It may appear like a lot of work, but an apple pie that begins with packaged peeled and sliced apples and a store-bought fill and bake crust (upper left), eliminates most of the labor. No matter how you opt to top your apple pie, either with a lattice-cut crust or one simply vented with a few knife cuts, brushing the bottom crust with egg white helps to keep it from becoming soggy. In addition, cooking the filling (with apple cider or juice, sugar and spices), prevents a gap from forming between the crust and the filling. The use of a pie shield (right, center) helps keep the edges of the crust from overbrowning before the rest of the crust is baked.

The Kitchen Ade: Holiday desserts as easy as pie

  • By Sue Ade
  • Tuesday, November 22, 2016 2:27pm
  • LifeFood

Using ready-made pie crusts, canned pumpkin and peeled and sliced fresh apples can make baking for the holidays “as easy as pie.”

And, if you want to “play” a little and put a little art into your pies, using these products frees time to trim crusts with pastry leaves using pie crust cutters, or roll out cut-out pastry crusts using lattice pie top cutters.

When making a pumpkin pie, never feel guilty about using canned pumpkin. No matter how experienced or expert you are at making pumpkin pie, you will never achieve baking as smooth a textured pie with fresh pumpkin as you will with canned. In addition, canned pumpkin is not as watery as fresh, and in terms of convenience, it just can’t be beat.

This is the first year I used packaged peeled and sliced apples for making apple pie, and the outcome was good. Also a first, I cooked the apple pie filling prior to placing it into the bottom crust. Pre-cooking the filling not only prevented a gap from forming between the apples and the top crust, but it also allowed for the use of a lot more apples, resulting in a pie that was considerably higher than typical.

When time is short, pre-made fill and bake pie crusts are a pie-bakers best friend. They are especially forgiving when handled and ideal for cutting into shapes for decorating crusts and other pastry-based desserts. They are also useful for making lattice-type cut-out crusts.

The recipes here for pumpkin and apple pies yield professional-looking results with a taste to match – easy as pie to make, easy as pie to eat for Thanksgiving and all the other holidays that are about to arrive.


Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at

Ready-made pie crusts and canned pumpkin makes quick work of pumpkin pie baking. Glass pie dishes helps to see when bottom crusts are fully baked.

A 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk replaces the customary evaporated milk and sugar in this version of pumpkin pie.

Store-bought fill and bake pie crusts, canned pumpkin and packaged peeled and sliced fresh apples, makes pumpkin and apple pie baking for the holidays as easy as pie. Use pie crust cutters and lattice pie top cutters for making decorative pastry leaves and crusts.