The innkeepers at Historic Inns of Rockland may not have always been experts in pie making, but after ten years of Pies on Parade Pie Tours and collectively more than 2000 pies made and served, you can bet that this is one group of innkeepers who are pious about their pies. With the 11th Annual Pies on Parade event (January 25, 2015) less than five months away the Historic Inns of Rockland, founders of the event, are already starting to get their rolling pins in order to organize the 25+ businesses that take part in this pie-a-thon from one end of Rockland’s Main Street to the other. A fundraiser for the Area Interfaith Outreach Food Pantry, this year’s Pies on Parade Pie Tour is expected to bring the 11-year total raised from this event to more than $100,000.
As we approach the fall season, all eyes and appetites move toward heartier comfort foods, and when it comes to hearty and comfort, pie tops the list. Therefore, the innkeepers from Historic Inns of Rockland want to share a few tips for perfect pies with our blog readers. Try these ideas:
Tips from Ed Hantz, Granite Inn, for a beautiful pie crust
- Start your pie with plenty of dough. A little extra can always be used to decorate the top.
- Lay the dough into a 9-inch pie pan and trim to about an inch beyond the rim of the pan.
- Fold the edge of the crust up and inward and crimp the dough with your fingers.
- I like to build the crust to about ½ inch above the edge of the pan. This makes an extra deep pie.
- Collect the dough trimming and roll them out again, and then cut with cookie cutters into shapes to decorate the top of the pie or quiche.
Tips from Cheryl Michaelsen, Berry Manor Inn, where pie is served to guests 365 days:
- Don’t over think your pie dough; pie dough is very forgiving! If it is too wet, simply add more flour. If your dough is too thin, ball it up and re-roll it; if it’s too thick cut some off and keep rolling!
- Mix the pie dough, and then wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it while you are mixing up the pie filling. Chilling the dough for a half hour to several hours will make it easier to work with later.
- If you are making many pies for a special occasion, mix the dough ahead of time and wrap it in plastic wrap first and then foil. After it’s wrapped, freeze it. When you’re ready to use the dough, defrost it on the counter prior to rolling it out.
- Here’s a time saver: Make fruit pies (apple, blueberry, cherry, raspberry, strawberry rhubarb, etc.) ahead, but do not cook them immediately. Brush the pie with an egg wash (a beaten egg and a bit of milk or water) and sprinkle sugar over it; place a piece of wax paper over the top, then wrap tightly in foil and freeze. When you need the pie un-wrap the foil, pull off the wax paper and place a piece of foil loosely over the top. Place the frozen pie a cold oven covered, set the temperature and let the pre-heating oven work as the defrost cycle. Then, simply add approximately 10 to 15 minutes longer to your normal cook time. Generally Berry Manor Inn’s pie makers bake fruit pies at 400 degrees for one hour and fifteen minutes then take off the foil cover and bake uncovered for another four to ten minutes until the crust is golden brown. Freezing the uncooked pie ahead makes it far less work the day you need them.
- Relax – Pie makes everything better!!!
Tips from the LimeRock Inn, developers of the signature Key LimeRock Pie:
- For LimeRock Inn’s signature Key LimeRock Pie, rather than making a graham cracker crust, innkeepers use vanilla wafers and their secret ingredient, a half-cup of granola. This combination is a total crowd pleaser.
- One great way to serve pies – whether egg or fruit – is in tartlet form. These mini-pies will go a long way and are easy to pop in the mouth as appetizers or dessert. When making their Swiss Cheese and Bacon mini-quiches, LimeRock Inn innkeepers serve them right from the oven after transferring to a decorative platter. They cool sufficiently while being served, yet still retain their right-from-the-oven freshness.
- Timesaving Tip: If you’re worried about overworking your pie dough, put your dough ingredients in a food processor and spin the blade until ingredients are combined and dough is formed. This will also help save time. Afterward, wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour until it’s ready to use.
Tickets for the annual Pies on Parade Pie Tour sell out each year. Overnight accommodations sell out even faster than tickets. Book your Pies on Parade Package now including your own personal pie baked just for you, specially-organized pre-tour events like a Pie and Wine pairing, and tickets to the event! Pies on Parade tickets go on sale right after Thanksgiving. For more information on Pies on Parade and Historic Inns of Rockland, visit www.HistoricInnsofRockland.com.