There’s something about pie. It’s totally ingrained in our culture. Look at all the sayings…
- Easy as pie / Sweet as pie
- American as apple pie
- Eating humble pie
- Fingers in many pies
- Pie eyed
- Pie in the sky
- Sweetie pie
- Shut your pie hole
Not to mention all the songs that have pie in the title…
- Custard Pie – Led Zeppelin
- Honey Pie – The Beatle
- Country Pie – Bob Dylan
- American Pie – Don McLean (My favorite song of all time!)
- Flaming Pie – Paul McCartney
- Slice of Your Pie – Motley Crue
- Wild Honey Pie – the Beatles
- Cherry Pie – Warrant
- Sweet Potato Pie – James Taylor
What does this have to do with a hack about pies?
Absolutely nothing. But this kitchen hack is so easy it doesn’t require much explanation, and pie is so fascinating that I can’t help but chat about it a little more. For starters, did you know that pie has been bringing people together as far back as ancient Egypt? The first pies were made by early Romans, who may have learned about it through the Greeks. These pies were sometimes made in “reeds” for the sole purpose of holding the filling and not for eatingwith the filling. This piece of information didn’t surprise me. We all know that filling is the whole reason why we eat the pie.
The saying “American as apple pie” confirms that pie is considered the most traditional American dessert. We, as a country, love pie. Its deeper meaning is a symbolic representation of union, love, and comfort. The definition of a pie is any dish that consists of a crust and a filling. Fillings fall into 4 main categories: cream, fruit, custard, and savory. Then, there’s the crust.
I learned how to make homemade pie crust in 8th grade home economics. I’ll never forget how Miss Jersey taught us that the definition of a good pie crust was “pleasant, yet bland”. It should be slightly flaky but never upstage the filling. Back then, at the height of my teenage angst and insecurities, it was like she was describing ME. I thought that I was a pie crust girl! Pleasant, yet bland, slightly flaky, and always in a supporting role. Oh my!!! How did I ever survive high school? (FYI, I have since learned the importance of being the total pie, crust and filling, and even a dollop of topping!)
Despite my emotional attachment to pie crust adjectives, I never did master the art of making pie crusts. I hated making them, and as far as the “easy” graham cracker or cookie crusts go – well, they never looked like pictures in the cookbook. I didn’t make a pie for years because of the dreaded crust. Discovering store-bought pie crusts changed my world! (Much like finding out that I could just pay an accountant to do my taxes, I didn’t have to marry them.) Frozen crust, refrigerated, graham cracker, or cookie crust – they are all great! Well, maybe they aren’t great but let’s us not forget they aren’t supposed to be great, just pleasant and bland!
Nowadays, I could probably handle making pie crust from scratch, but why? My time is my most precious commodity. Using a store-bought crust (today’s hack) makes it possible for me to happily spend 10-30 minutes creating a delicious filling. There’s no limit to creative, fun fillings. They can be as easy or as complicated as the time you have to spend. Plus, not once as anyone turned down a slice of pie because the crust wasn’t homemade! A true dessert connoisseur can tell the difference. My family (and most of my friends and co-workers) can not. They are just thrilled to have pie. If it’s been a while since you’ve made a pie, I hope this has inspired you. Without having to mess with a crust, baking your family happy is as “Easy as Pie!” Stress-Free Strawberry Pie, Easy Key Lime Pie, Strawberry Lemonade Pie.