greatest pie makers in the country. The list was compiled primarily from previous lists published in various articles online and in mainstream food and travel magazines, as well as conversations with friends and family from many different parts of the country. However, if there is a ‘pie maker’ that you believe should be included on my ‘Pie Pilgrimage’ itinerary, please let me know the details in the comment section below – name and website address (if any). The more the better. I never tire of pie and I know there are so many fantastic and unique pie recipes out there!

The Ultimate List of the Best Places to Get Pie in the United States

Alabama

Pie Lab
Pie Lab [Greensboro AL]

California

Marcie's Pies
Marcie’s Pies and Goods [Santa Ynez CA]

Simple Things
SimpleThings [Los Angeles CA]

Cake Monkey
Cake Monkey [Burbank, CA.]

piehole
The Pie Hole [Los Angeles, CA.]

threebabes
Three Babes Bakeshop [San Francisco, CA.]

Mission Pie
Mission Pie [San Francisco, CA.]

Julian Pie Company
Julian Pie Company [Santa Ysabel, CA.]

Sweetie Pies
Sweetie Pies [Napa Valley, CA.]

Pie n Burgers
Pie ‘n Burgers [Pasadena, CA.]

Colorado

Humble Pie Store
Humble Pie Store [Denver, CO.]

Mermaid Bakery
Mermaid’s Bakery [Denver, CO]

Connecticut

Michele's Pies
Michele’s Pies [Westport CT]

District of Columbia

Whisked
Whisked [Washington, D.C.]

Blue Duck Tavern
Blue Duck Tavern [Washington D.C.]

Dangerously Delicious Pies
Dangerously Delicious Pies [Washington D.C.]

Open City
Open City [Washington D.C.]

Buzz Bakery
Buzz Bakery [Washington D.C.]

Pie Sisters
Pie Sisters [Washington D.C.]

Florida

Key Lime Shop
Key Lime Shop [Key West, FL]

Georgia

Yesterday Cafe
The Yesterday Cafe [Greensboro, GA.]

The Pie Shop
The Pie Shop [Atlanta, GA.]

Hawaii

The Right Slice
The Right Slice [Lihue, HI]

Illinois

Hoosier Mama Pie
Hoosier Mama Pie Company [Chicago, IL.]

Indiana

Pie Kitchen
Homemade Ice Cream & Pie Kitchen [New Albany IN]

Iowa

Kathy's Pies
Kathy’s Pies [Cedar Rapids IA]

Kansas

The Upper Crust
The Upper Crust Pie Bakery [Overland Park KS]

Bang Bang Pie
Bang Bang Pie [Chicago, IL.]

Louisana

Strawn's
Strawn’s Eat Shop [Shreveport, LA.]

Massachusetts

Petsi Pies
Petsi Pies [Somerville, MA.]

Michigan

Achatz
Achatz Homemade Pie Co. [Armada, MI]

Minnesota

Aroma Pie Shop
The Aroma Pie Shop [Whalen, MN.]

Mississippi

Sugarees
Sugarees Bakery [New Albany, MS]

Missouri

A Slice of Pie
A Slice of Pie [Rolla, MO.]

Montana

Loula's Cafe
Loula’s Cafe [Whitefish, MT]

New Hampshire

Lou's Restaurant
Lou’s Restaurant [Hanover NH]

New Mexico

Pie-O-Neer
Pie-O-Neer [Pie Town, NM]

New York

Blackbirds
Four & Twenty Blackbirds [Brooklyn, NY]

Little Pie
Little Pie Company {New York, NY]

Milk Bar
Momofuku milk bar [New York, NY]

Baked NYC
Baked NYC [New York, NY]

Pie Corps
Pie Corps [Brooklyn, NY]

Two Little Red Hens
Two Little Red Hens [New York, NY]

City Bakery
The City Bakery [New York, NY]

The Blue Stove
The Blue Stove [Brooklyn, NY]

North Carolina

Scratch Baking
Scratch Baking [Durham, NC]

Angus Barn
Angus Barn [Raleigh, NC]

Ohio

Just Pies
Just Pies [Columbus, OH]

Oklahoma

The original fried pie shop
The Original Fried Pie Shop [Davis, OK]

Oregon

Random Order Coffee
Random Order Coffee [Portland, OR]

Tilt
Tilt [Portland, OR]

Pacific Pie Co.
Pacific Pie Co. [Portland, OR]

Lauretta jean
Lauretta Jean’s [Portland, OR]

Pie Spot
Pie Spot [Portland, OR]

Baker and Spice
Baker and Spice [Portland, OR]

Bannings
Bannings Restaurant and Pie House [Tigard, OR]

Divine Pie
Divine Pie [Portland OR]

Whiffles
Whiffles [Portland OR]

Bipartisan Cafe
Bipartisan Cafe [Portland OR]

Pennsylvania

I Luv Magpie
I Luv Magpie [Philadelphia PA]

South Carolina

Carolina Cider Co.
Carolina Cider Company [Yemassee SC]

South Dakota

Purple Pie Place
Purple Pie Place [Custer, SD]

Tennessee

Dale's Fried Pies
Dale’s Fried Pies [Knoxville, TN]

Littons Burgers
Littons Burgers [Knoxville TN]

Texas

Paris Coffee Shop
Paris Coffee Shop [Fort Worth TX]

Love Creek Orchards
Love Creek Orchards [Medina, TX]

