Today, I made a pie for the first time in years! I had given up pies in favor of galettes since we always have trouble finishing an entire pie before it succumbs to sogginess. In contrast, we have no problem finishing a 14-inch galette within hours, and the thing could stay crispy for days!
Anyway, everyone and their mother are making pies today (according to Instagram, my source of what happens in the real world). Why not join the party? The recipe is from my favorite contributor to The Cake Blog, Tessa Huff. She has her own blog called Sweet Style CA. I also borrowed a technique from Chef John in Food Wishes - he suggests reducing the accumulated fruit juices into a thick syrup that you can add back to the fruit before baking.
Here are my pie-making pro-tips:
First Pro-Tip: After tossing the fruit with sugar, lemon juice, and spices, let it sit for 30 minutes. Then, strain the juices with a sieve over a small pot and reduce the juices to a thick syrup before adding the syrup back into the fruit.
Second Pro-Tip: After you lay down the bottom layer of pie dough, trim the excess dough with scissors so the dough is barely hanging down from the edges. After you lay down the weaved pie dough, fold the edges of the bottom dough over the weaves. Then, crimp all around. When you crimp, try not to squeeze the dough too high above the pan - parts of the dough that are not supported by the pan will sink during the first few minutes in the oven, and you basically relinquish power over the shape. It turns out nicer when the crimps are low, close to the pan, and not too skinny or too fat. In other words, simply crimp perfectly.
I did not know about Second Pro-Tip until it was too late. That is why I took an abstract photo of the finished pie. The part you don't see contains the aforementioned formerly-tall-now-shrunken-and-unsightly crust.
Third Pro-Tip: Fat strips in the weave make it easier to produce a fancy-looking pie. Thin strips are not only difficult to keep straight, they require more work! You'd have to weave twice as many strips if they were half the width.
Fourth Pro-Tip: Make sure you have vanilla ice cream (which I don't, but I'm eagerly awaiting volunteers to bring me some in exchange for pie).
Happy Fourth of July!