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Pie Maker Tips

  • To prevent crust form becoming soggy with cream pie, sprinkle crust with powdered sugar

  • When making a fruit pie, put lower crust in the over 5 minutes., and bake while you are rolling out the top crust. Add filling and adjust top crust. The undercrust will not be soggy.

  • Before beating egg whites for meringues, always have eggs whites at room temperature.

  • You can cut a meringue pie cleanly by coating both sides of the knife lightly with butter.

  • Be sure the pie has cooled completely before you slice it--the filling needs time to set properly.

  • Perfect Pie Crust: For shine and sparkle, thin a quarter cup of light corn syrup with very hot water. When the pie is done, brush the thinned syrup over the top of the crust. You can add granulated sugar or decorative sugar at this time. Return the pie to the oven for two to three minutes to let the glaze dry and set. Once the pie is done baking, carefully remove it from the oven. Let the pie cool to room temperature before slicing to allow the filling to set.

  • Preheat the oven to the temperature the recipe you are following recommends. Most fruit pies bake at a temperature of between 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Some recipes call for baking the pie in a 450 degree F oven for the first part of baking, then turning down the the oven to about 350 degrees F. This helps set the shape of the crust in recipes that contain a lot of fat; it can keep your crust from slouching.

  • To add a richer color to a double-crust or lattice-topped pie, brush the top crust with milk or lightly beaten egg before baking.

  • Baking a pie with a raw fruit filling will take about an hour. Always bake pies on a baking sheet to prevent spillovers in the oven. Berry, apple, and pear pies cook for approximately 45 minutes. When using a pre-cooked filling, pies can bake at a higher temperature for a shorter period of time, just enough to thoroughly bake the crust and heat the filling.

  • To check the doneness of the filling, insert a knife into the center of the pie. If it meets with little or no resistance, the pie is done. If the pie is not quite done but the top or edges are becoming too dark, loosely cover the top of the pie with aluminum foil to shield it from the heat. A glass pie dish is a great way to ensure the bottom crust is fully baked; using a baking stone or pizza stone is another trick. Baking on a stone ensures that the bottom crust on even the juiciest fruit pie will be done when the top is brown.

HEALTHY TIPS:

    PIE CRUST, you have a few options when it comes to piecrust:
  • Use one crust, not two. Look for pie recipes that only call for a bottom piecrust (instead of two crusts). This will save you at least 120 calories and 8 grams of fat per slice (if you get 8 slices per 9-inch pie).

  • Embrace the brown. Add fiber and nutrients to your piecrust by using half whole-wheat pastry flour and half white flour. This adds about 1 1/2 grams of fiber per slice (for a one-crust pie serving 8).

  • Switch to a better fat. Use a crust recipe that calls for oil instead of shortening (like the one below). Then choose a healthier oil like canola, which contributes the more desirable monounsaturated fats and plant omega-3s.

  • Use less fat. Add a little less fat (maybe 5 tablespoons instead of 8) to your piecrust dough. Substitute an equal amount of something else, like low-fat buttermilk, maple syrup, or fat-free or light cream cheese.

  • Lose the crust and add crumbs. For some pies, you can eliminate the crust. First, choose a filling that stands well on its own (nothing too gooey). Then, coat your pie dish with canola cooking spray or light margarine. Add about 1/2 cup of crumbs, and tilt the dish to cover the inside well. What kind of crumbs should you use? If you're making quiche, use wheat and herb cracker crumbs or seasoned croutons, crushed. For lemon or lime pie, use gingersnap or SnackWells shortbread cookie crumbs. For chocolate cream pie, use graham cracker or chocolate cookie crumbs.
    PIE FILLING, Tips for the Pie Filling
  • Many pie filling recipes call for a cup of sugar. That adds up to about 100 calories per serving, just from the sugar in your filling! You can cut the sugar calories in half either by using half the sugar the recipe calls for (this usually works well in a fruit filling) or by substituting Splenda for half the sugar.

  • Then there's butter. One sweet potato pie recipe I looked at called for 1/2 cup of butter. That's a tablespoon per serving, adding about 100 calories and 12 grams of fat per serving -- and that doesn?t even include the crust!

  • You can usually trim the butter in fillings to 2 tablespoons, then add in a few tablespoons of orange juice, rum, or even maple syrup (especially if you've cut the sugar in half)

  • Cream cheese is another creamy filling ingredient that can be replaced with a lower-fat variety. If your filling calls for an 8-ounce package of cream cheese, you can shave about 37 calories and 5.5 grams of fat per serving (when 8 servings per pie) by using light cream cheese.

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