Making pies for the Holiday?

Apple pie prior to baking. Made with a mix of apples from my trees this year.
Jonathan, Granny Smith, Goldrush, and huge green apples from a seedling tree. The mix of varieties made a delicious filling.

Cherry pie, after baking. Montmorency cherries picked from my neighbor’s tree last year. Sour cherry pie is a favorite anytime of year!

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Looked into the link, I will give it another try. I am sure home made blind baked pie crust will go really well with my chiffon pie filling :smile:

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I hope it works for you - but I know that I blind baked one and it shrunk back so much I couldn’t use it. I suspect that using a pizza stone was part of the problem, as well as stretching the dough too much to make it reach. But that shouldn’t be a universal problem - just me, just this time. I hope.

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belle of ga peach pie stored in my new/old 58 frig. It will be home to my scions in a couple months.

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wow!!! a lot of great pie bakers here, they all look wonderful.

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OMG! Your pies are so beautiful you could write your own pie book!

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Those are beautiful pies and beyond my meager artistic talent. I had some frozen Carmine Jewel cherries left over from my first good crop this summer. I made a delicious, simple to make, sour cherry cobbler for Christmas Eve.

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wow - those pies are like art pieces! I can get my pies to taste good but they leave a lot to be desired in the visual department. Do you have any tips for working with dough to do designs like that?

I recently made a calamondin pie w/ graham cracker & toasted coconut crust, I based it off of a key lime pie recipe and it turned out great, tasted like dreamsicle! It took much less calamondin juice and zest than I thought it would, those things are powerful

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A little calamondin goes a long ways towards flavoring.
What was your source of calamondin?

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The tree itself is in ground in my greenhouse, I’ve probably got 10 or so citrus varieties growing in the ground in there among other things like feijoas, poms, figs, etc. I don’t let it get below ~28-30f for too long in the greenhouse so as to not let the fruit be damaged by cold (I’m in zone 6b), it’s working very well so far - I have a few gallons of meiwas and some calamondins still left to pick and use next week, just harvested a bunch of indio and nippon fruits, all of those were juiced. I picked up the calamondin from logee’s or perhaps burpee about 5 or so years ago, it was around $15 for all 3 shipped as part of a “Citrus trio” special, included a key lime and cleopatra mandarin too but I ditched the cleo mandarin. Calamondin has been a citrus rockstar for me in-ground in the GH along with xie shan brown select and various kumquats

That looks delicious, I’d love to try it.

I generally don’t care about looks, unless it bears on the taste/texture eating experience.

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Thanks! My wife and kids and I really enjoyed it, I think I’ll work on the recipe a bit more and might post it in the recipes thread on here at a later date

bopcrane:indio: are you referring to the Indio Mandarinquat?
New-crop fruit of that variety does not appear to be available yet online.

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Yes, Indio mandarinquat - it hasn’t been quite as productive for me in my GH as the nippon orangequat, but my wife and kids and I enjoy the Indios a lot juiced, after the fruits have hung on the tree a good bit past when the peel turns orange. I like the nippon orangequat a lot because it has an agreeable and non-acrid taste when also used slightly unripe and kind of fills in the niche that the limequat did in the same GH before that limequat died this year. My limequat (not sure which variety exactly) put on a huge crop of limequats and uprooted itself and fell over, I didn’t notice half the root system was exposed when it got down pretty low in my greenhouse and it killed it before I noticed anything wrong ( it was a relatively small bush, obscured by my other trees…can vouch it was very productive and precocious). I’m debating on replacing that one or not.

Indio

Edit: On that note, I’m growing the nippon and indio side by side in my GH, and one thing I’ve noticed about them, the nippon seems to form fruit of differing sizes and shapes (but still roughly tear-shaped and often with a more bulbous “neck”), while the indio seems to be more uniform tear drop shaped fruit and mostly around the same size. The year before last the nippon gave me some fruits with a bumpier rind texture and they were asymmetrical - I don’t know if that has to due with age or weather, humidity etc but I thought it was odd. I’ll post a thread on here sometime about my greenhouse arrangement, I would really like some feedback from people on here how it could maybe be improved for production etc

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Sorry I didn’t respond sooner, I haven’t been on the forum for several weeks.
I think that taste is the most important thing in a pie! Visual appeal is nice and it’s fun to create food that looks good and draws you in. But if it doesn’t taste good, what’s the point?

Well… I guess the first thing that comes to mind is make sure your dough is not dry. When you add your liquid, the dough has to really stick together, it cannot be crumbly. This is a balancing act between wet enough, but not sticky. You need to add just enough, but not more than that.

I think it would help to have an extra piece of dough that you roll a bit thicker for the cutouts. That way the dough won’t rip and tear as easily when you try move and place the pieces on the pie. I don’t actually do that, but I think it would be a good idea! :wink:

It’s also helpful to have a smooth flat spatula or dough scraper to slide under the cut pieces to move them.

Sketch a rough design on paper and see if you can free hand draw what you want to create. Use a very thin sharp knife, maybe even an Exacto, to cut your designs, or use cookie cutters etc. to cut designs. I don’t have any pictures of my better flower/sunflower designs, but here’s a few of my very first ones I tried. I free-handed the cutouts and did a pretty bad job at making the shapes symmetrical, and the placement was not the best either. :roll_eyes: But it was fun and they tasted great. I’ve improved my technique since these pies.


A lot of the very fancy decorated pies you might see in pictures use a very thick dough specifically for it’s ability to be manipulated and cut intricately without tearing. I don’t have first-hand knowledge, but I surmise that those crusts do not impart a pleasant eating experience, and are for looks only. A thick dough is usually tough and/or chewy, which is not what we want in a pie crust! Some of the pictures I have seen are absolutely beautiful works of art! But I’m skeptical whether those crusts are edible.
So the number 1 priority for me is to make sure the pie and crust taste good! Crust should be light and flaky! And then pretty it up a bit if you can and want to. :grin:
Here’s a guide you might like to look through. Great pictures, descriptions, and recipes.
King Arthur Pie Baking Guide

I don’t even know what a calamondin is, so I’m looking that up! A dreamsicle pie- I definitely need to try that! That sounds amazing!!! Looks delish!!!

That sounds wonderful! I bet your family really enjoyed that! I actually prefer sour cherry pie with a streusel/oat topping, rather than a solid top crust. I think the brown sugar/oatmeal is just the perfect pairing for the tart cherries (I add bit of cinnamon to my streusel). My pie is kind of like a cobbler but with a pie crust shell. I do that a lot with apple and peach pie as well.

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