Anywhere you turn you are reminded the holidays are quickly approaching. The TV commercials, stores and weather are telling this to us daily. Everyone is getting into the holiday mood. The Thanksgiving menu is on many people’s mind. And the big question about dessert is whether to bake pies or order pies. (If you need some help planning for your holidays check out Hosting Survival Tips for Year End Parties)
Not only are we facing the holidays, we are facing cold weather. Here, the windchill today is -6! On Halloween, we had over an inch of snow!
The one benefit of the cold weather coming in quickly, was that my parents and I got a REALLY great deal on apples! In late October we decided to get in one last fun fall activity and go apple picking with my son.
My parents have never been, but my son and I had gone a few weeks earlier with my husband to pick some delicious apples.
The day my parents and I went, they were trying to make sure all the apples were picked before the first frost. So instead of $13 for the normal bag, we got a bushel for $13! The bushel is usually $84! So, since the price was right we decided to get TWO bushels!
We headed out into the muddy field, my son in his stroller and a wagon in tow for all the apples! We had 8 bags to fill. My son LOVES apples so he wanted to eat every one he touched. He pointed to which ones we should pick. We also pulled him close enough when apples were low so he could pick them. He picked an entire bag of Granny Smith apples.
After a couple hours and endless rows of apple trees that had been pretty well picked over, we called it a day. We had filled over 5 bags with apples.
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So, what do we do now that we have almost 2 bushels of apples? We bake pies of course!
BUT I am NOT a pie baker! Sure I love to bake up some chocolate chip cookies or boxed beer bread or other simple items, but my pie baking skills are lacking.
I have family members who love to bake pies. In fact, one Christmas we had 9 pies for 12 people! Overkill? Maybe. But, they were all different flavors and my aunt enjoyed making them. And we enjoyed eating them!
My first attempt at baking a pie
I was probably in high school or early years of college when I decided to make a lemon meringue pie. We were going to visit family and my grandma always said my uncle loved lemon meringue pie, so I thought it would be fun to make one for him.
I bought a refrigerated pie crust, made the pie filling, placed in under the broiler and it looked fantastic. We boxed it up and traveled 10 hours to see the family.
When my dad started to slice it, we realized the crust was not cooked! Seems I didn’t realize I had to bake the crust FIRST! The 5 minutes under the broiler was not enough to bake the pie crust! Lesson learned!
I also found out my uncle’s favorite pie is NOT lemon meringue! He likes it but not his favorite. Grandma seemed to confuse who liked which pie between her 6 boys! We ate the inside of the pie and that was tasty.
I hadn’t tried to bake pies since then!
So, now here I am YEARS later facing bags and bags of apples. I was going to make an apple crisp and I was SURE I had everything I needed for the crisp. My husband even asked me earlier in the day, before he went shopping, if I needed anything. “No I have everything”.
That night he took our son out for a walk, I greased the pan and started to gather ingredients. I grabbed the oats off the self and though, hmm, I don’t remember when I opened these. And I don’t think I made it so this shelf when I cleaned out the pantry last month. I was right. They expired in July 2018! Can’t use those! Now what?
Well, my husband wanted an apple pie and he bought the refrigerated pie crust during his shopping trip. He even sent me the Pillsbury Perfect Apple Pie recipe he found online. Ok, I can do this…
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WAIT, I don’t have a pie pan!
The 8 x 8 cake pan was already greased. So, I made a round pie crust fit into a square pan, filled it with all the awesome apples and other ingredients, and cooked it for the time it said. Guess what, it turned out! My first square pie was delicious!
I have gone on to make an apple crisp, with fresh oats, and another apple pie. And, I even purchased a glass pie plate.
I CAN bake pies now!
Despite all these set back, an uncooked pie crust, a square pan and no pie plate, I have come to enjoy baking pies. And I am proud of them! I have even offered to bake an apple pie for Thanksgiving. I don’t know that I am ready to venture out to other types of pies just yet, but maybe one day.
Helpful Tips to Bake Pies
1. If you’re new to this, use a refrigerated pie crust. I highly recommend Pillsbury. It tastes amazing. Even if you are experienced at making crust, this is a great short cut for the holidays!
2. Make sure the type of pie you are baking bakes long enough to cook the crust
3. Have fresh ingredients, check expiration dates
4. Get yourself a glass pie plate
Save this to your Pinterest Board for a reminder that YOU can bake pies!
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