For the Love of Pie: A recipe round-up

I‘ve been on the pie train all summer long, picking up steam as we head into autumn towards the ultimate pie weekend: Thanksgiving.

Fruit pies are my favourite and over the years I’ve realized that if I am not intentional about making them in season, it’s altogether too easy to miss out. And so I baked strawberry-rhuharb in June, blueberry-ginger in July, blackberry-meringue in August and peach-streusel in September.

Now Canadian Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I come to you with pie recipes for your own gatherings. From stone fruit to sticky pecan, classic apple to pumpkin spice, you’re sure to bookmark a future baking project from this list.

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Marmalade Pecan Pie with coconut sugar, bourbon and a hint of chocolate

All year long, we bakers turn out a variety of layer cakes, brownies and cookies, not to mention sticky fruity crisps and cobblers, but come November our thoughts turn to pie.

Perhaps we are prompted by the lackluster weather and barren landscape, or maybe it is because November a slower month, and we are able to make time in our busy lives for rolling pie crust and dedicating ourselves to the art of pie.

Pie can’t be slapped together like a loaf of banana bread or a batch of chocolate chip cookies; it requires more effort, yet yields richly rewarding results.

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How to host an old fashioned pie social

For those of us in Canada, Thanksgiving is a little over two weeks away and preparations have begun in earnest.

No matter how grand the holiday party plans get, it will be hard to top the pie social we hosted last month as part of a backyard wedding celebration for close family. Since the bride and groom already had a wedding cake out in B.C., it was easy to convince them to go with pie for 80 guests.

Pie just makes so much sense for this time of the year. Berries and stone fruits are still holding their spot at the markets; pears and apples as well as pumpkins have arrived.

If you’re thinking pie needs to be in your future this fall, read on for recipes, tips and inspiration.

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Fresh Strawberry Pie

What do you do when a kind neighbour gives you a morning’s work with his trusty backhoe, helping out with your backyard landscaping mess project? You make him a fresh strawberry pie, of course.

We started prepping for this dessert back in March when we learned how to blind bake a pie crust. I knew June would bring small local strawberries that were red to the core and as sweet as can be, and when that time came, I wanted to be able to serve them up in a fresh strawberry pie. I wanted it to be uncomplicated – no gelatine or cornstarch – just our beloved strawberries in pie form.

And what is the fun of making a pie or two if you can’t share them? So I did with my neighbour; and again, here with you today.

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How to blind-bake a pie crust

Danny and I were trading off household jobs one recent Saturday morning and I pointed out that he should do the dishes. I was planning to blind bake a pie crust and needed to get the dough in the fridge to chill.

“You’re going to WHAT now?” He asked, clearly dubious of the credibility of my task.

“Yeah. You know, prebake a single pie crust, to hold a cream filling.” I explained. And because there was pie in his future, he conceded to doing the breakfast washing up.

It’s no wonder he had no idea what I was talking about. I seldom make cream pies, so strong is my fondness for the fruit-based variety. But I had an idea for a pie that I wanted to make for Sunday dinner and so a-blind-baking I went, while Danny kept an interested eye on my work.

Strawberry season is nearly upon us and that means fresh strawberry pie needs to be on your weekend brunch menu, as well as mine. To do so, we need to know how to blind bake a pie crust. Read on for the tutorial! Don’t worry, it’s a cinch.

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