Monday, October 6, 2014

A Day At Pie Shop

I love living in the country but a trip to the city is exciting, too. As long as I know I'm coming home when the traffic has overwhelmed me. I went to Atlanta over the weekend for a visit with Jessica. We were attending a pie making class first thing on Saturday morning. 

The temperature was crisp and cool when we arrived at Pie Shop in Buckhead. Mims, the owner and instructor, had everything set out and ready for us to begin. (I think I like cooking where someone else does all the before and after parts.)

The pie of the day was apple pie. A perfect choice for a fall day.  We each found a place at the work table, ready to get to work.

As we worked, we learned about pie-making basics. For the pie crust (understandably, she didn't give us her signature recipe,) choose a flour with a lower gluten flour, such as White Lily. Makes better crust than flours like King Arthur with a higher gluten content. Those flours are better for baking yeast breads. Her choice for a fat was unsalted butter.

We learned about rolling out the crust—flip it over each time as you rotate it. And be sure to lift the pin off the dough just before you get to the edge. If you roll all the way to the edge, that part will be too thin.

Getting the crust into the pan is simple if you fold it over a couple of times before you move it. When you place the bottom crust in the pan, don't press it in—just drop the pan onto the countertop a couple of times and let it settle in.

Then we tacked that big basket of apples. About seven or eight apples peeled and sliced was enough to fill a pie. Slice them thin.

Our apples were sliced about 1/4-inch thick and mixed with only 1/4 cup of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and a pinch of allspice and cloves. Mims told us that she liked the fruit to shine through in the filling, not the sugar.

Tucking the top crust under the bottom crust and crimping the edges were the last step in our process. And don't forget to cut a vent! Any design you want. I went for the traditional, but others were more creative. 

When the pies went into the oven to bake, we got to sit down. She asked if we would like to try some of her pie. Of course! We all chose a different kind—pumpkin, sweet potato, honey chess, coconut cream, and bacon/tomato quiche. It would be hard to choose a favorite.

And before we knew it, the pies were done. What a souvenir to take home to Daddy-O!     I should have alerted him to buy ice cream.

How much fun it was to spend time with daughter Jessica and her friends. Who are now my friends. If you find yourself in Atlanta in the Buckhead area, stop by Pie Shop for a slice or even a whole pie. There is even an option for ordering online. Thank you, Mims, for a real Saturday treat.

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