Pies, Pies, Pies

24 Nov

The Ginger Spices with their finished pies

One of the things I love most about coming home is that my friends at home bake just as much as I do. Instead of getting together to watch movies or whatever it is most teenagers do, in High School we would usually make cookies or a cake or something whenever we were hanging out. So of course, when I found out

Megan brought her own ingredients. And zester.

that my friend Megan was going to be home on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving as well, I proposed a pie bake-off. This basically meant that Roxie, Megan, and I all gathered in our kitchen to simultaneously make pies, which predictably turned out rather crazy. We ran out of sugar, and I think we’ll need to pick up some more butter before the real Thanksgiving cooking begins. There was pie crust being rolled out on every surface and manic pleas for another clean mixing bowl, but somehow we got three pies in the oven safely and they all look delicious. Unfortunately, we can’t actually judge the bake-off until after tomorrow—but seeing as both families are only having four or five people at their dinner, and three pies each, I’m sure we’ll have some leftovers to trade.

Gina: "Wait, I have to look serious while I'm peeling"

Roxie was planning on trying to make a pecan pie this year, but our mother bought a pecan chocolate pie the other day so, alas, she will have to conquer that next year.  Instead she made a Nantucket cranberry pie, which is not so much of a traditional pie as it is lots of sugar piled over cranberries with cake batter on top.  Whatever it is, she already ate too much of the batter because it tasted so good and now reports that she feels slightly sick.

Roxie putting the finishing touches on her pie.

I am making an apple cream pie with a pecan crumble topping and many decadent things like heavy cream as well as sugar, eggs, etc, and Megan is making a lemon meringue pie.  I made the all-butter crust Roxie posted here previously for both of these pies, although after making it I started worrying about the fact that Megan’s Aunt Heather is a baker and will be very judgmental about my crust. I also made it in a food processor instead of by hand, but it looked like it came out pretty well. We par-baked Megan’s pie crust while she was furiously making the lemon curd, which was scary but seemed to work.  We covered it with foil and put beans in the crust for the first 20 minutes, and then took off the foil and let it brown for another 10 minutes.  Although it puffed up a bit, I am confident by the look of the end product that everything has worked out fine.

Megan furiously stirs the lemon curd

Amazingly, even though the kitchen looked like a tornado of sugar and flour for a couple of hours, it is all cleaned up now in preparation for the storm of cooking our family will be doing tomorrow.  We will be posting some pictures of the madness tomorrow, as well as a possible Father Spice guest post.  Happy cooking (and eating) everyone!

Here are the recipes we used:
Megan’s Lemon Meringue Pie

Roxie’s Nantucket Cranberry Pie (She used hazelnuts instead of pecans to avoid pecan-overload)

Gina’s Apple Pie

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