Homemade Pie Baking Tips
If you love baking homemade pies from scratch and have the time to do so, then go for it, but don’t feel guilty if you can’t. There are many ways to get that homemade taste without as much work. For example, say your family loves homemade pumpkin pie but every year you notice that they only eat the filling and leave most of the crust. Then, this year, don’t put your pumpkin pie filling in a crust. Just pour it into a well greased baking dish or pan to bake. This will save you time and calories.
If your family loves homemade apple pie but you don’t have time for a pie crust then make an apple crisp instead.
For homemade cinnamon rolls: Use frozen dough — most people can’t tell the difference. I’ve told this story before but it is a perfect example of what I mean. My grandmother-in-law made the best “homemade” noodles that everyone fought over and raved about at every family get-together. No one made noodles like grandma’s. One day I decided to ask grandma what her secret was and she took me to her freezer and laughingly, pulled out a bag of frozen egg noodles. Everyone assumed that she had made them from scratch.
Make your life easy and take shortcuts when you can. It is much less expensive to use convenience foods sometimes than to go out to eat.
Here are some more homemade pie baking tips for experienced bakers and beginning bakers:
- For something different, try serving your apple pie with butter pecan ice cream instead of the usual vanilla and/or top it with a little caramel ice cream topping.
- Replace 1/4 of the white sugar in your apple pie recipe with brown sugar and/or replace your regular spices with pumpkin pie spice *(below).
- You can give canned apple pie filling more of a homemade flavor by adding apple pie or pumpkin pie spice* to it.
- Lime juice works much better than lemon juice to prevent fruits like apples from turning brown.
- When making fruit pies, microwave the filling for 5-7 minutes before pouring it into the crust. This prevents the crust from becoming overly brown before the filling is completely cooked. In the case of an apple pie, you won’t have to worry about partially cooked apples.
- When making pumpkin pie: Before you pour in the filling, bake the crust for 2-3 minutes just until it starts puffing a little on the bottom. Watch it carefully because it only takes a minute and you don’t want to totally cook it. This really helps prevent those sometimes very soggy pie crusts.
- If you like cheese with your apple pie, mix 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese into your pie crust and then layer the apple filling with another cup of grated cheese.
- If your homemade pies are too runny, add 1 Tbsp. of tapioca to your filling.
- When making pecan pie, melt the butter in a saucepan until it turns golden brown. Watch it so it doesn’t burn. This adds the most wonderful caramel like flavor to your pie. For my favorite pecan pie, check out page 254 in our cookbook Dining on A Dime. I received this recipe many years ago from my sister-in-law Mary and have yet to taste one that comes close to it for flavor.
- When making a graham cracker crust, add a little cinnamon to the mix.
Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. cloves
Mix ingredients well. Makes 1 teaspoon. Use in any recipe calling for pumpkin pie spice.
- When you need to make a graham cracker crust, crush enough crumbs to fill a large container or coffee can. The next time you make a crust, you can just scoop out the amount you need.
For more quick and easy recipes and cooking tips, check out our Dining On A Dime Cookbook!
Photo By: Tamara Manning