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 email@example.com.