I’ve had a love affair with pie as of late. It’s the one dessert I want to bake again and again. The varieties are endless: savory (shepherd’s pie or quiche) or sweet (peanut butter pie or egg pie). Lately, I’ve been baking almost one pie every two weeks. I reserve the pie baking for Sundays when we are more relaxed. Making a pie is an easy dessert to do with my daughter, Ilse, as a pie requires few tools and bowls. The best part is that a 9-inch pie is the perfect dessert size for my family of three. If you have ever feared baking a pie, don’t dismay. It’s easier than you think, and even better if/when you can include your little ones. Here are my top three tips for pie-making with little ones.
Choose your pie recipe wisely
Depending on the age and skill set of your child, choose your pie recipe wisely. A pie with multiple steps and a long list of ingredients may not be the wisest choice for your foray into pie-making with your little ones (Save those for solo experiments, preferably with a glass of wine nearby). I scour my stack of cookbooks for recipes that require a max of ten ingredients with very few steps. I listed a few of my favorite cookbooks in a January post.
Read your recipe ahead of time
One of the best cooking or baking advice I’ve ever come across has been to “read a recipe ahead of time.” Better yet, read it multiple times. Doing so ensures that I have all the ingredients I need and that I understand how to execute the recipe properly. Seems like a “No duh” type of thing, but I can’t tell you how many times I think I have all the ingredients or know all the steps and miss something. This advice is particularly true when I am baking with my daughter, as I am doing each step with her and am constantly reminding her not to eat the raw eggs. If I know I understand the recipe sequence ahead of time, I can avoid mistakes (like not thawing frozen pie crust) and focus on having fun.
Be prepared to get a little messy.
When I cook or bake alone, I clean as I go along. I try to wear an apron, so my precious clothes aren’t stained with whatever ingredients I am cooking. In high school, I stained many school uniforms with my cooking/baking adventures. Since Ilse and I began cooking and baking together, we bought her an apron too so we can stay tidy together. It works 50% of the time. Now, I am happy when she washes her hands and has her hair pulled back. So, I give in to the little bit of mess that occurs when we cook or make a dessert together. As long as she is having fun and is following along, I can clean up after the pie is resting or baking. You should too because the mess can easily be cleaned up after.
Making pies with my Ilse has been a fantastic way for us to spend time together. I get to share my love for baking with her and teach her about the foods we use and the science that goes into turning a few ingredients into something scrumptious. Pie can be eaten year-round, and I look forward to making more with Ilse in the coming months. After all, there is always room for pie!