Word has gotten around that I make a mean pie. I longed to be the Pie Master that my Mom is, and I think I’ve come pretty close.
Filling was never hard; fruit, thickener, sugar and maybe some lemon juice. It’s the elusive pastry that everyone gets hung up on. It a frustrated Melissa, a lot of wasted flour and lard as well as spontaneous alternate dessert plans until I finally nailed down the art. And trust me, it is an art.
Which brings me to Wedding Pies 2014. My room mates have been planning their wedding for quite some time, it wasn’t until a few months ago I learned what their dessert plans were.
“Can you make pies for our wedding? We’ll pay you.”
“How many exactly…?”
Well 10 turned to 12 and that grew to 17, but if you’re feeding 110 people and making mass-pies, what’s a few more?
Don’t think I made 17 DIFFERENT FLAVOURS of pie. That’s insane. We decided on four flavours, both regular and vegan. There was pecan, strawberry rhubarb, bumble berry and apple.
I think I did the whole operation pretty intelligently. One day I made all of the pastry, another day I quadrupled recipes to make the filling, and on the final day, assembled everything together. I managed to fit five pies in the oven at a time, making the entire cooking process pretty fast. Oh, I lied. I made 19 pies. One for my roommates as a ‘sampler’ and another for my parents, since they let me use their oven/kitchen.
At the wedding, the pies were a HUGE success. It also didn’t hurt that I transported them in bakery-style pie boxes (thanks Bulk Barn!)
I have never made that much of anything. Ever. It was’t all that bad. Strategizing is key, but also loving the whole process helps.
It meant a lot that my roommates asked me to make their wedding pies. That’s a huge deal! Having pies versus cake also brought everything together really well. The wedding was in the country with tons of flowers, picnic benches, straw bales and all handmade crafts. Dinner was a pig roast and homemade salads. It was casual and rustic but still had the wow factor. Pies in place of a big, showy wedding cake worked out perfectly.
Let’s just say if I make this many pies again, I’m making more pecan. Everyone loved the fruit pies but I don’t think people have pecan very often. It seemed like a novelty, and was devoured. It’s also really, really, really tasty.
*The Buttertarts to Die For also subbed as the filling for the vegan pecan pie
1x double crust batch of pastry
10 cups sliced cored, peeled mixed apples (about 6 to 7 large apples such as Honeycrisp, Gala, McIntosh and Pink Lady)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup bron sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
3 tablespoons tapioca flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. Roll out the larger portion of the pastry on a lightly floured surface, making the piece wide enough to fit an 8-inch pie plate and leaving a 1/2-inch overhang.
3, Chill until needed. Roll out the second piece to be used for the top of the pie. Place on a piece of plastic wrap and chill.
4. For the filling, combine apples, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and allspice in a large skillet.
5. Cook over medium heat, stirring gently for 5 minutes or until apples just begin to soften.
6. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes to absorb more of the syrup that will have formed in the pan.
7. Stir in tapioca flour.
8. Remove pie plate from fridge and heap the contents of the skillet into the pie shell, mounding apples in the middle.
9. Dot with butter. Cover with top layer of pastry, seal edges and crimp.
10. Sprinkle white sugar on top.
11. Cut small steam vents in the top of the pastry. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 350˚ and bake for another 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is golden, apples are tender and juice is bubbling.
12. If pastry begins to brown too quickly, cover with a sheet of parchment paper.
13. When done, remove from oven and let cool to room temperature, or serve warm.
Serves 6-8 (Has been known to serve 2)
From LCBO’s Food & Drink Magazine
1x double crust batch of pastry
1 1/2 cups toasted pecans
1/3 cup browned butter, cooled
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup condensed milk
3/4 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg, lightly beaten
pinch of salt
1. Preheat oven to 375˚
2. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface, making the piece wide enough to fit an 8-inch pie plate and leaving a 1/2-inch overhang.
3. Chill until needed.
4. In a skillet, toast pecans on medium-low until fragrant, tossing often. About 10-15 minutes. Scatter into bottom of pie shell.
5. Combine all ingredients together except pecans in a bowl, pour into prepared pie shell.
6. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until centre is set but still jiggly.
7. Cool to room temperature before serving.
Makes a double crust for smaller pie pans or a single crust with lattice topping for deep-dish pie pans
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (more as necessary) coconut oil, cool enough to be solid
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cane or brown sugar
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup ice water
- Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl.
- Add solid coconut oil and working with a pasty blender, mix until crumbly and will stick together when you squeeze it.
- Stir in 1/3 cup water, or until the dough holds together. If necessary, add a little more water until the texture is right.
- Turn dough onto a clean, dry surface that has been dusted with flour. If you’re not ready to use the crust, shape it into a flat ball, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
- When you are ready to use the crust, make sure it’s soft enough to roll.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll into a circle that will fit an 8″ pie plate; using extra flour to keep from sticking.
- Roll pastry up with the rolling pin and drape into plate. Dock with fork and chill in fridge until ready to use.