I love pie. Wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth — more like, a wooden spoonful of pie filling. When I lived with my family for a couple of months this fall, I’d drive to the grocery store, pick up six Granny Smith apples, and then drive to my grandmother’s house. She’d make me a pie.
So, I’ve never learned to make one myself. And when my sister Christina came to visit last weekend, we realized that none of us Muscato girls had baked a successful pie from scratch.
There are many ways to make a pie. Butter crust vs. shortening. Lattice top? Brush with milk? Sure. But we hear less about how NOT to make a pie. And that is what we did.
How Not to Make a Pie and then Make a Pie, in 27 Easy Steps
1) Decide to open a pie shop. (No one can accuse you of thinking small!!)
2) Realize that first you should probably make a pie. Any pie. Choose apple.
3) Determine in quick succession that you are missing a) a rolling pin; b) wax paper for rolling the dough and c) the knob to the oven. Disregard obstacles.
4) Use a recipe transcribed from your grandmother’s memory.
5) Wonder what’s going on when the dough is way too sticky.
6) Make the recipe a second time. The dough is way too sticky.
7) Forge ahead; roll the dough using a bottle of “Menage a Trois” red wine, on a piece of aluminum foil.
8) Pause and stare quizzically when the dough is stuck to the bottle in a bajillion places.
9) Forge ahead. Flour it up. Finally get the dough flat. Transfer to pie pan.
10) Pause and stare quizzically when the dough splits like a map of the world going through a very terrible earthquake.
11) Start eating the dough.
12) Drink the red wine. …Drink more.
13) Pay no attention when one of your team members, perhaps the eldest sister, dashes to the store for a rolling pin and wax paper. In fact, don’t notice that she’s left.
14) While she’s gone, start jamming the dough into cupcake tins. These will be “tarts” you tell yourselves. Dream of your tart shop.
15) When your eldest sibling returns, try to explain the DisasterTarts. Then, just stop talking as your arguments peter out. As a trio, briefly consider deep-frying the dough. Realize you have no deep-fryer.
16) Make a new batch of dough using a recipe from the internet and an off-brand of butter named “Challenge Butter”. Feel that this is appropriate.
17) Snack on sugary sliced apples. Drink more wine.
18) Roll the new Challenge Butter dough using a rolling pin and wax paper. It’s so easy! Transfer to pie plate without incident. Marvel and congratulate selves.
19) Try to set the oven to the appropriate temperature using a pliers. See also: missing oven knob. Set your timer for forty minutes.
20) Note that the pie is not cooking fast enough. And not cooking. Now it is midnight. It is not cooking.
21) Call your grandmother, even though it is midnight and two of your team members are fast asleep in the living room, one curled up in an armchair. Your grandmother answers, because she is always awake at all hours. Her main comment is: No, a pie should not take an hour and a half to cook.
22) The top is not browning. Glaze it in honey. Glaze it in leftover cinnamon butter from yesterday’s biscuits!! STAY AWAKE! STAY AWAKE!
23) Finally remove pie from oven. Go to sleep at 2am.
24) Wake up after four hours of sleep.
25) Bleary-eyed, watch your sisters wake up, parade into the kitchen and peek under the foil approvingly. It looks delicious, they say.
26) Pie for breakfast. Send celebratory text messages all day remarking on the fabulousness of your pie.
27) Decide to never, ever open a pie shop.