Texas Living

The Ultimate Pie Guide

By Haley Shapley 1.23.17

Hold yer horses! Don’t put the pie pans away just yet! The holidays might be over, but pie is a year-round treat. And we can all agree on one thing: There’s really never a bad time to have a slice (pie for breakfast, anyone?). Whether you like sweet or savory, classic or contemporary, we’ve got you covered — with a nice lattice design, of course.

From the Outside In

No matter how divine the filling is, a pie is ultimately judged on its crust. Although that kind of pressure can send anyone to a readymade option, remember that homemade wins the day. There are people who swear by butter, those who prefer shortening, and some who like a mixture of both, but one common bit of advice is to keep your ingredients very cold. For fruit pies, freezing the entire pie before baking can help with soggy-crust issues. Beyond that, experiment with different styles and see what works best for you.

(Don’t) Feel the Burn

Don’t let your precious pie fall victim to over-browning. Protect your crust with a pie guard (available at most stores that sell kitchen or baking accessories) or a homemade foil protector!

Stovetop Simplicity

Another secret to pie-making is having a few quick go-to fillings you can whip up in a jiffy. The easiest ones to have on-hand (in my humble opinion) are stovetop fillings such as these simple recipes for pie staples: pumpkin, chocolate, and apple pie.

It’s the Tops

How will you top it off? This New York Times guide walks you through creating tops of all kinds, from lattice and whole to cutout and crumble. If you’re ready to move beyond the basics, Martha Stewart has a dozen ideas that make for an impressive presentation.

Small but Mighty

Want the wonderful taste of pie without having 12 slices sitting on your counter calling out to you? Then a hand pie (aka empanada, pasty, turnover, etc.) is in order. These pared-down pastries are the perfect vehicle for everything from diced pears soaked in cinnamon to spinach and artichoke dip.

With these simple tips for pie creation and a roundup of the top pies in the Lone Star State, you’re sure to become a proficient pie master in no time.

© 2017 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance