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!

Pie Recipes Featured This Week! Pie Recipe Round-up.

Pie Recipes Featured This Week. It’s Friday again folks and besides being on the doorstep to hopefully a relaxing and fulfilling weekend, here are some of the wonderful pie recipes that made there way around the Web this past week! Take a peek and try one of this out, then come on back and let me know how they turned out in the comments below! Enjoy!

Pie Recipes for the Week:

Mixed Berry Cobbler - Bake or Break

A Cobbler using a combination of strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, or you choose a few of your favorite berries, or just stick to one. You never have to make this dessert the same way twice!

recipe roundupMile High Lemon Meringue Pie - A Feast for the Eyes

A luscious Lemon Meringue Pie with a Marshmallow Cream meringue. With just the right amount of tartness and a topping that is the crowning glory with a billowy and just the right amount of sweet, marshmallow fluff
recipe roundupLemon Sour Cream Pie - Tastes Better from Scratch

Supposedly one of the BEST Lemon Sour Cream Pie recipes out and about that definitely needs to be tried sooner rather than later.
recipe roundupSlow Cooker Apple Pear Crisp - Damn Delicious

The easiest fuss-free apple pear crisp made right in your crockpot with a sweet crispy topping that is TO DIE FOR!!! The most difficult thing about this is choosing which ice cream flavor to go with your apple crisp.
recipe roundupPeach Cobbler - Buns in my Oven

This peach cobbler recipe is made with a super simple filling of fresh or frozen peaches, brown sugar, and cinnamon. The cobbler topping is outrageously good and you won’t be able to stop nibbling on it!
recipe roundupEasy No-Bake Coconut Cream Pie - Completely Delicious

The dreamiest (and easiest!) no-bake coconut cream pie recipe around! There’s no baking or cooking required to make this simple coconut cream pie! All you need is a few basic ingredients, a pie dish, and your refrigerator. Easy-peasey!
recipesCoconut Cream Pie - Baker Betty

This classic recipe for coconut cream pie combines several pastry components. Rich and creamy coconut pastry cream is the filling of the buttery pie crust and its all topped with real whipped cream and toasted coconut. This pie is bakery quality and is sure to impress!
recipe roundupChocolate Velvet Pie with Meringue Crust - That Skinny Chick Can Bake

A dreamy chocolate velvet pie in a melt in your mouth meringue crust! A meringue shell is topped with incredibly rich, dreamy chocolate whipped cream and chocolate shards.
recipe roundupRaspberry Cream Pie - Tikkido

A cool, creamy, and delicious raspberry pie with graham cracker crust. Think a fruity raspberry layer atop a creamy bottom and textured nicely with a graham cracker bottom.
Banana Pudding Peanut Butter Pie - The Gold Lining Girl

An irresistible, easy-to-make, no-bake dessert! This Banana Pudding Peanut Butter Pie is a cinch, and who doesn’t love bananas and peanut butter together?

Here are the websites of the talented Bakers featured above:
Bake or Break – http://www.bakeorbreak.com/
A Feast for the Eyes – http://www.afeastfortheeyes.net/
Tastes Better from Scratch – https://tastesbetterfromscratch.com/
Damn Delicious – https://damndelicious.net/
Buns in my Oven – https://www.bunsinmyoven.com/
Completely Delicious – https://www.completelydelicious.com/
Baker Bettie – https://bakerbettie.com/
That Skinny Chick Can Bake – https://www.thatskinnychickcanbake.com/
Tikkido – https://tikkido.com/
The Gold Lining Girl – https://thegoldlininggirl.com/

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

How to Choose the Best Apples for Baking Apple Pie

What are the Best Apples for Baking Apple Pie? When I first took a REAL interest in making and baking pie, I started with learning my mother’s apple pie recipe, passed down from generation after generation. I knew that she ALWAYS used those deep green, Granny Smith apples, so as far as I was concerned, that was THE apple of choice for all apple pie. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

best apples for baking apple pie

It wasn’t until I truly walked through a produce section in the supermarket and really took the time to peruse through the multitude of apple types. The dizzying array of colors and names enough to overwhelm any aspiring baker if you don’t know what you’re looking for…or what you SHOULD be looking for?

When looking for the best apples to bake apple pie with, understand that not every apple type is good to bake apple pie with.

Best Apples for Baking Apple Pie

Apple TypeFlavorTextureBest Uses
Red Deliciousbest apples for bakingVery sweetGets MUSHY when cooked. Skin is thick & BitterJust for eating as is, for a snack. Not good for baking with.
McIntosh Apple
McIntosh apple
Sweet & mildly tartTender yet slightly 'grainy'Best used for making apple sauce or eating out of hand
Braeburn Apple
best apples for baking
Very sweet & mildly tart (like a Granny Smith)Quite crispBest used for making pies, tarts, apple sauce, just plain eating
Rome Apple
rome apple
Not very sweetthick skin and fairly firm 'flesh'Best used for apple sauce
Fuji Apple
fuji apple
Very sweet w/great tasteCrisp with a pear-like textureBest for eating out of hand
Golden Delicious
golden delicious
Both sweet and tartCrisp when fresh. Softens when bakedGreat for pies, apple sauce and 'apple butter'
Cortland Apples
cortland apple
Both sweeter and more tart than McIntosh w/mild flavorTender and slightly grainApple sauce or eating out of hand.
Empire
empire apple
Very sweet and very tart with a good level of juicinessFirm & crunchyBest to eat our of hand
Gala Apple
gala apples
Both Mild & sweet with a good amount of tartnessthin-skin with a grainy textureBest to eat out of hand
Granny Smith
granny smith apples
Very tartFirm, crunchy, and slightly grainy. Best used for making pies and eating out of hand

Can You Mix apples When Baking Apple Pie?

When looking at the best apples for baking apple pie, the question often comes up, can I MIX different types of apples in any given apple pie? The answer is an absolute ‘YES’ however this may take some trial and error and trying out different things.

I personally, prefer to use only one type of apple when baking apple pie, but by no means, let that hinder you from trying out something new and potentially magnificent?! For instance, you can try combining granny smith’s (very tart) with someone sweet like a Braeburn (sweet) in your apple pie recipe? The tartness of the Granny Smith’s might go well with Braeburn’s and you probably wouldn’t have to add much more sugar since the Braeburn’s are naturally sweet?

Just takes some experimentation and exploration. something WE ALL LOVE to do anyways, right?

Apple Tools That Could Come in Handy

apple peelerKitchenAid KSM1APC Spiralizer Attachment with Peel, Core & Slice
Reinvent classic meals and inspire your culinary creativity with the versatile KitchenAid spiralizer with peel, core and slice stand mixer attachment.
Check Current Pricing &
availability
apple peelerCast Magnesium Apple/Potato Peeler by Spiralizer
CAST MAGNESIUM APPLE PEELER by Spiralizer, Durable Heavy Duty Die Cast Magnesium Alloy Apple Slicer, Corer, Peeler
Check Current Pricing &
availability
best apples for baking apple piePrepworks by Progressive Thin Apple Slicer and Corer
The Thin Apple Slicer from prep works is a quick and safe way to easily core and slice an apple.
Check Current Pricing &
availability

Have some input on apples you’ve used for baking apple pie NOT on this list? Please let me and the other readers know in the comments below!

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! 🙂