Sunday, April 14

Baking Tips: As Easy as Pie

The old saying goes “easy as pie”, so why are so many of us reluctant to try baking our own? Most of us just don’t have the time to spend hours shopping for ingredients, making the pastry from scratch and preparing the filling, especially during the holidays.

Some recognized brand names are making it easy. You can now get, for example, two lines of frozen, unbaked pies, Oven Fresh and the Signature Selections by Sara Lee that are ready to pop into the oven.

Here are some additional hints from Sara Lee for baking all kinds of pies:

1. If you make pumpkin pie, watch it carefully. When properly baked, the outer edges of the filling will be firmly set and slightly brown. The four- to six-inch centre circle should have a soft set and shake like gelatine.

2. Avoid baking your holiday pie with your turkey or ham. Pies require a higher temperature, so try to bake your pies the night before.

3. For a golden brown crust, brush the top of the pie with milk or egg before you put it in the oven. (To avoid burning, be careful not to brush the crimped edge of the crust.)

4. To keep edges from burning, place aluminium foil strips around the edges of the pie prior to baking. Remove foil for the last 15 minutes.

5. For a high-gloss finish, brush apricot preserves on top of your pie just after baking. Always preheat the oven for about 15 minutes at 350 to 375 F, depending on your oven.

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