Blue Bonnet Cafe
Blue Bonnet Cafe [Marble Falls TX]

Must be heaven
Must Be Heaven [Bryan TX]

Pie in the Sky
Pie in the Sky [Conroe TX]

Royers Cafe
Royers Round Top Cafe [Round Top TX]

Bevers Kitchen
Bevers Kitchen [Chapel TX]

Texas Pie Co
The Texas Pie Company [Kyle TX]

Cutie Pie wagon
Cutie Pie Wagon [Austin TX]

Emporium Pies
Emporium Pies [Dallas TX]

Tootie Pie
Tootie Pie Co. [Boerne TX]

Virginia

Mom's Apple Pie Co.
Mom’s Apple Pie Co. [Leesburg VA]

Washington

High 5 Pie
High 5 Pie [Seattle WA]

shoofly
Shoofly Pie Co. [Seattle, WA]

a la mode seattle
A La Mode Pies [Seattle WA]

Sweet Savory Pie
Sweet Savory Pie [Seattle WA]

American Pie Bakery
American Pie Bakery [Seattle WA]

West Virginia

Almost Heaven
Almost Heaven Desserts [Bridgeport WV]

Wisconsin

Honey Pie Cafe
Honey Pie Cafe [Milwaukee WI]

Norse Nook
Norse Nook [Osseo WI]

By all means! If there is one fantastically delicious pie maker that SHOULD be on this list of stops, please put in the comments below. I would hate to leave anyone off. The more the merrier right?

Where Are All The Male Bakers?

I have really just started this new adventure and hobby in life, baking pies, and already one of the more surprising things that I have come to discover when getting out and meeting other bakers is that there really aren’t a lot of male bakers around?

I don’t have any male friends or family who have as much a passion for baking as I do (they’re either all are vegetarians and vegans, or like to BBQ – from on extreme to the next), so not sure why I expected the foodie blog-sphere to be any different. But excited in my new endeavor and eager to seek and reach out to other foodie bloggers in the same space, I jumped on the computer, popped open Google Chrome and away I went.

It’s a Woman’s World

Women own the baking (and, for a large part, most foodie sites) blogs and website space. That’s just fact. You literally have to look pretty hard to find a male baker. This wasn’t a bad thing by any stretch but it was surprising, and to say it didn’t cause some ‘pause’ in me starting PIE ADDICT, would be an understatement. My concern was that I couldn’t possibly be the first male to start a dessert foodie blog, so where were all the guys? Was there a reason why they weren’t any? I wasn’t sure, but determined as I was, nothing was going to deter me from building my dream.

The big note here – despite being a seemingly women’s-only club, it’s anything but, with baker bloggers from all over eager to help and encourage me on my endeavor. There to assist on a moment’s call. I love foodies!

Is Baking Not ‘Manly’ Enough?

Most of my guy friends love to BBQ. My Facebook wall is adorned with colorful and mouth-watering, photos of steaks, burgers and chicken sizzling on grills in backyards across America. Groups of guys, huddled up around the smoker, beers in hand, basking in the glory and ritual that is the big BBQ before the big ball game. It’s manly. It’s what we do! I mean, how many guys do you know, who post images of their latest cake design or cookie recipe? Yep, I thought so.

Did it bother me? Not really, but it was interesting and it did arouse some curiosity. How would my images of crust preparation, be received? Or me searching markets, high and low for the perfect batch of fresh blackberries for a cobbler I’d been dying to make? Or showing off the fantastic apple peeling contraption recently received from my mother? As far as I was concerned, this would be all part of the fun! So upload I did, and so well-received were the images, I’ve never turned back!

Maybe, just maybe, I’m one of a unique and special group? Maybe even I’m one of the first when it comes to baking pie? One of the few, Guys who like pies! I like the sound of that, but I doubt it. Somewhere out there, there are guys who love to bake and bake pies, as I do, and one day, I will find them and seek their counsel, not around the BBQ pit but around the oven, as we rant and rave of Martha Stewart’s latest and greatest! It is a dream….I often have! 🙂

Learning How to Bake Mom’s Apple Pie. The Struggle is Real!

The time-honored moniker we’ve all come to know and love – ‘Mom’s Apple Pie’ isn’t just a saying, it’s a fact. We’ve all grown up loving mom’s apple pie. I mean I think we’d each agree that our own, specific, individual mothers bake the most delicious, uniquely tasting apple pie in the world. So, its natural that at some point in time, we’re going to want to learn this most secret and difficult of recipes to pass along from generation to generation. For me, that time is now.

I have attempted to bake my mom’s apple pie recipe no less than 10 times and out of the ten times I think I have come very, very close on 2, maybe 3 occasions. At first I wasn’t sure exactly where I was going wrong in the recipe as the ‘juice’ seemed a bit to watery. After some trial and error, adding more of this and taking away some of that, I narrowed down the culprit.

Mom's Apple Pie

Sugar
Too much sugar. So I subtracted from the amount of sugar my mother initially told me to use (after all, the pie dish I was using was smaller than my mother typically used). This was more of a delicate matter than I had anticipated, as I whipped up multiple iterations of my mother’s pie design each week.

Consistency is what I strove for. Consistency and the capability of being able to bake this pie with referencing instruction but by pure instinct and knowledge.

Needless to say, I am very nearly there, though not completely comfortable at revealing the recipe and process just yet. A few more attempts me thinks! Stay tuned…